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SSD to build disaster recovery center

Integrator experiencing growth in hosted and monitored services
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04/13/2016

ANAHEIM, Calif.—SSD Alarm Systems, a full service security company, is building a disaster recovery center, to support its growing hosted and monitored services offerings.

Stanley enhances its monitoring

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It seems that Stanley Security has really been focusing on how it approaches monitoring lately.

Monday, the company announced its partnership with I-View Now, a cloud-based platform for central station video verification. Last week CSAA announced Stanley’s participation in its ASAP to PSAP program. Additionally, all of this is coming just weeks after Stanley announced its acquisition of SentryNet, a wholesale monitoring center.

Steve Walker, VP of customer service for Stanley said this could lead to other monitoring companies under Stanley—such as Sonitrol and SentryNet—joining ASAP as well. He noted that SentryNet is already integrated with I-View Now.

“The big advantage [of joining the ASAP program] is it reduces the time to communicate or dispatch on an alarm, so it just translates directly into an improved, faster response from the agency [and] it improves the accuracy of the agency response,” Steve Walker, VP of customer service for Stanley, told me.

Walker said Stanley has been working on joining ASAP to PSAP for about a year. First, the company’s automation software, IBS, needed to be integrated with the program. “We’re IBS’ first customer to successfully connect to the network,” he said. This work should make it easier for other IBS customers to join ASAP, he said.

I-View Now is integrated with many different DVRs and cameras, Walker said, and that’s a benefit for Stanley. “It greatly expands our product offering. … We don’t have to worry about integrating all of these different technologies into our software—all we have to do is integrate with I-View Now.”

Walker lauded I-View Now’s ability to allow end users to review a video feed at the same time as the central station after an alarm signal is sent. Stanley has also been working on this partnership for a year, he said.

Stanley has about 250,000 monitored customers in the United States, and another 80,000 in Canada, Walker said. Stanley is the second predominantly commercial business to join the program, after Diebold announced its participation last month.

Dealers: Grow through differentiating, new technology

Turn challenges into opportunity in today’s marketplace, they say
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04/15/2015

LAS VEGAS—Brand awareness and embracing technological advances like video verification, home automation and the cloud are among the main challenges facing mid-size security dealers today, according to three dealers attending the DMP Owners Forum here.

Video verification in the home on CEDIA agenda

One presenter says deploying cameras outside the home, rather than inside, is the way to go
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09/10/2014

DENVER, Colo.—Just a few years ago, the idea of holding a video verification seminar at a residential technology expo might have seemed farfetched. But that’s exactly what’s happening at the 2014 Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) expo, held Sept. 10-13 at the Colorado Convention Center.

Video in the home goes mainstream

Checking in on kids, elderly parents and pets facilitated by residential video surveillance
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09/02/2014

In the second decade of the 21st century, home security is no longer just about catching bad guys.

Video verification: A police chief’s perspective

For law enforcement, the essential task for video verification technology is to maintain confidence that a priority response is needed, police chief says
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08/06/2014

HIGHLAND PARK, Texas— Law enforcement is taking an increasingly active role in shaping video verification alarm policies. Hear what a police chief involved in the development of video verification best practices has to say about their impact.

Force Security: Audio and video verification essential

DC-based commercial security company grows with verified systems
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07/02/2014

MANASSAS, Va.—Force Security president Ken Kocher is a former cop who believes audio and video verification are essential elements of an effective security system.

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.

Video verification: a residential service?

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Video verification in the residential market—it was a topic that surfaced in some of the PPVAR panels I attended at TechSec, though the discussion had been picking up momentum well before that.

It really seemed to pick up last August, when Honeywell Security announced it was joining the membership ranks of PPVAR, a move that some saw as a sign of the “mainstreaming” of video verification.

That seemed to be the gist of Scott Harkins (president of Honeywell Security Products Americas) words in the prepared statement released at the time, in which he said Honeywell recognized that “video verification is an important product category as we look to the future of security.”

Harkins, who was a panelist at one of the PPVAR sessions at ISC West, for the most part reiterated that sense of optimism, saying there was indeed potential for video verification in the residential space. He did however add the caveat that, from Honeywell’s perspective, bringing the technology into the mainstream had to be done in a way that keeps such systems affordable to a mass residential market.

Keith Jentoft, president at Videofied - RSI Video Technologies and an industry liaison for PPVAR, has given me some leads in recent weeks about a few monitoring companies that are striving to fulfill the vision put forth by Harkins (EMERgency24, based in Des Plaines, Ill., is one of a few he’s mentioned).

In the days and weeks ahead, I plan to explore how some of these companies are taking video verification to a broader residential market, zeroing in on the strategies that have worked as well as the challenges. 

I-View Now unites verified alarms and analytics

The company’s Cloud Analytic, which debuted at ISC West, runs an analytic through video alarms pulled from proprietary devices
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04/08/2014

HENDERSON, Nev.—Verified alarms are based on the idea that more information for central station results in better, more efficient response from law enforcement. That principle is behind the development of a cloud analytic from I-View-Now, a service that suggests that even in the category of verification, there is room to know more.

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