It takes thoughtful strategic planning to be a leader in your market. Listen to the voice of your customer and aspire to evolve.

The space that Convergint Technologies operates in, especially today with its Quadrant Four vision realized, is not a space where a majority of SDM’s subscribers dwell. Convergint has reached the highest level of security and IT and building integration occurring today — at the enterprise level — and it serves clients in segments such as data center, petrochemical, transportation, healthcare, government, etc.

Not that others don’t serve these markets well. However, where Convergint found its success is in recognizing that a security integrator today is not needed just for installing cameras so a customer can watch a crime two hours after it happened. A security integrator is needed to bring about solutions to problems, in order to help its customers be excellent at what they do. In the words of Tony Varco, Convergint’s vice president of Security, “For our clients, we are not installing cameras — we are creating compliance. We are not installing fire alarm and life safety systems — we are ensuring business continuity.”

Convergint Technologies is SDM’s 2012 Systems Integrator of the Year. Its leaders — Dan Moceri and Greg Lernihan (co-founders), Tony Varco, Barry Yatzor, Wally Winkel, and Leslie Evans — are pictured on this month’s front cover, posed at a famous sculpture, Cloud Gate, in Chicago’s Millennium Park, not far from Convergint’s Schaumburg, Ill., headquarters. Cloud Gate is a very unique, 110-ton elliptical sculpture, inspired by liquid mercury and forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s skyline and the clouds above. It is so appropriate for Convergint’s colleagues to be featured there, as the team is reflected in the sculpture and can be seen from many angles.

What Convergint Technologies is being recognized for is the deliberate way in which it evolved and grew, not only to its Quadrant Four enterprise integration level, but even throughout its entire existence. Convergint started out with 10 employees in 2001. They had a significant amount of industry experience, but they didn’t know who or what they would become until they deliberately set out to define themselves, starting with their Values & Beliefs and building on that platform.

Two years ago, the company stepped back and contemplated the overall IP transition of the industry and the specific transitioning needs of their clients. Convergint’s leaders agreed that they needed to be more than simply a systems integrator to clients. “To be considered a true ‘trusted advisor’ we needed an organizational transformation from traditional systems installation and service, to enterprise solutions and professional services that help our clients solve business issues and achieve business excellence,” Varco said. The result was Quadrant Four and the services that resulted from it.

This kind of business evolution is something every company can do, regardless of the size of the company or the markets it serves. Remember that Convergint started with just 10 employees doing all of this, and has grown to over 1,000 today.

If you haven’t seen or heard about Convergint’s Values & Beliefs, I encourage all of our readers to do so (see page 69). As Convergint’s CEO and co-founder, Dan Moceri, says, “Everything we do tactically or strategically centers around these values and beliefs.”

Even having fun! Seriously. Promoting fun and laughter on a daily basis is one of the Values & Beliefs and it underscores the jobs of Convergint’s colleagues. And I can tell you — they do have fun!