Vector Security Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., an integrator of physical security solutions ranked within the top 10 of both the SDM 100 and Top Systems Integrators Report, acquired Industry Retail Group Inc. (IRG) to accelerate its move into the complete managed infrastructure and business intelligence space.

“About five years ago, we looked at the direction our customers wanted us to go in from a service perspective,” said Art Miller, vice president of marketing at Vector Security. “We subsequently examined a variety of different ways to accomplish this such as developing these network capabilities in-house, partnering with another company or acquiring another firm.”

Vector Security president and chief executive Pam Petrow, said, “Today, customers are seeking to leverage their existing broadband networks for more and more services — connectivity, analytics, technology testing, business intelligence and security. Customers want broader insight and intelligence into their operations at all levels. This acquisition is the catalyst for us to define that new market segment and positions us to support the physical security and broadband infrastructure needs of our customers today and into the future.”

According to Miller, “This acquisition makes Vector Security the largest North American retail provider of managed security solutions in a broadband-based, application-drive marketplace.”

“Initially, our goal is to be able to address the concerns of Vector customers for the services IRG currently offers,” Petrow noted. “IRG has customers that are asking for services we provide. So, is our first point of focus is addressing those needs of our existing customers to make sure we’re providing them with that extra level of service. Then, we know we’re going to go to new prospects coming in. In terms of expanding the service offerings, there is a constant challenge, especially within the retail vertical, with how to reach the consumers through these multi-channels. Being able to use all those channels requires networks to be in place and an infrastructure that these retailers need to build up. We believe there is an incredible demand within the retail market for this service. And we think that we can be there to fill it and add our expertise Add our expertise in the retail side, especially from a loss prevention perspective and POS integration.”

Miller added that the acquisition will serve as a stepping stone for Vector to broaden services for customers and provide a single point of contact for them to go for all of these services. “There is a great opportunity for cross selling between both companies in providing the managed network services and broadband that retail and multi-site businesses are looking for to deploy IP networks,” miller said.

Before this acquisition, Vector had spent some time doing more and more POS and video analytics integration, but having IRG’s capabilities in-house will go a long way to expand on those services. Petrow said, “For example, we have customers we’re providing the service to where we do video analytics to look and see someone at the cash register ringing up a sale. But if there is no customer beside them, does that mean they are potentially issuing a credit or doing something they shouldn’t be doing at the cash register? All of those analytics are something we’re currently providing but it takes a heavy toll on networks to be able to manage all of that. So now we have a company that knows how to design those networks and manage those networks so we can be more efficient in providing those services to our customers.”

The move also gives Vector an edge over its competition by allowing it to “bring security solutions into a broadband-based, application-driven marketplace,” Petrow added. The company entered the space by partnering with Spacenet to begin its education on the business and sales process. As time went on, it became clear that really advancing in this space would require sophisticated in-house capabilities and not only having one point of contact for the customer, but offering a solution that wasn't dependent on two different businesses with different sets of priorities and business models, Petrow said.

 “We wanted to go to our customers and offer a solution and move at the pace we wanted to move at,” Petrow commented. “Be able to expand the services we wanted to expand. And just have more control over the entire process. So that’s why we decided to move away from the partnership, which was a great initial step into the space and a good chance for us to understand it better and see what customers were looking for.”

Petrow elaborated, “The offering we had with Spacenet was primarily around just the building of the infrastructure and networks as opposed IRG, not only do they design and do all the provisioning and installation on the networks, they also through the NOC manage those services and provide an additional level of customer support to make sure they better understand how their business is running. They also provide hardware, WiFi, and email.

Petrow will assume leadership responsibility over IRG and Vector Security. Mike Luzio, one of the founders of IRG, will stay on as president of the IRG business.

IRG is a Gartner-recognized provider of customized managed network services and an industry leader whose operational excellence has consistently outpaced industry standards. IRG currently addresses the growing needs of thousands of Fortune 1000 retailer sites, quick-serve restaurants and convenience store chains through the design, provisioning, logistics and deployment of networks.

“IRG brings the experience, technical expertise and passion to support the dynamic needs of retailers and multi-site companies to the Vector Security family,” said Mike Luzio, chief executive officer of IRG. “Together we have the opportunity to offer customers a modular platform that simplifies the management of their infrastructure and gives them actionable, real-time intelligence that is second to none. We look forward to proactively addressing our customers’ unique needs for managed services and security.”

Vector Security will continue to market the new managed network services solutions under the Industry Retail Group brand as a Vector Security company. Vector Security has retained all of the IRG employees as part of the acquisition and IRG will work closely with the Vector Security National Accounts teams located in Gainesville, Va. The IRG Corporate office will be headquartered in Warrendale, Pa.

Miller added that Vector plans to leverage the expertise of both sales teams as we each learn the other's business and customers better. “We plan to cross sell services between both customer bases. IRG will work closely with Vector Security's National Accounts Division located in Gainesville, Va. but the current IRG team will remain focused on building the managed network services business. They have a great company. The last thing we want to do is change the way they do business.”

  “Vector Security is a growing and stable company that is continually focused on meeting the needs of our customers.” said Petrow. “We welcome IRG, their employees and customers to the Vector Security family and look forward to doing great things — together.”