AvantGuard to release Chat tool
OGDEN, Utah—This week AvantGuard Monitoring is soft launching its new AvantGuard Chat tool, which opens a communication path for the contacts on an alarm’s call list.
After an alarm is signaled, contacts on that account receive a text message with info on the alarm and a link that brings them to a web-based browser. Through this tool, all of the contacts to discuss the cause of the alarm, Justin Bailey, AvantGuard COO told Security Systems News.
“Also from within that web portal, you can request immediate dispatch by the authorities, or you can also notify the central station that it’s a false alarm,” he said. “This allows us to get notifications to available contacts more quickly than the traditional, serial-calling method does,” Bailey said.
Planning for this service was started in July 2016, Bailey said, and the Chat tool was developed in-house. The alpha test among users within AvantGuard went well, according to Bailey, and the company is now starting its beta test. The company anticipates a full launch at ISC West 2017, where it plans to demo the offering.
The Chat tool—which might be rebranded, Bailey noted—will be a free service for all of AvantGuard’s dealers. “It’s a no-cost opportunity. [Dealers] can decide if they want to monetize that, or whether it’s something they want to offer as just part of their service offering.”
While the Chat tool will initially be for traditional alarms, Bailey said that AvantGuard is also developing a usage for PERS alarms. The PERS functionality will likely be available in the second quarter of 2017, he said.
“We live in an age where most everybody keeps their cell phone with them at all times, and when a lot of us aren’t available to take a phone call in many parts of our day, this allows notifications and interaction to happen in a way that is a little more portable,” said Bailey.
“We’re not the first industry to do this,” Bailey noted. “It’s going to be a great offering for almost any dealer to be able to provide to their customer another way to communicate with the central station—that improves the response times significantly pretty much in any scenario.”
AvantGuard Chat has potential among both residential and commercial customers, Bailey said. Commercial accounts can have a longer call list, he noted, “I think it will improve the notification and response times on the commercial side more often, or more regularly, than it will on the residential [side].”
“I expect that it will have a positive impact on false dispatching because it opens up another communication channel to the subscribers and it also opens a communication path among the subscribers’ contacts, any of whom may be in the know on what’s going on in the facility,” Bailey said.