The Security.World community voted during the summer of 2017 and selected the Physical Security and Video Surveillance industry’s Top 12 Influencers. This Profile is one in the series of 12 of those individuals that are making a difference in our industry. Congratulations to Joe Grillo, CEO, Vanderbilt. We reached out to Joe to get his views and insight on what is happening in the physical security and video surveillance market.
The international Security.World community of physical security professionals has just selected you as one of their Top 12 industry Influencers for 2017. What is your reaction to that?
I’m very honored to be selected as an industry influencer and I am excited to be recognized alongside this year’s list of award winners.
How long have you been active in the physical security/video surveillance industry and what brought you into this industry?
I’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, specifically in the electronic security and identification industries where I’ve been active in growing, acquiring and restructuring businesses. The market has provided me with the opportunity to be involved with technology innovation, customer acquisition and engagement, and developing market and channel strategies. It’s been a rewarding sector for me because it has enabled me to build great relationships, products and businesses over the course of my career.
How have you seen the industry change over the past few years?
The security industry has been —and continues to be— a steadily growing business. There are a couple of reasons why we experience steady growth. Security is more visible and in demand than it has ever been due to the simple fact that it has become more important than ever for organizations to ensure high levels of security. Today, security leaders, such as the CSO, report to senior leadership and must demonstrate the value of investments that reduce risk – a far cry from the days in which security was siloed and viewed as a cost center. Investment in this market is also on the rise in nearly every market segment. Additionally, the convergence of physical and logical worlds has transformed the market: “managed” solutions are becoming the norm and cybersecurity is a common topic in the physical security realm. Technology has evolved and end users are demanding more integration between systems, such as access control and video management, as well as the use of mobile devices. All of these trends demonstrate the evolution of the market and show a sneak peek of where we are going in the future.
What do you see has been the single most impactful technology in the industry?
Software-based solutions are what sets a company apart. But even so, it is important that today’s technology providers focus on being open enough to enhance their own innovations through close integration with other platforms. Software solutions and integrated systems deliver flexibility and value to the end users, and therefore, have significant impact on how we deploy systems. Being able to combine data from multiple technologies allows users to gain access to higher levels of business intelligence that can be used to streamline operations and enhance security in ways that are specific to their business.
Please share with us your visions of this industry and what it will look like for manufacturers, integrators, installers, central stations, and end-users in the near future.
The access control market continues to be fairly fragmented but market trends show that customers are looking for integrated security management systems and more open solutions from trusted suppliers, which is something that Vanderbilt has been offering for several years and will continue to offer. Stakeholders are also becoming more well informed about what the next big thing is, such as cloud-based access control solutions or video intelligence. As a manufacturer, we need to have the most up-to-date knowledge base and training tools to help users succeed with these technologies today and into the long term.
Tell us about a newer technology that you think is going to significantly alter the industry landscape:
Cloud-based solutions are becoming critically important because they open up the opportunity to provide higher levels of security to the small- to medium-sized business sector. Last year, we acquired Access Control Technologies (ACT) to bring a cloud-based offering to the Vanderbilt portfolio. The Vanderbilt ACT365 solution allows end users to remotely control and manage access to their facilities. Organizations can easily scale the solution to accommodate additional doors or cameras, as well as view live and recorded video, manage users and review alarms from a unified interface. The goal is to make access control less complex and more approachable to the SMB market.
What M&A activity do you think has been significant and what do you see happening with companies in the near future?
Vanderbilt has been aggressive in its approach to acquisitions, along with its parent company ACRE, looking for opportunities that fit the corporate strategy for growth and vision, along with a focus on expanding geographic market coverage. The security industry is highly fragmented but has great growth potential, making M&A activity a continued focus today.