Managed Service Providers


6 min reading time

  • Before Kisi

  • Difficult to match the security needs of compliance-driven IT clients.

  • Difficult to communicate to clients the value of cloud-based access control products.

  • After

  • Able to expand the product portfolio.

  • Able to excite clients with a cloud-based solution.

  • Easy to integrate Kisi into the company's pricing strategy.

Realnets, a Chicago-based technology solutions firm has been selling Kisi for several years. We sat down with Andy Gibbs, a senior account executive at Realnets, to discover how the journey has been in selling Kisi to a wide range of customers.

Why did you decide to start selling Kisi through your company?

We actually stumbled into it! One of our development clients wanted to bring us in to evaluate their existing security solution and find out how they could work smarter and be more centralized. The installer that he was using couldn't figure Kisi out. We immediately thought of Kisi! So without ever working with the system before, we were able to get their Kisi system up and running with strong IT knowledge and the ability to read very clear directions provided by Kisi for MSPs.

"With many compliance-driven IT clients, Kisi was the perfect centrally managed, cloud-based system. Its software offering keeps my company more competitive, the system is simple to operate and Kisi provides great documentation, so it was easy to train my team."

How big is your team and how did you onboard them?

Our team now consists of about 8 technicians and 5 engineers. I trained them quickly, and everyone in the company is now familiar with the Kisi system. We have our own voltage installer, so even our entry-level personnel can program Kisi; they can do all the edits and all the configuration. And then our separate installer can do all the wiring. Now that we have a standard flow with everything and an internal quote template that we use, our statements of work are all consistent.

Do you work with them on a case-by-case basis and try to make a tailored solution?

Yes, and we have other solutions we sell on the access control side. Kisi fits into our MSP program as they relate to our managed services offering at large, but we install all sorts of access control. But when I'm talking to a customer about managed services and building security, it's always leading with Kisi because our managed services have a monthly offering built into it. Sometimes if it's the right opportunity, we'll do door access as a service where we're subsidizing all the Kisi stuff over a five-year contract and show customers how they can simply pay the monthly software cost, and they get an excellent access control system for their facility.

We have also started conversations with commercial clients that have many doors with incoming tenants, and we pitch Kisi such that these clients can offer a centrally managed key system to their tenants as an access-as-a-service solution.

How do you educate customers about your products? How can Kisi help resellers to sell more easily?

Kisi has great documentation! On our website, we have a little Kisi blurb to introduce the solution. I take the larger conversation from access control to, “How are you trying to secure your space?”, and then work backwards from there to a solution, eventually pointing customers to Kisi. Often times customers have this idea of what they think they need, but they don't really understand how some of these solutions work.

The hardest part of my job is educating the customer on what they really want. It’s tricky now that other solutions are trying to catch up with the software model. Right now we sell Kisi mainly for clients with commercial usage. Clients are starting to understand that beyond the hardware aspect of a lock, there's also a software aspect now - that's adding a lot of value. Kisi was one of the earliest solutions to provide a software model.

Part of what has already been addressed by your team is bulk pricing. That definitely helps us be more competitive on the software side.

Is there a specific customer that enjoys using Kisi?

Yes, one of the commercial customers that we're working on for the door access-as-a-service offering - he’s actually the one that pointed us to Kisi - really enjoys it for the ability to create sub-places within his space. In this case, his ownership can run the entire space, but then he can also delegate to his staff and say, “Hey, these locks are for the ninth floor, and whoever the office admin is can get access and get things rolled out.” With this, we can control the access of all the vendors that are going in and out of the space.

Kisi listed on Realnets

How do you pitch Kisi to your clients?

Kisi really fits into our mold of being a forward-facing solution. The big speech on our end to customers is, “Look, you're paying the software cost for a month, and you're getting all of this centralization and audit trail, all without having to set up a VPN or remote access with a static IP in a traditional sense.” It's also the knowledge that Kis is constantly working on the platform and on new features. When you buy a traditional door access control system, the platform will be the same today as it is in 10-15 years. What would help is being able to loop in a customer as a partner, so that they get a quarterly product roadmap. When you're selling these recurring costs, it's all about value.

"Kisi really fits into our mold of being a forward-facing solution."

So being able to say a camera integration is coming, or a more secure single sign-on, or Windows active directory integration is coming really helps us engage our customers. We get a decent following on our website and blog, where customers can learn how Kisi is releasing new integrations, - but it will help to have somebody that I could just point to, just to let people know that those dollars are going to more than the features they're getting.

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