Vigilante finds success by embracing new technology

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Monday, November 1, 2004

LATHRUP VILLAGE, Mich.- As the first alarm company in Michigan to offer Internet monitoring to its customers, Vigilante Security is garnering a lot of attention.

The 25-year-old, family-run business has been appearing in a variety of local news outlets and as a result, consumer interest in the new offering is growing.

But this is not the first time the company has ventured into unchartered technology territory. When long-range radio was beta tested roughly 18 years ago, the company took part in the trials.

“Our company and the goals of this company have been to provide the newest and most innovative technology,” said Ron Ross, president of the company.

Internet monitoring is creating a stir in the residential sector, with numerous companies across the country beginning to add this feature. Ross attributes this to the high number of residential customers who are bypassing telephone landlines and installing broadband systems. According to a recent report by Research and Markets, 150 million households are expected to have broadband technology installed by 2005.

“We are finding a lot more homeowners are not putting in traditional phone lines,” he said. “We want to provide security to those who don’t have phone lines.”

Even those homeowners who have traded home phones for cell phone or digital coverage may not be educated in the benefits of Internet monitoring, according to Ross. He said educating the consumer on what is available is one of the largest challenges he faces.

“We have to educate because it is such a new technology that consumers are not aware that it is available,” he said.

Once they are aware, Ross said customers in the residential market have shown increased interest in having the technology, which he feels provides more security though its constant contact with a monitoring center and its full encryption of the network. But the security does come at an extra price- installed, the alarm systems’ price increases roughly $200 to $300 and monthly monitoring charges rise 25 percent.

Ross continues to track advances in technology to be able to offer Vigilante’s customers up-to-date advances. But for now he sees the market for IP-based alarms growing in not just the residential sector, but commercial and industrial as well.

“With Internet monitoring, who knows what the future is going to hold,” Ross said. “There are a lot of things out there in the research and development stage that will change our industry further.”