Making More Money Via the Network

Surveillance as Force Multiplier

Another great benefit of IP networking, in general, and the Internet specifically, is the ability to monitor and control systems remotely. This, again, is something that isn’t news to anyone but can be an extra source of recurring revenue if a little effort is made.

We have had remote alarm monitoring for many years now. In many locations, video verification of an alarm is becoming a required tool. A few progressive thinking companies are starting to implement full video central monitoring stations. The wave is catching on.

What a strong message it is to tell a customer that not only can you provide a video system, but also monitor it for them 24/7 and respond with help if needed. This can be of great value to a customer looking at the possibility of having to pay for a full guard force. Remote video monitoring can be a great supplement to any size security staff.

It may be possible to align yourself, if you haven’t already, with a local bandwidth provider, and be able to offer that customer a complete package with cameras, monitoring and connectivity. There are many layers of recurring revenue built into that model.

Partnering up with a local ISP is smart for a number of reasons from a revenue standpoint. If your strength isn’t necessarily the network and theirs isn’t security, the partnership could be strategic for both of you, not just from product offerings but also from a pull-through marketing standpoint.

Stress Service Contracts

Another recurring revenue generator that has been common in the networking industry for many years and is only now seeing acceptance with security integrators is the service contract.

Many traditional security integrators have shied away from such contracts, preferring to install a system and provide warranty service, but nothing beyond that. And to be honest, when we were dealing with matrix switchers and multiplexers, there wasn’t much to service beyond the warranty.

Now, however, with software and IP-based systems, firmware and software updates are a common occurrence. Your customer shouldn’t be left alone to navigate through those waters. Combine a software update contract along with a schedule of regular camera and recorder maintenance, and you have a successful service contract option. I have even seen some companies provide different levels of service contracts, using the exact model of networking and software providers, and saw similar success.

Remember the Basics

Don’t forget some of the more fundamental benefits of IP, either. Being able to leverage the existing network or cabling infrastructure to provide video transport mechanisms is far more economical than running a new coax infrastructure.

Also, using open architecture software solutions with off-the-shelf servers, storage and third-party IP cameras can provide a great cost savings in the right application. Additionally, consider the appropriate use of megapixel cameras to replace multiple standard resolution cameras, reducing labor costs (providing the system is designed correctly).

Every system provides some level of value, or else we would never be able to sell them. But finding extra value for you, as well as your customer, should be worth a little homework. Right now, it’s all about saving money. If you can show your customer how you can give them those savings and demonstrate the return on that investment, you have a good chance of developing not only a satisfied customer but also a loyal one.

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