Kastle Systems Reveals How It Achieved $100M in Revenue, Tips for Success
Execs share how Kastle Systems is leveraging its armory of managed security services to push its riches beyond $100 million.
Corporate Culture Is King
While managed services has always been the main artery at the heart of Kastle Systems’ mantra, there are myriad other initiatives the company has instituted to rank them among the “best of the best.” Here are examples of the company’s wealth of sound business practices:
Ein stresses that the way to inspire a culture of teamwork is to break down barriers, encourage collaboration and empower the team. As the Kastle website attests, “Our company has always fostered a team atmosphere, and employees welcome the open floorplan, low cubicle walls and glass doors that encourage collaboration. There’s great camaraderie among Kastle teammates.”
Staff are supported by a layer of leadership and have direct access to them. The leadership team often accompanies the sales and services teams on calls and customer visits.
Investing in People
Kastle immerses its salespeople in an intense two-part sales onboarding program to make them knowledgeable not only on products and services but also the company’s vision and mission to support its customers.
Each January, Kastle holds an annual offsite sales conference where 100+ people from its sales and leadership teams come together for two days of learning, networking, celebrating the prior year’s success and preparing for the year ahead.
Director of Product Management Nikhil Shenoy says, “Our team works smarter and more efficiently by utilizing all our own products and services. As a bonus, this makes us experts in our products and services for our customers because we use them every day!”
Kastle University was implemented in 2013 to focus on overall learning, training and development across the entire organization. Since its inception, Kastle has focused heavily on its operational process in supporting new hire training, new product releases, as well as product and process changes.
As CFO Ralph Masino points out, “Kastle has a well thought-out and detailed training program for all new customer-facing employees. That’s Step 1, and as we enter new markets we make sure we have the appropriately experienced, Kastle-trained people who have excelled in legacy work to help grow that new market to make sure the Kastle standards have been set.”
Ein explains that, “We invest virtually all the money we make back into the company, in R&D, service quality and delivery. Retaining and motivating our people, investing in them and our business is so important. Most of our growth has been organic, with a few strategic acquisitions added to the mix. We have a clear map of how to build the company.”
Crusading for the Community
As a company that places a premium on service, Kastle also looks for opportunities to serve the community. The company and its employees support a number of worthy causes such as the So Others Might Eat (SOME) food kitchen, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Toys for Tots, Higher Achievement, The Children’s Inn at NIH, Wounded Warriors and annual local blood drives supporting the American Red Cross.
In 2014, Kastle launched CapitalShield, a public-private partnership that unites the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) with commercial property owners, businesses and institutions.
Through this program participants can help enhance public safety by providing the MPD with direct access to their external security cameras during emergency situations, enabling first responders to quickly gain the situational awareness required to assist citizens.
“As a company that was founded in Washington, D.C., more than 45 years ago, it’s important for us to give back to the local community that has supported us throughout our journey,” Ein says. “We want our employees, customers and community to know that we care about their well-being and helping those less fortunate. It’s part of our culture at Kastle.”
To further their charitable initiatives in 2018, Kastle has challenged its employees to increase their volunteer time and enabled them to do so during work hours.
An avid tennis fan, Ein also owns the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis (WTT) franchise. It has won the league championship six times in its 10-year existence and set the longest winning streak in U.S. pro sports team history (34 straight matches from 2011-2013).
“It’s so important to give back to the community we were founded in,” says Ein. “We take a multi- stakeholder approach and believe we exist for the sake of all our stakeholders.”
Kastle CTO Helps Set the Standard
When Kastle Systems CTO Mohammad Soleimani joined the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) five years ago he suggested a new architecture — Physical-Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI), a specification that was introduced in 2013.
This protocol not only provides a means for organizations to transfer and dynamically update relevant employee data and privileges from the “logical” HR system to any physical access control system (PACS), but also enables sharing credentials across multiple company facilities often served by different PACS.
PLAI is an open specification that leverages the LDAP v3 (Light-weight Directory Access Protocol) interface to support a number of logical identity directories, including Active Directory.
Features/Benefits of PLAI:
- More efficient onboarding process for employees
- Instantaneous invoking and revoking of security privileges across disparate PACSs
- Ability to support logical privileges and physical access in multiple business locations and campuses
- Supports temporary access credentials when employees travel to remote sites; syncs security access with different physical locations
- Ability to minimize risk as all logical and physical access privileges are based on a single authoritative source
Soleimani reports that PLAI has become PSIA’s main focus the past five years while he has served as a term as chairperson. “It’s growing with major names, and also gaining momentum and market awareness as other access control systems are now adopting PLAI as a part of their commercial offering,” he says. “I’m glad to see that it’s becoming a major industry initiative.” For more info: psialliance.org/AllAboutPLAI.html
Catapulting Into Future
Carrying the mantra, heart and soul of Kastle Sytems’ origins well into the future has always remained a personal priority to Ein and Sodha.
Their hard work and vision have placed the firm at the forefront of the security industry, and honored founder Gene Samburg’s vision for Kastle Systems.
Erin Harrington has 20+ years of editorial, marketing and PR experience within the security industry. Contact her at email@example.com.
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