Skip to Content

40 under 40: Abe Canales, 3Sixty Integrated

40 under 40: Abe Canales, 3Sixty Integrated


For Abe Canales, 40, it is all about going above and beyond for his customer base.

As Director of Engineering and Field Services at 3Sixty Integrated, Canales oversees a team of around 20 people composed of engineers, site superintendents, field technicians, and application engineers.

“My day-to-day responsibilities focus on coordinating the design, installation, and service team efforts according to our customers’ needs,” he explained. “Thus, my broad-scoping role involves anything from solving complex issues at client sites to the delivery of successful project installations and managing resources for maximized tech utilization. Mostly my focus is on delivering an exceptional customer experience at every level of interaction.”

Career Path

Canales has been at the San Antonio, Texas-based 3Sixty Integrated for 10 years.  Overall, he has worked in the security industry for 20 years, calling himself “grateful” for the opportunity to be in the industry.

He noted that he was not looking to work in security at first, instead focusing on finding a steady job to support his family.

“I wish I could tell you that I entered the security industry because of a lifelong interest or passion, but truthfully, I was simply looking for a stable career that would allow me to support my wife and family,” he explained. “My first job was working as a cable TV contractor. It required me to work difficult hours, had unpredictable outcomes, and there were limited opportunities for growth. It didn’t take long for me to start looking for a new opportunity.

“Thankfully, with all credit to my wife, I came across a job opening as a technician at a small residential security company, Nationwide Protective Services, located in Winter Park, Florida. They were looking for new talent and I was eager to try something different. Nationwide became a great training place for me. Like Daniel-san in the movie Karate Kid, working at Nationwide was like having a full-time, dedicated mentor with a team that taught me the basics that would become fundamental to my future. Not only did I learn about security installations, but I also gained customer service skills and acquired a deep sense of pride for my workmanship and time management. I worked there for six years until the business was sold to a national firm.”

After that, Canales transitioned from working in residential security to a technician role at a larger, commercial security organization called Palmer Electric.

“My role involved working on multi-million-dollar projects, learning new regulations and codes, and operating simultaneously with other trade vendors” he said. “This experience working on commercial security projects exposed me to the complexities of the physical security industry and made me understand just how necessary security was for businesses and organizations.”

In 2010, Canales and his wife made the decision to relocate to San Antonio where he found an opportunity working with 3Sixty Integrated as a cabling technician.

“At the age of 30, I had finally made the decision to pursue a serious career in the security industry and concentrate on building up strong management skills,” he added.

“Within 10 years at 3Sixty Integrated, my path led me to climb through various roles, including senior installation technician, site supervisor, applications engineer, installation manager, service manager, and now director of engineering and field services.

“Ultimately, my passion and interest in security has grown thanks to the myriad of people who I have crossed paths with: Joseph Ndesandjo, Will Duke, Dora Ndesandjo, Richard McKinney, Alex Quinones, Juan Davila, Joe Rios, Tim Greenaway, Chris Brancato, Tom Green. German Clausell, and Cindy Ramirez. Some of them are my mentors, some of them peers, and some I have had the pleasure to lead. This journey could not have been possible without everyone who saw potential in me and opened the door to a new opportunity.”

Helping Clients Accomplish Goals

Canales pointed out that at the onset of 2020, emerging security trends seemed clear, with newer technologies like facial recognition, shooter detection systems, vape detection sensors, and video analytics already gaining momentum in multiple industries.

“Little did we know that a world pandemic was going to pivot priorities,” he said.

The biggest trend today, according to Canales, is “the development of anything that can help our clients accomplish their goals and keep their organization safe despite so many changing variables. In the world we are in now people need access to manage their security infrastructure remotely.

“At 3Sixty Integrated we have implemented our projects using SiteOwl, a real-time installation and project delivery software that allows our team and our clients to stay updated every step of the way. SiteOwl offers our clients transparency and mobility into their project implementation and device maintenance, giving them the newfound power to make decisions from anywhere at an instant.”

Canales explained that by utilizing SiteOwl, “I’ve personally found this creates a tremendous benefit to our clients who no longer have to call on me or my team to get project updates. Clients can now see what devices are operational or not operational just by seeing their site online. It increases a client’s confidence in their security system.”

He added, “A security system management software not only gives our clients control and confidence in their security system when they need it most, but also trust and certainty in our team to execute effectively. In addition, SiteOwl allows me to hold my own team accountable and calculate utilization rates to ensure we are progressing as planned."

In the future, Canales believes the top trends in security “will revolve around remote capability, ensuring key personnel have the flexibility to view and manage their entire system effortlessly.”

Succeeding During Unpredictable Times

During these unprecedented times that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, Canales talked about some of the keys to success, both personally and in business.

“On a personal level, it has been important for me to focus on the simple things we often take for granted like staying healthy, going on walks, having a job, or simply sitting down for dinner with my wife and keeping up with friends virtually,” he explained. “With so much uncertainty, concentrating on the smaller things that provide value to my life has been the key to keeping a positive outlook.

“In business, the key to success has been listening actively to meet client needs and exceed expectations. At 3Sixty, we have become active participants in solving the day-to-day problems for each client. Clients have had to adjust in so many ways, often quicker than they are prepared for, so becoming an extra resource they can rely on has paid dividends.”

Embracing Talent and Diversity

Canales pointed out that while other tech-based industries have seemed to grow in interest for young talent, the electronic security industry has “lagged.”

“It seems to me that young talent is excited to innovate, impact their community and find a career that makes a difference,” he noted. “In order for the security industry to stay relevant for the incoming generation, it is fundamental that we adapt quickly now and find new ways to attract and retain diverse young professionals.

“To start, we need to promote how the industry has evolved to be even more far-reaching and dynamic than previously thought. Long are the days when security measures were kept concealed and undisclosed. The importance of selecting the right security technology for an organization has become paramount to public safety. Shifting the perspective of security to include its potential impact on crime, legal, loss prevention, human resources, and major business decisions, means that a career in security has the potential to make a huge difference. Communicating this shift to young professionals could increase their interest tenfold. 

He continued. “In addition, existing security professionals must foster a culture and environment in their organization led by growth, training, and development. Offering opportunities online for entry-level training could attract new young talent to start developing interest and get an inside look into the industry before embarking on a new career. Once interest is developed, implementing programs for cross-training between veterans in the industry, who already have the required knowledge and craftmanship, and young talent, who may be more technologically savvy, might also help grow interest and establish broader skill sets for everyone. Finding ways to embrace new talent and diversify your team will be the most instrumental way to ensure the success and future of the security industry.”

Data-Driven Technology

Looking ahead, Canales believes that the physical security industry is experiencing a significant shift to data-driven technology in an IoT- [Internet of Things] dominated world.

“People want data and trackable metrics quickly and conveniently, from their phones, cars, watches, light switches, home appliances, etc.” he said. “The same applies to the systems we are designing today.

“Advancing traditional physical devices like door hardware, door contacts, and power supplies to become ‘smart’ physical devices will give decision makers access to actionable information. Furthermore, integrating ‘smart’ security technology on a digital platform increases the potential for this industry to impact multiple other departments. I believe the future of this industry will depend on how effectively physical security embraces a digital technology mentality. To be viable in the future, security devices must enable the end user to make smarter, faster, and better business decisions across the entire organization.” 


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.