Call it a separation of church and state

IFS stands on its own, despite its ties with GE Interlogix
Monday, December 1, 2003

NEWTOWN, Conn. - Despite being bought by GE Interlogix earlier this year, International Fiber Systems continues to retain its independence in the security market.
Nowhere else was that more evident than at the recent ASIS International Show in New Orleans this fall where IFS was the only business that has been bought by GE Interlogix to occupy its own booth, void of the GE logo. The same was true at the National Summit on Security in Washington, where IFS was the only GE Interlogix business to exhibit at the show.

“We want to maximize their business,” said Jeff Hickling, general manager of integration for GE Interlogix, in Plainville, Conn. “We think the best way to do that is to leave them alone.”

To drive home that message, officials at IFS first began with a letter campaign to customers, explaining how the company would operate independently of other GE Interlogix businesses.

“We know some of you want to offer your customers products outside the GE Interlogix basket of products and this separation will make that possible,” wrote Richard Malstrom, vice president of sales and marketing in a letter to customers.

Unlike other companies GE Interlogix has acquired, IFS is unique in that its fiber optic transmission systems integrate with products offered by numerous camera manufacturers. Its systems integrate with the likes of Ademco, Bosch, Pelco, Vicon, Cohu and Kalatel.

Company officials at IFS also ensured customers that its products would be sold under a separate brand from that of Fiber Options, another company GE Interlogix bought.

“We think that our manufacturing rep structure for IFS and some of the camera competitors would be much less disposed to work with IFS if they believed we had integrated IFS activity with Fiber Options,” said Hickling.

Even though IFS’s engineering, sales and manufacturing remain untouched, the company still benefits from being part of a larger corporation. The company has access to the GE buying power, marketing and online tools that will help track sales.

“There’s integration, but also where it needs to be separate, it is,” he said.