OSS makes its move in Orlando

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Friday, April 1, 2005

ORLANDO - When it comes to expanding its security business, Operational Security Systems doesn’t Mickey Mouse around.

The systems integrator added the first branch in its history, selecting the hometown of Walt Disney World as its next growth market after operating exclusively from an Atlanta-based office for two decades.

The decision to add a second location came after months of planning, according to Jim Coleman, president of Operational Security Systems. The $10-million per year company with 60 employees serves national customers thanks to its involvement in SecurityNet, a network of systems integrators across North America who work together on large projects.

“For a long time, we looked around,” said Coleman. “The traditional way that integrators grow is by opening up branches, but we’ve been able to keep good growth for the last 20 years without doing that.”

The company settled on the Orlando market for a number of reasons, said Coleman, such as the area’s growth potential, central location in Florida and distance from Atlanta. By airplane, Orlando is about an one-hour flight from the company’s home office and engineering staff.

The company also had a small base of customers in Orlando, a solid foundation from which to grow, said Coleman. “This move is more strategic, where we’re in it for the long haul.”

Operational Security Systems opened its Orlando location in February and for now has staffed it with two people. The location is headed by Andy Barclay, who worked for the systems integration firm in the 1990s. He most recently worked for Best Access, but has been located in the Orlando area for years.

“I visualize this expansion in the way Atlanta used to be 10 years ago, with a tremendous amount of growth in commercial and business activities,” said Barclay.

Within two years, Coleman expects to staff the Orlando branch with eight to 10 employees and reach $2 million in revenue.

“Our niche in the Atlanta market has always been towards the higher end of integrated complexity,” said Coleman. “That’s where we see an opening in Orlando for the high end integrators with strong engineering skills.”