In this month’s interview, Dean Monaghan talks to SEN editor John Adams about the acquisition of Integrators Australia by Convergint Technologies, growth, further acquisitions, and plans for the future.
JA: Convergint Technologies acquired Integrators Australia a couple of months ago – how has the transition process gone so far – what has changed for the team and what has remained the same?
DM: Convergint is very experienced with integrations and ensuring the process goes smoothly, and we have worked diligently together so no interruption in service has occurred for our customers. As a result, not a lot has changed in our day-to-day – it’s been business as usual.
JA: Will Integrators Australia retain its name and management structure or move under the Convergint Technologies’ banner?
DM: Our new ANZ locations have been branded Convergint Technologies from their outset, while our main Victorian operation is looking forward to transitioning its branding in the coming months. Aside from branding, the Integrators Australia entity and management structure will remain unchanged.
JA: Was Convergint active in the ANZ market prior to the acquisition – have the local operations combined?
DM: Convergint’s APAC business, ICD Security Solutions, is a powerhouse in Asia, and they have done a fantastic job in delivering services to our global clients present in ANZ. We have been working with them since integration to service both global and local customers.
JA: What’s the general plan for Convergint Technologies in Australia, New Zealand and in the region? Where would you like to see the business positioned?
DM: Our plan is to continue to grow the Convergint business throughout ANZ both organically and via further acquisition. The vision is for us to eventually be as strong in every major city as we are in Melbourne.
JA: Which geographical area will you be covering – will you be looking at a wider market – SE Asia, the Pacific, India?
DM: We cover the Oceania region, but we also work closely with the rest of the APAC team, which is led out of China. India is a rapidly growing market for us, with a team of more than 70 colleagues located there.
JA: There’s a lot of heat around electronic security technology now. Which new technologies are of most interest to your clients – what are you and the team focussing your collective attention on getting across?
DM: The size and scope of Convergint Technologies has presented some fantastic opportunities for us to work with new vendors who are working on the cutting edge of technology. AI-based video analytics and its applications are of interest within the market now, so we have been exploring that technology.
JA: Integration has gone from being the bleeding edge of the electronic security business to something that serious end users are demanding to meet operational requirements and enhance efficiencies – but there are still plenty of challenges. What’s hardest about effective security integration, in your experience?
DM: Effective security integration relies on an excellent user experience. I find that partners tend to work hard to release feature-rich products, but it can occasionally come at the expense of the experience layer.
JA: You founded Integrators Australia back in 2005 to give end users a higher standard of service than the majors provided at the time – contracts they could opt out of if they weren’t happy – it was revolutionary stuff. This created a powerful customer-centric culture at Integrators Australia – will this same service standard apply moving forward?
DM: Convergint Technologies’ values and beliefs have been in place since their foundation, and the first one states: “We expect to be our customers’ best service provider”. Service is central to Convergint’s value proposition, and this aligns perfectly with our own culture. Service excellence is what we work towards each day.
JA: Convergint Technologies has a broad base – electronic security, fire alarms, life safety systems – will we see this wider services suite flowing through in support of local customers?
DM: Our approach has always been to sell wider and deeper into our existing client base, and this is an avenue we will continue to pursue. Conversely, we now have an IT skillset within our local CTC that we are looking forward to sharing with our colleagues across the globe.
JA: Convergint Technologies is growing fast through acquisition – it must be one of the fastest growing integrators globally – in what ways does this global reach enhance the local operation’s ability to service customers in Australia, NZ and the elsewhere?
DM: Convergint recognises the importance of maintaining a healthy mix of local business and global accounts. We think we have the model right, which is why our portfolio of global clients is growing so strongly.
JA: What message would the new Convergint business like to give the ANZ market?
DM: Convergint supports our focus on the ANZ market unequivocally, and we are very much looking forward to leveraging our global partnership to reach our mutual goal of being our customers’ best service provider.
JA: What about your own future, Dean? Can you see yourself staying on in the new business?
DM: I have always really enjoyed my role in the business, and since the acquisition, this is even more true. Convergint Technologies brings a wealth of knowledge, as well as the capital we need to grow, so I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
JA: How do you feel personally, having sold the business, Dean? It’s been your baby for a long time. You must have mixed feelings about passing on the baton – as well as a strong feeling that there’s greater potential for expanding the business to deliver clients the best possible solutions?
DM: I’m very proud that Integrators Australia was selected as Convergint’s entry into the local market. The possibilities to grow this business and the opportunities for our colleagues are virtually limitless, and we’re more motivated than ever to set a new benchmark for service.
JA: What did 13 years growing one of Australia’s most successful privately-owned electronic security integrators teach you – what advice would you give the young techs coming through?
DM: I had no formal business training prior to forming Integrators Australia, so I did a lot of learning as I went along. I always give the same advice with respect to the business in general – don’t run a business for profit, run it to serve 2 things: The happiest colleagues, and the most satisfied clients. I can assure young techs that profit will result if you achieve these 2 goals.