Dakota Security opens seventh office

‘Modern-day Gold Rush’ spells opportunity for integrator
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RAPID CITY, S.D.—Dakota Security, a PSA Security owner, on April 18 opened its seventh office here. It will serve as a logistical base of operations for Dakota to take advantage of security opportunities arising from the booming local economy, Eric Yunag, CEO of Dakota Security, told Security Systems News.

“We’ve had operations in that area of South Dakota for many years. But opening an office in Rapid City puts us right in the center of our current client base there and [will give us a base of operations to grow into additional areas] of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana,” Yunag explained.

The office will serve “several vertical markets—oil, gas, agriculture and coal mining, some of which we are actively targeting,” he added.

Oil and gas exploration, which has been going on in the area actively for five or more years has really picked up the past two years. Geologists estimate that the area harbors one of the top five oil reserves in the world, Yunag said, but until recently “they didn’t have the technology to get at it.”

“This office continues to position us in an area with a stable economy, in the center of our vertical-market customers, who all have a high demand for security,” Yunag said.

And these customers are bringing in more potential customers for Dakota Security.

“The boom in vertical markets is feeding other facets of the economy quickly, and that means more opportunity for us,” Yunag said.

“There has been a large influx of workers. So there’s a demand for safety and security, and also an immediate need for critical infrastructure: multi-tenant housing, schools, transportation, water-treatment plants,” he explained.

“The unemployment in the area is around 2 percent, [and] North Dakota is a state with a budget surplus. It’s really a modern-day Gold Rush,” he said.

“There’s not enough hospitals, roads, law enforcement, you can’t find a house, there are entire man camps built by energy service companies to house people,” he continued.

Dakota has seven technicians and sales people in the area already and plans to hire additional sales and installation personnel for the new Rapid City office.

The systems Dakota is installing in the area are “really cross-disciplinary, though access and surveillance are the two largest demands,” Yunag said. “Surveillance [in agricultural and energy applications in particular] in large open spaces is critical out there, so mesh network and other communications infrastructure is necessary to deploy surveillance in wide open spaces.”

Dakota is using a lot of Tropos’ wireless equipment in these applications. “We have an increasingly strong partnership with Tropos. [We like their] track record of providing large, scalable wireless mesh systems,’ he said.

Dakota Security has more than 100 employees and is headquartered across the state from Rapid City—six hours to the east, in Sioux Falls, S.D. Its operations are concentrated here in the upper Midwest with offices in Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Fargo, N.D.; and Chicago. It also has an East Coast office in New York, and a West Coast office in Phoenix.