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Central Station Selection Guide

Nine leading wholesale monitoring providers are spotlighted with details about their specialties, unique qualities and service offerings. Top executives describe the business advantages their third-party central stations bring to their security dealer customers.

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Company: National Monitoring Center (NMC)

Headquarters: Aliso Viejo, Calif.; (800) 662-1711NMC has grown the past 10 years from one 10,000-square-foot facility to two fully redundant, state-of-the-art command centers in California and Texas.

Web site:

Years in business: 30+

Number monitored accounts: N/A

Annual revenues: N/A

Employees: 150+

Licenses, certifications & accreditations: UL 2050, FM Approved

Overview of services: Commercial security, medical monitoring (PERS), environmental monitoring, residential security, commercial fire, video services.

Business advantages: “NMC’s professional staff of engineers, security experts and communications specialists is acclaimed throughout the industry, and many of our customer service reps have been with NMC for more than a decade. In addition to providing quality monitoring services of all kinds to the end user, there is a complete understanding of the sales, service and support required for the individual alarm company. NMC’s two central command centers in California and Texas provide complete redundancy and reliability in monitoring. Each center is outfitted with multiple generators to assure there is instant emergency recovery and backup with no downtime in case of an emergency or extreme alarm activity at one facility. NMC also offers 24/7 support for data entry, data management, billing, dealer relations, support and training for all software applications and any other needs.”

— Michael Schubert, President

Rapid Response

Company: Rapid Response Monitoring Services

Headquarters: Syracuse, N.Y.; (800) 558-7767

Web site: rrms.comRapid Response management says the company is seeing widespread services growth, with slightly higher increases in PERS and mobile services, followed by video.

Years in business: 22

Number monitored accounts: 700,000 (100% contracted)

Annual revenues: N/A

Employees: 400

Licenses, certifications & accreditations: UL and FM Listed, FDNY Approved, SIA Certified, IQ Certified

Overview of services: Traditional alarm monitoring, video, two-way audio, PERS, GPS and mobile asset protection, bilingual operators.

Business advantages: “At Rapid Response, our superior technology, training and control center specialists work for our dealer customers in a personal business relationship that is rare in our industry today. One of Rapid’s best services for our dealers is our S.M.A.R.T team. This group is constantly analyzing account activity trends and helping dealers provide the best service possible to their customers. We provide dealers with seamless access to their critical information, along with unmatched personal service for their customers, putting their business light years ahead of the competition. We offer branded mobile and Web apps in addition to the widest selection of add-on features available in the industry. We are leaders in new technology areas and do more with them than any other wholesale central station in North America. We have invested heavily and will continue to as the mobile world continues to evolve. ”

— Morgan Hertel, Vice President of Operations


Company: United Central Control (UCC)

Headquarters: San Antonio; (888) 832-6822

UCC has worked very closely with CSAA and APCO to launch the ASAP to the PSAP program in Houston, making the company the second participating central station in the United States. Web site:

Years in business: 31

Number monitored accounts: 208,000 (73% commercial, 27% residential)

Annual revenues: $10 million

Employees: 105

Licenses, certifications & accreditations: All states, cities, counties requiring licensing for third-party central stations, UL Listed, CSAA Five Diamond, ASAP to PSAP participating central station

Overview of services: Burglary and fire alarm monitoring, cellular back-up, two-way voice, elevator telephone, PERS, video monitoring, interactive camera viewing platforms, access control monitoring, interactive monitoring and mobile notification, IP monitoring, AES radio telemetry monitoring.

Business advantages: “The main value-add is the excellent service UCC provides. UCC deals with our dealers’ customers more than they do, and our professionalism and quick response creates good rapport that leads to referrals for dealers. Beyond that, UCC has a Dealer Relations department that works very closely with dealers monitoring their alarm activity and helping them effectively manage their accounts and bolster retention. These people also train UCC’s dealers on the company’s automated services and inform and educate them on new services. Further, they serve as a single point of contact for the dealer, thus simplifying the dealer’s relationship with UCC. UCC also has a backup central station, which serves as a great selling point for its dealers. In participating markets, UCC is an ASAP to the PSAP central station, which is also a great selling point for dealers in those markets.”

— Mark Matlock, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

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Article Topics
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About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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