Contract monitoring center opens in Pakistan

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Monday, November 1, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla.- A privately held company based in Orlando has built an 80,000-square-foot facility in Lahore, Pakistan that will provide security systems installation and monitoring throughout Pakistan. By the end of this year, the company will begin offering contract monitoring services in the United States.

The company is IT Development Solutions, which develops enterprise and security software, operates call and data centers, manufactures biometric security products and offers IT consulting services.

“We got into the security business because Pakistan and the United Emirates, between them, there were zero dealers,” said Pat Downs, founder and chief executive officer of the company.

Downs admits that the company is a “newcomer to the security business.” But, he added, contract monitoring in the United States is “apparently a very fragmented market and it’s something we look to take advantage of.”

The idea of setting up a call center outside the United States to save expense is not new, according to Joe Freeman, founder of J.P. Freeman Co., a research and consulting firm. But this approach for the alarm monitoring industry has yet to be tested.

“This is India redux,” commented Freeman. If this business model of remote monitoring services takes off, “it is possible they could go into other areas in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Bill Scott, vice president of business development at IT Development, highlighted that the area where the monitoring center is located in Pakistan is stable and home to many calls centers.

“We don’t anticipate a problem,” he said. The facility has its own security system that includes biometric access control and perimeter security applications.

Later this year, the company will begin offering contract monitoring services throughout the United States, initially targeting dealers with between 500 and 1,000 accounts.

“We plan on offering nationwide monitoring via the Internet,” said Scott. “We are also set-up for audio alarms and video alarm verification.”

Monthly monitoring services have been priced at between $2.25 and $3.50 for residential accounts and $3.95 and $4.95 for commercial accounts. Its facility can accommodate up to 2,200 operators at the same time.

With the ability to provide remote monitoring services anywhere in the world, the company decided to first focus on the United States due to the high-volume of installed security systems. But that does not mean it will not branch out in the coming months.

“The biggest place we’ll have an advantage in the world is in the U.S.,” said Downs.