As the economy improved during 2017, the security industry also experienced an increase in new projects and upgrades for existing customers. Security dealers have been busy adapting to the new services that customers are now demanding and trying to stay competitive within their market.
Many have changed their strategies—offering not only professionally installed systems but assisting with DIY and self-install products. Overall, the goal of forward-thinking security dealers has been to elevate the level of service all around to the customer so they become indispensable and the technologies they offering are wanted, needed and used daily by their clients.
Cloud as a critical enabling technology
The cloud and cloud services have become a critical enabling technology. Cloud services and security management systems via the cloud have been increasing dramatically since the beginning of 2017. End users are more confident in the safety and security of cloud computing and also understand the strong value proposition it provides in lower total cost of ownership and the ability to quickly make changes to security system parameters remotely from any connected device.
Security dealers also realise that installing and maintaining software on customers’ servers is becoming less favorable, given the advantages of cloud computing with disaster recovery, seamless backup and automatic software upgrades.
RMR a big deal
What we found and did not expect was that some dealers still believe that not having a recurring monthly revenue (RMR) component to every project is no big deal -- when in fact it is huge. Without a tangible and predictable revenue stream they will always struggle. Dealers also need to be more creative in how they find new revenue. Those who are not embracing and selling RMR cloud services could soon be playing catch-up. Unfortunately they may never survive as their customer base looks to companies that offer simple solutions for building security and automation services—which the cloud readily provides.
|With the cloud, dealers can have an entire suite of services at their fingertips that can be easily added and mixed and matched for the right solution tailored perfectly to the individual customer|
Benefits of cloud
Margins for monitoring and systems installations will continue to erode, so dealers will need to make up for lower revenue in other ways. Dealers should embrace the cloud because of the efficiencies it brings to their business in remote managed services, while providing them the ability to offer a vast array of benefits to the customer in the way of security, business intelligence, critical environmental monitoring and other sought-after features. With the cloud, they can have an entire suite of services at their fingertips that can be easily added and mixed and matched for the right solution tailored perfectly to the individual customer.
The winners will be those who find new ways to do business and embrace the customer. They will look for their niche in specific markets and become experts in those verticals. They will listen closely to the consumer and deliver what they need, when they need it. The losers will be the installing companies who revert to the phrase: ‘we’ve always done it this way.’ They will slowly die on the vine as others around them ramp up with the latest connected services.
Preparing for 2018
Our organisation is well prepared for the year and years ahead, as early on we realised the important role cloud services would have in the security industry. The Web Hosted Service we provide is giving security dealers a simplified way to offer more RMR services to their customers. Our service also provides an easy way for dealers to offer solutions that their customers rely on for their day-to-day operations. Providing these types of services is a great way to fight attrition which not only helps our dealers but in turn creates a low attrition rate for us also.
We feel that RMR services, when there is a value proposition attached to it, is the best way to address attrition and creates an environment that helps grow a dealer’s business and keeps customers sticky. RMR is still a highly critical component to having a profitable company—but the old ways of getting it have changed and will continue to do so.
Our job, as a manufacturer of a cloud-hosted security management platform, is to respond to the dealer community with new features and functionality that will drive their profitability. They ask—and we listen and deliver on new features. We’re all in this together—and together we can continue to be the trusted advisor to the integration community and their customers.