Giving integrators the recognition they deserve

As we ready for ISC West 2013 in Las Vegas, I wanted to give a heads up on the 2nd annual SD&I Fast50—America’s Fastest Growing Systems Integrators. I want to laud all the companies who entered our best practices and ranking program—and thank everyone for a job well done!

It isn’t easy being a systems integrator today. For years, technology seemed to stand still and then poof—everything seemed to shift in the blink of an eye, although that’s mostly perception. However, the last several years have seen widespread changes in connectivity and electronics—and it has been difficult for alarm dealers and installers to make these changes, but that’s just what they have done.

This year, we had close to 70 companies enter the SD&I Fast50 program, which is endorsed by ISC West and the Security Industry Association. The lion’s shares of the companies are private firms, and only a small percentage public. Across the board, participants did business nearly equally in most major vertical markets and there didn’t seem to be any big deviation in this among the participants. Education is their fastest growing vertical market, as far as current and anticipated revenue growth. A high percentage of the Fast50 entrants are central station companies or offer third party monitoring. More than 80 percent are focused on the commercial market. (Watch for the April, ISC West Show issue, where I’ll provide the specific percentages on these area of interests, a list of the companies who placed in an overall; percentage of growth year over year; and dollar rankings, as well as provide best practices and key suppliers for many of the firms.)

History of Fast50

We started Fast50 to address not only the fastest growing systems integrators but to laud their best practices that have made them who they are. We also started it because it was a way to congratulate the small business owners of our industry—and the bulk of the companies are considered to be in this category. And the way we do this is that the overall ranking is based on a formula that balances the percentage growth and revenue growth in a fair and equitable manner. We do this because if we ranked companies purely on revenue growth it would favor large companies and again, our industry actually consists primarily of those firms with 1 to 50 employees.

Nearly half of the companies who submitted entries were new to the program and perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that the recession is beginning to lessen and systems integrators are seeing their profits rise. Or, it could just be that they are becoming savvy about marketing opportunities and want to get recognition from their peers.

We will proudly recognize these firms at a special event scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the ISC West main stage in the lobby near the entrance to the exhibit floor. Join us in congratulating America’s Fastest Growing Systems Integrators. And watch for more on the show at as we report live from ISC West 2013.