AlarmSoft preps new central station operator alertness app

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.—Central station automation software developer, AlarmSoft, which in early 2009 released its newest automated alarm monitoring service Signal-Me, is ready to bring a new inward-looking diagnostic innovation to the central station: Operator Sleeping Detection.

According to AlarmSoft GM Chris Brackett, “We’ve got it almost done … If the process goes idle for a length of time—if X-number of seconds goes by without input—it’ll automatically reset and go back to the dispatch screen,” Brackett said. “With our original Operator Sleep Detection function from several years ago, you would program the thing on a random signal generator and it would randomly pop up a screen that says, ‘Operator Input … 30 seconds’ with a countdown. Now if a signal hits the screen and the operator doesn’t respond, we’ll send a signal to the central station manager, notifying them that the signal hasn’t been responded to.” Brackett says the system should help managers run their operations more efficiently as well as add another layer of security by assuring signals that need and deserve attention don’t languish, unnoticed.

Wally Reardon, owner of Leominster, Mass.-based Emergency Signal Systems, has used Signal-Me for years and likes the Operator Sleeping function. He claims his operators like it as well. “They got very used to it after a while. Something like checking auto tests every half hour, where you’ve got to hit the Enter key or whatever,” Reardon said. “In actuality, it’s a test function for me, the owner of the company. It tells me that in fact the computer is operating properly. In other words, they become used to hearing it, and if they don’t hear it, then they call me and say, ‘What’s up.’ … it’s a self diagnosis.”

Signal-Me works with AlarmSoft’s Central Works 2000 alarm automation software and its Wizard module to facilitate the automatic output of nearly any account information to any web enabled device, such as a laptop, mobile phone, blackberry or PDA.

In November 2009, AlarmSoft was selected as the winner of the 2009 Best of Business Award in the Alarm signal systems category by the Small Business Commerce Association. AlarmSoft general manager Chris Brackett said he was certain it was the development of Signal-Me that won his company the award. “We did a client audit recently and we’ve picked up 60 clients since coming out with Signal-Me a year ago,” Brackett said. “The selection committee from the SBCA chose winners from information on surveys and reviews of customer rankings. People have been talking about us.”