Security Systems News

March 2011

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SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS MARCH 2011 MONITORING 27 BRIEFS Vivint and SIAC team PROVO, Utah—Vivint, formerly APX Alarm, on Jan. 28 announced the company will help SIAC with addi- tional resources in its fight to improve alarm management practices across the country, and enact fair and bal- anced ordinances. In addition to Vivint’s ongoing contribution to SIAC, the company will provide resources for Dave Simon, formerly of Brink’s/ Broadview Security, to work as an industry liaison for SIAC. Simon, with six years experience in the electronic security industry in government, communications and industry relations, will continue his work heading up public relations and marketing for SIAC. Simon also has more than 25 years of experience as a corporate communications expert. Sonitrol operator scores award for 38 apprehensions EVERETT, Wash.—Sonitrol Pacific operator Kristine Etheridge dispatched police to catch 38 suspects in 2010, earning Sonitrol Pacific’s “Peggy Carman” award during a company-wide ceremony January 17. The “Peggy Carman” award was cre- ated in 2008 to honor Sonitrol Pacific’s long-time employee Peggy Carman. It is given annually to the operator responsible for the most apprehensions that year. Etheridge joined Sonitrol Pacific in August 2007. Monitronics donates to community DALLAS—Monitronics central station and data entry director Mary Jensby in February lauded her central station staff for donating time and resources to needy causes in 2010. “In 2010 the central station manage- ment and the staff had a goal. They not only volunteered at food banks, they volunteered at the Salvation Army and donated more than 250 man hours to make sack lunches, do dishes, clean tables, and serve food over the course of the year,” Jensby said in a letter to Monitronics management. “They raised money, they collected silverware, they collected cell phones for soldiers, they collected socks, they donated their time.” Jensby said volunteering was part of the culture at Monitronics. “2010 was a busy year but achieving this goal was important to the team,” Jensby said in the letter. Monitronics, recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the Company of the Year for 2010, is one of the largest UL-listed, CSAA Five Diamond Certified third party central stations in the country. Ascent Media Corporation announced on Dec. 17 that it had agreed to purchase Monitronics International in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. Micro Key adds new functions By Daniel Gelinas KISSIMMEE, Fla.—Micro Key solutions, a provider of central station automation software, in January announced improve- ments to its Millennium central station automation platform that the company says will improve efficiency. n For a more robust version of stories in this section, see: WWW.SECURITYSYSTEMSNEWS.COM “MyView and PayPoint will save central stations and alarm dealers time and improve cash flow by allowing their customers to pay their bills online. And since these tools are actually embedded into their web site, it also will drive site traffic, which could increase sales,” said Micro Key Webmaster Steven Wright. “Since PayPoint works with Authorize. net, a leading and trusted payment portal, their customers will be able to pay via credit card, debit card and even by check through PayPoint. The MyView tool will allow central station custom- ers to check their alarm status, alarm history or place a service call remotely, and both MyView and PayPoint can be accessed using a smartphone via Internet access.” According to Wright, cen- tral stations using Micro Key’s Millennium software gain the same expanded functionality. Critical information is now avail- able to operators when they need it, making it that much easier to work with security dealers. Laura Hutchinson, who is with national sales and dealer services at All American Monitoring in Sarasota, Fla., is excited about the new additions to Millennium, which are in a beta period now. “PayPoint and MyView allow the end user to access account history and contact lists, and pay their bill and review their billing history with little central station interaction,” Hutchinson said. “It gives them information they want without tying up operators. For my dealers—especially the one-man-shop types—it’s going to offer them functionality and capabilities that are almost like having another officer staffer so they can spend their time out in the field.” SSN PURCHASES AND FUNDING New dealer program By Daniel Gelinas TULSA, Okla.