Google's Thorsen to Keynote TMA's 2020 Annual Meeting

The Monitoring Association (TMA) is pleased to announce that Wayne Thorsen, Managing Director, Hardware Business Development for Google, will deliver the keynote address at its upcoming 2020 Annual Meeting. Mr. Thorsen will speak virtually via Zoom on Tues., Oct. 27th at 11:10 AM [EST].

“This has been a year like no other where we are reminded of how essential our service is to the homes and businesses of this country and of this world,” said Don Young, president of TMA. “TMA has come together, in partnership with many other organizations dedicated to the well-being of our customers and employees, to educate and advise on how to navigate through these uncharted waters. I am truly blessed and proud to serve amongst so many selfless individuals who have volunteered their time these last nine months to share best practices and help guide each other regardless of competitive pressure. I believe that crisis brings clarity and I am inspired by the meaningful work TMA has done this year to deal with the pandemic, but more importantly, to give our members the opportunity to share in the benefits of what the future holds for our industry. Two of those benefits will be the continued development of standards as referenced in our latest edition of TMA’s Dispatch and exploring how machine learning and artificial intelligence could play key roles in that effort. We are fortunate to have Wayne Thorsen from Google as our keynote speaker this year who will share his thoughts on how he sees this technology advancing and accelerating in the months and years ahead. He will provide some insight on how Google views the opportunities in our industry going forward,” added Young.

In his current position, Mr. Thorsen leads the global business development teams that manage partnerships for a portfolio of Google products and services, including: Google Home; Nest; Chromecast; Google WiFi; Google Pixel; Google ATAP (Advanced Technology And Projects); and, Google Daydream (Augmented Reality and Google Lens). Prior to joining Google in May 2018, Mr. Thorsen served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for San Francisco-based So-Fi. He also previously led the Corporate Development team at Viacom, where he was responsible for leading M&A and strategic partnerships across the international media company.

Set for Tues., Oct. 27 to Thurs., Oct, 29, 2020, TMA’s 2020 Annual Meeting is open to all security industry professionals, regardless of TMA membership. The event is designed with the security executive in mind with sessions focused on topics such as creating new business revenue sources, cyber security, and M&A trends. In all, a series of eight education sessions will be delivered virtually over the course of the three-day event. Speakers are industry thought leaders, respected entrepreneurs, and business experts. In addition to the educational program, daily networking and social events will also be featured, as well as a virtual trade show. 

Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) is the premier sponsor of this year’s meeting. Other industry sponsors include Full Meeting Sponsors: ADI; Altronix; Bold Group; Bosch; CIBC Bank, USA; DMP; MAS; NAPCO Security Technologies; Resideo, and TRG Associates. Event Meeting Sponsors include ADT; Alarm.com; ALARMAX; Calipsa; DICE Corporation; Johnson Controls; and, OneTel. Park Associates is our 2020 Organizational Sponsor. Security Sales and Integration Magazine is our official media sponsor.

For complete details and registration options, go to www.tma.us/annual-meeting/.

Cisco Director to Keynote TMA’s OPSTECH 2020

TMA is pleased to announce that Scott Stanton, Sr. Director, Americas Network Transformation, Cisco, will deliver a keynote address at its upcoming OPSTECH 2020. Mr. Stanton’s remarks will speak to the future of networking and WiFi 6 and the impact on how this technology enables IoT devices and fills in the gaps of LTE and 5G buildouts. The keynote address will be delivered virtually via Zoom on Wed., Nov. 18th at 11:10 AM [EST]. 

OPS-TECH is the new combination of two of TMA’s most popular annual education and networking events – the Fall Operations Management Seminar and the Tech Summit. TMA is pleased to introduce a reimagined meeting structure and delivery format this year with the intention that the virtual platform will open up new opportunities for additional attendees to actively take part in these valuable programs. By focusing on three main areas of interest, TMA will offer education that will appeal to operations, video surveillance and installation professionals, and IT managers who want to take their companies to the next level. This solutions-based event will offer attendees the opportunity to come with a problem and leave with a solution.

The program will be presented in three sections over the course of several days:

  • Focus on Operations: November 9-11
  • Special BONUS– Focus on Video: November 12 (included in the Operations package or stand-alone)
  • Focus on Technology: November 17-18

Industry sponsors of the event include Full Meeting Sponsors: BOLD Group and MAS. Event Meeting Sponsors include OneTel, SentryAI, and TRG Associates, Inc., SDM Magazine and Security Business Magazine/SIW.com are the official media sponsors.

View complete program details and registration options.

