Why Security Integrators Should Check History Reports

Daily history reports can help security integrators catch what they may have missed.

With so much information pushed from trade magazines, associations, manufacturers and service providers, alarm dealers are bound to miss vital news and notifications occasionally.

It was no surprise then that some dealers, for instance, were scrambling last fall when final advisories were distributed to notify that certain pockets of 2G networks in Chicago were nearing sunset and would be inoperable in two months, thus necessitating new communication vehicles to keep some alarm systems connected to the central station.

I’m not chastising dealers who were unaware of the impending sunsets that were announced in 2012, nor the telcos that have every right to use their company-owned assets to their fullest capabilities. My message is that the single most important resource a dealer should check on a daily basis to gain valuable information about their company is the history report from the central station.

Investigate Issues by Reviewing Activity Data

Each of your customer’s systems should be programmed to re-port trouble or bypass conditions and perform a daily test for a dealer to review every morning. This provides a lot of actionable information.

For example, should a dealer not be aware that a sunset happened, they would see the communication failures in the history for monitored systems within the impacted area. The cluster of “comm failures” should alert the dealer that it’s likely a 2G issue as opposed to multiple pieces of hardware failing on the same day.

Alternately, should there just be one “comm failure” among your subscribers on a certain day, you can deduce it is a hardware issue or perhaps that the customer recently had work done to their phone system. The subscriber may have changed to a voice over IP (VoIP) telephone provider, thereby requiring new communication hardware, such as radio or IP solutions.

In addition to troubleshooting, another reason for checking history reports is to address invalid signals that could be caused by an installation error or data-entry mistakes. This is most important right after adding a new system to make sure it operates exactly as planned.

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Check Reports for Upsell Opportunities, Too

For established accounts, low-battery signals or missed auto tests could result in a service call, which is always an upsell opportunity to increase the account’s recurring monthly revenue (RMR) potential.

Dealers should also look for any excessive signal traffic, such as numerous open/close signals from individual accounts. Should a subscriber have a habit of coming and going more than originally expected, a dealer can establish terms with them to increase traffic levels so that the account’s RMR is not dwindled away one signal at a time after the subscriber passes their monthly threshold.

To minimize the task for companies with many subscribers, your central-station technical staff can tailor activity reports to show only the types of signals you select or provide all history from key accounts. In fact, dealers can receive any system in-formation they want, filtered in a precise manner and sent instantly to them via their preferred medium, such as E-mail, text message or fax.

Analysis of activity reports may even avert a lawsuit. If you are not reviewing the readily available data from your customers’ systems and then addressing any problems, that could spell bad news if you have to admit this in a courtroom. When you find issues, contact the subscriber immediately to schedule service and make sure you log this in their account notes. That way, if there is a delay by the subscriber to schedule service and an alarm event occurs, you have proof that you performed the due diligence for which you were contracted.

While there are many reasons to do a daily review of history re-ports, the most important may be this: A history report provides valuable data to help your operation provide the highest level of security possible for subscribers, which leads to long-term customers that increase the overall value of your company.

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