When we think about providing “security” for our customers — be they residential, institutional or commercial — our thought process usually revolves around physical parameters, such as perimeter security, motion detection, access control, and video surveillance. But step back for a minute and consider this: Most of your clients generally keep all of their critical information on their networks. Whether it’s their financial information, customer lists, employee records, music, surveillance video, pictures or other data, these files are sitting on PCs and storage servers attached to their local network.
We have all read computer hacking stories, which seem to pop up every day (thanks, Equifax!). A recent article detailed the security problems with the commonly used Wi-Fi encryption WPA-2. Virtually every network having Wi-Fi accessibility means that almost all LANs are subject to potential wireless hacking.
It is time for our industry to provide in-depth monitoring of our customers’ networks.
A company called Domotz has delivered a device and a service that not only monitors all of the devices on a LAN, but also notifies users about new and perhaps unauthorized devices connecting to the network, and more.
The Domotz XRM-DTZ1 is an inexpensive “little black box” that sells for less than $120 at your local distributor. The simplicity of installation and the wealth of network monitoring information provided by the XRM-DTZ1 makes this an enormous recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunity for our industry. It also allows us to monitor what is really important to our clients.
The Domotz program is quite simple. First, a dealer contacts Domotz and sets up a no-obligation “Pro Dealer” account, which allows you to install and monitor the boxes. Let’s say you are installing one of these monitors in my house. You would purchase the device and register its MAC address on the Domotz dealer website and establish an account for your customer such as “Dave’s house.”
When it comes to installation and programming it’s as easy as toast. Go the client’s building and connect the Domotz box to any open, functional female RJ-45 socket on any network switch that’s hooked to the LAN. Plug in the AC cord and the Domotz box starts to inventory the entire network, finding all devices.
Using the Domotz Pro app on your smart device, program the XRM-DTZ1 to communicate its information to the “Dave’s house” account. And that’s the end of the basic programming.
What can this service do? It will tell your client everything about the devices on their network both in real time and logged. Devices such as servers and printers can be tagged as “critical” and email messages can be sent to the customer letting them know when a device is turned on or off, or has in some way failed.
Not only does the Domotz service monitor the LAN, it also provides 24/7/365 monitoring of the client’s Internet connection. This box also provides authorized users with the ability to immediately test the Internet connection from a remote device.
Does your client want to know when his or her employees turned on their computers in the morning, and turned them off at night? Does a factory manager want to know that the servers running the factory machines are functional? Does a retail location want to know immediately if there are any problems with their networked cash registers? I believe the answers to all of these questions are “absolutely.” The network is the heart and nervous system of any building these days, and we now can provide immediate reporting of aberrant device events.
The Domotz monthly service is billed to the “Pro” dealers at a cost similar to wholesale central stations, for example, less than $5 per month. Here’s where we kick up the RMR. Is it worth a dollar a day for a commercial customer to know what’s going on with devices on their network? There is no reason to provide this critical monitoring service for less than $30 per month. And you can sell it to every customer you already have and every new customer you meet. Just get hooked up with Domotz, put a box on your network, load up the app, and your smartphone will sell this service for you.
The monitoring of IP network devices is a thrilling new option for our industry. For information visit www.domotz.com.