For years, companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle have deployed flexible buying models, either offering XaaS as a cloud-enabled service, or as a traditional on-premises installation with monthly or annual renewals. XaaS might have taken a little longer to reach the physical security industry but wider adoption of this trend is inevitable. 

In this short Q&A, Pota Kanavaros, product marketing manager at Genetec, explains what the new ownership model is about, why Genetec thinks the market is primed for its new Security Center Subscription offering, and what types of installations and clients are already taking advantage of Security Center Subscription. 

Q: Exactly what is Security Center Subscription? And is the market ready for it?

PK: As a company, we have always been huge proponents of giving our customers greater choice. It started with offering an open architecture video management system, Omnicast, back when closed architecture analogue systems were king. Today, it extends into the subscription-based model for our unified security platform, Security Center. The reality is, even today, customers want more options, and their buying behaviours are shifting towards solutions that provide more predictable budgets and lower upfront costs. 

Those preferences are what motivated us to offer Security Center Subscription. The new model gives clients access to the on-premises Security Center system with a term contract that includes updates, support and trials to cloud services. While our perpetual license model for Security Center is always available, some customers might prefer to make monthly or annual payments for the duration for which they require the security system. And that’s what it is all about—letting our customer decide what is best for their organisation. 

Q: What has the response been from the industry thus far? 

PK: The industry as a whole is paying attention, and some clients and integrators are moving ahead with implementations. For many clients, the most attractive aspect of Security Center Subscription is the reduced upfront costs. They’re excited at the prospect of moving expenses from capital budgets to operational budgets, as well as having support and updates bundled into the price. 

There can be a lot of the headaches, expense and downtime associated with large-scale software updates, usually performed by the IT department. Security Center Subscription ensures that the client is always running the latest software version, with immediate patches and updates sent via intuitive delivery mechanisms. Version numbers become almost transparent, as Genetec is responsible for delivering upgrades, fixes and support—all bundled into the subscription price. 

Q: What industries are showing the most interest in subscription? Where have you had success?   

PK: Retail stores and city entities have been quick to show interest in the flexible ownership model. Their installations normally include many small and distributed sites, so purchasing by subscription is an option that allows them to expand operations and add cameras without having to source big budgets. The health and fitness club industry is a niche market that seems to be a great fit for the pay-as-you-go offering as well. Fitness clubs and gyms tend to lease their exercise equipment, so leasing security systems on a monthly basis fits with their existing payment structure.  

Seasonal businesses are another great fit for Security Center Subscription. Waterparks, ski hills, or any outdoor activity centres need security systems but are only open 50% of the year. Security Center Subscription is a more affordable option that offers the ability to have 100% of cameras online during peak season, and a scaled down number of cameras during the off-season. Temporary events such as concerts, marathons or parades would benefit in the same way.  

Property management companies can also benefit from this new ownership model because managing security is built-in to their agreement. Security Center Subscription offers a no-hassle, affordable option which can be bundled into operational expenses.   

Finally, any client that is looking to swap out or upgrade existing security management software could find this subscription service very interesting. With Security Center Subscription, the client could easily move to a new video management system with a monthly term commitment. 

Q: How does Security Center Subscription differ from cloud services?

PK: Security Center Subscription should not be confused with a cloud-based solution. Security Center Subscription is server-based, so it’s installed on local servers at the customer’s site. However, as part of the subscription payment, we are offering subscribers no risk trials of Security Center Cloud services. If required, clients can use our cloud services to expand on-premises video surveillance systems or easily enhance storage capacity, without the need for additional on-site servers.

Q: Is there an installation size that is suitable for Security Center Subscriptions?

PK: No, Security Center Subscription can accommodate clients with 30 cameras, 260 cameras or 1000 cameras, and beyond. We do however offer an edition called Security Center Compact which is ideally suited for customers who have less than 25 cameras. Security Center Compact is quick to setup, requires no training for users and extends powerful surveillance at an affordable price point to clients with basic requirements.  

Q: Any Final Thoughts? 

PK: We may be one of the first to offer a subscription model to the security industry, but pay-as-you-go has been around for a while. There is an inevitable shift happening, and while there is still some market education that is required, customers are ready to subscribe to choice. 

We will be featuring Security Center Subscription at the upcoming ASIAL 2016 Security Exhibition & Conference in Melbourne Australia from 20-22 July, 2016. Guests are welcome to stop by our booth #L20 for a demo or ask our local representatives any questions about our subscription service. ♦