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This week: Jordon Brown: regional manager of Guard Tronic Inc.

What are some general trends in the alarm business? Integration is the biggest trend in both the commercial and residential markets. Clients want their electronic security to do so much more: arming and disarming the alarm system, lighting control, thermostat control, access control, view surveillance cameras. We all want these features to be easily managed and to do them remotely over our smartphone applications. Reducing false dispatches is also trending. Alarm companies continue to battle sending police, fire and ambulance personnel unnecessarily and are beginning to win. Through smarter equipment, better installations, better service and better trained clients, we are reducing the number of false dispatches.

How have recent advances in technology helped or hindered your industry, especially with regard to the erosion of wire-line telephone services? With the looming sunset of POTS (plain old telephone service), we are all looking for long-term solutions for our clients. I typically see a lot of 18-to 30-year-old students in our Level I licensing courses. When we get to the section of communications methods, I will ask a student how long they have had the cellphone in their pocket. The typical answer is six months to two years. If I ask about the cellphone that they owned prior to this one, the answer is about the same. The younger generations are used to technology turning over every four to seven years (AMPS, or Advanced Mobile Phone System, to digital, digital to 3G, 3G to LTE, or Long-Term Evolution). Contrast that with my parents' and grandparents' generation, who have had a land line in their home literally since they were born. It is muchtougher to understand land lines going away completely and to embraceanything that will replaceit. Their alarm system has been communicating over t heir phone linefor thelast 50 years; why should they have to change now?

What effects do social media have on your industry? It is not only social media that have changed our industry, but how fast we are able to communicate. I recently saw a funny picture showing a fire escape message: "In the event of a fire, leave the building before tweeting about it." I get a text message any time my wife and daughter arm or disarm my home alarm system. I am able to look into my central station from anywhere in the world using a laptop computer or my smartphone. Instant communication. Using social media, we are able to market our goods and services in a much more effective, much more cost-effective way. We are able to show videos of our systems "in action." I remember hearing stories after one of the hurricanes in Florida about families unable to communicate with loved ones because of the busy signals on the phone lines. Now, we would simply text a loved one, or post a quick note on one of the social media sites letting our loved ones know that we are OK.

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Bio: Jordon Brown

Duties: Jordon Brown oversees 35 employees, manages the company's central station and supervises accounting functions.

Other involvement: Brown is the chairman of the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators & Private Security Agencies board. He is also president of the boards of the Arkansas Security Alarm Association and the National Electronic Security Alliance. He serves in various capacities on several other boards, has won several security-related awards and trains officials at numerous security alarm associations.

Jordon Brown has worked at Guard Tronic Inc. af Springdale since 1988, starting as an installation manager and working his way up to regional manager in 2003.
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Title Annotation:Arkansas Business Exec Q&A
Author:Brown, Jordon
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Interview
Date:Nov 21, 2011
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