Convergint Technologies’ Deal for TACanada Underscores ‘Service Is Local’ Strategy
Dan Moceri, executive chairman and co-founder of Convergint Technologies, explains philosophy driving the company’s ambitious acquisition strategy.
There is necessarily a common component to each systems integration firm acquired by Convergint Technologies, and that is a strong service culture. Such is the case with Convergint’s latest deal for TACanada, based in Mississauga, Ontario, near Toronto.
Also known as Thermo Automation Canada, according to its Web site, the company works across a range of vertical markets providing solutions that integrate heating, cooling, ventilation, access control, security and lighting.
Dan Moceri, executive chairman and co-founder of Convergint Technologies, told me on Wednesday the TACanada transaction will increase his company’s business in the Toronto area by about 50%. Along with expanding its service footprint, Convergint will bring aboard approximately 30 employees, including sales and business development personnel, technicians and engineers, and leadership, including TACanada President David Dawson.
“We have had a relationship with them over a period of time. We’ve known them as a really good competitor, a solid competitor in the marketplace,” Moceri said. “When we started looking for more opportunities they certainly came to the top.”
TACanada has provided integrated building solutions for almost 35 years in market niches such as commercial office, data centers, education and retail. Moceri is especially keen on the newly acquired company’s specialization in the utility sector.
“We see that as a growing vertical market across our organization. We expect to build on top of what they are doing. They are a good local competitor, but probably with the emphasis on the word local,” Moceri said. “They do a great job servicing their customers, but they don’t have the wherewithal to take that on a much larger, regional or certainly a global basis. We can bring a lot of that to them, plus a lot of proven processes to help grow that business in that marketplace.”
Moceri explained there is much activity and investment going on within the utility sector in North America and in particular the United States. As the industry migrates to the smart grid, substations are being overhauled to implement a tremendous amount of controls and security systems.
“It is high level; it’s not inexpensive stuff that is going in. It’s not just cameras and readers, but it’s a lot of integration that goes in to make these installations work and work really well,” Moceri said. “They are making huge investments in this infrastructure and they want to ensure that it is as protected as it possibly can be.”
Convergint, based in Schaumburg, Ill., has been on an acquisition tear as of late with no signs of slowing down. In the last seven months the systems integrator has consummated deals for Switzerland’s Enion AG; H&E Comfort Controls, also of Ontario, Canada; Total Recall; Corporate Security Services; and Dakota Security. Moceri described his acquisition file as “active” and signaled we are likely to see the company execute a couple more deals by year’s end – with no stopping there. 2017 will be a prolific deal-making year as well, he said.
Moceri explained the company is growing very rapidly from an organic perspective, while the acquisitions infuse Convergint with unique integration expertise, leadership and more.
“[The acquisitions] are all very strategic in what we are doing. They fill a couple different areas. One is geographic cover so we can service these customers. At the end of the day we can certainly sell on a national or global basis, but service is local so you need to have that,” he said.
Most acquisitions that prove to be a failure likely resulted from a marked difference in corporate culture or poor integration, Moceri said. Hence, Convergint focuses on both of those as key elements to its strategy. The company spends copious time assimilating each of its acquired companies independently to ensure a successful transition. A select few executives within Convergint are charged with handling that function by applying specific processes that have been honed in-house.
“One of the things that we’ve done, which is kind of unique in the industry, is we treat each one of [the acquisitions] individually. There is no cookie-cutter approach to integrating a company into another company from our perspective,” Moceri said. “We really look at what are the strengths that they bring, what are the opportunities that they bring, where are the areas where we can really help them so we can jointly develop this business. Even though we have a framework, we really customize the integration plan for each acquisition that we make.”
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