Alarm communication requirements are evolving and being driven by multiple factors. Two key drivers are new technology and the difficult business environment in which security companies currently find themselves. As suppliers of communication equipment to these companies, both locally and internationally, RDC sees these drivers as opportunities to provide value added tools to our customers and partners.
Similar to the challenges associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), hardware and software compatibility can be major stumbling blocks. For alarm companies, compatibility with their preferred alarm panels and monitoring software are key. The need for fast, as well as extended data reporting, means that communication units must have digital interfaces to a vast array of ever changing hardware and software solutions.
Companies are seeing the value in access to key information around their communication infrastructure and simplicity in their operations. Gone are the days when equipment choices could be influenced by offering gimmicky features and endless information. Security companies now demand technology which simplifies and improves their operations. Furthermore, information needs to provide key details and should be quickly accessible and easily interpreted.
Bi-directional GSM communication means that tools and functions can be developed specifically to meet these needs. GTXConnect is a web-based portal for remote programming, status checks, log downloads and relay control on GPRS transceivers in the field. With alarm installations spread far and wide, remote access to units in the field is a major time and money saver. Units can be programmed and firmware upgrades uploaded remotely. A status dashboard means that many installation problems can be diagnosed and corrected without the costs associated with site visits. The ability to download event logs, both directly from the unit as well as records stored on the server, helps with diagnosing problems as well as forensic investigations.
The latest improvements to the portal offer some valuable new tools to the existing platform. Fast access to key information is an invaluable tool for both technical and management staff. The main page for managing units in the GTXConnect portal provides simple, but key information on all the company’s G-TX transceivers in the field. This not only gives an overview of all installations on one page, it also highlights in red or green, units which have not communicated in the last 48hrs. A simple tool to easily identify and manage possible problematic installations. A new Premium Subscription offers the ability to plot and view the location of each unit in Google Maps.
Compatibility requirements are in constant flux. The enhanced GTXConnect portal now facilitates compatibility for serial connection to Texecom Premier Elite alarm panels and custom CID support for Visonic panels. This is in addition to the existing serial and CID compatibility offered with most major alarm panel brands. TurboCID is also enabled in the web portal. Using this CID reporting mode, speeds up reporting time while retaining compatibility with nearly all panels.
A work around for partition reporting on monitoring software without this capability is also provided. This solves a relatively common compatibility problem where alarm companies are unable to do partition reporting because their monitoring software does not accommodate the additional information required.
The premium offering allows RDC’s patented JamAction feature to be configured within GTXConnect. G-TX transceivers in the field are able to detect jamming in progress and take action in response to the situation. A relay is triggered which can be used to initiate a response including sounding an alert and sending the signal via an alternate communication technology.
The portal offers access to many functions and features, some of which should only be accessible to high-level staff or management. The updated GTXConnect features have been secured by the addition of two extra access authority levels, including a level for technicians requiring access to only basic functions.
Details on how GTXConnect works and its features can be viewed at http://www.radiodata.co.za/gtxconnect.php.
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