G4S rebrands Wackenhut, opens first U.S. central station
BOSTON--G4S announced Dec. 10 that its first stateside central station would begin ramping up services Jan. 1 and would be in full, 24/7 operation by April of 2009. Jerry Cordasco, vice president of operations for the G4S monitoring and data center, which is based in Burlington, Mass., said that G4S' services are unique in the U.S. monitoring market. "Our monitoring center here in the Boston area is unusual because, though we will do some conventional monitoring, our primary focus here is on advanced video monitoring," Cordasco said.
According to Cordasco, G4S, parent company of access control and video solutions company Amag technologies, has begun rebranding its well-known guarding company Wackenhut as G4S Wackenhut and, initially, will offer its services as value adds to the established G4S Wackenhut customer base. "We made some decisions a few years ago, strategic decisions, to say that what we really wanted to do was change the guarding business so that we provided a total solution, meaning manned services as well as technology solutions," Cordasco said.
Cordasco said that G4S plans to expand from its Boston-area base: "Other people have tried to mesh technology and guarding before, and no one has been terribly successful. We really believe that we have the formula for doing this, in terms of having our own technology available, plus partnering with some key technology partners. So this resulted in our desire to build the first of what will be many of these, a number of these, monitoring centers."
Cordasco said the recent acquisition of a Boston-area technology company, which Cordasco preferred not to name, along with the existing technology of G4S' technology arm G4 Tech, will add many services to the G4S monitoring and data center offerings. "We'll provide other video-related things like remote video guard tours. We'll provide remote video escorts," Cordasco said. "This software allows us to provide other remote hosted services to customers, things like incident management, visitor management, remote management of their access control. So we'll not just be providing alarm monitoring, we'll be providing video monitoring, we'll be providing other video services, we'll be providing data services, so that we'll do things like help with storage and retrieval of customers' data, including their video information."
Cordasco believes that G4S is positioned to be the U.S. security leader as the security industry changes in the coming years. "Our idea is that this is really the very beginning of what we believe will be a whole change, over the next five to 10 years, a complete change in the way security technology is implemented."