Security Around the Globe

Oct. 27, 2008
Operations Spread Worldwide
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The world is a smaller place thanks to technology. People can be in touch with what is happening in far off places as if they were next door. Doing business globally is common among today's U.S. security manufacturers. There is a constant stream of announcements by these companies about divisions opening in locales such as Europe, China and Latin America . Now you are also seeing security dealers expanding worldwide. To get an inside view of what global operations entail, Security Dealer Reporter Cathleen Tufano caught up with Sabre Integrated Security Systems President Clifford Franklin and Martin Guay, chief operating officer, Securitas Security Systems USA, Inc.

Sabre Integrated is a wholly independent security systems dealer with offices serving New York , London and their environs. The company provides turnkey security from site survey and risk analysis, to specification and design, installation, training and ongoing preventative maintenance. Sabre Integrated Security Systems services many large commercial clients, from property management companies (Columbus Properties, GVA Williams) to colleges (Johns Hopkins, Bank Street College ) as well as independent companies (Motiva–Shell

Oil, Bear Stearns, Olympus Industrial, American Stock Exchange), among others.

Security Systems USA is part of the Securitas Systems Division, supplying custom-designed, integrated and high-end security solutions for demanding customers. Major customer segments are banks and financial institutions, offices and industrial sites as well as multi-site installations like utilities, logistics centers and retail chains. The division has operations and coverage in 20 European countries and in the USA . It continues to acquire security installing companies in the U.S. and abroad to give Securitas Systems access to new markets and increase its footprint to further support the national customer market segment worldwide.


SD: What type of installations are the most common,in general?

Franklin : Video surveillance is by far the most
common installation.

Guay: Securitas' most common installations are intrusion systems, access control systems and closed-circuit television systems.


S D: How does security differ from country to country?

Guay: Installations are different in the sense that some installation issues are country specific such as building-code requirements or union requirements. Nonetheless, the security concepts that are being installed are very similar across countries. We are typically protecting against the same threats and vulnerabilities that customers are experiencing. This means that same type of security installation of a solid security concept can be installed in Spain , the U.S. or Sweden .

Our installations are specific to vertical markets. For instance, the banking market will have very similar looking installations, across countries, at bank branches. This will include closed-circuit television (CCTV) and intrusion alarm at bank branches; CCTV, access control and intrusion at money centers and cash vaults; and integrated systems and console operations at administrative offices and bank headquarters.

As we specialize in specific vertical markets, we have learned that overall customer needs, threats and solutions look very similar country by country. For instance, in the retail market, there are similar threats for retail locations across different countries. These include internal theft, shrinkage, after-hours burglaries to include “smash-and-grab” burglaries. As a result, when we create a solution for a customer in one country, it is similar in another. Of course, there are statutory or legal requirements that vary country by country. These will impact how security is performed that is custom to each market within each country.

SD: Describe the levels of security sophistication in London as compared to the U.S.

Franklin: Historically, London is far more advanced than America with security systems because they were under the threat of IRA attacks for years and years. Now we are catching up to them because we now face terrorist threats. So, the security systems are now about equal, and New York is actually advancing at a faster rate.

We are using the same equipment in New York as we are in London . Sabre provides seamless integration of card and biometric access control, video surveillance and digital video storage and retrieval from companies like Pelco, GE Security, Kalatel, Fiber Options, Casi Rusco, Alliance , Honeywell Security, Ademco Video and KABA Ilco.

The biggest difference is the paperwork. In the U.S. , everything is much simpler. In London , there is a lot of “red tape” and regulations. Most of the Western world is under terrorist threat, so there should be international standards for security systems rather than different rules and regulations from country to country.