Executive Q&A: Dialogue, common culture led to Verkada-Convergint partnership

Sept. 19, 2023
Security InfoWatch.com recently caught up with Caleb Augustin, head of channel sales for Verkada, to get more details about the partnership and how it will change the industry.

Just as GSX 2023 had wrapped up, another big industry announcement came when cloud enterprise building security company Verkada said it inked a partnership with global systems integrator Convergint.

Founded in 2016, Verkada’s cloud-based building security and management platform has more than 19,000 customers across 70 countries leveraging the company’s video security cameras, door-based access control, environmental sensors, alarms, intercoms, and workplace management.

Convergint has more than 9,000 employees and over 200 locations globally, and the firm focuses on delivering technical and integration expertise in the physical security industry.

SecurityInfoWatch.com recently caught up with Caleb Augustin, head of channel sales for Verkada, to get more details about the partnership and how it will change the industry.

SIW: How did this partnership come about?

Augustin: There’s been dialogue between us and Convergint for years. Based on our strategy in the market, and a lot of customers demanding what we’re building, the relationship has expedited over the last couple of months. Initially we pursued them because they have a great reputation, and a lot of our customers use Convergint as their security integrator.

Over time it made a ton of sense for us to partner with mutual clients that we both now share. 

SIW: What do you feel are the synergies between these two companies?

Augustin: Who we are as a company has been widely misunderstood, I think, so we invited the Convergint executive team out to Verkada a few months ago and had great dialogue. We talked about our roadmap and shared our products with the Convergint team. I think they walked away with a realistic view of where we’re going and how we’re thinking about the market.

We have a lot in common in that we both care deeply about customer outcomes. Convergint is a thought leader and forward looking in how they approach their clients, and that melded really well with our strategies.

We want to push the envelope. We are both thinking about how customers can interact with physical security together. I think we’ll co-innovate with them, at some point, to provide offerings that Convergint builds into their broader portfolio to build for their customers.

We’re certainly excited about the partnership, but hard work must be done now to ensure that our sales teams and technical teams align, and that we build this relationship correctly from day one with transparency and integrity. 

SIW: What are some of the deliverables in this partnership? How is it different from Verkada’s other partner programs?

Augustin: We will treat them as we would with any one of our other 5,000 partners. We view them as an extension of our current go-to-market. It is a global relationship, which is somewhat unique for our partners today. One of the things we really like about Convergint is that they can deliver soup to nuts on having customers purchase from them and they also install.

Convergint is also big on values and beliefs. Every time you talk to Convergint, whether it’s the executives or the installers doing the work, they always mention the culture piece. We’re doing similar things giving back to our communities and we both really aligned on and bonded over culture. 

SIW: What should the industry and your customers expect as you ramp up this partnership?

Augustin: We’ve kept a Rolodex of customers that have asked us to partner with Convergint. In the short term we can go to those customers and say we now have a partnership. As we continue to grow our business, we have clients that do require multinational installation. So we’re excited to leverage what they can do.

I think there’s still some feeling out of the partnership, as well. There’s going to be some trials and tribulations, and we are both coming into this with our eyes wide open.

While we’re very bullish on the future, we recognize these are two companies that are growing very quickly. We’ve always done things a certain way and we’ll have to meet in the middle to ensure the partnership is equitable and successful for both parties. We're both committed to doing that.

About the author: John Dobberstein is managing editor of SecurityInfoWatch.com and oversees all content creation for the website. Dobberstein continues a 34-year decorated journalism career that has included stops at a variety of newspapers and B2B magazines.