More mobility for UCC with new central station automation

Company cites need for improved efficiencies, dealer apps
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SAN ANTONIO—United Central Control is switching to SGS’ Stages for its central station automation, giving UCC dealers expanded access to mobile applications and improving efficiencies to reduce alarm-processing errors, company officials told Security Systems News.

UCC President Teresa Gonzalez said the wholesale monitoring provider, based here, took two years to determine which automation software would be best for its 500 dealers.

“We needed to look at where we are headed with our rapid growth and where we want to be,” Gonzalez said. “SGS seemed to have all of the tools and feature sets that we were looking for when it came to dealer apps, back-office support and flexibility of custom integration, which we’re heavily involved in. That open platform was very attractive to us.”

Gonzalez said SGS has an addressing system that will help UCC as it moves forward with the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol. The company was one of the charter members of ASAP, which speeds the delivery of alarm notifications to public safety answering points by providing information via computer instead of by phone.

“When we do an address verification, it’s going to provide us with the correct PSAP and it’s going to confirm that the address is also correct,” she said. “As we continue to add more police departments to the ASAP program, there will be an ‘accept’ verification for the PSAP to minimize any chance for error during the dispatch process.”

Mark Matlock, senior vice president of UCC, said the capability of Stages to provide automated action plans—calling a certain person between certain hours, for example—also will improve the company’s operations.

“I think the hardest thing for a central station to do is follow dealer notes, and the action plans will literally take the place of dealer notes,” he told SSN. “It puts all of the actions that are required to follow the notes into automation versus putting them into the hands of an operator for interpretation.”

Gonzalez said that will result in fewer errors and faster dispatches.

“When you’re dealing with a lot of notes, that creates slower processing times and potential misinterpretation, and then you have mistakes,” she said. “The efficiencies that we can gain in SGS with these action plans is significant in that they are going to reduce errors. [The wholesale monitoring industry] is very competitive and everyone’s margins are being squeezed. Creating internal efficiencies is very important to our business model.”

Gonzalez said UCC is in the process of implementing Stages and will go live with it on Aug. 15 for a group of volunteer dealers. She said the company will be “flipping the switch for everyone” by the end of September.