As remote video monitoring becomes increasingly prevalent, installing security contractors who embrace this technology can gain a competitive edge. By differentiating themselves with advanced services and technology-driven solutions, dealers and integrators can attract more clients and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

SDM sought the input of executives from leading central stations, along with a provider of automation software, to help inform security dealers and integrators on their journey to executing a strategic path to offering remote video monitoring. In the following responses, these subject matter experts provide advice on taking the leap into this disruptive offering, along with how they envision remote video monitoring will become an even more powerful and accessible security tool in the future.

jason caldwell

Jason Caldwell, Director: Marketing, Business Development, Guard Force Accounts, Immix

I would say that if they are not offering remote video monitoring services, then their competition most certainly is and will gain a competitive advantage on them in short order. These services have become much more commonly accepted since COVID turned the world upside down. Customers that were once reluctant to turn to the service all of a sudden saw it as the most efficient way to protect their assets when they couldn’t be present at normal times. For reluctant dealers, there really is no risk to them or their business. It is very easy to find a third-party central station offering the services at a reasonable price, so investment on the dealer’s part is little more than ensuring they are using compatible video security solutions and dedicating at least some aspect of their sales training towards the service.

Because of the advent of AI technology, it is becoming increasingly easier for monitoring centers to offer services to more clients. AI has dramatically reduced the tasks that central station operators have to perform and that has allowed centers to take on more customers and has also opened avenues to new and more premium service offerings from monitoring entities that are equipped to provide them. This of course allows them to realize new RMR streams and higher margins on these premium services.

“AI has dramatically reduced the tasks that central station operators have to perform and that has allowed centers to take on more customers and has also opened avenues to new and more premium service offerings from monitoring entities that are equipped to provide them.”Jason Caldwell, Immix

Morgan Hertel

Morgan Hertel, Vice President, Technology Innovation, Rapid Response Monitoring

For those who have remained on the sidelines, I have one word: Start. Video monitoring and video verification are both areas that dealers will have to be involved with if they are selling intrusion services and systems. It’s so much easier to do than even a few years ago. There really is no excuse anymore not to be offering these services. With more competition selling video in concert with intrusion systems, combined with AVS-01, now being implemented, it won’t be too much longer that this becomes the norm versus the exception. It’s no longer good enough to just propose and sell “old school” systems.

Current systems still generate a high percentage of alarms that are not criminal in nature. Using video along with other technology systems will give us much better situational awareness during an alarm condition than ever before. This will allow systems to significantly reduce false calls for service and at the same time increase consumer satisfaction. We need to make security invisible to consumers. In order to do that we can no longer fly blind; we need the technology and workflow to support this. We have the technology today. Many of the monitoring centers are ready for this, so let’s get to work.

Jim McMullen

Jim McMullen, President, COPS Monitoring

Historically, alarm systems and video equipment were largely offered by different manufacturers and may have required different areas of expertise. In fact, many of the alarm dealers I know subcontracted their camera work to companies specializing in video. Today, many major alarm panel manufacturers are offering camera solutions as an easy add on to the existing systems, making video an affordable option to dealers using the brands with which they’re already familiar.

Monitored video is the next critical step in reducing false alarms and improving response. With advancements in AI and other technology, we’re already seeing a real difference in both false alarm reduction. Reducing false alarms is not only important to making the best use of emergency resources, but it also directly correlates to improved customer satisfaction and retention. Video is proving to be a valuable addition to a dealer’s bottom line by providing an additional source of revenue from new and existing customers and AI is helping to keep dispatcher labor costs in check, which could ultimately impact monitoring rates. Dealers should also be aware of emerging standards such as the TMA-AVS-01 alarm priority scoring system that aims to provide even faster response to alarms with better information such as verified video.

Justin Wilmas

Justin Wilmas, President, Netwatch

Understanding high-value RMR opportunities should drive dealers into adopting these more advanced technologies. A solution like proactive video monitoring not only adds value, but provides a higher value relationship with their customers while creating a steady, predictable cash flow for their business. Dealers should understand that this technology isn’t a thing of the future; it’s here, and it’s shaping how security is managed and how dealers do business. The installers and integrators that adapt early to these emerging technologies will be at an advantage, not only in terms of security offerings but also in competitiveness and client satisfaction. It’s proven that proactive monitoring provides more value to their clients, differentiates their services, and increases recurring monthly revenue. It’s essential for dealers to recognize how technology is opening the door of opportunity. It’s time to take the leap into more RMR-driven monitoring activities to stay relevant and profitable in the evolving security landscape.

As we progress into a future driven by technology and automation, video monitoring is poised to become an essential component of organizational security strategies. Proactive video monitoring, in particular, will be a crucial tool that empowers organizations to identify and mitigate suspicious activities. Organizations will demand these types of services because it empowers data-driven decision making that delivers valuable insights for making informed security decisions. I also anticipate that we’ll see enhanced integration between proactive video monitoring and other security systems, such as access control or alarm systems. This integration will create a comprehensive, interconnected security solution that delivers the awareness needed to adopt a proactive security process.