Earlier this month, AlliedBarton Security Services and Universal Protection Services completed its merger, creating Allied Universal – an enterprise with more than 140,000 employees and estimated annual revenues of approximately $4.5 billion.
But what does this mean for enterprise security end users?
Security discussed the impact of the merger – and the general trend of consolidation in the security industry today – with Allied Universal CEO Steve Jones.
According to Jones, the merger will result in a greater depth of resources, enabling the company to provide a deeper level of service for customers; a higher level of expertise and training resources for both security officers and end users; and technology, which supplements traditional guarding forces to better secure enterprises efficiently. Allied Universal also recently announced the availability of automated security patrols via robot.
End users particularly benefit from the combined learning libraries of both sides of the company, as the merger creates a pool of materials and training instructors for contract security professionals and end user enterprises on workplace violence, first aid, terrorism awareness, emergency preparedness and other topics.
“The security industry has changed since September 11,” says Jones. “Security professionals had to be better trained in handling terrorism, potential threats and emergency response, and they’re using analytics and data to do so.” For example, he says, a security officer stationed in a mall can move beyond traditional “observe and report” goals to analyze mall activity from the client’s perspective, using technology and analytics to provide value back to the customer and their tenants.
“The days of an officer reading a book in the security booth are gone,” he adds.
However, for enterprise security end users concerned at the shrinking number of choices in security personnel providers after recent mergers and acquisitions, Jones reminds us that the contract security industry is a $23 billion market, and there’s still 50 percent of the overall market being served by local and regional security providers, which continues to provide variety and choices for end users.
“Consolidation has allowed us and other companies to strengthen our organization and provide more resources, and improves our ability to invest in new technologies and services for our clients – which are hard things to do for a small company,” says Jones. “I think the consolidations and mergers here are helping to drive change in the industry.”