Johnson Controls declares three percent bump in global market share

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ANAHEIM, Calif.—The news at last year’s ASIS International for Johnson Controls was one of a new strategy: “We decided,” Johnson VP of global security and strategy Lisa Roy said at the time, “that we were going to more than triple our market share in the security integration space.”

Now, one year later, the company is reporting that it’s most of the way there, saying it’s moved from two percent to five percent of the global security integration market in the past 12 months.

“We were already going to move away from new construction as a business, and focus on when they’re not building,” said Michael Mann, director of global security solutions, here at the show floor. “The economic downturn really helped that. When that hit, we were better positioned.”

(For discussion of this move from two to five percent, go here.)

Roy said it was the company’s focus on customers’ business objectives that made its security investments result in new business. “The concept of the convergence of the technology is really about the convergence of the missions of the business, the convergence of the tools and processes that contribute to that mission,” she said. “The technology just makes it all work together.” And while Johnson Controls’ green message resonates more than ever, she said, “it’s not just about the savings. It’s that the money we’re going to spend is going to be better spent and be cheaper going forward. And it’s the right amount of security for the right amount of money. You can over-secure someone. It’s finding the right mix.”

The sustainability message and the security message both feed into the business efficiency message, which is core, said Mann. “They’ve all got a budget for energy savings, and then they find they can get security at the same time. They’re finding the money—and that’s where it starts to come together.”

“You’re still just connecting the technologies,” Roy said. “While we’re securing that facility, let’s heat and cool that part of the building.”

“Or they’ll say, ‘We get the energy piece, but talk to me about protecting my products and the employees,’” Mann said. “That’s their brand, and if that goes away, they can’t pay to cool the building. That definition of ‘sustainability’ is safety and security first, and ‘it would be really great if we got the energy piece.’”

Looking forward, Johnson Controls believes its strengths with alternative energies like thermal storage, biomass, and wind, will be a competitive advantage. For example, Mann said, LEED certification, the benchmark for high-performance green buildings, “is a big deal for us. If the RFP comes out for a mesh network in a city, and by the way it has to run on a LEED certificate, they think of Johnson Controls first,” he said. The company even supplies customers with a LEED management tool that automatically adds up LEED points. (For more information on LEED certification, go here.)

In the end, however, Roy said both security and energy are ancillary to the primary discussion with the end user for Johnson Controls. “The conversation with the customer,” Roy said, “has always been about how to help heal people in the hospital, how to help the pharmaceutical company make cheaper pills—and let’s help you make it sustainable, safe, and secure.”