By guest blogger Tiffany Coles, Director of Corporate Outreach
“Cloud” is a popular buzzword these days, but what exactly does it mean? In simplest terms, when your alarm monitoring center is hosted “in the Cloud,” you are able to handle alarms over the Internet. You no longer need servers, receivers, a phone system, and alarm monitoring software at your facility; they are accessed through a secure Internet connection. You simply need your operators, the phones and desktop computers in their physical workspace, and a redundant Internet connection for stable access to the Cloud.
In contrast, when your alarm monitoring business is hosted “on-premises,” you are storing your data and running all of your applications on your own equipment that is housed in your facility. Your team is responsible for supporting the alarm automation servers and the receivers at your location – both physical and virtual. You also have the responsibilities for the PRI’s and circuits for your monitoring business. You have the capital expense and the responsibility for the infrastructure, but you also have control of the equipment, configurations, and security.
There are pros and cons with both business models, and only you can determine which is right for your company. Here are a few considerations for each:
Hosted in the Cloud:
- There is no IT infrastructure to purchase, so your capital investment is minimal. This is a great alternative for central stations that are just opening or for an alarm dealer that is considering expanding into a monitoring center. If your alarm monitoring operation is due for a hardware refresh, it might also be a good time to consider Cloud-based monitoring.
- The implementation time is significantly reduced, as installation and configuration are completed by the provider. Again, another large factor for a new monitoring center – the longer it takes to get your business up and running, the longer it takes to start making money.
- Limited internal IT resources are needed, as the provider maintains and supports all of your IT infrastructure. (Less IT?? Enough said…)
- Cloud solutions are flexible and easily support account growth and business expansion. Whether you are considering monitoring in new geographic areas or offering new services, a Cloud-based solution can get you where you want to be faster and with less capital expense.
- If you have a solid internal IT department and you are confident in their depth and knowledge, you may prefer to maintain control of your IT infrastructure.
- The average lifespan of a 24/7 server is five years. If your equipment is early in its hardware lifecycle, it may not be the right time to make a move to the Cloud.
- Some vertical markets require businesses to have a private data center. If you do business with any government agencies, for example, they may require your data center to be on the premises.
- If your facility is in a location with bandwidth constraints or limitations, your business would not be a good candidate for moving to the Cloud. Obviously, Internet accessibility is a key factor in Cloud-based monitoring.
At Bold Technologies, we built Manitou Cloud Services to give our customers the power to choose the platform which will best help them grow their business. If you determine that Cloud-based monitoring is right for you, our platform provides a cost-effective, hosted solution with access to the same advanced technology you would receive on-premises. Manitou Cloud Services supports virtually the entire Manitou product line, including the popular Bold MediaGateway, TwoWayVoice, BoldTrak, BoldNet, and the UniversalConnector. In addition, partnerships with SedonaCloud and I-View Now offer central stations the ability to add accounting and video integration to their hosted platform. To provide a stronger and more comprehensive solution, we have partnered with two industry-leading telecommunication companies – OneTel and Communication Service Solutions – to ensure the highest quality of service and protection.
If you are interested in learning more about Manitou Cloud Services, contact our sales team at [email protected] or 800.255.2653, option 3.