Do you install and maintain alarm panels?
One of the many things that surprises people who look at our IT infrastructure is that we install, own, and maintain our own alarm panels. Alarm panels are a part of the telecom department.
This started in 1994 and got into full swing in about 1996. We still maintain panels that are 20 years old. Surprisingly, 20 year old alarm equipment is still manufactured and is “current” as far as sales. This is an industry that moves at glacial speeds (if it moves at all.)
There are three benefits to this. First, we save a lot of money compared with ADT and the brand-name services. Second, we get a better system. Third, we have control.
The brand we use is DSC. They are part of Tyco and they have been in the industry forever. Their equipment is reliable, pretty simple, and installs easily. Almost any company can monitor these panels,
And that brings us to monitoring. Because we self-maintain we need just a basic monitoring service that costs $8 to $15 a month, depending upon complexity. (A complex panel that has 8 partitions and about 80 zones will cost about $200 a year to monitor.) Other services want $350 to $500 a year, or even more.
So, consider whether alarm panels may be a reasonable addition to your product lineup. They aren’t as scary as they seem. And, if you only do burglary and not fire monitoring there is little liability and even less regulation.
Alarm panels are stupid things. The programming is stupid, the design is stupid, the panels themselves are stupid. You will find them to be miserable things compared with an asterisk PBX. But they are a logical add-on for a telecom company.