Friday, March 29, 2013

Visit our website to learn more and to contact us to speak with a DICE Professional about your wants and interests in moving your business forward.

Dice Delivers More Apps Into the Security Industry
Acadian Monitoring Services deploys Matrix Dealer Apps to the dealer base last week. Just shy of 100 dealers downloaded the free apps from the apple store & android play market on the very first day. The numbers after a week are a few hundred dealers now using Matrix apps & loving them. The apps contain a full video training session for the dealers along with imbedded documentation as well.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Visit our website to learn more and to contact us to speak with a DICE Professional about your wants and interests in moving your business forward. Traditional Alarm Companies Expand Services
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Traditional Alarm Companies Expand Services by Replacing Guards and Growing RMR

 Diversified Alarm Inc. located in Toledo, Ohio has a long history of being a larger regional provider of alarm and security services. The company, also known as Habitec Security, is as well known for its long history of growth in the digital alarm expansion that happened in the 80s and 90s. For Diversified, growing its video monitoring business meant being a pioneer, by establishing their wall of video screens where they managed and watched various regional chain accounts in the early days of video transmissions. However, as the need for video monitoring grew and replaced the necessity of physical guards at high-end clients over the past few years, the company owners restructured their strategy, taking on more video surveillance projects and increasing their recurring monthly revenue, while at the same time increasing their average RMR across all clients, due to the larger monthly fees associated with this type of service.
The key component of any type of service is to provide that service at a high value-to-cost ratio for the clients, while cutting internal costs to provide the largest margin possible for the company. Diversified chose to build their new video center using the Matrix Universal Video monitoring engine built by DICE Corporation, who has been their automation software provider since 1992. The biggest differentiating factor when choosing DICE as their partner in video monitoring automation is that there was no per camera charge or additional charges for connections, which is the standard model for other products. This qualified the decision, as it lowered the cost of enlarging the client base, and would not hinder their long-term growth plans.
The other determining factor was that DICE Corporation handles many manufacturers and ties all alarm activities from the alarm monitoring and PSIM industry together with video products and a multitude of card access systems to allow for one seamless managed system. Diversified needed to have the flexibility to take in any manufacturer and the Matrix system by DICE was capable of taking in several different manufacturers of video products at one time, with over 300 different IP cameras products alone to choose from. The alarm company started using the OpenEye camera equipment in the field and tied that to the Matrix system. Going this route eliminated the need for video boards, and allowed a more stream-lined system that resembled their traditional UL-Listed alarm monitoring center service. The unique design of theMatrix system allows the video incidents to be prioritized and delivered as alarms to the same operators handling traditional burglar and fire alarms.
As a forward-thinking alarm company, Diversified wants to be able to offer companies the capacity to see their alarms online with the video recordings included alongside the alarm history. In addition, they want to allow security desks at corporate centers, university security offices and city government offices to be able to monitor their own buildings and video touch points while Diversified backs these sites up, and performs their monitoring services at night. This requires a cloud-based, hosted system, which DICE Corporation equips via the web client design. The versatility of the web software allows on-site guards and personnel to run the monitoring software in various technologies, such as Apple and Android devices for a mobile monitoring environment. This flexibility provides Diversified with the capacity for not only growth, but the sale of additional services which will add to the RMR per client.
As more centers think like Diversified, pushing new monitoring products that commercial clients desire, the need for more automation and its functions will set various products apart. In this case, DICE Corporation has allowed Diversified to gain multiple chain clients using technologies that are new to our alarm industry. The first companies to deploy these technologies, and more importantly build these products and services into a marketable program, will reap the rewards as Diversified already has in such a short time.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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Companies achieve success with custom software by DICE Corp

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Alarm Companies Find More Success Using Customized Software

The alarm industry has become a pool of canned software solutions over the past few years that makes every alarm company operate and act similar. However, a few alarm companies are turning their sights on being different and providing services to clients that set them apart. Some companies have excelled by having their own software engineers and software systems for years, while others have turned to custom software providers to allow them the freedom and flexibility to create solutions that fit their business styles and allow their company to grow at a pace unmatched by any others - while avoiding the costly approach of adding full-time computer software engineers on the staff payroll.

A-com Protection Services, Inc., a diversified company in Georgia, has unique needs. They are not only an alarm company, but are also a telephone service provider to many business clients. Recently, some of their needs and interests affected how they wanted to look at RMR and the trends associated with their various services. The IT department of A-com already is equipped with many tools such as SQL and an integrated programming interface tool set (generally called API) where they can create their own reports, but the management wanted something more than just reports produced from the database. Their IT Director, Brad Glore, worked with owner Wayne Beck and their management team to come up with an exact model of what they wanted. They then approached DICE Corporation with this model to write a custom software solution which included an easy-end user interface which dynamically drives the data and processes to complete a wide range of reports based on their changing objectives. "Working with DICE, we managed to reduce the time it takes us to get the most dynamically customized data we need literally from hours to minutes," exclaimed Mr. Glore. "We are so happy to partner with DICE on several customized projects that we've done in the past and have planned for the future."

