by Robert LydicAccess Control as a Service (ACaaS) has grown into a mainstream product offering from many access control manufacturers and the product offering is gaining significant growth in the market. With more and more cloud hosted platforms available, integrators have the opportunity to get into the managed access control and RMR business more easily without setting up their own infrastructure to support their customers. Manufacturers of cloud systems can now entirely eliminate the need for hardware, expensive T-1 or fiber lines, and many other costs. Through this service offering, integrators can increase their quality of service to their customers, their overall service offerings, and stabilize their company revenues for the short term and long term. Finally, by providing a long term and manageable solution to their end users, the integrator has the ability to create greater customer retention and the ability to provide additional products and services to their end user.
There are a few keys to making RMR work for you and setting up this business model:
1. Choose a platform and manufacturer that allows you to simply and easily set up an RMR model
Ensure that the manufacturer is setting you as the integrator up to succeed for the long term, not just the manufacturer. Many offerings in the marketplace center on the manufacturer owning the customer experience, and in some cases the customer. Ensure that the manufacturer is providing the opportunity for you as the integrator to grow your revenues and maintain the customer long term. We have seen some manufacturers take customers from an integrator simply because the integrator wasn't selling the appropriate annual quota.
2. Choose the platform that is easy to manage for you and your end user
The end user buys into a cloud service offering for a couple of key reasons. The most important tends to be ease of use. They want to be able to look at their system and manage users and the security of their facility. The user interface is absolutely key, as the customer does not want to be required to be a 20 year professional in access control.
3. Strategically price your recurring monthly revenue model
It’s important to ensure you have done your homework on the market in your area on service offerings. Understand which services your customers are looking for from badging, to administration, to complete daily management. Understand the cost of the licensing and the labor costs associated with supporting these sites so you know your breakeven point and where this model begins to be profitable.
4. Clearly define your offerings so a customer can clearly understand how to buy
Simplicity is king. Customers need to know what to buy, how to buy, and what they receive. Giving customers complete peace of mind around their system goes hand and hand with their desire to be on a hosted platform, so take it to the next level and in your service package provide a hardware warranty, quarterly system reviews and health checks.
5. Establish a culture of RMR in your business with incentives and best practices
Most integrators in the market rely on projects to keep their revenue engines moving forward. As a result, integrators fluctuate heavily on personnel and expertise. The most successful integrators in the market have turned this upside down and rely on recurring revenues to grow their business, maintain long term employees and technicians and create a long term business asset that is attractive for potential acquisition long term, or a phenomenal asset to pass along to the next generation. This however requires a culture of RMR being king, and demands a longer term view. Sure, the projects are nice, but they do not build corporate value the way long term contractual relationships do.