When it comes to running a top-tier monitoring center, the people component is perhaps the biggest factor that can make the difference — in some cases in life or death; but also the overall customer experience. In “Best Practices for a Well-Run Monitoring Center,” beginning on page 10, author Maggie M. Shein examines three key challenges beginning with hiring, following with training, and finally, scheduling of employees.

Best practices for technology today are increasingly moving towards the ASAP-to-PSAP program created in 2011. SDM Associate Editor Courtney Wolfe looks at the progress of this game-changing protocol in “The New Gold Standard for Alarm Monitoring” beginning on page 16. “As the most efficient way to process information from alarm monitoring stations needing emergency dispatch, it won’t be long before it becomes the standard for the industry, according to those already using it,” she writes.

Speaking of best practices, this year’s columnists each touch on an aspect of best practices in their respective areas — whether it is the use of an advancing technology or more on the relationship or services side. 

For example, Lou Fiore reports on the 2019 AICC Communications Survey results on page 6, noting that, “As expected, the use of the PSTN and VoIP lumped together has dropped from a high of 82 percent in 2012 to 47 percent in 2019. Conversely, the use of wireless in all its forms (cellular and UHF radio combined) has risen from a low of 15 percent in 2012 to a high of 61 percent in 2019.”

Don Young, TMA president, talks about the impact of big data and machine learning in his column beginning on page 8, and beginning on page 20, SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin discusses what his organization is contributing to industry practices. “By working closely with law enforcement leaders, we are able to develop personal relationships, hear and understand their concerns, and bring forward examples of successful programs to address alarm issues,” he writes. 

Finally, new this year is a column from Peter Giacolone, president of Giacalone Associate LLC and Cloud Communication Technologies LLC, on leveraging modern communication technologies in a legacy world. “Maintaining a hybrid network of multi-carriers, multi-services as PRI and SIP and becoming your own RespOrg allows for full control,” he suggests. 

We hope you enjoy this special supplement!