Inside the UTC/GE Acquisition

An exclusive Q&A


Regelski: When you look at our global organization the merger of GE Security and Lenel gives us (UTC) scale of engineering, capacity and a diverse range of skill sets. It may look like a lot of overlap, but there really isn't. Our challenge is going to be that we don't duplicate efforts, that we make sure we align our core competencies and that we leverage those competencies to build products our customers want.

There are two tricks to making that work. What are the trends that will keep us ahead of the competition - and those trends don't necessarily have to be security-related. Take mobile apps for example. They are growing exponentially. If you look at the traditional marketplace, it is usually two to three years before mainstream computing moves its way into the security world. Bottom line is UTC wants to be leaders as those trends emerge.

Boriskin: At GE we knew the path we were on and realized we had to scale down to a sensible number of products that were focused on a particular market and customer set. Our task was to condense that total number of products we had in our line down to a number we could manage and properly support. With the merger, there are now a few more products to add to the mix. UTC has its enterprise-level solutions in place with OnGuard, FC Wnx (Facility Commander) and Picture Perfect. There is now a path for us to focus on that distribution space. We've taken a white-sheet paper approach to build a distribution-oriented product for the market that will feature zero training, tight integration, easy deployment, low cost of ownership and management. It will be the fourth leg of the UTC stool, giving us a security solution for every segment of the market.

Lenel's mantra has always been to encourage openness, and with some of the new technology developments we have planned, that path will only increase. The support and development of OnGuard will continue to grow stronger, and will encourage more third-party applications. Fire, intrusion and video were the big attractions to the GE acquisitions, so there is very little technology overlap.

Francis: The perception in the market place was that the old Casi Rusco technology and the Lenel products were set up to clash with each other. That will not happen. There is less than a 7-percent overlap in the total technology product line after the merger.

So what does the future hold for this merger? Is there an end-game?

Regelski: When you look at the product lines for FC Wnx, OnGuard and Picture Perfect, each has a different set of core technologies and capabilities. As we build our solutions we want to make sure the engineering teams are aligned to the point they can leverage the strengths of each group. For example, we don't need to develop a graphical map interface in four different places. But at the same time they might have different level of integration or systems they can connect to. We will allow that to occur.

The other big strategy play for us is to get to a point where we can create global platforms, but then allow for in-region customization. So we can take our product solutions - whether they be FC Wnx or OnGuard - and deliver it via a global platform, but also have the capabilities to market to places like India or China where their engineers on the ground can take and adapt the technology to their local market requirements. If we don't do this at the enterprise level, we will have a series of one-off solutions that will prove to be a maintenance nightmare.