Guest Post: Consumers Want Honeywell Total Connect

Alex Riehle by Alex Riehle | 02.04.2016

Alex Riehle is the Owner of Real Protection Service.

Since the inception of Real Protection Service, we have always focused on alarms.  For many years, it’s been about low cost or free installation just to get the account.  About five years ago, we started offering Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services. We found people were willing to pay more for a system that provided them with more. Interactivity was the way to make ourselves different and offer something that gave customers full control of their security systems from anywhere.  Most of my customers use Honeywell Total Connect to keep in touch with their property.  Once people try it, they want it and are willing to pay for it.

Honeywell Total Connect

Honeywell Total Connect keeps users in touch with their property and lets them easily control lighting and thermostats.

Offering Remote Control for Second Homes
One particular customer wanted a security system with home automation features installed at their cottage in Tobermory, Ontario.  A popular area for summer homes, Tobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Northern Ontario.

We installed a LYNX Touch 5200 security system and added Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services so our customer could keep an eye on the property remotely, especially in the winter when access to the home is difficult at best.  Once the installation was complete, our customer was able to check in at the property and receive notification alerts from a pc, smartphone or tablet when an event occurred at the premise. We also added Z-Wave enabled thermostats so they could adjust the temperature in the cottage when they are not there.

Unique Solution for Spotty Internet Service
This particular customer loves the security system and Honeywell Total Connect, but would lose connection with the IP cameras because the local Internet provider services would be intermittent. When this occurred, it would be necessary to power down the modem and power it back up to reset the Internet.  With the Internet and power outages it dawned on me, my customer could reset the Internet  with a Z-Wave appliance module!  With the Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 app, the customer can now power on/off their modem and get the Internet up and working again.  We are using the AlarmNet cell services to do this.  It works great!

Customers never say they will refer you; it just happens. With the Honeywell Total Connect app, the customer shows it to friends, family and neighbours and they think it’s cool and want it.  It’s not just another security system that everyone has and we are no longer fighting to get the job at the lowest price.

Guest Post: Shooter Detection for Utility Market

Christian Connors by Christian Connors | 02.02.2016

Christian Connors is the CEO of Shooter Detection Systems.

The April 16, 2013 attacks on the PG&E Metcalf substation almost took out power to Silicon Valley, forcing NERC and security professionals to accelerate efforts to address the possibility of a sniper attack that could result in crippling power loss to our nation. As a part of the team that brought Raytheon BBN Technologies’ Boomerang outdoor and Warrior-X wearable gunshot detection systems to some of the world’s most challenging military environments, we understood the immediate need for technology to address attacks such as this and the increasing public Active Shooter problem. Our team of researchers and experts in acoustic gunshot detection capabilities looked at improving Boomerang for the utility environment and applying that technology indoors.

Boomerang uses acoustic detection and computer-based signal processing to pinpoint small arms fire and immediately report the precise shooter location to authorities. The system can be mounted on vehicles, fixed structures such as poles and walls, embedded on helicopters, or simply sit on a serviceman’s shoulder.

Shooter DetectionBuilt for Power Grid Asset Protection
The development of Boomerang began in the early 1990s as a feasibility study about using acoustic methods to locate snipers. In the early 2000s, the first production system was developed for use on military vehicles. When looking to protect critical infrastructure such as utility substations, the traditional system was not a perfect fit, since it was still a mobile application even in a fixed environment. To develop a system for the utility market, we also had to consider the CIP requirements.

Boomerang Spectrum was created to address these requirements as well as acclimate to a different set of challenging settings – HV transformers and switching yards. Our goal was that performance would not falter, which in the business of gunshot detection means zero false alerts. We made adaptations to firmware and software and adjusted detection algorithms to adapt them to the unique environment of this industry, such as switching events. In the commercial market, we needed to be able to “plug in” to a multitude of security platforms to allow the customer to effortlessly incorporate our solution. The result? A simplified Boomerang System Integration Kit (SIK) for ease of integration and use. Finally, we were able to scale for small substation yards or large power stations, across multiple sites. The sensors now feed into one “Gateway” system at the site and is then networked to the Security Operations Center.

As a result of these improvements, Boomerang Spectrum is now protecting major utility substations nationwide from gunfire attack. The system is fully integrated with Honeywell’s Pro-Watch and Vindicator Perimeter Detection System. This is a scalable solution to meet differing substation requirements and provide accurate threat detection, assessment and response with few false alarms.

With the increasing public Active Shooter problem and the new requirements for the utility market, it is clear that there is an immediate need for this technology. What are you doing to help address these concerns in your part of the world?

Guest Post: Caught on Camera-the Power of VAV

Nicola Oakie by Nicola Oakie | 01.26.2016

Nicola Oakie is the general manager at American Video and Security.

A young male drug addict stealing prescriptions.

Video Alarm Verification can give law enforcement vital information to apprehend criminals.

