Interactive alarm services, and interactive integration services, are only going to increase in popularity and sure to be a principal generator of RMR, provided you start offering it and providing the technology and services.  There are a number of manufacturers offering equipment and services for interactive systems.  And what do I mean by interactive system? Alarm systems historically were electronic systems that were turned on or off at the premises using a key or keypad.  Remote access came along and permitted a subscriber to use a wireless key device, but it worked as long as the subscriber was in the drive way.  Then remote devices worked through the Internet and the subscriber could be anywhere to turn the alarm system on or off.  Then smart phones, permiting access  by use of the smart phone, and not only can you turn the alarm system on or off, but because of integration services the subscriber can view video, listen to audio, turn the alarm and most any other electronically controlled device or or off.  Then came along the Standard All in One contracts - so now alarm companies could actually charge RMR for the interactive services.  [sorry couldn't resist].  
    One component of this new [or not so new] service is that manufacturers have gotten in on the RMR model by causing their devices installed at the subscriber premises to have to pass through servers maintained by the manufacturer who then transmitted the data to a central station [manufacturers haven't opened their own centrals --- yet].  What caught my attention in this developing process is that one of the manufacturers, alarm.com requires alarm dealers to require subscribers to agree to contract terms and conditions which I deemed less protective than what dealers needed, also adding an additional two pages of terms.  So I wondered if there were other manufacturers who offered the same product and services, and there are.  I haven't checked to see whether they too require their own contract terms so I can't compare that.  Since I'm far from technical I asked alarm expert Steve Sopkin to explain what interactive services and manufacturers are out there.  Anyone with any experience with these manufacturers are welcome to send in comments for circulation. I am particularly interested knowing what contract terms you or your subscribers are being asked or required to sign. I suggest you avoid signing contract terms unless you read them carefully.  See if you can change the terms that conflict with your interests and see if other manufacturers are more reasonable in their requirements.   Here is what Steve provided:
Alarm.com is a 3rd party provider of remote add-on services that gives the customer control of their alarm system from arming/disarming the alarm panel to controlling zwave devices like locks, HVAC control, lighting and relays that can be connected to a myriad of items around the home to open and close a garage door, turn off water etc.  They also offer different levels of video connectivity for the user to look in on their property and capture live information as it happens.  They currently interface with only a handful of alarm panels on the market including 2Gig, Interlogix and Olsys for the full suite of services.  Alarm.com is a well thought out marketing and
software plan that encompasses pretty much everything.  Since it is their only business, they are seriously into it, not just playing with bits and pieces like some of the other manufacturers.

Other providers:
Honeywell provides Alarmnet Total Connect (http://www.mytotalconnect.com/) which
works on all the new Honeywell panels and gives almost the same suite of services.  

IPDataTel, (http://www.ipdatatel.com/controlcompatibility.php) is a hardware
manufacturer that provides a couple of different modules that can be installed at
the customer's location.  Their product connects and controls the alarm systems in
the same manner.   They can connect to Honeywell, DSC, GE NetworX panels and uses a
universal transceiver that is compatible with most other alarm control panels.  

RSI Videofied, (https://www.videofied.com/us/en/products/videoapp4all/) allows the
user to arm/disarm, look-in through Motion Viewers and see system event logs.  Works
on all new Videofied panels. 

Tellular (https://www.telular.com/) , arm/disarm only using 2GIG and DSC panels and
gives the user remote arming, Z-Wave, video or all three.

AES radio network (http://www.aes-intellinet.com/) is most often setup as an
individual Alarm Dealer network of radios that bounce the signal from one customer
to the other eliminating the need for a cell tower to communicate.  Their
interactive services include arm/disarm, bypassing, silencing and viewing of events
from their interactive operation through secure web portal and smartphone.  They
work on the Honeywell, DSC and GE Networx panels. 

Monthly fees are all pretty close with a base fee around $4/month to the dealer. 
Most have upgraded fees for more services but usually under $10 for everything. 
Most provide their services on a month to month basis and the hardware costs can be
from $65 to $125 depending upon what you are using to make the connection to the

The services almost always use an internet connection either provided by the
customer via their hardwired or wireless network (something to consider if a remote
property) or the manufacturers cellular connection via a GSM radio.  The former can
be a bit problematic if the end user is not reliable, has no back up battery on
their internet services or is uncooperative or unable to provide an internet

Please remember that the manufacturers are in this to make money.  The RMR is a new piece of candy for them and now that they have a taste, I imagine an interactive suite of services will continue to grow. By no means is this an all inclusive list but is definitely in my opinion the most
advanced and well thought out.  

Hope that helps.  
Yours for better security,
Steve Sopkin, President
Mijac Alarm

TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS REPLY TO THIS EMAIL OR EMAIL Ken@Kirschenbaumesq.com.  Most comments and questions get circulated.


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