SDM Magazine
May 17, 2021

Allstate Security Industries Inc. is the largest and oldest locally-owned life safety and security company serving citizens in Amarillo and the Texas panhandle for more than 92 years. Listed to install, service, monitor, and issue UL certificates for both burglary and fire alarm systems, Allstate recently embarked on a new business endeavor to provide remote video monitoring and remote guarding services to clients.

The challenge that Allstate faced in entering this competitive space was how to effectively manage video signal traffic, known to cause much more frequent false and nuisance alarms, without disrupting the quality of service the company has always prided itself in providing to traditional monitoring customers.  In the past, the company would often have to turn down large video monitoring projects for one reason or another. One of the most common barriers Allstate often faced was that the sites typically did not have sophisticated enough video equipment (like advanced analytics) to adequately manage signal traffic while, at the same time, not missing a potential threat.

Analytics and AI have evolved dramatically in the past few years. The more established approach has typically been using analytic cameras or encoders at the edge and pushing alarms from those devices to the central station. For Allstate, many customers did not have analytic cameras in place or did not have the budget to include them in the quantities required to monitor large facilities like a car dealership, construction site, or storage facility. Allstate simply could not allow cameras triggering alarms on simple motion detection to be an accepted solution for its monitoring operation, but, at the same time, could not force a customer into making a hardware purchase well beyond their budget.

Allstate’s in-house central monitoring station utilizes the Immix CS platform for managed and monitored video services. In 2020, Immix added an embedded AI Link to enable AI verification through technology providers on video alarm clips being sent to the Immix platform. 

For Allstate, Immix AI Link is partnered with Evolon’s machine learning AI algorithms. Providing a layered detection and classification effect helped Allstate grow an effective video guarding business while keeping up-front hardware costs for the customer in line.

AI Verification is the process by which Immix receives a video clip triggered by any form of video detection or other alarming device that includes video footage. That clip is then pushed to the Evolon Verify AI engine, which then filters and verifies that the threat detected is real and actionable based on a preset threshold Allstate selects. If those necessary criteria are met, Immix then delivers that alarm and associated video to the Immix alarm queue for an Allstate operator to process and act upon. 

“This was an absolute game-changer for Allstate when it came to building a hugely successful video monitoring business,” said Allstate President Randall Renfroe. “It has helped us grow in two ways. First, by being able to keep up-front hardware costs in line for customers, it enabled us to more than make up for it on the back end with enhanced service levels that of course create more RMR and elongated contract terms. Secondly, it has allowed us to gain new reseller partners by helping to bridge some IT and technology inefficiencies faced by some smaller integrators. At least five new partners have come on board to resell our video guarding services because of the Immix/Evolon AI Link.”

Renfroe added that, while Allstate has not yet done a comprehensive analysis on the metrics, he estimates his center has seen at least a 75 percent reduction in false and nuisance alarms since employing the AI Link solution. Once, the Immix AI Link processed 1,026 alarms in a one-hour period and deemed 987 of those alarms to be false, stopping them from being sent to an operator for processing.

Allstate was recently awarded a contract to monitor 28 car dealerships, which Renfroe says is 100 percent due to the capability of the Immix/Evolon AI solution.

“This was a deal that was actually worked out in partnership with some of our local competitors who simply could not provide an effective solution to service these facilities,” Renfroe said. “Through Immix and Evolon’s solution, we were able to dramatically cut costs on the installations and are able to do all camera detection adjustments remotely, reducing truck rolls for the integrator, saving time and money, and allowing them to focus their people in other areas where they are needed.”

Read the original article in SDM Magazine