Let’s move into acquisitions a bit. TycoIS picked up Carter Brothers late last year. How is the integration progressing and what was the appeal there?
VanDover: We’ve been dealing with Carter Brothers for many years, having partnered with them in different areas at times, whether for project management and/or installation services. It was a natural fit for us to look at acquiring them and folding them into our existing operation. So there are a lot of synergies in doing that. The overall integration, we’re almost done with it. We’ve probably got another month or two before we will consider it fully integrated. We have been moving them onto our platforms, moving them onto our systems, making sure the technicians that have come across have the right skillsets we want for our new overall customer base.
What is TycoIS’ overall approach to M&A? Do you expect to be aggressive or conservative?
VanDover: One of the philosophies of the separation is to make sure we’re very focused in our marketplaces. That allows us greater capability to look for good acquisitions out there. We’re going to continue to look for opportunities, continuing to look in the integration space, the higher-end technology space. We’ll continue certainly in the product side of Tyco. They’re going to continue to look for new and better applications in the market space. We’re not going to be ridiculous, but we’re going to be continuing to look at acquisitions as we go forward.
Are you on the lookout for strategic partnerships? In your mind, what makes for a good partnership?
VanDover: We look for good partners to deal with and it is absolutely key to success. You can’t be everything to everybody, so we’re trying to focus on our core capabilities and where there are customers that have needs outside of our core, but want to pull that together, making sure we have the right partners with that. An area we’re looking for great partners in is convergence of IT and security systems, making sure we’re partnered with great IT providers. Also with cloud-based video solutions, making sure we’re partnered with great storage providers. You have to make sure you pick a great partner and that it’s a two-way success for both.
How concerned are you about the competition? What comes to mind when you hear names like Diebold or Siemens?
VanDover: My perspective is to lay out a strategy for our business and to continue to focus and execute on that strategy. Having said that, it would be foolish not to pay attention to your competition. Many of them have great leaders that have been in the industry and have been around. Some of them have different strategies and different focuses from our business. I’m pretty confident in TycoIS’ ability. We’re a great business. We have a great leadership team, great employees and I think we’ve got a great strategy for success in the future.
We always look for opportunities, and I think our strategy will yield and take advantage of some of those opportunities. Some of the competition is very focused on the here-and-now, and the sale today, and not necessarily the longer term. They may win the battle of the sale today, but longer term they’re not going to be positioned to build that customer relationship going forward. We’re focused on successful and deep, robust customer relationships. That’s going to be the test of time.
How important is it for TycoIS to be a good corporate citizen to the security industry and communities?
VanDover: It’s very important. In many of the trade groups or industry relationships out there, you will find a TycoIS or Tyco individual leading and/or in a significant role. We believe we’ve got a lot to contribute and that our resources are better positioned to help lead the industry forward.
On the community side, we have 200 locations in North America. When you boil it all down, it’s people. People are very engaged in their local communities, and we support that, whether it’s through the United Way or Habitat for Humanity. There are many different programs out there that the local areas support and we as a company try to support that. We do gift matching and things like that for different areas. When we looked at the Hurricane Sandy effort, we were right up there with helping and providing contributions to get people through some of the tough times they faced, and still are facing. That’s a big part of who we are as a company.
Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent more than 14 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125.
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