Mace buys third-party central CSSS

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

LAS VEGAS--CEO Dennis Raefield continues the implementation of his strategy for the remaking of Mace Security International, announcing last week at ISC West that the company has acquired CSSS, a 30,000-account, UL-listed central station based in California. The plan is to utilize the central to allow Mace dealers to begin offering managed video and access control services.

"It's never been done before," Raefield said on the ISC West show floor, "a video manufacturer buying a central station. It's an example of the innovation we've been promising our dealers."

He said Mace decided to buy a traditional third-party central station so that the addition is immediately cash positive for Mace and the managed services can be implemented "without the pressure to roll out an incomplete product and have our customers suffer as we debug it."

"We looked at partnering with a central station," Raefield said, "but very few of them are ready to move forward with managed video and access. So we acquired one so that we can direct them toward these services, rather than try to talk someone into adding them. Most traditional centrals are so successful with what they're doing that they're slow to adopt the new direction the world is taking us in."

They're mostly so successful, he said, that he didn't feel he got any discount or saw any reduction in price because of the current economic situation. "We still had to pay a fair price," Raefield said. "The hard part was actually finding a high-quality central station that was for sale."

One thing Raefield made a point of noting was that Mace has no intention of getting into the retail monitoring and installation game. "Mace will not be an installer or an integrator," he promised. "This is simply to provide more support and services for our dealers."

And he said the ISC West show was proving fertile ground for that. "We're really happy with the turnout for the show. We feared it would only be salesmen looking for jobs," he laughed. "But we had 150 good sales leads of interested customers in the first day. It's quieter, but the quality is very good."