Residual Income From CCTV Clients

Hello, we've been in business about 14 years.

Wondering about consistent monthly residual income.

Do any of you charge a monthly maintenance fee?

Or some type of "health check" monthly fee?

There must be a way to make a small monthly residual from all these clients...

Thanks! :)

We will be rolling out our program in the next few weeks. I've been trying to get it off the ground for 2 years, but found it to be a rather complex undertaking.

My first concern was the contract/legal protection. What's the SLA, and the penalty for missing it? What's covered and what isn't? We have several clients who want hardware replacement, which I want to do, but when does it stop?

Then came cost. We regularly use 3 VMSs, manufacturer NVRs, Dell Servers, SANs, NAS, P2P, 6 different camera manufacturers, etc. The variability means drastically different service needs. How to decide what to charge? What about a distance penalty?

What about financing? Do I want to roll part of the cost into the service contract?

Is tree trimming, RainX, dusting, etc. included? At what height?

Paralysis by analysis set in hard. Then I got my hands on a ADT service contract, picked my jaw up off the floor, cut 25% off their number and modified an alarm contract. Done. And at what they are getting I could rent a boom lift quarterly and drive it to my sites to perform maintenance and still make money.

:) Any chance of seeing a copy of the agreement you found?

I was thinking of just some super cheap monthly service... Maybe $20 per month.

The whole idea of a service agreement seems strange to me...

How would it benefit the customer?
On months where nothing breaks they are paying for nothing...

I really do want to find some type of monthly service that we can charge for though...

I'll see what I can dig up. As far as to how they benefit the client, they get a static monthly expense without surprises. You get an even source of income. Everyone wins.

People generally see little value in preventive maintenance contracts for toasters. If their toaster fails, the only repercussions are having to eat more pliable bread than they were hoping to.

When a component of a surveillance system fails, the repercussions can be far greater.

Preventive Maintenance (Wikipedia)

"The primary goal of maintenance is to avoid or mitigate the consequences of failure of equipment" (my italics)

Further, they break it down:

"Preventive maintenance (PM) has the following meanings:

  1. The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection,detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.
  2. Preventive maintenance tends to follow planned guidelines from time-to-time to prevent equipment and machinery breakdown[1]
  3. The work carried out on equipment in order to avoid its breakdown or malfunction. It is a regular and routine action taken on equipment in order to prevent its breakdown.[2]
  4. Maintenance, including tests, measurements, adjustments, parts replacement, and cleaning, performed specifically to prevent faults from occurring."

PM's on residential customers is a dead end due to their pocket book size. It's better fit for enterprise clients.

If you're looking to improve your revenues for Resi CCTV I would suggest doing extended warranties up to 5 years for the product/system and or tacking on another value add service like video alarm verification or video alarm monitoring. I would definitely point you towards the video alarm side, digital guard tours etc. It's easier to upsell than to sell PM for a recurring.

Can I get this thread moving again?

Any new ideas for residual income in our industry in 2018?

We put remote proactive server health monitoring on all of our systems. We used to make it an option but now it is included unless the customer-specifically asks for the monitoring to be removed. Its great way to get RMR once you build the monitoring platorm. We are also pushing SLAs, video monitoring and service/maintence which has been getting alot of traction resently.

Have you seen any failures with you health monitoring system? One of the primary concerns mentioned when I floated this RMR strategy to the company owner is liability and it usually gets shot down.

You just have to list what you are going monitor and what you are not monitoring. We use an RMM tool which can monitor SNMP and windows events. This is the same tool MSPs use to monitor customers servers and clients so it is a proven tool. Once you get the events dialed in it works well.

I have tried using Solarwinds and PRTG to monitor devices and it worked fairly well (+95% of the time). The problem I keep facing is when it doesn't work that other ~5% of the time customer is up in arms questioning every bill we have sent them. I was curious if you might be facing similar issues.

Edit: This should have been in response to Michael Miller previous post.

What events have you missed?

A few examples would be:

Axis: I'll have cameras going up and down (30-50 times a day) for no apparent reason. (Managed Cisco Switch and port shows clean connection when camera is going up/down)

HikVision: The system's camera will still be online, but they will stop recording on the NVR. No notice of this disconnect, but I won't have footage from events even though I have verified live-feed at the time

Vivotek/Mobotix/HikVision: The camera will disconnect from the VMS/NVR, but they tend to show as 'online' within Solarwinds/PRTG.

The being said we monitor thousands of cameras. The issues are not that bad when looking at the system as a whole (~1-2% issues), but the owner does not believe the risk vs the reward is there for the RMR Model of health checking due to the potential liability.

Yea we have stopped trying to monitor cameras to see if they are recording or not. Too many issues trying to get that to work reliably without manufacturers own built-in health monitoring. Hard drive health, RAID, service monitoring all work well.

No worries. When I saw the "proactive server health monitoring" I think I attached my own meaning and not the one you had intended. Sounds like we probably run similar system with our own secret sauce.

I have been back and forth on this as well. Didnt do it then started and currently have stopped.

But Id like to start it again.

I imagine the fee is going to include the subscription to the ddns service, email notifications from the NVR to us as well as customer in the event of hard drive failure or camera failure, and reduced or no cost service visits.

Totaling maybe $30 per month for resi and maybe $50 for commercial, but will change depending on system size, house size, and if there is a ferrari in the garage.

This is also a retainer of sorts to answer their constant phone calls about how to work their system

If you are looking at providing enhanced services to your CCTV clients and increasing your RMR, I invite you consider our partner CheckMyCCTV.

CheckMyCCTV has developed an automated CCTV system maintenance checking solution compatible with a wide and ever growing list of CCTV brands and products (HikVision, Dahua, Milestone, Panasonic, Samsung just to name a few), allowing Installers/Integrators and Monitoring Stations to offer 24/7 checking as part of their value added service.

As sales and support partner for CheckMyCCTV in US & Canada, I'd be happy to provide additional info, a quick demo and/or free trial

Can I call today?

Ph number please


The number to reach us is 866-790-4777. Our offices are closed today. If you fill out the product request form @ someone from our team will reach out to you first thing tomorrow morning. Thx