For many professional system integrators and security installers, the evolving technological landscape is creating additional opportunities when it comes to the delivery of added-value solutions. Customers not only expect seamless and immediate service; they demand it. If user expectations are to be met, then engineers need to be both flexible and agile.
SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) allows a high degree of flexibility, allowing users to pick and choose which elements of a system are important to them, prioritising on receiving the features and support they require. The solutions are also cost-effective. This is because the provision is from experts who maintain, update and deliver the software functionality. There is no need for dedicated server space running programs, and maintenance issues are taken by the service provider. Finally, the solutions are benefits-rich, adding value to everyday operations and increasing business efficiency.
For integrators and installers, the fact that end users understand and appreciate the benefits of SaaS is a bonus. When offering SaaS-enabled systems, the customer will immediately understand the benefits in terms of cost-savings, lack of disruption and the advantage of a subscription-based model. However, there are a number of other advantages to this approach for engineers.
Software set-up and configuration is simplified, and updates occur automatically in the cloud, so the software is always up to date. Maintenance and health-checks on the system can be carried out remotely, and issues can be identified and dealt with before a problem arises. The SaaS approach also generates recurring revenue for the integrator or installer.
SaaS can deliver an enhanced level of control for integrators and installers. This is evidenced by considering SPC Connect from Vanderbilt. SPC Connect is a cloud-based SaaS solution which connects with SPC control panels to deliver a wealth of benefits and proactive control over an entire estate of systems. The intuitive software allows integrators and installers to manage and maintain all SPC panels from any location.
The benefits are immediately obvious, allowing integrators and installers to better manage their field personnel. Specific roles and permissions can be granted to individual engineers, ensuring a secure hierarchy is in place, and control panels can be grouped to improve management. Groups can be geographical, or by customer, thus ensuring the right engineers can access relevant systems.
Remote maintenance and health-checks allow engineers to carry out regular assessments of systems, identifying any need for maintenance and often identifying potential issues before they become a problem for the customer. This ensures the installation company is seen as being on the front foot by the end user. Also, as systems become smarter and offer additional benefits to customers, an engineer can react to requests for configuration changes immediately, without visiting the site.
As is the nature with technical devices, problems will sometimes arise. Using SPC Connect, the latest configuration file can be downloaded by the engineer and saved. Should an error occur, the last correct configuration file can be remotely uploaded to the control panel, usually resolving any problems in a very short time. This is also a benefit where several sites require the same or very similar configurations, such as with chain retail stores of multi-tenanted offices.
Finally, SPC Connect is used to power mobile apps for end users, ensuring customers have access and control over their systems in a way they prefer.
SaaS is continuing to grow in other sectors, and as such many business and organisations expect the approach from their security providers. Using a cloud-based option such as SPC Connect delivers the benefits end users are demanding, and also offers value to integrators and installers.