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ISJ Exclusive: Enhancing experiences and securing businesses


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Stefanie Frantz, Product Management – Remote Services, Bosch Building Technologies explains how Bosch Remote Services secures fire alarm systems via the cloud.

Cloud-based installation, monitoring and servicing of fire alarm systems provides a new level of safety and efficiency. With IoT-driven Remote Services from Bosch Building Technologies, installers were not only able to protect critical systems during the pandemic, but also gained new business in faraway locations previously beyond their service offering.

The COVID-19 pandemic created an increased demand for contactless service options, including a need for remote maintenance of fire alarm systems. As offices and businesses shut down during pandemic lockdown efforts, the fire safety of buildings still remained a priority. This is where cloud-based access to fire panels and alarm systems allowed operators full control over key safety infrastructure without risk of viral exposure.

The rise of cloud-based fire safety systems is part of a broader trend: The entire field services segment noted more self-service, contactless service and introduction of new technologies over the last two years. End user spending on cloud-based services grew by 18.4% to $304.9 billion in 2021 (Gartner) while 27% of business leaders reported increased investment in cloud-based technologies due to Covid-19 (Flexera). Experts also saw an increase in cloud-based service for access control systems.

Now that pandemic restrictions are lifting and (business) life returns to normal, cloud-based service technologies continue to pay dividends for integrators and installation companies. Replacing physical service visits with proactive maintenance via desktop, tablet or smartphone not only enhances cost efficiency and sustainability – it has also allowed installers to expand their business to faraway locations, previously deemed too distant for offering a sufficient service level, as this article will show.

Fundamentals of remote services

Originally rolled out in 2018, Remote Services from Bosch is an IP-based solution that has proven successful in thousands of installations across the globe. It relies on creating a secure internet connection between system integrators and fire panels installed on-site.

System integrators can implement Remote Services right from the setup of a new fire alarm system with easy plug-and-play configuration via laptop or smart devices. The overall process takes less than 30 minutes. The flexible, modular system architecture can span multiple floors within a building or facilities across sprawling campuses.

Connected to the Bosch Remote Portal, installers can conduct maintenance, diagnostics and software updates of fire alarm systems from a distance. In case of fire alarms or system warnings, they receive automatic alerts on the Bosch mobile app, Remote Fire Safety, available for iOS and Android.

Benefits of cloud-based services

Cloud-based connectivity allows integrators to be present instantly – at multiple sites – without the need for being physically present. As a result, a whopping two-thirds of what would have been on-site service calls can be solved remotely. With that said, Remote Services for fire systems offers the following benefits to installers and end users:

  • Proactive maintenance – devices on the system indicate health data such as pollution level of fire detectors, allowing for accurate planning of the next service visit while optimising staff capacities
  • Efficient use of people-power – the average system integrator is responsible for monitoring 88 systems at the same time. Therefore, avoiding on-site maintenance calls by remote troubleshooting saves time and enhances business efficiency
  • Direct cost savings – by remotely monitoring fire alarm systems and the health of installed devices, operators can save between €200 and €600 per system every year
  • Customised user management – installers can define roles, access privileges and responsibilities for each individual user
  • Detailed maintenance reports – instead of extensive paperwork inherent to analog systems, users find detailed system reports in the Remote Portal
  • Event history – the app provides real time fire warnings and event messages
  • Seamless security – all systems data is encrypted during transfer on the Secure Network Gateway and Bosch Security Servers

Enhanced business opportunities for installers

During the pandemic, Bosch Remote Services provided uninterrupted protection for critical infrastructure. The solution’s extensive reach also unlocked new business opportunities for providers. In Brazil, Bosch installation partner J P Service Ltda in Jundiaí, São Paulo received a service request from an industrial plant handling hazardous and flammable chemical components.

The only catch: The plant is 520 kilometres from J P Service’s headquarters – too far as to ensure timely response to service incidents. But, thanks to Bosch Remote Services, the fire panels can be monitored remotely, winning the company a contract previously unattainable. 

Also in Brazil, Alince Sistemas de Alarmes Ltda was able to sign its largest contract to date by offering Bosch Remote Services: The massive soccer stadium in Porto Alegre – the seventh-largest arena in the country with a capacity of 50,000 spectators – would have required full time maintenance staff for the more than 5,000 devices on the premises. Thanks to cloud-based services, Alince Sistemas Technicians can now monitor the system remotely and respond quickly to incidents while meeting official fire safety guidelines.

A future-proof platform

Speaking of incidents, Bosch Remote Services also help diagnose the root causes for frequent false alarms. Faulty hardware on the IP-based network is identified and located immediately; technicians receive alerts via text or email to initiate replacements and avoid downtime. Customers can also subscribe to these notifications for a new level of transparency.

As fire safety technology evolves, so do the capabilities of Remote Services. These new functions are added automatically in the Remote Portal. Via the cloud the user gets information about necessary firmware panel updates.

This way, system integrators can offer customers a future-proof investment that saves cost, enhances service levels and maintains the integrity of their fire alarm systems during regular operations and challenging periods such as the pandemic.

Find out more details about Bosch Remote Services by visiting: www.boschsecurity.com

1-ISJ- ISJ Exclusive: Enhancing experiences and securing businesses
Stefanie Frantz

This article was originally published in the October edition of International Security Journal. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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