Hot Seat: With Reorg on Horizon, Tyco Security Products Rolls On

Mark VanDover is president of Tyco Security Products, a division that includes DSC, Bentel, Sur-Gard and CONNECT24 intrusion products; the access control lines of Software House, Kantech and CEM Systems; and video surveillance products from American Dynamics. He joins us to discuss Tyco’s recent Visonic acquisition, plans for Tyco Int’l to split into three independent companies and more.

How will Visonic be integrated into Tyco Security Products?

When we looked at the business there is not a lot of overlap between the Visonic footprint and our own portfolio. There are good synergies. Our focus is going to be how do we take the technologies from both sides of our business — from the DSC platform as well as the Visonic platform — and integrate them into a common roadmap.

So we have teams working together from both sides trying to figure out what does the new roadmap look like or how do we tweak our existing roadmaps to leverage the technology. That’s on the intrusion and wireless piece, but also the whole endeavor with the Elpas and the RTLS [real-time location systems] product line is one we are really excited about as well. Leveraging both of those in our existing portfolio will be our focus as we go forward.

Which vertical markets do you see wireless being a particular good

Up until recently wireless has been focused on the residential side of the business. With Visonic’s PowerG technology being so robust and reliable, we think we have a game-changer that allows us to get in and start exploring more in the commercial segments whether that is core commercial and/or retail and banking. We think that it gives us a leg up on what is available today and we actually think it will help the market transition from a hardwired platform into more of a wireless platform.   

In September 2011, Tyco said it would split into three independent companies. What is the current timetable for the reorganization to be completed?

We are pretty much on schedule. Our plan is to try to have this completed in the fall of [this year]. At this point we are working through all the different issues that public companies have to work through with the different filings and announcements, etc. We have not run into any unexpected hurdles and everything continues to look promising. 

Tyco Security Products is pretty much a self-contained business as we stand today so the separation is not really a big deal for us. On the services side of the business, they have a good action plan and roadmap to split the residential business from the commercial business and good leadership to make it all happen, so again we have not run into anything unexpected.

There’s been no shortage of reorganization plans in the security industry as of late. What is driving the integration across different platforms?

From a business perspective, there are some real technology changes happening today. The big switch from analog to digital is a driving force. We are at an interesting point where the technology is once again shifting to advantageous solutions.

Just up to the very recent past there was a lot of theory with regard to cloud technology.  And it was only theory, but suddenly today we are seeing the transition from land-based application networks to cloud-based networks. It’s actually happening.

You are also starting to see other entrants into the marketplace, whether they are service providers, cable companies or utilities. They are forcing businesses to be more innovative, more network- and IP-based, and really focus on technology.

In the end it is going to be good for our end users. And as we move forward they are going to have new innovative technologies that will hopefully drive better solutions, whether it’s on the home front or in a business environment. 

Will Visonic’s wireless solutions be leveraged to enhance ADT’s portfolio?

Our sister company ADT is one of our larger customers today. The Visonic acquisition is really focused on leveraging their wireless technology as well as their individual device technologies. We’ll be utilizing that across the broad spectrum that will address most of our customers. We think that wireless is second to none in the industry so we will be incorporating that into our platforms.

What is your strategy to bring new wireless solutions to the market?

Our strategy to go to market is through the integrator and dealer channel. We view that channel as preferred partners and we try to build robust relationships. Whenever we deploy products we always try to make sure that the channel is prepared to deal with them — whether that’s install, service, support, as well, help them have a good business model so they are successful as we roll out the different products and technologies.

With the wireless piece most of the dealers in the residential space today are pretty prepared for that. It is pretty intuitive. We do provide training and necessary tools and support services to help them through that. As we transition this into the commercial space, most of the time the integrators in the commercial space have a high level of expertise. They are going to be well prepared and very supportive. For them, it is all about having a partner that is coming out with new technology, coming out with something the end user wants, helping them provide and build their business case is all a win-win.

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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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