Xentry furthers goal of becoming 'super regional' integrator with Acree Daily acquisition

June 2, 2014
Company seeks to fill void for mid-sized security systems integration firms

Xentry Systems Integration, a division of Matrix Systems, announced earlier this week that it has acquired Columbus, Ohio-based Acree Daily Integrated Systems. The acquisition will significantly bolster Xentry’s footprint in the Ohio area and, according to Matrix Systems CEO Holly Tsourides, helps them further their ambitions of becoming a “super regional” integrator.

“When Xentry looks at the strategic growth plan, the first phase of that was to get stronger and build depth in our current service area,” explained Tsourides. “With the acquisition of Acree Daily, that really complements the strengths of both businesses so now you can bring two very strong service businesses together that have an uncanny and similar length of time operating in Ohio.”

Tsourides said that the second part of that growth plan entails being opportunistic and looking at other “geographies” that complement their existing clients in Ohio or other areas of the country.

“When you look at the security integration space, it kind of looks like a heavy barbell in terms of revenue,” added Tsourides. “You’ve got lots of players on one side that are about $3 to $5 million in revenue, probably focused around a handful of key accounts and then, on the other side, you’ve got these big national (integration firms)… but what you’re finding though in the marketplace is there’s a real void for businesses that are of that $25 to $50 million size that bring the same breadth and depth that a large, national (integrator) would, but also care about client service and measure themselves according to client retention and client growth.”       

In addition, Tsourides said that the acquisition is going to provide the company with four service hubs in Ohio including locations in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland. “When it comes to Ohio, there certainly won’t be anybody that can out-service the in-state accounts here,” she added.

According to Acree Daily CEO Dan Blend, the company, which has been in business for 30 years, began with a focus on providing perimeter security and intrusion detection systems primarily to prisons and other correctional institutions. However, Acree Daily now provides a full suite of systems integration services including access control, video surveillance and fire alarm installation.

“We still have our base in industrial and commercial (markets). We do the (installation of) perimeter detection on almost every prison in the state of Ohio,” Blend said. “There’s not a whole lot we don’t do when it comes to low-voltage, so we’re into a lot of different lines. We’re excited about being joined with Xentry and how we can move forward and expand our business.”       

Over the next 18 months, Tsourides said that she and Blend would be focusing on the nearly 300 existing clients that Xentry has been doing business with for the past 10 years. Until recently, Xentry had only been servicing the access control portion of these clients’ security systems, which was one of the major drivers behind splitting Matrix into the Frontier and Xentry business units earlier this year.

“Dan and his team are going to be able to come in day one, do an assessment of those clients and be able to put together a long-term security strategy that now we’re going to have the capabilities to sell and to maintain,” said Tsourides.

“I think that’s the real win that we’ll have a real strong base to work off of to take the talents of both organizations and really push it forward successfully,” added Blend.

Tsourides said that Xentry really needed Acree Daily’s talent, which includes about 45 employees, to aid the company’s growth.

“We really truly believe in training and most of our techs are skilled in numerous disciplines. They aren’t just focused on access or fire or any one thing,” said Blend. “We demand that they be well-versed and we think that’s going to be a huge asset. We have project managers that have managed projects ranging from the very small to the very large and our project manager and engineers are also multi-disciplined.”

According to Tsourides, the combined Xentry/Acree Daily companies will be a $25 million integration business in 2014.

“The vision since I came into Matrix Systems and started to upgrade the talent and upgrade the systems here has been to build this business to be big and Xentry is certainly leading the charge on increasing the overall size of Matrix Systems. When we’re talking two or three years from now about this being a $100 million business, we’ll actually have, today, the right infrastructure to support that,” she concluded.

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief, SecurityInfoWatch.com

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of SecurityInfoWatch.com, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.