MAS to phase out B32 by end of 2006

Most users of platform to upgrade to newer software by then, company executive says
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Monday, November 1, 2004

IRVINE, Calif.- Monitoring Automation Systems announced at its 2004 Users Conference in September that it will end new software development for its B32 monitoring platform by the end of 2006.

Company president Steve Keefer said he expects most, if not all, of its current B32 customers to have transitioned to the company’s newer monitoring software MASterMind by that time.

“We believe we have offered a transition path,” he said. “We assume all of our customers will move forward with us.”

Introduced in the early 1990s, B32 is Unix-based monitoring software that has been typically deployed by larger monitoring companies. Running on an IBM-based platform, it is a fully functional alarm system that is typically deployed with RS/6000 computers.

According to Keefer, nearly 45 sites now use the B32 product, monitoring in the area of  seven million accounts. One of the biggest users is ADT, which has already shifted a large number of its accounts to the MASterMind product.

Keefer said the company signs up between 35 and 40 central stations per year for the newer system.

MASterMind, unlike B32, is a Windows- and Intel-based product that was first introduced about seven years ago. Approximately 175 sites internationally use the platform to monitor about six million accounts, of those locations 130 are domestic and handle three million accounts.

The benefit of the newer product is “it gives us much greater capability,” said Keefer. “It’s that you can do much more with the environment.”

Whereas B32 is simply used for monitoring applications, MASterMind is available in two versions, one for monitoring and the other for organizing and handling various functions such as account entry and related maintenance.

The amount of time it takes to convert from B32 to MASterMind varies from three to nine months, according to Keefer. It depends on the size of the company and what the timeframe is to transition completely.

B32 is only available in the English language and MASterMind supports multiple languages including French, Korean and Spanish. MASterMind also offers a number of features that B32 does not such as GPS, web and video applications.

Keefer stressed the decision to focus on MASterMind does not mean the company will turn its back on those B32 users that do not make the switch by early 2007. MAS will provide emergency support but no additional software modules will be introduced.

“Reality is you have to move forward with products and that’s what happened,” he said.