Tech Talk: What IP Signals for Your Business

How do you see the U.S. IP security market progression compared to Australia and Europe?

Nutt: Europe is by far the most advanced market for IP monitoring as it is driven by the police and insurance companies. EU standards were available at a very early stage, so everybody knows where they stand. It is not like the U.S. where there is a free and open market. If a consumer wants insurance, they require a police response.

There is no real IP monitoring market in Australia yet. There has been a healthy high-end market for cellular GPRS-based solutions. The government has just announced rollout of a National Broadband Network that will involve ripping out every landline in the country.

The North American security industry was just getting interested in IP communications before the recession hit. The interest went away for a full 18 months before the early adopters slowly started to appear after the announcement of the POTS and 2G sunsets in early 2010.

Please provide any other comments or any other IP strategies that you believe are relevant to today’s tech coming up to speed on IP connectivity?

Nutt: Learn as much as possible about how the Internet works and how IP devices communicate with a server. Consider what features you may lose when you migrate from POTS to IP and search out solutions that support your most important requirements.

There are now cloud-based alarm platforms available that receive alarm signals over IP from a wide range of panels and forward the signals directly into the automation software at the central station. There will be strong resistance to this strategy at first, but as central stations realize how difficult it can be to maintain IP receivers and provide the associated redundancy, it should eventually become the norm.

In finalizing, what do you see as the major IP monitoring issues facing alarm dealers, central stations and vendors? It appears that influencing general marketing forces are already way ahead of the established small dealer.

Nutt: The major issue for both alarm dealers and central stations is that the majority of IP solutions are vendor specific. For example, DSC IP receivers only support DSC alarm panels; DMP receivers only support DMP panels and so on. The problem for the alarm dealers is that if they choose to use proprieta
ry solutions, they have to learn to work with a new one for every make of panel they have installed. The problem for central stations is they have to purchase redundant IP receivers for each and every solution they want to support. Obviously, the way to overcome this is to use a single universal solution that supports every make of alarm panel.

Bob Dolph has served in various technical management and advisory positions in the security industry for 30+ years. To share tips and installation questions, E-mail Bob at Check out his Tech Shack blog.

About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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