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Industry Specialists Detail RMR Opportunities With Managed Access

SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine chats with four leading integrators about their success with managed access control. Learn tips on how to offer one of the industry's most promising new recurring revenue offerings.

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When you’re doing the managed access, do you have to build in extra redundancy to protect that data? How do you handle that?

Robison: Yes, this is part of what he was talking about. People don’t realize the value they really get from managed-service providers like us, right from the automated reports. When you install a system for a customer, you can train them to do these things. You can train them to run a carding activity report every month, make sure you’re backing up your data onto a mapped network drive so it’s off the PC that you’re — you can tell them all this stuff. You can write it down for them, put it in a binder for them, and unfortunately for the most part they will not do this stuff.

My point is they don’t realize the value unless we do a good job in understanding what their needs are and conveying them what the value of our services are, which includes setting up all these automated reports, alerts to the customer, as well as having mirrored hard drives, redundant backup in offsite storage of the data, which is what your question was, and that’s absolutely correct. These are just some of the many values that we provide to the customer, that unless we do a good job of explaining it to them, they won’t understand their return on their investment.

Penson: Absolutely, and one of the things that we’ve just implemented recently is now we have our server location which is managing all of our clients, but with the Kantech application you actually have typically a four server-type application so you have your server, your redundant server, your gateway, and your Web station.

These are all mirrored drives, all the great capabilities that need to be in place. We’ve also taken that step to put our redundant server at another facility, outside our main server facility, as another redundancy for data security and information. So it’s always updating that redundant server that’s offsite, even in a second remote location. Now we have the client site, we have a remote location where the servers are, and now we have a third remote location where that redundant server is sitting in case of fire, or any type of critical hazard. That client can have 99% uptime which you can’t promise them with a traditional platform in their business.

Brown: One of the things that they don’t see obviously is how much money we put into our computers. Last year we put in $50,000 into our servers. When I first started with hattrix I had these six servers in a rack. Now I’m down to one server, it’s all virtual. It’s super redundant. Everything’s backed up.

One night I was doing a backup. I didn’t disconnect the gateway and I had a failure so I brought down customers’ sites. It was pretty severe. For about four hours the phone was ringing off the hook. We had a snapshot of the server so once I finally got my IT guy on the phone because it was after hours, he just restored it, and everything was back to normal. We did learn a good lesson about disconnecting our gateway before we upgrade.

Can you give me an example of how you prove the value of managed access control to clients?

Penson: I’ll tell you a funny story. My wife’s CFO in her company really monitors their expenses. They were a traditional client of ours, and when we converted them to a managed account, my wife said, “You’re going to make a lot of money doing this because if you can sell this to our CFO, a lot of people are going to buy this product.” One of our selling features was he was at home, just arrived home to his family. It’s a 40-minute commute to the office. Got a call from the cleaning company that a door was left unlocked because someone had unlocked the door and didn’t relock it. He hopped on the phone and called my wife to put me on the phone. There was nothing I could do to get into his facility via any type of VPN access. So he had to get in the car, drive 40 minutes back to work, get in touch with the IT consultant, walk him through which server was the access server, what was the code to the IT room, what’s the login password and user credentials to get onto the server once he located it in the server room, lock the door. All of this takes time and time is money — to drive another 40 minutes back to his residence and continue having dinner with his family. Now he simply logs onto the app. In this case it was the Web station at the time, lock the door, done. If I showed it to you, you’d want to buy it. It’s powerful.

Sharp: I think it’s going to be a very good selling tool.

Robison: Definitely.

Penson: I throw an iPad on the table when I’m going to a meeting, and obviously people have Apple products to begin with, look at Apple as a company. They’re in the software as a service business. Imagine that. Do you know what iTunes is? Is it a software as a service company? Literally put the iPad on the desk of the IT person I’m meeting with, and the manager in charge of the project, and it sells itself. “Oh you mean you’d like to do this, click, click, click.” “Yeah that’s exactly.” “Is that easy enough for you? If you’d like it more complicated we can certainly make it more difficult for you. It doesn’t need to be though.”

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Article Topics
Business Management · Access Control · Exclusive Web Features · Managed Access Control · Managed Access Roundtable · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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