When Walnut Capital Corp., developers of Pittsburgh's high-end Metropolitan condominium project, sought a single-source technology provider they pledged allegiance to Security Systems of America (SSA). The integrator was tasked with seamlessly and aesthetically uniting myriad systems for the entire complex as well as its 45 individual units.
Headquartered in the Steel City, SSA so effectively crystallized the residential community developers' vision that it was selected to provide a total, "smart" solution that would ordinarily require multiple contractors. Included were integrated intrusion, video surveillance, access control, fire/life-safety, communications and audio/video systems, as well as all associated wiring.
SSA's efforts earned the company SSI's 2009 Integrated Installation of the Year Award. In a hotly contested field, the other finalists were Advanced Technologies, Baton Rouge, La.; CRS Building Automation, Charlotte, N.C.; and Stanley Convergent Security Solutions, Napearville, Ill.
Since 2002 the Integrated Installation of the Year program has judged entries based on innovation; systems design; integration of at least three electronic systems; seamlessness of installation; uniqueness of application; and end-user satisfaction.
SSA scored highly across the board. From parking garage access to homeowner sound systems and everything in between, the Metropolitan project exhibits the firm's superlative design, engineering, project management and installation expertise.
Since its founding in 1967, Arthur Beaver has built SSA through hard work and maintaining slow, steady growth. Beginning with a handful of employees, a storefront location in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill and using a small third-party central station, the business grew into four Pennsylvania branches and its own UL monitoring facility.
Eye on Diversity, Innovation
Today, with Beaver as CEO and son Brice recently being named company president, SSA racks up more than $6 million annually. The business serves 20,000+ residential (40 percent), commercial (40 percent), industrial and institutional (20 percent) clients.
SSA offers the following breakdown of technology solutions: intrusion (30 percent); access control, fire/life safety, systems integration and video surveillance (15 percent apiece); and home automation (10 percent). The company's professional affiliations include ASIS, PSA, NFPA, NBFAA and CEDIA.
SSA has established itself as a leader in an area that has become a hotbed for strong regional security integrators. It has accomplished this by coming up with innovative ideas, pursuing excellence and engaging customers in a way so they feel connected to the process of achieving their desired results.
"In today's connected world it's hard to avoid a 'well informed consumer' armed with the latest and lowest pricing information," says Carl Sandulli, vice president of SSA Engineering Sales & Services. "A vendor has to deliver accurate results and information coupled with outstanding customer service. SSA invests thousands of dollars each year in technical training while constantly raising the bar to meet and exceed customer expectations."
As an example of its differentiation quest, SSA was one of the first companies in the Pittsburgh area to introduce and install "smart home"-style projects for which it received local and national notoriety. Today, SSA operates Cine-Tech, a division that deals with the home automation and A/V side of the business.
Sandulli, who has more than 40 years of security industry experience, has helped satisfy the needs and demands of upper-echelon clients like Xerox, Attica Prison, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense. He also played a key role in landing the Metropolitan project, and shepherding it through to its fruition.
It was SSA's reputation for delivering extraordinary, customized solutions that gained it an audience with the Metropolitan's developers, architect and general contractor. After the scope of work and preliminary budget were established, the integrator was invited to attend multiple planning meetings.