Rapid Response converts to SGS' stages

Partnership will 'revolutionize third-party monitoring'
Thursday, September 10, 2009

VERONA, N.Y.—Jeff Atkins, president of Syracuse-based third-party monitoring company Rapid Response, on Aug. 31 announced Rapid would be migrating from their own proprietary platform to the stages central station platform from Irvine, Calif.-based Secure Global Solutions.

Rapid chairman and CEO Russ MacDonnell explained that the transition of Rapid’s 400,000 accounts to stages, which began in January of 2009 and is expected to be complete sometime in early 2010, was an investment in Rapid’s future. “If you’re going to be in this business you need to scale to be efficient and competitive in the marketplace today,” MacDonnell said. “If you can get a software program that makes you more efficient and allows you to be competitive in the marketplace, price-wise, and it frees your programmers to develop new products and services that differentiate Rapid dealers from everyone else in the marketplace, it’s a one-two bang for the buck.”

Rapid president Jeff Atkins said it was Rapid’s extreme focus on the implementation of stages that accounted for its absence at industry trade shows like ISC west in 2009.

SGS VP Hank Goldberg said stages would simplify operations for Rapid operators, freeing them from the bondage of extensive software training and allowing them to concentrate on customer service. “A huge driver for this is the dispatch wizard that we have. We have a process that just makes everything easier to run,” Goldberg said.

SGS VP Thom Meyer agreed, pointing out the process is tailored ahead of time to individual dealers’ needs. “It doesn’t rely on folklore anymore. It doesn’t rely on if/then interpretation of block text. You click a button and it takes you down a path, and it collects information along the way, and it dials the phone and it dispatches, and it does all of these things in a fashion that is dependent on the step you took before,” Meyer said. “It’s all been decided at the time policies and procedures were set up by the Rapid central station for the dealer.”

Atkins stressed the Rapid/SGS partnership would be a winning combination on many different levels, and promised industry-changing results. “You look at all the systems in the industry and all of them have pluses and minuses but many, many, many of them are incredibly cumbersome,” Atkins said. “Because they’re cumbersome, someone can make a mistake. Because they’re cumbersome, someone can get stressed out so you have a lot of turnover. The easier you make that process, the more easily the average human being sitting there can efficiently respond in a calm manner to an emergency, and the better you deliver your service … The synergy of Rapid Response and stages is going to revolutionize third party monitoring.”