Your Personal Cloud: Are you Ready?

I picked up the newspaper this weekend for some leisurely reading, which of course included a healthy staple of advertisements from retailers. And lo and behold, to my surprise, was one from a big box retailer advertising a computing solution—with the tagline: “Your personal cloud.” I took a closer look—because I was a bit surprised, but then I realized, the term cloud and all it holds for businesses and consumers is now becoming somewhat of an everyday word.


Clouds go mainstream?

So if the mainstream consumer is now ready for cloud services, personal clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds—then aren’t all your customers primed for this type of offering? I believe so, especially if you educate them on all the benefits, especially for video surveillance and managed access control.

The timing for this discovery—that clouds are ready for primetime, was just right, especially as I wrapped up this June issue of the magazine. Because inside, we have a special roundtable that will address cloud services, with input from critical sources in the industry who have many of the answers you will need to make a go of this. Many of your customers are ready, especially as they weigh the ongoing concerns over short- and long-term storage of video streams. In our roundtable, starting on page 26, we’ve asked the questions that you are dying to have answered, and with these queries you will hopefully find yourselves and your companies in a better position to offer these types of services to your customers, large and small. We ask these experts about the security of the clouds, how to know if you are ready and what the criteria should be for considering moving customers to the clouds. All the questions—and answers—you’ve been anxious to know.

But the crux of all this discussion on the clouds is a recurring theme that will also bring in monthly revenue: services. When you move to the services model, you open a world of opportunity that’s been lacking in the hardware only model of the past. You position yourself and your company as an indispensible provider of services—one whom your customers will continue to come back to for regular checkups, upgrades and additional products and services. You won’t have to worry about having work on the books, well not as much I believe, because you will have sticky customers who will always come back and will refer you to all their other business colleagues. Yes, there will be learning and growing pains, but the sooner you get started, the more likely you will be harnessing a profitable recurring revenue model for years to come. And yes, there are maintenance agreements to be rolled into all this, as well as perhaps upgrades, and other things still to be considered.

That’s not to say you don’t have to work at this model. This services model is new, and it’s sold in a different way as well. We address managed services and how to sell them in another story inside the magazine, starting on page 32. Managed services for access control has been around well, almost forever, but your sales personnel have to be given the ‘carrot’ so to speak, so they can feel they are making money at this endeavor. Managed services does take a lot of hand-holding, especially at the beginning of offering the service. But again, you will become one of those companies that are invaluable—just like you have become obsessed with your smartphones and having them on your hips day in and day out. Don’t you want to be like the leading cellular carriers—riding high the wave of success?

Murphy’s Law no longer rules—instead, now that technology is in place the changes will be swifter than that guiding philosophy that it changes every 18 months. Systems integrators have to be prepared and act to change, and at SD&I magazine we are leading the way to help you succeed.