We are all looking for extra control of your alarm system, whether it be simply turning it on and off from your phone or self-monitoring with push notifications.
From an end users perspective these are nice features, from an installers perspective adding additional options like remote programming and diagnostics, and maybe the ability to control the features the end user has access to, and maybe be able to charge for these nice features would be even better…
Many alarm systems now have optional boards to enable IP communications, some panels even now come with IP built into them. One company thou have been providing this type of functionality for many many years, and that company is Vanderbilt Industries. For at least 15 years Vanderbilt’s alarm system called SPC has had IP communication built in as standard on the entire SPC range, so you can imagine with this many years head start on the competition that they have a fine tuned an exceptional remote access platform. The platform is called SPC Connect, and that is our topic for today. So what is SPC connect…
The Vanderbilt Microsoft azure hosted cloud-based solution is designed for installers to monitor, manage and maintain SPC intrusion panels remotely from any location.
SPC Connect enables you to remotely manage your customer’s requirements. By removing the physical need to visit a site, it delivers you control while saving you time and money that would otherwise be spent traveling to and from site.
As your business grows and you need to add more users, rather than investing in additional in-house server capacity and software licenses, you can simply adjust your monthly SPC Connect subscription as required.
SPC uses an in house designed protocol called flex-c to manage all features and function that the panel is capable of. The flexible secure communication protocol enables IP communication based on single or multiple path alarm transmission using complete encryption between and panel and the cloud to AES 256-bit SSL. According to most experts, AES 256-bit SSL would take longer than a person’s lifespan to crack. So, we know it is secure in today’s world.
How does it work.
We can see SPC has multiple paths to communicate out, and Flex-c can talk to multiple platforms at the same time, our interest for today is the SPC connect cloud service.
SPC Connect cloud service communicates with each panel, and in turn communicates directly with a connected mobile apps logged in the same account. the service can also be programmed or monitored via a browser login to the portal as well.
As the features of this service are continually improving, some may be subject to change or be enhanced. All the features mentioned today are correct as of July 2020. If you are viewing this in the future, no doubt may new features have been added.
So, what are the features for an end user.
Here I am showing both the mobile app, in this case using an iPhone, but Android is also supported, and also using the browser login to the same account, the following features are available by both methods.
- Multiple panels can be monitored from a single account
- Email notifications can be sent
- Push notifications can be enabled for a variety of system functions and sent to a mobile device
- The panel can be controlled, that is armed/disarmed part set, or area set
- The event list can be displayed
- Live video of enabled cameras can be viewed
- Live AV verification events can be seen on active alarms
Additional control available via the Mobile App include.
- Outputs can be turned on/off
- Zone status can be viewed, and zones can be enabled/isolated
- Connected doors can be momentarily opened/closed/locked down or held open
- Maps can be added and system icons overlayed on the map for ease of use
- Mobile users can communicate with verification zones by using the speaker and microphone of selected keypads
The following can also be done via the Web browser
- Users and user profiles can be managed and updated
- Archived history of past audio video verification events can be accessed
- If enabled, full system programming can be done
So that is for the end user, we also have an installer account.
An installer account is like an end user account, with the exception that it can be linked to a company account to maintain a set group of panels
End user and installer accounts are provided free of charge, company accounts are charged yearly based on the number of panels connected to the company. company accounts include multiple additional ways to generate reoccurring income from the end user by providing a range of services, that we will see in a minute.
So, what is a company account
It is a way to manage installers and end user accounts seamlessly
what are the features and benefits for a company account?
- As well as doing everything we have so far discussed, the following can also be accomplished
- We have a home dashboard, that shows the state of all connected panels
- We can group like panels together into site groups to automatically perform functions like:
- Link authorised installers to access the panel
- Automatically perform a full backup of each panel and audit log
- Provide a regular report on the health and state of each panel. Ideal if you charge for regular service maintenance visits, now more regular remote visits can be scheduled and charged
- Provide a time sync based on the panel’s location
- Upgrade the firmware
- Archive the video and audio history for up to 12 months
- Enable a set of challenge messages to be send to, and spoken at a keypad
- Limit the end user app functions, this useful if you want to charge for these additional services or limit them because let’s say they are a current monitored customer on things like
- Block app
- Block Audio Visual verification
- Block push and email notifications
- Send customer push messages, on things like specials, account status etc
- Connect and link Vanderbilt’s Eventys NVR’s to map zone alarms with video verification
The SPC Connect cloud service is a feature rich platform, that comes free to the end user with every SPC sold. The SPC panel itself will be covered in future videos to showcase how this intrusion panel works and its ease of programming via the inbuilt web server. We hope you will join us for those videos as well.
As always if you wish to know more, please visit the Alarmcorp or Vanderbilt Industries websites, or contact your nearest Alarmcorp rep. So, until next time, please have a pleasant day.