Koch discusses ADT's future plans

Thursday, August 17, 2006

DENVER, Colo.--Last week, John Koch, ADT's chief operating officer, shared with industry media his objectives for the company at a convergence seminar held at its customer monitoring center here in Denver, Colo.
Koch joined ADT, a subsidiary of Tyco Fire and Security, in January as Tyco's decision to separate into three publicly traded companies was announced.
Koch, with a detailed background in the telecommunications industry having been an executive at Alltel, spent 14 years in that sector and five years consulting, and is looking to use that experience to lead the company in capturing new opportunities created by technology's evolution.
Koch said that the two sectors have parallel business models and now that the convergence between IT and physical security is a mainstay, he and the ADT team are mapping out the next step.
"The more I looked at [ADT], the more intrigued I came," he said. "It is the number one brand, which is indicative of the talent levels" throughout the company. He added there is an "incredible passion that you see with new frontiers that we can cross."
Koch and his team must decide which verticals and customer segments the company should enter, and "what level of integration is required to win in these segments."
Koch said the company's profitability in the coming year will stem from "continued good growth," with efforts to "continue to improve operational metrics."
According to Koch, commercial and residential business continue to grow at similar rates; as the need for secure environments rises, rates in both sectors will increase. The company has plans to bundle integrated services with other companies, and organizations such as AARP.
The company has plans for continued partnerships, alliances, and potential ownerships of companies; however, Koch could not disclose details for those endeavors.
Koch said this year the focus has been to look at the company internally to improve operational efficiencies.
Already ADT has installed branch managers "that have ownership of the customer relationship on the local level," he said.
Also on the sales side, the company has added another level of management, he said: "Local managers report to regional managers and as a result we have realigned our regions into four regions."
ADT is also on the forefront of industry efforts with communication technologies such as the AMPS Sunset Clause. Koch said the company supports the industry's position of extending the date.
Although ADT has taken a conservative approach with the VoIP issue, Koch said, "Security and safety of our customers is important. We have been working with the cable industry to put in place an approach that we believe will benefit our customers."