Marlin hooks customers

New program aids company’s expansion plan
Friday, October 1, 2004

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - As part of its national expansion, Marlin Central Monitoring has launched the first of two phases of a new program that enables dealers and their subscribers to remotely manage their accounts.

Marlin’s new software platform is branded ATOM, which is short for Automatic Transaction Online Manager. Using the Internet, ATOM is designed to give alarm dealers round-the-clock access to customer accounts. Marlin provides the service free to dealers, and dealers can extend the service to their customers for free either as an added value benefit or charge a monthly fee.

In the first phase of the program, dealers can view account activity, keeping tabs on how many accounts are online, which customer most recently triggered an alarm and who missed a timer test.

“Now dealers can be proactive rather than reactive,” said Barry Brannon, president of the company. By the end of the year, the program will be completely interactive, enabling dealers to remotely change information within a customer’s account, such as emergency contact lists.

One of the benefits of the program according to Brannon is customers can generate logs of entry and exit. Business owners can use the system to record when employees arrive at work or home-owners can verify entry of children from school.

ATOM is among a number of accomplishments Marlin has achieved since Brannon was installed as the wholesale monitoring company’s top executive in March. Brannon joined the company with a plan to service accounts throughout the United States by 2005.

Some of the areas where he has focused his attention has been to get licenses in the states where the company previously was not licensed and then start to promote the company in those regions. When he started at the company, it did business just in the Southeast.

“The key is you have to market to get dealers,” said Brannon. “Once you have the dealers you can get the accounts.” But to support the dealers in the best way, he explained, you have to offer the latest technology to help assist and ease account maintenance.

This fall, the company expects to expand into Illinois, Michigan and Utah. Brannon is working on receiving the proper credentials in all the approximate 23 states that require it and is now looking into the Northeast.

In March, the company handled approximately 5,600 accounts and as of mid-August it now handles 7,200. With the increase of individual accounts, so has its dealer base - climbing from 52 dealers to 94 dealers as of mid-August.

According to Brannon, the company’s recurring monthly revenue has grown 22 percent in the seven and one-half months since he started working there.