The 10th Annual Securing New Ground (SNG) Conference, held in New York City in mid-November 2005, attracted more security industry executives, investors and analysts than any previous year â€” testament to its status as the most informative and influential conference in the security industry. Attendees listened to, and networked with, industry leaders who shared their insights and perspective on the industryâ€™s latest topics, including:
- Managing companies for profitable growth and sustained success.
- Finding new markets and new sources of revenue.
- Following the money; where itâ€™s going in the industry and why.
- Building the bottom line with network video products.
- Achieving the challenge of electronic and computer security convergence.
The industry picture painted by conference speakers was one of:
Strong growth and financial performanceâ€œThere are at least 35 private equity firms focused on the security alarm sector. The sector is appealing to investors because of its stable cash flow, diversity of players, high margins and active market with demonstrated value,â€ stated Bill Polk, managing director at CapitalSource.
â€œLeading companies make their operations efficient and scalable. Leveraging the existing platform is one key to efficiency. Weâ€™re looking for ways we can generate additional RMR from our platform with new services such as monitored video,â€ said Kevin Dowd, president & CEO of Sonitrol Inc.
Major changeâ€œWe have the makings of a â€˜perfect stormâ€™ in this industry as changes in customers, technology and suppliers reshape the landscape. The rules of the game will change and relationships will realign, creating greater opportunity for stronger and less adversarial alliances,â€ predicted Sandra Jones, principal of Sandra Jones and Company
â€œSurround yourself with people who understand change and who have the skill and will to make the tough decisions necessary to execute the business plan,â€ said Ray Gross, president of Security Associates International.
Closer to convergenceâ€œSteve Hunt forecasts a 20-fold increase in European and North American security convergence spending between 2004 and 2008. A key driver is Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 that mandates setting a standard and using a common employee identification credential for both physical and logical access to federal facilities and information systems. This open solution will help force convergence,â€ noted Phil Libin, president of CoreStreet Ltd.
â€œIT customer decisions are driven by standards, ROI and enterprise value. Convergence moves security into the information age and enables it to become a corporate asset rather than a cost center,â€ declared Eli Gorovici, president, DVTel Inc.
The bottom line: The security industry has a future bright and is rife with opportunities for companies with the people and strategies to take advantage of them.
â€œChanges in the Department of Homeland Security will create opportunity for security companies of all sizes. Small companies will have many opportunities to participate in homeland defense on, particularly, the product side. For example, this nation has a tremendous need for portable, handheld sensors. The primary opportunity for large companies is as a platform integrator,â€ revealed Frank Lanza, chairman and CEO, L-3 Communications Corp.
â€œWe canâ€™t change the fact that there are more non-traditional players in our industry now. But we can recognize that this business is still about relationships. To be ahead of the game we must partner with our customers and make ourselves relevant beyond their security needs,â€ said Gerald Vento, chairman of Westec InterActive Security Inc.
Securing New Ground is owned and managed by Lehman Brothers, ProFinance Associates Inc., Sandra Jones and Company, and BNP Media, which publishes SDM and SECURITY magazines. For more information visit www.securingnewground.com.