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Q&A with Iain Morton, Vice-president, ADT Advanced Integration, Intercon Security Services

Iain Morton first joined Intercon in 1992 and took on his current position in April after the departure of John Van Schepen.

Morton is no stranger to Intercon’s Toronto Yonge and Sheppard office. He spent eight years there as a senior account executive before moving out to Western Canada where he drove growth in Vancouver and Calgary as a senior account executive.

Morton is now back in Toronto and responsible for all Canadian operations.

SP&T News sat down with Morton recently to discuss where the company is focusing its efforts this year and how he feels about technology developments including the push to standards in the security industry.

July 5, 2010  By Jennifer Brown

SP&T News: Iain, you’re not new to ADT/Intercon, can you tell us about your background with the company prior to coming into this role?

Morton: I worked my way up through a number (of jobs) in the operation. I worked with the Intercon Security personnel side and on the technology side of the business and that’s allowed me to have a role that’s not common in the security industry which is a little fragmented between them — to adopt different experiences through sales and customer service and regional management as well. Working out in Vancouver for the last four-to-five years has allowed me to understand the regional market in the West, but also as regional vice-president I had total responsibility from an operations, sales and customer service and the development in some cases of new technology and new products as we flow through the development and deployment of solutions that are tiered not just at a national level but a local level as well.

So arriving here now in Toronto is a great opportunity to just take that next step and it’s a very seamless one as I have worked with many of the personnel here — the leaders, the great staff. Walking in I’ve had to only introduce myself to two or three people in this office. It’s given me the opportunity to meet with the commercial ADT teams and continue to explore strategies of how do take the next level of growth and synergy between the historical Intercon Security personnel and Advanced Integration systems solutions and the large strength that ADT has commercially across Canada.

SP&T News: So with all the experience you have on both sides of the business, you have a lot of experience dealing with customers. What is your strategy for the company in terms of dealing with customer service and retention of customers over the long term?


Morton: We have some data on our customer retention period and it’s very impressive. There’s a layered approach to customer service and it starts with a constant focus on it as a key objective. The second part is to ensure that our quality of service is very high and we’re doing a lot of enhancements building upon some of our more complex and demanding customers who demand quality control, service level agreements, accountability and auditability in every service that we provide and rolling that out through greater and greater customer depth.

We continue to make investments in our ability to service those customers and made strides in technology investments that have allowed us to improve billing experiences, the accessibility of our teams. We continue to look at account management, who are the primary face to our customers. We value them very highly and ensure that we also have the senior management meeting with our strategic larger customers that have complex or different needs.

SP&T News: What verticals markets are you most focused on right now?

Morton: As we look across the strength of ADT we have eight key verticals that we’re focused on as well as a strong commercial/industrial base we’re focused on. Advanced Integration has tremendous strength in the commercial office market — the Building Owners and Managers Association market — and we’re continuing to focus on that and develop new solutions to allow those property managers to look at their security personnel expenditures and look at outsourcing more of their services, perhaps to one of our central stations, which we’ve done successfully. But there is a new evolution of IP products and now with bandwidth controls on video we’re bringing more video into solutions and those markets are perhaps more used to having security officers at desks when they don’t need to anymore.

We’re also continuing to leverage the Intercon Security personnel business, which is core to the Canadian strategy — it is very successful and it’s growing. We’ll work with the ADT customer base within the geographic markets we serve in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary and select national customers where it makes sense for us we will be looking at growing that business.

Our key verticals are utilities, petro-chemical and financial. Where ADT and Advanced Integration can have tremendous strength across North America, under the leadership of John Kenning and technology team under the leadership of Peter Dyk (Director, Solutions, Design and Management), we’re bringing those experts together and taking those solutions we’ve developed. (For example) the mobile access control solution in Alberta in the operational real time management of the personnel of the big oil companies and allowing it to be productized and released and serviced through the sales ranks in North America. We can combine the power of the national integrator at a local level so that we can service and support and sell regionally.

SP&T News: You referenced the proliferation of IP devices and there is a lot of work going on around standards in the industry. What is your impression of how that will aid your business?

Morton: We certain appreciate standards. We’ve adopted standards in some of our largest rollouts such as the Royal Bank of Canada. And the reason that we can provide that customer such a great experience is because everything is controlled according to a set standard of deployment.

That is our own creation of a standard though, in lieu of having suitable ones in the industry. So while there isn’t a standard for megapixel video right now they are being worked on, and for how different IP manufacturers communicate to each other and it’s really important that we continue to rely on strong product evaluators. They test products regularly and they ensure they function not just according to a manufacture’s spec, but that they function well with other third-party companies along the line as we connect an IP encoder to an analogue camera alongside a true IP megapixel camera coming straight into a storage device with a client network device in between. For example, one from Cisco or another organization, we have to manage that quality of service end-to-end and be accountable to it in some cases even though we’re not in complete control. So testing and evaluation is, I think, the biggest trend in the industry and it’s capital intensive and resource intensive and there are some very, very intelligent people required to make that happen and I think that can differentiate our organization more than most who have to rely on product bought from manufacturing reps and through wholesale distributors.

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