Automating Your Comments – An Introduction

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

During my time with Bold, I’ve worked with over a hundred different monitoring centers, from the very small to the very large. There’s one thing I’ve found common through most of the centers I’ve visited: the operators are forced to read a ton of Comments (or Notes or Special Instructions) to determine what needs to happen when handling an alarm. In most cases, the operators were forced to read these notes because the old software had no way to automate the behaviors described in them. But if you’re using Manitou, there are ways to automate many of the things described in Comments.

Product Spotlight: An Improved BoldNet Mobile

By Toby Prescott, Director of Development

Bold made several changes to BoldNet Mobile for our new update, which is now available in the relevant App Stores. I wanted to take this opportunity to review the changes we’ve made and provide some insight into what we are planning for future versions.

The changes to BoldNet Mobile cover three areas: Activity Log, Customer Info, and Password Change.

Troublesome News About False Alarm Fines

By guest blogger The Monitoring Association

If you are not concerned about the situation in Sandy Springs, GA, this update should change that. The onerous ordinance in Sandy Springs does not allow for proper due process with respect to false alarm fines. If the ordinance is allowed to stand, alarm companies will be likely held financially responsible for false alarms generated by alarm users. One member was recently fined for the following occurrence:

The Lost Art of Telephone Conversation

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

In a recent training session, I was discussing the High Priority and Low Priority fields on the User screen in the Supervisor Workstation. As you may know, these fields exist so the Central Station Manager can limit which alarms a particular operator sees. The idea is to keep brand new operators from getting a fire alarm on their first day, thus giving them a chance to ease into the alarm handling process.

But the discussion shifted to the fact that many young people, who make up a great deal of the entry-level employment pool, have never spent appreciable time speaking on the telephone. An 18-year-old has spent their entire teenage life texting. Or Snapchatting. Or Tweeting. (If I keep going, I may betray how old I actually am by listing something that hasn’t been used in years.)

Product Spotlight – Utilizing Monitoring Groups

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer, and Caryn Morgan, Manitou Elite Certification Mentor

An interesting topic came up on BoldTalk a while back, discussing the different ways people utilize monitoring groups. It got us thinking…most of the monitoring centers that we train only have one monitoring group in their configuration. Many of them likely believe that’s all they will need, or they don’t realize their options because they didn’t have any other choice in their old software. But Manitou allows for multiple monitoring groups, which creates a number of possibilities.

Windows Automatic Updates with Manitou

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

I get the reason why Microsoft forces Windows automatic updates to be enabled. I get it. Unpatched workstations and servers face potentially catastrophic weaknesses which, if left unpatched, could allow viruses or other malicious activity to spread. Let’s face it… a large percentage of the ONE BILLION Windows machines throughout the world would not get updated on a regular basis if Microsoft didn’t default them to automatically update. So few people do updates on their own (and I include consumers and IT people alike) that Microsoft had to force the settings for automatic updates to be done.

So yes…I get it.

Situational Awareness in Your Monitoring Center

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

If you have a technical background, you get used to knowing certain things. Simple things like the operating system on your computer, or less simple things like the version of the operating system on the servers.

Having a technical background myself, these are things I just know without having to look them up. I can tell you right away the version of Windows on my work desktop, on my personal laptop, and on my personal desktops at home. I can also tell you my model of printer and scanner, wifi router, and a hundred other little details. Details that rarely come up.

Of course, many in the alarm business don’t necessarily have a technical background. Any number of us got into the business as operators, and when it was discovered that we had people management skills, or organizational skills, or sales skills, we moved up in our organizations. Therefore, because it was never strictly necessary to our jobs, we didn’t pay attention to the servers or the receivers. Somebody else took care of that for us.