June 2020 E-Newsletter
www.GMScentral.com
President’s Message
By Robert Few
2020 continues to be an unpredictable year and one that has provided businesses with many challenges. With challenge also comes new opportunities to innovate, pivot and get creative, all of which are made possible by people. We are focusing on people in this newsletter to give you a closer glimpse into our phenomenal team that makes GMS such a great organization. 

It has been an honor to lead our people for the last six months and while we have made vast improvements to our business in a short period of time, I am confident that our strides are just the beginning and our talented team will only continue to strengthen GMS moving forward. Below you will learn more about Tameka Jordan Tiffany Bradley, Angelina Wampler and Leila Ross, all of whom I’m proud to work with. These individuals embody hard work, dedication and treat our team with respect, kindness and trust, which are three qualities that GMS employees must embrace to flourish in our business. 

It is no secret that we have gone through many changes over the last year at GMS. During times of change and certainly in our current macro environment we often have to make difficult decisions and take action to adjust to the needs of our customers, the market and our team members. Hopefully, you are feeling the positive impacts including improved service levels, faster responses to your needs, quicker resolution of issues, improved billing and auditing capabilities. Despite the changes required due to Covid-19 to keep our employees safe and the need to increase staff on our third shift to respond to the increased alarms caused by the looting that has taken place, we have still raised the bar here at GMS. 

Our team members are trained to put our customers first and they are empowered to act like they own GMS so they can do the right thing for you our customers! Our goal is to make GMS the best place to work and we are making strides in this area by recognizing our team for their hard work and through employee empowerment, training and professional development. We know that ensuring our people are happy will enable the team to provide you with the best possible service and at the end of the day it is all about taking care of our people, and our customers. 

Given recent events, our management team has taken time to reflect on issues involving economic, racial and social inequalities. I want to assure you that we do not tolerate any injustices, such as acts of violence and/or discrimination, against anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status. GMS prides itself on our diverse and inclusive group of employees and the opportunities we present equally for all of our team members regardless of anything named above. I’m proud of our diversity and our culture that is rooted in the acceptance of others and one that embraces our differences. We are all people and we must work together to make this world, our businesses and our neighborhoods better places.  

Finally, I sincerely want to hear from you. For those that have reached out, Thank You! I have enjoyed getting to know you and I look forward to continuing to set higher standards for GMS and provide you with the best service in our industry! Please call or email me anytime to discuss ways we may be able to better support your business or how we can help with any specific challenges you are facing.

Sincerely,
Robert Few
CEO & President
General Monitoring Services, Inc .
GMS Staff Achievements and Appreciation
At GMS, we can set the bar high in the industry in large part due to our phenomenally dedicated staff. Today, we’d like to shine the light on some of our compassionate and conscientious members and celebrate some recent achievements.  Please join us in congratulating them!

Tiffany Bradley - Technical Services Representative
Tiffany Bradley has been with GMS since March 2012. Within six months into her hire as alarm dispatch operator, she transitioned into Tech Services. In that role, she consistently went above the call of duty to assist anyone in need. She has been instrumental in helping with migration/upgrades to Various Alarm Receivers and Automation Platforms GMS runs on, and continues to provide support for dealers whether it is assisting with upgrading Cell Units due to the recent Cellular platform Sunsets or basic Communications Programming assistance. Tiffany provides exceptional troubleshooting and identification of programming issues that are not easily identified in the field; among many other achievements. For the past couple of years Tiffany took on the Role of 3rd Shift Supervisor and did an outstanding job and is now back in Tech Services where she is certainly appreciated by many GMS Partner Dealers!

Even outside of work, Tiffany is a very supportive person that cares for our own team members. In many instances she has stepped into a position of support and has even assisted in Technical issues beyond Central Station related support assisting with fixing employee's automotive issues either with starting, car radios not working, or just a simple diagnostic of the problem. She loves to help in any way she can.

Congratulations, Tiffany!


Angelina Wampler - Recent Appointment to Shift Supervisor
Angelina Wampler has been with GMS since October 2019 and has over 20 years of experience in the security monitoring industry. Most of her career has been spent in management as a Supervisor. 

Angelina was hired as an Assistant Supervisor and quickly excelled in the role. In this position, she motivated the team to achieve optimal results, supported her Supervisor with performance evaluations, and directed the shift efficiently. Other outstanding achievements included delivering assignments and tasks before their deadline, and managing activity against our operation's targets. Angelina is also a great source of inspiration and comes to the central station with many valuable ideas, and is another wonderful example of what makes GMS so successful. 

