SDI Adds $15M in Annual Revenue With X7 Purchase

By Ashley Willis

CHICAGO — In its second merger in 60 days, System Development Integration (SDI) has acquired X7, a Washington, D.C.-based systems integrator, for an undisclosed amount.

Established in 1999 as the Orion Systems Group, X7 provides security program management, system deployment and system sustainment services. SDI will add $15 million in annual revenue with the acquisition, establishing the firm as a $70 million business. Additionally, SDI gains more than 250 of X7’s enterprise clients, including Virginia Tech University, the District of Columbia’s Citywide Electronic Security System (ESS) program and the Metropolitan Police Department.

An appealing feature for both SDI and X7 was that both companies shared similar philosophies in their business operations, despite serving different customer bases.

“We noticed that a company like X7 shares the same values of not just going to potential clients and representing a product line,” SDI President and COO Brian Diver tells SSI. “Rather, they talk to them about their security needs and can actually design something of value that is custom-fit for what they are trying to protect. They have long-term relationships and they know how to manage long-term contracts.”

For X7 CEO David Taylor, the transaction provides his company the opportunity to leverage SDI’s skillsets and begin working on a national level.

“[SDI] added capabilities that we didn’t have, such as network infrastructure and more custom integration experience, which was a real positive for our client base,” he tells SSI.

Started in 1989, SDI provides large-scale application and infrastructure deployments for state and local governments. With expertise in public safety and homeland security solutions, the company designs, builds and operates command centers, physical security information management systems (PSIM), video surveillance and other technologies. Its client portfolio includes airports, water utilities, toll authorities, public school systems, 911 centers and public transit systems.

The firm boasts 12 offices — 10 in the United States, one in Istanbul and another in Puerto Rico. With geographic coverage in almost 30 states, SDI has signed on Taylor and the rest of the X7 team, including President Paul Garver, to help lead the new organization to other markets.

“This is a full merger of all the talent X7 has, and that’s very valuable to us,” Diver says. “They have outstanding, talented professionals that bring more certifications and more solution diversity to the family of companies that we’re bringing together.”

Some of those certifications include Lenel Master, ASIS CPP and PSP, BICSI RCCD, Cisco CCIE and more.

In June, SDI acquired another systems integrator, i-sys, which provides integrated security, environmental and fire-safety solutions. Completing two major acquisitions in a span of two months is no easy feat, and SDI credits its investor, LLR Partners, for the team’s success. Diver also praises SDI’s upper management.

“Our management team has done mergers and acquisitions from all sides, from due diligence, from the legal side and from the international financial processes,” he says. “We have a really strong management team that quite frankly keeps getting stronger as we find candidate companies.”

Noting that the security integration market continues to shift in favor of centralized planning and purchasing by chief security officers, deployed and managed by IT-centric organizations, Diver says the companies are currently establishing the foundation for cross-selling each firm’s diverse skills.

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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