by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer
I recently had a conversation with one of our customers regarding the UL inspection they underwent as part of their move onto Manitou Cloud Services. I was curious about any challenges or surprises, and how the process went in general. (For confidentiality, I’ll be writing in generalities. So when I mention “he” or “they,” I’m referring to this customer.)
This customer existed as a call center before Manitou Cloud Services, and they are new to Alarm Monitoring. They felt that the capital outlay required to purchase servers may have prevented them from entering the monitoring market previously. But the low up-front cost of Manitou Cloud Services removed those barriers, allowing them to focus on all parts of their business without having to concentrate on the management and upkeep of the servers.
Our customer got in touch with the UL several months ago to arrange his inspection. Approximately three months before the inspection, he was provided with the form that is ultimately completed by the UL inspector. Many of you may be familiar with it!
During the time leading up to the inspection, the UL inspector was cooperative and helpful, providing insight into items which needed to be addressed before the actual scheduled visit. In this case, the majority of the items were building-related. They needed to make sure the power protection was in place, both generator and UPS. Since the servers are in the Cloud, they needed to ensure that the Internet routers and endpoint equipment were included on the UPS/Generator system.
Our customer felt the UL inspector was happy to be using Manitou Cloud Services in this process. The inspector explained how a normal inspection might take five or more hours to complete. This inspection was completed in about two hours, mostly because all of the server and receiver work had been done when the UL inspected Bold’s Cloud data center. The inspector simply had to refer to our UL case.
Beyond confirming building changes, the inspector asked to observe an alarm being monitored, in order to see the steps that were taken during alarm processing and receive an Alarm Detail report. The report was included in the final documentation, which was completed onsite. Tentative approval was given the same day (rather than waiting to hear a week or more to hear back.)
As much as I’d like to think this smooth inspection process was all because of the work we did here at Bold, it’s only partially true. As every Central Station is unique, so is every case. Having Bold’s previously existing UL approval for our Cloud data center obviously helped. But the manager of the new Central Station and his team deserve just as much credit for working so hard to prepare for the inspection and communicating as much as possible with the UL inspector before the visit.
We at Bold look forward to continued seamless UL inspections. We will do our part when it comes to these inspections, and we know that with your dedication and hard work, we will all be successful.