This issue of SDM focuses on the topics of Residential Systems and Monitoring, and a common theme that shines through is striving for excellence in order to deliver a matchless customer experience.

In the cover story, “Success in the Residential Market,” beginning on page 54, we found that excellence takes many forms among successful dealers. For Maggie George and iWired, it involves the quality of work you perform as well as having empathy for your customers and their concerns. “I like to believe we listen well and execute accordingly. In the end it is all about our people. They consistently do their best to deliver a stellar customer experience,” George remarked. The article goes on to describe how having great customer service isn’t the same as providing a great customer experience — a concept that involves every single interaction a customer has with your company. Dealers share how it’s done and the keys that open the door to providing such an experience.

SDM is the proud sponsor of the Central Station Alarm Association’s Central Station Excellence Awards. Profiles of the winners of the ninth annual awards are featured in this issue, beginning on page 65. Annually, these awards recognize outstanding central stations and individuals that raise the bar for dedication, innovation and best practices in monitoring. The 2014 Central Station of the Year winner is COPS Monitoring, which is Five Diamond and IQ certified, as well as the holder of multiple UL listings including UL 2050. COPS Monitoring operates five hot redundant and load-sharing UL-listed central stations.

“In an industry active with monitoring options, COPS stands out for its excellent customer service and dedication to its clients,” remarked one of the judges on the CSAA Central Station Excellence Awards panel.

As described in both the Residential cover story and the Central Station Excellence Award winner profiles, there are many avenues for achieving excellence in the security channel: obtaining independent listings and industry certifications; implementing best practices; evaluating technologies and offering superior products; and more. Striving for excellence isn’t an end in itself. It is a means by which security companies can offer the ultimate prize: a great customer experience. In today’s disruptive marketplace, striving for excellence can give professional security companies a competitive edge.


SDM Renewal Roundup

SDM’s 2014 Renewal Roundup Campaign continues this month. Keeping your free subscription active — without interruption and with a minimal number of renewal reminders — is simple if you act now. All subscriptions must be renewed each year. So, “git on over” to and bring your free subscription up-to-date today!

Once again, SDM will donate $.50 to the Alarm Industry Research & Educational Foundation (AIREF) for each renewal or new subscription processed as part of the 2014 Renewal Roundup. AIREF provides research and statistics that public safety officials can use to better understand and utilize our industry in their effort to protect and serve the community.

Please take the time to renew your subscription today, by visiting  See page 121 in this issue for more information.


Meet the New Editors at SDM

Meet Maya Dollarhide and Austin VanKirk, two new editors on SDM’s team! They were recently hired so that we can offer SDM’s readers more original and timely breaking news, as well as more staff-written articles and multimedia-content presentations.

 Get to know Maya and Austin in this video which can be found at: