New Business Opportunities

Dealers and integrators can include flexible hosted solutions, recurring revenue and instant monitoring centers

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 costs.

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.

Recurring Revenue

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 integrators.

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.

Beyond Security

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.

About the Author

Ryan Strange is the CEO of ControlByNet.

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