Reinventing Security Central Stations

Collecting, analyzing and distributing Big Data is the next central station revolution.

The history of the alarm industry goes hand-in-hand with the evolution of communications technology. Beginning with hardwired central stations, and then shifting to the digital revolution, the alarm industry once again finds itself in flux. This time, we are seeing the transition to IP communications. This technology is an industry focus for panel communications, and is enabling related introduction of services. While not a deception, the importance of IP communications extends beyond signal transmission.

IP is the beginning of the next generation central station. The changes affect inbound and outbound voice and the quality and quantity of data received. According to an IMS study, 85% of alarm communications are still based on signaling over POTS (plain old telephone service) lines. The change to IP will take a decade. Fortunately, the roadmap to IP and related technologies can be observed in information technology (IT) services provided today. The “cloud” has become the enabling structure to drive technology in other industries, and will certainly be the driving force in the new central station.

Cloud Central – Meeting Demands Today
The cost of deploying a complex technology stack is high and requires substantial ongoing maintenance. It takes professional management, many components, and expensive, ongoing communications. The barriers to entry are high. Unless you have a subscriber base of hundreds of thousands of accounts, most central stations cannot invest in the operating structure and staff.

The cloud is the answer to affordability as it can transform the cost structure of the central station. The industry has fought for the right to deliver service and it must now reinvent the cost structure to allow for new services. Service delivery is the true revolution. Like in the analog-digital revolution of the 1980s, the start was a change in technology. The cloud is the new technology that will drive a new generation of services.

The new “cloud central” changes the architecture of the central station to support delivery for a new generation of services. While some of those services have yet to arrive, central stations should seriously consider making this change because the cloud reduces the cost structure for all existing alarm services.

Cloud technology changes the fundamental central station physicality. Welcome to a virtual world. Kiss the world of hardware goodbye. The old methods of central station operations are expensive. The move to the cloud is cheaper and better – today. It also secures the business by preparing for delivery of new services.

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