A Good Pedigree Helps

Good networking and a professional pedigree are significant advantages in any professional endeavor, but in the security world, qualifications mean just about everything. And, it doesn’t hurt to have a love for the business either.

Carey Boethel and Ken Francis have both, and they freely admit that they have a different approach to things. Call it a true love for the security business and making other people’s lives more secure. And about that pedigree: They have it.

In early 2012, both men added that final notch to a list of good works. After years of professional and personal friendship, Boethel and Francis blended their acumen for security into what is now Securadyne Systems, located in Carrollton, Texas. The company was consummated through the acquisition of SecureNet in February 2012.

“We love this business, integrating security systems and bringing a new way of thinking about integration and customer service,” Boethel said. “Our goal is to develop security programs tailored to the end user. We aspire to become subject matter experts in a select few industries, and take a consultative approach with our customers towards problem solving, using the best available technologies in order to create highly customized security programs.”

Securadyne has strong relationships with numerous consultants, and in partnership with those consultants, they provide a holistic approach towards program development. Francis said the company is security-centric on creating business solutions, working on a life-cycle basis through the complete life of the project. In other words, staying with the customer long after the sale.

“This entire process of buying and evolving a new company has been a whirlwind,” Francis said. “Nothing drives a person to work harder than having their own company, and wanting to succeed.”

Success Doesn’t Come Easy

Hard work is a key factor for success, but also a vision of where to take a business once the new ownership arrives. Boethel and Francis didn’t let much grass grow under their feet as they took charge. Securadyne opened with offices in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Soon thereafter, the company acquired Surveillance Specialties, Ltd., a leading New England-based integrator, which expanded the company’s reach deep into the northeast.

Both purchases were made with financial partner, Pamlico Capital, located in Charlotte, N.C., who believed in the vision Boethel and Francis has proposed. Securadyne now has seven branch office locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Massachusetts and Maine.

“The acquisition of SURV, which enjoys a commanding market presence in New England, ideally complements our build-up strategy focusing on bestof- breed operating platforms,” Boethel said.

The acquisition greatly expands the geographic reach of Securadyne, but there is still a lot of the United States between the two businesses. Fortunately, Arthur Bourque, former president and CEO of SURV will be on the company’s board of directors and will be active in future projects. To maintain an ongoing presence in the New England office, Justin Davis, former COO of SURV, remains in that office as a vice president of operations in that region.

Expansion plans are in the works, but Boethel said the company is carefully weighing its options, though their direction is clear with numerous options available in achieving their goals. He said the company has adopted a bifurcated approach that leverages both small- and medium- size businesses and large enterprise-class users.

“We don’t see one as being more important or prominent than the other (SMB vs. enterprise) over the long term,” Boethel said. “Over the short term, we see SMB as early adopters because of the economic benefits of the cloud, but we also see enterprise-class users embracing it in the future because of improved quality of service, enhanced information security, increased flexibility and scalability, and resiliency.

“We believe the cloud provides a more resilient solution. We have historically focused on large, enterprise-class users, but as we embrace cloud-enabled technologies we recognize that the enterprise market may not be quite ready, so we will have to invest a lot of time and money in educating them on the virtues of the cloud. We also believe our security plan is well suited for disaster recovery, crisis management and security integration.”

A Degree in Pedigree

As Boethel and Francis began working on their security pedigree, they arrived at the point of purchasing Securadyne at about the same time.

Prior to starting Securadyne Systems, Boethel was vice president business unit head for Siemens’ Security Solutions, where he was responsible for all aspects of organizational leadership, corporate development, profit/loss management, sales, marketing, operations, finance and strategic planning within the United States and Canada. While at Siemens, he orchestrated a complete business turnaround, launched the managed services and integrated systems businesses and was honored with a “Systems Integrator of the Year” award, which recognizes the top U.S.-based security systems integrator in the areas of operational excellence, innovation and customer service.

Prior to his time with Siemens, Boethel held various leadership positions for NetVersant Solutions, SafirRosetti, Kroll and Schiff & Associates. His corporate specialties include transformational leadership, strategic planning, change management, consulting, P&L management, turnarounds, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions and field operations.Boethel says that Francis brings a unique bill of services to the table for the company and his background is equally impressive as a services, product and software expert.

Before joining Securadyne, Francis was the vice president of sales and marketing at UTC Fire & Security’s global security products group, and was responsible for the global growth of the company through strategy and execution of top-line initiatives, emerging markets, M&A and price. He also spent two years as a product general manager at UTC and was responsible for the global growth of enterprise product businesses through product development plans and localized commercial strategies. He also spent time with AMAG Technology and ADT Security Services.

The two men met while employed at NetVersant Solutions, where Francis was the vice president of enterprise systems and Boethel ran the security systems integration business.

