Sierra eyes U.S. accounts

Saturday, August 1, 2009

GLENDALE, Calif.--Though Sierra Group’s physical security division is one of its busiest, it has, over the course of its 13-year run, done almost all of its work in California. That will change, said John Stenmo, director of the Electronic Security Division, with its new affiliation with Honeywell’s Commercial Security Systems dealer program.

“We get a lot of requests from existing customers to do work outside of California, but we’re not licensed outside of California,” Stenmo said. “So we’d like to start subbing the work out and be the project management side of it, but we needed a dealer network to pull that off.”

Current clients include UPS, Universal Studios, and the city of Long Beach, but “our biggest market is the financial industry,”

Stenmo said.

So, has the financial world’s woes affected Sierra’s business? “We had a rough February and March,” Stenmo acknowledged, “but then in April is just started screaming again. We made a shift into public works projects and we won a few of those. We’ve gotten real busy.” To accommodate that, Sierra cross-trained three employees in the northern California office, based in Walnut Creek, and there are now 16 employees available to the physical security team.

The project that’s got the company excited is with the City of Long Beach’s Redevelopment Agency. In the pilot portion of the program, Sierra has installed eight VideoIQ analytics- and DVR-on-board encoders attached to eight outdoor PTZs to cover two city blocks where the most crime is occurring. It is funded by the city, but area businesses may tap into the video feed in exchange for providing indoor space where the encoders and data transmission equipment can be stored.

Currently, the cameras are communicating via point-to-point wireless from AvaLAN, but “the city is prepared to put this on wireless mesh when and if it goes out to the whole west side of Long Beach,” Stenmo said.