The dawn of the new millennium nearly 15 years ago was also the beginning of a new era for electronic security manufacturing. It was a period when corporate America really began to take notice of the industry’s tremendous upside, with the trend accelerated even further by the 9/11 attacks, and in many cases brought household names to security. It was a time when the Honeywells, Boschs, GEs, UTCs and Stanleys of the world all jumped in. But there was one that was there well ahead of that conglomerate curve: Tyco.
Tyco has gone through many permutations and acquisitions (as well as controversies) since being founded by Arthur Rosenberg as an investment and holding company in 1960, one of the most significant being its 2012 split into three independent public entities. Today, ADT, flow control, and fire & security are separate businesses with the latter continuing to operate under the Tyco Int’l parent name. Defining itself as the “world’s largest pureplay fire and security company,” Tyco is a $10 billion enterprise providing more than 3 million customers with fire protection and security products and services.
Of particular interest and relevance to dealers and integrators that provide security systems installation and/or monitoring services is the Tyco Security Products (TSP) business unit. It’s here where some of the industry’s most trusted and beloved brands continue to adorn video surveillance, access control, intrusion, real-time location and other products and systems. They include American Dynamics, Digital Security Controls (DSC), Kantech, Software House, Sur-Gard, and more recently Visonic (acquired in 2011) and Exacq Technologies (2013).
Being so entrenched as a leading source of products, solutions and technologies means thousands of security contractors depend on TSP and its portfolio of brands and lines to allow them to deliver superior safety, productivity, value and convenience to millions of clients. How does TSP aim to continue to accomplish this and possibly even raise the bar higher amid the recent reorganization, acquisition integrations, new partnerships (e.g. Alarm.com and Telular) and set against the backdrop of rapid technology advances and exacting customer expectations?
To find out, Security Sales & Integration spoke exclusively and at length with Mike Ryan, president of TSP and Life Safety Products. Ryan, who joined Tyco in 2007 following 10 years with Honeywell, breaks down the TSP business, the strength of its brands and channel, the technology and products roadmap, and why he is excited about the opportunities both within his own purview as well as those for the company’s integrator partners.
You took over at Tyco Security Products about the time Tyco split up into the three separate businesses. What were you doing previously and how has that experience translated to your present and future responsibilities?
Mike Ryan: The majority of my prior experience was with Honeywell but it was in a different business segment than the security business. I joined Honeywell in the avionics business and then I also was in their specialty materials group. Prior to Honeywell, I worked for two computer manufacturing companies, NCR Corp. and Unisys. I joined Tyco in May 2007 and I was leading the Scott Safety business, which is headquartered in Monroe, N.C. Scott Safety provides respiratory protection equipment and its primary customer base is firefighters. Comparing the Scott Safety business to Tyco Security Products from the perspective of markets, customers, technology or products, there really isn’t a lot of overlap. On the other hand, if you thought about it a little bit differently, from a business model perspective, there are actually a lot of similarities. Both businesses are global, and both go to market with an indirect model. We rely on channel partners all over the world. Product regulation is an important component of both businesses, and brand is really important to both businesses. Based on that, I felt comfortable taking a leadership role in the Security Products business.
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