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Key piece of ASAP puzzle now in place

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The CSAA has taken the next step toward bringing more participants into the fold with the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol by going "live" with a computerized message broker in Arizona.

The server at the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets) in Phoenix serves as a scrubber for transmissions being forwarded from monitoring companies to public safety answering points. It checks for errors and ensures that the information is properly formatted before sending it to the appropriate state control point and PSAP.

The Central Station Alarm Association reported that Vector Security and the 911 center for the city of Richmond, Va., switched to the message broker in mid-April. The move was seamless for the end users at Vector and at Richmond's PSAP, according to Bill Hobgood, project manager for the city's Public Safety Team.

Anita Ostrowski, Vector's VP for central stations, told the CSAA that operators at Vector required only very brief, informal training before the move was made to the server at Nlets.

Vector, UCC and Monitronics are the three alarm companies currently participating in ASAP, which speeds alarm notifications by providing information to 911 centers via computer instead of a phone call. Three municipalities are involved in the pilot program: Richmond, Houston, and York County, Va.

Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems and co-chairman of the CSAA's ASAP Steering Committee, told an audience at ISC West that Tempe, Ariz., was the next city signed up for the protocol. And there is plenty of industry interest: The CSAA had 75 companies waiting to adopt ASAP at the beginning of 2012.

With the message broker fully operational, one more hurdle has been cleared.

"This sets the stage for the future participation of additional alarm monitoring companies," Bonifas said. "Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available."

Going phone-free: A ringing endorsement for ASAP

Bill Hobgood details Richmond’s experience leading an alarm ‘revolution’
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04/11/2012

LAS VEGAS—For Bill Hobgood, it’s easy to sum up the effectiveness of the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol: “We hate telephones ringing. We love ASAP.”

Mission 500 honors Monitronics volunteer with humanitarian award

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03/21/2012

DALLAS, Texas—Mary Jensby, central station and data entry director for Monitronics, is well known in the industry for her work with the CSAA and ESA. Now she’s been recognized for service outside of security that she calls “near and dear” to her: helping the less fortunate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Three out of four for Monitronics

Frost & Sullivan again names Dallas-based firm Company of the Year
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03/12/2012

DALLAS—Monitronics International has won Frost & Sullivan’s North American Company of the Year Award for 2011, making it three out of the past four years that the alarm monitoring firm has earned the honor.

Three out of four for Monitronics; Tweets for SIAC

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Make it three out of four for Monitronics.

The Dallas-based alarm monitoring firm was recently named Frost & Sullivan’s North American Company of the Year for 2011, adding to similar awards the company won in 2008 and 2010.

Frost & Sullivan praised Monitronics for maximizing value to clients by expanding its customer service operations and streamlining internal processes, resulting in record-low attrition for the year. The market researchers also cited the company’s “concerted efforts” to expand its dealer network, a point that wasn’t lost on Bruce Mungiguerra, VP of sales and dealer development for Monitronics.

“The biggest part for us, for our company and our dealers, is the way our program is modeled as a 100 percent dealer environment,” he told Security Systems News. “All of our business comes through our dealer network, and we really promote a high level of branding for our dealers to promote themselves and be their own local company.”

Mungiguerra said the award gives Monitronics’ dealers a big boost when it comes to marketing their services.

“Being able to have been recognized as the North American alarm provider of the year now for three years, it really helps give credibility to the dealers,” he said. “They can use those logos and that information on their branding to show what a great central station we are. … At the end of the day, our bread and butter is the ability to provide great monitoring services to retain our customers for a long time.”

Tweets for SIAC: Social media and the Security Industry Alarm Coalition? It might not sound like a match made in heaven, but SIAC sees the value of Tweets and blogs and is taking advantage of the new tools. Since launching its initiative a year ago, the group has attracted more than 100 followers on Twitter and 40 to 50 blog readers a week.

“While we have overcome many challenges, our industry continues to face significant issues in many communities,” said Stan Martin, SIAC’s executive director. “Social media helps us keep industry leaders informed on key issues in real time so that we can engage law enforcement and elected officials early in the decision-making process.”

SIAC’s weekly blog can be found at www.siacinc.wordpress.com, with Tweets at @SIACINC.

“It’s a long-term growth process to get more people involved in improving alarm management practices across the country,” said Dave Simon, SIAC’s communications director. “The first step is sending relevant, consistent information, and we believe these tools are effectively serving that purpose.”

Problems plague Platinum Protection

Summer sales company reportedly laid off employees and is now facing $2m lawsuit from Monitronics
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02/15/2012

AMERICAN FORK, Utah—Platinum Protection, a leading summer-sales-model security company based here, reportedly laid off almost all its employees on Feb. 2, including corporate staff, sales representatives and technicians.

Telguard step ahead of ‘2G sunset’

Company rolls out new 3G cell communicators, holds line on price
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02/14/2012

CHICAGO—The “2G sunset” is coming—it’s just hard to say when. But the 2G fade-out has already begun, eating into the frequency spectrum and posing a threat to the effectiveness of cellular alarm communicators.

CSAA sets Jan. 31 deadline for ASAP charter membership

Central stations that pledge will have the first opportunity to connect to the automated network
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12/01/2011

VIENNA, Va.—Thinking about getting on board with the CSAA to take advantage of the new Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program? To be among the stations at the front of the line, you’d better act soon–a Jan. 31 deadline will separate the haves from the have-nots.

ISI Alarms relocating to facilitate growth

N.C. super-regional plans new hires, expansion to other states, selling up to 2,000 accounts a month
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10/13/2011

CONCORD, N.C.—ISI Alarms, a super-regional based here, is relocating its headquarters and call center to a new community and a much larger space, and is planning to hire as many as 200 additional employees over the next two years, according to company officials.

Natural disasters test concept for ASAP-to-the-PSAP program

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09/01/2011

PITTSBURGH—Vector Security CEO Pam Petrow said recent natural disasters on the East Coast have provided a proof of concept for CSAA's ASAP-to-the-PSAP program.

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