Convergint, United Protection partner in Canada

Thursday, June 7, 2007

CALGARY and SCHAUMBURG, Ill.--United Protection Security Group, a guarding, monitoring, and installation firm based in Calgary, and Convergint Technologies, a security systems integrator based in Schaumburg, Ill., have signed a letter of understanding to explore partnership possibilities, largely in western Canada, where Convergint has five of its 17 North American offices.
"We grow a lot of our business by partnering," said Convergint chief executive officer and co-founder Dan Moceri. "Their core value is really on the guard side, and when they get into a more complex installation, they've got somebody they can go to."
Don Allan, president and chief operating officer for United Protection, concurred. "We're installing a lot of smaller systems," he said, "so we do have in-house installation and design teams, but the Convergint Technologies of the world are well established and much better at the bigger projects, right from the design stage on up. We've got limited capabilities for attracting some of the bigger opportunities, and sometimes as a smaller player you get tossed to the side, because of your size. So I think the partnership arrangement ends up being a win-win for both organizations: They get a bigger service offering, and it opens some doors for us in the area of some of our other service offerings, and the monitoring certainly is the biggest winner that we see."
The monitoring of security systems is "not really part of our model," agreed Moceri. "We do some monitoring, but we sub it to third-parties. Our core competency is on the integration side."
Nor is this your typical alarm monitoring they're talking about.
"The market, especially in western Canada, is looking for a viable alternative to taking video monitoring in house," said Allan. "It appears we're becoming the remote video monitoring company of choice. The market seems to be dragging us into that end of the market whether we want to go there or not. So now we're looking to expand that offering."
Allan said it's much more personnel-intensive than traditional alarm monitoring, however, so, while "recurring revenue is great," he still sees a need for United to increase its installation capabilities, either through an acquisition or further partnerships.