Today, the R&D teams share code and processes across the different platforms. What works for one platform can be shared among others. Code can be adapted for different platforms. Regelski says it creates efficiency in the R&D team, rather than having everyone working on entirely different projects with extremely separate roadmaps and little interaction with their coworkers. The model for the future, says Ken Francis, is to create key products that “share common DNA” in the development code while still offering separate and unique products and user interfaces.
Out of the R&D department is coming innovations, not just transitions. At ASIS, the company is unveiling a new combined intrusion detection and access control panel. It was born out of the desire from a number of customers who wanted systems that were primarily built around intrusion detection but which needed an access control component. That sort of solution wasn't in the product roadmap of their technology partner Mercury Security, so with a customer need and a technology gap, the UTC Fire & Security team created this new panel.
While there have been notable changes among the product groups to align the UTC and former GE products, what's not changing is the channel. One of the things that UTC said it liked about GE's security division was the strong channel and global reach, and Francis said that that UTC doesn't see a need to change what's working. Indeed, in a recent UTC press release announcing the Interlogix line, the company reiterated that it would continue to support the existing channel promotion programs already in place. Boriskin and Francis said the Lenel reseller channel and the GE reseller channel complemented each other well without overlapping. Lenel’s channel, they said, was primarily VARs, while the GE channel was more of a traditional security integrator channel.
“While our focus on the product is to condense down to a sensible number of products, we don’t want to change our channel strategy” Boriskin said. “They have been there to support us and we want to keep them whole.”
At least at enterprise/global security products level, the merger of GE Security into UTC Fire & Security is a major tipping point for the industry in that it creates a single company with leading market share. With the addition of this new product roadmap that focuses the number of enterprise security management solutions on a manageable number of products, the R&D is able to focus on innovations, rather than maintaining older systems. And with a strong commitment to a channel that works, the leadership team at UTC Fire & Security’s Global Security Products business seems to be attuned to keeping what works, and changing what needs to be changed.