Many of the latest intrusion control panels provide programming features that deliver greater convenience and enhanced security for the end-user through additional monitoring capabilities, automated control of critical areas, remote access to system information and more. As the availability of features expands, security dealers and integrators have access to a growing menu of incremental services they can offer their customers to provide added value and gain new opportunities for increased revenue.
Here are five examples of capabilities that can be added on to traditional security systems, and each one can be sold by security dealers to their customers as a chargeable service.
1. Re-Arming Areas
For customers with areas that should only have temporary access — such as an ATM service room in a bank or a narcotic storage area in a healthcare facility or pharmacy — dealers can offer the ability to automatically re-arm an area after a specified amount of time, even after a few minutes if required. This ensures these critical areas are never left unsecured for a long period.
This feature is also useful for locations that may be unoccupied for an extended amount of time, such as a service shed for a cellular tower or other remote station. Or, it can be used for residential homes or commercial properties that are for sale. This ensures the system is re-armed after the real estate agent and prospective buyer leave the property.
A wide range of end-users can benefit from this type of service.
2. Monitoring Doors and Hatches
By delaying the reaction of an alarm point for a specified time — from one minute up to an hour depending on the user’s requirement — security dealers can offer a service to monitor disarmed points and alert the user to abnormal conditions.
This can be used for emergency doors to ensure they have not been propped open, or to alert if a safe, vault or cash room door has been left open inadvertently — providing an enhanced level of security. When this feature is used for a loading dock door that is still open after a delivery is completed, the alerts can also help the customer reduce HVAC costs. In addition, monitoring roof hatches can lower the risk of facility damage from rain, snow or other adverse weather conditions if a hatch is left open for an extended amount of time.
Technicians can program the system to annunciate locally, or send an alert to the user via text message and delay the supervisory report. This can serve to remind the user to close the door or hatch before a report is sent to the central monitoring station.
3. Personal Notification
For customers that can benefit from instant notification of panel events, emails or text messages can be sent to multiple recipients with information on the point, area, as well as details that are specific to the user, such as the name of the person that armed the Main Street bank branch that night. By delivering meaningful information direct to the user, they gain the ability to easily monitor events remotely without involving the central station.
In other commercial environments, this feature can be used to confirm if employees opened or closed a retail store or office location at the correct time. And, for residential customers, it offers reassurance that a child has arrived home at the expected time after school — providing added peace of mind.
4. Video Verification
With the IP camera integration capabilities of today’s intrusion control panels, security dealers can now offer video verification services to their customers as an additional option. This integration can allow, for example, video motion detection to activate points on the panel, and panel events to trigger camera actions, including sending video clips via e-mail.
End-users can receive email alerts on their smartphones, including snapshots, showing events at their homes or businesses. Video information and the action that triggered the panel event are aligned. This enables users to verify the identity of the person who armed or disarmed their system or to see video images of other events. Customers gain more information about what is happening at their facility and about the safety and security of their employees or family members. It also enables them to make more informed decisions about whether the central monitoring station should dispatch police or other emergency personnel to the location — helping to reduce false alarms.
As IP cameras become progressively more affordable and the use of smart mobile devices continues to grow significantly, end-users will expect security dealers and integrators to offer this level of functionality for their systems — even if there is an added charge for the service.
5. Remote Control
Apps for remote control and monitoring of panel functionality offer another opportunity for recurring monthly revenue for dealers and integrators. This service provides added flexibility and convenience for the end-user, allowing remote arming and disarming of the entire system or of specific areas, as well as control of connected outputs, such as lights, garage doors and more. Some systems also offer the ability to check status and lock, unlock, cycle or secure doors via an app. All of this can be done using a smart phone or tablet over the Internet, a local wireless network or over cellular, depending on the control panel model.
This type of remote system control is useful for building security managers, regional security managers in multi-building facilities — such as office complexes or school districts — and for residential customers.
All of the capabilities described here can be implemented with control panels that are available today. These features deliver enhanced security, improved ease-of-use and greater convenience, and many of them expand beyond security to help the end-user better manage their business or home. This creates greater value for the user — a key driver in opening up new recurring monthly revenue streams for the dealer or integrator, which of course, is essential for achieving increased profits and overall business growth.
Tom Mechler is the intrusion product marketing manager at Bosch Security Systems. His extensive knowledge of security systems stems from more than 28 years of industry experience. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Request more information about the company at www.securityinfowatch.com/10213805, or visit www.boschsecurity.us.