Top Integrator Employs Software That Supports the Way Their Security Integration Business Operates
Dallas-based Securadyne (SDM’s 2016 Systems Integrator of the Year) was established in 2011 by CEO Carey Boethel. By 2018, it had more than 300 staff, 17 U.S. branch locations and had achieved more than $73 million in annual revenue prior to its acquisition this year by Allied Universal. The company is highly regarded for its security consulting, integrated system design, engineering and technology installation services.
During the company’s early days of growth, it became apparent that Securadyne needed software to assist with the sales side of the business. Initially, the company chose to invest in an all-in-one enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, believing that it could best serve the wide-ranging needs of its various stakeholders. Russell White, Securadyne’s vice president of technology and innovation, explained, “We used SAP Business ByDesign, but because it’s a generic system, when it came to quoting, it couldn’t encompass the uniqueness of the security systems integration industry. For example, the system has to be able to handle everything from a $5,000 job to a $1 million job, and provide a mechanism for quoting labor accurately. The system just couldn’t cover everything we needed it to do. We also have a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contract, and we needed a system that could ensure GSA-eligible customers would be consistently quoted the published rates, while also preventing our sales team from going below these thresholds with our market customers.”
As Securdyne was already heavily invested in the Business ByDesign solution, the company preferred not to replace the entire system. Instead, it contacted WeSuite of White Plains, N.Y., a provider of sales management software, to see if it could integrate with SAP. Tracy Larson, president and co-founder of WeSuite, said, “I received a call saying that SAP, on the sales side, was not really working to their expectation. There were certain things that just didn’t support the integrator business that the company is in, and it was becoming frustrating to salespeople.”
WeSuite listened to the ways in which the Securadyne sales staff was feeling dissatisfied, explored the corresponding problems and gaps in SAP’s capabilities and probed the SAP software architecture to understand how to work with it. So Securadyne connected WeSuite’s development team with its SAP value-added-reseller (VAR). WeSuite worked directly with them to define every detail of the project, so the Securadyne executive team and board would feel confident that the project wouldn’t exceed the investment level approved.
“WeSuite developed an architecture and specification for both reading data from SAP Business ByDesign and delivering information about ‘winning’ jobs back to it,” White explained. “Through coordinated development work, both WeSuite and our SAP integration VAR developed the interface tables for both inbound and outbound data that’s used for automated communication throughout the lead-to-sales process. Together, they did a lot of coordinated development and testing, correcting any issues that came up.”
One key area of focus was WeSuite’s ability to work with Securadyne’s financial systems.
“Most financial systems don’t allow some of the flexibility that we as integrators need to have on the sales side, because the rules are different for sales and accounting,” Larson said. For example, Securadyne has many branches and their labor cost and sell rates differ per region. Fortunately, “we were able to nicely customize the software integration to the way their financial system was configured,” she said.
Another component that was important was the Fixed Price module to support Securadyne’s contract-eligible customers. Securadyne needed to have 100 percent confidence that their salespeople could abide by GSA terms and this module would make sure that happened. Its successful integration with the company’s financial software also has made it much easier for the company to do its annual reporting to the GSA, as well as the necessary auditing. The same functionality pertains to state contracts, of which Securadyne has many.
According to White, “Things worked very well off the block. I’ve definitely worked with other interfaces where you spend more time making fixes than typing things in. We achieved enough integration that we could share both ways, regarding customer information and parts. We’ve been able to leverage the WeSuite toolset to meet the specific requirements of our industry and be able to scale up and down for the diverse sizes of our projects. It also helps us create documents for presentation purposes.”
The integrated solution combines WeEstimate (WeSuite’s flexible sales estimating, proposal and contract automation solution) with WeOpportunity (a lead, prospect and account management solution.) The WeEstimate software was configured with several add-on modules to help with recurring monthly revenue, miscellaneous chargeable items, automated approval workflows and fixed price contracts.
Erin Macauley, hosted managed services coordinator at Securadyne, said of the current use, “We have about 30 salespeople and 15 sales engineers — people who are in there, using the sales management software to build quotes on a daily basis. Our project managers and general or operations managers review and approve jobs before they are presented to the customers. Once projects are booked and exported out of the system into SAP, there’s a whole host of people who become involved, including the accounting team, making for a total of about 140 users throughout the company."
Securadyne also has benefited as WeSuite recently migrated to a DevOps environment for software development and testing. The process also has automated new software releases. For this, they use a tool called Octopus Deploy. Larson explained that particularly in customized integration cases, like Securadyne’s, introduction of new features in the software can potentially change workflows, creating new considerations for integration. Octopus allows Securadyne to review and test new WeSuite updates and features in its own sandbox, separately and securely from their live WeSuite and SAP environment.
As Securadyne makes its transition into Allied Universal Technology Services, the two companies believe it will create a powerhouse. With revenue-beneficial solutions in place, the path to business success looks clear.