Connections Blog

The Latest from Southern and Northern Monitoring


When Two is Better Than One 

What should be the focus of seeking an ARC?  Accreditations of course.  Meeting the standards that require a secure build, quality processes and dealing with alarms in a timely manner.  Definitely.  Training resource and the intellectual property behind years of learning?  Absolutely.

But, how about the crucial question.  What happens if the ARC encounters a serious issue.  Do you:

1.  failover to another ARC, owned by another company.  Is GDPR in place?  Are processes and procedures in place?  Is the receiving ARC able to deal with the work of two companies in to one?

2.  Pick up equipment and switch in to a mothballed site.

3.  Auto-failover through redundant network and telephony to a second fully staffed ARC owned by the same company?  High integrity accredited.

SMS and NMS.  Two fully staffed ARCs with high integrity.  With operators, operational supervisors and full-time, dedicated training resource in each.

30 October 2018

The Future of PSTN

Few of us know when it's time to move on, but in 2025, PSTN and ISDN will be yesterday's news.  It seems only yesterday I was clamping the ends of RG45 cables, wiring ISDN 2s in to conferencing equipment and datacentres.  Our children's children will be told tales of dial-up connections and literally hand dialling a phone number, along with other folklore of loading video games by cassette tape and sending a fax.   

Now is the time for us to start considering the implications of this.  New connections.  Should they be via IP or PSTN?    The news of PSTN switchover in 2025 has been in the news since 2016 and even earlier.  Talk is now of starting to switchover in certain areas several years before 2025 and soon we will have to make decisions with our customers.  

Southern and Northern Monitoring Services are maintaining a constant dialogue with BT and other network providers in regards to the process, seeking to ensure appropriate Special Services are considered within the process.  We have held one event on the topic and will run a series of events throughout 2018 and 2019 to help us all navigate the future landscape.

Talk to us about the switchover and your concerns.  Contact Richard Solly or Mike Plummer for more information.  For a discussion on technical aspects, please contact Glen Morgan.

30 July 2018

SMS and NMS - The Future

Some will say (especially the competition!) that being acquired changes the culture and substance of a company.  We have heard everything over the past year, all of it has been said many times before, following many acquisitions.

Having worked in business change environments of professional services, telecommunications, datacentres and service industries, including several acquisitions, I have seen this path and change numerous times.  The purchase of SMS and NMS in January 2017 has brought the benefit of significant financial backing and investment, while retaining the independence that is so important to our company.  You will notice from correspondence, our marketing materials and the conversations you have with us that we are Southern and Northern Monitoring.  

This business was built up over 35 years by the Christie family and the considerable efforts of Steve Kimber.  As most will be aware, Steve has now retired, taking a well deserved break from the stresses and strains of the security industry.  The management team remain in place, with over 60 years’ experience within the senior management team alone, over 100 years across wider management. 

In the last year, nearly £1million has been invested in infrastructure, enabling the business to move forward with the latest technology. 17 new staff have recently been recruited.  We have also invested more in our industry leading training.  Our ratios of trainers to operational staff has just been increased by 30%.  The highly regarded proprietary training system created over the last 30 years, that sets SMS and NMS apart, has been further bolstered.  Regular operator reviews and loopback training ensure an environment of continuous improvement.

Although the business had for many years owned companies in monitoring and alarm installation, post-acquisition, a customer charter was created and privacy policies strengthened.  This ensures that customer information is kept confidential.  We do not disclose details of direct or indirect customers outside of the SMS and NMS company.

SMS is a rare breed of monitoring company.  Two fully staffed alarm receiving centres (ARCs) and auto failure allow alarm signals and phone contact to move seamlessly between two separate sites. N+1 power, telecoms and network resilience is normal.

We are also one of the very few ARCs to have a full technical team, enabling in-house programming, technical development and separate operations and administrative teams.

We are excited about the future of the company and the monitoring sector and look forward to developing business with our partners.

30 March 2018