How the Cloud Brings System Integrators More RMR Opportunities

As cloud services become more and more available in the security industry, there will be opportunities for integrators to provide more managed services and thus gain more RMR from their clients.

Mickey McCarter

Systems integrators have been moving toward offering more services and thus establishing recurring monthly revenue (RMR) with their customers, according to reports from IHSMarkit.

That observation was echoed at Securing New Ground (SNG) in New York in October.

Produced by the Security Industry Association (SIA), SNG brought together integrators, suppliers and end users to assess the security industry and to exchange intelligence on future trends.

Speaking on an SNG panel, “Redefining the Role of Systems Integrators,” Shaun Castillo, president, Preferred Technologies, said the security marketplace hasn’t changed much in recent years, but good integrators have become smarter about how they can support their clients.

Based in Houston, Preferred Technologies begins relationships with clients by assessing needs and then develops solutions to fulfill those needs, Castillo explained.

Pref Tech and others can find more potential solutions as more things connect to networks. In the ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT), integrators can harness data gathered by devices, turn that data into intelligence, and provide more return on investment for their clients.

‘Clouditizing’ on the Rise

As more things become connected, more customers turn to cloud services as part of a solution, Castillo added. “Most of our customers are using some type of cloud service. They are not averse to it. Sometimes, security policies won’t allow it, but generally, they can use cloud for some things.”

Jerry Cordasco, client development manager, Tech Systems, sees “clouditizing,” or wider adoption of cloud services, to coin a phrase, among his customer base.

Many have been slow to adopt more complex services like video streaming into the cloud, but there is a great deal of interest in services like remote alarm monitoring via the cloud.

Buford, Ga.-based Tech Systems focuses on clients where the integrator can provide services and value with less focus on project-based work.

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“It’s something a lot of integrators are moving toward but it’s a slow move,” Cordasco said. “Larger integrators can be focused on a project mentality. Some are beginning to realize that is feast or famine, so they are trying to move toward a services-based business but that is a slow migration.”

Tony Byerly, president of Securitas Electronic Security, Uniontown, Ohio, agreed that more connected IoT devices create more opportunities for solutions.

As such, “the cloud is here to stay,” he said. As consumer markets have adopted cloud services, commercial markets are going to feel a rare pressure to follow along.

“Millennials expect things to operate just as easily at work as they do at home.”                    —Tony Byerly, president of Securitas Electronic Security

The convenience provided by server power in a remote location is too great. Securitas has witnessed a steady increase in reliance on cloud among its clients.

“If you look back, the consumer space never drove demands in the commercial space,” Byerly said. “The commercial side has been isolated from consumer market.”

But consumer demands for mobility, interoperability and ease of use as well as a thirst for video are “pushing into the commercial sector.”

Millennials expect things to operate just as easily at work as they do at home,” Byerly noted.

As cloud services become more and more available in the security industry, Cordasco spots opportunity for integrators to provide more managed services and thus gain more RMR from their clients.

As such, integrators must think more often like IT service providers, Castillo said. They must know servers, applications and cybersecurity measures.

Pref Tech has established an IT services group within the company to provide rapid expertise on demand to its customers. Everything in the end comes down to providing good service, emphasized Byerly.

“Customers are looking for good business partners and trusted advisors,” he said. “You have to be able to provide the technology piece and then have expertise in delivery.”