It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since a group of systems integrators from various parts of the country established what has become one of the most progressive and proactive security consortiums in industry history.
I remember an exploratory meeting with Matt Ladd from the Protection Bureau and Joe Liguori of ACT at the ASIS national event back in 1992 at our Security Technology Executive magazine booth discussing the potential formation of a high-end systems integration partners group. Back then the thought of tying together independent integrators into a cohesive conglomerate of installers, engineers, specifiers and consultants seemed a pipe dream.
But today Security-Net has evolved as a model of excellence for both technology solutions and customer service. For Liguori, the current president of the technology consortium, the group’s stature is a testament to its focused vision and the dedication of 20 companies who feel there was a better way to approach the business of technology integration.
“In the early days the security industry was pretty much an advanced burg and fire alarm business model. It was our roots. We all started as installers. But today’s systems integrator is all about value-added services for our customers and providing enterprise-level solutions to clients,” says Liguori. “Our members are all IT savvy and Microsoft certified.”
Established in 1993, Security-Net maintains approximately 50 regional offices and 1,200 security professionals positioned across the United States, Canada and abroad. Security-Net supports and services both private industry and the Government sector with intelligent security system solutions.
Liguori adds that understanding the needs of end-user clients and working with them to achieve success is the driving force for Security-Net. “We’ve moved so far past the days when you sold a customer a control panel and reader that you slapped on the door and the walked away until the next sale. We want to make sure we can meet all expectations – both technology and after service.”
Security-net has affiliates across the country and represent top providers like Tyco, Assa-Abloy, United Technologies and newly added Honeywell.
The challenge for the group has always been the selection proposition faced by potential clients who may feel more comfortable entering business relationships with national integrators like a Stanley or Diebold. But Security-net has addressed the national coverage issue head on by establishing unique customer service perks and internal organizational controls that enable it to adapt quickly to the changing security landscape.
Paul Berger, accounts manager for ACT, explains that the creation of the Sales-net internal group allows for all members to coordinate ongoing sales strategies and helps create a cohesive sales road map. “The bottom line is that this internal program helps us maintain a high level of customer controls. For us, customer service is always front of mind,” he says.
Another internal program Berger shares is its Tech-net initiative. Staffed by the service managers and lead technicians of all member companies, Tech-net helps the group coordinate national sales calls, training, certification and continuing education. Perhaps its most compelling benefit is that coordinated buying strategies among member purchasing managers allow the group to optimize its buying power.
“These initiatives were developed to help us level the playing field with the big acquisition integrators,” adds Liquori.
Incoming Security-net president Jim Coleman of Operational Security Systems in Atlanta, admits that a lot of what their group does is dictated by the increasing complexities of their customers’ needs. Becoming proficient in network-centric technology and cloud-based operations is mandatory if they hope to continue national and global expansion of the organization.