For New England businesses, the start of a new year is a great time to take stock of what’s working for your company, what isn’t, and where you need to make changes. One critical area often overlooked by businesses is their security system—is the service delivering effective protection at a reasonable price, or is it time for a new partner in the new year?
Here are 5 critical questions to ask your current business security system provider:
What Have You Done for me Lately?
Chances are you know exactly what services and features are in your contract with a security provider, but it’s good practice to make sure your alarm company can easily articulate its value to your organization. It goes like this: if the agent you speak to doesn’t know the difference between a typical and IP video network solution—or doesn’t know how your video data is processed and stored—it may be time to shop around. Business security depends on specificity, not vague generalities.
What Are You Doing Next?
“Good enough” won’t be for very long. Your provider should have a clear view of the current security market and also a plan for upgrading and enhancing their systems. If you go looking for a new provider, make sure they’ve got both technology in place to meet your current needs and a good handle on where the market is headed—for example, cloud-based video playback systems and context-based alarm triggers are both hot trends.
Are You Mobile-Ready?
Most of your employees already bring their phones to work, and you may even utilize several business-enhancing apps such as mobile credit card readers or secure document scanning services. Your alarm company should be no different. If they don’t current have a mobile app available, ask why. If one isn’t in development, consider jumping ship. Many providers now offer apps that include live-stream video monitoring an on-demand text alerts.
Do You Offer Any Value-Added Services?
Security is only one part of the total package. When considering new companies this year, it’s worth finding one that provides additional services to help keep your business safe, like environmental hazard detection. By pairing video cameras and alarm systems with temperature, water, and gas leak detectors it’s possible to accomplish two aims with a single provider, giving you protection against both man-made and natural threats.
Consider the case of a burglarized manufacturing facility—if intruders cause damage during the theft, a standalone security system only tells part of the story. Coupled with environmental monitoring, you both increase the likelihood of an arrest and protect your non-monetary assets.
What’s This All Going to Cost?
Some security providers are vague about total costs or claim that added features don’t have a set value. You need a company that is up front about its fees, services, and any other expenses you may incur. What happens if an alarm goes off by accident, or is misused by an employee? Are extra fees assessed? If the system fails, is your cost pro-rated? Defining cost is an essential part of the security conversation.
Now is the time to take stock of your business security system provider and make a change if your current provider can’t deliver.
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