It is no surprise to many in the alarm industry that over the past 20 years costs have continued to increase while the pressure on reducing prices to dealers and end users has been getting worse by the day. In addition, technological changes have also added to the cost of doing business with all of the investments required to stay competitive given the amount of monitoring choices available today. The model has changed for many manufacturers and vendors in the industry as they are now focused on gaining revenue per subscriber account rather than just selling products. We also have seen the same financial hit to alarm centers with IP and cellular products, where the cost to move to these products are twofold. One, you need to purchase the product, switch out the end user site, and two, you have to pay a monthly for the services. Plus, it’s not easy to keep track of all these costs per subscriber.
DICE Corporation has been in the industry for 25 years and has been examining these trends and working on solutions to ensure our clients are not impacted the in the same way as other alarm companies who face the same financial pressure. DICE is not just an “alarm automation” supplier. We are an infrastructure provider, delivering automated alarm monitoring software along with business-operating software such as sales, service, accounting, and auxiliary tools to support these processes. Plus, we supply all the hardware and software for our client base, including PBX’s, receivers, channel banks, and even telco circuits. We offer these solutions to ensure that your company’s operation is fully automated and managed, runs efficiently — with the lowest possible costs to you.
DICE took a fresh look at the industry in 2009 when it began development of its web-based products and services as its next generation of products. We believed, and have proven, that web-based software was critically important to the future flexibility of monitoring. The DICE vision was that alarm centers would not be tied to one building or one place in the country or even the world, but that alarm centers would use people and resources from any place in the world. Further, we envisioned that alarms would be verified by end users and then dispatched by operators on the network, or internet of things (IoT). The cloud, or the disbursed network, would be the focal point that changes the alarm industry forever. DICE Corporation’s engineering team focused on building a picture of what the industry would look like under this type of configuration and then designed software to fit this vision. We saw where things were headed back in 2009 and designed our software to do what others are just beginning to talk about today.
DICE recently released its Matrix16 alarm monitoring and business operating software, which is over ten times faster than that software that used to be directly installed in the alarm centers. Our software is now ten times faster in our UL listed, mirrored and redundant, cloud centers than it was five years ago when it was running in our clients’ alarm centers on their own equipment. This is shocking considering a cloud-based monitoring center doesn’t have any receivers, or servers, or software or telco lines. The monitoring center only needs web browsers, soft phones, and PCs with their operators. This has cut the cost of being a monitoring station so much that it is now giving clients who have switched to the DICE cloud center a huge advantage because their cost structure is so drastically reduced.
As an infrastructure provider, DICE has been able to go out and negotiate many deals with manufacturers; reducing the cost of both video and alarm products for our cloud center clients. DICE has also developed a VoIP alarm signaling network which allows alarm dealers and central stations to stay on the inexpensive telco dialers, without having to move their clients to the costly cellular or IP based alarm panels.
This has changed the opportunities and costs for monitoring centers. DICE’s new web-based software and cloud services reduce a center’s cost per subscriber. Plus, it eliminates the cost of starting an alarm center or maintaining one, as there is not a need to purchase any equipment or software going forward. In the past year alone, DICE has helped over 10 new companies start up monitoring centers. These companies now have the best software and server redundancy and operate out of DICE’s UL listed cloud alarm centers. This is a game changer when a new startup alarm center has multiple site redundancy, better software and technology, with a large staff of technical people available for support, all from day one, without any capital costs required.
“I believe that over time this will change the industry and who will be a part of the industry in the future,” said Cliff Dice, President and CEO of DICE Corporation. “As Google and Apple begin to nip at the heels of the industry, DICE is very aware of the older style monitoring companies who are pushed so hard to cut their costs that they switch to lower cost products in an attempt to survive in today’s environment. There is no shortage of low costs products and sales people who are taking advantage of these struggling alarm centers. I see it in software, with IP alarm products, and everyplace throughout the alarm industry. I understand the challenges but don’t believe that cutting costs will make you competitive in the future.”
Since 2009, DICE Corporation has focused on the vision of the cloud center and how it is able to deliver the best products in the industry at the best price. “It is taking hold so fast that it even surprised me,” said Dice. “This year alone, the cloud center has grown so fast and added so many clients. Many have made the switch to the new software and new models — even companies with over 200,000 accounts.”
Lastly, DICE views the cloud center as a gateway to manufacturers as well; therefore, the company has created a development system that provides sand boxes into its web-based development tools for any manufacturer who wishes to sell products to our client base. This allows manufacturers who wish to sell their products to monitoring companies with our cloud centers a path to design and develop their products in tune with the company’s vision of being an integrated web-based, cloud hosted monitoring service provider. We believe that automation software and cloud centers are the gateway to the monitoring industry and to the end users. “Manufacturers will need to shift their focus to selling cloud services and cloud products to the monitoring industry. We already see this happening and the cloud center development is only one year old at this point,” said Dice.
The future looks very bright for the monitoring industry as this type of software and cloud services will take the pressure off the alarm companies who are willing to change with the technological times. The cloud centers will also reduce the prices more over time, as volume in one place will allow greater delivery of products to the masses, helping manufacturers to deliver greater number of products in this new distribution model that has just been created.