While we support all types of both GSM and IP-based services, we see the industry moving primarily towards radio monitoring in the near future. We researched all available communication options including IP-based monitoring, GSM technology and two way radio and concluded that radio technology is the most reliable and cost-effective transmission means. Both GSM and IP-based monitoring services are cost-prohibitive because of high monthly fees and present multiple points of failure whereas once a radio network has been established, the monthly costs are minimal and radio (in our case AES) allows multiple paths of communication.
Rick Charney, sales manager, Stealth Monitoring, Inc., Dallas, Texas—Central stations need to take a more proactive approach to security monitoring and eliminating false alarms. Proactive video monitoring is the value-added service that we specialize in because that's what our customers are demanding. Partly due to the poor economic conditions, our clients are having problems with losses and property damage and want a cost-effective solution, regardless of the hardware and technology being used. Stealth offers interactive and proactive monitoring which can often reduce and deter crime before it happens. Central stations also need to develop strong relationships with the police departments in the communities they serve. The ability to see a crime in progress and convey that information to the local authorities in real-time enhances the credibility of the central station, reduces false alarms and saves the customer considerable amounts of money by not having to pay to replace or repair property damage. To be proactive in security monitoring, central stations need to combine human intelligence, technology and video analytics to respond to incidents before or during an occurrence and provide the best possible information to the authorities. They should also be able to monitor a wide range of surveillance platforms so that any equipment a customer might already have can be integrated into security solutions offered by the central station. Constant evaluation and additions to existing monitoring platforms and feedback to manufacturers based on actual security situations will result in the development of improved systems for the central stations and its customers. Today's economic climate really demands that any company providing monitoring services develop and maintain a solid crew of well-trained people comfortable utilizing the latest technologies and communicating with local police departments. Those businesses with greater RMR have less risk to try new ideas and grow towards the industries that are most favorable.
Steven Coppola, Statewide Central Station, Staten Island, N.Y.—I see limitless opportunities for central stations and their alarm dealers today. For central stations to prosper in this uncertain economy, they need to have both the technology and the people to help their dealer base grow. We continue to seek RMR opportunities from multiple avenues including managed and un-managed access control; expanding our remote interactive video services; and our two-way voice products and services. We greatly increased the RMR of many of our alarm dealers (as well as our central station) when we began offering remote interactive video solutions.
Much of our focus recently has been multi-system integration. We find our alarm dealers are almost always combining access control, security systems, fire alarms, CCTV and even intercom systems to create one integrated system. Interactive monitoring is another must for a central station facility to remain competitive into the future. Uses for this technology are limitless, and the cost can be easily made attractive to the end-user by the alarm dealer, as he/she shows the client the many ways this technology can solve problems and prevent crimes (not just report and dispatch).
One of the technologies we are using more of is integration from access control systems that allow our central station to monitor door forced opens, door left opens and access denials, just as we monitor a normal burglar alarm system. Some access control systems are serving as both access control and security system. If a door is forced open without swiping, we consider it an alarm and take appropriate action. There is no need to add an alarm system to some access control systems.