Move into digital video benefits Universal Atlantic

Service now makes up 30 percent of its business
Friday, February 1, 2002

UPPER DARBY, Pa.-Nearly three years after first introducing remote management of digital video systems, the service has grown to represent 30 percent of Universal Atlantic Systems' business.

The full-service alarm company made a greater push with this commercial application after the company relocated its headquarters and central station to a 12,000 square foot building in 1999. Company officials wanted to tap into the digital video and national accounts market, which work well together.

"The goal here was to provide a turn-key audio and video solution and integrate that solution with access control," said Scott Elkins, president of Universal Atlantic Systems, a 30- year-old company.

Shortly after Universal Atlantic moved into its new building, it sought to acquire a local computer hardware company that specialized in servicing computers since that expertise would translate into digital video.

Though a planned acquisition did not work out, Brian Walker was hired from that computer company.

Walker is now one member of a four-man team who travels the country providing software training, software installation and customer support.

"We've actually developed an IT team to support this technology because it is such a core piece of our business today," Elkins said.

With expertise in digital video and IT now in hand, Elkins said his company is able to compete with the national companies. It's his company's willingness to evolve, he said, that has helped foster its success.

"If you're not willing to change in this industry, you don't have a future," Elkins said.