Northland Controls introduces GSOC managed services

Morgante: Managed services model enables end users to save money, scale quickly
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FREMONT, Calif.—Building global security operations centers (GSOCs) for the likes of Apple, eBay and Google, Northland Controls executives came up with the idea of offering the same kind of comprehensive high-end security services to others through a managed services model.

In the past year Northland completed construction of its own GSOC and it’s now adding managed services customers.

“Not everyone can afford to build [and staff] a multimillion dollar SOC,” said Guy Morgante, Northland Controls president of managed services. But not everyone needs to, he adds.

Through its GSOC, Northland offers its managed services customers “alarm management, a central hub for all security and emergency events,” Morgante said.

GSOC operators monitor access control and video, do video verification and security devices audits. They coordinate security and emergency responses. Through a service called “Employee 411” [GSOC customers’] employees have a central point of contact for help, security or otherwise. The GSOC will also deal with building facility issues such as a leaky roof.  “Either way we [GSOC operators] know what to do and who to contact,” he said.

Northland does all of that security work remotely. “We do it with trained operators who know how to respond to each customer’s specific needs. Instead of a corporation having to build the infrastructure for a SOC …  we do it for them and the cost goes way down,” Morgante said.

He said that most companies use guard services to staff their security operations centers. Northland’s GSOC, on the other hand, is staffed with “trained professionals who know how to run drills … and are graded using KPIs (key performance indicators.)”

In addition to technical expertise, monitoring and other services, Northland provides a “complete set of policies and procedures [including drills]” for operators and guards, plus emergency response and escalation teams. “They’re all on the same playbook. … That’s part of the package,” Morgante said.

Importantly, those policies and procedures “are living documents” that are continually changed, updated and improved. This ensures that there is consistency across the customers’ locations and that there is coordination among all parties. “Everyone knows the role they’re going to play,” Morgante said.

“There’s a new breed of security managers coming through organizations and they’re looking for more effective ways to manage their security systems and partner with integrators,” he said. “A managed services GSOC model allows them to do that.”

By outsourcing its security operations center, a security director can “scale quickly and bring in experts where and when they need them,” Morgante explained.

The target customer for the Northland GSOC would be 500- to 5,000 employee companies. “It can be one location or multiple locations it doesn’t matter. We monitor sites all over the world and we also work with much smaller operations.”

“We have one customer with one location and less than 100 employees. The business is located in a new area that’s gentrifying. They needed to up their security game. The GSOC managed service is a perfect solution for them,” Morgante explained.

Northland can work with legacy equipment “and integrate it into a complete system,” he said.

Northland added its first GSOC managed services customer, a large flash memory company in the Bay Area, last year. It is starting to build its sales force “in strategic areas in the U.S., and then we’ll use our international offices [in London, Singapore and Shanghai] to launch over there,” Morgante said.

What’s the capacity of the GSOC? Morgante said it’s unlimited. Once the current site reaches half capacity “we’ll start the plan to build another one. … Our vision is to take this offering world wide.”