Security as a service is more important now than ever.
Historically, the vast majority of security integrators have relied on project-based sales generating one-time revenue to fuel the success and growth of their businesses. Even those that have maintenance and support options rarely sell multiyear service contracts. The obvious implication of this sales model is that owners can only carry their business for as long as the one-time revenue can cover expenses. Then they absolutely must win that next sale. This often creates an unpredictable and stressful business environment with a constant pressure to sell.
Unfortunately, for those integrators that do not pay attention to today’s market drivers, this situation will only become more problematic. As the combination of communications, network infrastructure and security technologies continue to merge and evolve, there is a steady stream of new competition for integrators as more technology professionals sell security solutions.
In addition, our cultural transformation to a subscription-based economy has impacted everything, including how customers prefer to pay for and manage technology needs, like security systems. Ownership has lost its luster and customers are implementing solutions that allow them to use technology, to avoid the burdens and responsibilities of ownership, and to have flexibility to manage changing needs over time.
What is Security as a Service?
A security as-a-service solution combines the installation, technology equipment, software and other system components, along with integrator maintenance and support services, all under a simple use-based monthly payment for the customer. This approach addresses the challenges mentioned above in many ways, particularly by aligning with customer needs. In addition, it allows integrators to remove themselves from one time commodity sales, create real value, and generate recurring revenue through multiyear service commitments which will complement one-time sales.
How Can Integrators Adopt a Security as-a-Service Model?
Even for those security integrators that recognize the logic, or even the necessity, of making a pivot to this type of model, most are simply not sure how to do so. The first obvious challenge is how to manage their own upfront expense of installing solutions, but allowing customers to pay monthly. Some figure out how to leverage a financing partner to help with this piece of the puzzle yet still fall short of seeing any meaningful success.
The truth is, it is not difficult, but there are a handful of critical elements necessary for a security integrator to make the shift to an as-a-service model. The right type of financing to construct a monthly payment that addresses both customer and integrator needs is certainly one of those elements. However, marketing, sales training, and compensation, are among others that are absolutely crucial as well. — Contributed by Paul Metzheiser, managing partner at TAMCO
This article is a companion article to SDM’s Security Services feature. Read the full feature on Opportunities in Security as a Service here!