UTC’s Plan to Bring New Life to GE

UTC Fire & Security, already a formidable player in the electronic security industry, supersized itself by acquiring GE Security, an operation that was created through the acquisition of leading security and fire alarm systems. SSI spoke to Kelly Romano, senior vice president, sales and marketing, UTC Fire & Security, to take a peek under the deal’s hood.

How will the acquisition help UTC gain U.S. market penetration?
Prior to the acquisition, the UTC Fire & Security portfolio was geographically weighted more heavily outside the U.S. Now we are geographically better balanced with a broad portfolio of products. We are deeply committed to the fire and security industry and will continue to build on our substantial R&D and product management capabilities to offer products that customers want and need.

GE Security has a sizeable residential product portfolio. What is UTC’s plan for this arm of the business?
We like the residential intrusion products business a lot. In fact, through our Kidde business we are leaders in smoke and CO [carbon monoxide] alarms and we see lots of opportunities ahead.

Explain what product categories will continue to use the GE branding and for how long.
Existing brands will be available for the near and medium term and future changes will be managed seamlessly to ensure continuity for our customers.

Will authorized GE dealers have to requalify to remain a channel partner?
No. Through the acquisition UTC Fire & Security has acquired strong relationships with thousands of fire and security dealers around the world and our goal is to preserve all customer relationships. We don’t anticipate significant changes to the dealer, distributor and channel partner relationships we have.

How does UTC Fire & Security intend to support the existing GE channel network partners?
It’s business as usual. We’re committed to building strong relationships with a broad network of partners and to ensuring that our partners have continuity in the brands and products they have invested in.

What feedback are you hearing from GE dealers and what is being explained to them?
The feedback has been quite positive. We’ve had some questions, but we see a clear path to ensuring that our partnerships with dealers, distributors and value-added resellers continue to grow.

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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 latimes.com. 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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