In terms of ‘cloud’ technology, the idea is to sell the client a managed service, not a product. In this scenario, the storage of video images and related data is handled by a virtual server storage system. These servers reside somewhere on the cloud, which, of course, requires a monthly or annual fee that the end user pays.
The cost of this recurring fee is passed on to the client by the security integrator, providing an opportunity to sell a service that renders an additional source of RMR. “I think cloud storage has the potential to provide a valuable recurring revenue stream for integrators over the long term,” says Eric Yunag, president and CEO of Dakota Security Systems of Sioux Falls, S.D.
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Selling cloud processing/storage actually saves the client money in the long run. This is because instead of investing in expensive SAN (storage area network) servers ― and all the hardware that goes with them ―- the client pays only for the services they need. It also saves the client in routine maintenance costs because it’s the third-party owner of the cloud processing center that pays it.
“Cloud storage removes having to invest in on-premise storage costs, depreciation and replacement of technology as it becomes obsolete. Cloud is pay-as-you-go and can easily scale to meet expanding and contracting needs of the enterprise, as their system grows or video retention policies change,” says Erick Ceresato, senior product manager at Genetec. “Cloud offers the protection and redundancy with backups and mirroring, that would otherwise be very expensive to do as an on-premise service.”
The technology is maturing and will soon scale to the point that the model could become viable for mid-market customers. In the near term the opportunity primarily exists in residential and light commercial applications. Yunag says that this is “because as a system gets larger, the bandwidth requirements increase dramatically. Also, most enterprise customers have premise-based infrastructure capable of scaling to accommodate video requirements.”
Al Colombo is a long-time trade journalist and copywriter in the electronic security market. His experience includes 15 years as a field technician and 28 years in technical writing.