NAV CEO: strategy is working

Formerly gaming-focused, integrator says it will more than weather soft gaming market in 2010
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BRICK, N.J.—While North American Video CEO Jason Oakley said the company can’t yet get into specifics, he said to look for NAV to announce major wins in the top-tier university, professional sports and transportation markets in the very near future, providing validation for the new vision he and investor Halifax Group outlined for the company some 18 months ago. While NAV isn’t ready to give up its market share in gaming, and “our gaming business has been remarkably robust,” Oakley said, “I think gaming will be soft in 2010. But our commercial business is coming up to speed. Strategy is one thing, and this time last year it was all about our pipeline, but now it’s about actual contracts that have been secured. We think we’re positioned well and that we invested reasonably well through the down cycle.”

The company has added a lot of talent in the last 18 months, he said, and now has seven regional offices in the United States, plus two corporate offices here in New Jersey, and two foreign offices in Caracas, Venezuela, and Macau. He said the company has invested in more than 6,000 hours of training for current employees, and has brought on board a number of CCNA-certified technicians.

The goal now, Oakley said, “is to position our business as a credible alternative to the nationals. That’s our pitch. We’re a security business, a physical security business and a technology business. We are not a manufacturer and we’re not a building controls company.” And part of that push involves an emphasis on service accounts, even for accounts where NAV did not do the installation.

“We have told our sales leadership,” Oakley said, “to focus on getting in front of end users and evaluating their service needs around physical security, and securing that kind of business where we can help end users run their businesses and not worry about their technology platforms.” This does not necessarily mean a focus on third-party monitoring, however. “We’re talking about contracts,” Oakley said, “with defined response times, service-level agreements, defined maintenance programs. We’ll have a technician on site once a quarter just to make sure that we’re in compliance with everything necessary ... It’s a great way to build long-term customer relationships.”

Further, NAV is looking for selective acquisitions. NAV will prioritize companies that allow entry with strength into a chosen vertical market or geography, and whether the business comes with expertise that will help grow into the future.

“Our play is that this is an expertise business,” Oakley said. “We’re looking for a business that wants to be part of this approach that we’re taking to market.”