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40 under 40: Tiffany Galarza, ADT

40 under 40: Tiffany Galarza, ADT

40 under 40: Tiffany Galarza, ADT

YARMOUTH, Maine—Tiffany Galarza, 40, and her group are all about keeping businesses connected, and she takes pride in that role in order to achieve personal and company goals.

As Director of Telecommunications Procurement and Telemanagement at ADT in Irving, Texas, Galarza is responsible for the lifecycle of telecommunications procurement and vendor management for wireline, wireless, and machine to machine (M2M). This includes sourcing, contract negotiations, order, installation, provisioning of services, invoice payment, and auditing.  At ADT, that covers connectivity to all nine monitoring centers (plus corporate locations), branch offices, 20,000-plus employees, and millions of customers.  

“I partner closely with the business to bring solutions that align with our overall strategic objectives and initiatives by leveraging my vendor relationships to meet those targets and propel our industry forward (i.e., ADT was the first alarm company granted FirstNet approval, paving the way for others to follow),” Galarza explained. “My group is not just a necessary line item on the P&L but instead viewed as an asset to help achieve ADT’s overall goals.”

“Intrigued by Our Industry”

Galarza, who just turned 40 in January, joined the security industry in 1999 as a receptionist for Alarm Security Group (ASG) in Lisle, Ill.

“ASG was starting, so we were all wearing several hats’ she said. “As part of my role, I was asked to review and pay telecom and TPM (third-party monitoring) invoices, which I did, but not without asking questions, which is always my M.O.  I leveraged those around me, peers, leaders, even vendors, to learn more about both the industry and telecommunications. I was intrigued by what our industry did and that our work directly impacted the lives and safety of our customers.

“Telecommunications was also something that I was incredibly interested in, and figuring out how to pair the two, and add value in doing so, became a sweet spot for me. I briefly left the industry for a couple of years after ASG but came back again in 2004 when GTCR purchased Honeywell Security, and have been part of it since.  

“I came to ADT via the Apollo acquisition in 2016, as I was previously with Protection 1 (P1), which I joined in 2010 as part of the GTCR acquisition of P1.”

Galarza added that she has been “fortunate to be mentored by one of the best, [ADT Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations] Don Young, for the last 20 years, which has allowed me to grow and work on projects that have a real impact on our company and the industry as a whole.”   

Ambient Computing

In regard to security trends, Galarza noted that the future of smart home technology lies in ambient computing.

“Integrating that technology into security systems and platforms is the next advent in the smart home journey,” she said. “If they chose to opt-in, customers would no longer have to interact with their devices, as artificial intelligence and machine learning will study use patterns and preferences and take action on behalf of the customer, turning their smart home into a helpful home.”

Galarza added that there are “lots of exciting new security technologies coming. Still, one that gets me very excited because I think it is one that has significant potential to help so many small dealers, as well as consumers, is CellBounce. The ability for a dealer to ship a [do-it-yourself] DIY product to a customer to solve the AT&T 3G sunset is a game-changer, especially with the impact that COVID has had on our industry’s ability to get into customer’s homes. 

“Also, the Telecom professional in me can’t think about the 3G sunset and its impact on our industry without remembering why we must suffer it, which is to free up the spectrum for 5G. 5G itself will change the landscape of telecommunications as a whole, and seeing how that is unfolding from each carrier’s perspective is exciting.”

Agility and Balance

As we navigate through these unprecedented times, Galarza noted that agility and balance are “critical” to both personal and professional success.

“Successful businesses see the tides changing and are opting to move with them (i.e. offering DIY and DIFM [do-it-for-me] options). Agility and creativity are essential for companies, and understanding that doing things the way they’ve always done them doesn’t make them successful, it makes them Blockbuster [Video].  

“Along those same lines, people need to realize that they need to have the same nimbleness with themselves and their lives. Life has always moved quickly for me. As a working mother of three, I’ve had to be quick to shift since life pulls you in lots of different directions depending on the day or the minute. Right now, however, life is doing that even more so.

She continued, “Individuals and employers need to be flexible and realize that balance may not mean 8 to 5 right now. Employees are trying to juggle work and home life, and the lines have blurred unlike never before. Employers need to be mindful of that and have open conversations about what that looks like for their employees. If companies are loyal to their employees, their employees will be loyal to them.  

“I saw ADT step up in so many ways during this pandemic, which solidified why I want to work for this organization. Our Executive Leadership Team was transparent, generous, and empathetic with our employees and truly cared about the well-being of every one of them.

Industry Views

When asked about her views on the security industry going forward, Galarza cited DIY and, to an even greater extent, alarm scoring as two key factors to keep an eye on.

“DIY is proliferating fast, and as such, we need to continue to remind consumers what differentiates professional monitoring from self-monitored systems,” she said. “Alarm scoring is a game-changer for our industry. Identifying both the critical sources of data and creating a scoring standard itself was/is huge. Implementing and seeing alarm scoring at work will bring added value to our industry and be a stark reminder to consumers of the necessity of professional monitoring.”

Technology and Retention

Galarza noted that the security industry is already taking steps to entice young, smart, and talented individuals.

“The more we dive into technological advances (i.e. ambient computing, IoT, robotics, AI, etc.), the more intriguing our industry will be,” she pointed out. “Additionally, young professionals are altruistic, and they want to know that what they do makes a difference in the world. Those two things alone can help spur interest in our industry.”

Galarza added, however, that recruitment alone is not enough.

“Retaining those employees and the future of our industry is vital,” she explained. “Pairing young talent with new ideas alongside seasoned talent, gives both individuals perspective and drives innovation. Providing young professionals an opportunity to grow via a career path that doesn’t have them sit in a title too long, recognizes their contributions, and offers flexibility, are all ways to retain that talent and keep our industry relevant for decades to come.” 


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