To industry observers, a partnership between VTI Security (VideoTronix Inc.), a systems integrator, and Parallel Technologies Inc., a technology company specializing in networks, may seem ahead of its time. But the way these two companies regard it, their partnership could not have been forged at a more opportune time.
In January the two firms, both located in Minneapolis, were introduced by a third party whose expertise straddled both the electronic security and IT industries. “[He] thought we would be a great set of companies to work together and [he] was correct,” said Dale Klein, president of Parallel Technologies Inc. The partnership that ensued will encompass a strategy in which the companies will cross-sell their respective core services, particularly projects that fall within the range of the expanding IP convergence marketplace.
“Parallel is a technology company. We do cable infrastructure, network infrastructure. While we can implement an IP video solution, we’re not experts at designing those types of solutions,” Klein admitted. “We were looking for a partner in which we could leverage those solutions and we found one right in our back yard.”
VTI Security, a member of the SecurityNet group of systems integrators, already had begun to adapt to network-based security technologies about a year before meeting Klein and the Parallel Technologies staff. “We’re very similar to Parallel in the fact that our industry is into the convergence stage and the technology on the security side of the business has become much more IP based,” said Thomas Asp, VTI’s president and CEO. “One year ago we made a commitment to fully engage into the convergence market beginning with training our existing staff and modifying the qualifications of all new hires. We would also stay abreast of new technology and deploy it whenever applicable.”
Bryan Viau, VTI Security’s executive vice president, initiated a training program that could more aptly be called an “exposure program,” because it was created to expose VTI’s engineers, technicians, project managers and account executives to the emerging world of IP-based products.
“In conjunction with ISC 2006 we organized a two-day technical training session for VTI’s salespeople from all of our offices. It was not so much about a specific product line, as it was emerging technologies. We weren’t sure who was going to have the best IP solution in access or video, but we did know there were commonalities in the technology that our sales force needed to be aware of,” Viau said. “The two days of training was around general concepts of network operations and the value proposition between IP and analog technology. At the conclusion of training we sent the sales staff to the exhibit floor at ISC to use the information they were given in our meetings.
“That was a good start, but we continued that training by holding once-a-week conference calls with those attendees,” Viau said.
In the midst of this internal progress was when VTI Security and Parallel Technologies were introduced. “The more we got involved, the more we realized that we needed a strategic partner that had expertise in the IT/network world, one which we would mesh well with,” Asp commented, adding that a significant aspect of the partnership is a similarity in company cultures between VTI Security and Parallel Technologies.
VTI Security has been in business since 1980. Parallel has been operating since 1983, and was acquired by Klein in 2005. As an example of the type of project the two companies might handle together, Asp cited a large security application on a network, which would incorporate a wireless mesh. “Parallel could be responsible to assure that the network and all the communications are in place, yet there are still all the security field devices and head end integration â€” cameras, access control â€” that VTI would handle.”
Both Asp and Klein believe that their partnership will be a significant reason for strong growth ahead for their businesses. For information visit VTI on the Web at www.vtisecurity.com and visit Parallel Technologies atwww.ptnet.com.