Brivo Launches 'Hardware as a Service'

By Brian Rhodes, Published Dec 10, 2014, 12:00am EST (Info+)

Brivo was one of the first and still few 'hosted access' providers that uses cloud-based servers instead of dedicated head-ends.

Now they are introducing "HaaS", or 'Hardware as a Service' where even the physical door controller is provided as part of a monthly service.

Does this new approach make sense? We take a look at the details of the offering and its tradeoffs in this note.

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Comments (6)

I am very interested in SaaS in access control, but I have serious doubts that "HaaS" is going to work, at scale...unless it includes the hardware maintenance to the doors themselves. Here's why:

People don't like to "rent" their own doors. They don't mind paying for a monthly service that is tangible, like never having to do database backups or software upgrades, or never having to service a door, but HaaS sounds like just hardware rental. People will take a risk with one new model in this industry (SaaS based head-ends), but simultaneously with a subscribtion based door-hardware model?

What if someone decides not to renew a contract? Are you going to go in an remove all the door hardware (at your own additional cost)?

This is very similar to the mobile phone model in the United States, where carriers subsidize hardware costs through higher monthly rates, even down to Brivo's promise to upgrade hardware. However, access control product lifecycles are longer, and the improvements not as inherently obvious as with mobile handsets.

Also, who is going to "be the bank" in this scenario? Is Brivo or their integration partners going to bear the upfront costs?

I think this may see some success, but only with very small businesses; systems less than 10 doors, who are very sensitive to price.

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I think its a great model for smaller applications & will help dealers with RMR. As long as the dealer/mfg can recoup thier cost and make a sizeable profit it would benefit. I have a Rental Program and thing I find is that if the customer is going to rent, they want ALL the parts & pieces included in that monthly amount. If you're going to charge them ANYTHING upfront, they go into "well I might as well buy the whole thing then" mode. This means the Brivo dealer is going to need to include the door hardware, "misc" thats included in every dealers quotes, labor to install service & maintenance (they'll surely be called out to fix something a few times over the course of the rental period.), into that monthly rate. If the cost can bear it, they should also include a removal labor cost so at the end of the rental period they can go remove it and use it in the next project. And lets don't kid ourselves, HaaS might be a sexy way of saying it but its still just a 3 year rental and like any other rental, the real money is in re-renting the same stuff over & over again. I haven't tried to monitize rental of access control but my initial thought is that the monthly rental fee's would have to be so high to cover all the costs and make it profitable that the end users will faint dead a way when they hear it. Just sayin....

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Do you know if this includes the price of the lock??

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Good question!

Brivo explained they leave that up to the dealer, who can charge the customer up-front for auxiliary items (like locks, readers, keys, RTE, switches, and credentials) or the dealer can front the cost and price the monthly fee higher over the contracted terms to recover those costs.

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Perfect. Thanks Brian.

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They may be taking that position in the event that a contract isn't renewed, the dealer can always pull a controller out of a building but if you pull the lock you risk leaving the building unsecured and become liable... I would be interested to hear more about the business model...

you could treat it like a photocopier lease instead of paying per copy you pay per card read :)

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