The acquisition of GE Security by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) as part of its UTC Fire & Security business was an industry-defining acquisition. It combined the security and fire aspects of two of the world's top industrial companies, bringing together what had once been competing product lines sold by two distinctive organizations. Together, company leaders say, the two companies have the number one market share in the otherwise fragmented access control/security management market sector.
PODCAST: SIW Radio Episode 54 - UTC Fire & Security executives discuss the Global Security Product business
Now, having closed the acquisition and having had the time to put together a strategic plan that was approved by senior management, UTC Fire and Security executives within the global security products group explained the product vision for the company's flagship enterprise security management products. This probably wasn’t the easiest merger; the two companies had been competitors in the past, and that former competition meant that UTC Fire & Security had serious work to do. The executives had to define a method whereby the products that remained wouldn't continue to compete with each other, but could be clearly defined and marketed toward specific user needs. This product roadmap is being unveiled here at the ASIS 2010 show in Dallas, Texas, and one of the key elements is that global, enterprise security management products will be grouped together under the Lenel business unit inside UTC Fire & Security’s Global Security Products division.
Along with this refocus of enterprise security management, the company also recently announced its plan to group most of its channel-focused intrusion, video and fire products under the Interlogix brand, a brand which was revived in time to herald the product families at the ASIS 2010 tradeshow.
Besides the Lenel and Interlogix business units, UTC Fire & Security’s Global Security Products group also is operating the Supra business unit and the Onity business unit.
The plan for enterprise security management systems
According to company executives, the plan is to focus the offerings inside the Lenel business unit on a few distinctive offerings for enterprise security management. The largest and most scalable of t he offerings is OnGuard, which has always been the flagship product of Lenel. It’s being billed solution as the solution of choice for very large installations that needs a high level of openness to integrate a variety of disparate security and life-safety systems. Customization is the name of the game for the OnGuard product, explained Peter Boriskin, director of product management at UTC Fire & Security.
“That focus of OnGuard on openness isn’t changing,” Boriskin said. “We’re adding even more support for third party hardware and third party applications.”
Also now in the Lenel group is the Facility Commander solution, a product which comes from the GE acquisition. Though somewhat similar to OnGuard in its ability to scale, Boriskin said that Facility Commander (aka FC Wnx) does not have quite the level of openness and customization. It is positioned more toward the mid-market of the enterprise access control space, and the company says the solution is most appropriate for the kind of customer that is more interested in ease-of-use and a “one throat to choke” type of technology implementation, rather than a system designed primarily to be able to integrate a wide variety of related systems. Like OnGuard, however, FC Wnx is designed to scale up to the requirements of very large customers, with a virtually unrestricted limit on the number of readers and direct integration with video surveillance.