Remote Guarding 101
This sidebar is part of the article ‘Feeding the Growing Appetite for RMR With Video Services’ that can be found at www.SDMmag.com/growing-RMR-with-video-services.
A growing video service dealers, integrators and central stations can offer is video guard services, which are designed to deliver the benefits of an on-site guard without requiring customers to incur the expense of an on-site employee. To provide a better understanding of just what video guarding is and how dealers can use it to grow RMR, SDM spoke with Aria Kozak, CEO of Elite Interactive Solutions, based in Los Angeles, a provider of digital guarding services.
SDM: What, exactly, is remote guarding and what are the key components that determine whether a service is remote guarding or something else?
Kozak: Remote guarding is a security service, combining site-based CCTV video cameras, video analytics software with Internet connectivity, and monitoring center-based security agents using sophisticated command, control and video/audio management systems. Potential threats are spotted by video analytic-armed cameras and automatically analyzed based on predefined criteria. When necessary, a security agent located in a remote center is alerted to assess the threat and take appropriate and immediate action to prevent or minimize damage or loss from occurring. Remote guarding is considered by some as the next innovation in security man-guarding, which has many inherent problems that limit effectiveness and keep costs high. Many of these limitations are solved with remote guarding, by better leveraging technology and utilizing a higher/different skill set of people.
Many companies claim to do remote guarding but very few actually do. Video verification, as an example, is merely an enhancement to the traditional alarm system by adding review of an image to verify trouble prior to calling law enforcement. Whereas, remote guarding replaces traditional guards or provides a force multiplication factor to the security guard industry by having highly-trained agents actually engaging intruders in real time.
Remote guarding requires a deep interconnection between the client site deployment and the central station command and control operations. Simply turning your camera system over to a traditional burglar alarm central station that has video capabilities does not work.
SDM: How can integrators who are looking to grow their recurring monthly revenue present remote guarding services to potential, new and/or existing customers?
Kozak: Integrators are learning about RMR, which is what enables companies to become cash cows throwing off consistent, predictable high margin revenue month-over-month while feeding their business with the capital that it needs to continue to grow and/or maximize their company’s exit valuation.
The best way for an integrator to grow their recurring monthly revenue is to find a strategic partner that is an expert in remote guarding and tap into that partner’s sales tools, marketing collateral, and most importantly intellectual capital on how to best design and deploy a system that can be most effectively monitored by a remote guard command center.
By adding remote guarding to their portfolio of services, they can tap into an incredible monthly recurring revenue stream with many future CCTV installations, particularly for clients with human guards that can be replaced or augmented. By approaching clients with an opportunity to turn a reactive camera system into a proactive security solution that prevents crime, many clients will welcome the knowledge that helps them both better secure their facility while saving costs on man-guarding labor.
We would recommend working with the right remote guarding service provider to:
- design CCTV systems that work seamlessly with remote guard monitoring command centers;
- provide information to the customer that monitored cameras will not only enhance security but actually lower security guard costs by deploying remote guarding;
- go back to old customers and use remote guarding as a means to engage clients in upgrading security systems to support services that are preventative (not just reactionary); and
- Help sell the remote guarding service on top of installation.
SDM: What should integrators look for in a partner who provides remote guarding services? How should they evaluate various providers and offerings?
Kozak: By partnering with an operations center that is an expert in remote guarding, integrators will tap into a strategic partnership that helps maximize RMR goals. Unlike alarm systems and video verification providers, remote guarding replaces (or enhances) security guards at high target (high risk) areas. This translates into significant recurring monthly fees, many times the alarm and video verification rates that still represent only a fraction of the cost of a security guard. The RMR accrues to integrators, while clients benefit from dramatic cost savings and significant increases in the effectiveness of their security.
Successful remote guarding providers must understand the significant interconnectivity between forensic analysis, design, engineering, systems selection, installation, and monitoring to effectively protect a location from tens or thousands of miles away. This interconnectivity and reliance on each element of the solution is key to remote agent’s ability to assess and engage all intruders in real time.
We recommend expanding their business into remote guarding with one of the leading providers, particularly if they work with companies that traditionally use guards and are looking to build RMR. At the same time, anyone claiming to provide remote guarding without utilizing this fully integrated approach cannot provide effective remote guarding and will fail to help generate substantial RMR.
We would recommend, looking for companies that meet the following criteria:
- They own and operate a remote guarding command center (make sure to visit it), staffed with highly trained agents, who are using full command and control software.
- They have a proven methodology they can share with you on how to design a security system that is most effective for protecting the property and providing remote guarding capability.
- The level of discovery that the company exercises to test for the many types of variables, including performance in nighttime and outdoor conditions, will indicate the level of understanding they apply to creating effective remote guarding solutions.
- Effective remote guarding requires a significant level of education to understand how to implement and operate it. Make sure you pick a partner that will support you and provide you with all the resources you need to educate your customer.
- Talk to their customers. Any level of churn at this time is most likely indicative of a problem.
SDM: What else is important for integrators to know about remote guarding?
Kozak: If their customers use traditional guards today, then by introducing them to remote guarding, integrators can help them to dramatically impact both their security effectiveness and lower their security costs.
We strongly recommend they engage a remote guarding company that can walk you directly into the business of recurring monthly revenue. By engaging early, with a partner that knows how to help build their remote guarding business, they will have the opportunity to make only small changes to their video installation business that enables them to grab huge portions of the security market as it transitions from guards to remote guarding.