UMS adds new tech

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Careful not to jump on any technology bandwagons, United Monitoring Services spent more than a year researching and planning the company’s recent upgrade to Digital Security Controls’ Sur-Gard System III receiver.

Beginning last October, United Monitoring Services began installing the new hardware, which has replaced eight older receivers and enabled the company to remove old telephones for the more efficient T1 lines.

“Space in a central is always a premium,” said Chuck Granberry, executive vice president at the company. “We can grow with an infinite number of dealers without adding anymore hardware and phones.”

Introduced in early 2003, the Sur-Gard III receiver has 24 card slots that can handle both signals from telephone lines and the Internet. Approximately 100 stations worldwide have installed the device to receive calls from alarm panels, according to Sascha Kylau, global product manager for receivers and IP communications at DSC, the company that manufactures the product.

“The big benefit is the automatic redundancy,” said Kylau, a requirement for UL listing. “We have a central processor and if that fails we have a back-up.”

United Monitoring Services’ server upgrade project is slated for completion by the end of the summer.

The company monitors 18,000 accounts and works with 50 dealers. Based here, the company started monitoring accounts eight years ago and is focused on the southeast United States.

The Sur-Gard III is just one of many projects the company has worked on. Having switched to Dice’s central station platform from Aegis two years ago, the firm recently added disaster recovery services from Dice as well.

Granberry said discussions are now underway if the central station should add remote video monitoring applications. Just like with the company’s approach to the receiver upgrade, remote monitoring will also have to be necessary before any capital is committed.

“We want to make sure the return justifies the investment,” said Granberry.