New York-based Cyber Technologies streamlines trouble ticket tracking, simplifies billing, and enhances customer service using Ihiji Invision and ServiceManager. “We’ve been using Ihiji Invision to monitor and manage systems remotely for a couple of years, now, and I wish we had started it sooner.” – Kevin Hourihan
Cyber Technologies, a Hopewell Junction, NY, systems integration firm serving businesses and consumers in the New York Tri-state area, is no stranger to recurring monthly revenue. The company designs and installs audio, video and smart home systems, but also works in the security industry, providing and managing security and fire alarm systems for both businesses and residences. “In that industry, everybody’s chasing service contracts,” says Cyber Technologies President Kevin Hourihan. “And I can’t tell you how valuable recurring revenue has become for us.”
To date, Cyber Technologies has roughly 200 clients on monthly security systems monitoring plans.
From Security to Smart Homes
While many in the AV industry are just starting to embrace the benefits of recurring monthly revenue—and learning how to sell service contracts and manage them properly—Cyber Technologies has been leveraging Ihiji offerings to do so for several years.
The company monitors and manages everything on the home’s network—from audiovisual components to lighting and home automation systems—and earns tens of thousands per year in revenue from those service contracts. “We’ve been using Ihiji Invision to monitor and manage systems remotely for a couple of years now, and I wish we had started it sooner,” says Hourihan.
Taking what the company has learned in the security industry and translating it to the world of custom installation has been made easier through the use of Ihiji’s Invision and ServiceManager products.
Currently, Cyber Technologies has just over 20 residential AV customers on any one of three tiered service plans for remote network monitoring and management. Customers on the highest tier—the preferred plan—can call a dedicated phone line for 24-hour service within two hours. Cyber Technologies technicians follow a monthly rotation to answer service calls after hours, and, although Hourihan says they’ve fielded a few after-midnight calls from their preferred customers, “Most times it’s a simple fix over the phone and we have yet to roll a truck during those hours.”
To ensure round-the-clock coverage by knowledgeable professionals, the Cyber Technologies tech team is well compensated for after-hours’ efforts. “We tell people coming onboard that this is the nature of the beast, and it’s the way the industry is going,” says Hourihan. “If we’re going to stand out, we have to provide this level of service.”
Streamlining Operations with Ihiji ServiceManager
With the service department running at close to maximum efficiency, the next phase of growth became clear: Find a better way to track ticketing, streamline billing, and increase operational efficiency by reducing software silos. Hourihan, a self-proclaimed procrastinator, didn’t wait to implement ServiceManager to manage service contracts for both security and AV customers when he learned of the Race for RMR Contest. “I realized a few years ago I should have been using Ihiji Invision all along, but it took me a while before I finally got around to doing it,” he says. “I didn’t wait to implement ServiceManager. The Race for RMR Contest, with its monthly prizes, gave me added incentive to start immediately.”
Trouble Ticket Tracking On the Go
Like many Ihiji ServiceManager customers, one of Hourihan’s favorite features is the ability to create and track trouble tickets in the cloud. Technicians spend so much time in the field, they tend to forget to log service calls when they’re in the office, often hours after the fact. “Since ServiceManager is in the cloud, our technicians can update tickets from any mobile device anywhere they happen to be,” he says.
Once a customer calls, the person who answers the phone starts a service ticket and distributes it to the technician. The technician now has everything he needs to know about the project at his fingertips, and can add his own notes after troubleshooting the problem. The Cyber Technologies team can follow the status to find out when the ticket has been closed or what further action may be needed. “It’s streamlined our service and support process so much that we entered all our past data into the portal, just so it’s all in one place,” says Hourihan.
Consolidate Billing and Manage Cash Flow with Ihiji ServiceManager
He was also happy to be able to consolidate all trouble tickets and billing for security and AV customers within ServiceManager, eliminating data silos within the organization and putting everything in the cloud for easier access.
Cyber Technologies is in the midst of shifting customers from an annual billing cycle to monthly billing with a credit card on file, helping the integrator better manage cash flow and increase the company’s overall valuation. “Our clients always paid yearly but this year, with the help of ServiceManager, we were able to offer them a monthly auto-pay option,” explains Hourihan. “That streamlines our accounting operations and makes billing and cash flow easier to manage.”
The Next Level of Service and Revenue
Cyber Technologies’ own “Race for RMR”— the process of transitioning luxury AV and home automation customers to service contracts—has been more successful than Hourihan first imagined. “With ServiceManager in place, we were able to go back to our previous clients and explain the value of a service contract,” he explains. “The majority signed up.”
Today, every new network designed and installed by Cyber Technologies gets an Ihiji appliance for remote monitoring. Ninety percent of new customers sign up for the service plan, resulting in a $1,000 annual contract per customer.
For integrators who may still be hesitant about implementing Ihiji Invision and ServiceManager, Hourihan offers this advice: “If they’re still running around back and forth to clients’ houses to reboot the network or answering the phone at all hours of the night without getting paid for it—that’s not the way to run a business. I can definitely thank Ihiji for taking us to another level.”
Why This Is Important: Ihiji ServiceManager enables systems integration firm Cyber Technologies to reduce software data silos, streamline ticketing, and consolidate billing for its security and custom electronics clients, making it easier to generate recurring monthly revenue in both industries.
Tweet This:! New case study shows how @Ihiji dealer @cyber_home uses ServiceManager to help #GetRMR. #smarthome #IoT #AVTweeps
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