NMC’s Proactive Video Monitoring Earns It Inaugural Marvel Award
NMC has been among the first to use video technology to tie video verification to an alarm in an intrusion/reaction model that records criminal activity.
Security technology is moving at a faster pace than ever before and with that comes both challenges and tremendous opportunity. Monitored services and associated recurring revenue drives much of this technological shift.
Central stations that explore and effectively execute on new technologies are not only setting themselves up for greater success and growth, but also delivering superior security, safety, operational and convenience solutions to their customers.
Leading the charge on this front is Lake Forest, Calif.-based National Monitoring Center (NMC). The wholesale third-party central station had been among the first to use video technology to tie video verification to an alarm in an intrusion/reaction model that records criminal activity.
This year, NMC became the first entity to offer proactive video monitoring, which is distinguished by a vast video analytics program that filters out nonsuspicious activity to identify true threatening events and alert accordingly.
That undertaking allowed NMC to establish another first — becoming the first central station to win the inaugural TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology Marvel Award. The company accepted the honor from representatives of award co-founders The Monitoring Association and Security Sales & Integration at the recent Electronic Security Expo (ESX) in Nashville, Tenn.
“This kind of service is impressive and raises the bar for new video monitoring capabilities. This is where the industry is going next in our goal to protect life and property, and NMC is leading the way,” says TMA Technology Committee Co-Chair Steve Butkovich, CTO of CPI Security Systems. “Technology is consistently mentioned as one of the most important challenges our industry faces. We are pleased to team up with SSI to spotlight innovators in our industry.”
Following two years of development, The Marvel program was unveiled in late 2017 with the stated objective to provide recognition for monitoring centers creating and/or using cutting-edge technology, and to raise awareness of these new technologies. NMC was chosen for demonstrating the “best adoption of new technology to advance your business” in the category of Best Implementation of Video Monitoring.
Other categories included PERS monitoring; contact center technology; cybersecurity; new business model; Cloud technology; and an open miscellaneous option.
Learn more about NMC and its technology-driven outlook, and stay tuned for a look at Marvel runners-up COPS Monitoring and Ackerman Security Systems later this week.
4 DECADES’ EXPERIENCE
Starting out as a family business founded by Jerry Schubert 40 years ago, what is now NMC has risen to become one of the nation’s leading third-party monitoring companies. The company’s growth the past 13 years has taken it from owning and operating one 10,000-square-foot facility to the development of two fully redundant, leading-edge command centers in California and Texas — all the while adding thousands of new accounts supported by 500 NMC associates.
“Today, it’s all about connected products and making the best use of the IoT. We see the top growth coming from those residential customers where the dealer has figured that piece out,” says NMC President Woodie Andrawos. “Technology, smart devices and connected products are the drivers behind the growth. In commercial, it’s all about video. That trend is on the rise and not going away.”
NMC’s professional staff of engineers, security experts and communications specialists is well respected throughout the industry, and many of its customer service representatives have been with the business for more than a decade. In addition to providing a wide swath of quality monitoring services to both security dealers and end users, NMC understands the sales, service and support independent alarm company customers require.
“We attract high-quality personnel by providing the detailed training and support needed for success. We place a tremendous amount of emphasis on both recruiting and training because this is what differentiates NMC,” says Andrawos. “All of our personnel go through an extensive training process comprised of levels of achievement in all areas of service and technology. Areas of weakness are identified and improved to meet our exacting standards.”
To find out more about NMC, see the company listing in this issue’s Wholesale Monitoring Directory.
PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER
Earlier this year, NMC substantially extended its resources and footprint in a deal that merged its operations with three other monitoring companies. The reorganization included an infusion of private equity funding and placed NMC, CalAtlantic and Ireland’s Netwatch and the U.K.’s Onwatch Multifire under the new Netwatch Group umbrella.
Leveraging the NMC brand and its dealer partners, the business will focus on proactive visual monitoring by bringing Netwatch’s 15 years of visual prevention innovation to thousands of U.S. end users.
The new group is monitoring hundreds of thousands of sites in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Middle East and Africa in a wide variety of segments including government, transportation, critical infrastructure, manufacturing, education, stadiums, finance, retail and residential.
Andrawos is continuing on in his NMC president role while CEO and Co-founder Michael Schubert has retired after nearly four decades in the security industry.
