When managed access control services first entered the market the prevailing notion was that some companies — namely small-to-midsize business end users — needed a solution that could lessen the time and effort required to manage and maintain security operations that often require the attention of a full-time staffer.
Managed services are indeed proving very effective at filling this need, but one of the side benefits that have unexpectedly come to light as a result of this technology is filling the needs of companies that do want to manage these systems themselves.
This is largely because these software solutions not only simplify the process for dealers to perform tasks, such as badging and pulling reports, but are just as easy for end users to use. This new model for offering managed services is providing new opportunities for dealers to increase their recurring monthly revenue, while evolving the technology’s business benefits to end users.
One of the best use cases to illustrate this concept of using managed services as a business tool vs. purely an operational expense is the property management industry. The key players in this industry (i.e. the management firms) are constantly tasked with finding new ways to vie for the attention of prospective tenants.
“It’s a market differentiator for us,” says Paul Faris, senior property manager at Seattle-based Colliers Int’l. “Tenants want access control systems at their facilities just as much as they want onsite food service.”
Security as an amenity is one of the latest examples that show how security systems in general have evolved from necessary expenses to assets that meaningfully contribute to a business’ bottom line. SDG Alarmtronics based in Flemington, N.J., is using managed access control to provide its property management customers with customized levels of support. SDG President Robert Shore, says he’s found that most of his managed access customers would rather manage the systems themselves, as opposed to having his company manage them.
One such SDG customer is Colliers, a global commercial and residential property management firm using managed access control at three of its New Jersey facilities to attract new tenants. In having complete control of the managed access control systems at these facilities, Colliers has the flexibility to add/remove access cards for tenants, unlock/lock facility access doors remotely, and run access reports as needed.
Most security professionals will recognize those types of capabilities as the kind that most managed access dealers typically offer their customers. However, Shore believes end users find just as much value in taking responsibility for those tasks on their own.
“Offering a customized managed access control solution to your customers is a great way to add value to a client’s business, increase your monthly RMR, and keep control of your overhead costs,” Shore says. “Selling a customized managed access control solution is not much different than a traditional deployment. The only difference is the customer is managing specific components themselves.”
John Smith is Senior Marketing Manager for Honeywell.