Vector Security acquires IRG, managed network services company

CEO Petrow says deal is just the beginning of Vector's move into managed infrastructure and business intelligence space
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Monday, August 19, 2013

PITTSBURG—National integrator Vector Security will be able to offer managed network services to its customers and will have access to the "Who’s Who of retail customers”—including American Eagle, Estée Lauder and Coach—as the result of its acquisition of Industry Retail Group (IRG), a managed network services company based in Bethesda, Md.

Under the terms of the deal, announced Aug. 20, IRG will become a subsidiary of Vector and will be based here. Its 32 employees, including IRG CEO, Mike Luzio, will join Vector. The new subsidiary will work closely with Vector’s national accounts group, which is based in Gainesville, Va.

 “The convergence of IT and security is evident to everyone and our customers are looking for integrated solutions,” Pam Petrow, Vector CEO, told Security Systems News.

“From the customers’ perspective, they’ll be getting a turnkey solution and a business case for introducing technology into the workplace … that will help them manage their businesses cost-effectively,” she said.

As a managed network services company, IRG installs and extends network connectivity, and has relationships with all of the national cable and telecom providers. Its offerings include hotspot and enterprise Wi-Fi solutions, mobility and hosted VoIP. IRG has more than 75 retail and multi-site commercial customers. The average IRG customer has between 400 to 1,200 sites, Luzio told SSN.

Vector Security has roughly 100 retail customers with about 45,000 customer location in North America.

Vector CEO Pam Petrow said the company has been looking to acquire a network services company. In the past it has partnered with network service provider, SpaceNet, but Petrow wanted to bring this capability in-house.

“IRG is what we were looking for,” Petrow said. “From the market standpoint and the customers’ standpoint, this [deal] positions us very well.”

“We love the IRG people, their approach to market, we have a similar culture, similar customer service delivery, it’s a great fit,” Petrow said.

Luzio said that his customers “have been clamoring to add more services to their networks, and one of those is physical security.” Customers want to tie in “point of sale with video surveillance, [access control, and] business analytics … and they want a single bundle of services, [one provider and] one throat to choke.”

After the acquisition closed last week and before the external announcement was made today, Luzio began contacting his customers to tell them about the deal. “I spoke to 25 to 30 CIOs over the past three days … and they want to know how quickly can we set up a meeting.”

“This [offering] is the right thing for the industry. It’s what the industry is calling for," he said.

Petrow noted that LP professionals are very challenged with staffing and cost control. This solution will enable them to “provided added value and provide security as well.”

Petrow said that between IRG’s customer base and Vector’s retail account base, “we’ve got plenty of work to do with existing customers in introducing the products from the other entity, but we’ll also have a great solution for new prospects. This creates a great market opportunity for us.”

Petrow said that “this is just the beginning” of what Vector will offer retailers and other national accounts customers in terms of managed infrastructure and business intelligence services.