Congratulations, Angelina!


Liela Ross - Attendance Recognition - Over 12 Months Perfect Attendance
We’d also like to recognize Liela Ross, a GMS employee since 2018, who has over 12 months of perfect attendance. Liela is a 1st shift dispatch operator, accepts challenges, works hard, and is very committed to her work as demonstrated through regular attendance. She adds a warm presence to the workplace, gets along well with peers, and is known for her delicious homemade goodies that grace GMS potlucks. A real team player, Liela is always willing to join in the office fun and even won “most creative” for our Halloween contest! 

Thank you, Liela, for your dedication to GMS and our customers!


Tameka Jordan — TMA Support Person of the Year Finalist
Every year The Monitoring Association (TMA) Excellence Awards recognize outstanding personnel who perform in the highest professional manner, thereby making a significant contribution to the betterment of the alarm industry and the alarm profession while demonstrating exceptional service to their customers and community.

GMS's own Tameka Jordan (Dealer Support Automation Specialist) was submitted as a nominee in the Support Person of the Year category. After an extremely lengthy vetting period, Tameka was chosen out of all the nominations submitted as one of two finalists.

We are extremely proud of Tameka for making it to the final two. Tameka's long-term dedication, willingness to support our valued partner dealers, her coworkers, and her positive demeanor are exactly what we want to grow through all areas of GMS.

We know a lot of you have interacted with Tameka over the years as Tameka has been part of the GMS Family for over 20 Years! Please join us in celebrating Tameka in this awesome experience!!
Remote Workers, Field Technicians
and Business Travelers Hot Solution 
Do you know if the Wi-Fi your remote workers use keeps your data safe? Ask us about a new secure  unlimited  4G/LTE mobile hotspot for business. No one has to use up their personal data cap to get their work done on desktops, laptops or tablets.
 
  • Automatically connects to the strongest cellular signal
  • No throttling of speeds 
  • Streaming is blocked to keep your employees productive
  • Great for remote workers or field technicians
  • Mobile Hotspot works in 180 countries with no roaming charges 

Contact Ken Gresty 800-839-7212 for more information.
GMS Web Access MyCentralConnect
 By Richard Drew Vice President, Dealer Relations, GMS

Hello, GMS Partners!

Are you taking advantage of all that our GMS Web Portal offers? If not, I’d like to invite you to login to the GMS Web Portal and review all of the options available to you. In the portal you can take control of the alarm and customer information you see, when you see it, and how you manage it. We encourage you to explore the different ways below to manage your clients at your own pace and on your own terms. 

Alarm Activity

  • Easily review all of your account activity from an orbital view or zoom in to specific types of signals and responses

  • Review data changes, alarm dispatches, signal response times, or load your own alarm buffer onto your screen and watch your alarms get processed in real time 

Data Management

  • Here you can review recent account updates, check up on the health of your subscriber information, update subscriber contacts, or take complete control of the account setup process

  • Our Dealer Support Operators are available to help and walk you through the steps that will lead you and your staff to a better, more complete understanding of your clients’ information and needs

Detailed Reports

  • From complete database reports to subscriber summaries, contact reports to zone reports, the GMS Web Portal gives you the tools to see your customer database and activity in a new light

  • You’ll be able to see at a glance which accounts expect scheduled timer tests, which accounts have been added or cancelled recently, and which accounts are your “problem children” that have been sending in excessive signals potentially causing customer disengagement and/or higher phone bills 

We hope you find the GMS Web Portal helpful in managing your business. To schedule training at any time please contact Dealer Support at 888-467-1119 or email us at data.entry@gmscentral.com and a Dealer Support Operator will be happy to assist. 

Sincerely,
Richard Drew
GMS
Vice President, Dealer Relations
How the Cellular Sunset Can Brighten Your Future
By Russell Vail, EVP of Market Development, Alula

American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, the author of Self Reliance and other influential essays of the 19th century, once famously said “Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”

The same is true of cellular sunsets.

As most security professionals know only too well, wireless carriers regularly repurpose existing cellular frequencies. It happens on a fairly regular basis, and for the installer it means eating costs, rolling trucks and swapping out devices.

