Stanley launches Center of Excellence

New way of centrally supporting field operations, high-level integration projects
Thursday, December 10, 2009

NAPERVILLE, Ill.—In what it’s calling a realization of “a paradigm shift in the system integration and physical security information management space,” Stanley Convergent Security Solutions has opened a new Convergence Center of Excellence here and dramatically changed the organization of its integration capabilities. This new center will bring together all of Stanley CSS’ top talent in one place, who will then be offered as a resource to the company’s 75+ branch operations.

“We’ve had a lot of expertise around the country,” said Jim Kopplin, VP of field operations for North America, “some national accounts experts, some guys in Florida that were really good with fire, some guys in Indianapolis that are good with the corrections business and high-end integration ... we have expertise in CCTV, command centers, access control.” Unfortunately, Stanley hasn’t always been able to leverage that talent across the country.

“In the past,” said Kopplin, “we haven’t been able at every site to deliver on certain projects; there are jobs we’ve walked away from.”

Stanley hopes that a new networked sales process—whereby every job bid across North America is seen by the team at the Center of Excellence, and every job is bid on and approached in a standardized way—will allow all of the field offices to leverage the highest expertise Stanley has to offer in systems integration.

“This helps also to make sure that we keep that relationship with the customer locally,” said Bill Fitzhenry, VP of field sales, “and just expand that team.”

But what if the field-level sales people don’t recognize opportunities, or think they’ve got the skills in-house to go it alone? That’s where the networked sales process comes into play, said Damon Kanzler, VP of North American national account operations. “We have internal metrics that we’re using to ensure the success of the CCE, making sure the field is getting that product that they expect ... there are some automatic flags, depending on the size of the jobs, that automatically get reviewed by CCE the team, and at the point the CCE gets involved.”

In effect, every sales office is now a national accounts office, with the CCE acting like a high-level design and implementation fulfillment house. And while the impact of IP technology is often referenced in regard to new security technologies being installed, it’s also interesting to point out that without IP technology and the kind of interaction that social media applications take advantage of, the whole process wouldn’t work for Stanley in the way they’ve imagined it. 

The sales automation software “allows us to be that much more efficient,” said Lance Holloway, director of technology strategy. “Now an engineer doesn’t get bogged down in something he doesn’t need to be involved with, and you can determine the exact skillset of who the owner of the process should be ... I’m very happy to see us mature the business in a cutting-edge way.”