The Protection Bureau grows RMR with ‘weProtect’

The Protection Bureau has built its own integrated service offering
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

EXTON, Pa.—The Protection Bureau has always had a revenue stream from the monitoring of commercial intrusion and fire accounts, but since it added its new “weProtect” integrated services offering six months ago, that RMR stream has picked up considerably, said J. Matthew Ladd, The Protection Bureau president.

Its RMR stream is up 10-15 percent so far this year, and Ladd expects the new offering “to eventually add 20 or 30 percent.”

The new offering, weProtect, is an integrated and enhanced alarm, access control and video protection system that the company customizes for clients. The suite of services includes: building alarm monitoring, video alarm verification, interactive video monitoring, virtual guard services, hosted, managed access control, interactive managed access control, and virtual doorman.

“When we went to find the best integrated solution for video and managed access as well as the alarms and intercoms that we do, we found that solution didn’t exist. So we went out and chose the best manufacturers and worked with them and our highly trained staff to integrate it into one solution, which we then termed ‘weProtect,’” Ladd said.

Ladd said that many companies provide the same types of solutions, “but they do standalone, independent, multiple databases. With our approach we integrated everything together, so there’s one solution, one software so my operators can respond to clients’ needs fast and efficiently.”

The launch of weProtect took place late last fall and “the integration took six- to eight months to complete before that,” he said.

As with most commercial integrators, 2009 was a tough year for The Protection Bureau. At the end of 2010, the company was “well ahead of 2009 and down about 8 or 9 percent in revenue from 2008,” he said. This year, however, “we’re tracking ahead in revenue and about even in profit.”

While there are more revenues, there are decreased margins, he explained. It’s the RMR associated with the new managed services offering that’s making up the difference. While many integrators “never saw the value of RMR ... we’ve known that from the alarm portion of our business and we’ve tied it into our integrated services.”

Based here, The Protection Bureau operates its own central station. Its footprint includes Philadelphia and the tri-state areas. Its coverage extends from Virginia to Maine and, as a member of Security-Net, it has national and international coverage. Its customers include commercial, manufacturing, service industries, government and education.