Our series with Paul Boucherle, principal at Matterhorn Consulting LLC., aka the Swiss Sherpa, continues here with part 8! Paul will be providing lessons to help system integrators climb their sales mountains. If you missed Lesson #7: What to expect on the way to the Summit, you can read it here.
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Lesson #8: Contingency Management Planning When Climbing
Last month, we talked about how conditions change quickly when you approach the management summit. It is about anticipating what could go wrong and what you will do about it. You must ask yourself and your climbing team to dialogue the right questions before you take the next step up the mountain. Not having answers when managers at the summit ask questions is a great way to fall down the mountain. That is yodeling you are hearing and the echo of the voice of experience.
Let’s choose the category of Video Management Systems (VMS) to expand this idea.
While the ability to remotely access, store, manage and use video isn’t new, the lessons learned by early pioneers have now helped define “lessons learned” for implementations going forward.
The concept of VMS was a great leap forward toward better utilizing divergent generations and DVRs, and providing an umbrella to capture and “manage” those security assets. While writing software drivers for different DVR manufacturers isn’t really rocket science, you do need the manufacturer’s cooperation, software development kits (SDK) and/or simple application programming interfaces (API).
The question is, how deep down the rabbit hole will the software interface let you go as far as control, configuration and mobile support?
How intuitive is the VMS to use for different skill levels?
Let’s not forget how these systems can impact IT networks, and having IT upset at you is never a great career move.
So, what should you consider when looking at VMS solutions?
I recommend 4 contingency checks before you incorporate a product or manufacturer to help you migrate your legacy systems up to the summit. The managers at the summit will ask these questions so make sure you are prepared to address them. Be prepared to succeed!
- Can it take care of itself?
Healthcare is important to employees and to your technology. Just ask friends in the IT world. When your field video assets begin to show signs of internal failure, you want the bad news earlier than later. Look for systems that do that well.
- How do you log on to your new VMS system and from where will it be allowed?
Convenience is important if you travel a good deal, but so is security to those records you want to review. Having your IT department help with this assessment is a very good idea in the early planning stages.
- Phase your migration of legacy systems around core software functionality.
Make sure the impact, implementation and costs of future software feature sets is clearly understood and confirmed by your supplier. Oh yeah, and have IT help you check how easily software updates and versioning can be implemented. If they are going to partner with you, they want to know how much of their time it’s going to take.
- Lastly, can you store the individual facility configurations in a template that can be used to cold start a new appliance quickly and inexpensively?
Service hours from your system integrators are not cheap, so use their technicians wisely.
Plan for contingencies before you make your ascent.
Next month, we’ll talk about reaching your summit and what do when you get there. Climb on!
Catch up on Paul's previous lessons:Lesson #1: Study the mountain.
Lesson #2: Establish your base camp.
Lesson #3: Choosing your climbing strategy.
Lesson #4: Check the weather conditions.
Lesson #5: Bring the right equipment for Base Camp II.
Lesson #6: Planning your summit assault.
Lesson #7: What to expect on the way to the Summit.