Security Partners spends $320K to relocate and update central station

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, July 1, 2005

LANCASTER, Pa.--With a new initiative underway to recruit additional dealers, third-party monitoring firm Security Partners relocated and upgraded its central station.
Moving two blocks within Lancaster, the company signed a 10-year lease and invested approximately $325,000 in software and hardware improvements. These include a new phone switch, receivers and the latest upgrade to MAS' Mastermind platform.
Security Partners rolled out new services in conjunction with the move in February. Dealers can now offer customers not only a web interface that enables real-time data on accounts, but also electronic notifications that sends alerts via e-mail or text message. The latter can be programmed to send alerts on specific zones that are tripped.
Patrick Egan and Ron Bodnar founded the company in 1998. Security Partners monitors nearly 10,000 accounts and works with 18 dealers. Both men are still affiliated with the firm, however Egan primarily focuses on his installation business, Select Security, and Bodnar on his PERS equipment company, TeleAlarm.
Egan's daughter, Kerry, joined Security Partners as vice president of business development in April, an official management role after spending most of her life involved in the security industry.
Since her tenure began, Kerry travels the country to develop relationships with prospective new dealers for the central station. Geographically, she concentrates on the regions of the East Coast and the Midwest.
"I'm trying to target dealers rather than anyone coming on board," she said. "We're looking for dealers with 100 to 4,000 accounts."
The company planned the move for eight months and prepared for the actual relocation for 90 days, Kerry said. The new office occupies 10,000-square-feet, an increase of approximately 1,000-square-feet from the former facility. It received UL and FM approval and should handle 65,000 accounts without further upgrades.
Kerry said the company could hit the 65,000-account milestone as early as 2007.
Future upgrades include duel monitors at the central station operators' workstations. With two screens, operators can view video feeds on one terminal and continue to handle alarm signals at the same time.
Additionally, the company seeks to add voice response services. This automated application would enable dealers to call the central station to put alarms on and off testing. The service would offer an alternative to account management via the Internet and through a live operator.
Both should be implemented by the fourth quarter of this year, Kerry said.