ADT Chief Takes Aim at the Future in the Face of Tyco Break-up

BOCA Raton, Fla. — John Koch, president of ADT North America, is tight-lipped when asked about the corporate machinations gyrating behind the scenes as parent company Tyco Int’l continues with preparations to split into three publicly traded companies by the end of this month.

The separation calls for the health-care and electronics divisions to become separate companies, while the remainder of Tyco will focus on fire and industrial equipment and security through its ADT Security Systems unit.

The spin-off is not a topic he is at liberty to discuss publicly at this time, Koch explained to Security Sales & Integration, along with a handful of other invited guests who gathered recently in the boardroom at company headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.

Koch’s presentation focused on bringing up to date the goings-on — both current and future — at the systems integration and alarm installing behemoth. As COO for ADT North America, a division of Tyco Fire & Security, since January 2006, Koch is responsible for the $4 billion operations in the United States and Canada. Underneath his umbrella are more than 200 sales offices, 22,000 employees, seven customer monitoring centers and more than 5 million customers. 

Of interest to many SSI readers, Koch says “ADT’s dealer program is alive and well.” Several months ago the company introduced a newly overhauled training program for its North American dealers. The goal is to continue helping dealers run more efficient businesses while learning to sell new technologies that are gaining popularity in the age of convergence. “We are always looking to increase support to our dealer program,” Koch says. “It is an integral part of our distribution.”

Asked if there would be opportunity moving forward for independent dealers to work with ADT in the residential space, Koch says that is not a likely scenario. The company custom that all dealer business must be conducted as an Authorized ADT Dealer will continue. “We prefer exclusivity,” Koch says. 

Elsewhere on the topic of the residential market, ADT launched Custom Home Services less than two years ago, a specialty channel focusing on affluent communities. ADT has a presence in 40 large markets across the U.S., offering a range of monitored services, including intrusion, video surveillance, fire/life safety, two-way voice personal response and other highly customized bundled solutions and services. 

Koch explained Custom Home Services aims to create marketing partnerships with key custom integration companies, while enabling market-specific integrators to selectively benefit from the ADT brand.

Reported in SSI when the news first broke, Koch discussed in the meeting ADT’s designation as a Cisco Authorized Technology Provider (ATP). The designation recognizes ADT’s capacity to provide advanced technical skills and lifecycle services necessary to install Cisco network-based physical security solutions in a variety of industries. With physical security solutions becoming evermore network-centric, Koch says ADT is investing in the infrastructure and training to deploy multifaceted IP-based solutions. The Cisco certification serves to reinforce ADT’s leadership in security integration, he says.

As a longtime traditional physical security provider, ADT finds itself uniquely positioned as a driver of convergence with IT.

“We find ourselves playing mediator between [the two departments],” he says. 

Building on core competencies to deliver customer-driven integrated solutions, Koch says ADT is well positioned to offer customers new technologies and services. The future for ADT will be to lead the charge in driving convergence in technologies such as RFID integration, data analytics and other emerging technologies.

“We believe we are the only truly national systems integrator,” he says.

Rodney Bosch

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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