A Closer Look at the Universal Connector – Part Two

Josh Tafoya is a Bold Technical Trainer and is presenting this three-part series to offer a detailed look at the benefits of Bold’s Universal Connector.

When we last met, I explained what the Universal Connector was and gave a general explanation of what it could do. That’s all fine in theory, but the question you are probably asking is, “What can the Universal Connector do for ME?” It’s a fair question. I spoke in somewhat vague terms about how it is used. But not this time…

The examples I’m about to share with you are generic in nature (meaning that I haven’t taken them from actual situations at actual Manitou Monitoring Centers), but are similar enough to reality to represent how the Universal Connector is used.

Scenario 1: Emails From a Customer

Let’s suppose there is some device out in the world that is capable of sending an email like the one below:


The opportunity we have here is to monitor the temperatures for this customer by pulling out the information from the email, and making the following mappings:

Unit = TXID
Sub-Unit = Zone Number
Sub-Unit-Desc = Point ID
Sub-Unit-Status = Event Information

All we need to know is (1) the format for the email will always be the same, and (2) what possible entries the Sub-Unit-Status can be. We need to know what messages are possible so we can map the High-Temperature Alarm to an appropriate Event Code in Manitou, along with a Low-Temperature Alarm, Temperature Status, Sensor Error, or any other events that may come in.

Once this connector is set up, the vendor that supplies the system which monitors the pantry temperature can be shown the solution and reminded that now ALL of their sites capable of sending such emails are eligible to be monitored. Sales opportunity anyone?

Scenario 2: Video Stills emailed from customers

A customer is using an off-the-shelf Belkin NetCam, which is capable of sending out an email with a still of the motion being captured. (I understand these are not intended nor marketed as the solution for alarm monitoring, and that very likely ALL of you have a better solution which also includes a better camera, better motion sensing, higher resolution, and most importantly, a better sales margin. I’m simply using this to illustrate what is possible.)

So in this scenario, we get an email that looks this:

Monitoring software in action


As above, we would use the message in the email (or in the subject line) to determine the nature of the message, but more importantly, the pictures (there are actually two in the email), would get attached to the event in Manitou, making it available for review later.

Scenario 3: HELP messages via SMS

At an institution of higher learning, in the interest of campus security, an SMS solution is needed. The institution would sign up for a Short SMS Number (one of those numbers advertisers use to say “text INFO to 121212 for more details”). Obviously, the 121212 is not a normal number, but it is provided by the SMS service. Then we would set up a connector that receives the messages and passes them along to the operator as a Panic Alarm.

We can go two ways from here. One way would be that each person would need to subscribe in order to text a help message. This is great for situations where there is a limited or fixed number of users who might send such messages. The other way is to allow anyone to send a help message, and they would all be routed to a common account in Manitou. Either way, the operator would be presented with an HTML document containing the entire message, and the phone number of the sending party.

There are way, way, WAY too many scenarios to discuss them all here. But I’m hoping everyone gets the idea of what possibilities are available.

Stay tuned for next week, where we will discuss some strategies for easing your Universal Connector installation.