Firm promotes new products to dealers

CenterPoint Technologies finds benefits in IP-based applications
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Wednesday, June 1, 2005

St. Louis--CenterPoint Technologies adapted to the ever, increasing availability of voice over Internet protocol services by incorporating IP-based equipment at its central station and promoting the cost saving benefits to its dealers.
With dependence on landline phones decreasing and being replaced with cellular phones and VoIP applications, security dealers and central stations have had to adjust to the market as quickly as the technology has evolved.
Subscribers to residential VoIP services will increase from 3 million in 2005 to 27 million by 2009, according to IDC, a Framingham, Mass.-based research firm. At present, there are approximately 95 million landline users.
"The way we think about it is not primary line replacement," said William Stofega, research manager of VoIP services at the IDC, on how early users have layered telephone service with VoIP rather than replaced landlines altogether. "As things shift towards IP, things will start to change."
For CenterPoint, broadband adoption created an opportunity to connect with its dealers and promote a cheaper alternative than traditional phone lines.
"Hey, if you chose to, you have the option to go IP," said Chris Burnes, vice president of sales at CenterPoint, which has been operating for six years. "Phone company charges are the bane of the alarm dealer."
For dealers that focus on commercial accounts, IP-based monitoring is an option that will not only save them money, but also provide a better service.
If a customer chooses to switch, a dealer can eliminate two dedicated phone lines at a commercial installation, an Underwriters Laboratories requirement, with one broadband line, Burnes pointed out. UL requires a primary phone line and a back up.
Additionally, with IP-based monitoring the central station's receivers are testing for an active signal every six seconds, versus once a day in commercial environments and once a month in residential settings.
An added bonus, according to Burnes, is that two-way programming is faster with IP, with the standard way taking up to 40 seconds and the new way no more than two seconds.
With receivers at the central station constantly looking for an active connection, the central station will be aware at once if the company's network is down. IT administrators can be notified once the network fails or is compromised.
Based here, CenterPoint Technologies monitors 11,500 accounts and works with approximately 12 dealers.