Security-Net Ensures Access Control for USI Insurance Services

Learn how The Protection Bureau and fellow Security-Net partners are rolling out a seamless access control solution for USI Insurance Services’ 100+ locations.

Sometimes it takes a collective effort, along with a small army of security systems integrators, to ensure that an aggressive plan to unify more than 100 locations and 5,000-plus access control credentials all within a quick timeframe can be executed in a timely fashion. That’s exactly what happened for end user USI Insurance Services when it called upon the Security-Net Inc., an independent network of 18 security systems integrators located throughout the United States, to handle its unified access control needs.

USI Insurance Services specializes in property and casualty insurance, employee benefits and specialty products. Headquartered in Valhalla, N.Y., the company has more than 4,000 experienced professionals who operate out of in excess of 140 nationwide offices. Through the years, USI Insurance has been actively acquiring other insurance businesses, driving home the need for a unified access control platform company wide.

“For a company to be successful, it needs both an organic and acquisition growth strategy,” says USI Vice President and CTO Tim Porreca. “We’ve done north of 200 acquisitions over the past 15 years and we continue to be active in the acquisitions marketspace. However, we also have heavily invested, and continue to invest in tools and resources that help us grow organically. These investments are geared toward creating an environment that facilitates success in the market-place for our people, and enables our clients to achieve – and even exceed – their business goals.”

With continued expansion a part of its culture, USI has to manage its buildings and employees as efficiently as possible – something that becomes increasingly difficult, as with that rapid growth comes more employees, more cards and badges, and more disparate security systems of which to keep track. This is the still unfolding tale of how exceptional results can be achieved in the name of security by combining a well-defined vision, impeccable coordination, flawless execution and immediate follow-up.

Rekindling Decade-Old Relationship

As mentioned, the insurance and consulting firm needed an integrator that could handle its aggressive plan of eventually unifying more than 100 locations and 5,000+ cards, including employees, contractors and maintenance, within a quick time-frame and without missing a beat. It was important the integrator had a national focus so that multiple locations and continued expansion could be handled easily while allowing USI one point of contact for design, installation and troubleshooting.

The impetus for this was when USI acquired TD Insurance Inc., a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of TD Bank, N.A.; that acquisition included the South Portland, Maine, office and about a dozen other locations. “They had C•CURE 9000 from Software House running on a PC,” recalls Porreca. “It wasn’t what I would consider enterprise class, but they had the beginnings of some-thing that we could build on.”

Looking for an integration partner, USI approached the integrator that had installed the C•CURE 9000 system in its former TD Bank’s location, but the company didn’t get the answer for which it was looking. “They were unresponsive and very expensive,” says Porreca. “That’s when I thought of The Protection Bureau. The Protection Bureau had put in the security system in USI’s datacenter more than a decade ago. Once I gave them a call, they were able to provide me with one-stop shopping, which was a big timesaver for us and no headaches.”

Founded in 1975 by Keith Ladd, The Protection Bureau is a full-service, soup-to-nuts security systems integrator serving the entire Mid-Atlantic region. The multiple awards-winning firm is a UL-Listed fire alarm installation company and operates its own central monitoring station from its Philadelphia metro-area headquarters. The company was named a Security Sales & Integration Installer of the Year in 2009.

“When we first met with Tim, he showed us a stack of access cards that was probably eight inches thick, and he said, ‘We need to fix this,'” says Matthew Ladd, second-generation president of The Protection Bureau family business and a Security-Net member.

Because of The Protection Bureau‘s affiliation with Security-Net, it allowed USI access to a national network of partners to expand and unify its access control across the country, while providing streamlined communication. USI and The Protection Bureau agreed on the design, end results and processes it wanted, and The Protection Bureau tapped into its Security-Net (for more on this organization, see box) partners to execute installation in other cities.

To date, nine integrator partners have coordinated with The Protection Bureau to install and upgrade 50+ sites, with a roadmap in place to eventually support all locations within three years.

“When there is a problem or question, there is one person to call, one number to call. That’s one of the strengths of the organization that we’ve put together with Security-Net,” Ladd says.

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