It’s no surprise to anyone that security is generally considered to be a grudge purchase by clients. Nobody really wants to have to pay out for CCTV or intruder alarms etc, but the society we live in demands it and, as a result, insurers require it. This could well be why there is never a queue of people outside the premises of security distributors on the morning of a new camera launch in the same way there is for mobile phones. For the customer, the products you fit are a necessity and up until now, they don’t add anything to the bottom line.
This has also made pitching for a contract a tricky proposition and why many companies choose their security solutions on a cost basis. How often have you been told that you didn’t get the job because someone else could do the work for a cheaper price? Some companies are switched on to the “you get what you pay for” message but there are those who are simply ticking boxes for the insurance company and so choose the lowest cost system regardless of the actual quality of the final install or efficiency of the technology.
With the development of analytics however this has changed the “sell” and not only provides some added value for the customer but also allows you to bundle in additional benefits at no cost to you, while also giving you an edge over the lower price, corner-cutting competition.
The key in all of this is business intelligence, or as the marketing types call it, BI. It is this information that comes in addition to the security function of the equipment thus softening the blow of the initial cost as it also brings into the mix other departments within the business including business development, marketing and sales. In other words the security budget does not necessarily take the full impact of the purchase; it is spread across a number of areas of funding.
So what are we talking about? Well the obvious ones are those that come from the analytics that some manufacturers bundle into a system free of charge such as people counting (footfall) and direction of movement. For a retailer in particular, this type of information can be shown to a potential brand manager as a reason to pay for a product placement within a store. If a retailer can show that the majority of people turn left or right, or move in a certain way through the store then this information can add a premium to the positioning of items – therefore making the retailer money and paying for the installation many times over. Bundle all of this in with network access and you have the kind of information technology that is very valuable to certain departments.
Many manufacturers that we have spoken to over the last twelve months see BI as a major trend for security systems and one that could open doors for the installer. This means that BI will be a focus of the future development of analytics as adding functionality is all about added-value.
This is the information age after all.