What are some ways integrators have found to maximize RMR while using cloud video solutions?
-Sell the Benefits
In addition to convenience, Moritz says the main thing he focuses on is total cost of ownership. “If you analyze what a local system costs in real terms, there is the actual upfront costs for all the equipment, but then there is the software licensing, maintenance, backups, etc., not to mention the amount of attention needed by the IT department, which is usually an overwhelmed department in most companies. Those costs are rather high.
Ladd explains that you sell the features. “You’ve got to show the client how it operates. I arm my guys with iPhones and iPads so they can demo systems, so they can show a client a remote video camera, show them how you can look up history, show them the access control features.”
-Keep It Simple
Having a simple, clear offering with features that you understand and can clearly articulate is more effective than just offering all the latest technology.
-Charge for Your Services
It is a competitive business, and sometimes integrators are hesitant to ask customers for more money. “Have a clean program,” Ladd says, “but at the same token, make sure you’re covering your costs; make sure you’re making the money that you deserve to make. Early on we were used to monitoring rates, and so we were always trying to keep things at the monitoring rate level of $20 to $25 a month or something — managed services cost more. Don’t be afraid to ask for it and get it.”
To be the partner that customers always think of when they want something new or when they need to upgrade security, you have to already be a regular part of their lives. Ladd says he learned while running a central station that clients with open-close monitoring that required regular interaction between them and the central station were always the best customers. “What we found was that because we were having that interaction with the client on a regular basis, our value was increasing, so that when they wanted more services or more security or more something else, they always thought of us.”
This may seem like a no brainer, but know the company you partner with to host video. Whether it’s a company that hosts video itself or uses a third party to store video, know what you are getting into and what works best for your company’s needs and your customers’ needs.
-The Changing Picture of Video
Over the last couple of years we have seen a shift in the video products available from the traditional DVR/NVR method of storage and local software to cloud storage and access via Web browsers. We see a fantastic new market developing as a result. Currently most small and mid-level businesses have IT departments that are already overworked. Traditional systems are another load on these departments with software updates, system back-ups and maintenance. Many companies have experienced system failures and realize they have not completed timely backups, incurring loss of critical data.
Cloud-based systems offer relief to these companies as data is always backed up; no software to update and no maintenance to perform. Additionally, they no longer need all the space taken up by conventional servers.