SDI is now $70m business after buying X7

X7 brings design-build capabilities; industry certifications; and District of Columbia, Virginia Tech, and other major government and commercial clients
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CHICAGO—In a deal that adds $15 million in revenue and brings design-build capabilities, important industry certifications and major government and commercial clients into its fold, systems integration firm SDI has acquired X7, a Washington, D.C.-based integration company.

“It’s our second merger within 60 days,” Brian Diver, SDI president and COO, told Security Systems News. SDI in June acquired i-sys, a systems integrator based in Charleston, S.C. Diver said SDI is now a $70 million business.

“[X7] brings an excellent client portfolio, expands our geographic coverage, which is important in a field-oriented service business, [and its capabilities and leadership] are a great complement to what we do well,” Diver said.

In addition to its headquarters here, X7 has offices in Louisville, Ky., and Miami. That brings the total number of SDI offices to 12, with 10 in the U.S., one in Puerto Rico and one in Istanbul, Turkey. SDI now has employees in 30 states. X7’s 45 employees, including X7 CEO David Taylor and X7 president Paul Garver, will join SDI, bringing SDI’s employee count to 250.

X7’s customers include the District of Columbia; the district's metropolitan police department; Virginia Tech University; the U.S. Social Security Administration; and City Center in Northwest Washington, which is “the largest construction project in Washington D.C.,” according to Garver.

SDI’s customers include airports, seaports, utilities, public transit systems, and schools.

Diver said that employees hold a number of technical, industry and manufacturer certifications that are valuable to a “vendor agnostic” systems integrator. Those certifications include: Lenel Master; ASIS CPP and PSP; BICSI RCCD; EMC Velocity; Dell Global Services; Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3; PMBOK PMP; and Cisco CCIE, CCNA and CCSP.

SDI has significant in-house networking and infrastructure support capabilities, which is something X7 does not currently have. Diver said that the companies are laying the groundwork for cross-selling the different capabilities today.

Paul Garver will oversee the sales organization and on Aug. 28 he was talking to employees about how “what we do in airports in one part of the country, we want to do [and offer the same services] in other parts of the country,” and the same with seaports, schools and commercial customers.   

David Gupta, CEO of SDI, is fond of saying that SDI is a vendor-independent advisor. That attitude is shared by X7, according to X7 CEO Taylor.

“It’s not about the product, it’s about the [integrator] partner [the end user] chooses,” he said. The correct integrator will bring the right technology, the appropriate products, the right engineering and the appropriate delivery model, he said. The right integrator also will be able to deliver ROI by integrating legacy systems where possible and where it makes sense, and still be able to move to a common platform, he added.

SDI announced its intention to grow by acquisition in June of 2012, when it secured an investment from LLR Partners and Monument Capital Group.

“We have plenty of gunpowder left if we find the right [companies that understand] big commercial enterprises and big government enterprises,” Diver said.