The other side of the coin
LAS VEGAS--Perhaps nobody in the security industry has received as much good press lately as Tim Whall, newly installed chief operations officer at Stanley Convergent Technologies Group now that Stanley has completed its purchase of HSM, where Whall earned his reputation as one of the best managers in the business. He arrived in Las Vegas for ISC West fresh off of visiting every single Stanley integration branch in the first 30 days after the deal closed in early January. "Maybe we should have built a two-week vacation into the deal," he joked as he looked forward to the task of incorporating the entire Convergent Technologies Group into HSM's operational systems within the next three months and "explaining how it's going to hang together as one operating company."
Typically, he said of the conversation with legacy Stanley integrators, "they view us as the monitoring guys, so we spend a lot of time getting past that with them ... [also] ... They tend to focus strictly on the install dollars, so we've got to explain to them how you bring services to bear."
It's that service that Whall returns to again and again, much like the way you'll hear often about "fanatical customer service" any time you visit the Pelco complex out in Clovis, Calif. In Whall's mind, "there is no Tiffany's of the security space," no integrator with a brand that sells itself, so he wants to marry HSM's service orientation with the Stanley name.
"The Stanley name is a monster," he said. "You couldn't have scripted a better buyer for HSM. It's a sweet spot. Everybody knows it. We just need to make people understand that they're in security. The name is known and it has positive connotations." Whall said the HSM logo has already incorporated the Stanley name and HSM will be phased out as a market-facing brand over the course of the next year or so.
For Whall, however, service isn't just about fixing things when they're broken or giving the end user the president of the company's phone number.
"We start with: What problem do they need fixed?," said Whall. "What data would they like to see? When do they want it? Are they search-and-find guys or do they want prescribed information delivered? It's not that I don't believe in technology, I just try to make it the commodity of the buy. It's not 1952, all the manufacturers have top-shelf factories and technology.
"Of course price is going to be the differentiator unless you show him how you can solve his problems."