Alarm New England continues to adapt and grow

Owner and CEO Doug Curtiss talks with SSN about the latest acquisition and company’s success
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

ROCKY HILL, Conn.—Alarm New England, a provider of home and business security systems in New England, continues to adapt and grow the family business that has been going strong for more than 40 years. The company’s most recent acquisition of Engineered Security Systems expands their reach in Rhode Island, adding 2,500 new customers, as well as talented new employees, to the Alarm New England team.

“Engineered Security Systems is squarely in our footprint and Ken Soscia has been at it a long time and is a great operator,” Alarm New England Owner and CEO Doug Curtiss told Security Systems News. “Ken and his team are going to continue to work with us in that marketplace and he is a very valuable asset to us moving forward. This deal was the right thing all around.”

Curtiss said Alarm New England’s fundamental philosophy and tagline is “global technology, local people.”

“I believe that people want to do business with local people; that’s our niche,” Curtiss said in the announcement of the ESS deal. “Our customer's security is handled by people familiar with their local area; I firmly believe that local service makes all the difference. That is why we are investing in Rhode Island. It is an area where we have a 40-year history and we remain committed to local businesses and the community. We welcome the Engineered Security family into our Alarm New England family.” Soscia and the current employees will remain with the combined company and the local office will continue to reside in Narragansett, R.I.

Curtiss noted that this deal would not have been possible if not for the diligence of Mark H. Sandler, SPP Advisors, LLC, which represented Engineered Security in this transaction. “Mark was the matchmaker and he know how to put all the pieces together,” Curtiss explained. “He really did a wonderful job in terms of making the transaction painless and low stress.”

“We believe that this is a clear ‘win-win’ for both Alarm New England and Engineered Security,” Sandler said. “The combination of these two long-term Northeast alarm companies will continue to provide excellent security services in this region of New England.”

Founded in 1982, Engineered Security Systems provides integrated security and fire alarm systems, and designs, installs, monitors and services security systems for industrial, commercial and residential customers throughout Rhode Island. “Alarm New England and the Curtiss family have a strong 40-year tradition in the Northeast,” said Soscia. “Our customers will now have access to more staff and resources to allow us to continue to provide the same level of high touch service that has been the hallmark of Engineered Security. With Alarm New England, you get the best of both worlds; the strength and stability of a regional company and the personalized service and support of a local company.”

Engineered Security joins Alarm New England’s portfolio of companies that includes Intercity Alarms, which serves residential and commercial customers in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands. Also included are Sonitrol franchises in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island via the brand Sonitrol New England and Voice New England, a telecommunications company started by Doug Curtiss in 1981.

One of the keys to Alarm New England’s success, Curtiss said, is staying within the company footprint — Conn., Mass., N.H. and Rhode Island — and never losing sight of the changing customer needs.

Understanding the customer and knowing that the days of “set it and forget it” are long over has paid dividends for the company, Curtiss explained, with company VP and former SSN “20 under 40” winner Alexandra Curtiss leading Alarm New England’s effort to connect with customers.

“You need to have constant contact these days, and Alexandra is doing a great job with her team with connecting with the new customer of today,” said Curtiss. “You really need to reach out to your customers, show them some of the new technology — lights, locks and thermostats — and get in front of them either in person or online and through digital media as much as possible.”

He continued, “As an industry we need to continually invest in our customer base as the technology changes and that is absolutely an essential skill. It is not just sending a tech out there when something 'gets broke'; it is investing in that customer base because if we don’t somebody else will and probably already is.”