Behind the Scenes of an Epic

How many times have we heard dramatic movie advertisements with a deep-voiced narrator saying something like, “10 years in the making, it finally comes to the screen … “? Well, the fact is that it takes time to build something of quality and scope.

Take GE Interlogix, which much like an epic film, began to take shape more than 10 years ago and is now one of the world’s most formidable security products suppliers. Yet, how many of its thousands of customers really know what is going on behind that CCTV camera, control panel or wireless device?

In these times of swift technological advancement and consolidation, I believe it is more important than ever for security dealers and integrators to remain keenly aware of who they are in business with (suppliers), who is speaking on their behalf (associations) and who their competitors are (other dealers/integrators). That’s why we continually labor to feature our industry’s leading people and organizations in the pages of Security Sales & Integration.

These articles, such as my exclusive interview with GE Interlogix CEO Ken Boyda (see Interlogix Boosts Its GE-Wiz Factor), are epics in their own right, typically taking several months to bring to fruition. But, as I said, it takes time to build something of quality and scope.

In researching the piece, I asked members of Security Sales & Integration‘s Editorial Advisory Board their opinion about the products, services and companies within the Interlogix Security & Life Safety Group. As owners and operators of installing security firms, they are perhaps affected more than anyone else by the GE acquisition.

“We presently use several products within the Interlogix family,” confirms Grant Thayer of Radar Security Alarm in Winston Salem, N.C. “We use them for a number of reasons. First, they do the job we ask of them. Second, we have used them for a long period of time, so our people know and trust them. Third, there has not been much price change.”

Thayer believes Interlogix is comprised of very good companies that exhibit very professional business practices. “Pretty good!” is how Daniel Budinoff of Security Specialists in Greenwich, Conn., sums up his opinion of the company.

Neither Budinoff nor James Orvis of Security Solutions in Wilton, Conn., believe there will be major changes in the way Interlogix interacts with installing dealers. “I predict there will be very little effect,” says Orvis.

Thayer, however, is not as optimistic. “I believe that, as the product lines are merged together, installers will lose their personal contacts with the salespeople and trainers. That means we will have less personal contact with those who we have developed relationships with through the years.”

Most board members believe GE has grandiose ambitions in the electronic security industry.

“GE may look to provide more low-voltage products in an effort to become more all-encompassing,” says Budinoff. “However, Honeywell couldn’t get alarm guys to buy thermostats through distribution, so I am not sure GE will get us to sell refrigerators or jet engines!”

“Hopefully, we will see more cross-breeding of products, coupled with more R&D and innovation,” says Orvis. As for who will emerge out of GE, Honeywell and Tyco for residential domination, “GE has the name recognition, and Tyco is now infamous as opposed to famous,” he says.

While, out of those companies, Thayer says, “GE leads the pack as far as professionalism, class and public trust,” he sees an entirely different champion emerging in that market.

“Nobody is growing like Brink’s, which is doing it through selective internal growth and controlled account retention,” he says. “In the future, I see Brink’s being more and more of a presence in homes.”

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