EMERgency24’s McCarthy Talks IP Communications, Leading Technology

The October issue of SSI features a guide to selecting a third-party central monitoring station in which nine providers are spotlighted. I conducted extensive interviews with executives from all of them, most of which could not be shoehorned into the print publication. In this exclusive bonus blog, EMERgency24 National Sales Manager Kevin McCarthy discusses changing communications methods, third-party monitoring advantages and being a technology leader.

How have changing signal transmission methods impacted your company as well as your dealers’ businesses? Challenges? Technical issues? Sales issues? Pros/cons? Opportunities?

Kevin McCarthy: With the coming 2G sunset, alarm contractors have the opportunity to ‘touch’ their customers again to let them know of the impact on their system, if any. If the customer will be impacted, it gives the dealer a chance to upgrade their system to include IP alarm communication. There may even be compatible after-market devices that convert older systems to IP communication. This eliminates the cost of replacing the installed panel. The advantage of converting a customer to IP alarm communication is to offer the same services as the industry’s largest companies, which are now promoting packages for alarm, video and home-automation systems using an IP backbone. Through nationwide television ads and other marketing tactics, those companies are creating a demand for such services. Independent alarm dealers and their central stations have the ability to offer the same services, but with a local provider.

Why is a security dealer better off contracting with a third-party monitoring provider than bringing monitoring in-house?

McCarthy: Using a third-party central station make the most economical sense for a great majority of the alarm industry because only the largest companies can sustain their own central station, let alone a UL-Listed one. Also, third-party providers offer many more services than most single-company monitoring stations because a company like EMERgency24 has to be able to support all receivers, formats and offer all services expected from the industry. This gives dealers options for the types of accounts they can target.

In what specific ways do you help contracted security dealers increase their recurring monthly revenue?

McCarthy: EMERgency24 helps its dealers increase their RMR by providing sales and marketing materials aimed at educating their customers. This includes a biannual, four-color newsletter on security issues that we offer dealers for free. They can then use those single-page, front-back newsletters to stuff in their billing. The content of Security Seeker focuses on new services available, the importance of maintaining a system, the other ways in increase personal or business security, thus increasing RMR.

Describe your company’s approach to newer technologies/service offerings such as PERS, video monitoring, GPS, energy management, managed access control, etc.

McCarthy: EMERgency24 is a technology-driven company. In fact, we were the first central station able to sync video clips with accounts, allowing us to offer video-related services many years before the rest of the industry caught up. Incorporating video allows alarm contractors to increase their customers’ safety, as well as their interaction with their alarm system. This helps solidify that customer because they can literally see the value and what their system does. As a result, dealers can increase their RMR and their value provided to customers.

Scott Goldfine

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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