SecurityNet, created in 1993, is an organization of independent systems integrators, primarily North America-based, but also with several international members. The organization’s 16 members collaborate in serving large businesses and other organizations with multiple locations nationwide — and that mission has never been as timely as it is today. Bob McMenimon, president of SecurityNet as well as president of MAC Systems, a Canton, Mass.-based systems integrator and SecurityNet member, recently answered SDM’s questions about SecurityNet and its goals.

SDM: Why was your organization originally created and how has its mission changed over the years?

McMenimon:
It was formed to fill a void for customers who needed top quality integrators to perform all over America. In addition to a greater emphasis on integration of access and CCTV today, we’ve also gone from having U.S. to global coverage.

SDM: What is driving corporate customers’ desire to deal with a single source for all of their security systems integration needs?

McMenimon:
Today’s systems are very complex and many utilize an open architecture, so it’s important for a customer to choose the right network of integrators. We can provide proper design and engineering and consistent quality of service. Many companies carry the same hardware, so the highest level of customer service is really what sets us apart. In the past, systems at different company locations were all stand-alone. You could have two different integrators, even two different systems. But now, since everything runs on the corporate network, it’s one system spread throughout an organization over the network. You need one integrator to keep it consistent and function as a unit.

SDM: Can you give some examples of organizations that have used your group for their security needs?

McMenimon:
Most of them are Fortune 1000 corporations, including Lehman Brothers, Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, Cingular, AIG and eTrade, to name a few.

SDM: How do your members work together? Are there guidelines they follow and if so, how were these established and what are some of the highlights?

McMenimon:
To be a member of SecurityNet, you go through an extensive review process where you are investigated financially to make sure you have a proven track record. We also have rules of engagement. A customer may choose to have one partner take the lead and have that partner also sub work out to other member companies. Or the client may want more interaction and sub work directly to each SecurityNet partner, but also have one company act as the lead on design and engineering. Someone has to provide project management so that we’re all on the same page.

SDM: Do customers get just one bill from the whole group or do they get bills from each member that they are involved with?

McMenimon:
Some customers get multiple bills and some want just a single bill, which comes from the SecurityNet member acting as the lead on the project, who pays the other members.

SDM: What other benefits do members get from their involvement with SecurityNet?

McMenimon:
We have two important sub-groups. TechNet is a group that includes the technology manager from each partner. They talk frequently and get together a couple of times a year. They invite manufacturers to do presentations and make decisions about products together. The other group is SalesNet, where the sales managers from each member company get together to share opportunities and marketing ideas.

SDM: How many members do you have now and do you have any open territories?

McMenimon:
We have 16 members right now. Over the years we’ve lost one or two through acquisitions. It’s considered an automatic resignation if a company is purchased, but it can get voted back in. In North America, we do about $350 million in business combined. We have about 1,600 employees and 50 offices. We have all the major metropolitan areas covered. If we were to add a member, it would be customer-driven – if the customer had a site where we didn’t have coverage.