Security transcends cyberspace. Businesses were investing huge sums in protection long before the internet, and - as in managed security today - often outsourced the work to private firms. The Keyholding Company is a one such security services business - with a difference.
"We use a custom-built service delivery platform, the first and only one of its kind, to manage a national network of over 200 service partners," says Technology Director Lucas Gundry. "We service more than 30,000 properties in the UK and conducted over 492,000 jobs last year. Our clients get access to our Smart Security Platform, from which they can book, manage and track jobs like security patrols, alarm response and third-party access. Real-time and insightful reporting and analytics give them confidence that they are getting the complete picture on their estate."
The Keyholding Company won Digital Transformation of the Year (SME) at the 2020 Digital Technology Leaders Awards, for its work with Haulmont - the development team behind the Addison Lee platform - to create its service delivery platform, with an entry that showed tangible results in both profit and revenue growth. The win was "a real milestone," said Gundry.
"Change is a daunting process. Many companies prefer to play it safe with an off-the-shelf solution they try and adapt to their needs. Approaching Haulmont to make a totally custom-built solution took guts and vision. The process of transitioning every process in the business to a new system hasn't always been smooth, and it certainly hasn't always been easy, but we're proud of the results and it's wonderful to have our hard work recognised."
The benefits of the work on the delivery platform have never been more obvious than they were in 2020:
"When lockdown hit, demand for mobile patrols rose by more than 80 per cent and we had to work fast to scale up, with the added challenge of having to switch our team to remote working at the same time. If we were still stuck in the days of paper call sheets and manual processes it might have been a disaster, but with a robust technology stack in place, we were able to do both pretty much overnight and our KPI analytics showed little impact on performance."
"Equally, our approach to access management and the development of our smart lock solution for businesses, Smart Access, meant that we were in market with the right tools to help clients manage their access challenges now that everyone was working from home, even though we couldn't possibly have foreseen a national lockdown coming. Our technology leadership positioned us to respond this year with minimal disruption."
Being known as a technology leader is key for success in the modern world; it means you - to an extent - can set the pace of change for the industry.
"By demonstrating what's possible, we're raising expectations and standards across the board, encouraging change all round. We want to see the security business keeping pace with the rest of the world, and we're starting to see other providers following our lead, which will result in a digital transformation within the physical security industry itself.
"Being known as leaders attracts and keeps clients who are looking for innovation to meet their unique needs. It gives us credibility when we introduce new technology for age-old questions like access management. It attracts talent, of course, and opens up channels of communication with innovative companies from other sectors, all of which keeps us on the cutting edge."
The win has "really put the wind in our sails," and The Keyholding Company is committed to developing, adapting and growing further in 2021.
"This year is all about the evolution of our Smart Security Platform for businesses, large and small. We know that clients will be under immense pressure to find cuts from their security budgets, and we want to further evolve our data analytics to help our clients visualise where cuts can be made without compromising their security. Introducing our clients to new technology, like IoT, which could help them operate more efficiently, will also happen via the Platform… Our Smart Access system completely reimagines the concept of ‘keyholding', and the value we can offer anyone prepared to look to the future is huge. We are very excited to be in this position."