New Business Opportunities
Dealers and integrators can include flexible hosted solutions, recurring revenue and instant monitoring centers
- By Ryan Strange
- Mar 01, 2012
Security is more than just the protection of people, companies and
their assets; it also is an integral part of a company’s reputation and
success. In today’s tight economy, companies are looking for systems
that save resources and decrease overall security and maintenance
By making the move to the cloud, dealers and integrators can seize
new business opportunities, including providing flexible hosting solutions,
maximizing recurring revenue and entering the monitoring and guardstation
market. The key feature in a true IP-based system is flexibility; anything
else is a new model of the same old technology.
Flexible Hosted Solutions
In the past, remote video access included downloaded front-end applications
run from an onsite computer, with onsite storage and multiple logins
for different sites. Cloud solutions provide dealers and integrators with an
easy-to-use, 100-percent browser-based application. Dealers can provide
their customers with the full benefits of having their security “on the cloud,”
including remote hosting, multiple location access—onsite, hosted or any
combination—from a single Web login and access on mobile devices.
Key benefits dealers can provide their customers include:
- No onsite recording devices required, in many instances.
- Key cameras recording offsite, which is critical for security when onsite
video could be compromised or disconnected.
- Grouping the view of remote cameras from different locations together
through a browser interface, saving significant time in viewing/monitoring
and providing enhanced ease of use.
Security integrator Take Remote Control (TRC) is already realizing the
potential savings for its customers by offering hosted video. TRC was able
to step in the hosting business slowly by having ControlByNet do the initial
hosting. This minimized TRC’s initial investment while allowing it to offer
its customers a hosted solution. As TRC grew its hosted business and
learned the system, it was able to move the hosted cameras to its facility
seamlessly, with no customer interruption.
In today’s tough economy, attracting, keeping and growing customers can
be a challenge. However, with IP-based surveillance, integrators and dealers
can recognize a recurring revenue stream instead of the old “sell-andforget”
business model. Of course, there is money in it for the large dealers
and integrators, but there are thousands of small integrators that could be
getting up to $8,000 a month on recurring video without the outlay of extensive
expenses. And there is the potential for huge revenue bonuses that
can have a powerful impact on three- to 10-person security dealers and
From security dealers and integrators to cable companies and guard
businesses, hosted solutions provide an ongoing revenue stream. The flexibility
of an IP-based system allows dealers to demo products anywhere
with Internet access and on almost any device, be it laptop, tablet or smartphone,
providing another way In addition, a hosted solution keeps integrators and dealers closer to the
customer, which puts them first in line for openings for additional services.
The sophistication of IP-based systems allows dealers and integrators to offer
business-level security, which creates many more revenue opportunities.
Instant Monitoring Centers
Sophisticated IP-based systems allow for “instant” guard centers anywhere
with Internet access on almost any device, including Xoom, iPhone or iPad
and Android mobile devices. This provides new opportunities for dealers
and integrators to step into the monitoring and guard station business.
ODS Security is using its cloud-based guard station to maximize usage
of its resources to serve smaller clients while still providing critical services
to the larger multi-site organizations. With ControlByNet’s IP-LookOUT
Guard Station, ODS can provide remote security for all of its sites, thereby
reducing costs at the remote locations by eliminating or minimizing onsite
security. Guards are visibly and audibly alerted upon motion events from
any remote site. The live image and recorded video are instantly presented
for the guard to take the necessary action. Settings allow for frame usage
based on activity on the cameras, which reduces bandwidth costs.
The interface allows easy movement between alert activity and live
views of other sites. The guard can quickly view surrounding archives and
note the event while flagging for follow-up or dismissal. The quick option
to disable alerts for cameras under special circumstances greatly reduces
false events. The solutions allow for a single guard to easily handle a hundred
small clients, saving significant time, money and general overhead.
In addition, having an “instant” guard center anywhere with Internet access
provides great flexibility for staffing emergencies. Customers also have
the ability to bring the whole system back up from anywhere in the world,
including their home or vacation, at the click of a button. Security centers
spend thousands and hundreds of thousands on redundant power, Internet
and fire suppression while ODS has the ability to fully monitor from a different
facility with the blink of an eye.
IP-based security also can have unexpected benefits to customers. The recycling
industry is one that has experienced business benefits from moving
to the cloud. Prior to the installation of the ControlByNet solution, drivers
for the recycling company would have a set route each day or week and
would go to their pickup locations, which could have bins overflowing or,
conversely, with barely any metal. The recycling company decided to try
monitoring the bin capacity from the cloud. The project started with two
bins and has grown to more than 20 facilities in multiple states. Now, drivers
can look in on their bins and determine when they need to drive to the
location for a pickup—not only saving staff time on the road but also reducing
gas and truck emissions.
These remote sites contain only network cameras and supporting hardware,
with no recording device on site, making them a true representation
of an IP-based system and providing unlimited growth and modifications
for the future. The security market is ready for both large and small dealers
and integrators to move to the cloud.
Education is the missing ingredient right now. As technology continues
to improve, current concerns like bandwidth savings and image quality will
be distant. In the meantime, there is an opportunity for dealers to enjoy the
benefits of having their customers on the cloud. No longer do dealers or
customers have to worry that a DVR is broken or missing; at the same time,
they can enjoy other business opportunities such as recurring revenue and
new revenue streams from the likes of guard and monitoring stations.
This article originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Security Today.
Ryan Strange is the CEO of ControlByNet.