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A Unified Hub Tyco’s center provides centralized management for large enterprises

Tyco’s Global Accounts Program meets the needs of some of the largest, highprofile, enterprise customers in the world. At the heart of the global account program, Tyco’s Global Center of Excellence (GCoE) provides global program management and programming services for unified security throughout an enterprise.

Operating in Birmingham, Ala., the center was created four years ago when the company embarked on a quest to expand its services around the world and provide high-level design and operational support. The center complements and expands the range of services and technologies offered by Tyco’s local branches in 38 countries, while tapping into established relationships with third-party contractors to provide support to customers in more than 75 countries.

The GCoE Team

The internal, GCoE team works to deliver a full array of account management options and technical support to its client base, so collaboration is key. Including engineering documentation and remote system installation, the team develops customized solutions tailored specifically to each customer’s corporate standards and security needs. To accomplish this, each GCoE professional has to be in-tune with technology and knowledgeable about the legal, business and cultural standards in various economies. Overall, the center is a natural fit for global customers because of the “support of design associates and program managers devoted to satisfying the specialized needs of these corporations,” said Daryl Haga, GCoE director.

GCoE leverages an IT infrastructure with advanced technology tools and processes to support large enterprise customers, including some of the world’s most recognized corporate and financial brands. Designed with an individual customer’s needs in mind, the technology environment is built around tools for quick response to customer requests.

This emphasis on IT impacts how Tyco’s GCoE recruits new team members. Rather than “security industry experts,” the center recruits and hires candidates with information technology backgrounds.

“With that foundation of knowledge, we can quickly teach them the security industry,” Haga said. “They are managing changes in IT every day, and we need people with the ability to learn new concepts, adapt to change and be strategic and visionary about where we can take this—that’s the profile of the staff at the center.”

Commitment and Standardization

Haga established Tyco’s Global Center of Excellence in response to global customers’ needs; however, before launching this initiative, Haga’s 20- year career at Tyco included local management, installation, service and engineering positions. As director, he has overseen rapid employee growth, which reflects the trend among global companies to standardize security systems. Increased standardization delivers consistent and centralized security systems that are more efficient and require fewer employees to manage, as does streamlining equipment, networks and servers.

“Since we are a centralized and scalable group, we can manage it better and more efficiently, providing a definite value-add to the customer,” Haga said.

He also noted that the fee customers pay to the GCoE is more than offset by the expense they would otherwise incur to operate systems internally.

Security leaders and IT teams from customer organizations attend an onboarding meeting with Tyco’s design engineers and program managers to develop technical specifications and protocols. This is driven by a professional team that includes a diverse group of electrical, computer software and mechanical engineers from around the world. In addition to technology expertise, the GCoE workforce includes team members who speak fluently in about 14 languages. Most importantly, Haga says that the entire team understands the local cultures, regulatory needs and standards in the assigned country.

“Customers who are truly global need a mechanism to ensure they are driving standardization throughout their security footprint,” Haga said. “GCoE fulfills that mission for Tyco’s high-profile customers.

Working Closely With Customers

As the reliance on IP-based technologies has increased, it is critical for the GCoE team to build a close, working relationship with its clients’ high-level IT managers. The goal is to understand their specific infrastructures and needs from a security and network perspective. Both processes cannot be optimized without the assistance of the other, so individual plans and processes that fit the customer’s specific needs are developed.

“No one else has the infrastructure and the expertise of our center, and no one has the educational background and diversity of a team of people from around the world,” Haga said. “At the Global Center of Excellence, we have put these systems in place to manage our global business, based on requests of customers and their requirements. It’s a unique proposition and undertaking.”

The enterprise customers continue to evolve their views on previous security function and value. Security was thought of as necessity, not something a company was especially eager to invest in. Now, the emergence and proliferation of IP connectivity and new technologies is expanding the ways security can benefit a company, including driving efficiencies, capturing and reporting valuable business intelligence, and data that helps manage the organization.

“Security now brings additional value to organizations,” Haga said. “Customers who have good systems in place bring additional value to the organization and provide benefits that drive business continuity and profitability.”

Customer feedback guides the ongoing development of the GCoE. The team holds six or more global customer council meetings every year, some in North America and others in Asia and Europe. The events allow customers to network and talk about the opportunities, challenges and struggles they encounter.

“From those needs, we strategize to decide what services we should offer next,” Haga said. “It gives customers face time with their peers through roundtable discussions.”

Haga has seen a growing need for more specialized information in the professional services area, and GCoE continually refines its processes to meet these changing customer needs.

“We are absolutely invested in doing this properly,” Haga said. “Tyco is committed to global customers, and this program has tremendous value.” Reflecting the Growing Prominence of IT Tyco’s GCoE is IT-centric, reflecting both the industry’s increasing migration to IP systems and the shifting roles of security in global companies. Previously, the security operations in large enterprises would report to the human resources department or a chief financial officer. Eventually, many large companies shifted security to the IT department.

“Now, most of the people involved in the security group either work hand-in-hand with IT, or they report to IT,” Haga said. “We believe IT is the key to a successful discussion. When we meet with large customers, we ask them to bring their IT people to the table. Many times this department owns the security function. Now, it’s about information exchange, about the intelligence you have, exceptional management and the return on investment you get from that.”

In addition, Tyco’s GCoE noticed companies began to recognize the costeffective benefits of broad security functions. For example, a company might use a card access system integrated with HVAC to monitor building occupancy and assist in controlling energy costs. An access control system might also analyze and provide data on how real estate is used, such as whether there is enough or too much space, which can help a company use resources more efficiently.

“First and foremost, it’s about protecting people and property, but it’s also about what other information you can glean and the efficiencies you can gain outside traditional security parameters,” Haga said.

Ensuring Corporate-wide Consistency

While focusing on advanced integration to achieve solutions for the most complex security challenges customers face, GCoE is also focused on reaching new levels of consistency and standardization internally. Last year, the center received ISO 9001:2008 certification, a global standard that recognizes effective and efficient quality management systems. The GCoE was the first such program in the security industry to successfully achieve this prestigious designation.

This standard provides the center with a proven framework for systematically managing its processes to ensure consistent product delivery that exceeds customer expectations. The center is Tyco’s first global engineering, application and program management center to secure ISO certification. Clients may also benefit from an increasingly efficient and cost-effective organization, as well as procedures that assure quality similar to their own ISO-certified organizations.

“While we have always prided ourselves on providing exceptional quality in services and technology integration, this certification validates our outstanding level of commitment to our customers,” Haga said. “We are a global organization with a centralized, multi-lingual team and address various, regional markets, so the seven-month, certification process required significant effort and coordination. I am extremely proud of the commitment demonstrated by our team.”

In June 2013, the center was re-certified as compliant with the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

A Truly Global Approach

Demonstrating what’s possible using a global approach to security, GCoE offers high-level technical and support services to its global account customers. The talented team of engineers and program management experts thrive in managing large-scale, enterprise security systems. It’s an ambitious mission, but one that is critical in delivering top services to multinational firms. Tyco’s Global Center of Excellence has begun this journey and is off to a successful start—with the end goal of making the world a safer place for enterprise-class customers.

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

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