Behind the Innovation: System Surveyor’s Founder Talks about the Next Generation of the Leading Site Survey Platform

7 Minute Read

The entire System Surveyor team is thrilled to show you what we’ve been working on for over a year: System Surveyor 2.0 is an enhanced cross-platform mobile experience that will continue to redefine what’s possible for site surveys and physical security system design.

System Surveyor 2.0 packs in a ton of new features and enhancements. We’ll go deeper into specific features in the months to come, but this month, Maureen Carlson, co-founder and VP of Growth for System Surveyor interviews Chris Hugman, Founder & CEO for a high-level overview in the form of a Q&A.

I sat down with Chris to discuss how System Surveyor has already changed the game — and how the all-new System Surveyor 2.0 continues revolutionizing physical security system design. Here’s what he had to say. 

About Chris:

Chris is a physical security industry innovator with a background in both physical security and network technology. After years working in the physical security industry, including at senior VP levels, Chris grew frustrated with the state of the technology and tools used to design and sell physical security systems. He founded System Surveyor almost a decade ago and helped to develop the cloud-based, collaborative physical security system design software. A frequent speaker at industry events including ISC West, SS&I, and Security Today, Chris is leading the way toward a more collaborative, digitally connected future in the physical security industry.

Can you describe the evolution of System Surveyor from the initial iteration to the new System Surveyor 2.0?

Absolutely: I love this story. About 7 years ago we launched the first version of System Surveyor. We set out to revolutionize how site surveys are conducted, transforming a manual paper process into something digital, easy, centralized, and collaborative. 

System Surveyor has achieved these goals and surpassed anything we imagined or envisioned in those early years. It has helped thousands of system integrators and others to design and deliver systems more efficiently, collaboratively, and effectively.

Fast-forward to about the middle of 2022. It became clear that it was time to build out the next generation of the app. We’d gathered input from thousands of users and had already begun work on new technologies to add even more power and capability to the software design.

Now we’re ready to see how far System Surveyor 2.0 will take the industry, even beyond what has already been accomplished with version 1.

You mention customer feedback driving this release. What kind of feedback have customers been giving?

We consistently get feedback that the platform has helped industry pros become more professional and more consistent in their sales and design processes. It’s also helped them to sell more and to serve their stakeholders more effectively.

We hear that it’s the best site survey and system design platform in existence and that it’s a tremendous value for the money.

Of course, we’ve also received plenty of great ideas from our community on how to keep developing and expanding on the security design software. With System Surveyor, we created an entirely new category of software — and that’s generated plenty of constructive feedback. We’ve listened carefully and prioritized the features and capabilities that will make the biggest difference to the most users. 

And really that feedback is a driving force that has led us to this next generation of System Surveyor.

What changes and improvements will we see in System Surveyor 2.0?

Great question: we’ve made all sorts of improvements, but I’m most excited about three areas.

First, the new System Surveyor 2.0 app will be cross-platform, with compatible tablet versions for both iPad iOS and Android. Our first-gen app was iPad-only, so this change opens up a whole additional device category for System Surveyor users to use it natively in the field and off-network. That provides so much flexibility for when you are on a customer site or remote. Of course, back at the office you can still access your system designs from any web browser, just like you could in version 1.

Second, we’re making major upgrades to performance and user experience. Now, when you take the app into the field on a tablet, you’ll enjoy a super responsive experience that’s streamlined and more intuitive. We’ve added better, automatic cloud syncing so that your designs in the field are available faster back at the office from any web browser. We’re supporting the way people work today.

Third, we’ve made improvements to the annotations and drawing tool in the app. This was a frequent request from current users and will be a huge value-add. Users can do better annotation on a survey, on photos, or even as free-form drawings.

Each of these features is enough to get excited about, but putting it all together, we’re sure that System Surveyor 2.0 will further revolutionize the site survey process

How did you go about working on this redesign and update to the app?

It was a combined effort: our User Interface team and our software development engineers worked together on the redesign, and our whole team collaborated with our passionate user community, too. We shared concepts and beta versions of version 2.0 with our users so we could get ongoing feedback.

The successful results of System Surveyor 2.0 are really a testament to the entire team — user community included. Now, System Surveyor is in a great position for the future, with a modern backend and platform.

How will the new version better address pain points for system integrators and end users?

Even since day one, we’ve heard from countless system integrators that System Surveyor makes them look more professional with customers, and that they close more deals faster thanks to System Surveyor. Now, with a more modern interface and cross-platform support, we expect these benefits to increase. 

We also see an opportunity for more and more teams to adopt System Surveyor and standardize their security system design processes using the new tools they have, in part because System Surveyor is so intuitive there’s little need for training. It’s easy to pick up and use and start seeing productivity gains immediately. Compared to complicated CAD systems or slow, inaccurate manual methods, System Surveyor simply delivers more.

We also see more and more end users relying on System Surveyor to create digital as-builts and as a better way to collaborate with their system integrators. The improvements in version 2.0 will make it even faster and easier for people to use, regardless of their technology experience levels.

What do you see for the future of System Surveyor?

I’m incredibly excited for our future — and most importantly for the future of our community. We see that there is strong growth in the physical security industry even though the overall economy is challenging. 

One of our core values is around a mutual success mindset. We always try to keep in mind that if we can help our customers and community to be successful, we’ll continue to grow and be successful.

And we’re not done growing. We plan to bring some other important features to the market in the next couple of quarters as well. We’re committed to being the industry-standard site survey and security system design platform that people rely on.

What trends do you see in the physical security system industry in the next several years?

No one has a crystal ball, but some developments seem practically inevitable. My take? The physical security industry is going to keep evolving — rapidly. This rapid change creates challenges for system integrators and everyone else involved in the planning, design, and implementation of the next generation of physical security systems.

With such a rapid pace of acceleration and an expanding market, everyone can’t be an absolute expert in every facet. I think that our role is to help make the selection and design processes easier, even as the actual technology involved gets more sophisticated. 

This is true of our team, too: we can’t be experts in everything. But we can help those experts (and the industry as a whole) collaborate more effectively. When we make it easier for end users and system integrators to collaborate with security product experts, for example, we bridge that gap.

I think that this sort of collaboration is the key to success if we want to capitalize on industry growth and, most importantly, to deliver on the true promise of physical security technology: keeping people safe and secure.

How can our readers get the System Surveyor 2.0 app?

You can find the System Surveyor 2.0 mobile app in the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Of course, new System Surveyor users can begin a free trial alongside their app install. Existing System Surveyor customers can access everything System Surveyor 2.0 has to offer — for no additional cost. Our team has also put together five great tips for transitioning to System Surveyor 2.0. Be sure to check those out.

Once you download the System Surveyor 2.0 app, if it surpasses all your expectations as we think it will, please head back to your app store and leave us a 5-star rating. Those ratings help us reach a broader audience, so every star helps.