Moving from hardware to software and focusing on automation is what most companies — both tech and traditional ones — aim for. But, that transition is far from easy and not without its challenges.
That's why every company needs to answer a few questions before diving into it. The most critical ones are:
Our focus is on working with partners interested in implementing an integrated security system. As Brian explains, security has become an important concern, and we are seeing an increase in the number of companies offering different security systems. However, since people are used to dealing with this issue on their own (by installing security cameras, for example), it's up to companies like Alula to present the benefits integrated life safety systems can bring to every household. ''There are a number of different ways to attack the market. Security, right now, is a peak concern for consumers with all the unrest and the craziness out in the world. More and more people not only want to fortify their homes but also to automate them. So we feel like we're in a good position from a demand perspective, and our path to the market is focused on the end-users that want to work with a professional to implement and support a life safety system.''
Moving from hardware to software is challenging but highly beneficial. However, as Brian says, it all comes down to how prepared businesses are to move from being hardware-centric to SaaS platform-centric. It is a significant shift that requires a change in the team's mindset. So, to ensure a successful transition, you need to have a team with the right skill set and the ability to handle the change. ''I think the team aligned around the vision and the direction that we were going in and understood the benefits of that recurring revenue and [providing] more value for the customer. Better technology for the customer allows us to disrupt some of the prior models that are out there. Both founders are still on board, but we also brought in some new leadership that had a lot of SaaS experience to bring those pieces together and drive that cultural transformation.''
Trust and collaboration between your sales and your marketing team are paramount. One of the biggest challenges most companies face is ensuring their marketing and sales team have a shared vision and a common goal. Although both teams can have their victories, they need to collaborate if they want their company to prosper. ''I had a head of sales and a head of marketing. They were both incredible at what they did, but they didn't trust each other. They didn't collaborate, and I let it go on way too long. It was one of those early manager things where I thought I had two A-players, and each of them could win individually. But without that trust and collaboration, they completely broke down, and the teams around them broke down, and we failed. And that was an important learning,'' says Brian.
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