Security systems integrator Vector Security announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Industry Retail Group, Inc., as part of an effort to accelerate the company’s growth in providing managed infrastructure and business intelligence. IRG provides managed network services to retailers, fast food restaurants and convenience store chains.
According to Pam Petrow, president and CEO of Vector Security, IRG was a perfect fit for the company in terms of their footprint, which is focused on retailers in the North American market. While most of what Vector currently does within the retail market is focused on security and business analytics with regards to video and point-of-sale systems, Petrow said IRG gives the company another dimension in which to deliver value to customers.
“For us, this is what we consider a new but very necessary space since more and more, all of our technologies are hanging on someone’s network,” Petrow explained. “We want to be able to control that network and be able to become more efficient at taking a look at that data and helping our customers use the data from that network traffic to better manage their business.”
About five years ago, Petrow said that Vector looked at the direction their customers wanted them to go in from a service perspective. They subsequently examined a variety of different ways to accomplish this such as through developing these network capabilities in-house, partnering with another company or acquiring another firm.
“It’s a pretty diverse field when you go out there and look at the individual companies providing services,” she said. “We thought the first thing we would do is partner with somebody to help us understand the business, help us understand the sales process and more importantly, to understand what companies wanted. We had a partnership with Spacenet and began to learn more about the business, but what we found out was each year subsequent to that, there was more and more demand from customers asking us to do things that we didn’t have the skill set in-house to do and we wanted to be able control that, so we started looking for an acquisition that would allow us to bring that expertise in-house.”
Petrow, who will also assume leadership responsibility over IRG, said that the company will operate as an independent business unit of Vector and that they will be able to cross sell into both markets. “For the customer, they won’t notice that their security is being done by Vector and their network’s being done by IRG,” she added. “We’re going to be working to create the infrastructure on the backend to make sure that that is seamless to the customers.”
In addition, Petrow said that having the capability to provision and manage networks in-house through this acquisition presents a huge competitive advantage for Vector.
“We’re not just about putting a contact on a window or a door anymore,” Petrow said. “Everything that we’re installing more and more is IP-based, so it needs to hang on a network, we need to be able to manage that network and we want to make sure that our signal traffic is coming through. We also want to be able to take the information that, for example, our cameras, access control systems and point-of-sale systems are gathering, aggregate it and give it back to the customer in a manner that helps them manage their business better. This is really a great stepping stone for us to be able to broaden services for customers and have one place for them to go for all of these services instead of having to look to multiple vendors.”