IdentiSys acquires Card Solutions

Integrator working toward goal of being 'a very dominant identification systems provider'
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—IdentiSys announced last week the acquisition of Card Solutions Corporation, an ID reseller serving the Florida market from West Palm Beach down to Key West. Former owners Richard and Barbara Beecher will remain with IdentiSys, continuing to provide ID management, card issuance, and security solutions to the healthcare, education, casino, corporate, financial, emergency management, and government markets in South Florida.

This is IdentiSys' fourth acquisition since 2007, with the last being CardSmart in the fall of 2008. However, said company president Debra Ferril, there are plenty of acquisition opportunities being presented in this economy.

"They say you can't stand still in business," Ferril said, "you're either growing or you're shrinking. In a vibrant economy, there are companies that are growing while they were actually shrinking, because they were growing slower than the market was. When you get into an economy like what we've experienced these last two years, it becomes more obvious when people are shrinking, and that's where some opportunities have presented themselves. To stay even or grow in an economy like this requires significant commitment and investment, and there's no guarantee on payback. So, do you do that, or do you sell?"

Of course, she noted, "the challenge for IdentiSys is to pull it off and put together a buy in an economy like this."

IdentiSys has been able to grow, Ferril said, with a large increase in business with emergency management and first responder customers, along with focusing on the growing importance of identity management, which has always been the company's focus, and branching out into more traditional access control and CCTV, which now provide revenues "in the multiple millions" for IdentiSys. Also, Ferril said, the company has been establishing partnerships with access and video providers who subcontract to IdentiSys or share jobs when the identity management portion goes beyond simple card access systems.

"No one can be an expert in everything," Ferril said. "One company brought us into their sales meeting about a year ago to educate their sellers on our capabilities because if it was simple, they could handle it, but if it was complex, they could bring us in."

The market should look for more M&A activity from IdentiSys in the future, as well. "We're clearly continuing our growth plans," Ferril said. "Mike Shields [the company's CEO] had a vision when he started the company to build a very dominant identification systems provider, and that's not just ID. That's anything the ID is used for."