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Jim McMullen wants to acquire more wholesale centrals

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jim McMullen, president and COO of Lydia Security Monitoring, as well as president and COO of COPS Monitoring, is interested in purchasing more third-party central stations. Lydia’s recent purchase of wholesale central station UCC was a big topic at ISC West 2016, both in COPS’ booth and in UCC’s.

“We would like to go out there and buy other companies that specialize in a particular segment of the [monitoring] marketplace, so that we can draw on their expertise and grow it from there,” McMullen told me.

He identified access control, video, and PERS as three areas of the monitoring industry where Lydia would be “very interested in making acquisitions,” adding that the company has plenty of financial backing to do so.

“Each company [under Lydia] will have its own personality,” according to McMullen.

He described how the three brands under Lydia Security Monitoring—COPS Monitoring, UCC, and AlarmWATCH—each have their own focus. The COPS Monitoring brand would appeal to a larger dealers with a high volume of accounts.

“If you’re looking toward us for help, to teach you—the alarm company—more about how to sell, and how to market … UCC would probably be a better fit for you, because they focus on that more than [COPS does],” McMullen said.

“We’re looking at AlarmWatch for, possibly, the fire sector,” he said. “They’re … doing special things with fire systems.”

David Smith, COPS director of marketing and communication, stressed the separation between brands under Lydia. At ISC West 2016, Smith said, “People came into our booth and said ‘yeah, I’m with UCC,’ or ‘We’ve been looking at UCC,’ [and added] ‘but that’s you guys now, right?’ And honestly, it’s not. It shares an executive team, but past that … it’s a whole separate entity,” Smith said. 

ISC West also brought people outside the industry to COPS’ booth, McMullen said. He gave the example of wearable manufacturers wanting professional monitoring for their devices.

McMullen said that the company had similar conversations at CES, talking about the possibility of professionally monitoring personal drones.

CRM designed by dealers for dealers attracts major players

FillQuick emphasizes ease of information for dealers
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03/23/2016

EDMONTON, Canada—Designed by a former ADT dealer and developed specifically for security companies, FillQuick is a new CRM software company that is attracting some big name customers, like UCC, AvantGuard and, most recently, Monitronics.

UCC acquired by COPS’ owner Lydia Security Monitoring

UCC will continue to operate separately, under its current brand
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01/27/2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—Lydia Security Monitoring, the parent company of COPS Monitoring, both based here, announced today it has acquired wholesale central station United Central Control.

Lowe’s goes with UCC for professional monitoring

Mark Matlock: Lowe’s DIY offering doesn’t pose a threat to traditional dealers
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01/06/2016

MOORESVILLE, N.C.—Home improvement company Lowe’s chose United Central Control as the professional monitoring partner for Iris, its DIY home automation system, Lowe's announced Jan. 4.

UCC puts focus on dealer education

Company hosted two classes this year, planning more for 2016
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12/02/2015

SAN ANTONIO—Wholesale central station UCC is investing more in its dealers, recently with a new line of regional educational sessions, according to company SVP Mark Matlock.

There’s a bright side for traditional dealers with DIY/MIY, really

UCC's Mark Matlock discusses opportunities in the market
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08/14/2015

First and foremost, I am careful not to plant any stakes in the ground regarding the future of this industry. I have been in the electronic security industry for 30 years, and I have never witnessed anything like the sweeping changes in the industry today, especially regarding DIY/MIY.

Hear it from this Millennial

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

More and more I’m hearing about the “Millennials;” those born between 1980 and 2000. I fit squarely in that range.

Millennials seem to be the target audience for home automation, some have noted them as the more “technological-savvy” generation. Now, the Millennials are entering the job market. At this year’s ESX I heard UCC’s Mike Lamb, and ADT’s Stephen Smith, share their observations on training this younger generation.  

During Lamb and Smith’s ESX Panel, “Training for Central Station Operators,” I was—as a Millenial—quite alert, asking myself how each technique or perspective applied to me.  

There were quite a few points that I could agree with and—imagining myself in the shoes of a prospective central station operator—would see a lot of value in. Though, there were other points where I differed in opinion.

Lamb said that Millenials like understanding the value in their work. That is certainly something I could agree with, and I don’t think Millenials are the only ones who could benefit from better grasping the value behind what they do.

Also, he had a point that, when given a task, Millenials might be more prone to ask “Why?” This isn’t a sign of disrespect, he said, but instead looking for more understanding.

I definitely agree with that. Approaching a task, I find it very useful to understand where my role or any action plays into the larger plan.

Lamb pointed out that Generation Y is the age of “participation trophies,” which, unfortunately, I can’t disagree with. Lamb had a point that this constant recognition given to many individuals in Generation Y is something to notice and enable in your central station employees; that they like to be recognized if and when they are doing things right. I can see how a little positive reinforcement would encourage confidence in a new employee. Though, I personally wouldn’t want to see this overdone, certainly not to the levels of participation trophies.

Lamb also had a point that younger generations occasionally struggle with professionalism, specifically in writing. An example he gave was with “twitter speak,” using “u” instead of “you,” “r” in place of “are” and so forth. This surprised me the most. Perhaps it is my writing experience separating me from the Generation Y pool of potential operators, but I have always found a professional writing style to be imperative. Lamb, and some of the attendees, said this is a problem of the generation.

UCC, ADT talk on training Millennials

ESX panel focuses on new central station operators
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07/08/2015

BALTIMORE—Underlining the important work that central station operators do is key when training Millennials who are now entering the workforce and the security industry, according to panelists at ESX.

Growth and expansions coming to UCC

New facility and RMR milestone
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06/10/2015

SAN ANTONIO—United Central Control, a wholesale monitoring center based here, is planning to build an out-of-state back-up central station, possibly in Nashville, Tenn., Mark Matlock, company SVP, told Security Systems News. That news comes alongside other growth developments at the company.

UCC’s Teresa Gonzalez now on CSAA Board

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03/13/2015

VIENNA, Va.—Teresa Gonzalez, president of United Central Control, was appointed to the CSAA Board of Directors.

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