Aside from the new proactive video offering, NMC’s array of other monitoring services will carry forth as before.“We see change as good,” states Andrawos. “Change brings opportunities, and opportunities embraced turn into revenue. We are passionate about helping our dealers evolve, and they us. We provide every possible path of transmission. We host educational webinars. Engagement in change enables us to evolve with our partners.”
VIDEO BECOMES VITAL
Winning the Marvel Award is not the first instance in which NMC has shown itself to be on top of industry trends and an advocate of forward-thinking technologies.
“As a company, we are always also looking to bring additional revenue-generating services and offerings to our dealers,” says Andrawos. “The market for services is driven by the solidity and reliability of the technology. Demand from the dealers and their subscribers are also a driver. We do not wait for trends to come to us, we dive deeply into the industry, analyzing the market and tech trends, and where they will converge so we are not just ‘on trend’ but ahead of trends.”
Nowhere has that been truer for NMC than in the area of video monitoring and related services. For instance, the firm was an early adopter of the Videofied video verification product that generated a clip in an intrusion/reaction model that records perpetrator actions. NMC expanded upon the concept with I-View Now and Sureview integration platforms.
“At its inception, NMC identified video verification as critical to the industry’s future,” adds Andrawos. “As it has continued to evolve, it has proven to be increasingly and exponentially valuable in managing alarms and reducing the incidence of false dispatches. As awareness of this technology grows, so does its demand.”
Everyone in the alarm industry knows what a major issue false alarms and false dispatches are, and therefore the criticality of implementing effective alarm management techniques, practices and technologies. Applying video verification and monitoring can significantly help increase situational awareness.
That enables central stations like NMC to swiftly enact the appropriate protocols, eliminate false alarms and increase productivity. The video piece has helped NMC leverage technology to stop crime before it occurs, as well as aid in the apprehension of criminals.
For example, two-way voice and video verification proved its value during a break-in at a Cellular & More location (dealer partner Comtronics’ customer) in Lansing, Mich. Police were able to be informed of the suspect’s description and fluid information regarding the burglary as it was unfolding.
In another incident, NMC’s implemented technologies helped in the identification and apprehension of a murder suspect. That case remains pending.
PROACTIVITY PUT INTO PRACTICE
Those above examples are the kind of dramatic impact video monitoring can deliver in protection, prevention and apprehension. Proactive video services are the next natural progression.
“We have taken the next step in video monitoring, partnering with Netwatch to be the first and only to offer proactive video monitoring,” says Andrawos. “In this model, the system is tied to an expansive analytics program that sifts through nonsuspicious activity and identifies threatening ones. Once identified, a live feed is sent to the intervention specialists, who then respond with personalized audio warnings in a proactive life-safety/crime prevention model.”
Proactive video monitoring uses sophisticated behavioral analytics to enable the detection of motion, heat and other activities from perimeter surveillance system cameras to identify real alarms. Once a real threat is confirmed, highly trained intervention specialists can often warn off perpetrators before a crime ever occurs.
This has proven very successful in stopping acts from vandalism to loitering to actual burglaries and robberies. This service also gives first responders a sense of security because the intervention specialist is remotely monitoring the location of a crime before they arrive and while they are approaching a dangerous situation, providing real-time information.
This means additional security and protection for first responders to ensure their safety while they investigate the crime or other situation as it unfolds.
“Proactive video monitoring is the future,” asserts Andrawos. “Today, in many cases dealers sell more cameras than alarm systems. Profit margins are much healthier in the commercial space, where it is not a race to the bottom from a dealer’s perspective. This proliferation of cameras creates the need to connect them with a monitoring center, and can serve as a replacement or force multiplier for manned guards.”
WHY DEALERS DIG THEM
One of the factors that has helped NMC build such a loyal dealer base through the years has been the exclusive education, training, sales and marketing support it provides them. That is being carried over to the latest technology with the monitoring center’s new Proactive Video Monitoring Dealer Program, offering sales assistance to sell initial accounts.
“We consider ourselves true dealer partners,” says Andrawos. “We respect their brand. We invest in technologies and in them through our expansive dealer services. We are never content to rest on current success but strive to better ourselves to the utmost advantage of the dealer so they can confidently offer sophisticated solutions and think ‘outside the box’.”
In those ways, NMC is a secret weapon of sorts that can give dealers a distinct advantage on the competitive battlefield. And its video powers are befitting the security industry’s newest Marvel superhero.
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