ASG buys Selectron, creates convergence unit

Aaronson Security Group (ASG) is converging and growing.

The company, which is based in Seattle, Wash., announced today that it has purchased Selectron, a security systems integrator based in Portland, Oregon. According to company leaders, the acquisition of Selectron and integration into ASG was a good fit. The companies had been working together on projects for years, and many of the employees and managers “kind of grew up in the security business together,” said ASG COO Robert Flynn.

The acquisition makes ASG the largest independent systems integrator in the Northwest, and the company highlights its service in not only the states of Washington and Oregon, but also in Idaho, Alaska and even Montana. The company handles a number of national accounts, and Flynn notes that while they have a regional bias, they're by no means purely regional in service. In fact, the company has client locations from Ireland to India. "We're really good at managing projects from far away," explains Jack Turley, vice president of sales for ASG.

According to Flynn, the integration stands to benefit the companies operationally as well. "Operationally, they were farther ahead in terms of systems and business operations tools," he said. "With the merger, there's actually more that stays the same than that changes [in regards to Selectron's inclusion within ASG]."

At the same time, the company is forming its Converged Security Services division, designed specifically to offer both information technology and physical security services to its national client base.

According to Tim Winston, the new head of ASG’s Converged Security Services, the thinking behind the converged offering is about “breaking out of silos and doing what the business needs done”, whether that’s an IT security offering, a physical security solution, or a combination of the two.

According to ASG's Turley, corporate governance is changing the playing field for security systems integrators, especially as business goals align the physical security and information security systems. “Convergence,” he explains, “is linking governance, procedures and the technologies.”

This is clearly not convergence in any sort of trendy, jump-on-the-bandwagon sense of the word. ASG appointed Winston to head the division because he brings a pure information security background. He’s worked independently as an information security consultant in the northwestern United States, especially in State of Washington growing biomedical research companies. That background is making the company ready to offer those IT services, whether that’s making sure the computers are patched or aiding companies in defining IT governance policies and processes.

One of Winston’s main goals is to make sure the companies the firm works with are aligning both physical and IT security.

“In the past, there was a lot of finger pointing,” said Winston. “It was often, ‘It’s your network,’ ‘Yeah, but it’s your security system.’ Today we realize that virtually every project has an IT component and it has to be managed."

In addition to its technical security integration services, ASG, which is headed by Phil Aaronson, is also known for its annual ASG Summit, a corporate security summit hosted by the firm in Seattle every year. The program has attracted top corporate security leaders. The seventh annual of these summits was held this past October on the general topic of creating an aligned "roadmap" for linking corporate security with overall business goals.