How to Harness Emerging Technologies for Potential Growth
Paul Boucherle takes a look at the many paths to channeling growth potential, such as offering the latest technologies and joining industry associations.
Our security industry ecosystem involves lots of segments: security equipment manufacturers, distributors of security products, system integrators who select products for their projects, security dealers who drive RMR loyalty with security products, consultants who specify products in RFQs they are familiar with, and finally security practitioners who buy and live with our security solution recommendations.
It is a very complex, relationship-based and fragmented in-channel strategy to drive channel engagement and business traction.
Here are a couple of questions to ponder:
- How do new emerging security technologies that disrupt all conventional thinking gain respect and adoption in a relationship-, conservative- and trust-based business?
- What factors make this more challenging for those who enter our “cage match” ecosystem?
6 Bumps in the Road to Overcome
Let’s take a brief look at some leading influences affecting the answers to those questions.
1. People by nature resist change. Traditional market channels that disrupt thinking and buying processes can take buying resistance to a new level!
2. Having a cool, new technology or application solution is not enough to ensure fast adoption in our industry, unlike the consumer electronics market where a new fancy-schmancy product will sell a million units in the first six weeks.
3. Some believe the Internet will solve their channel marketing problem. It will not. Social media and Internet marketing noise is so darn loud and pervasive that it results in customer deafness to your perceived business value proposition. I don’t know about you, but I hesitate when you take me past what I asked for on your “free whitepaper/webinar” offer.
4. Time is both a friend and an enemy; meaning we generally seek partners that give us the right information when we need it most, and at the appropriate time to make reasonably good decisions on products, applications and to solve problems. Specifically, those that respond faster get my attention and trust — period. Consider this when you attempt to strengthen your channel communication strategies.
5. As a manufacturer, finding people who have pioneered new technologies successfully and are willing to share some risk to help guide you through the emerging technology minefield and the solution jungles can be a real challenge.
6. As a systems integrator, you must balance your tolerance of risk vs. reward to take advantage of leading-edge solutions to forge new paths toward King Solomon’s business gold mines but avoid nicking an artery on unproven alpha-stage technologies.
Industry Involvement, Collaboration Are Vital
Is there a better way for the entire security ecosystem to strengthen their channel relationships, bring emerging relationships to mainstream adoption, and grow everyone’s businesses? There is through collaboration of associations that are forward-looking and lead without being too parochial.
Begin by joining any one, or several, of the many fine industry associations that represent your channel position, such as SIA for manufacturers, PSA for integrators, ESA for security dealers, ASIS for security practitioners and NSCA for A/V integrators.
These organizations exist to support your business interests with our government (we could all use help in that area), push forward our concerns, and educate and connect you to like-minded individuals who are focused on professionalism as well as fiscal health.
Second, network like your business life depends on it — because it does! If you only hang out with a couple of key suppliers, you will not learn about new innovations that those suppliers have not invested in yet, or perhaps never will.
You know the adage, “If you keep doing what you have always done, do you really expect to get different results?”At Matterhorn Consulting we have always tried to help our clients by introducing innovative new approaches and encourage our different channel clients to expand their perspectives.
As an example, we introduced a new approach with our “Train Like a Marine” program. The intent was to build unique, new communication and relationships with a highly interactive workshop with multiple suppliers and a systems integrator client.
It challenged conventional thinking a bit, but delivered on the conceptual promises after a three-city road trip in three days. If you want to learn more, drop us an email and we will share our results.
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