Security Systems News

NOV 2017

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www.securitysystemsnews.com Nov EM b ER 2017 SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS Monitoring 22 Cindy Miller, dealer care supervisor, intro- duced the company's team of account repre- sentatives and account executives. Spencer Dean, operations manager work- ing in AvantGuard's Idaho facility, met with the tour to talk about culture and finding the right people. Dean pointed to a company saying to illustrate AvantGuard's culture, that AvantGuard cares F.I.R.S.T., meaning the company cares, it is Fun, it is Innovative, it values Relationships, focuses on Service, and builds Trust. He also highlighted that both of AvantGuard's facilities are close to universi- ties, allowing the company to bring in college students with new ideas. Suzie Nye, AvantGuard's VP of operations, discussed the company's monitoring center. A big difference following the remodel was bringing the monitoring from the first floor to the third floor. When the monitoring center was on the ground level, windows needed to be blocked as a requirement for UL certi- fication. Now, the monitoring center is just about surrounded by windows that can let in natural light. Troy Iverson, AvantGuard's vice president, commented on an increase in productivity after the move. Rich Slater, the company's VP of human resources, talked about his team's approach within HR, as focusing on the employees as well as the company as a whole. The first day ended with a networking reception at The Chateaux Deer Valley, where the conference is being held. Justin Bailey, AvantGuard president and COO, gave the conference's first educa- tional presentation, on "The Future of PERS Monitoring." Though, first, he started by taking a look back at the predictions he made about the PERS industry and where it was headed in 2013. He warned of the demise of the landline. In the last two years, he said, there are more homes with only cellphones than those with landlines. Next he took a look at VoIP and how that's progressed. AvantGuard has seen massive growth in non-traditional communication, according to Bailey. MPERS has also grown greatly since 2013. In 2013, AvantGuard's medical monitoring was 3 percent mPERS, it grew to be 36 percent in 2015 and now—the majority—55.3 percent in 2017. Another prediction Bailey had in 2013 was toward the advancement and use of location services, and noted significant growth in that area. While there is cell ID and GPS, "What we're seeing now in the industry is the use of Wi-Fi location," he said. Additionally, at this year's PERS Summit he highlighted IPS—or indoor positioning system—technologies, and predicted more of those in the future. Not all of his predictions came true; Bailey also discussed some that missed. In 2013, he predicted a large PERS and Telehealth convergence. While that hasn't happened, Bailey expects that it will come in the future. Similarly, the obsolescence of equipment refurbishment was another 2013 prediction from Bailey that wasn't seen in the last four years, but he still predicts it's coming up down the road. Times are changing, according to Bailey, with increasing Internet and social media usage as well as the number of smart phones and cell phones. One demographic that he highlighted was those 50 to 64 years old, 97 percent of who have a smartphone or cell phone. Technological advancements can disrupt and industry. Bailey gave the example of the taxi industry, disrupted by Uber's capabilities with a smart phone. "I want to challenge each of us to not be the taxi industry," Bailey said. The day's second session looked at PERS cases in court, and what a business can do before, during and after potential litigation. Philip Kujawa, attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, opened by saying that this presentation is not legal advice. Specifically, Kujawa looked at what a PERS company could do to prepare for or prevent a lawsuit, such as a wrongful death suit fol- lowing the death of a PERS user. The PERS user is not a medical alarm company's enemy, Kujawa said, and the people who get PERS to help a loved one are not either, typically. The potential problem is with people who buy a PERS for a family member out of guilt. Kujawa said that he finds plaintiffs in wrongful death cases against PERS companies don't have a great relationship with the deceased. "Try to evaluate who it is that's purchasing the product from you," he said. "Put high caution on those customers." If a person is paying for the PERS unit but doesn't want to be on the call list, that can be a sign of potential trouble, Kujawa noted. Litigation in this arena is new, according to Kujawa. Unfortunately, alarm companies don't have the greatest reputation, which can make them a target, he said. Additionally, some states are more litigious than others, he said, pointing to Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, California, and Florida as the five worst states. "Unfortunately, you have to think about being defensive," Kujawa said, and the best defense is a good offense. In order to offen- sively protect a company, attendees should do a good job with their businesses, he said, adding that attending an industry conference is a good sign. Company's that want to be defensive can develop, adopt and implement best practices in all facets of the business. Contracts are critical, not having one is very helpful to the plaintiff's lawyer, Kujawa said. "I want the person wearing the pendant to sign that if they can," he said; family members bringing a suit would not have better rights than the deceased. After the user themselves, the next best thing would be to have the per- son who is most responsible and involved in the user's life as the signatory. "What I don't want is somebody completely remote to the end user signing the contract; [such as] the hospital, the nursing home." In preparation before a suit, those on the frontline should be aware of when they receive complaints after an event—such as a user's death—and get the facts, do an internal inves- tigation. Kujawa also encouraged attendees to save any media coverage related to the event, as it might be helpful. He stressed that com- panies should be careful regarding requests for information. Freely sharing information that the company isn't required to—like an alarm history—may appear helpful but can create more problems in a lawsuit, he said. Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, presented the last session of the day, "Key Technology Trends for the Aging Beyond 2017." Orlov began by pointing out four key tech- nologies needed in the aging in place market: communications and engagement, safety and security, learning and contribution, and health and wellness. From there, Orlov examined the ways these technologies fit around aspects of aging in place. She started with home care, which is a space that sees a lot of turnover—at least 64 percent, according to Orlov. Potential reasons for this are that the work is labor intensive compared with other low wage occupations. Home care is a space that needs partners, devices and services, she said. One technology that Orlov highlighted was voice interactions. This is the opportunity for virtual assistants, she said. For example, a senior could repeat questions with a virtual assistant, and the response would be the same, not annoyed or frustrated. Currently, there are 9 million devices like this in homes, Orlov said, and by 2018, 30 percent of interactions with technology will be through conversations, she added. Examples of this category would be Amazon's Echo, Google Home, and Siri with Apple. Orlov also addressed risks and concerns in the voice market, such as the cost of broadband, language support, and difficulties AvantGuard holds 2017 PERS Summit The remodel of AvantGuard's headquarters included a new lounge for employees. Continued from page 1 Continued on next page Together we can Educate Inspire Heal Nourish Children and families in crisis across the USA need our help – and yours. And as a 501(c)(3) organization, Mission 500 now has even greater flexibility to work with local charities to better support existing and new sponsors and volunteers. But even with over 1100 children sponsored and many acts of charity performed to date, there's still a great deal of work to be done. Get involved today! Visit mission500.org for more information. Supporting Families Across America

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