Micro Key's Caller ID Injection keeps centrals invisible

New feature may reduce false alarms
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

KISSIMMEE, Fla.—Central Station automation platform provider Micro Key on June 15 announced a new feature to its Millennium automation platform that the company says will allow central stations to help their dealers strengthen their own brand while making dispatchers’ jobs easier.

Micro Key announced a partnership with telephony technology provider Communication Services Solutions to add what Micro Key says is another level of data and voice functionality to its Millennium automation platform. At the heart of the collaboration, according to the Micro Key announcement, is Caller ID Injection, which provides two major benefits for contract central stations, their alarm dealers and customers. The feature enables contract central stations to make outbound calls with the name and phone number of the customer’s alarm dealer appearing in the caller ID on the customer’s phone. Also, when a customer calls into a contract central station, Millennium can now recognize whether or not the call is associated with an alarm dealer using a third-party central station service.

This keeps the central station invisible and increases dealer branding. "It is important for the third-party monitoring station to remain silent because, one: They wholesale the monitoring at a lower rate than the end user pays. And, two: It’s about customer service," said Micro Key business development manager Victoria Ferro.

"Dealers want their subscribers to trust that their personal property and life safety needs are being handled by the company that sold them the system. That is who they have built the trust and relationship with, not the third-party monitoring station."

CSS president David Crawford said the central station operators “have always been able to answer in the name of the dealer, but until now, the end user would see in their caller ID a generic number. So on an outbound call string we inject, through the automation platform, the dealer's phone number.”

"Within the Millennium database they know who belongs to which dealer, so they autodial by clicking on Mrs. Smith's name and at the same time, the system knows that Mrs. Smith is a client of ABC Alarm Company and she sees ABC Alarm Company in her caller ID and answers," he added.

Crawford said the service could drive down false alarms because end users are more apt to answer the verification call if they recognize the number as coming from their trusted alarm company.

"Sure, central stations are using enhanced call verification to follow up on alarms, but the trick is to get the end user to answer," he said.