Choosing a Cloud Platform
What to Look for in a Cloud Platform
There’s a lot of talk about the cloud in physical security; often enough to make your head spin. It isn’t really all that complicated when you break it down into the most important criteria in selecting a cloud service: the platform and the interface.
You need a robust cloud platform that makes it easy to add services initially or in the future as your needs change. For example, the cloud service you select should offer an array of integrations, including intrusion, video, access control, critical environmental monitoring, energy management, asset management, commercial fire alarm data event monitoring and other connected applications. The platform should be highly flexible and scalable – so you can begin at any level and expand services in the future – without having to start from scratch.
Look for a cloud service interface that allows the convenience to view, control and interact with all your systems on one screen from any web-enabled device. It should be purpose-built to simplify integrations and offer the flexibility to select from many different products that work with the platform.
Cloud services should align with your business goals and your target vertical markets, whether commercial, residential, education or retail. Being able to leverage one platform for all your customer’s installations makes it simpler all around. You can streamline inventory and your employees stay up to date with the technology as they become increasingly confident with the service.
Here are five quick tips for picking the right cloud service for your company:
- Make sure a wide array of services are available today, with add-ons possible at any time.
- Assess the overall scalability of the platform as far as the number of users. Flexible cloud platforms allow security dealers to throttle up and down the number of users so it’s always consistent with their current user needs.
- Cloud services need to be flexible, providing the option to be managed by your company or the customer.
- Develop a spreadsheet that details all the services you require and the services the potential cloud service provider offers. Identify the “must-haves” and make sure the interface checks all the boxes.
- Your cloud service provider should be a willing partner and assist with any questions you may have about the platform as it applies to specific projects.
Recent Usability Improvements
Customer Management Portal
- Increased Speed of System Profile Templates with Many Systems: The System Profile Templates are a great convenience for your customer with multiple locations. One template can span any number of locations with predefined permissions removing the necessity to individually specify permissions each time when adding a new user. Now the speed at updating templates when many systems and codes are involved has been greatly improved which will enhance your customers' experience.
Dealer Administrative Portal & System Updates
- New Testing Feature with Temporary Device Signal Options: New temporary device signal options can be scheduled for a desired timeframe. Previously the signal choices were permanent and had to be manually restored after testing. Now you can set a temporary signal option for the testing period and it will automatically revert back after the desired date. Temporary options include: Process Only, Log & Process, Log Only (NEW), or Ignore. Generally during testing the recommended options are Log Only or Ignore. This ensures your customer isn't inundated with notifications from alarm conditions generated while testing.
- TIP: Check the Configuration page for the Device as it includes recommended programming for the particular product and firmware version.
IMPORTANT TIP: SMS Messaging Enhancements
We are seeing random bounced messages from Verizon Phfirstname.lastname@example.org for valid text addresses and periodic delays with T-Mobile Phemail@example.com, SMS messaging is a reliable method for your customers to receive notifications.
Connect ONE offers an enhanced SMS messaging service that provides reliable delivery as a true SMS message since it doesn't utilize the carrier email to text option. The expanded SMS service is subscribed on the customer level, please see the Connect ONE price guide for package information, the price guide is available on the Home tab of the Dealer Administration Portal. The carrier email to text option will continue to be included in the base service level at no additional charge.
This is a great option for critical messages which require reliable delivery and will continue without management changes if the customer changes cellular carriers since only their phone number is specified for delivery.
Tip: Customer Add-On Modules
Add-on modules are super easy to setup for your customer - requiring little to no configuration - build more RMR!
- Asset Management
- The Asset Management Module provides streamlined methods to track assets, such as keys, equipment, electronics, tools, inventory, etc., to locations and/or users including the generation of custom user authorization templates upon issuing and/or returning.
- Badge Printing (InstantCard)
- The InstantCard module works with the InstantCard Badge Service to push user photo and details to a badge template for physical badge printing.
- Case Management
- The Case Management Module provides streamlined methods to track critical event responses, incidents, and repairs at one or multiple locations. Ideal for building and property management companies, multifamily and multi-tenant users or national accounts with numerous locations.
- Emergency Messaging Hub
- The Emergency Messaging Hub provides a unified feed of emergency messages from multiple systems for an associated site. It works by receiving Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) messages from Mass Notification and other Emergency Response platforms and by translating device native events to the CAP format. All CAP messages are published to the hub for all external services to consume in a single atom feed.
- GeoView System Mapping (MVP Award Winner 2019)
- The GeoView System Mapping Module maps real-time status and control of systems to Google Maps. Easily drag/place markers for: System Health, Arm/Disarm Status & Control (Multi-Area), Zones & Sensors (including Environmental & Weather Sensors), Doors & Outputs, Cameras (also Live View within Map). Also, upload interior floorplans and overlay them on top of the satellite image.
- Safe Passage (MVP Award Winner 2021)
- The Safe Passage module provides a framework for a one-time/periodic self-approval process. If required and not completed, upon access by the individual, violation events are generated so a manager can ensure the user is safe to be at the site regarding health and/or hazard concerns. Documentation is stored with the user account showing they have answered the proper questions and approved any company terms such as an NDA.
- Weather Monitoring
- The Weather Monitoring Module monitors National Weather Service alerts instantly and six weather metrics updated every 30-60 minutes: 1. Temperature, 2. Relative Humidity, 3. Current Condition, 4. Wind Speed, 5. Barometric Pressure, 6. Dew Point. Each of the metrics can be programmed with a low and high threshold limit which can deliver notifications and interact with other devices onsite such as the alarm/access systems and thermostats. Historical reporting is also possible for each metric which can show readings recorded over a time period.
Give Us the Challenge...
We love hearing from our Dealers with requests from their customers to help solve challenges.
Please contact us and give us the challenge, we may be able to design something for you, and together we can watch your company reach the potential you always knew was possible.
Send us your feedback
We will continue to include the enhancements in this newsletter.
We also post the enhancements to our "Company" page and "Group" page on LinkedIn, as well as to the "Feature Blog" tab on our website.
Please contact us for your invitation to join the "Group" on LinkedIn.
Also, be sure to review the Home tab on the Connect ONE Dealer Site as this will contain many helpful Sales Sheets and Technical Guides.
We encourage you to visit these sites to stay up-to-date.