Introducing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2020
For security pros there’s no greater recognition than earning passage into the SSI Industry Hall of Fame. Here are 2020’s inductees.
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Michael Marks | Retired, Co-Founder of Perennial Software, developers of SedonaOffice
- Born 1962 in Cleveland
- One of six brothers, father ran a security company, mother was a social worker and schoolboard member
- Married 32 years to wife Debbie, with four children
- Earned undergraduate degree in business management from University of South Florida
- Is a certified yoga instructor
- Other interests include playing basketball, tennis, golf and skiing
Why He’s on the List
- 20+ years pioneering the development, perpetuation and growth of a state-of-the-art financial accounting and business management software solution designed specifically for security companies that revolutionized the business
- Began software career at Micronetics Design in Rockville, Md., which in conjunction with Detroit’s Guardian Alarm created a product called Genesis
- In 1996, with business partner Don Faybrick, purchased the Genesis product and formed Perennial Software, soon thereafter releasing the game-changing SedonaOffice solution that was quickly adopted by more than 50% of the top 1,000 security dealer companies
- In mid-2000s, introduced second software solution, AlarmBiller, a true Cloud-based application designed for small to midsize security firms
- Established the SedonaOffice Users Conference as a leading business event for company owners and operators
- In 2018, sold the Perennial Software business to Denver’s EverCommerce, which along with other key acquisitions folded into today’s Bold Group
Keys to Success
“Providing software solutions for the security industry is no easy task. The complexities to overcome all the diversity in the industry is extremely complicated; all this while creating solutions that are effective and affordable. Our success was enduring; keeping our eye on the long-term needs of both our business and our customers. We never settled for just being OK, we always strived to be better, to do better, and to help our customers become better. Our business was taking care of our customers; so, everything we did was customer-centric. We were innovative, creative and always looking to do something new. It wasn’t any one thing we did that that set us apart, it was a thousand little things.”
Persevering Pays Off
“Simply stated, in the early years it was a struggle. Our business was undercapitalized and so the revenues didn’t pay all the expenses. All we could do is keep moving forward and doing everything necessary to create success for our customers. Our motto was simple: Create success for our customers and we will be successful. When you stay focused, keep on course and fight every day for what you believe in, success will find you.”
Oh, My Sedona
“The SedonaOffice Users Conference was established to create a sense of community for our customers. My best memories of the business over the years are the great times I got to spend with all our customers and the great friendships created that I will have for a lifetime. Being part of the security community and helping the industry become more professional, educated, sophisticated and savvy was extremely important to me. I loved speaking at industry events and sharing my knowledge to help others reach their personal and business goals.”
Complacency Can Kill
“My advice, regardless of the industry, is to never get too comfortable. Nothing lasts forever. Whether it’s a technology change, competition from competitors or changes with customer behaviors — everything always changes and evolves. Be ready to adapt, innovate and be open-minded to change. Don’t get stuck in the definition of insanity.”
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