At American Video and Security, a large portion of the work we do is helping secure small, mid-size commercial as well as large and industrial commercial sites. Recently, we custom designed a security system for Smok’n Hot Vapors, an electronic cigarette shop. They were concerned that the store’s high-value merchandise – most of it small enough to quickly grab and transport – put the family business at high risk for a break-in. We worked with the store to identify structural weak points and installed a cost-effective solution that would quickly alert police in an emergency.

We installed Honeywell’s Performance Series HRGX DVR with I-View Now’s Video Alarm Verification (VAV) Service. The cloud-based central station interface ties live video to alarm events. I-View Now provides operators with clips, images and critical pre-alarm footage that the central station shares with law enforcement so that they’ll dispatch to the site. This is particularly important in Nevada since most of Southern Nevada requires law enforcement to respond only to verified alarm reports.

The store’s investment in the technology paid off just eight months after the install. In the early morning hours in January 2015, two burglars broke into the shop, emptied the cash drawer and smashed the display cases in only four minutes. The system instantly pushed the burglary signal—as well as video of the break-in—to the central station and the store’s owner.

Since they had a verified video clip, the police responded immediately and arrived at the scene and apprehended one of the suspects.  To find out more about the incident, take a few minutes to read the case study.

In this business, we promote peace of mind as one of the greatest benefits to our customers. But, it’s also one of the most difficult to prove. What we’ve found is that video alarm verification helps make that point to not only our customers but law enforcement.

Guest Post: 9 Tips for Reaching Your Goals in 2016

Russ Ackerman by Russ Ackerman | 01.07.2016

Setting goals is a vital part of achieving success. What are your plans for 2016?

Russ Ackerman is Director of Residential and Small Business Sales for Atlantic Security.

2016 is here and we need to deal with it. This year is going to be full of opportunities and setting goals will be a key part of achieving success. Goal setting has been part of my life for over 20 years. I am proud to say that last year I met or exceeded just about every goal I set. I was able to develop new training techniques and processes. I began to set up our new company, Proven Sales Strategies LLC, and  my attendance goal for the first workshop was exceeded by over 50%.

As we begin 2016, we need to reflect on 2015 and do an honest evaluation of ourselves and our companies.  Ask yourself the tough questions. Did you make the various quotas you set earlier in the year?  Have sales increased?  Have you increased value to your company? Are you a better leader than you were in 2014?

I think all of us that sell or install Honeywell products need to consider how we can improve our companies next year by embracing more of the new technology that is available.  This year I’m working with a new sales team and one of my goals is to increase our add-on sales by 25% by doing better site surveys of homes and offering more protection.  This year we are going to increase our RMR by 10% by offering a Honeywell Total Connect camera on every new system for just a few dollars more per month.

Here are a few guidelines I use for setting long range and short range goals:

  1. Goals must be in writing
  2. Goals should be shared with a confidant (holds us accountable)
  3. Your goals should make you stretch
  4. The price should be understood in terms of added time to accomplish new ideas
  5. Failures along the way should just be considered “speed bumps” on the highway of success
  6. Goals must be tracked (keep records)
  7. Long term goals should be measured in short term increments
  8. You must learn to master your fears
  9. You must start now

Here are a few more pointers for setting and achieving your goals:

  • Smart managers know that they cannot set goals for their teams.  If you set a goal for your team, it is your goal and not their goal.  Each team member should set his/her personal goals and then collectively set the goal for the team.
  • When you set a goal, do not to compare yourself to others.  Always consider your own potential.  Ask yourself what you are capable of doing.
  • Track your progress carefully.  If you see that you are running behind, do not adjust your goal; adjust your activity.  If you move the finish line just so you can say you hit your goal, you will likely hurt morale and show weakness.

If you’re going to ever improve in any area, there are two things that are required: change and commitment. I hope this will encourage you to get excited about 2016.  Think big!

Here’s How to Program VAV and Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services  

Donna Namorato by Donna Namorato | 01.05.2016

Since we announced AlarmNet’s integration with I-View Now to support Video Alarm Verification (VAV) for Honeywell Total Connect, we’ve received an extremely positive response. Why? VAV helps takes the guesswork out of what caused an alarm since central station operators can actually see pre-alarm video footage. This lets them alert authorities to potentially dangerous situations before help is called-providing a higher level of safety for customers and first responders.

If YouTube is blocked, you can view the video here.

To provide this service, you must program customer accounts in both AlarmNet Direct and the I-View Now portal. We created the training video above to explain the process. And, it also shows how to configure the Honeywell Total Connect IP cameras for VAV.

How Can You Benefit from Offering Video Alarm Verification?
If you’re a security dealer, adding VAV to your portfolio can help expand your business, increase RMR and satisfy the fast-growing segment of municipalities that mandate VAV before dispatch. For central stations, VAV may help reduce the time and costs associated with false alarms and provide better information to emergency responders.

Whether you are an end user, dealer or central station, it’s clear that VAV takes the guesswork out of alarms.


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