Centra-Larm adds video monitoring to suite of services
MANCHESTER, N.H. - After several years of sometimes difficult research, Centra-Larm Monitoring here is ready to launch its video monitoring service this month.
As the company looked at various technologies for video monitoring, one of the most sought-after products was something that would Ã¢â‚¬Å“work and stay working, and be trainable,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Kevin Helmig, Centra-LarmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s senior vice president.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a video division with 10 different types of video. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inefficient and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not fair to set up an operator to fail in that respect,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“As much as we want to be on the cutting edge, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also important that our operators can do the job properly.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Centra-Larm finally settled on the eyesite ES 140 from Motion-Media.
When it came to researching pricing for video monitoring services, the company ran into a lot of obstacles (See related story on page 35), according to Amanda Helmig, director of sales and marketing for Centra-Larm.
Eventually, the company decided to base its pricing on a Ã¢â‚¬Å“cell-likeÃ¢â‚¬Â per-minute charges for both the event monitoring and guard tour services it plans to provide, said Kevin Helmig.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A lot of people that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen out there are charging by the guard tour, but most systems bill by the minute. So how do you pull that off? How long is a tour?Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just standardize. If you base your price for a tour on three minutes and the average tour is taking you five to 10, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in the hole from the get-go.Ã¢â‚¬Â
For the event monitoring service, Centra-Larm will offer customers a certain number of minutes per month. Once that number is exceeded, it will charge per-minute charges. For the guard tour, pricing will be based on a connectivity fee plus per-minute, per-tour fees.
Because the ES 140 doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to be connected to an alarm panel to function, Centra-Larm doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t plan to limit this service to its dealers and their customers, but to anyone who wants video monitoring.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s developing separate and apart from the central station side of things,Ã¢â‚¬Â Kevin Helmig said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If they marry together, they marry together. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really a separate upstart.Ã¢â‚¬Â