How a Managed Power Solution Can Drive ROI, Business Efficiencies

Managed power culls intelligence from networked solutions to drive monitoring, analysis and system control using real-time analytics.

The physical security industry is undergoing its most rapid transformation ever. With systems and services moving to the Cloud and everything riding on the network, there is plenty of data just waiting to be turned into a healthy return on investment (ROI) for the customer.

Intelligent networking brings a stronger value proposition to both end users and installation companies —and the ability to provide additional proactive services that make both more efficient.

As systems solutions demand more, are interconnected across the globe and rely on power from utility and other sources, it makes sense that maximum uptime is necessary, critical and expected. Today’s electronics are also more sensitive and intricate, so they require regular monitoring of all inputs, outputs and peripherals so the system can be as reliable as possible.

Managed services are providing the business edge that installing security contractors need to gain more recurring monthly revenue (RMR). While project revenues in the industry are still high, they are also subject to economic variables, such as a downturn in construction. In addition, the business has become highly competitive, with new players emerging on a regular basis.

It makes financial and practical sense to add managed power to your game plan — as a tangible and highly attainable way to stay profitable through value-add services. And while RMR is critical for installation companies, business owners are looking for solutions that provide a solid ROI, and that’s where managed power also comes in.

What Is Managed Power?

Managed power culls intelligence from networked solutions to drive monitoring, analysis and system control in a proactive manner using real-time analytics and a detailed history of the system. Managed power benefits both the installation company and the end user, especially those with enterprise and multiple locations. This happens by yielding historical data reporting on the health and viability of power, battery backup and critical access control devices. Overall it provides more reliable and consistent operations, with greater uptime for customers and better efficiencies and cost savings in service and maintenance.

With managed power, the installing security contractor can actively manage support services by gathering live system data over an intelligent network and assuring the user quantifiable ROI in the process.

Managed power has a number of possible physical elements, including the main power supply; power system outputs; supervised inputs; and standby batteries. When it comes to power, there are different ways to accomplish managed monitoring and remote servicing. Managed monitoring includes: event reports; AC loss notification; service due reminders; overcurrent alert; and low battery warning. Remote serving capabilities of power solutions include: output supervision, battery load testing; and remote power cycling.

With continuous power supply system monitoring comes the opportunity for creating real-time action alerts and reports for system maintenance and management. Alerts may include email, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), XML or web-browser notification.

In a managed power solution, there are many factors that contribute to ROI, focusing on the ability to be alerted to problems, remotely diagnosing those problems and maximizing system uptime without having to dispatch a service vehicle. Other factors to consider are the profitability loss to the business as a result of system downtime or malfunction, or having to hire security support personnel at the protected premises.

Understanding Monitored Parameters

The enhanced monitoring provided by managed power sends immediate notification of current or impending problems. Once notified, the monitored parameters allow basic troubleshooting remotely without sending a technician to the site.

Some of the most common monitored parameters include: AC loss or brownout;  system fault;  over temperature; battery status; earth ground fault; fire alarm input status;  tamper switch; and battery status.  Managed services for individual monitored outputs include: over/under current; over/under voltage; and blown fuse.

System requirements and benefits are different from site to site so the ROI will also vary for the end user. Some factors to consider are the specific installation, a company’s business model as it relates to servicing and maintenance and the customer’s needs. In addition to direct factors such as troubleshooting time and cost, indirect factors such as system downtime and the potential of lost productivity should be also be considered. The framework here will help you better understand the potential value of the investment from managed power services.

In the following real-world example, it is assumed that the technician’s wages are $105 per hour, with a $50 trip fee and is based on a one-year time period. Also assumed is an eight-door managed power system which is priced at $450 above the cost of the equivalent non-managed supply.

An example of remote monitoring of managed power is when a camera, reader or controller periodically locks up and needs to have its input power cycled to perform a reboot. Let’s assume this device locks up once per year. Without managed power, a truck would need to be sent to the site and a total of two hours of technician time would be required.

View this four-slide image gallery for brief examples
of how to calculate ROI for managed power.

The enhanced monitoring and remote management provided by intelligent, networked managed power allows immediate notification of current or impending problems. Managed power is a tangible asset that installing security contractors can offer to their customers to expand their suite of services.

When cost savings are properly related to the end user and the ROI is calculated, it provides an even stronger value proposition that ultimately lets the installing company make more money and provide additional services that are useful — and make the customer stickier.

Joseph M. Holland is Vice Pesident of Engineering for LifeSafety Power, a manufacturer of intelligent power management solutions based in Mundelein, Ill.

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