Metrodial to go live with trio of mobile apps

The central station is the first adopter of SmartTek’s trio of personal protection apps, which includes an app-based mPERS service
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—With several different mobile PERS models gaining traction in the monitoring space, it’s not yet clear what type of device and what combination of features will be the winner in the marketplace.

Metrodial Corp., a wholesale central station based here, is taking the no-hardware, app-based route. The company is slated to be the first central station to go live with some new services from Boca Raton, Fla.-based SmartTek Systems, an app and virtual services company founded in 2013. The company launched its first monitoring apps last week at ESX.

Andy Lowitt, vice president of dealer relations at Metrodial, said the company has monitored traditional PERS units for some time, but this is its first venture into mPERS. The app-based approach to mPERS, Lowitt says, affords the company and its dealers several key advantages.

“Clearly it minimizes any other additional equipment that’s needed,” he said. “It’s simply an app for a smartphone, and the younger generation is gravitating in that direction.”

Lowitt added that Metrodial’s adoption of the services represents a deliberate movement away from marketing strategies of traditional PERS units. “We don’t see this as an elderly PERS type service,” he said. “We see this as a more mainstream service for the entire family.”

Metrodial will go live “in two to four weeks” with a pair of SmartTek’s new services: the SmartAlert, a panic, safety and mobile PERS system, and the SmartGuard, a suite of tracking and monitoring protocols. Later in 2014, the company plans to roll out SmartTrack, a fleet-tracking and mobile productivity solution for small businesses, Lowitt said.

Targeting a broader market, Lowitt said, also allows dealers to extend the life of accounts, something constantly on the minds of PERS providers. “We feel that the longevity of the clients will be there, which increases the value of both the alarm company of the dealer and the monitoring center.”

Mark Fischer, technical consultant at SmartTek Systems, said its services are “designed by central station people for central station people.” The company was co-founded by Bud Wulforst, former president of CSAA, and Barry Schweiger, former president of Fire Burglary Instruments. The most recent trio of services, Fischer said, is designed to bring measurable benefits to central stations and dealers.

For central stations, Fischer said the offerings are “going to create a unique product that you can use as an attrition buster,” making the dealer base “more sticky.” On the dealer to end user side, the mPERS app makes it more difficult for subscribers to leave because they would be hard-pressed “to duplicate the service,” Fischer said.