Lenel's UTC future?
FARMINGTON, Conn.--After three months at the head of United Technologies' new $400 million toy, Lenel vice president and general manager Dave Cunningham said he has the luxury of looking to the future, thanks to a strong company foundation built by founders Elena and Rudy Prokupets. "I'm very pleased with what I've found," he said in an early March interview. "Being an outsider coming into Lenel, I've been very impressed with the people, with the product."
Cunningham comes to Lenel from a long career at UTC, most recently serving in the Hamilton Sundstrand arm of the company.
Though he's now driving the Lenel bus, he said he won't try to make Lenel his own. Rather, he's looking to bring the resources of $42.7 billion UTC to bear on the forward-thinking software company. Its Fire & Security division, which includes Chubb and Kidde, pulled in $4.2 billion in revenues last year, much of that from across the globe.
"One thing that UTC brings to the table is an international footprint,"Cunningham said. "UTC has strength in places that Lenel typically hasn't. I want to leverage that strength, look for opportunities in the international marketplace. That's a real place to go attack." Further, UTC's research center does "a fair amount of basic research in intelligent video and we think there's some real strength to be had in combining the technology that Lenel posseses and the research that UTC already had. There's real bang for the buck there."
At the same time, Cunningham said, "What Lenel brings is a technology solution that UTC has not had before," he said. "There's a tier of customers, the large enterprise solutions, that UTC hasn't been able to service as well in the past."
When you hear Cunningham talk "service," it's no coincidence. He emphasized that UTC could implement its customer service policies to good effect at Lenel, and an informal poll of five mid-sized independent integrators taken by Security Systems News during the week of March 20, 2006, revealed that resellers haven't noticed much difference in Lenel under the new ownership, but two of the five did mention an uptick in company responsiveness.
With that foundation, Cunningham hopes to grow Lenel also into worlds outside of security. He noted a project at the new 7 World Trade Center building where Lenel's software integrated with UTC's Otis elevator division to provide destination assurance. "The Lenel product is already good at bringing elements into a coordinated security station, if you could call it that," said Cunningham. Now it's time to look at "total building solutions."
"I don't know where that's going to lead us," he said, "but I think there are some positive things that can come out of that. I don't know where we draw the boundaries between security management and overall building management."