UCC operator Mary Perez monitors a CheckVideo account.
PHOTO COURTESY OF UCC
A new partnership between United Central Control (UCC), a wholesale central station, and CheckVideo, a provider of cloud-based intelligent video surveillance and alarm verification solutions, allows UCC to offer a robust menu of monitored video services to UCC customer accounts through more than 500 dealers nationwide. What is distinctive is the high level of dealer training and support embedded in the partnership, which UCC and CheckVideo representatives divulged to SDM in an interview during ESX 2013.
“The opportunity in video is enormous. Video alarm verification is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mark Matlock, senior vice president of UCC, based in San Antonio, Texas. “As video grows into an accepted — and highly desired — component of managed security, more customers are asking for monitored video services.
“Team UCC has embraced CheckVideo as an integral part of our monitoring operations due to its effectiveness and ease of use for UCC, the dealer, and the customer. CheckVideo’s comprehensive training programs and dealer support are also critical to the rapid acceleration of our video services offerings,” Matlock described.
The companies realized the crucial role that training would play in the partnership when they shared the business plans that each company had written independently. Once UCC and CheckVideo came together to form their partnership, it seemed as if they had been working towards the same goal all along, according to Matlock and Chris Brown, vice president of CheckVideo, based in Falls Church, Va.
“It turns out that Mark had written a business plan for UCC to go into video and it was very, very similar to a plan that I had written for CheckVideo to go into the central station space. We decided to have some meetings and it came out that we were a good fit for each other,” Brown declared.
Both agreed the quality of the training that went along with the service is what would make the partnership successful or not — and that the emphasis should be not only on technology, but also on the business of monitored video. They explained that the CheckVideo solution is more complex than video verification of alarms because analytics are used. “These guys had a much more sophisticated system; they had a system with analytics, which was big for us because we didn’t want to view every squirrel and every car that drove by, so their analytics are able to filter a lot of that out,” Matlock said.
“The training of the dealer was the really big component for us…,” Matlock related. “We knew there was going to be no traction for video among our dealer base unless somebody not only trained them on installation, but more importantly, trained them on the value-proposition — how to go and sell it to somebody.”
CheckVideo’s plan, Brown described, was to fully support not only the dealers, but UCC as well. “We wanted to take education to the central station on how to monitor, price, and promote video products from the center out — and then we wanted to offer the training necessary to get dealers up to speed.
“We didn’t expect to hand our product off to Mark and say, ‘Please take this to your dealers and we hope you the best.’ We realized that we had to be a real partner, not a vendor. We had to step up and say, ‘We’ll write and conduct trainings for you. We’ll go out and help your dealers get their first sales done. We’ll help you get accounts on-boarded into your center and get them up and monitored for your dealers. We’ll help you bring this puzzle together. And in return we’ll hope you promote our product and we’ll be a solid piece of your business.’
“And what we found was just that: the dealers have made us a meaningful part of their business and UCC has turned out to be a fantastic partner in recommending us to their dealer base,” Brown described.
UCC and CheckVideo have already begun to provide accredited video surveillance services sales and technical training to the UCC dealer network. Training was offered in three Texas cities last year: San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. It is planned to be offered again this fall.
Matlock explained that UCC is a licensed training school in Texas – a source for alarm installers, managers, and salespeople to obtain the annually required 8 hours of continuing education to renew their registration with the state. “So we wrote a 7-hour video class and we combined it with a 1-hour ethics class, which is mandatory, so you could come to our class and get the full complement of credits for the CEUs to renew your registration — and guess what, you’re going to learn a new technology and you’re going to learn how to go into a car dealership, how to go into a restaurant and pitch a video system to them. Chris did a wonderful job of highlighting the applications, which is what these guys need to understand,” Matlock said, adding, “I learned a lot at the class! I wanted to go sell video systems.”
The training doesn’t stop there. Once a dealer has completed the initial training, CheckVideo often will provide a second round of training that is specific to their vertical, Brown said. “Customers across markets ranging from construction, automotive, and utilities are benefiting from CheckVideo and realizing a return on their investment in managed video services,” he described.
“And we’ll go out and help them close sales. We really want to hand-walk them into those first couple of customers, get those deals done, have that recurring revenue flow all the way back up the stream,” Brown said.
CheckVideo “watches” video 24/7 for events of interest and sends critical, real-time alerts to UCC’s Five Diamond Certified central station for assessment and response. Because CheckVideo detects the presence of people and vehicles, not just motion, it dramatically reduces nuisance alarms, the companies described. CheckVideo alerts can be used to dispatch authorities or trigger voice-down audio announcements in the event of suspicious activity, helping stop crime in progress. They also can be used for operational concerns, such as tracking deliveries and business opening/closing times.
CheckVideo integrates seamlessly with central station automation software to enable third-party remote video monitoring services or can be monitored by end users. In partnership with CheckVideo, UCC will offer video services including video detection and response, video alarm verification, virtual guard tours, access control and business optimization.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without their level of engagement,” Matlock said of CheckVideo. “There is no manufacturer that we’ve ever come across in our 31 years in business who has ever engaged at the level of CheckVideo. It blows my mind that a vendor of ours went on a sales call with one of our customers. That is rare indeed.”