How Central Stations Are Contending With COVID

Kevin Lehan, national sales and marketing manager for Emergency24 , is succinct in describing the abrupt consequence to the central station’s business wrought by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The year started out gangbusters and then halted,” he says.
After an initial lull, Emergency24 has started picking up accounts in bulk with dealers consolidating to one central station, and in some cases the company is buying accounts from distressed businesses.
“We still are seeing accounts put online and service being performed. Depending where you are located, some alarm contractors are doing their school testing and inspections now, which will free them up for other work this summer,” Lehan says. “Hopefully by then, the world opens for business again.
As Morgan Hertel of Rapid Response writes in his latest “Monitoring Matters” column for SSI , central stations have been forced to make difficult and expensive decisions on multiple fronts. Not the least of which includes converting to work-from-home staffing and remote connectivity technologies, among various other technological challenges not seen before at such scale.
Sources interviewed for this story express the safety and well-being of their employees has been paramount throughout the crisis, thereby adding additional layers of protocols and procedures. This has included developing safety and risk mitigation plans consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and UL recommendations.
The pandemic has served to expose organizational and business model vulnerabilities across a wide swath of the wholesale monitoring industry. One absolute has solidified: technical infrastructure and acumen will be requisite moving forward to service dealers, integrators and end users by supporting as-a-service portfolios.

Related: How 3 Security Contractors Are Pivoting to Weather the Economic Storm

At National Monitoring Center (NMC) , President Woodie Andrawos explains the company is leveraging technology to help safeguard their dealers’ flow of revenue and business continuity.
“Our goal is to provide guidance and support and ensure they continue to scale their business while identifying new, high-value RMR opportunities,” he says. “To do this, we have realigned the focus of our training and support webinar series on amplifying the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of our Netwatch Proactive Video Monitoring [PVM] services.”
In the time since COVID-19 was elevated to pandemic status on March 11, NMC has found that demand for intelligent security systems has surged amid a steady rise in commercial property crime. In the past two months, Andrawos says the company has acquired a record number of subscribers to its PVM services, with similar growth projected for at least the near term.
“Businesses are in need of enhanced security and surveillance measures...