CMS launches new dealer portal

Company focused on informing and training its dealers on the proprietary portal
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

LONGWOOD, Fla.—CMS is now launching CMS Compass, a proprietary dealer portal for the company’s dealers, allowing them to see more information relevant to their business on the portal’s dashboard. 

“Our goal with Compass was … to show our dealers that there might be a better way to manage their business,” Jennifer Marshall, marketing and communications manager for CMS, told Security Systems News.

The company first announced the new portal at ISC West 2016 and started rolling it out to dealers in February, at CMS’ annual conference. Since February, CMS has been working on informing and training its dealers on the new portal. “It is very user friendly, but there’s so many different features available that we want to make sure that they know everything they’re capable of doing,” Marshall said.

“Over the years, we’ve received a lot of feedback from our dealers about what we can do as their central station to help them better operate their businesses,” Marshall said, citing frustrations around a lack of technology in certain areas. “Obviously, technology is always changing, but there’s certain things that seem [not to] change quite as quickly as others, and one of those things is the dealer portal.”

Dealers are currently accustomed to CMS’ Connect portal, which is a mastermind product, Marshall noted. CMS worked with SoftServe, a software development and digital consulting company, to create the offering.

“We’ve been working with SoftServe to design an experience that would bring things that the dealers really care about to them quickly and easily,” Marshall said. The portal’s dashboard includes account statistics—allowing the dealer to see new and canceled accounts on a map, and “the ability to view and acknowledge service requests within Compass.”

The portal includes an alarm and dispatches tab for a dealer’s account base. “A lot of the dealers really like that because they can easily call their customers and check in and make sure everything’s ok and that they don’t need any further assistance,” said Marshall. “There’s also a repeat activity dashboard, where [dealers] can see who their primary offenders are.” CMS also included the traditional features and data that dealers are accustomed to from other portals, she noted.

In developing the new portal, CMS first gathered a dealer user group “and talked to a handful of our dealers about specific inadequacies that they were finding in CMS Connect and things that they would like to see improved upon,” Marshall said.

“We actually opened it up to some beta testers last summer. So, we had about half a dozen dealers … who started using it in the field and using it day-to-day.”

CMS is working on a Compass portal for subscribers who want to manage their own account. This portal will be white-labeled with the dealer’s logo, as opposed to CMS’, Marshall noted.

The company is also beta-testing a separate tool, the CMS Tech Help Tool. “That’s going to be a separate website that has lots of information for our dealers; quick-start guides for all sorts of different alarm panels so they can easily access information when they’re in the field or in the office to help subscribers.”