We are all collectively experiencing the proverbial “nightmare” scenario: a healthcare and business crisis [i.e. COVID-19] that got here in a flash and left us in a social distancing experiment. While change was forced upon us, I believe some of it will be positive moving forward.

One fact is our office exile promoted cloud-based video conferencing. Our networks have stood up to the bandwidth challenge and we have all likely added ZOOM Meeting to our vocabulary. While many airline road warriors are anxious to get moving again, not so fast…

We have embraced video conferencing to a level not deployed prior to the businesses shut down and many people are realizing the productivity gains and cost savings. This fact is not lost on owners, executives and financial officers who will prioritize R.O.I. moving forward. Facing capital budget freezes or employee layoffs, all options are on the table. Because of these reasons, I believe there will not be a rush to air travel as business picks up.

A number of high-tech companies have utilized inside teams to sell cloud-managed services for years with excellent results. This is a proven and cost-effective model. The physical security integrator could benefit from mirroring some of these practices in their own operations.

One of the areas that has been popular of late has been attendance on webinars across all industries. Prior to the downturn, business was hectic and integrators could not find the time to explore new solutions. We all long for the good old days…of late January. Facing reality, now is the time to get involved with a solution partner and sell cloud-based security managed services from the comfort of your own home office.

Cloud-based architectures are proven platforms. Up until now, the physical security industry has been slow to embrace video surveillance and access control as cloud offerings even though these are our bellwether solutions. That will change coming out of this market cycle. Customers and prospects will look at every alternative to reduce cost and improve efficiencies rather than lay off valued employees. The economy will not be moving at the same pace as we return to normal work, but integrators will be expected to adjust their sales and service models to answer the new buying priorities: R.O.I., subscription services, and cap ex.

Cloud solutions are numerous. They provide predictive analytics to diagnose maintenance issues and reduce truck rolls (service assurance), secure network connected devices (IP cameras) and provide IoT platform management services, deploy cybersecurity training for SMB (the #1 targets of criminal hackers), and provide proactive video monitoring to complement physical guarding staff. These are a short list of security managed services deployed in cloud architectures.

We need to turn distance learning into distance selling. The key is to execute the plan. Surely with no commute, extended travel or watercooler time at the office, you can find 60 minutes a day to include a cloud-based selling strategy in your business plan and engage partners who are expert in a specific solution. This is exactly what the PSA MSSP practice delivers to our membership. The same game plan can be executed by non-PSA members as well. Upsell existing customers or pursue net new logo prospects, they are cloud ready!

Look at the cloud as a platform that transitions your business model. Applications (business need) drive the adoption, not the other way around. The Cloud is a support platform for your business. Software as a Service (SaaS) is simply contracting for an application like Salesforce or payroll. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is what every cost-conscious startup company does rather than buy hardware, software and networks, and hire IT staff. Think of Platform as a Service (PaaS) as an ala carte menu of specific applications and database tools for a defined task.

The cloud is the ultimate cost effective R.O.I. driven platform for today’s businesses. Cloud-based managed services offer new selling and support strategies to improve business valuation and competitive positioning. The Silver Lining is the Cloud. Now is the time.