WFI takes a unified approach

The three security businesses it bought in 2003 will soon come under the WFI name
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

SAN DIEGO - Network integrator Wireless Facilities Inc. is in the midst of integrating the three businesses that it bought two years ago to give it expertise in the security market and one corporate identity.

The process of bringing a unified name to Delmarva Systems, Enco Systems and Suntech Systems began more than 12 months ago. The companies are now called WFI Delmarva, for example, but the plan is to drop the old name by the second quarter of this year and retain the WFI brand.

The goal, according to Desmond Wheately, president of WFI’s enterprise network services, the division that integrated security systems is a part, is to not only leverage the WFI name, but also its size. Public company WFI employs 2,200 and reported $262 million in revenue for 2003.

“When you’re a Fortune 500 company, you’re hesitant about doing business with a smaller company,” said Wheately.

And, the company wanted to give security customers time to adjust to the change.

“To change your name midstream is a delicate subject,” said Michael Baehr, director of communications for WFI, “especially when you’re doing contracts a year out.”

WFI entered the electronic security market in 2003 with a series of acquisitions. It bought Delmarva Systems in Newport, Del., Enco Systems in Houston, Texas, and Suntech Systems in Marietta, Ga.

The company decided to broaden its approach after building local area networks for the cellular industry. It added an enterprise group in 2002, but at first it focused on communications, such as voice and data.

“We quickly learned that enterprise needs surveillance and security, access control and building automation,” said Wheately.

Today, enterprise network services employs 400 people and reported revenues of $65 million in 2004. About 50 percent of its business comes from security-related work, by deploying wired and wireless networks that carry voice and data communication and supports various security systems.

Wheatley said the company may look to acquisitions to build upon its turnkey security offering.