Cruzin’ with Susan: The New Age Central Station

Progressive and Traditional Monitoring Services combine to give dealers a variety of choices to boost recurring revenue.

The industry trend is toward selling more services because a large percentage of end users like purchasing “bundled” services from companies they feel are reputable. Dealers need to continue to think more along the lines of delivering high quality, bundled services. One of our most popular services is Radio & Cellular “back-up.” It is being used more and more as a primary reporting path due to the challenges dealers are facing as many homeowners change their regular telephone service to VoIP.

Another very popular service for COPS Monitoring is Dealer Access, which allows our dealers to access and manage their accounts through a secure, access portion of our Web site. They have robust database management, customizable reporting, and various other abilities.

We also offer this service on a subscriber-level that can have the “look and feel” like the dealer’s site. This frees up a dealer’s time by empowering the end user and reducing the amount of phone calls made to their office personnel.

COPS also offers GPS vehicle tracking and monitoring through COP-A-TRAK. This is an ideal service for commercial, fleet-type vehicle companies or individuals that will add to a dealer’s recurring revenue. We provide a number of other services that will add RMR and help with false alarms such as enhanced verification, notification to customers via text message to their cell phone or e-mail and of course, video monitoring.

Michael Riley
Director of Central Station Service
Michigan Monitoring
Internet monitoring is bridging a gap in today’s alarm market by providing solutions to accommodate end users who have started utilizing TCP/IP, VoIP or cellular.

Dealerweb is allowing dealers and their staff to perform some rather time-consuming tasks in a more efficient manner. For example, a dealer meeting with the local AHJ for a fire inspection can now provide a copy of the alarm activity by logging into the dealerweb account and printing it out.

Some dealers are starting to take advantage of alternate services, however more need to do so. Dealers need a better understanding as to the ramifications of attempting to transmit alarm signals over a VoIP. We encourage our dealers to understand that transmitting signals over VoIP is not recommended, and it will, in all practical sense, fail to work at some time or another. They also need to understand that technologies are available today to safely transmit alarm signals in these circumstances.

Our most popular service is Internet monitoring. It provides a clear advantage by providing a secure alarm transport path from the subscriber location to the central station. We can now offer encrypted, UL-listed services at very competitive pricing.

Peter P. Giacalone
Executive Vice President
SafetyCare, Inc.
Although the human aspect of the services we provide is the essence of what the clients subscribe to, leveraging the technology to enhance these services is the real magic. With the use of the robust GE MASterMind automation system, we have taken the central station business to a new level. Databasing detailed personal information such as full medical histories while giving clients full access to view and modify this information via the Internet opened the doors.

So, technology plays a huge role when you look at the integration of automation systems, IP telephone systems and digital recordings of both voice calls and video all working as one seamless system, even though the systems are from different vendors and platforms.

Dealers are finally seeing the value in services that are tangible to the well-being of the consumer. Initially it was, and in some cases still is, a challenge, as dealers have been put in a very unfortunate position in which even they view monitoring as a commodity.

Transitioning from monitoring services to robust services that may include services such as counseling, nurses, video, medical records, etc. is similar to the transition from tape dialers to central station monitoring. Offering and delivering these services will not only bridge a gap that will increase customer satisfaction, but it does this while delivering greater profits to the dealer through increased monthly revenue and more referrals.

We have found, through the results of an independent market research including focus groups with consumers, that the consumer is seeking tangible services. Consumers understand that security is the peace of mind that they attain from a variety of elements in their lives. Although it includes the physical security of their premise, it does not stop there. The biggest element is the well being of their family, which includes physical, medical and psychological security.