I don’t know about you, but I am always curious when I see a company acquiring a number of other companies — particularly ones that are as large or even larger than the original acquiring company — I wonder not only how they did it, but what happens after that? 

Looking back at some of the most high-profile acquirers in the last few years, there are a few standouts. One of those is featured this month as the winner of  SDM’s 2022 Systems Integrator of the Year Award (link to story). 

The name "CTSI" has been featured in our news pages many times over the past couple years as they acquired in rapid succession such well-known names as Structure Works, AFA Protective, The Protection Bureau, Star Asset Security (all previously ranked SDM Top Systems Integrators) and more, totaling 10 acquisitions and counting (it’s possible there will be another one or even two by publication time). 

“Looking back at some of the most high-profile acquirers in the last few years, there are a few standouts. One of those is featured this month as the winner of SDM’s 2022 Systems Integrator of the Year Award”

According to CEO Joe Oliveri, the typical time frame for an acquisition from initial inquiry to onboarding is 90 days. 

With a team dedicated to making this process as smooth as possible, the company now known as Pavion (as of Oct. 7, 2022, CTSI is officially changing its name), has a blueprint in place that allows it to very quickly make these things happen. 

More importantly, the company not only keeps and strategically employs the owners and/or senior management of the acquired company —  AFA and Structure Works former CEOs now lead the fire and security business units, for example — but they also keep 98 percent of the acquired employees — a feat that has allowed them to scale from a company of 145 full-time employees at the end of 2020 to about 1,700 today. What’s more, the retention rate after acquisition is better than the acquired company’s average before acquisition. 

Oliveri credits the expanded opportunities that come with a much larger organization, for both employee satisfaction and greater possibilities for customers as well. 

 “Customers are hard to get and easy to lose,” he says. “We take good care of the customers we have and grow with them in new locations. We love to find customers that are national or global and gradually expand and show them our capabilities across the world. If we already do a great job with fire, let’s show them our security division; if we support them in the Americas, lets show them our reach across EMEA and APAC.” 

 The story of how a “typical” security integrator became a super acquirer in the space of under two years, growing its presence from a primarily Mid-Atlantic regional integration company to a global company, and moving up in one year from No. 26 to No. 3 on the 2022 SDM Top Systems Integrators Report was one we knew we had to tell. So when it came time to choose a winner for this year’s award, we had no trouble convincing ourselves that this was Pavion’s year to be named the 2022 SDM Systems Integrator of the Year.