Company retools central

CPSS joins AIN Group, looks to start third-party monitoring next year
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Thursday, September 1, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla.--When Crime Prevention Security Systems' foray into third-party monitoring begins early next year, it will cap a one-year journey that included upgrading its central station.
The full-service systems integrator until now offered proprietary services for the 12,000 accounts it handles. That will change in early January, when installers throughout the Southeast begin to call on the company.
The company diversified its offerings as a result of membership to the Authorized Integrators Network. The AIN Group is comprised of a national syndicate of systems integrators that work in the residential and commercial sectors.
John Pastore, founder and president of the company, said he can only estimate how big the central station will grow through the year once he starts monitoring outside accounts. "I imagine two to four times what we're doing now."
Crime Prevention Security Systems is working on transferring its central station software to Monitoring Automation Systems' MASterMind product from a SIMS product. Additionally, the company is now working toward UL certification for fire alarms.
"We've been selected to do the monitoring for any companies that don't have their own central stations in the Southeast," said Roberta Diffey, general manager at the company, who was recruited to assist in the upgrades in June. Previously, she worked at USA Central Station.
Diffey expects the central station to start running MASterMind in parallel with the SIMS program this month. The project should be completed by October; around the same time she foresees UL approval.
Once UL approval is attained, the company will transfer in-house any fire accounts previously handled by wholesale monitoring companies.
CPSS entered the wholesale monitoring space in 1996, when it purchased Universal Security Monitoring. Founded in 1975, the company is focused on North Central Florida.
Working with the AIN Group will not prevent the company from venturing further into the third-party monitoring space, said Pastore. "We'll probably still monitor outside the AIN Group if the need arises."
Pastore said the company has invested in the central station since it was initially acquired; this includes hardware upgrades and relocating it to its current 7,500-square-foot space. However, the company has never undertaken a large software integration.
The new monitoring platform will bundle three processes, including accounting, customer billing and work orders.
"Once we're on the same system, things will be more efficient," said Diffey. "Anytime you're not entering things three times, you reduce errors."