Alarm Monitoring Center relocates

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Monday, May 1, 2006

MAULDIN, S.C.--Alarm Monitoring Center has nearly quadrupled in size from the 8,000 accounts the company served when general manager Keith Armstrong entered the organization in 1998. Now, through organic growth, more than 28,000 accounts are monitored by AMC, and the central found itself with little room for growth at its Greer, S.C., operation in 2005. A move to a larger facility was the next logical step.
A vacant warehouse offered the space and flexibility the central wanted for a new location. Construction began last June and the central moved in on March 15.
The toughest part of moving to the new location was not tailoring it to the central's needs or the construction, but rather planning the move itself.
Armstrong said, "We managed that process by keeping both locations open." The central moved 105 lines one at a time by working with the local telephone company, which took more than 16 hours.
"We had service at both locations. They swung a phone number from the old location to the new location. It did help that we moved to [DSC's] Surgard System III."
Manufacturer technicians from DSC and DICE were onsite to help with the configuration.
"When you have multiple types of receivers going to a single receiver there are always little issues with accounts," Armstrong said. "They were available to help with programming and made sure those little issues were taken care of. "
The facility now boasts 9,000 square feet of floor space, housing administration and the central station.
For its 150-dealer network, which spans across the United States with a focus east of Mississippi, the move offers added services. The receiver upgrade and Avaya phone switch technology will help dealers troubleshoot communications problems with panels, Armstrong said.
"The new facility fits our needs with the primary interest being in the dispatch center," noted Armstrong, and the central is investigating additional services such as GPS and access control monitoring. With a video display system throughout the entire building, staff can check the status of phone systems, alarms and receivers from just about any room in the building, he added.
With ample room, AMC added a conference room and a training room, which can also serve as a secondary dispatch room. "We put raised floors throughout the building, and wired it for a number of computers. Our central station is currently set for 10 workstations and can grow to 32 stations without doing anything," he said. "We have come up with a workable facility that will allow us to grow into the future and add services, we only used half of the building that was available to us. We have enough room to double the central station."