Is the cloud to be loved or feared in the business world?
Do we love it for its potential to streamline infrastructure and operations, or do we fear the perceived security vulnerabilities? Should we embrace it for its ability to help the proverbial bottom line, or should we shudder at the risks associated with adopting a new business model?
By now you should’ve guessed the answer to these questions is both. There’s no such thing as a technological silver bullet; any solution has its pros and cons, and cloud-based (or hosted) solutions are no different. There are reasons to embrace the technology; by the same token, there are also reasons to be cautious. Hence, utilizing the cloud to achieve business growth requires companies to be aware of both.
In the security space, hosted video services are gaining traction as it becomes more evident they present significant recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunities, lower installation costs and reduced service needs for dealers. Before jumping on the hosted services bandwagon, however, dealers should understand how to effectively communicate the benefits of hosted video services and ensure they are offering these capabilities to the right group of customers. Before they can sell the service, dealers must equip their team with the correct resources for success and to maximize value.
Let’s examine strategic end-user benefits to help you make your case to customers, along with several issues you should be aware of when considering hosted services.
Key Parts to a Winning Pitch
You might be the brightest salesperson with the best idea or product to sell but when it comes to selling and pitching prospects, it can be quite a challenge. Where do you start, how do you approach the prospect and what is the first thing you say? Following are half-a-dozen specific facets you’ll want to address when proposing remote video services.
No. 1 Peace of mind — It has been a little more than one year since Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. Many companies lost valuable assets due to faulty systems and failure to back up information. Hosted services store customer data offsite so in the instance where a disaster directly affects a company’s offices or physical infrastructure, there is no danger in valuable information being lost. This benefit is important for dealers to consider when compiling a proposal on a security system offering because now more than ever, businesses are looking for these types of secure solutions when purchasing or upgrading systems.
No. 2 Multilocation management — Customers need the ability to easily manage and control a video system, especially those businesses with cameras installed across more than one location. With hosted services, administrators have access to and can control video cameras across several locations, from one user interface using one account log-in.
This simplifies management tasks significantly. Prior to hosted services, administrators had separate accounts and different logins for each disparate system. Hosted services tighten the degree to which a user can control their system by bringing access to cameras and all admin capabilities under one common interface.
No. 3 Improve operational costs and efficiency — A cloud system lets your customers stay current with the latest software features and service patches. Updates are automatically pushed down to the customer site so the next time the user connects to the cloud they will have the latest features. This all happens without dealer involvement, without dealers having to roll trucks out at $100 per hour to update their customers’ systems. So no matter if it is one site, 100 sites or more, updates happen automatically and help provide customers with the latest enhancements and builds a better relationship between the dealer and the customer.
No. 4 Push notifications — Hosted services provide instant awareness to customers if an event or incident occurs. A hosted service pushes out automatic alerts to the user and dealer via E-mail or text message and an end user can log in remotely to their system to gather more information on the event. Alerts can even be programmed to include a video clip of the incident so the person receiving has all the information needed to confirm whether the incident is a false alarm or serious threat and then make a well-informed decision on next steps.
No. 5 System health monitoring —A hosted system will alert the end user and dealer if a camera fails or the network goes offline. This is a major improvement to a traditional system that would have no way to provide such notification when it goes offline. On a traditional video system it is common for an entire system to have been offline for days, weeks or even months, before being detected.
The administrator usually finds out when they tried to access stored video following a security incident and discovers that the relevant cameras have been offline and as a result no footage of the incident was captured. By switching to hosted services, end users can rest assured that if something such as a power failure causes cameras to lose their connection, they will be made aware and can quickly correct the problem.
No. 6 Protect investments and gain scalability — An end user takes steps to protect their existing investment in analog cameras by converting to a cloud-based system that offers all the benefits mentioned above. Making future updates and upgrades is painless with hosted services, because the system is scaled to grow. In the future, if a customer needs to add cameras or wishes to switch to IP or higher resolution option they can easily migrate the entire hosted system.
A hosted system also supports business expansion or routine hardware upgrades. Cloud-based systems can quickly be modified to include more storage, add more cameras and expand the network to comprise more physical locations. For a business that is expecting to grow, the cloud is the best option for supporting that growth and avoiding headaches associated with upgrading traditional systems.
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