Communication shift in central stations

Central stations mine new techniques and technologies

It is evident that communication options for central stations are becoming more robust and plentiful. With multiple alert and viewing solutions being delivered to devices as a standout trend, so too are the back room business solutions to record and monitor access. This month, we heard from seven key central station players on what else we can expect to see happen with central station platforms, Web-based solutions, remote monitoring and more.

Acadian Monitoring Services - Trends: There is a growing trend in central station automation platforms for programs that take on a single point of integration for multiple technologies in the field. It is important the central station is able to receive traditional alarm panel and access control traffic while linking the event to the video and audio in a single interface. Utilizing these capabilities creates an interactive monitoring solution. Web-based Solutions: The trend is already in motion toward Web-based services software. From the central station vantage point, both dealers and consumers demand easy access via the Web. The days of access via VPN and terminal services or anything that requires even a thin client installation are not going to sell. Remote Monitoring: Central stations utilizing video automation platforms are now employing personnel with IT networking to negotiate the end-to-end network communication solution.-Blane Comeaux, vice president, Acadian Monitoring Services, Lafayette, La.

ADS Security - Trends: Automation software is increasingly being used to gather and respond to events in various ways that allow interaction more directly with the customer. This includes communicating via e-mail and texting methods. Faxing and paper reports are no longer the method of choice. The industry is beginning to witness the way panels talk to the central station. Web-based Solutions: There is a transition going on to more IP based communication methods including the replacement of hardware receivers. New software packages are being developed to increase RMR. Remote Monitoring: There will be a need to adapt to the desire of the end-user engaged in electronic lifestyles. This includes having to report to clients electronically in various forms as well as providing information that is readily available when and wherever they want it. This takes creativity in interfacing with the customer. As such, mobile applications are becoming an important aspect of business as the adoption of these technologies continues to rise.-James Cartwright, IT director and Lela Mullins, senior vice president, ADS Security, Nashville, Tenn.

Bold Technologies - Trends: Alarm automation has become a differentiation point from central station to central station and truly is much more than just the automation of handling an alarm. Automation software has taken on a more critical role as technologies enable so many new revenue generating and efficiency gathering opportunities. The software has become the brain center of the entire operation. End-users demand broader levels of service, greater technology to take their central stations into more revenue generating arenas. There is only one real trend that matters: giving the customer what they want in order to achieve their goals. Software has to be a toolbox, an enabling point. The security industry is as competitive as it has ever been and software has to provide a platform for competition. Web-based Solutions: Web-based service allows for many possible solutions so there is greater emphasis on monitoring technology. With the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2010 will come a variety of reliable possibilities. Central stations can accept signals in so many more formats and from various sources now. The account itself will dictate transmission types and formats. Remote Monitoring: Provide value. Offering additional bundled services and a higher value keeps businesses thriving. Offering those higher services at a competitively priced rate is simply the nature of business regarding this industry.-Chuck Speck, vice president, Bold Technologies, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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