ProTELEC Alarms, an installing company based in Canada, had needs and ideas concerning an app that would run on Apple & Android phone. They wanted something special tht would allow their clients to interact with the central station in real-time while an alarm was in process. They wanted the app to provide the customer with myltiple options for handling alarm signals including the ability to dispatch authorities, cancel the alarm entirely, or be able to speak with an operator. Brent Pokrant, Monitoring Operation Manager at ProTELEC, turned to their custom software solution provider DICE Corporation to create an app for them that would fit their operation like a glove. Mr. Pokrant stated, "Today's market is not about using software tools, such as apps that everyone else has, it's about creating products that no one has and being special in your marketplace."

A-com took this customization and partnership scenario a step farther this past year, as it also focused on customizing its corporate identity into an entirely new look on their website and marketing materials to match their personalized software systems. They wanted a fresh image with entirely new graphic designs and logos that portrayed their technologically advanced image and set them apart on their corporate and sales scales, so they again turned to the same custom software provider that built the reporting systems. DICE Corporation provided A-com, via their visual communications department, designs that exactly portrayed the image they sought and uniquely set them apart. Having a new corporate identity generated, DICE also allowed them to take their new graphics and use it on their software systems for branding purposes. "We tried at least four other companies before mentioning our project to the marketing department at DICE, which was quick to listen to what we wanted and within a day delivered." Brad Glore, IT Director of A-com Protection Services, stated further, "The mockup we received completely convinced us that we had the right company."

In viewing DICE Corporation, known for its large-scale alarm automation solutions, you wouldn't think that they also have to offer a thriving custom software department or a graphics design and marketing department. Clifford Dice, company founder, acknowledges that most alarm companies misunderstand what it is that DICE Corporation really does and the services that they provide for their clients. "We really are an outsourced IT and programing department who happens to have software to use as tools, but most importantly, we customize each client as they wish to operate, and act as their private programmers," notes Mr. Dice. DICE Corporation continues to takes on only a very limited amount of new clients and ones that bring unique and new ideas to the table, this is mainly because DICE provides custom services and software to each client while maintaining a level of service and quality excellence. In the case of ProTELEC's apps, DICE had a few other apps already developed for various companies, but made the most of them by modifying those apps and expanded the services to fit the ProTELEC business objectives. Mr. Dice reports that at least two other clients are currently adding to what ProTELEC did with their app to fit their own marketplace and objectives.

This past year, DICE Corporation is ecstatic to note that an all time revenue and profit record was set yet again, as there doesn't appear to be any end in sight to the number of clients that want to customize and be unique in the marketplace that is filled with status quo alarm companies. Clifford Dice credits the companies' growth and expanded product offerings to those companies who are looking to invest in a custom approach and make a difference, possibly even new standards in the industry, as he notes, "Growing our services and custom software deployments to a client base that is providing software solutions in the alarm, fire, medical, and corporate environments has paid off for us over the past 25 years, and we look forward to the future as DICE continues to provide services and custom software solutions to the industry's largest security providers."

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Monday, November 5, 2012

CenturyLink Security set to deploy smart device technologies

As the third largest telecommunications company in the US, and one that has been in the alarm industry for 15 years, CenturyLink has continually developed and embraced new or changing technologies.

CenturyLink Security has seen the evolving and advancing technologies firsthand in the alarm industry over time, and is now embarking on a significant industry expansion.

To help develop field-ready applications, CenturyLink Security worked with DICE Corporation, an automation provider, and the Matrix web software applications (which run on Android and Apple smart devices). Through this partnership, CenturyLink is set to deploy the Matrix Installation, Matrix Technician Service, and Matrix Fire Maintenance applications by DICE Corporation into the field to reduce overhead costs and increase efficiency in their automated systems.

 “CenturyLink Security is excited about our partnership with DICE Corporation and the new Matrix apps and technologies,” said Cassandra Ivy, operations manager for CenturyLink Security. “I can say firsthand that CenturyLink’s decision to move forward was in part due to our long-term partnership with DICE Corporation and their focus on new technologies that reduce costs and increase productivity.”

CenturyLink Field Supervisor, John Ellis, with Field Techs

For CenturyLink, these Matrix applications will allow staff to get orders in the field rather than coming into the office for every assignment.

“We can see where our people are at all times and what their schedules include, and because of the GPS technologies, we can control and distribute new orders and service calls by simply dropping them onto the devices from our distribution and control center,” Ivy said. “We feel that this type of management and control allows us to get more accomplished, save fuel and service our clients better and faster – giving us the competitive edge in the industry.”

The new technology will allow field personnel greater access to online contracts, as well as customer alarm history, billing and scheduling information. It will also enable the company to view analytic reports that show cost savings through the use of these technologies.

