The Matrix Systems Revolution
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Nov 01, 2014
Approximately 18 months have passed since Holly Tsourides took the reins
as the CEO of Matrix Systems. But in that short time frame, she’s executed
a robust growth strategy and business plan that has changed the face and
the path of the company.
Launched in 1979 and based in Miamisburg, Ohio, Matrix spearheaded the development
of enterprise-level access control solutions to the healthcare, airports and
industrial markets. Appointed CEO of Matrix in May 2013, Tsourides brought a
unique perspective to the organization. A seasoned leader, she has more than 15
years of executive management and sales experience at technology companies ranging
from start-ups to global corporations. At VideoIQ, she served as chief sales and
marketing officer, helping the company build global sales and marketing channels.
She was president of The Stanley Works’ $90-million independent distribution business.
She also held various senior-level sales positions including vice president of
sales with IFS/GE Security and national sales manager for GE Security.
“The opportunity to join Matrix was one I could not refuse,” Tsourides said.
“When I first started reviewing the business, I realized it was a world-class organization
with many opportunities for growth. The company needed a strong leadership
team to help revamp its go-to-market strategy and drive technology innovation. In
addition to myself, we’ve added top-tier executives to help drive all segments of the
business while investing in the infrastructure and processes necessary for success.”
Prior to Tsourides’ tenure, Matrix had stagnated in the industry and business
was not growing. Under Tsourides’ guidance, the company began writing the next
chapter in its business story. It adopted Lean processes, outlining new strategies to
increase efficiency in manufacturing and research and development, and further improve
customer service. It opened a sales and marketing office in the Greater Boston
area to enhance strategic opportunities with potential partners and spearhead
recruiting efforts in the technology-focused region. And, in January 2014, Matrix
announced the creation of two new strategic channels of business: Frontier Security
and Xentry Systems Integration.
“We wanted to focus on building the business while positioning the entire organization
for future opportunity,” Tsourides said. “To accomplish this, we needed
to build two go-to-market strategies that more closely
align with industry accepted models.”
Frontier Security delivers the Frontier access
control platform and offers an integrated enterprise
video and access solution called the Frontier Integrated
Platform. Xentry Systems Integration offers
a comprehensive range of security integration services
to end-user customers. The two entities deliver
enhanced capabilities and technologies to serve
their distinct customers and provide the larger
Matrix organization with the flexibility to pursue
separate yet focused strategies for continued
growth. Both businesses are each led by
separate management and sales teams.
“The vision of today’s Matrix is
to provide the organization and future
acquisitions with a robust and
efficient back office to help focus
on whatever it is they do well,”
Tsourides said. “This vision is part
of the company’s commitment
to differentiate themselves from
other organizations who may not
have made the strategic investment
in the shared service model
or their industry talent.”
The organization’s senior management team has seen the addition of some of security’s
top talent—industry veterans and executives who have a history of successful
company growth. Tsourides added top-tier professionals to manage both divisions.
Jeremy Krinitt, formerly with Software House, serves as the general manager
of the Frontier business, and industry veteran John Nemerofsky is president and
CEO of Xentry Systems Integration.
Both companies have been aggressive in building their respective brands and
driving growth. As such, May 30, was monumental for the company as Xentry acquired
AcreeDaily, a leading systems integrator in Ohio. The same day marked the
closing of a capital infusion from Pine Street Capital, as well as tax and legal restructuring
that allowed for the transformation of the business into a holding company
with wholly owned and stand-alone businesses Xentry and Frontier underneath.
The acquisition itself was part of the strategic plan for Xentry, adding a robust line
of technology offerings including AMAG Technology, Ascom Nurse Call, and Edwards
Fire & Security, but that single day secured the capital and resources required
to fulfill Tsourides’ vision for the entire Matrix Systems organization.
“We wanted to extend our footprint and expand our product lines and talent,”
Tsourides said. “Acquisitions are a great way to enhance these capabilities. AcreeDaily
had the type of technology portfolio we were looking for and after our first
conversation, it became very clear we had complementary businesses.”
This year’s ASIS conference marked a significant milestone in the Frontier organization
as the business had not successfully released a new product of note for
almost a decade. At the conference, Frontier debuted the Cylon Security Controller,
which is designed to streamline installations and reduce the complexities and significant
time required to install traditional controllers. The company filed for three provisional
patents, looks to begin rebuilding their intellectual property and continues
to invest in technology innovation.
“Frontier is truly redefining what is expected from traditional access control solutions,”
Tsourides said. “Cylon is a great example of the type of solution Frontier
is pioneering: it is designed from the ground up with ease of installation and serviceability,
while future-proofing installations for years to come.”
Matrix and its business segments also focus on building community support programs
and driving social responsibility initiatives throughout the organization. The
company empowers its employees to leverage technology, services and partnerships
to create a positive impact at its locations across the country.
“We believe social responsibility and corporate citizenship are core fundamentals
of our business,” Tsourides said. “We work collaboratively with our employees
and a wide variety of partners to build a strong foundation that brings new ideas
and goals to life.”
As Matrix, now Matrix Holdings LLC, and its business segments continue to
grow and evolve, Tsourides will focus on driving high-level strategy while exploring
options for new opportunities. An additional focus will be on creating a new strategy
for recruiting and retaining “A” players by creating a culture that both rewards and
supports high performance from employees. The company will soon announce a
new executive hire in the role of Chief Human Resources Officer to help facilitate
this new plan.
After spending more than 15 years helping lead growth-focused organizations,
Tsourides said it is the overall mission of the security industry—protecting people
and assets—that make it a positive industry to work in, as well as the people she
works most closely with.
“The smartest thing I do is hire people smarter than I am, and my team is at the
forefront of the Matrix growth,” she said, “Additionally, the Matrix ownership is
instrumental in having faith and the commitment to our vision to grow Matrix into
the employer of choice in this industry and the preferred acquirer for companies
who value their people and legacy. For me, these things make it all worthwhile.”
This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Security Today.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.