Central gets slick

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

BROOKLYN, N.Y.--Affiliated Central will roll out GE Security's latest edition of MASterMind as an upgrade to the central station for its 1,000 dealers sprinkled throughout the country. The central is currently underway with the project and will be finished by February 2006.
Affiliated Central had been using the MASterMind program for 11 years. Dealers wanted to have more control of signal dispatch that could not be completed with the current system. For example, dealers asked that single alarms from front doors be ignored, but that police be dispatched when there's a two-signal notification from an alarm and motion detector, said Harvey Cohen, general manager at Affiliated Central. This new edition of the software will cater to those accounts, which are 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial.
With the earlier edition, it was difficult to create parameters and there was no way to leave instructions for each dispatcher. Now, "the system is more compatible to requests," Cohen said.
Unlike some monitoring companies, Affiliated Central's dispatchers focus only on alarm signals.
"The software handles signals based on a number of signals. For example, two signals received allows us to act. And in the past the system responded to every signal," said Carmelo Mosca, operations manager at the monitoring firm.
The software upgrade preceeds an expansion for the central. There is unused space in the central station's current location that it plans to occupy in the next few years, said Mike Zydor, head of dealer relations and sales and marketing.
Another change to the software edition is it offers an unlimited number of telephone contacts on customer accounts. The previous system only enabled five possible numbers. "Now you can leave five to seven phone numbers," Cohen said.