Everyone Has a First Day and a Last Day
By Mike Simon, Managing Partner, Connected Technologies LLC
What’s your last day going to look like?
Make the first day the day you start thinking about the value proposition of your company and how you are going to focus on growing your recurring revenue stream. But don’t simply focus on the start. Visualize the end result.
That’s exactly how security dealers need to look at their business—today. They need to think about what they want their financials and company position to look like when they want to retire and sell—and how they can leverage the cloud to enhance and secure their value proposition in the future. What’s your company going to look like to a potential buyer in the future? Is it going to be a business that’s profitable from offering new services, earning recurring monthly revenue (RMR) and has a sticky customer base that keeps coming back, bringing qualified referrals? Or, is it going to look like it’s failing or floundering—just getting by with monthly recurring revenue from central station monitoring or making sparse margins from hardware?
For security dealers, cloud-hosted, integrated management platforms allow security dealers to easily offer new services that include intrusion, access control with mobile credentialing, video surveillance, energy management, critical environmental monitoring and more. They can use the same interface for all their customers, yet customize and grow the offerings specific to the client, vertical market and security challenges. With flexibility built in, they can manage it for their customers, offer different flavors or levels of managed services, or let the customer handle management.
With the cloud, security dealers are poised for the future, with an interface that offers numerous options for current and emerging technologies. It’s also the perfect way to address legacy access control—permitting standardization, easy upgrades and add-ons. Here are four essential questions and answers to understand the value of the cloud in building a company that can make a real impact now and in the future:
1. What are some things security dealers need to focus on regarding the cloud that will help them achieve real value in their company with the addition of sticky services? The cloud was built for bundling services. The more services and greater value proposition you provide the stickier your customer becomes, while making it harder for the prospect to price shop your service offerings.
2. How does the cloud enable cash flow, tangible RMR and a more profitable company overall? The cloud is becoming an almost unlimited resource for easily offering multiple device and systems monitoring. Each system being monitored grows RMR and that is how smart companies control cash flow as business fluctuates during slow installation and service times.
3. How does the cloud enable these services and what are other advantages? With the cloud, you can easily add services and address new or emerging vertical markets. There’s one single, uniform interface for all customers and accounts, which can be administered by the dealer or the user. The biggest advantage is the low-to-no initial expense when getting started using a cloud service. Typically there are no upfront costs to get started and ongoing upgrades along with new service offerings are handled by the cloud service provider.
4. What are some of the specific services or examples of the ways vertical market customers can benefit from an integrated, cloud-hosted security management platform? With loT technology, most new devices have the ability to communicate through the cloud. For the here and now, consider the school, multi-tenant, industrial setting and other multi-location sites or vast campuses.
- With the cloud, users can easily control their data with one interface—and don’t need to hire an additional person to manage users and passwords.
- Facilities managers can benefit by being able to gather data on all their systems from one database to extract historical reports or other information.
- Banking and financial institutions gain operational efficiency by being able to conduct data and management tasks, such as batching, via the cloud.
- Commercial businesses can easily incorporate substantial energy management savings into their intrusion detection solution by integrating HVAC controls and critical environmental monitoring with a single interface.
- Pharmaceutical retailers can avoid costly product loss by deploying critical environmental monitoring of their refrigeration units, receiving real-time alerts and notifications to preempt failure.
The industry is experiencing massive change and disruption. Security dealers need to reinvent their companies and the cloud is the perfect pathway for change. In the past, RMR was achieved primarily through central station alarm monitoring and maintenance contracts, but that does nothing for the multiple when it comes time to sell because monitoring fees are disappearing and maintenance requires revenue. With the cloud, you’ll also have an easy transition and turnover to a new owner, with no labor needed to take over accounts.
Leveraged properly, the cloud builds value in your company from day one and wards off obsolescence.
Remember, what you are installing today affects your profitability tomorrow.
Mike Simon is the managing partner of Connected Technologies LLC, a company he started after selling his long-running systems integration business in the Chicago area. Mike and his son Dan are the originators of the patented, award-winning Connect ONE® cloud-hosted security management platform. For more information visit www.simplifywithconnectone.com.