UL Releases Remote Virtual Audit Procedures

UL has posted content on their website to provide detailed information on the new virtual audit policy and procedure.

Due to the safety concerns of our its customers and audit staff surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, UL is announcing a virtual or remote audit (RA) option for completing the annual compliance audit of UL Listed monitoring facilities for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual RA will follow a similar process as the on-site audits normally conducted but will be conducted utilizing a combination of information gathering techniques through discussion, question  and answer, document screensharing, webcam, FaceTime, and/or similar video sharing methods.

Go to https://www.ul.com/resources/monitoring-station-virtual-remote-audit-procedures for details.

Cyber-attacks – Are you prepared?

Over the past few weeks, TMA has virtually hosted its 2020 Annual Meeting and the first portions of its OPS-TECH 2020. Cyber attacks and ransomware has been a thread through both programs.

When it comes to cyber-attacks, it’s no longer “if”; it’s when

Our Annual Meeting cyber panel of experts definitely got the hearts and minds of attendees racing with the news that it isn’t “if” your company is attacked; it’s when. The incidents of ransomware has more than doubled in the period between the end of 2019 and Q3 2020. According to the panel’s moderator, Sacha Kylau, Director Business Development, OnTel, “It is getting worse and worse. Plan for the day you will be hit.” Plans should include a business continuity plan and a disaster plan. The panel stated that company and customer data must be protected, but emphasized that it is impossible to 100% secure data. The panel advised attendees to implement a multi-layered approach. Staff training in accordance with the plans is imperative. Be proactive. It is too late when something happens.

US FBI offers tools and assistance to businesses

On Tues., Nov. 17th, FBI Special Agent Brian, the third portion of our OPS-TECH 2020 kicks-off with a keynote address by Brian Cyprian, a Special Agent for the FBI and Supervisor of the Charlotte Cyber Task Force. Special Agent Cyprian will deliver a cyber threat update, explaining the latest trends in current and evolving cyber-attacks with guidance and best practices for managing these threats.

He’ll share strategies for preparation, prevention, and responding to cyber-attacks in partnership with the FBI. Learn how your IT teams can benefit from access to the tools and assistance that is available from your local FBI office.

Learn more about the technology portion of our OPS-TECH 2020 meeting, opening tomorrow, and register to take part in the topical, timely subject matters impacting your business today and in the future. Go online to https://tma.us/events/operations-technology-seminar/

Access Recordings of TMA Fall Meetings – Save 25% on 11/30/20

TMA’s 2020 Annual Meeting (10/20) and OPS-TECH 2020 (11/20) offered monitoring center and security industry professionals multiple days of valuable, virtual learning. Our attendees rated all sessions highly for content, value, and speaker quality!

If you were not able to attend, or if you did, but would like to share some sessions with colleagues, TMA has uploaded all available recordings for on-demand viewing. And, for just one-day (Monday, Nov. 30th), TMA is offering 25% off access fees on both full meeting packages and individual sessions.

It’s an opportune time to purchase sessions for colleagues and peers who did not attend!

For full details, go to https://tma.us/eve…/tma-fall-2020-events-session-recordings/

Session Topics Include:

  1. 2020 Annual Meeting: https://tma.us/events/annual-meeting/#toggle-id-4
    1. Home Security Market
    2. Working from Home
    3. Attrition Study
    4. Finance/M&As
    5. Cyber
    6. More!
  2. OPS-TECH 2020 : https://tma.us/events/operations-technology-seminar/#toggle-id-4
    1. Operations
    2. Video
    3. Technology

A friend in need…

A member and valued friend of TMA, industry consultant Bob Harris, Attrition Busters, has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for the last month and has been on a ventilator in recent weeks. While his condition has slightly improved, he remains in very critical condition.

Bob and his family need our support at this time in the form of positive thoughts, prayers, and financial donations.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations for the family. Please take a moment to visit the page and make a donation of any size. https://gf.me/u/zan2y2

Thank you for your support.

Our holiday gift to you – Save 20% on TMA's operator training

As this year comes to a close, all of us at TMA wanted to say, “Thank You!” We are so grateful for your membership and participation in the professional monitoring community. It’s been a year of unforeseen obstacles for all of us—personally and professionally. 

To show our appreciation, we are offering a 20% discount on all operator training delivered through our training portal at TMATraining.org, now through Dec. 31st.  

While we couldn’t solve every challenge 2020 threw our collective way, we’ve worked hard to support you virtually through our Town Halls, Annual Meeting, and OPS-TECH events curated to make your job easier.  

