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What to look for in AoIP alarm transmission

November 22nd 2012

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What to look for in AoIP alarm transmission - the essential benefits and features.

In the previous article we examined the growth of AoIP and the fact that it is now considered a mature and reliable technology. We also highlighted the need to look at the full life cycle costs rather than just the cheapest initial purchase price.

But there are other variables to be taken into account when choosing  a system.  Cost is important, but it is by no means the only factor.

  • Will the system connect to all panels? Not all do.

  • Will the system provide remote upload/download using all manufacturers’ own remote management software, across both mobile and fixed IP? This is an important point as some AoIP systems need fixed IP addresses or require the remote maintenance call to be set up at the panel, which is clearly no good at 2:00am on a Sunday morning when nobody is on site!

  • Can you get full performance diagnostics to allow the installer, maintainer or system manager to identify what is happening on site prior to sending out an engineer?  Can you actually identify if it is a line failure and contact the local Telco before the engineer drives 200 miles to investigate and finds he has just wasted his time?

  • Can the system be remotely reflashed?  Reflashing is a simple, but very important facility.  If there is something wrong with the dialler or a new feature is launched, reflashing can be used to update the system so there is no need to send an engineer .These are powerful features that save money in the long run.

  • Enhanced services should always be considered.  These can include the following:

  • You may want the system to provide alert forwarding to fire, police, maintenance engineers etc.

  • A voice service may be desirable, to allow audio verification.

  • The market for visual verification is increasingly important, so a system which can carry pictures is a major new enhancement that should be considered.

  • What about telemetry for across IP? This one service alone brings a host of new opportunities to mind, including metering, freezers, monitoring, door opening, etc.

  • Can alerts be sent to users/key-holders via text, pre-recorded voice or emails?

  • Can upload/download be allowed and connected to all panels behind firewalls?

  • Can an engineer, installer or maintainer, get a history of the performance of the site to identify trends?

Let’s be honest, where is the main cost to this industry occurring? It’s in wasted call-out and costs to visit the site. Anything that can reduce these costs will add to profit.

All of the above factors should be considered as these will save money or offer revenue opportunities to charge to a client; either way it’s clear that a feature-rich system is a more financially attractive choice offering more opportunity.

In contrast, choosing the AoIP system with the lowest equipment cost can be a false economy for both the client and the support organisation.

The IRIS system from Chiron is a very cost-effective system with a unique charging structure. In fact there is only one charge: for the equipment.

The system is independent of mobile operators and SIM cards.  There are no on-going monthly charges, except those from the monitoring centre.

Once all the benefits and features are taken into account, and all cost savings gained as a result, IRIS has by far the lowest life-cycle cost.

The IRIS system from Chiron is reportedly becoming the market leader, with over 90,000 systems already installed, proven and operating in 36 countries and over 360 monitoring centres using it.

It is also significant that the IRIS system is now rapidly becoming the AoIP system-of-choice for manufacturers, with UTC and Honeywell now adopting the IRIS system and providing their panels direct from the manufacturer with IRIS already installed.

- In the next article well look at the main types of AoIP systems.

 

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