DICE Corporation recently added multiple apps to the Android Play Store and the Apple App Store. The first apps that it added were Matrix Service Technician apps which are tightly coupled to the Service Management OpenCORE system, now a browser-based, multi-department and multi-branch service tool. Then DICE added the Matrix Fire Inspection system. DICE has most recently added residential and commercial apps within Matrix for end users, which are integrated into a plethora of the DICE systems. Clifford Dice, CEO and President of DICE Corporation said about this expansion, “We have only just scratched the surface, as our team of Matrix app developers continues to build customized apps for many of our clients who want to add unique and branded services to their business. These Matrix apps range from customer integrated apps that tie into a smart home interface, to products that cater to personal safety & security protection. We think that over the next few years we may have at least 50 different apps in Matrix that will allow our clients to differentiate themselves from each other as well as other alarm companies who may deploy some sort of generic app distributed in the industry. In addition to these customization services, some of the apps are being installed on the app stores under the DICE or Matrix name, while others are specified under the name of the Alarm Company, Integrator, or Dealer.”

As companies in the alarm industry expand, one thing is clear – businesses must approach automation like never before. Having the technologies to enable efficient automation is critical, and CenturyLink Security is taking the steps to lead in an ever-expanding, technology-driven alarm industry, and DICE Corporation continues to serve and support them in their expansion and continued success.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Certified Alarms launches wholesale monitoring company, a DICE client | Security Systems News

Certified Alarms launches wholesale monitoring company | Security Systems News

Visit our website to learn more and to contact us to speak with a DICE Professional about your wants and interests in moving your business forward.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DICE Continues to Stand Ready for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Although names can be mentioned, due to privacy and NDA policies in place due to the nature of the security industry, as of two days DICE Corporation had two central station companies that were on full Disaster Recovery stand by. One company was approximately 80,000 accounts in size, while the other averaged about 50,000 live subscribers. These companies were processing the overflow signals through the DICE Disaster Recover Center. This methodology occurs when clients don't need to do a full fail over, giving them the ability to just have their signal transmissions directed to the DICE DRC and allowing the overflow to be handled by DICE. The DICE handling of overflow signals grants these larger businesses the scalable bandwidth needed to handle the extra signals they're taking on for processing.

Yesterday, we had another central fail over about 100,000 accounts due to telephone line outages. This same company is now in the process of placing over the IP infrastructure aspect of their business, which is another 40,000 accounts - bringing the count to approximately 270,000 total accounts running on our DICE Disaster Recovery Center.

Our DICE DR team worked around the clock to ensure that our client profiles were already pre-loaded and ready to go in the impact zone. Other client companies that are hot redundant on DICE, with full redundancy capabilities that have fail over capabilities to DICE and back again without DICE intervention are automatic.

As for Bay City, Michigan, where the DICE Corporation headquarters is located in the safe harbor of the state, we have had a light drizzle and cloudy climate today. Our thoughts go out to the families and businesses affected during this time, as well as our condolences for the loss of life that came with the surge of the storm, and for those that continue to brace for the devastation of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. To all, we continue to stand ready to support and serve. 

Visit our website to learn more and to contact us to speak with a DICE Professional about your wants and interests in moving your business forward.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DICE Continues to Assist Throughout Northeast Monster Storm

Bay City, Michigan – October 29th  Already given the fearsome seasonal name of “Frankenstorm”, Hurricane Sandy is poised to be the strongest combination storm the Northeast United States has seen in decades. DICE Corporation, located in what is considered as a safe harbor, continues to stand ready and has already made preparations for several central stations in the east coast for use of the DICE Disaster Recovery Center.

As storms take no consideration of plans, the Security Industry Association (SIA), recently postponed the ISC East trade event planned for this week. SIA notes, “Due to the State of Emergency declared by the Governor of the State of New York and the clear impact and potential danger presented by Hurricane Sandy, ISC Events has decided to postpone…[SIA] is carefully monitoring the storm.”

“This week, Hurricane Sandy is of course our big focus. The location of our headquarters is vital, and continues to provide safety to those using our resources elsewhere in the country and the world. DICE backs up over 6 million accounts nightly in our DICE Data Center, as DICE acts as an insurance policy to all of our clients. We deploy the latest in both hot redundant, networking and telecommunication technologies, demonstrating fully-tested back up methods for full redundancy. Our clients count on us for their business safety and well-being, as DICE remains the most stable and advanced redundant center in the world.”

The window to prepare for the monster storm is closing fast, and with mandatory evacuations taking place, DICE continues to stand ready for those that have not been affected yet – and as mentioned, has some central station clients already utilizing the proven DICE Disaster Recovery Center.

Joshua Greko, Executive Vice President notes, “We are expecting some more emergencies to take place, and we will stand ready to take any center live that require assistance at a moment’s notice as DICE went on advanced alert status.”

Visit our website to learn more and to contact us to speak with a DICE Professional about your wants and interests in moving your business forward.