Electrical firm turns on the lights, creates a new security division

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Monday, September 1, 2003

BOSTON - City Lights Electrical has been installing integrated security systems for 14 years, but now the company has established a separate security division to focus on this side of the business.

The new business unit, called Intelligent Systems, or iSYS for short, was spun-off earlier this year. It has a dozen people working for the division, which includes a dedicated team of technicians.

Led by Paul O’Sullivan, a security industry veteran, the plan is to grow Intelligent Systems into a $10 million division over the next 24 months, a ten-fold increase compared with the amount of security work done previously done under the auspices of City Lights Electrical.

One of those projects includes providing 150 cameras for Logan Airport’s baggage claim area, a job that had to be completed in three months. At Worcester State College, the company recently completed the installation of more than a dozen cameras across the campus.

Not only does Intelligent Systems gain a foundation from which to build a new company, but the financial resources to make it happen from City Lights Electrical.

“They see this as a potential success story,” said O’Sullivan, who is division manager of Intelligent Systems. “I have a major, committed company behind me.”

That committed company, City Lights Electrical, projects annual sales of $45 million for 2003 and employs more than 145 people.

After providing security under City Lights Electrical, it was time for security to stand on its own, said John Deady, president and chief operating officer of City Lights Electrical.

“We’ve offered the same type of services for City Lights for years, but what we saw were that things were changing very rapidly,” said Deady. “We thought we needed to have some educated guys who focused on this full time, whereas before crews were mixed.”

It also enables Intelligent Systems to become an authorized dealer for certain products and to buy factory direct, advantages it did not have previously.

Though now separate companies, the two will continue to work on projects together and promote the others expertise. The result, said Deady, will be broader exposure among the end-user market for City Lights Electrical, whose business now comes from the contractor market.

“In some cases the two will work hand in hand,” he said. “We want to be able to do the one-stop approach.”