These days, nearly everyone knows about “the cloud.” Most people think of it as a convenient place for storing digital music or a free email service. Businesses have been using cloud-based services for years to reduce operational costs and streamline processes.
While hosting a security system in the cloud is a relatively new concept, the trend is growing. Security offerings, like hosted access control, provide convenience and cost savings to the end-user, and an opportunity for dealers to secure new business and recurring revenue.
The expectation for a connected lifestyle has put pressure on the security industry to offer solutions that enable instant access to information and remove complexity — without sacrificing security. Dealers who understand the benefits of hosted solutions are best equipped to provide customers with complete connectivity and the ease-of-use they desire.
Mobility, Instant Notification and Cost Savings
The main end-user benefit of a hosted system is the ability to access information from anywhere. Many systems include downloadable apps with a simple log-in that offers complete system control. The dealer can also notify a customer if the system goes offline or if an incident occurs. Remote access helps end-users rest easy knowing if a security event happens — such as a door being held or forced open — they can quickly access the information necessary to determine the threat and take action.
Most hosted services do not require a steep investment in infrastructure and support. Manufacturers host the services that dealers and users access over the web. Installation is easier because there is no software to install and dealers no longer have to face system or OS compatibility issues. Control panel hardware is easy to set-up because most connect automatically to the cloud with minimal configuration.
An ongoing goal for manufacturers is to develop hosted technologies that enable a system to scale a number of doors and extend to multiple locations without driving up cost. Additionally, many hosted access systems that stretch across locations can be managed from one interface using a single login. This feature appeals to smaller companies that need to secure several doors, or franchises with more than one store or location.
The cloud eliminates the need for setting up disparate systems and brings control over all access points to one system — saving the end-user time and money.
Connecting Business to Lifestyle
By adding technologies that promote a connected lifestyle to their portfolio, security dealers can also benefit. The cloud provides an opportunity for dealers to win new business and revenue streams; however, they should ensure they are positioning hosted technologies in a way that relates to how users engage with personal devices to ensure that the system’s features and benefits resonate. Here are three tips that can serve as the foundation to putting together a sales pitch on hosted access control systems.
1. End-users will embrace technology that removes complexity. Dealers must tout the features of a hosted system that achieve simplicity for customers. Every consumer understands remote access because this capability is already deeply rooted in their interaction with smartphones, tablets and other devices. This should be the number-one customer benefit highlighted in a sales pitch.
2. End-users expect technology to improve their lifestyle. This expectation is no longer just limited to technology at home — hosted security systems deliver the same convenience at work. Thanks to instant access to information, automatic software updates and instant alerts when potential incidents occur, customers will feel in-control of their system.
3. Hosted systems can save end-users money. Consumers expect all of the bells and whistles, without breaking the bank. The technology available via the cloud is helping make hosted systems ideal for protecting the bottom line. These systems can be managed in-house and are simple and affordable to install, making the cost savings aspect an important selling point for smaller institutions with a limited security budget.