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When he first talks to a client, Dodd's only immediate goal is to determine the client's real needs, both for the present and the future.
"First we look the challenges you're facing right now. What are you currently working with, and why isn't it working for you? What are your current solutions shortcomings and pitfalls?
"We have an extensive site survey we work from to understand your network - what equipment do you monitor, what alarm equipment do you currently have, what protocols and interfaces do you use," said Dodd.
"But we also look at where you want to be in the future, five or ten years down the road. We want to find out what a perfect long-term system for you would look like. We don't want to provide you with something you'll have to re-do two years from now."
The next step is to design an alarm monitoring application that will serve as a bridge between the client's current state and future objective. The goal here, Dodd said, is to create a "perfect fit" solution.
"A perfect fit solution is different for everybody's application. It might mean visibility of network systems you haven't been able to monitor before. It might mean consolidating visibility of your whole network to one console. The key is creating a solution that's simpler for you to manage, from your operational standpoint," said Dodd.
In most cases, the client's needs can be served with an existing DPS product. But if current products don't provide that perfect fit solution, Dodd will work with the DPS Engineering Department to develop a custom solution that meets the client's exact requirements.
"From a design aspect, perfect fit means we match our existing products against your requirements. A lot of times, an off-the-shelf solution will meet your needs. But if it doesn't, we modify our hardware and software so it fits your needs exactly. Our hardware is modular and the intelligence is built into the software, so we can tweak it pretty easily until it's the absolute best fit for you," Dodd said.
When a preliminary design has been created, Dodd contacts the client for a Web demonstration. Using a shared browser connection and a conference call, Dodd explains the basics of the application and familiarizes the client with the technical features of the equipment that will be used.
The Web demo is a convenient, no-pressure way for the client to get a very personalized demonstration of the proposed alarm monitoring solution, covering both the broad application and the fine technical details.
If the client approves the initial presentation, Dodd's staff prepares an in-depth written quote that details the client's existing situation, how the proposed solution will improve that situation, and the technical functionality of the equipment.
"First we reiterate our understanding of your as-is situation, and we explain how where going to take you from where you are right now to your desired end results. Then we get into the nuts-and-bolts aspect of how it's going to work in your network," said Dodd.
"We also provide extensive application drawings with the quote. We spend a lot of time creating the drawings, because they really help you connect the dots and see what we're proposing.
"The quote also includes a price page that breaks down the cost on a line-by-line basis, and a list of referrals to existing DPS clients. These are companies in your industry, sometimes even in your geographical area, that use similar equipment to what you have now and similar equipment to what we're proposing. We want you to see you're not buying something that's untested or unproven."
Dodd emphasized that DPS clients aren't on their own after they purchase. DPS Telecom continues to support the client with installation services, training and 24/7 tech support.
"Our installers are subject-matter experts in the product they're installing - in fact, they're the same guys who teach classes at DPS Factory Training Events. For a full-system install, your installer will make sure everything is working right and he'll train you and your staff on the system," said Dodd.
"We provide training with installation so that you have full control over your own alarm monitoring system and your own destiny. We want you to be as self-sufficient as possible - but we also provide a high level of support. For the lifetime of your DPS alarm monitoring solution, you're entitled to 24/7 technical support."
Every alarm monitoring solution from DPS Telecom, including custom-engineered solutions, is backed by a 30-day, no-risk, money-back guarantee.
"Clients love this, because it basically removes all risk from buying our equipment. And that's only right. If you're going to commit a portion of your budget, you should be sure the product delivers a huge amount of value," said Dodd.
"We guarantee that your alarm monitoring solution will work as promised, and if it doesn't, you're not on the hook for anything. After your system is installed, you can try it for 30 days, and if you're not happy for any reason, you can send it back and you're not on the hook for the equipment, for the training, for the shipping, for anything. It's just 100% money back."