Nigel Waterton recently joined cloud video company Arcules to lead the sales and marketing efforts as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He brings to the task the benefit of 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organizations.
Waterton joins Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. We caught up with the new CRO to discuss his position and to reflect on how industry changes are impacting integrators and manufacturers.
Q: What fresh insights do you bring to Arcules from your previous positions?
Waterton: Generally, most manufacturers don’t understand the business model of the integrator. And if they do, their programs don’t necessarily help achieve their goals. Since most manufacturers use integrators to get to the end user, they are often disconnected from truly understanding the customer, their organization’s business and its impact on the value of the security program. In my previous role, I spent most of my time bridging the gap between these two worlds. It gives me a great platform for understanding how to achieve that with Arcules.
Q: How is ‘Chief Revenue Officer’ different from your previous jobs?
I have the responsibility of driving innovation for the companyWaterton: While the title is different, the ultimate role I’m in isn’t too different from previous roles that I’ve held in my career. I have the responsibility of driving innovation and strategy for the company, as well as serving as a leader for the sales and marketing team and developing a sales and marketing strategy for the company. This position allows me to build on what I’ve learned throughout my career from an end-user and integrator partner perspective and brings that expertise into the fold of this young, fresh, innovative company that’s paving the way for cloud-based innovation in the marketplace.
Q: Is there an industry-wide ‘culture clash’ between the IT-centric nature of cloud systems and the physical security market? How can it be managed?
Waterton: Adopters from the IT and physical security worlds are a little at odds over the software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings as a result of a disconnect with how the cloud is defined in both spaces. A lot of people and companies are creating their own notion of what cloud and SaaS mean. And without a common nomenclature in place, there is a lot of confusion among all users. Similarly, there is a clash among integrators around how to monetize the SaaS offering. This gap can be closed through increased awareness, education and the reiteration of how ubiquitous the cloud already is in our everyday lives.
Q: From the integrator perspective, what is the impact of a transition to a cloud/SaaS model on how revenue is managed in the increasingly service-oriented security market?
Waterton: Transitioning to a cloud/SaaS model shifts the mindset of the integrator significantly, as the focus changes from project-centric to more customer service-based impact. Becoming more service-minded creates a greater awareness of what the client’s needs are on a day-to-day basis and how that can be improved over time. When operating with a per-project focus, it can be difficult to create a more long-term impact on an organization. With a cloud-based, service-oriented model, integrators now have the ability to manage client expectations in real-time, which greatly increases their value proposition.
Q: What about from the end user perspective?
Waterton: There are so many benefits from the end user perspective, including the ability to remove the process of a large investment in capital expenditures (CapEx) and shift to a more manageable, predictable operational expenditure (OpEx). Not only does this allow organizations to adjust as needs change; it also prevents being locked into a long-term solution that might not be able to move with the speed of the company as it scales. That being said, the main benefit is the ability of SaaS/Cloud services to drive innovation and introduce new features as they’re introduced without additional investment from the end user.
Q: What impact does the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model have on the operations/management/cashflow of a supplier/manufacturer company?
Waterton: Traditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS modelTraditional manufacturers struggle with the introduction of a SaaS model for many of the same reasons integrators struggle. They must sell the board and possibly their investors on a new valuation model as well as revenue recognition model. That is constraining their innovation in the market. Oddly enough RMR from a manufacturer’s perspective is very similar to the integrator model in that cash flow is more predictable in nature. An RMR model allows a company to grow strategically and innovate constantly, expanding and adjusting to cater to client needs on a daily basis while also providing the ability to look ahead and ensure we’re meeting the needs communicated to us in the market now and into the future.
Q: What will be the biggest challenge of your new position at Arcules (and how will you meet the challenge)?
Waterton: One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing — and one that will have a significant impact on my role — is the challenge of market adoption of SaaS/cloud services, as well as the awareness about why cloud is a significant part of the future of the industry. There’s also an opportunity to shift the conversation within Arcules from tech-focused outcomes to becoming practitioners of risk-based outcomes. We have to focus on the risk model for organizations, not technology. If we truly understand the risks to the organization, the tool will become apparent. Answering the questions: Why does a retailer lose product? Why does a facility experience vandalism? We have to understand the sociology of it because that’s how we can address what the service does in the marketplace.
Q: Taking the various elements into consideration, what will the ‘physical security industry’ look like five years from now?
Waterton: In sum, wildly different. It’s much different than what it was five or even 10 years ago, and with each leap, the industry has moved forward. Products are maturing, bandwidth is improving and the knowledge that we have is exponentially more advanced. There is increasing use of outside perspectives aimed at shaking up the ‘this is how it has always been done’ mentality that many organizations have suffered from. It’s going to look very different five years from now, and cloud-based initiatives will be the key to the success of many organizations.