TycoIS execs outline small business plan

TycoIS sees opportunity in fragmented market
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ATLANTA— TycoIS plans to start its incursion into small business by securing a foothold in five key markets, and its go-to-market strategy can be summed up in two words: Go local.

Although TycoIS is the largest national commercial security company, the way to win small business, according to Tyco IS President Mark VanDover, "is through small operations in regional markets. It's all about the people and it's all about relationships." That's why Tyco small business employees are involved in local Chambers of Commerce and other community organizations, VanDover said. "Being local is a big key to success."

When Tyco and ADT split in 2011, the agreement stipulated that Tyco could not serve businesses of less than 7,500 square feet and that ADT could not serve businesses greater than 7,500 square feet in size. That non-compete expired on Sept. 29.

On Sept. 30, five TycoIS executives outlined their plan. The group included VanDover; Mike Moran, VP, central region; Dan Schroeder, VP commercial/national account sales, North America; Hank Monaco, VP, marketing; and, Tony McGraw, VP, field operations.

Tyco's five target markets are: Dallas, Chicago, two locations in Southern California and South Florida. Establishing a local presence is the most effective way to compete against local regional providers, they said, but one of the criteria TycoIS used in choosing its initial target markets was "the skillset of the leadership [and the team] in those markets," according to Dan Shroeder. In Chicago, for example, "we have hundreds of employees that are part of the community. [Small businesses] are not buying from a formless, faceless Tyco," he said.

Another key element to success in this market will be the delivery model, Shroeder said. When you're dealing with small business "if they don't get installed in two or three days they'll go to someone else."

VanDover pointed out that each market has its own nuances, which need to be learned and understood. Sales, service and technicians need to have up-to-date tools "to be mobile-enabled" to get the job done, he said.

And, the security solutions themselves have to be on the mark.

Hank Monaco said Tyco studied the small business market to learn "how their needs and requirements are the same [as larger applications] and how they are distinctly different."

VanDover said Tyco knew it needed a video offering specifically targeted toward this market. On Sept. 24 TycoIS launched a new HD IP camera line that’s bundled with a security assessment, a mobile app and flexible financing options that are designed for this market. 

In other areas such as intrusion and managed services, VanDover said TycoIS is "pretty well positioned, but we're always looking. ... We know wireless is more and more a play for the small businesses [for example]."

He noted that parent company Tyco on Sept 23 announced that it is expanding its Internet of Things capabilities. Small business solutions will benefit from this investment, he said.

The fragmented nature of the small business market—that is, the fact that hundreds of local regional players serve this market—make it especially attractive to TycoIS, VanDover said. 

"We think we offer a different value proposition," he said. "We come in with a commercial-grade solution [designed for small business] and that sets us apart from a lot of regional players."

The small business play has to be simple to understand, buy, install and use, Shroeder said. "It has to be a nice smooth exercise. ... Someone who's running a small business would give a lot to get an hour back in their day. They want to run their business," not worry about their security system, he said.

"The little things are the pinchpoints for [the small business] customer. If we can solve [those problems] through technology, that's a big win for us," Shroeder said.