From Basement to Billion-Dollar Integrator
It all begins in the basement of a friend’s home in Chicago Ill., back in 2001. Like the archetypal Silicon Valley garage in which massive computer corporations started; this was the modest location where the ideas for Convergint were developed. Twenty-One years later, it is now a two billion-dollar company with over 8,500 colleagues worldwide.
So, what were the early discussions in that basement that turned a group of friends into future leaders of a globally successful security company?
“In 2001, what they did was literally sit down with an easel and put down all the things they didn’t like about large companies and all the things they did like about them, and all the things they didn’t like about small companies and all the things they did like about them,” says Brian Arnold, Fire Service Manager at Convergint. “What was Convergint going to stand for? The first thing they did was flesh that out and develop the values and beliefs. That’s what started Convergint.”
Convergint’s Values and Beliefs
The result of what they wrote on those easels became the 10 Values and Beliefs of Convergint. Before they were legally formed, before they had received one order, before they hired one colleague, their leadership established their principles.
• I am Convergint – I own my position on the team
• I am accountable for my continuous development – A better me is a better Convergint
• I have integrity – It’s what I do when no one’s watching
• I keep everyone informed – Communicate, communicate, communicate
• I make responsible decisions – Timely, educated, and cost-effective
• We expect to be our customers’ best service provider – No matter what business we are in
• We deliver results – Period
• We believe in balanced lives – Family, business, community
• We embrace a safe, inclusive, and positive work environment – Every colleague makes a difference
• We believe in fun and laughter on a daily basis – Committed to fun since 2001
Being Their Customer’s Best Service Providers
Convergint encourages their colleagues to live these values and beliefs on a daily basis, whether at home, work, or in their communities. None are more important than the other, but “We Expect To Be Our Customers’ Best Service Provider” is the cornerstone that sets the expectation of their colleagues from the day they join the company.
“We believe in fun and laughter and giving back to the community. Every year we do a ‘Convergint Day,’ where we actually close all of our offices, and we go work in the community. Here locally in Atlanta, we’ve done work for Atlanta Public Schools, where we’ve done repairs and installed cameras for the schools. We’ve done work for local food banks. We’ve packed medical supplies for other countries. So it’s a big deal.” says Arnold.
Electronic Security & Life Safety Industry Challenges
As a global systems integrator, they work alongside a global network of partners and manufacturers to design, install, and service security, fire alarm, life safety, audio-visual, and building automation solutions for their customers.
When asked about unique challenges our industry faces, Arnold answered with the following –
“A lot of trades are dying. Some people do not want to climb ladders for a living. A lot of people want to work on the technological innovation side of things, which is great. But then there is the question of who is going to install all that new innovative equipment. Additionally, there’s also knowing how things operate on old technology versus modern technology, the gap between the systems from years ago to State-of-the-Art systems of today.”
How ESA Membership Addresses Those Challenges
Convergint is constantly growing and they are currently the second-largest systems integrator out there. Convergint plans to leverage their ESA Membership to train the next generation of skilled workforce professionals. “The biggest benefit of ESA Membership for us goes back to that building a skilled workforce challenge. We had to start looking at other avenues to get our younger team members trained. And ESA fits that mold both on the security side and on the alarm technician side. ESA offers a variety of training where team members can dive into each business segment and get a little more acclimated with their specialty.” explains Arnold.
“I also think ESA Membership provides credibility to businesses in the industry. You see a badge on somebody’s shirt, or you see certification in somebody’s email signature. If you are in the business and you see that, it gives you credibility and lets people have a peace of mind that you are qualified.”
We’re pleased to have Convergint as an ESA member and look forward to the offerings they will bring to our network of security professionals.