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2.14.23 – SSI – Peter Giacalone

The digital world creates broader monitoring opportunities, enabling evolution to be a comprehensive integrator vs. a legacy ‘alarm company.’ 

I am certain that everyone would agree that technology is at the center of every consumer and business’ ecosystem. Everything from the simplicity of credit and debit card processing to video doorbells, video camera systems, cellular telephones, etc. It doesn’t matter where you sit in the economic or social system, it doesn’t matter your age, technology plays a part and, in most cases, a big part of everyone’s life. 

When you boil down the various technology offerings, we find countless sources of technology providers and within each provider we find countless paths to access and manage some of these technologies through mobile apps and systems. If you assembled a chart, it would be a very complex and busy chart. It’s no wonder why many consumers tend to get confused on the proper path. The convergence of various technologies that at one time were disparaged have now converged which would lead you to believe that it should be simplified. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. 

Enough of the philosophy, let me reel this in as it relates to the security and life-safety industry.  Most organizations get caught up in the legacy approach of serving their clients as a “burglar alarm company” or “fire alarm company” or even “an integrator.” Although this has all delivered success for many, the world is moving rapidly with the traditional systems and expectations merging with not so traditional systems. Consumers seek simplicity to achieving their goals.  Whether they are sophisticated or not, attaining as much tech as possible from one source is valuable to the consumer and provider. The consumer likes the one path approach to support and the provider benefits with multiple tentacles tied to the consumer creating additional stickiness, revenue and an additional attrition mitigation mechanism. 

With monitoring at the center of what most security and life-safety professionals provide, and the trust that is associated with this, we all have the solid path for additional engagement with clients. Years ago, it was referred to as bundling. I see that as a term and structure of the past because it really described simply selling a variety of unrelated products and or systems under one umbrella. With technology the way it sits today, most are related, integrated or effected by each other in one matter or another. 

As we experience the analog world slowly fade and the digital world rapidly growing, we see even monitoring isn’t what it used to be. Professionals have been concerned with self-monitoring for a number of years. Although it is prevalent, it also appears that because a segment of monitoring must be professional, and the platforms must be robust, the revenue for monitoring is maintaining stability. Increasing the value of this relationship comes with the additional elements that monitoring can provide by monitoring and or controlling various aspects of a user’s world. The IoT elements grow every day. With the constant introduction of new “things” that open themselves to monitoring and control, the relationship deepens.   

Where the challenge exists, is within the paradigm of the user. If you search enough, you can likely find a few apps or platforms for every individual “thing.” Although this may be true, a technology professional that maintains the respect of their client for their competencies can server a greater good to their clients. Providing clients, both residential and commercial, a seamless path to attaining and managing their technology is meaningful. It is proven that people are willing to pay for simplifying and streamlining their lives. Organizations need to give their clients great reasons for maintaining their subscriptions. Offering the best price or fastest response times isn’t good enough anymore. 

Give some thought of technology that exists in most residences and commercial locations. Here are a few of the obvious systems and technology; Intrusion, fire, panic, doorbell, environmental, medical, video, access, telecommunications, mobile devices, Internet, cybersecurity, etc. Of course, many offer most of these systems and monitoring. The question is, are they offered and supported as a comprehensive package with dependencies on each other and supported under one umbrella? 

It doesn’t matter how much or how little your schedule of services is, what matters is how you approach the market. Just as the industry experienced great success when companies started approaching the market as “smart home providers” as the lead rather than a burglar alarm company, approaching the market as a technology services and monitoring professional brings added value and doesn’t pigeonhole a company, allowing for clients to view them as their first call when considering technology additions or changes at any level. What I’m suggesting is not simply a marketing ploy. I’m suggesting structuring your organization with a strong offering of systems, monitoring and core competencies that set you apart from the competition.