LAS VEGAS - Since Aug. 2017, ADT has acquired eight commercial integration companies, most recently Advanced Cabling Systems, along with Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG), Access Systems Integration (ASI), ACME Security Systems, Protec Inc., MSE Corporate Security and Gaston Security. At ISC West 2019, the company announced that these companies will be united under the umbrella of the new “ADT Commercial” brand.
I got a chance during the show to sit down with Chris BenVau, Senior VP of the new ADT Commercial, to discuss this transition:
Security Business: It has been a fast path to the announcement of ADT Commercial...how do you bring so many companies together so quickly?
BenVau: Our plans have always been to combine the business processes and the IT systems for these companies. My primary mission right now is looking at what, for example, Aronson does; looking at what Red Hawk does, because they have a lot of fire services, which is very different for us – and modifying (back-end) IT systems so it will accommodate all of it. It is not an easy task, because our spectrum now is so wide. I’m going to have a rep who is selling a doctor’s office, and a rep selling a hospital, and then a classic national account like Costco, and then a $3 million fire alarm system and a $3 million data center – so it is going to be a challenge to make nimble processes for all of that.
It sounds a lot like the old Tyco Integrated Security and ADT.
Here’s the difference – I was (with SecurityLink when it was) bought by ADT. At that time, there were no special accommodations made for the (acquired) business – we were given a program called Admin, we were trained on it and we went at it. Now, we are approaching it differently. We have to and have been building (the back-end systems) from scratch, and it is very different than the experience we had with the old ADT.
What prompted this change in direction and the new division?
We always wanted to have employees who focus purely on commercial, but we didn’t have enough scale, and it just didn’t make financial sense to do it. We might have a tech that does a house in the morning and a business in the afternoon. Red Hawk put us at the tipping point, and now we are at the scale where we don’t need that. We will have technicians that only do real commercial work.
That’s why we are rebranding and spreading that message. Educated buyers know that (we do enterprise commercial) – our national account program is exploding, and growth rates are 20-30 percent; but the new brand will help to spread the word about our commercial services to everyone. At this point, we have some really sharp advantages over our competitors, like the NOCs (Network Operations Centers), managed services and cyber business…and now as a national fire provider (thanks to Red Hawk).
How is the new division being branded and marketed?
There is a whole different marketing touch, look and feel. The logo is different – we took the octagon off because that’s really clearly identifiable with the residential yard signs. It is truly a different business.
Will Red Hawk and Aronson and the other brands go away?
Yes. Our plan was never to keep, for example, the Aronson logo, and Phil (Aronson) knew that from the beginning. We told Phil that we needed him to help invent what ADT Commercial is. (ADT) is the strongest brand out there...We wanted Phil to tell us how to do all the great things he does on a national scale.
Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Business magazine. Email him your comments and questions at [email protected]. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at www.securitybusinessmag.com.