January 11, 2023 By Rebecca Greenwell
Diversifying your services to include sources of recurring monthly revenue provides systems integrators with financial stability and a way to create differentiation.
Hosted software and subscription services for project management and safety management – everything from computer-aided dispatch and emergency management to building information management and building automation – are becoming more common. Many customers are not only familiar with hosted subscriptions, but they have come to expect a hosted option as an alternative to the traditional approach of physical security.
For the integrator, a steady stream of recurring monthly revenue (RMR) helps you act less reactively and start planning more proactively for long-term growth. Your sales projections will be more accurate, so you can make better and more confident decisions about budgeting, investing, and scaling up.
Add value for your customers
Monitoring and managing monthly contracts with end users are some of the common ways systems integrators earn recurring monthly revenue, but modern cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies open the door to so much more.
With SaaS, you can offer customers a suite of value-added services and subscriptions as well as systems. SaaS allows you to reposition your role from someone who repairs cameras and wires doors, to a trusted advisor who helps your customer maximize the benefits of the technology they have purchased. Choosing this approach builds trust and shifts the relationship with your customers away from the transactional format and toward a relational partnership role.
You have much to offer your customers after the initial purchase and installation. The value of these services goes above and beyond what maintenance alone might bring in.
Most customers are only using a fraction of the features and functionality available to them in their security system. When you work with a unified, open-architecture SaaS security provider, you can spend less time upgrading systems and more time helping your customers stay in front of rapidly changing technology and get the most out of their systems.
Integrators have an opportunity to help their customers keep tabs on important tech trends that may affect their business, guiding them toward the solutions that best meet their needs.
Selling and deploying a security system is just the beginning of the customer relationship. You can leverage your expertise to help customers improve not only security and resiliency, but also improve their operations.
Many companies are also moving away from siloed systems to improve collaboration among departments. Data gathered by security systems can be useful for other applications, including stakeholders from IT, senior management, operations, and even marketing. You can help customers see how their system can be used to improve operations and provide efficiencies.
Be selective when picking a partner
Be choosy about the vendors you work with. You want partners who are continuously working on software fixes, cybersecurity upgrades, and system hardening to alleviate some of the burden of monitoring and responding to cyber threats. You maintain control over when and how these updates and upgrades are deployed. You will support your customers to become more cyber resilient by ensuring they are aware of best practices in cyber hygiene and helping them select vendors with a proven commitment to cybersecurity.
Moving away from multiple independent systems towards a unified solution allows you and your customer to view and control all physical security systems seamlessly. Whether you guide your customers towards a cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid model, your customers will appreciate the flexibility to scale up or down as their needs change.
Current trends in SaaS
Consumers have become accustomed to SaaS subscriptions for all kinds of software and have come to prefer the lower up-front costs and ongoing software updates and improvements that come with this model.
Hosted systems are a new model for the security industry, but the benefits are clear for both systems integrators and their customers. Customers can often benefit from lower up-front fees, while systems integrators gain a more stable and predictable income. Customers benefit from a flexible system that can be upgraded as needed over time, while systems integrators can offer new services as technology advances. Both stand to gain from the transition from a fee-for-service model to a relationship based on mutual understanding and trust.
Rebecca Greenwell is Senior Channel Enablement Manager, North America at Genetec. She manages the Channel Partner Program, North America, and her team is dedicated to supporting Genetec partners in the region. Her background is in channel partner advocacy and enablement programs, strategic marketing and demand generation.
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