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ESX seminar explores new models for customer engagement

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It’s that time of year: ESX is closing in on us, and my schedule for the show is beginning to take form. I’m envisioning a high-energy, well-paced show, with an array of educational sessions geared to new and important topics, and a show floor conducive to getting the skinny on the trends shaping the industry.

I wanted to use this space to draw attention to a seminar I’ll be moderating Tuesday, June 24 at 3:15 titled “Monitoring: A Quality Customer Touch Point.”

I’ll be talking to Mike Bodnar, president of Security Partners, Tom Szell, SVP at ADS, and Brandon Savage, SVP of customer experience and operations at Alarm Capital Alliance / My Alarm Center about the new means of customer engagement brought on by the rise of mobile apps and interactive services, and how those in the industry can leverage these advances to minimize attrition.  

With Nashville roughly ten days away, I encourage folks (particularly those on the monitoring side) to contact me in the days ahead to arrange a meeting on the show floor. Given the structure of the show, and its emphasis on education, I don’t anticipate fodder for conversation being in any short supply. Industry shows like ESX offer a valuable stage not only for discussing initiatives specific to a single business, but also broader trends affecting the industry writ large. I look forward to chatting.

Talking keypads and panels with Brandon Savage

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06/11/2014

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.—While in college at Brigham Young University, Brandon Savage, senior VP of customer experience and operations, Alarm Capital Alliance, was introduced by one of his professors to Chad Christofferson, who had won the business school’s entrepreneur of the year award for his startup company, SafeHome Security.

ONVIF, SIA announce access control standards cooperation

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06/10/2014

SAN RAMON, Calif.—ONVIF, a global standardization for IP-based physical security products, announced recently that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Security Industry Association, signaling cooperation toward the further development of IP-based interop

California city institutes new alarm policy

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06/10/2014

CHICO, Calif.—Starting June 15, this California city will no longer respond to unconfirmed burglar alarm systems in the city, according to a news release from the California Alarm Association.

Private equity firm invests in MobileHelp

The mobile PERS provider, which has a CAGR of 163 percent since 2011, has its eyes on telehealth frontier
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06/06/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Florida-based private equity firm Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in MobileHelp, a mobile PERS provider based here.

Garage door gives dealer entrée into home security

A LiftMaster dealer creates security division based on the ability to integrate garage doors into the connected home
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06/04/2014

GAINESVILLE, Va.—Alarm Pro America entered the home security market through the garage door—with help from LiftMaster and Alarm.com, according to Dylan McGreevy, VP of sales and operations for the full service security company, based here.

Security Partners deploys new video verification service from Alarm.com

The residential service is based on image sensors, which detect motion and serve video clips to central stations in an alarm event
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06/04/2014

LANCASTER, Pa.—Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring company based here, is optimistic about the potential of video verification in the residential market. That’s one reason they’re an early adopter of a new video verification service from Alarm.com, an interactive services company with an established presence in the home.

Toronto police considering non-response

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is mulling the possibility of not responding to private alarms, citing a false alarm rate that looks bad even within that context.

According to a report from the Toronto Star, just 300 of the 20,000 private alarm calls Toronto police responded to in 2012 turned out to be legitimate. As a result, an internal police steering committee is reviewing the cost-savings that could be reaped by scaling back on alarm response (among other services), the report said.  

By doing so, the committee estimates the police force could realize $613,222 in savings, according to the report. That amounts to 10,960 officer hours.

Additionally, the committee recommended police stop taking reports on lost or stolen property whose value does not exceed $500.

From a law enforcement perspective, it’s sensible to do away with writing redundant reports for lost property, particularly when other institutions are better suited to deal with such events. But what could a non-response policy portend for alarm companies who would then have to provide private response services themselves? Not only do companies stand to incur the costs associated with this; they also stand to lose what many in the industry view as the most vital element of the value proposition of an alarm system—the guarantee of police response in the event of a legitimate alarm.  

False alarms (and what to do about them) remain among the most polarizing issues in the alarm industry today. It continues to define, and sometimes roil, the relationship between private alarm companies and law enforcement.

So what’s can be done? The theories about how to mitigate false alarms tend to diverge and dovetail, making the issue especially complex and difficult to navigate, much less reach a conclusion on. Some believe a clear and properly enforced ordinance, bolstered by measures such as cross-zoning and enhanced call verification, will do the trick, with fines for offending alarms helping to offset the losses. Others say private response is the inevitable long-term solution.

Others still, such as PPVAR, believe the relationship between law enforcement and the industry can and should remain intact so long as the alarm installed base evolves technologically and municipalities move toward a verified response approach (that's not to say the industry is in full agreement over what constitutes a verified alarm). The organization also espouses new video verification standards.

The issue continues to be a fraught one, with no definite solution in sight. To be sure, many cities have made great strides with false alarm reduction. But cases such as Toronto are a resounding reminder that there’s room for improvement.

SIAC urges compliance with best practices to avoid false panic alarms

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06/03/2014

FRISCO, Texas—The Security Industry Alarm Coalition, a North American industry organization focused on alarm management, is urging the use of best practices to reduce false panic alarms triggered by key fobs, according to a news release.

VSaaS market worth about $2.39 billion by 2017

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06/03/2014

DALLAS—The global video surveillance as a service market is expected to reach $2.39 billion by 2017, expanding at a CAGR of 31.5 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets, a market research and consulting firm based here.

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