ESCC targets upgrades for growth

NYC integrator says upscale resi projects sometimes more complicated than commercial
 - 
Thursday, November 17, 2011

NEW YORK—As construction starts to rebound in the city, part of systems integrator ESCC’s growth plan is to focus on upgrades.

“After 9/11, a lot of security measures were put in place and those [systems] are starting to age,” said VP of Operations Karl Tyson. ESCC plans to go back to its own clients as well as seeking new clients whose integrators may have closed their doors during the lean years of 2009 and 2010.
 
Like most commercial integrators, the recession took its toll on ESCC, but Tyson said the company is well-positioned today.

“Our backlog got us through the lean times. We had enough that wasn’t canceled that we were able to make adjustments and get through,” he said. The backlog included some major projects such as a new office building at 512 Madison Ave., where ESCC developed elevator software for access control.

In business for 26 years, ESCC has 50 employees and two offices, one here in the city on Madison Avenue and one in Armonk, N.Y.

“We’re a full-fledged integrator, we have our own CAD engineering department, an IT department, and a service and installation department,” Tyson said. “We do some interesting things like remote backup and remote card administration for clients.”

He explained that in Manhattan, the access control systems for office buildings are separate from the access control systems for the businesses in those buildings. In many cases, ESCC will manage the card systems for the building and its commercial occupants, which allows both systems to stay in sync and up to date.

ESCC is a large C-CURE dealer. “We build many of our unique programs around that platform,” Tyson said.

One recent job featured a “free-flowing lobby with no turnstile” at 510 Madison Ave. ESCC developed a software product to manage access to elevators. The lobby has three kiosks, where people slide their access cards and select a destination. The system ensures that the person is allowed to go to that floor and assigns them an elevator, which takes them to the floor. “The elevators have no buttons inside; people can’t select a floor in the elevator,” he said.

The company has done a lot of work in mixed-use buildings that have commercial space, hotels and residences. It just completed a Yotel, for example, which has 1,000 units. It’s also done work at the former Plaza Hotel, which is now a combination hotel and condominiums.

About 40 percent of ESCC’s work is residential, much of that very high-end. “We don’t get shocked to see a $100,000, $200,000 or $300,000 integration job that includes sound, and they often want to use Mac products, which don’t always integrate easily with other systems,” he said.

“With the integration of all the security system, access, CCTV and phone, the residential jobs can sometimes be a lot more challenging than the commercial jobs,” he said.