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Ackerman Security’s Early Cloud Adoption Earns It Marvel Award Runner-Up Honors

Ackerman says its Cloud hosting platform has allowed it to increase efficiency and remain committed to being a leader in reliability and customer service nationwide.

Amid all the publicity and hype around the Cloud most security professionals have yet to get their feet wet with the technology as an efficient, scalable and cost-effective means to store and retrieve data.

At least one company, however, has taken the plunge at the deep end of the pool. In 2017, Ackerman Security Systems started moving its voice communications to the Cloud.

After that proved successful, the security systems installation and monitored services provider decided to move its receiver lines to the Cloud, which was also a big win.

That was followed by transferring its alarm receivers into the Cloud, and finally shifting the firm’s entire monitoring platform to DICE’s Cloud hosting.

“Our new Cloud hosting platform from DICE has allowed us to increase efficiency and remain committed to being a leader in reliability and customer service nationwide,” says Ackerman Security Systems Director of IT Al Oliver. “Along with IPtelX, a carrier network that specializes in telecommunications for the alarm industry, we are able to send our alarm signals to DICE’s UL-Listed and redundant Cloud hosting center. The signals are then transmitted instantly to our automation package, which includes monitoring, service, sales management, installation and web portal software.”

That progressive approach qualified Ackerman Security as a finalist and runner-up in the inaugural TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology Marvel Award, handed out at the recent ESX show in Nashville, Tenn.

Organized jointly by The Monitoring Association and Security Sales & Integration, the program recognizes monitoring centers for creating and/or using cutting-edge technology and to raise awareness of these new technologies.

“Moving to a Cloud hosting platform has allowed us to utilize the most advanced servers, receivers and related technology available without the need to purchase expensive equipment and IT services,” adds Oliver. “By doing this, we are able to eliminate costly capital expenses and invest the savings in our award-winning customer service and residential and commercial security solutions.”

Founded more than 50 years ago, the Norcross, Ga.-based firm with additional locations in Beltsville, Md., and Warminster, Pa., owns and monitors 147,000 mostly residential customer accounts to the tune of more than $4.4 million in RMR.

Ackerman’s UL-Listed and TMA Five Diamond central station offers a full complement of monitored services and, particularly since being acquired in 2015 by private equity firm Imperial Capital and partner OPTrust, the company has showed itself to be a technology front-runner.

“Ackerman has continued to be an industry leader with video services that include IP cameras, remote video applications, traditional CCTV systems, video analytics and Cloud recording,” asserts Oliver. “We are planning to offer video verification services in the near future. GPS has played a role with geofencing and user notifications. Each year, we continue to increase sales volume with smart home automations, video, door locks, thermostats, lighting control, garage door relays and more.”

While on the leading edge, Ackerman is careful to avoid overstepping into the bleeding edge of new technology. Before going “all in” with a new offering, the company’s product committee evaluates all considerations with logical determinants that include market demand, cost, applications, comparable products within the space, technical support and reliability.

Any product that passes the initial scrutiny of discovery questions is then subjected to stress testing in Ackerman’s products lab. By the time the firm sells and installs equipment for its customers, rigorous evaluations and testing have given management confidence of that product’s or service’s viability to be suitable for high volume deployment.

“The advancement of IoT devices is already influencing manufacturers to broaden their range of compatibilities,” adds Oliver regarding what technologies are on the horizon. “It’s a safe assumption to anticipate enormous change in the upcoming years with smart home and automation. We are a highly adaptive organization and maintain strong relationships with our manufacturing partners. It is our intention to maintain a pack leader status with services and technologies in both our residential and commercial footprints.”

For now, by being an early adopter of hosting alarm monitoring software in the Cloud, Ackerman Security has been able to set the trends for what is possible for an alarm monitoring company.

About the Author

Contact:

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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