RAS Watch having success with GSOC-as-a-service model

Company founder says Watch gives integrators an easy managed-service, recurring revenue option
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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—RAS Watch Founder and SSN Class of 2019 “40 under 40” Alumni Ryan Schonfeld said the idea to create an intelligent Safety & Security-as-a-Service model came after hearing Silicon Valley companies talk about how their growth was outpacing their security infrastructure needs.

“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we solve this?’ So, we came up with a scalable, Fortune 100-level program based on what a true safety and GSOC program should be, not just a camera monitoring room, but access control, social media monitoring, travel tracking and security, executive support, mass communications, etc.,” Schonfeld explained. “How do we build out that large enterprise program and offer it as a shared managed service that companies can just subscribe to with no major capital investment? RAS Watch was the answer.”

Schonfeld said the company, which soft-launched in October of 2019, removes that cost barrier while providing a comprehensive program designed to be fully white-labeled. “We are getting a huge amount of traction with our integrator community because of the ability to resell Watch either as a completely white-labeled solution or as a partner relationship to their customers, which immediately starts generating revenue from day one, and on an entirely recurring basis.”

While RAS Watch was initially thought of as a great solution for companies that do not have a GSOC, Schonfeld said he was surprised to see the first five companies that approached him had existing GSOC programs.

“Long term, we are about 50-70 percent less expensive than running a program and GSOC in-house,” Schonfeld pointed out. “If you factor in real estate and system maintenance and software patches — the true cost of ownership for an in-house program — we are going to be close to 85 percent less expensive than running your own.”

For organizations like asset management companies, or property owners with a lot of properties and tenants, there is an opportunity, he noted, to offer GSOC services as part of their package and monetize it to their customers.

“We also developed an entire sales kit for them to make it as easy as possible for them to go out and sell these products to their end users because it is not just pushing a product, it is actually something that is needed in the market,” said Schonfeld. “Now, with COVID-19, it has gone a step further because companies are looking for drastic ways to cut costs, so outsourcing shared subscription-based services is a great solution to that.”

Responding to the virus
As a result of the impact of COVID-19, RAS Watch also added a workplace exposure tracing (contact tracing) service that uses a blend of technology and human interactions, often in delicate scenarios and time-sensitive situations. Integrators can sell this additional service as part of the existing RAS Watch service or independently, which Schonfeld said is a strong differentiator across the industry.

RAS Watch is also working with companies going through the process of reopening and meeting state and federal mandates to locate critical resources that are trusted and sourced from manufacturers that have FDA authorization.

“One thing that we’ve noticed from our clients aiming to reopen their locations and get people back to work is the lack of resources for PPE, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer — all of which are integral to the reopening process,” said Schonfeld. “That’s why we’ve established our own supply chain for these materials to bridge the gap.”

RAS Watch also established a relationship with a private lab that provides 24- to 48-hour testing turnaround on FDA-authorized COVID tests, as well as technology partnerships with employee self-reporting portals that are HIPAA, EEOC and SOC2 compliant.

RAS Watch is also working with companies with existing GSOCs to provide redundancy as a backup or standby in case of an emergency or natural disaster.

Building a program and growth
Additionally, RAS Watch works with any company that does not have a safety or security program, offering it as a managed, subscription-based service.

“Most of the security practices are applicable from organization to organization so we bring our existing SOPs to the table and then we tweak them to each company’s specific use case or needs,” he said. “And we are relatively agnostic when it comes to what video systems they use, what access control platforms they are on, within reason.”

RAS Watch is further providing — and helping integrators provide — quantifiable value that goes beyond security to help better manage operations and optimize business.

“A couple of different GSOC services yield really easy ROI calculations,” said Schonfeld, noting that remote site monitoring is a good example. “In most cases, a site can be monitored remotely via cameras rather than having a guard force, or maybe it’s the utilization of technology for the smarter deployment of existing human assets.”

RAS Watch’s existing employees are largely from a military background. “I am very proud that we actively seek to hire veterans,” Schonfeld expressed. “On top of it being our mission, we get a core group of people with a level of experience that we couldn’t find otherwise. Their sense of duty, including completing the mission, is second to none.”

In terms of growth, El Segundo is the first of three locations planned across the U.S., with the second one tentatively planned for 2021. “The interest in RAS Watch has been at an all-time high,” said Schonfeld.