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40 under 40: Andy Schreyer, Stone Security

40 under 40: Andy Schreyer, Stone Security

YARMOUTH, Maine—As Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Stone Security, Andy Schreyer’s role includes oversight, training and day to day support for the Stone Security sales organization including inside sales, estimating and account management. He has been with Stone Security for more than eight years.

“I am also responsible for our marketing efforts and work with our talented brand-design, events coordination and web/newsletter teams on their efforts,” he explained. “Along with these management responsibilities, I recently relocated and am currently spearheading the launch of a new branch location for Stone Security in Las Vegas, Nevada, and am now two years into this new and exciting maneuver.”

The following is an exclusive interview with Schreyer:

SSN: How did you get into and what inspired you to get into the security industry?

SCHREYER: From 2005 to 2012 I worked for a manufacturer offering wireless point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and mesh network technology; and at the time, our technology had some unique advantages and was a leader in wireless systems used specifically for surveillance in industrial and city-wide deployments. I was involved in wireless projects for LA County Sheriffs, LVMPD, Denver City, City of Houston, Chicago OEMC, MBTA and a number of large oil and gas deployments. I ended up with demo equipment when I was RSM for 10 states in the rocky mountain region and loved messing around with the tech on my own time. I became excited about the possibilities that the marriage of network-based surveillance and wireless brought to organizations that were trying to figure out how to get cameras in challenging locations.

I got together with my Axis counterparts and my Milestone counterparts as well as various Anixter salespeople in the states I managed. We worked together and brought each other into opportunities and even though my counterparts selling wireless were also finding success outside of the security industry, I was drawn to this industry and really enjoyed the technology being developed and I still mess around with demo equipment and have a fully functioning video surveillance and intrusion system at my house just to try out the next cool cameras and apps. I joined Stone Security because they were one of my favorite integrator partners and I really agreed with the business model and the ethics the founders of Stone held as standards.

SSN: What are the top trends in security today and how do see those changing in the future?

SCHREYER: I’m sure there will be a variety of answers to this question, and I don’t think mine will be special. I see cloud storage and cloud computing as one of the most interesting trends. It feels like the out of the box cloud-available options still have some catching up to do on features and scalability of the enterprise systems, but as cloud solutions continue to improve and as the more prominent enterprise solution manufacturers start to migrate processes and open up options for customers to use the cloud, high-quality security technology will become more available to a wider variety of customers.

I also see certain solutions which were originally designed to solve security concerns, now being adopted as tools to improve business flow, and help to point out and solve inefficiencies in non-security related processes.

It’s exciting to see something simple like a surveillance camera become upgraded to a quality control tool on a medical device manufacturing line for example. Or, an access control board being used to monitor cryogenic freezers in a university science laboratory. I think these trends should be readily welcomed by the manufacturers and integrators. There are broader horizon opportunities if we keep up the creative thinking.

SSN: What do you believe is the most exciting/promising new security technology and why?

SCHREYER: The most exciting/promising new security technology should be better data protection, safeguards and alerting systems against cyber threats to the physical security systems we deploy and support. I hope it is and we’ll continue to learn as a group how we can get more involved in this element of security. For cloud trends to continue upward, our industry needs to better align with the data loss prevention and hardware authentication experts. It seems like the even though the market for physical security is growing considerably, the number of cases of record breach have also steadily increased. We need to work together with both elements of security to try and reduce cyber security crime as physical security solution sales increase.  

SSN: Can you talk about some of the keys to succeeding right now during these unpredictable times we are all going through with COVID, both personally and in business?

SCHREYER: For our group professionally, client vertical diversification has enabled us to continue growing even with economic hardships in certain sectors of the industry. Where some of our customers slowed the adoption of new technology and halted projects in progress, customers from other business sectors increased their spend on security products.

Also, in this world of in-your-face, squeaky wheel distractions we needed to make some adjustments to how we tended to our existing client base because for almost 2 years, we have not been able to host educational events and in-person training classes as we did in 2019. We migrated some of these interactions to web-based, but we also made the return to in-person events much higher profile because we missed it so much that we treated these events with more importance and respect.

We have worked to create customer user groups so that customers can network with other organizations using similar technology to solve similar problems and we have helped spearhead some municipal public-private partnerships.

SSN: What are your views on the industry moving forward?

SCHREYER: We are definitely going to see cloud continue to improve and add value, flexibility and cost savings/reallocation to security solutions. I’d really love to see the major “platform” manufacturers that are creating user interface solutions to manage access control, video, intrusion systems etc… present their solutions with more universal integration capabilities.

There seems to be a trend for some of the larger companies to try and selfishly build out their own product sets to address needs in the market rather than adapting their platform to function openly with ties from other systems. I bet I’m in a minority with this thought process and I accept that. However, each vertical is so deeply diverse in needs and in existing technology investments, and the large manufacturers of video and access control software systems might be well served to open their solutions up to more sophisticated integrations with a wider variety of third-party solutions.

Another challenge that the industry needs to pay close attention to is the supply chain issues we have all been experiencing for the last 8-10 months. Hopefully that gets better, but for now, the issues we are seeing with lead-times is going to be a problem at least for most of ’22. 

SSN: What can be done to get more talented, diverse young people involved in security?

SCHREYER: This is an important question because I don’t really know anyone who planned on working in the security industry. Everyone I know landed here because their chosen career path ricocheted somehow. We do need to up our game with the younger creative generation able to create apps and user-interface upgrades to all systems we deal with. I have a younger brother who graduated with a degree in graphic design. He worked with us in this industry for a short time. However, he realized that it would be very difficult for him to build a career doing the graphic design activities he wanted to do in the security industry. I can see a vision of our industry pushing the barriers of app design and better UI for these systems because they are clearly behind, but we do need to help the generation of talented design pros get excited about security software systems.


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