Diebold to focus anew on gov., transport. sectors

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Thursday, June 1, 2006

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--With a New York subway project underway and "other exciting projects we hope to participate in" in the offing, Diebold Enterprise Security Systems has identified the government transportation segment as an important enterprise market, said Tom LaBarbera, director of business development.
"It's a market where a lot of money is being spent, and that's why we're focusing more attention on it," LaBarbera explained.
On Jan. 25, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board awarded Diebold an estimated $1.65 million two-year contract to install 233 access and intrusion alarm systems in the New York subway system.
Simplex-Grinnell won a separate $2.7 million fire installation contract from MTA.
The subway currently has a hodgepodge of security and fire systems, said Charlie Seaton, director of public affairs for the New York City Transit Authority. "This installation will allow us to standardize the fire and security systems across the subway system," he said.
The installations are underway. Seaton said no completion date has been set "at this point."
LaBarbera said Diebold is actively pursuing similar projects. He noted that the Department of Homeland Security has set aside $1.4 billion for projects in high-risk areas. Many of these are mass transit or port projects.
In addition, the government has "moved away from a low-bid mentality. There's a trend toward prequalifying customers based on their ability and financials," and this is a trend Diebold likes. It means they're competing for projects against similar companies, with similar footprints and infrastructures, rather than "three guys in a van," LaBarbera said.
To that end, Diebold in late April opened a new office in Sterling, Va., which will focus entirely on government installation work. John Stroia will lead Diebold's new Government and Monitoring Solutions unit as vice president.