Developing technologies for central stations

Las Vegas, Nev. (April 8, 2011) -- Following its fifth annual ISC West morning breakfast, held at the Las Vegas Wynn Hotel, Secure Global Solutions (SGS) of Irvine Calif., signed an agreement with Devcon Security Services in Boca Raton, Fla., regarding the implementation of SGS central station systems. Although SGS did not disclose any specific details regarding the contract, SGS Vice President Hank Goldberg did confirm that the partnership stems from Devcon's ability to understand market opportunities available today, and said the new partnership will be finalized within the next 90 days.

"Devcon understands the market opportunity -- the ability to take a sleepy industry and globally expand the market in service delivery," Goldberg said. "SGS is just a part of that bigger picture, a part of the way that Devcon is moving forward in the industry."

The Stages platform from SGS delivers central station software with modern communications, a unique dispatch wizard and adaptable integration which incorporates an XML signal service. Software features such as the alarm bar provide a visual indicator as to what has been done historically to the alarm in addition to monitoring what the customer has been experiencing. Other capabilities included are a status change option, history statistics, two-way voice, graphing (which allows a user to have test results emailed or sent via SMS in real-time) and automatic test results notification. Companies utilizing the Stages platform include Vivint, Avantguard, Rapid Response and G4S Technologies.

"All central stations are unique in their own format but they are solving the same kinds of problems," explained Thom Meyer, vice president of SGS. "Where SGS comes in is that we provide the foundation for solving those problems. It is something the customer can use as a springboard that is 100 percent customizable to their needs."

Meyer also clarified that in dev eloping technology and software for the central stations, the usability for operators is a chief component to a well-designed system. "It's about making sure that the operator that has been on a system at a monitoring station for one day offers the same quality of service as the operator that has been with a monitoring station for several years," Meyer said.

Business change coming for stations, says SGS
Some 50 percent of the central stations of today won't be in business 10 years from now, Goldberg said in an exclusive discussion with SD&I magazine. He said he believed the loss of those businesses would likely come from stations that do not stay current with technology.

"Central stations should be aligning themselves with the larger wholesale central station and monitoring providers who have the resources available to deal with services in the cloud," said SGS's Goldberg, noting that cloud-based services are being adopted across the security industry. "It's cheaper to buy services than hardware," Goldberg said. "Adopting this [cloud-based technology] model will make the costs go down and the level of service to go up."

While Goldberg said that not all central station software will function in the cloud, he stressed that central stations should be thinking about their IT networks in preparation for offering services in the cloud.

"There are those large companies who have made the investment into IT, but it's important to understand how the role of IT should be fitted into business," said Goldberg. "You have to have those systems integrators who have built that IT infrastructure. Once you have that knowledge and understand the technologies that are suited to one's business, it's much easier to move into discussions of services at the cloud."