In 2018, proactive video surveillance service provider Netwatch Group was created following the consolidation of four different surveillance companies based in the United States and Europe, including National Monitoring Center (NMC), Netwatch, CalAtlantic and Onwatch. Multifire.
Just before the merger, Netwatch, which was founded in 2003 in Ireland, was already trying to break into the US managed video services market as it opened a new operations center in Chicago in the summer. 2017 with an eye on even greater expansion.
But just as the newly merged company sought to hit its stride and integrate the aforementioned companies together into one cohesive unit, the world was turned upside down by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining business continuity took the step on everything else as he did. in most organizations. As part of an effort to properly align the businesses, in early 2021 Netwatch Group tapped industry veteran Kurt Takahashi, the former CEO of Pelco who also served as President of AMAG Technology, to to be its new CEO.
The company then consolidated several of the companies under its umbrella and launched Netwatch North America.
“When you look at Netwatch Group as a whole, there are now three separate businesses – there’s the National Monitoring Center…and then we formed Netwatch North America, which is our proactive video monitoring business, and then we have the Netwatch Ireland and UK businesses, that’s where Netwatch and proactive video surveillance was founded,” says Takahashi, who spoke to SecurityInfoWatch.com (SIW) for an interview ahead of this year’s ISC West show in Las Vegas.” I wanted to establish these three separate businesses because each has a different strategy in how they’re going to get to market. Then what we did was establish our management team and we launched in creating a suite of shared services to help manage the three portfolios where we have financial services shared between the three, as well as human resources, engineering and marketing.
The goal, according to Takahashi, was to put the organization on the right track and clarify the respective entities’ strategy moving forward. Additionally, Takahashi says it was important for the company to be able to establish a corporate identity and culture through these ventures.
“Most of the employees didn’t know each other. A third of the employees are in Ireland, a third of them are at Netwatch North America and another third at NMC,” he adds. “They didn’t know each other, they kind of operated in silos and so when we knocked down all those walls everyone had a clear picture of what we were going to do, how we were going to do it, why we were going to do it. , then we asked our employees: “What values do we want to adopt as a company?”
After establishing a corporate identity and culture internally, Takahashi says they then looked externally to determine how they wanted to bring the company to market and what kind of education efforts they needed. undertake in relation to the definition of proactive video surveillance for the American security industry.
“It’s extremely well established in Ireland, if you go anywhere in Ireland and ask them who Netwatch is, everyone knows who Netwatch is in Ireland,” he says. “But here in the United States, proactive video monitoring isn’t a really well-defined path because it’s cobbled together with every other video service that’s out there. So as we launched Netwatch North America and established our proposition of value, we now find that there’s still quite a bit of confusion around what proactive video surveillance is, because when you talk to a person, they’re like, “Oh, yeah, we do proactive video surveillance, but when you really dig, it’s just a video check.
Another type of solution
According to Takahashi, one of the main differentiators of Netwatch is that there is a software-led business, which they built from the ground up versus those who use another type of legacy software solution to perform another form video surveillance. Additionally, Takahashi says it’s a technology-based service as well as a high-value RMR generator for security integrators.
“It’s very difficult to get people to try and adopt it and change their business model,” says Takahashi. “You try to go to these independent marketers, these business owners, and you try to convince them to change their religion and you take them to church, you convince them, and when you leave, you hope that they stay and it’s not easy to do because a lot of these people are traditional alarm resellers – not that that’s bad, but you’re trying to turn their business into this higher RMR rate and great value through these more technological services and it is much more difficult than trying to sell an intruder alarm system.
Over the past year, Takahashi says they’ve sat down and evaluated integrators who have successfully leveraged Netwatch and are continuing to grow that segment of their business against those who may have tried it but didn’t. have not followed it long-term to develop their own end-to-end onboarding program which now offers a comprehensive training academy, on-site training program, educational materials and more.
“We now have this repeatable process to attract, onboard, educate, coach and work side-by-side to help those dealers that we’re trying to convince to adopt this so that they continue to do so,” he adds. “The ones we’ve seen so far that are very successful have completely changed their business model and have dedicated teams that have increased their annual recurring revenue exponentially, which is transforming the economics of the whole their business. We’re not trying to get thousands of dealers, we’re just trying to get the right dealers, doing the right things, now and then we know we can expand it later.
Joel Griffin is the editor of SecurityInfoWatch.com and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected]