Security Partners, Lancaster, Pa., a provider of wholesale monitoring services and RMR-growing resources for dealers, announced the acquisition of Response Center USA of San Antonio, Texas. Once the two central stations are fully integrated, the company will have a second, hot-redundant, monitoring center to ensure 100 percent uptime for dealer partners and subscribers of both companies.
Response Center USA is an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed central station that provides bi-lingual monitoring services of burglar and fire alarms, PERS, and video alarms to thousands of residential and commercial customers in Texas and the surrounding area. Additionally, the company offers IP monitoring services, using Alarmnet, UpLink and Alarm.com, services matched in Security Partners’ Pa. facility.
“This merger is the culmination of over a year’s effort to find the right partner and the right fit for a redundant central station,” Michael Bodnar, president of Security Partners, told SDM. “It started with our ownership having a good personal relationship which resulted in their openness to sharing ideas and opportunities. It evolved into our companies sharing philosophies and seeing a great synergy between our operations. And it culminated in saying here’s what we need to do, let’s lay out the game plan.”
The location of these two monitoring centers is very strategic, Bodnar said, “having our operations based in two different time zones, with different power grids, for redundancy and disaster recovery, made real good sense to us.”
Gary Dawkins, chief executive officer of Response Center USA, added, “Texas being Texas, we have our own electric grid. We’re not automatically tied in with the rest of the nation. So if there gets to be another brownout on the East Coast that does not necessarily affect the Texas grid. Or if something happened to the Texas grid, our redundancy will let us switch over to the East Coast grid.”
Dawkins and Bodnar also stressed how important it was for both companies to be suitable, not only in terms of location, footprint and business plan, but also in terms of their focus on their dealers and their subscribers, since a shared vision of service and support ensures their respective customer experiences would improve as a result of the merger.
Security Partners will invest in the San Antonio central station’s infrastructure and monitoring platforms so the two facilities can share alarm load and be truly redundant. At the same time, the company will be upgrading the phone system in its Lancaster facility and doing the same in San Antonio. “This is not an acquisition with a design for consolidation,” Bodnar said. “It’s an acquisition with a design for growth.”
These companies’ combined operations offer real time disaster recovery, new products and services, back office support and dealer education and marketing support. “We have between us an account base that goes from your high-end commercial to residential with interactive services using such providers as Alarm.com,” Bodnar explained. “We have our managed video and managed access offerings and we have a large and growing base of PERS dealers as well.”
Bodnar said Response Center USA will keep its name and the majority of the team will continue to serve the dealers and their customers, giving a familiar face during and after the transition.
Dawkins highlighted that the Response Center USA team is looking forward to offering some of the new managed services that Security Partners has been rolling out and expanding in the past year. Bodnar elaborated, “At Security Partners, about a year ago we opened up a new division for managed services. It’s one of the fastest growing portions of our business. We offer managed access, utilizing the products of our national partner, RBH Access Technologies, and we also offer managed video services, featuring video analytics with VideoIQ, along with a whole lot of customized capabilities on the video side. We employ specially-trained operators to handle our video alarms. It helps with alarm verification, and our operators can also voice down on site to help us prevent situations from developing or escalating. We get real busy in the overnight hours, as we keep a watchful eye on properties for our dealers, providing services ranging from guard tours, employee escorts, monitored access into buildings and alarm response. It’s new technology and a growing niche for us. Gary’s had some of these capabilities already, but in the long run, we’ll be able to beef-up our service and support, as we fully integrate our operations.”
In addition, Security Partners is one of the first beta sites working with Perennial Software (also makers of SedonaOffice) to provide back-office support to its dealers through AlarmBiller, a Web-based management software solution.
Bodnar continued, “At Security Partners we have established an AES Intellinet radio mesh network for several of our dealers. We’ll be bringing that technology down to San Antonio. The technology enables dealers to maximize their recurring by increasing reliability, while reducing their out-of-pocket expense through the mesh network.”
“[The acquisition] is yet another sign of Security Partners continued growth and prominence within our industry,” Bodnar noted. “Our shared philosophy and commitment to our dealers is proof you can achieve success by doing it the right way. Proof there’s a business in developing a stronger service offering and backup.”