What have been some of your biggest challenges thus far and top accomplishments since stepping into this role, from your direct standpoint and the bigger picture of the company itself?
Ryan: I joined Tyco Security Products in November 2012 and I’m really pleased with our organic growth rate for security products. If you go back to September 2012, when Tyco Fire & Security became its own independent company, we had an investor day presentation. We put forward our financial projections over a three-year timeframe. At that time we projected we’d grow the business 8%-9% over the next three years. We are tracking very well to that growth rate. When we think about fiscal year 2014, we feel pretty good about continuing that growth rate.
Certainly the Exacq Technologies acquisition we did last summer was a big accomplishment for us. Given the dynamic market environment, and economic environment, Tyco Security Products is executing well. We’re competing well around the world and we feel good about it.
Tyco Security Products Fast Facts
- Tyco Security Products has more than 2,800 employees worldwide, in more than 177 countries
- Headquartered in Westford, Mass., with global centers of excellence in Toronto, Canada; Bangalore, India; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Tel Aviv, Israel
- Worldwide customers include 42% of Fortune 500 companies, 37% of the world’s top 100 retailers, transportation systems on five continents, 2 million commercial enterprises, thousands of students in more than 900 educational facilities, and over 2 million private residences
- Acquired wireless intrusion products developer Visonic in 2011, and VMS provider Exacq Technologies in 2013
- Global brands are American Dynamics, Bentel Security, CEM Systems, C24 Communications, DSC, Elpas, Exacq Technologies, Kantech, Proximex, Software House, Sur-Gard and Visonic
- Part of Tyco Int’l, world’s largest pure-play fire and security company
All businesses have their challenges, and we have ours. One of the biggest challenges we have is trying to grow our business in parts of the world we haven’t had a large presence in before. Sometimes people call these the growth markets; sometimes they call them emerging markets. We’re talking about places like China, Brazil and India. Our advantage is we start with a technology and a set of product platforms and then we take those product platforms and customize and localize for local market conditions. We are building some technology capabilities in those countries. Very importantly, we’re trying to build routes to market and building our integrator and distribution network, and adding commercial infrastructure. It’s a challenge, but we’re learning. A lot of investment, patience and time is required.
Tyco Security Products has the catchphrase: “The world’s largest pure-play fire and security company.” What’s the significance of that in your mind? What are the advantages to that and also being part of the larger Tyco Int’l?
Ryan: If you think about it from a customer perspective, we’re the largest fire and security company. We literally participate in business all over the world. When it comes to a global client — financial services company, consulting firms, technology companies — being able to work with a single provider, a single company that can meet their needs all over the world with common software, hardware and business processes, we are having success with what we call our Enterprise Sales Group focused on those global accounts. Same thing goes for the multinational companies that have a preference on standardization and so that gives us a benefit.
I believe Tyco’s strong balance sheet and our credit rating help our channel partners in their bidding process. That is something we bring to the table, maybe against some of our very local competitors. Another advantage Tyco has is the global recognition of our brand and what that means to people. We continue to invest, continue to promote the brand. That has a benefit to our channel partners and, quite honestly, also to our customers.
On the flipside, the challenge is there are certain channel partners and certain customers that don’t like working with big companies. They would prefer to have a smaller or more local firm, or somebody they can go see or whatever the case might be. I think that’s always been true and will continue to be the case, but we have many longstanding relationships with our channel partners. We retain our customers, so I think on balance being part of a big branded company actually helps us.
Let’s talk about the channel. What is the philosophy in marketing to the channel, be it distribution, dealers, integrators, the monitoring side, and also end users?
Ryan: It really starts on the relationship side. We have many longstanding business relationships with channel partners all over the world. We are selective. We obviously have our business standards and performance expectations, but, in turn, we commit and support our business partners. What I’ve found interesting the past 15 months or so is the great similarity between the Scott Safety business and Tyco Security Products is the strength, stability and effectiveness of our channel partners. And, quite honestly, that is built over a period of time. The other piece, especially here recently in the residential security space, you have new entrants coming in, new interactive service providers, the MSOs [multisystem operators] and the telecommunication providers. Being on the lookout for those changes, for those new routes to market, certainly is something we think about all the time.
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