Prominent High Street retailer chooses bespoke ControlFreq solution to monitor live signals from fire, intruder & panic alarms in 800 stores across the U.K. & E.U.

Remote alarm signal monitoring is evolving. The traditional scenario of a 3rd party alarm receiving (ARC) managing emergency services response has been the bedrock of remote alarm monitoring, however, significant advances in connected technologies, coupled with an increasingly monopolised alarm monitoring industry, has modern companies looking for modern alternatives. 

The Challenge

[Note: Customer undisclosed for security reasons]

This prominent High St retailer required real-time alarm signal notifications, event logging and reporting of fire, intruder, panic and arm/disarm events from 800 stores across the UK and EU. After having a competitor's event communicator system in all stores for many years, the previous solution provider was acquired by one of the biggest players in alarm monitoring. The subsequent cost increase vs the lack of in-house control of the software prompted the High St retailer to look for an alternative. Enter ControlFreq. The event signal communicator hardware needed to support comparable functionalities as the previous but with the added benefit of customisable in-house live monitoring software for better insight & control at a competitive price. This has ControlFreq written ALL over it!

The Solution

ControlFreq worked with the retailer on 'proof of concept' trials in 2 two stores over 3 months just after the lockdown easing in 2020.  The needs & wants vs minimum POC functionality were discussed over a number of prior meetings with the client and three UK/EU integration partners. Following approval of the software layout and functionality, WebAlarm signal receiving software was developed to communicate with our off-the-shelf, 4G event communicator, PRO+4G. 

Custom-branded for the end client, the bespoke software receives and displays live alarm triggers, in both list & dynamic map view, from any store in realtime. WebAlarm servers poll the 4G devices for connectivity status, reporting any signal loss/restore events to the client's in-house monitoring centre and Integrator for investigation. Insight into connectivity loss/restore allows proactive correction of intermittent connectivity loss which is otherwise very difficult to diagnose and correct. Inbuilt user heirarchy enables the client's now 'in-house ARC'  to allow multiple operators to use WebAlarm software with all user activity event logged for retrieval if required. A key feature requested was the early arm/late disarm functionality. This allows store open/close times to be set, per store, with an instant notification if the intruder alarm is not armed/disarmed according to the correct schedule. This is used to aid looss prevention teams to 'weed out' stock losses being aided by a security system 'staff' override outside of working hours.   

The Outcome

ControlFreq 'off-the-shelf' PRO+4G alarm signalling hardware was employed to retrofit Webway GSM units running legacy 2G technology.

The PRO+4G, paired with customised purpose-built WebAlarm 'web-based' software, provides a realtime window into alarm activity across the customer's entire UK/EU estate.

WebAlarm is implemented in a 24/7/365 alarm receiving centre (ARC) at the customer's HQ receiving live fire alarm, intruder alarm, panic alarm and intruder arm/disarm events, in realtime, from a UK/EU estate of over 800 retail stores.

With the ControlFreq system in place, the customer has reduced the annual running of the legacy system while bringing control of the monitoring, and associated software, in-house. 

Direct engineer support for the customer's UK & EU Security Integrator partners has now been upgraded to 7-day phone support.

The rollout supported by ControlFreq continues...

ControlFreq 4G remote alarm monitoring offers in-house control & visibility internal security management teams can rely on... 

"ControlFreq have transformed our in-house capabilities to manage our security response to real time events. They've systematically rebuilt the way we receive and display alarm signals enabling us to react to any emergency events quicker than ever before. From the initial call to discuss the challenge through to demo kit and POC software, ControlFreq have surpassed all expectations. Not only in  terms of the hardware software provided but the support provider directly to our various Integrators has been second to none".

Is it time to upgrade your remote monitoring?

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