Carriers are gearing up for additional sunsets in the near future, and this time around, security professionals should prepare for it differently than they might have done in the past. They should view upcoming sunsets by Verizon, AT&T and others as a business opportunity, and a chance to escape the “crazy loop” of installing new cellular radios that will need to be replaced with the next sunset.

Sunsets Past and Future
 
There have been several sunsets of cellular networks since the late 1990s, including Amps, 2G and CDMA. They occurred so that carriers could harvest bandwidth to serve customers’ growing appetite for data.

That appetite has grown larger today, as video-enabled smart devices continue a steady march into consumers’ homes and offices. The need for more bandwidth is ramping up, which means the next series of sunsets will be larger—and potentially more of a problem for security professionals—than past sunsets have been. 

Verizon is planning to discontinue its CDMA network by 2022, and AT&T will repurpose its 3G network that same year.

While it might seem like 2022 is still a ways away, the security business doesn’t have the luxury of putting off the work. Sunsets don’t occur overnight, in one fell swoop. Carriers repurpose bandwidth gradually, which means some outlier neighborhoods are already in the midst of losing connectivity.

Security dealers have dealt with this problem in the past by reaching into their own pockets to replace devices before they stop functioning, rolling trucks and accepting a hit to their bottom lines. Adding insult to injury, many have found themselves right back where they started, and facing yet another sunset within five years.

But it doesn’t have to be this way anymore. The security business can get away from this endless cycle, and adopt technologies that make this “crazy loop” a thing of the past.

The Business Opportunity

As consumers demand more data—especially video—installers should see the upcoming cellular sunsets as the business opportunities they are. They present the chance to sell upgrades to video, home automation and interactive touchpads. 

According to industry research, one in four American households plans to add a video doorbell in the coming year, and the shelves at big box stores are crammed with low-power, low-bandwidth devices that can make homes more interconnected and secure.

Relying on cell networks alone to power security devices should be a thing of the past. The Internet is the phone line of the future.

While this new reality is disruptive of old business models, there is a distinct upside for the security business: The Internet will never sunset.

Multiple-path communicators—like Alula’s BAT-Connect communicator—offer installers the opportunity to not just weather the upcoming sunsets, but prosper through them.

Selling the Upgrade

The 2022 sunsets of 3G and CDMA don’t have to be a money-losing proposition for installers. They are a chance to offer multiple communication paths, where cell networks are no longer front and center.

Offering IP-based connectivity and WiFi represents the longest possible horizon, as well as the chance to upgrade consumers’ security systems without tearing down existing configurations.

Adding a communications module like the BAT-Connect enables dealers to add home automation, video, and updated touchpads. Progressive companies have been offering upgrade specials to their client base--especially video doorbells and touchpads--to cover the cost of the sunset expenses.

This type of functionality is what consumers will demand in 2020 and beyond, and offering multiple communication paths is the way to insulate them from cellular sunsets going forward.

The 2022 sunsets are already upon us, and installers now face a choice: cling to the old way of doing business, or solve cellular sunsets once and for all and add RMR by upselling video and interactive services.

When you look at it from that perspective, this sunset presents a compelling business opportunity on the horizon.

Russell Vail is EVP of Market Development at Alula, the leader in smart security and automation systems for professional installers and the award-winning inventors of the Connect+ Platform. For more information about Alula, visit www.alula.com .
Industry News and Tips Links
SIA open protocol approved as international standard
Developed and maintained by the Security Industry Association (SIA) OSDP Working Group since 2011, the SIA Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), an access control communications standard to improve interoperability among access control and security products, has been approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) technical committee on alarm and electronic security systems as an international standard.
SDM 100 Report
The SDM 100 Report ranks U.S. companies that earn their revenues from the sale, installation, service and monitoring of electronic security systems — such as intrusion and fire alarm, access control, video surveillance, and related low-voltage systems — to residential and non-residential customers.
How Integrators can Thrive on
K-12 Campuses
From technology options to developing RMR, here is a guide for security integrators looking to flourish in the school vertical.

2020 Video Surveillance Deep Dive: Prices, Profits, Challenges & More
Installing dealers/integrators report an average gross profit margin of 37.5% for their video surveillance projects — almost 5 points higher than in 2019.

Referral Program
Current and Active Dealer Partners will receive up to $1,000.00 in the form of an invoice credit for referring a new dealer to GMS for Monitoring Service Solutions.