Vigilance is up and running

New emergency notification system developer looking to broaden footprint
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Monday, June 22, 2015

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine—Vigilance, a relatively new player in the ENS market based here, already has a Northeast presence with hopes of greatly expanding its footprint.

“Our intent is to be nationwide by the end of this year,” Vigilance CEO Jason Roberts told Security Systems News.

Vigilance started offering its software-based system in March. Development first started one year prior, with the idea of creating a cost-effective and easily installed alternative to traditional panic buttons, Roberts said.

Vigilance is installed through a download, which eliminates the extensive and costly installations of many traditional MNS solutions, Roberts said. Instead of installing panic buttons in each desired room, Vigilance puts a toolbar of icons on the desktops of computers in the building, each with a different meaning and function.

“How we're different is we leverage [customers’] existing infrastructure … [through] their local area network,” Roberts said. Vigilance incorporates a building’s existing security systems—access control, fire, etc.—into its system through a network relay attached to the server.

Intermed, a Southern Maine-based health care organization, was one of the companies to beta-test the system, Roberts said. Intermed is now looking for a full installation across its five facilities, integrating 750 desktops into Vigilance, according to Roberts.

“The integration of our security system with the Vigilance program was one of the things that was a draw for us,” Matthew Cook, operations manager for Intermed told SSN. “Through the software … we can build protocols that either, in an emergency situation, we can notify a certain group in a certain area or lock down a certain space if it was warranted.”

Roberts said that Vigilance is very scalable, capable of supporting up to 2,000.

The number and type of icons are customizable, he said. Vigilance can have icons for a variety of purposes including security, medical, weather or traffic or other specific to the user’s needs. This helps Vigilance stand out from other emergency notification systems that only send one signal.

After clicking an icon, a message is sent out to computers of designated people, the central station or the local police station. Users can also use the keyboard to add additional information, such as describing an active shooter or explaining a medical emergency.

“It [is] a way to communicate quickly and effectively to our entire organizations or groups of our organization.” Direct communication between different employees was previously done in various ways—this system provides one path for mass communications, Cook said.

The system is currently installed in four campuses. Schools are a key market, along with applications in health care facilities— like Intermed—and office buildings, Roberts said.

The end user manages Vigilance through a web-based portal. Administrators can perform actions like attaching protocols or actions to icons or determine who receives specific alerts.

“One click of the mouse and the building’s locked down, and it can be unlocked just as easily,” said Brad Norris, CEO of Norris, told SSN. Norris is a South Portland-based systems integrator and authorized dealer of Vigilance's solution.

A theme running throughout the system is knowledge of connectivity. The desktop taskbar lets users know when it’s connected to the server. The web portal tells administrators who is, or is not, connected, and when they were last connected. Users can get an optional verification card, letting them know it was processed by the system.

“What we’re most proud of is the fact that many of the features that we’ve brought into the product have been requested by our customers,” Roberts said.

Cook also said he likes how frequently Vigilance is adding features to the program.

Roberts previously worked for 13 years in the integrator side of the industry with Norris.