Hackett Security expanding service nationwide

Company enhances offerings through dealer network, video monitoring and archiving
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Monday, December 1, 2003

ST. LOUIS - With a dealer network and a new video monitoring and archiving service in place, Hackett Security, a 26-year-old alarm monitoring company based here, is hoping to offer its services to dealers on a nationwide basis.

Earlier this year, the company began investigating what it would take to go national, and from there has taken each step of the process slowly, said Jeffrey Todd, Hackett’s video project manager.

“Not having really been in the national playing field before, we wanted to take it slow and make sure we didn’t grow too fast,” Todd said. “We finally decided that we’ve done our homework and our due diligence and we’re ready to try and take another step.”

Currently, Todd said, Hackett is finalizing agreements with two or three dealers, which will bring to five the number of dealers in its fledgling network. Those dealers are based in Michigan, Illinois and Missouri, with a potential for another in Oklahoma, Todd said.

In addition to the dealer network, Hackett is taking its new video monitoring and arch-iving services to a new level as well.

“The video monitoring developed over the last couple years, doing it off and on here and there for individual clients, not on a network or dealer basis,” Todd said.

Through its network, Hackett will offer up to five years of video archiving or more, depending on customers’ desires, Todd said.

One of the earlier drawbacks to Hackett’s video services was the limited number of technologies it supported, which consisted of a branded digital video recorder and IP-addressable products from Webgate. Todd said the company is now rectifying that by broadening its technology offerings.

“We’re bringing more technologies on line where we’ll be able to say to prospective dealers across the country, ‘If you sell these products, our UL-listed central station will monitor them and you can sell that as a service to your end client,’” he said.

Todd said so far, Hackett has attracted a similar kind of dealer to its program, namely smaller systems integrators who are just trying to get their feet wet with networking and video technologies.

“These are guys who may have 10 or 15 employees and they’re trying to get into the network and video stuff but they don’t have IT people on staff, so this is a real good fit for them. It’s a solution they can sell, yet they don’t have to know all the nuts and bolts of it,” he said.

As for long-term goals, Todd said the growth of the company will be controlled, perhaps limited to no more than one dealer in a particular market to start.

“Obviously, we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin, but I think eventually we could see multiple dealers in larger markets, say the top 20 cities, and in smaller markets we could see one, maybe two, dealers,” he said. “We want to keep it reasonable. That will be as growth permits and our abilities to grow, so it could get far more significant than that.”

As the dealer network and demand for the company’s services expands, Todd said Hackett has the tools in place to grow along with those needs.

“We have a real good cash flow and a real good capital partner system and it’s been real good for us as far as getting where we’ve gotten,” he said.