UCC watches over Advantage accounts, thanks to video monitoring

Friday, September 1, 2006

SAN ANTONIO--Having made the move to a brand-new facility earlier this year, United Central Control, now in 14,000-square-foot digs, added video monitoring as a service to its account base in July, after purchasing those accounts from Advantage Security Integration of Houston.
Advantage has more than 500 accounts currently monitored by UCC, a wholesale monitoring facility, but "they were doing video monitoring themselves," said Mark Matlock, UCC's vice president of sales and marketing. "They had a video central station set up at their office."
Like many central stations taking advantage of this growing trend, UCC sees a future in video monitoring technology. "Everyone thinks that this is the direction monitoring is going," Matlock said. "New technologies are bound and determined to happen ... You are going to see different types of alarm transmitting technologies in the future. But more and more, I think video is going to replace guard service to some degree. It will be a more effective and cost effective way to monitor premises."
Matlock said that Danny Forest, owner of Advantage, is very happy to move video accounts to UCC. "He feels like he has resources freed up to go sell more of it, now that he does not do the monitoring himself," Matlock added.
With the new video monitoring accounts, UCC mirrored Advantage's equipment to achieve a similar video monitoring set up in a separate room from its burglar and fire accounts. "We purchased quite a lot to get going in this venture," Matlock said.
However, in the first week of housing the new accounts, Matlock said, "we ran our system in tandem just to get our feet wet. So, we were both monitoring the accounts. Then after the first week, they went ahead and let us take it on ourselves."
The central is currently working with 20 accounts. The accounts typically use guard tours, but the time and amount of daily guard tours varies depending on the customer's request, Matlock noted.
UCC has already begun to promote the service to its dealers, which span 40 states, with a heavier regional presence in Texas.
"We feel it is a very marketable service for our dealers," he added. "We want to be positioned for anybody who wants to do video monitoring in the future, we want to be in a position to facilitate them."