Next year, we’re focused on making access to collaboration even easier, by continuing with our virtual education platform, expanding our training resources, and enhancing your ability to apply industry best-practices.  Here are just a few items we’re excited about delivering in 2021:

  1. MYM, April 20-22
  2. Online Operator Candidate Assessment Tool
  3. Proprietary Member Users Forum
  4. Upgrades to TMATraining.org
  5. Annual Meeting, October 9-13, Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Maui
  6. OPS-TECH, Charlotte, NC – Hosted by CPI Security (Dates TBD)

We’re committed to delivering content you’ll love in 2021. Make sure to keep an eye on TMA.us for registration information and other updates.

TMA’s Operator Online Courses

To learn more about TMA’s Operator Online Training programs, visit the TMA website (Links below). When you are ready to purchase, contact our helpdesk (8 AM- 8 PM) by calling (502) 254-1506 or emailing support@TMATraining.org. (Note: Special pricing only available for a maximum of 10 course purchases.)  

Just remember…this special offer expires December 31st at midnight!

  1. TMA Operator Online – Level 1
  2. TMA Operator Online – Level 2

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – New Dialing Code

Please read the announcement regarding changes needed to be made by Burglar and Fire Alarm Companies in preparation for the nationwide implementation of 988 as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

It is imperative that alarm companies reprogram alarm panels in customers’ premises if they currently are programed to dial out seven digits to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.  If they are dialing out seven digits now, they must be re-programed to dial out a ten-digit number which includes the area code plus telephone number.Such updates or reprogramming must occur between April 24, 2021 and October 24, 2021 (the permissive dialing period).  Starting these efforts before April 24, 2021 may result in failed calls if permissive 10-digit dialing has not yet been implemented.The changes need to be completed by October 24, 2021.

No change is needed if the alarm panels are currently dialing out ten-digits, or if they are dialing out a toll free number (800, 888, 844, etc.) to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.

We need your assistance in notifying alarm companies in 37 states and 83 area codes about the transition from 7-digit to 10-digit local dialing.  Any assistance in notifying your membership would be appreciated.

Additional information about this transition on the NANPA website at https://nationalnanpa.com/transition_to_10_digit_dialing_for_988/index.html

ANNOUNCEMENT

Giving back to your professional community

As we begin a new year, it’s a great time to reflect on how we can give back to our professional community. The past year demonstrated what can happen when we come together and share our resources with one another. Knowledge and experience are two of the most valuable assets that professionals possess. Giving back is often as easy as connecting with peers and sharing your knowledge and experience. This can take many forms, including, writing and speaking. As we begin to prepare for our 2021 Mid-year Meeting, we’re reaching out to TMA members in search of speakers.

Our 2021 Mid-year Meeting will be presented virtually, April 20-22, 2021. If you or someone you know is interested in sharing your experience and expertise with your colleagues in the professional monitoring industry, we would like to hear from you!

The three-day event will offer monitoring center professionals a series of educational sessions on best practices and trends in leadership, operations, and technology.

Start off the year with your commitment to give back and make a valuable contribution to the profession’s field of knowledge.

The deadline to submit your proposal is COB, Friday, January 22, 2021. Go to https://lnkd.in/eaF8huS

Questions? Contact education@tma.us.

New Year…Exciting New Beginnings

As some of you may recall, Mallory Todd left TMA about a year ago to pursue new career opportunities. She served in an administrative capacity, supporting all of us at TMA in many ways. With the onset of COVID-19 about the time of her departure and the uncertainty that ensued, we opted to delay a search for her replacement. In true team fashion, the remaining six staff members picked up and carried on, but we sorely missed having someone in that pivotal role.

But, with the turn of the calendar, TMA added a new staff member! We are so excited to welcome Ms. Tara R. Compher to our headquarters’ team. In her new role as TMA’s Programs and Administrative Coordinator, Tara will oversee TMA’s Five Diamond, IQ, and FirstNet programs, in addition to assisting with CRM data management and other projects and serving as the staff liaison to TMA’s NextGen group.

“Tara brings a broad range of valuable business and administrative experience to TMA,” stated TMA Executive Director Celia T. Besore. “In her previous roles, Tara demonstrated an outstanding commitment to quality and to customer service, which make her ideally suited to this pivotal, customer-focused position within our organization.”

“I am excited for this new chapter in my life, but more importantly, I am looking forward to helping The Monitoring Association achieve their mission of creating a safer world for everyone,” said Ms. Compher.

Prior to accepting her new position within TMA, Ms. Compher worked for the U.S. Courts as a probation clerk and as a front office coordinator in a dental practice.   

Please join us in welcoming Tara to our community! She can be reached at tcompher@tma.us.