Graham Alarm adds Internet monitoring

Sunday, January 1, 2006

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario--Graham Alarm Monitoring has a unique service method. It doesn't have a sales force, usually gets dealers signed on through word of mouth and its small size makes those dealers flexible and able to adapt to customers' needs.
Its 230 dealers are spread throughout North America, although 85 percent of the firm's customer base is here near company headquarters in southern Ontario. Despite employing just 16, the third- party seeks ways to personalize its service. "If a problem comes up, you always get me, the owner," president Paul Graham said. He credits the firm's steady yearly growth to this approach.
So, after some of the monitoring firm's dealers inquired about Internet monitoring six months ago, November seemed to be the right time to upgrade. The central station added Internet monitoring, as well as a SurGard System III Receiver and voice logger from Nice Mirra II Digital Voice Logging System.
Prior to the upgraded system, the central was using a standalone system, which was 12 years old. With the former system, the team leader at the central had to physically go to the unit and listen to the recordings. Now the system is networked to the leader's desktop for convenient access, Graham said.
The upgraded receiver will enable the company to provide flexibility to dealers and the ability to receive alarm signals quicker and more efficiently. The changes will increase growth potential, Graham added.
The Internet monitoring addition comes at a time when consumers are moving away from traditional phone lines and going with a VoIP system.
Industry analyst Lou Fiore said that if broadband is already available, you are able to supervise the line. "Internet monitoring is always available, it gives you a message of line security," Fiore said.
This benefit makes sense for the customer who does not have a landline phone and uses VoIP: "We felt it is time to offer Internet monitoring," Graham said.
People are embracing this technology, Fiore added.
"Twenty-six million legacy systems are out there, since the trend is toward VoIP, the industry is working to overcome those issues as new systems are added. That's the way to go. I'm not sure how long legacy systems will be around. If we spoke 10 years from now a vast majority of systems will be IP. That's where things are going," he said.