Palmer Electric, Jenkins Security partner with MDI for software

Integrators cite new Air Force and hospital jobs as results
Saturday, July 1, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., and WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Two integrators in May announced new success they attributed to new partnerships with MDI Security and its ONE software platform. Palmer Electric, contracting through Multimax, won a bid to revamp the Air Force Academy's entire access control system. Jenkins Security landed a contract with Alta Bates Medical Center's Oakland campus. Both are part of the breed of integrator, independent and incorporating IT professionalism, that MDI has announced plans to bring on as dealers of its software platform.
Both integrators cited MDI's technology, price point and staff support as factors in establishing the partnership. Palmer Electric was established in 1987 and serves the Colorado Springs area, including Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, Fort Carson and NORAD. The company specializes in electrical work, but lately has brought in tech-savvy younger employees like access control project manager Cary Gulsby and Chris Combs, the system administrator for the access control system at the Air Force Academy. Though they have no formal IT certifications, "We're not afraid to take on new technologies," said Gulsby. "We just kind of learn it as we go."
The two had been doing work for the Academy since 2004 when it put out a request for bids recently for a new systemwide command and control system. Partnering with MDI, who came in and gave presentations side by side with Palmer to the Air Force, Palmer was able to win the job. "The largest factor was that the scalability for the price was fantastic," said Combs. "We were able to do it for a really nominal cost."
"We confirmed that after the bid," said Gulsby. "That was the number one thing that pushed us over the edge: a far cheaper price than anyone else."
Jenkins Security, founded in 2000 and located in the San Francisco area, does 80 percent of its business in the health-care field on the West Coast. Their existing customer, Alta Bates, needed an integrated access control system. "They brought us in to do an analysis of what could be done," said Vince Hernandez, Jenkins vice president of operations. "Not only did they want a platform they could grow into the future with, and a platform that they could integrate other aspects into, but it also needed to be able to interface with the HR department's database and their time management systems."
When Jenkins started looking at possibilities, he said. "The first thing that popped out at us was [MDI's] open platform."
"That's where we found the partnership with MDI was critical in moving forward with this client," said chief executive officer Scott Jenkins. "There may be one product out there that might have accomplished the same thing, but there would have been more patch writing. We could really do this out of the box with MDI."
That, said Jim Lowder, MDI's vice president and chief technology officer, is thanks to MDI's ONE technology, which has been developed over the course of the company's 25 years working largely with the federal government. "This last evolution," he said, "we came up with a concept of data driven interface that would allow us to adapt to whatever interface or message is being sent to us. To write a new command, we just have to make database level changes. We don't have to work on integrating."
"We took our customer on site visits and really put MDI to the test," said Jenkins. "We want to make sure the solution is the right one for the client." Going forward, Jenkins sees MDI's ONE being right for the health-care market, citing its platform reliability for networks where one slow-down can be life-threatening.