Training and Partnerships

Training and Partnerships

Security dealers rave about advantages of education

Nearly 1,000 U.S. security dealers rely on AlarmWATCH Inc., a UL/2050, SCIF- and IQ-certified central monitoring station, for its state-of-the-art monitoring and redundant back-up systems; but that’s not what you’ll typically hear them rave about the most. These independent—large and small—security dealers will go straight to the partnerships, fun events and lasting relationships they have with longtime executive staff.

They’ll also tell you that the highly-trained monitoring team at Alarm- WATCH can’t be beat when it comes to keeping a vigilant watch over tens of thousands of their business and residential customers nationwide.

Then, you’ll hear them talk about the custom training and workshops offered at the AlarmWATCH University or AWU. These specialized and targeted workshops are designed to keep dealers on their toes and offer a true competitive advantage in many areas of their operations. The programs offer new and seasoned security dealers a chance to keep abreast of the latest sales techniques, the most recent remote Web access, video surveillance and VOIP solutions and more. Courses include new product training by invited distributors and manufacturers and custom presentations from industry consultants who specialize in security sales and relevant related topics.

In 2011, security dealers attended AWU to learn about:

  • Honeywell’s System Sensor certification—Fire Alarm Aspiration Sensing Technology (FAAST).
  • IdentaSAFE, an identity theft protection software from Ocenture Inc., that uses a technology platform to detect, prevent and correct threats or compromises to a person’s identity, such as hacking into a home or business computer.
  • DSC’s IMPASSA—with 2-way wireless keypads and sirens; an embedded 3G cellular communicator that supports full data reporting and 2-way voiceover on the GSM network.
  • TruVISION, from Interlogix, a UTC Fire & Security Co.
  • Interactive products by Alarm.com
  • Alarmnet and Total Connect Interactive Services by Honeywell.
  • Firelite—a new IP Communications for UL Fire
  • Intensive care sales program (ICSP) by Donna Morreale, a leading security trainer and mentor.

“We love the intensive care sales program,” said Curt Spicher of Spicher Security and Electronics, a third-generation home theater and appliance company. “She [Donna Morreale] teaches us best practice sales strategies to increase our sales and recurring revenue. AWU training gives our staff handson experience to add real value to our services.

“We can focus on sales, learn about new products quickly and diversify our services to grow our business and meet customers’ needs,” he said.

The central monitoring station is SCIF-, UL- and IQ-certified and equipped to handle all types of emergent threats, from acts of crime to fires, intrusions and medical emergencies, home or business computer hacking and personal identity theft. Guy Kline, vice president of sales and marketing, said one of the company’s biggest strengths is working with dealers in vertical markets nationwide that have various regional concerns.

“Each company is unique in their approaches and needs,” Kline said. “We are proud of our long-term business relationships and the turnkey ability to meet specialized requests; it’s a win-win experience with our dealers and enables us to ‘feel the pulse of the industry.’ We continually evolve and deliver a comprehensive array of business and training solutions to meet ongoing and specialized demands.”

Today, about 85 percent of security companies are independent, small entrepreneurs who customize services across vertical markets. Some dealers handle alarms, home theater and appliances; others specialize in high-tech and top-secret video surveillance. Others may be locksmiths, electricians, real estate agents or commercial contractors who recognize the value of offering security services.

“AlarmWATCH tailors its offerings to meet rigorous and ever-changing requirements of commercial and residential clients,” Kline said. “Add-on services can help dealers increase revenue opportunities and focus on the growth of their business and sales team.”

In addition to the AWU training and certification programs, other offerings include accounting, answering calls, automated data monitoring and reports, insurance, billing, customized marketing and high-end hardware and software products.

“The industry is moving fast,” said Gail Schreiner, vice president of operations at AlarmWATCH. “We’ve got to keep pace with new technologies and safety considerations. Years ago, we made a concerted decision to build AWU so that our staff and monitoring teams would receive high-quality training. We also wanted our dealers to receive the very latest training, strategies and knowledge to support their clients well.”

The company serves a multitude of clients, from Defense Department contractors to energy, banking, education, healthcare, insurance, government, military, church and residential business. One of the newest security programs to be offered is an identity theft protection software by Ocenture Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., called IdentaSAFE. Identity theft ranks number one today in the consumer complaint category, according to the Federal Trade Commission. In 2009, according to estimates, identity fraud increased substantially, affecting 4.8 percent of the U.S. population to a projected total of $54 billion in crime. Today, more than 250 U.S. corporations experience some type of hacking or data breach of their computer networks.

AlarmWATCH dealers were among the first to learn about the new IdentaSAFE technology. When asked, dealers will tell you that the technology helps them deliver 360 degrees of security by combining core access control and perimeter security monitoring with personal information protection. Identity protection products may thwart unnecessary risk and/or minimize identity fraud, saving customers thousands of dollars and time to correct or restore their personal or business identity.

“No one wants to experience an invasion of their company, home or person,” Kline said. “Our AWU prepares our staff and dealers for any situation.”

In 2012, AWU courses will shift to the Internet and a traveling road show to give regional and national dealers the same competitive advantages that mid-Atlantic dealers now appreciate. Other programs also will be part of the dealer market educational series, to include CEO roundtables for in-depth workshops and discussions.

“As our business expanded over the past 17-plus years, we wanted to standardize our security practices,” said John Chetalat, president of Action Integrated of Baltimore. “We have benefitted greatly from working with this company to design and deliver best practices in security services.

“We asked AlarmWATCH to become a certified IQ monitoring station for us, and Gail [Schreiner] investigated the program. She recognized its value immediately. Together, we became the first UL central station in Maryland and security dealer to qualify for IQ certification.”

“In today’s competitive marketplace, companies must think outside the box to engage and support their customers and employees,” said Jim Porter, district manager for Interlogix, a UTC Fire and Security company and co-sponsor of the Protect-a-Thon challenge. “As our industry rapidly changes, so do the needs of our dealers and their end users. We work hard at Interlogix, from a product and business standpoint, to meet these changing demands and embrace the ‘New Normal’ needs of our partners and customers. Interlogix brings the latest in innovative solutions and technologies to address existing and future security concerns.

“Through resources like the Protect-a-Thon and the AlarmWATCH University, we can provide the right structure and training to keep dealers’ sales drives high and help them to deliver the right strategies at the right time to capitalize on their investments. These building blocks give all of us better positioning, and we can create lasting partnerships that help us maintain leadership status.”

This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Security Today.

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