VTI Security teams with IT integrator

Thursday, February 1, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.--VTI Security, a security systems integrator based here and a member of SecurityNet, announced this week a partnership with Parallel Technologies, an IT integrator also based here. The two companies, which combined for about $60 million in 2006 revenues and currently each employ more than 100, will cross-sell their services in an attempt to capitalize on the growing convergence of physical and logical security and business efficiency solutions on IP networks.
VTI realized that "convergence was the direction that integrators should be going in," said VTI vice president Bryan Viau, "but it was always difficult to know when to dedicate capital" to the training and resources needed to position the company properly. At the 2006 ISC West show, VTI began a training regimen for its sales people, getting them up to speed on new technology and the proper terminology. That led to two months of weekly conference calls, then a series of training sessions with customers, showing them how IP technology could change the way they think about security.
"All along," said Viau, "we were always looking for an opportunity for a partnership. Sometimes, not knowing what you don't know is the challenge."
An introduction made by one of VTI's salespeople led to a conversation with Dale Klein, president of Parallel Technologies, which has been working in the IT space since 1983. "We had the vision to identify that a lot of those security solutions are coming right into our sweet spot," Klein said. "Data centers, switchers, managing converged technology, IP video, IP voice--whatever technologies you can ultimately converge to IP, from a technical standpoint, it's coming right into our lap. But, at the end of the day, it's all about solutions, and what Parallel is not is a security company. We're a technology company. I think it would be a little naive on our part to think that we could displace a security firm."
Finding a common business culture, the two companies quickly agreed to a partnership going forward. "The direction and how we'll drive revenue is still a little bit of the unknown," said Viau, "but we've come to a firm agreement that, fundamentally, a relationship between two companies that do business the same way can only lead in the right direction."
Tom Asp, VTI president and chief executive officer, said the opportunities for partnership are presenting themselves every day. He noted a builder approached VTI recently about doing the design for a new project as a traditional security integrator, but Asp saw he needed the IT networking and telecom work done as well. "I said, 'Hey, we have a partner who can do the other side, and we can actually do this whole build for you,'" Asp said.
What about the opportunity to train VTI staff and take the whole job in-house? "We know where our strengths are," Asp said, "and it would really hurt us to try to be something we're not."