By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager
As many of you in the security and alarm industry know, West specializes in 9-1-1 technology and solutions for public safety, carriers, companies and educational organizations. In 9-1-1, the accuracy of the data (the caller’s location) and the speed at which that data is delivered to public safety are key to successful emergency outcomes.
Obviously, the faster we can identify where a 9-1-1 caller is, the better. Speed without accuracy sends first responders to the wrong address. Accuracy without speed delays response times and puts lives at risk.
We know this is true in the alarm industry, too—particularly in the monitoring center, where speed and efficiency translates to improved ROI and satisfied subscribers (less churn).
However, alarm incident management can’t be accomplished effectively without good agency data. You can establish operational best practices, hire and train the best and brightest staff, but if the agency data you rely on to handle alarm incidents is flawed, efficiency is lost. Time spent trying to locate the correct PSAP phone number slows alarm notifications and puts your subscribers and, potentially, their property in jeopardy.
I know that the process of compiling, updating and maintaining agency contact data may seem simple enough on the surface. However, when I came to work at West, I met the Mobility Data Support (MDS) team and got an eye-opening look at U.S. maps with over 12,000 shifting jurisdictional boundaries and more than 8,000 phone numbers. The verification and maintenance process requires resources and expertise that many alarm companies don’t have in-house—particularly when your primary concern is handling the active alarms of your subscribers.
Also, as consumers we’re all increasingly sensitive to the risks of cybersecurity and the privacy of our personal data. If you don’t maintain your own AHJ database, it’s essential that you select partners who meet or exceed your security protocols, and who have secure, redundant systems with road-tested data integrity procedures to protect your subscribers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of data in your monitoring center, I’ll be joining a group of expert panelists at ESX 2016 in Nashville next month. Our session, Advanced Database Management for the Monitoring Center – Unlocking the Power of this Major Asset, is at 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 15. Or contact me through LinkedIn anytime to set up a face-to-face meeting.