Earlier this year, the security industry welcomed UL827, a new certification that separates the central station automation provider from central station operating sites. Under the UL 827 certification, automation providers can now deliver cloud-based or hosted services, and this change is impacting the electronic security industry in several ways.
A hosted automation service greatly lowers the cost of implementing a UL compliant central station. For a central station to be UL certified, requirements for redundant telephone lines, power supplies, receivers, and servers must be met. A cloud-based service provides the necessary infrastructure for a central station to operate through a secure online interface and opens the door for central stations to keep infrastructure costs manageable, no matter their size.
A cloud-based automation service allows existing central stations to easily complement their existing infrastructure. The UL 827 certification introduces redundancy requirements for monitoring centers, and by using a hosted solution central stations can eliminate the need for additional servers and equipment while still meeting the redundancy conditions.
In September, Bold Technologies introduced the Manitou Cloud Services platform. Created around the UL 827 certification, the Manitou Cloud Services platform provides a secure, flexible, and highly redundant cloud-based automation solution. The Manitou Cloud Services platform is designed to provide customers with the necessary infrastructure to operate their alarm center in a hosted environment. Manitou Cloud Services includes nearly the entire Manitou suite, including the alarm automation software, PBX system, receivers, and telecom lines.
The Manitou Cloud Services platform resides in a fully-staffed, 24/7, SSAE 16 Type II, HIPAA compliant redundant data center. The data center is in Colorado Springs, which is a premier location due to the extremely low numbers of natural disasters in Colorado and its central location to the East and West coasts. Additional features of the Manitou Cloud Services data center include a facility-wide UPS, redundant generators, excellent power, automatic fire suppression, redundant cooling and HVAC, a redundant network, and multiple tier one internet carriers via BGP4.
The Manitou Cloud Services solution provides great opportunities for both new and existing central stations. New central stations can meet UL requirements for power, telephony, receiver, HVAC, fire suppression, and automation software without all of the cost and headache. Bold handles all of the supporting infrastructure, and the only certification provisions the central station needs to meet onsite are staffing, training, recordkeeping, disaster recovery and basic physical room requirements.
Existing central stations with large account volume benefit from the ability to meet new UL 827 certification requirements for triple redundancy. Existing central stations also benefit form the ability to upgrade their software without the worry of requiring upgraded servers or equipment, and the opportunity to expand their disaster recovery with a second monitoring station, while only replicating an operator room, rather than the entire monitoring station.