Matrix Systems splits into separate divisions

Access control solutions provider Matrix Systems announced on Monday that it is splitting the company into two distinct business units: Frontier and Xentry Systems Integration. Frontier will be focused on delivering the company’s Frontier access control management platform as well as a new integrated enterprise video and access solution called the Frontier Integrated Platform, which will be launched later this year. Xentry Systems Integration will provide security integration services to customers in the Great Lakes and southern Florida regions.

Matrix Systems CEO Holly Tsourides said that she initially joined the company last April with the intent of bringing it through a strategic planning process to determine how they could grow the business. “We really took our time with this, but it became very apparent that Matrix Systems had what I would call great natural resources to work with,” Tsourides said.

According to Tsourides, these resources include the company’s employees and customers, many of whom have long tenures with Matrix, as well as their technology.

“With the existing model of selling and servicing Frontier directly, we were really limiting the capabilities of all three of those resources,” explained Tsourides. “We, as an industry, tend to reward a clear market strategy, a clear go-to-market and Matrix did not have that. We were limiting ourselves because we were selling and servicing directly, so obviously we’re now going to be able to recruit a loyal channel base.”

Over a period of three months, Tsourides said that they will sit down with their customers and explain what these changes will mean for them before they “go live” with the split on April 1. Matrix Systems will remain as the company’s corporate umbrella name, but it will conduct business under the new Frontier and Xentry brands.

Historically, Tsourides said that a large portion of the company’s revenue has come from service work; however, this work has always been associated with the Frontier product. The creation of Xentry will enable them to break through these constraints.

“We’ve been walking into our clients’ sites servicing their entire access control system and have not been touching the video and that, in today’s world, just doesn’t make any sense,” added Tsourides. “What this means is that Xentry, while it is a new brand, it is actually getting launched with a very stable book of business because they’re going to continue to service all of the legacy Matrix customers in those specific geographic areas.”

Tsourides said that there are currently no plans to scale out the Xentry business beyond these aforementioned regions. “The challenge for Xentry moving forward is to further develop those client relationships so that we can expand now beyond access control and also include video, intrusion and all of their physical security needs,” she said.  

Another reason for splitting the company into separate divisions, according to Tsourides, is to avoid competing with channel partners that decide to sell Frontier platform.

“That’s exactly why we’re doing this because otherwise there is no other way to delineate and to assure the marketplace that there is integrity in this model,” she said. “For instance, Xentry is going to service the Great Lakes area and southern Florida, and we have no ambitions at this time to geographically expand Xentry. The goal of Xentry is to build density within those service areas. We have Frontier customers who fall outside of that direct service area and we’re actually going to work with those clients on handing off those relationships to a channel partner in that area. The model is going to have integrity in it and we’re actually going to be handing some customers off to the channel, which I think is really a critical measurement of how serious we are about building a channel.”

Although they have customers across a diverse range of vertical markets, Tsourides said that they will specifically look to build upon their footprint in the healthcare market in two ways: By selling more healthcare-specific technologies to existing clients and then taking that suite of products to acquire new customers.

“Obviously, the name of the game is long-term growth and Frontier is a fantastic asset as a business, but it has been limited because it has only been sold by our own direct sales employees, so we’re getting no channel leverage,” Tsourides said. “For the long-term, taking Frontier national and building a channel is really going to bring that substantial growth when we look forward to 2015 and 2016.”

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