Generating recurring monthly revenue (RMR) as a security professional is both financially intelligent and increasingly imperative. COVID-19 highlighted the value of a consistent and reliable form of income in times of economic instability when installation projects might suddenly stagnate.

The pandemic also increased the demand for cloud video surveillance given the need for remote access to footage, presenting a further opportunity to earn RMR. Consequently, many security professionals have started to incorporate cloud video surveillance RMR into their business model. The transition from offering one-off installations to providing a long-term cloud CCTV service is beneficial for security businesses and their customers alike. Customers particularly benefit from the flexibility of subscription-based models and the ability to avoid large capital expenditures (CapEx) to purchase hardware. 

How does RMR work and why is it critical for businesses in the security industry? 

How does RMR change your business earnings? In most cases, security firms still charge a one-off installation and hardware fee for each new system they install. On top of this fee, they’ll earn additional income by charging their customers monthly or annual subscription fees. Year on year, a high proportion of these customers will continue to subscribe meaning the security firm continues to earn revenue from the customers they installed systems for years ago. Thus, security businesses with an RMR model will see revenue rapidly grow without additional effort.

videoloft chartCourtesy of Videoloft 


Recurring revenue also provides a consistent income for security professionals that acts as an insurance policy against seasonality and a drought of install projects. 

Those with an RMR model also find their customer relationships are ‘stickier’ and gain repeat business and recommendations. Why is this? For integrators, providing long-term services equates to greater brand recognition as customers repeatedly see their brand name on their invoices or on the interface they are subscribed to. For example, with white-label partner programs, customers will see their integrator’s company name and logo every time they check on their cameras. When those customers need another system or are asked for security-related recommendations, their cloud CCTV provider will likely be front of mind. 

As security businesses add RMR to their remit and earn additional and reliable income, they also increase their company’s valuation. Meaning integrators with visions of selling their company in the future are more likely to realize their ambition due to their RMR business model. 

Cloud video surveillance increases RMR opportunities

The security industry is already familiar with the benefits of RMR in alarm-monitoring services, but security professionals are also increasingly earning RMR from cloud products such as cloud access control and cloud video surveillance. Cloud CCTV has risen in popularity as previous barriers to the adoption of cloud such as cost, bandwidth, and resolution issues have been broken down. COVID-19 further accelerated the demand for cloud video surveillance given the need for remote access to footage and video management capabilities. Cloud video surveillance provides secure offsite backup of local video and other additional features that require a monthly subscription, making it an obvious way to earn RMR. 

Cloud video surveillance subscriptions - benefits for customers

Aside from the ease of use and security benefits of cloud-based systems, the user also gains from the subscription-based model. Users don’t need to fork out large CapEx to purchase expensive recorders and hard drives. By avoiding ownership of recorders, the users also avoid the cost of maintaining, repairing, and replacing them. 

Recurring cloud CCTV subscriptions also gives the user flexibility. For instance, users can change their minds about how much storage is required and easily add or remove locations. This ‘pay-as-you-go’ method means that users are only paying for what they use. With cloud providers that have broad compatibility, users can change the cameras they need as required rather than being tied to a particular brand of camera. Users with legacy camera systems can instantly upgrade their functionality simply by adding a suitable adapter, with no need to replace their existing hardware.

Finally, rather than traditional hardware that becomes redundant, cloud services are continually updated meaning new features are automatically added without intervention from the security professional or end user. 

How to incentivize sales personnel and sell subscriptions to customers

Security businesses that sell monthly subscriptions require a slightly different sales model to those that complete single installs, and they will need to adjust their sales process accordingly. 

For example, they will need to incentivize their sales team for the long-term commitment from the customer and recurring revenue as opposed to the one-off install fee. Training employees so they understand the long-term benefit of RMR rather than the monthly bottom line will help. One way of maintaining sales staff motivation is to frontload their commission, as your business will easily earn it back over the customer lifetime. 

There are many ways to bundle the hardware and software subscription to best suit each individual customer. For example, you could charge for the initial installation and then add a monthly subscription fee. Alternatively, you could offer to install their CCTV system for free and instead lease the hardware along with the cloud subscription at a higher monthly rate.  

Finding the best cloud provider to be your RMR partner 

One factor to consider when choosing a cloud provider to partner with is their pricing.

It is possible to find very affordable cloud plans, which is essential to avoid excluding price-sensitive customers. Low pricing is obviously also attractive for the security integrators — the lower the pricing, the more mark-up they can reasonably add!

As identified earlier, it is also crucial to find a cloud service provider that offers a free white label solution so your brand can be at the center of the cloud solution you will provide. This means you will benefit from repeated brand recognition! 

It’s also greatly beneficial to partner with a cloud provider that can manage your customer’s recurring payments and pay you commission at each renewal. This removes the unnecessary administrative effort and stress of managing your subscription payments. 

So, RMR is a no-brainer, right?

RMR is a crucial element for any security business and providing cloud video surveillance is beneficial for both integrators and their customers. It can help integrators earn additional revenue from new and old customers, increase their company valuation and customer retention. It’s good for their customers because they can decrease their costs, particularly in upfront spend, and it allows for significant flexibility. There are a variety of benefits for different types of customers which makes cloud video surveillance an easy sell. Having a good cloud provider to partner with, however, is essential to earn RMR successfully.