Integrators gain recurring revenue outlet in new offering

Monday, August 1, 2005

OTTAWA--In what could be called one of the first approaches of its kind, March Networks is now offering systems integrators the opportunity to monitor whether or not the components of an installed surveillance system are in proper working order.
The company introduced the program, called Managed Video Network Services, in May as a way for systems integrators to add recurring revenue to their bottom line.
Additionally, it provides a layer of protection against faulty equipment, such as cameras, digital video recorders, disk drives and power supplies, before it is too late.
"Typically with a smaller customer, you won't find something is wrong until you go to retrieve video and nothing is there," said Peter Wilenius, vice president of strategic marketing for March Networks.
March Networks handles the monitoring of networked security systems from its office here. Systems integrators are responsible for collecting monthly fees from their customers.
An example of how the system operates is when a disk drive in a digital video recorder shows signs of failure, the drive sends an error report to March Networks. The company then notifies the systems integrator about the problem who can either contact the customer or dispatch a technician to address the issue.
March Networks currently monitors more than 5,000 systems this way. The company first offered this management tool exclusively to large-scale end users nearly three years ago to assist them with managing their security systems.
Although fundamentally the same, this new program for systems integrators involves a 12-month monitoring contract and costs less than one percent of what the end users pay to have the systems installed, said Wilenius.
On the systems integration end, Staunch Security of Crofton, Md., tested the program for March Networks, with its client Sheetz, a chain of 320 gas stations and convenience stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia.
After several months of using the service, Steve Lary, president of Staunch Security, said Sheetz officials were sold on the service. They continue with the program today.
"It did two things. One, it increased revenues," said Lary. "There were camera failures occurring out there that a lot of times, you don't find out about until you pull video and, it gave the customer a greater sense of confidence in the integrity of their video surveillance network."
Wilenius said it is too early to tell how many systems integrators will tap into the new service, but Lary expects it will be easy for some of his customers to justify the cost.
"From our perspective, the customer is a lot happier to pay the money now before they need the video," he said.