An integrator franchise operating in the commercial area across vertical markets such as hospital, government, manufacturing, distribution, and communications has been focusing on growing its footprint through local, dedicated service since 2007. With 21 franchisees across the United States, Security 101 offers a unique combination that focuses on a “fanatical customer experience” in delivering access control, CCTV, intrusion detection, fire alarm and enterprise systems.

Security 101 is owned and managed by Jim Pasquarello, president Steve Crespo and co-founders Chris Parris and Chris Wise and is set up as a traditional franchise organization where corporations are individually owned and operate under one common name. The name Security 101 might seem suggestive of a survey college course, but the services and knowledge the company offers are far from basic.

Chris Wise, co-founder and managing partner of Security 101, explains that the fundamental premise of security has remained the same since it first emerged: “To protect people, property and profits…and determine who can go where, when and be able to report on it.” At the same time, the technology used to achieve this protection function is in a state of constant change, and Security 101 is “actively involved in the tech arena,” Wise says.

The company is a Microsoft certified partner, Honeywell certified dealer and holds NICET certification among various other manufacturer agreements and certifications. This allows Security 101 businesses across the country to offer a wide array of products, Wise explains, though he also highlights the importance of using technology to serve the customers’ needs rather than using the customer to serve the company’s technology objectives.

This interest in finding balance — between long-established customer-oriented goals and an eye on technology advancements — is also reflected in the company’s business model. Security 101’s primary mission is to provide service at the national level with the high quality and personal attention associated with a local company.

One of Security 101’s current projects is the deployment of a comprehensive web and social media program, which is being spearheaded by Security 101’s new marketing director, Kristin Altherr. In addition to launching a renovated website at — expected to be live on Oct. 7 — Security 101 is developing a presence on Twitter, a security experts’ blog, LinkedIn, and youtube through Wise Views — a series of video blogs featuring Wise.

According to Crespo, president and managing partner of Security 101, this has been a huge undertaking for the company and is intended to create brand awareness as well as position Security 101 as an expert within the industry. Security 101 is also working to develop a managed access program and a true national division that Tom Echols, who also recently joined the company, will be heading.

Crespo also relates that the company originated to fill a “gap” in the industry. Looking at private security companies in the United States, “in any given market you’ll find one to four real, quality systems integrators that can provide pretty good service locally,” Crespo says. “Going outside their immediate market, service quickly dilutes because they have to depend on other companies with different values, product offerings, etc.” He adds that with larger companies that have the reach to operate nationwide, end-users often miss the level of service they get with local companies. Through the franchise model, Crespo believes, customers can have access to stellar design and installation services at the national level while dealing with locally owned companies.

Currently, there are 21 Security 101 franchisees across the United States. Through 101ware, a software platform that franchisees use to manage their businesses, customers get real-time access to all projects, through any web browser, a feature that Crespo describes as even more popular than expected among customers. Another result of the franchise model is the creation of a network of business owners for training and support.