—While it’s been around as a central station co-op since 1989, Monitoring America is ready to launch its first funded dealer program at ISC West in April, according to GM Ron Weis. “Our program is really ideal for dealers interested in long- term business. A Monitoring America Ron Weis dealer can do the work once, but keep getting paid over and over with a percentage of monthly RMR,” Weis said. Sacramento, Calif.-based Capitol City Security owner Russ Brill said the new dealer program was a sign of eveolution. “[As a co-op member], you were responsible for your own financing. They stuck to what they do really well, which is monitoring,” Brill said. “But the board realized that they should maybe do a little more and offer dealers more money and become true partners, become more competitive.” Dealers who decide to sell their accounts to Monitoring America through the dealer program will receive an undetermined multiple of the RMR upfront as well as 15 per- cent of the monthly RMR on an ongoing basis for the life of the account. Weis said Monitoring America’s buyback option is also unique. “We’re going to work with the dealer. We’re not going to pay as much of a lump sum up front, but we’re going to share the income stream for as long as that account exists,” Weis said. “After 36 months, the dealer can buy the account back at the same price for which it was sold to us with no inflation.” SSN ‘THIRD LARGEST PERS DEAL’ Second security industry investment for Rockbridge By Daniel Gelinas DETROIT—It’s the third largest personal- emergency-response-system company pur- chase ever, and it bodes well for the PERS industry, according to Connect America president and CEO Ken Gross. Rockbridge Growth Equity on Jan. 12 announced it had acquired direct- to-consumer PERS company Connect America for an undisclosed sum in a deal that brings 75,000 accounts worth around $2.2 million in RMR to investor Rockbridge, according to Gross. “The PERS industry should be proud of this transaction—this is a great partner,” Gross said. made its first foray into security with the pur- chase of Protect America. “We think it’s a very attractive industry. It has Ken Gross high growth rates, fueled by the increased number of senior citizens, increased awareness of the product and a general desire among seniors to age at home,” Prokop said. Monitoring for Connect America is by Rapid Response. “We believe that the combination of Connect America with Rockbridge will continue to accelerate their growth in a market that will significantly expand over the next five years,” said Rapid Response CEO Russ MacDonnell. The largest PERS transaction was Phillips’ pur- Rockbridge partner Kevin Prokop said PERS was a good fit for Rockbridge, which last year chase of LifeLine for $750 million in 2006 and the second was Phillips’ purchase of Health Watch for $130 million in 2007. SSN Where did my RMR go? Attikis looks to cut out professional monitoring By Daniel Gelinas LOS ANGELES—A new end user-focused security solu- tion running with the tagline, “See inside your home with unlimited, FREE alarm moni- toring,” looks to neatly remove professional monitoring services from the home secu- rity equation, saving end users money, while potentially eating into dealer and central station RMR. Attikis, which is in beta testing right now, is a managed service and, according to its website, is free. The only cost end users will incur is a per-call charge when the service alerts end users through phone calls, text messages and emails of an alarm. “Attikis’ low cost, prepaid ser- vice provides a low-obligation, low-risk entry point for the mass market of homeowners,” said Attikis founder and president Jarryd Winters. “Traditional moni- toring stations have focused on ‘full-service’ offerings with expensive lock-in contracts … Attikis has reinvented the moni- toring station with a prepaid ser- vice at a fraction of the price.” Winters said only one in three homes with alarms has profes- sional monitoring. “Most alarm systems will only support one monitoring service at a time. Attikis is predominantly targeted toward users who have an alarm system today but no monitoring,” Winters said. “It offers these customers a really cost-effective way to start moni- toring their homes.” The company’s website breaks the prepaid expenses down: “$10 is more than one year of monitor- ing for an average home user, based on 10 triggered alarms per year calling six contacts for each alarm (10 x 6 x $.15 = $9).” But don’t most professional central stations offer services like Attikis offers already? “We can do it, but we don’t market to end users. And the professional installer looks at this like competition,” said Mace CSSS vice president of operations Morgan Hertel. “But I do believe ATTIKIS see page 29

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