Making In-House Calls

End-user organizations that supply their own in-house proprietary monitoring and services usually cause contract security providers to retreat and move on to the next prospect. However, in this time of economic challenges and cost-cutting pressures, most organizations would indeed consider an alternative if it met their logistical, fiscal and security requirements.

Technological advances throughout the past 20 years afford us all opportunities to create some great value propositions for these proprietary service providers. But before you can assemble a compelling value proposition, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of both the whys and hows that these organizations administer security services internally.

Alternative Revenue Streams

Let’s quickly look at the basic motivating factors for large and small organizations to provide their own security services, and how they differ.

Some proprietary organizations may have in excess of 1,000 locations, all supported by a structured security department that designs and services their own systems and operates a UL central station. They justify the cost of these operations by sharing overlapping expenses with other areas of the business and the need to have more immediate control of securing their organization.

Conversely, smaller organizations oftentimes justify the disproportionate added cost by leveraging and sharing existing infrastructure, management and staff from other areas of the business. This includes anything from placing a central station alarm receiver in a guard shack to setting up a mini-central station in a dispatch center that operates 24/7.

For the security contractor, the common element that exists with each of these scenarios is that operating a monitoring service center is not the core competency of these organizations. Granted they can and usually do hire industry people to manage these operations. Even with this added assistance, they could never justify hiring the highest level management or adopting best-of-breed technology and redundancy.

The good news is that alternatives do exist that allow for meeting the security requirements of these organizations while creating alternative revenue channels for central stations.

Central stations that are invested in automation and technology that offers seamless remote operations are uniquely positioned in the marketplace. They have the opportunity to present a structure that will offer these proprietary organizations the control they need, plus an increase in management competency, and a decrease in ongoing management and infrastructure while maintaining a more manageable overall cost structure.

Remote Managed Operations

The simplest way of describing what you would present to the client is to view the solution as a hybrid application service provider (ASP) model. The central station would offer an umbilical cord to a sophisticated, technologically advanced infrastructure. This includes receivers, automation, telecommunications and all the necessary management and support.

This type of structure will relieve these organizations of the necessity to add or upgrade technology or maintain the management it takes to keep it operating successfully. What really presents this as a great value proposition is how you can take on or share in the signal processing. In a perfect scenario, the end-user organization would offload all backend signal processing and automation controls to an industry central station. The client’s staff would provide all the data entry and intercompany communications and support.

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About the Author


Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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