A New Vision

“At Securadyne Systems, we view leadership a little differently than most,” Boethel said. “Our goal is to always lead from the front, whether we’re talking about the security industry as a whole, technology innovation, project implementation or compliance.

“Thought leadership is our true passion. We’re in the solutions business and today’s ever-changing risk landscape necessitates that we help redefine ways in which risk can be mitigated through security technology.”

Francis said the company is always looking for ways to improve security solutions and service, which requires that employees constantly re-evaluate the way the company goes to market, does business, interacts with customers and develops and trains employees. He said that thought leadership requires questioning the status quo, thus, the company embraces new and disruptive technologies, such as cloud computing, and look for ways to leverage them for the customer’s benefit.

“We’re also passionate about organizational leadership and we invest heavily in the professional development of our employees,” Francis said. “We believe that leaders are made, not born, and that key leadership traits, such as passion, optimism, trustworthiness, honesty and integrity must be exemplified in every one of our employees. Everyone in our company is a leader, whether he or she is a technician, a sales executive, a project manager or the CEO. We all must meet the leadership test every day.”

A Test of Leadership

Securadyne had been percolating as an idea for a couple of years, and thanks to the economic downturn in 2008, Boethel and Francis delayed their plans to jump into the security market as a partnership. But, what seemed to be a disappointment then actually became a boon to business in September 2011, when final plans were adopted and the business concept was approved. After completion of the SURV acquisition, Securadyne recruited Chris Young to serve as the company’s chief financial officer.

Well-schooled in the security industry, Young had been with SourceHOV, GVI Security Solutions and i2 Technologies. His exposure to the industry also meant a familiarity as a financial executive with broad experience in all aspects of finance and accounting.

The company also appointed Taylor Carr as vice president of integration and business development. Prior to joining Securadyne, Carr had previously been with Seimens in both sales and leadership capacities, focusing on the eastern United States. Carr’s role at Securadyne is critical to its mission. He is responsible for integrating newly acquired companies and for ensuring enterprise- wide standardization of business practices.

“We are passionate about standards and believe that our laser-like focus in this area will be a real differentiator for us as we complete nationally with larger service providers,” Boethel said.

Bringing the leadership all together, Securadyne positions itself as covering the integration gap between large enterprises and small companies that operate on a local basis.

“We’re always going to be a really good system integrator,” Boethel said, “but our approach is a little different than most, and we believe that more changes to the integrator model await us. The cloud brings with it new ways of solving security challenges and new ways of creating value for not only the customer but also the integrator itself, relative to RMR. We view the cloud as an enhancement to the integrator model, not a wholesale change.”

Train the Troops

One of the most viable and important offerings to the customer is having a certified and trained workforce. Boethel said the Securadyne team will always have high-level technicians, required to have expertise and proper certification before they begin any particular job. Well-trained technicians and engineers are a part of doing things the right way, and serving the customer.

Like any other successful business, Securadyne is focusing on several key vertical markets, including education, healthcare, petroleum, energy, pharmaceuticals and the insurance businesses. As such, they have to stay tuned into government regulations, oversight and maintain security at higher-than-normal levels, to conform to SOX, HIPPA, CFATS, NERC, FERC, CIP and other high-profile mandates.

Because they want to establish a standard of core responsibilities, Boethel and Francis are aware that daily threats are real, and that there are lots of compliance-related issues that are part of the security domain. It’s all part of a judicious growth plan and part of how the company respects its growth.

Growth has been constant for Securadyne, which started with just Boethel leading the search company up until the acquisition of SecureNet, which added approximately 50 employees, and today more than 150 workers. This is all good news because as a small business in the United States today, not one worker was dismissed. This follows the company theme of quality growth and better customer service.

Because of their association with Pamlico, Securadyne has a financial partner who views the marketplace as an opportunity to grow the business, but to do it responsibly. Pamlico has a long track record of success investing behind strong management teams in the security marketplace and in a variety of other complimentary industries.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better financial partner in Pamlico,” Boethel said.

“We work collaboratively with our customers to help ensure that technology serves a meaningful and value-added role in securing their most prized assets,” Boethel said. “In order to fulfill these objectives, we have selected the most reliable and innovative product partners in the world, and we invest a tremendous amount of time and money to make sure systems are installed correctly and cost-effectively the first time.”

Securadyne officials are proud of the fact that company executives are active in their role and dedication to integration, seeking the qualified talent and best practices to run the business. They also want to connect the dots between their Texas base of operations and their New England reach.

“Among our core values is the belief of concerted teamwork and excellence through standardization,” Francis said. “There are no exceptions to ethical and lawful business behavior.”

This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Security Today.


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