As yet another winter bears down on us, the pre-COVID-19 world of just two years ago seems like an innocent dream. In those days, face masks were for medical workers, employees freely congregated in their workplaces, and the most serious seasonal sickness could mostly be prevented with a simple flu shot. The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world as we knew it. And it’s not over yet. As I write this, global epidemiologists are grappling with the omicron variant, which threatens to upend everything we thought we knew about this relentless virus.
But the world rolls on, and businesses that were caught short by the unexpected arrival of a global pandemic in March 2020 are now prepared to weather whatever storms lie ahead. The security monitoring industry continues to perk along, fueled by new technology, remote work options, and lessons learned during the worst of the pandemic.
This issue of Monitoring Today highlights the industry’s adaptability and versatility in conducting business over the past 18-plus months. We take a look at all these changes in our cover story, “Monitoring in the COVID-19 World & Beyond” (link). In our second feature, “1-on-1 With a Winner,” (link) SDM Associate Editor Amanda Reed sits down with 2021 Manager of the Year winner Jonathan Rainbow, operations manager at Rapid Response Monitoring, to talk about his beginnings in the industry, staying in-office at the beginning of the pandemic, and the importance of communication in COVID-19.
Other issue highlights include columns by a variety of authors outlining the innovative ways the monitoring world tackled the challenges of a pandemic. Lou Fiore discusses the importance of UHF voice backup and how monitoring centers can keep their systems up to date. Peter Giacalone examines how UL standards changes, spurred by COVID-19, are providing more opportunities for smaller call centers. David Margulies looks at how a new study commissioned by the SIAC will shed light on whether its model alarm ordinance is helping monitoring centers to reduce false alarms. New TMA President Morgan Hertel explains buzzwords like AI, deep learning, computer vision, and more. And PPVAR President Joey Rao-Russell discusses how a spectrum of industry representation came together to develop the new AVS-01 standard, designed to mitigate the false alarm problem.
We hope the ideas presented in this issue of Monitoring Today help you navigate through the uncertain times ahead.