Monitoring Q&A with Becklar

Aug. 9, 2023
The parent company of AvantGuard Monitoring, Freeus, Armstrongs, and now Eyeforce, takes a deep dive into the tehcnological and policy advancements happening in the monitoring industry

This article originally appeared in the August 2023 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

Even as one of the oldest foundational services of the security industry, the monitoring industry has seen plenty of recent advancements, changes and consolidation.

At the frontlines of this trend is Becklar, which was created in 2018 when Josh Garner, the owner of AvantGuard Monitoring, formed a new ownership entity that eventually united the monitoring company and its PERS technology company, Freeus, under one umbrella. In 2022, it acquired Armstrong’s National Alarm Monitoring, establishing a foothold in Canada.  

The company then made a splash in June of this year, acquiring up-and-coming “remote guarding solution” provider Eyeforce, with plans to run it as an independent firm under the Becklar umbrella.

Security Business caught up with a few members of the Becklar team – Justin Bailey, President of Becklar Enterprise Monitoring; Tyler Tribe, Becklar’s CTO; and Rich Watts, the company’s VP of Information Security – to discuss these moves, as well as overall trends and changes in the monitoring industry.

Security Business: How do the Becklar acquisitions change the dynamic for AvantGuard?

Bailey: As part of the Becklar family, AvantGuard, Armstrongs, and now Eyeforce customers now have a common platform and support team to work with. Our teams work together collaboratively to develop solutions to industry challenges and bring together technologies from our family of brands, as well as outside of our portfolio, to provide a comprehensive offering.

The Eyeforce team brings decades of remote guarding experience agnostic to camera platforms. This helps integrators provide solutions to their customers that push the envelope on providing greater protection and situation awareness. These video capabilities also support other guard replacement work in a variety of industries to save companies millions of dollars while improving security performance and reducing headaches.

How is AvantGuard and the rest of the monitoring industry preparing for AVS-01 implementation? 

Bailey: Our company is proud to be involved at multiple levels with TMA (the Monitoring Association) to help define and shape the AVS-01 standards. We support this direction, and as a result our technology and platforms are designed to gather data to help ensure we have the right information in place.

AVS-01 is a natural follow-on to the internal and industry-wide efforts to reduce false alarms. We are currently working to finalize the technologies to support our team in providing the most accurate alarm score and communicating that proper alarm score to ECCs. We ensure that we gather meta data from the right sources and are working with platform providers to aggregate data and share score information consistently. Through Becklar’s recent acquisition of Eyeforce with dedicated video monitoring and remote guarding technologies, we now have video verification capabilities to provide better situational awareness, helping to confirm emergencies more quickly and accurately.

How can AI and related technologies be applied in the monitoring center, and what are the benefits?

Tribe: AvantGuard leverages advancements in AI to help improve response times and service through Becklar’s Engage Platform. Our AI-powered platform was built on machine learning and natural language processing technology. It was trained by deconstructing thousands of live customer-to-operator calls to train the platform to respond to customer responses quickly and accurately. By analyzing thousands of calls, the experienced technologists at Becklar were able to create an AI assistant to determine intent for multiple scenarios including emergencies, false alarms, device and system testing, and general questions to process calls accordingly. 

By using the power of this platform in conjunction with our highly skilled operators, we are proud to have [average] response times of 9.4 seconds.

The development of the platform began in 2018, taking over two years, thousands of working hours and investment to finely tune and create the technological and redundant infrastructure. By 2021, the platform was handling over 90K calls per month with speed and accuracy. Today, we are proud to report that the platform has processed well over 2 million inbound live calls on hundreds of thousands of devices with exceptional results.

While in operation, if a call is not understood or able to be processed (i.e., calls where only background noise can be heard, silent calls, or calls that are disconnected before call intent is processed) the signal is automatically sent to a live operator for immediate call back to ensure that all subscribers receive the help they need.

Emergency signals are immediately advanced to the top of the call queue, into the capable hands of our team of operators. It also provides additional context for our operators to ensure the best possible service. Here's how it works: All calls are answered immediately by the customer engagement platform – there is no waiting in a call queue. Through voice recognition technology, it quickly identifies if a signal is urgent. Any non-urgent or test calls are quickly and easily handled and resolved by the engagement platform without needing to involve a live operator. This frees up our operators to focus on the high-priority, emergency calls, cutting emergency call response times in half! The platform is not used to replace our operators – far from it! It is used to assist our operators by ensuring that urgent calls are immediately relayed to one of our experienced, caring professionals.

The platform is also being used to provide additional services for our dealers. We recently launched the ability to offer wellness calls to our dealers. Administrators can schedule regular calls to reach out to subscribers to remind them to take their medications, feed their pet, ask if they slept well, and perform other customer support calls and wellness checks.

How are monitoring centers addressing internal cybersecurity?

Watts: Becklar has built its cybersecurity posture on the foundation of the ISO 27001 framework. This approach ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our customer’s data, and we continuously evaluate and improve our security measures to protect against evolving threats. We recently performed a third-party audit to ensure our policies and procedures are aligned with ISO 27001 controls.

Some of our key security initiatives include:

  • Managed Detection and Response (MDR) – a third-party security service continuously monitors our organization’s network, endpoints, and cloud environment to detect and respond to potential security threats in real-time.
  • Next-Generation Anti-virus (NGAV) – this solution leverages artificial intelligence (AI), behavioral detection, and machine learning (ML) to prevent known and unknown threats on our laptops and workstations.
  • Vulnerability and patch management – helps identify, prioritize, and remediate vulnerabilities in our systems and applications.
  • Security awareness training – designed to educate employees about cybersecurity threats and best practices to reduce the risk of security breaches. This platform includes regular phishing simulations and “micro-training sessions” that have created a culture of security within the organization. 

In addition, we are employing in-house cyber security experts to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of our customer data, and this is reflected in our continued investment in these security measures.

Is cybersecurity monitoring a possibility in the future? How would that work with security integrators and monitoring partners?

Bailey: It is possible for monitoring centers to protect companies with cybersecurity monitoring services; however, it would require a significant level of technical and resource investments from monitoring centers and security integrators. Becklar currently manages data and information from a variety of endpoints and solutions and has the ability to provide guaranteed responses for alerts of many kinds including fire, burglary, security, video, medical devices and more. Providing customers with the additional professional IT support needed in a cybersecurity situation is outside the skillset available in most integrators and monitoring companies today.

Would more monitoring industry Q&A benefit integrators? If so, in what ways?

Bailey: Having an open dialog between integrators and monitoring partners benefits the industry as a whole. As a TMA executive committee member, we collaborate with industry peers and thought leaders to identify new ways to advance technology and offerings to improve monitoring solutions for both dealers and their subscribers.

Through frequent dealer events, we have the opportunity to listen to some of the challenges they face and work on creative solutions to improve the services we provide that help them grow their business. These interactions have led to innovations such as the MLS Reporting Tool to help dealers identify if a subscriber is going to move and help with customer retention, as well as the use of our Engage Platform to provide faster response times and improved efficiencies.

The industry as a whole would benefit from continued, open dialog between integrators and monitoring stations for future growth opportunities.

Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Business magazine. Email him your comments and questions at [email protected]. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at  

About the Author

Paul Rothman | Editor-in-Chief/Security Business

Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Business magazine. Email him your comments and questions at [email protected]. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at