Timing May Be Right to Start ‘Securing New Ground’

Security industry’s executive conference convenes integrators and myriad stakeholders to analyze latest and future trends driving the market.

Mickey McCarter

Pierre Trapanese has been making new moves to grow his business — and that includes hiring dedicated salespeople for the first time in nine years.

Trapanese founded Fremont, Calif.-based Northland Controls in 2005 and the business quickly grew, primarily as an integrator of security products from Lenel Systems International (a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.). Northland Controls started with 10 employees and generated half a million dollars in revenue in its first year. As of 2013, it generated $33 million in annual revenue and employed more than 100 people.

Without a sales team and strictly by word of mouth, reports of the company’s good work spread and it picked up big clients like Google, eBay and Facebook. While Trapanese planned for business to double in five years of the company’s founding, it doubled in only one year. By 2007, business grew to $5 million.

Business doubled again through the recession, which was tough for the company as it was self-financed. The experience made Trapanese and Northland Controls smarter and tougher, however, and they set a strong business plan to guide future growth.

Now Trapanese has turned to hiring salespeople for the first time, as Northland Controls has become too big to rely on word of mouth alone to get business. As such, it is important for the executives at Northland Controls to get forecasts on the future of the security industry and to know what’s likely to happen next. That’s why Northland Controls president Paul Thomas is presenting on behalf of integrators at Securing New Ground (SNG), the security industry’s executive conference, in New York City on Oct. 29-30.

Learn More: SIA to Host Securing New Ground Conference in 2014

SNG where executives from the security industry, including the C-suite from major integrators, gather to share perspectives and exchange the latest information on developments in security trends and disruptive technologies.

Last year, for example, many security executives came away with fresh perspectives from discus-sions of the entry of cable companies and others into the residential security market-place, as well as the spread of biometric identification scanners through adoption by the Apple iPhone.

Experts project the security industry will continue to grow at a rate of at least 8 percent — even faster than it did through the recession — over the next five years, so it’s important to connect with game-changers and industry leaders, to understand the technological changes and disruptive technologies, and to access data that will help grow your business and improve customer value in the security marketplace. At SNG, suppliers, practitioners, new entrants and investors discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

So integrators also will hear directly from customers and potential customers at SNG. The conference offers great information for security practitioners, who in turn will participate in discussions about what they are seeking for their enterprise-level projects for the benefit of integrators.

The Security Industry Association (SIA), producer of the SNG executive conference, has developed a number of education sessions, such as “The New World of Security: Where CSIOs & CSOs Converge,” around the concerns of security practitioners.

More: Go Inside the Mind of a Security Customer

In a recent presentation at SIA Headquarters, Trapanese attributed his company’s growth in part to its dedication to doing the right thing. “Be honorable” is one of the core values of Northland Controls, and this principle is reflected in how the company does business. Northland Controls strives to do right by its clients, no matter the cost. The company does not try to do the “bare minimum” but rather hires the best people and compensates them well to do the right things, Trapanese explained.

Doing right by a client does not mean simply agreeing with them. In an initial meeting with Apple, Northland Controls personnel argued against the company’s approach to its security projects, Trapanese recalled. But in doing so, Northland Controls gained Apple’s trust and the IT powerhouse became a great client.

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