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Security integration shakeup

ImageWith the sale of Intercon to ADT there is concern by many end-users, and no doubt Intercon employees, about what will happen as it is assimilated into the U.S. security giant.

How will the deal impact large end-users who have either just finished or recently entered into large integration projects?



May 6, 2008
By Jennifer Brown

Getting caught in the takeover crossfire, especially when it’s a large
company like ADT with a parent company the size of Tyco, can sometimes
get ugly for everyone involved. Customers often worry about what will
happen to the service they were used to getting.

Rumour has it that UTC Fire & Security, among others, were
interested in snapping up Intercon as well and that ADT grabbed it
before anyone else made the move. Intercon was an attractive buy for
ADT even just from the sheer number of network systems they’ve been
deploying on an enterprise scale to organizations such as RBC last fall.

The project, valued at $30 million for 1,156 branches across the
country, is touted as the first IP-based, ULC-rated system for a
national company that incorporates intrusion detection with integrated
access control, digital video and specialized video surveillance
technology. RBC has a five-year deal with Intercon to maintain and
monitor the system. You can bet RBC has some concerns about how its
relationship with Intercon will develop over the next five years now
that a larger entity owns the integrator.

Intercon has also scored integration deals in the transportation, oil
and gas and utility sector. While many integrators talk about the
possibility of massive integration projects, few can implement them
seamlessly.
One industry insider suggested the kind of security system integration
Intercon has been doing might be “too radical for the failure-adverse
ADT executive.” But in his video address, First Service president Frank
Brewer was candid in saying the industry has been demanding greater
focus on high-end integration projects such as the nation-wide one
executed at RBC.

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Intercon has some highly-technical people employed on the network side
to handle the IT-related questions coming from customers these days and
some seasoned sales executives from the security industry.
However, they haven’t always received glowing reviews and some end
users I have spoken with weren’t exactly thrilled to hear about the
marriage with ADT. They did express their hope that it will mean an
approach towards more open architecture. When I talk to end-users these
days and to the more advanced IT-based security software providers,
that’s all they talk about. End-users want everyone to be open to
accommodating the technologies they want to deploy.

The Intercon/ADT deal may also end up being good news for smaller
integrators if customers become wary of going with a behemoth and
losing touch with their trusted security partners.

In a presentation at ISC West in April, City of Ottawa security
director Bob Gauvreau spoke glowingly about his relationship with the
integrator that does most of the work for the city — Sunotech Canada.
The city even nominated Sunotech for SP&T’s Integrator of the Year
award last year.

End-users will need to stand up, insist that integrators understand
what they want and make sure they get the customer service they deserve
as the integration space begins to get smaller with bigger players.


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