For a long time in the physical security industry, there were two camps: the alarm company — based on RMR, and the integrator — based on large onsite systems. Times have changed. As DIY and tech giants march into the alarm company’s domain, the security integrator is being pulled into the security-as-a-service industry. With this comes recurring monthly revenue, which is not a total stranger to the integrator, but is starting to take more of their attention. Here is what you, the integrator, need to know.
RMR is not a dirty phrase
About 10-20 years ago, RMR would instantly generate images of monitoring accounts by the thousands, as accounts were bought and sold as commodities by the big companies and hoarded by the smaller companies until retirement.
Today, RMR includes monitoring, hosting, maintaining, managing and even leasing. Large systems need RMR in so many ways to provide end users with the support they want and need.
Installations = capital expense; RMR = operating expense.
Software-as-a-service has opened the door for many industries to provide “aaS” models to customers. The jagged ups and downs of large purchases every few years have become dinosaur-level outdated, while flat costs that cover 100 percent of services are in vogue.
Now that basic software subscriptions are considered the norm, new major operating system updates are no longer a time to sweat. Faith in value of the money spent year-over-year means the provider will manage everything on the backend, though the process looks seamless to its users. The days of large bills for software upgrades, costs for staff training and conversion labor or hidden costs for down time are gone.
Ed Muller, a member of the PSA Security Network’s emerging technologies committee and director of deployment for Engineered Security, said, “Most new technologies are using recurring cloud services, which gives us the ability to do some diagnostic tests prior to arriving on-site to reduce the cost of on-site services.”
The days of “install-it-and-forget-it” are a thing of the past, as is showing up to a service call blindly with limited to no background information.
RMR is an enhancement — not a replacement
Large custom integrated systems are not going away. They are evolving to utilize the RMR tools to enhance the end user experience. Gone are the days of considering only the integrator when there is a big project or a problem to fix. Now, the integrator is a constant part of the team — without having to park someone at a site full time. Perhaps without realizing it, the end user is provided with an entire team dedicated to minimizing their problems and allowing customers to focus on moving forward with their own company goals.
“Giving our customers the ability to manage access control and CCTV costs as a monthly number has allowed us to build better relationships and allows them to plan for future upgrades,” explained Shawn Bauer, director of the security operations center (SOC) at Engineered Security.
As for smaller systems, end users do not have to skimp on services to reserve funds for larger installations. For a smaller operating expense, they receive the same support team as the larger end users at a price that is scaled towards the amount of equipment they have. Bauer continues, “By allowing us to handle our customers’ building security, they can focus on the other pressing company needs.”
No matter the size of the system, no end user goes unnoticed — there’s an RMR model for everyone.