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Rebranded TycoIS Set to Make Mark in Commercial Sector

As a division within one of three publicly traded companies spawned from a recent reorganization, Tyco Integrated Security is forging ahead without the storied ADT moniker to establish its new name as North America’s commercial market leader. However, as an exclusive interview with TycoIS President Mark VanDover reveals, there is much more to it than that.

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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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Article Topics
Business Management · ADT · Executive Interviews · Features · Mark VanDover · Scott Goldfine · Tyco Integrated Security · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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