Reliability through systems architecture experience

May 2012 IT infrastructure

The UTM Group provides integrated security and networking solutions.

The UTM Group evolved from an IT/security company in 2004 and currently has offices in South Africa, the USA and Hong Kong. It had auspicious beginnings as Armcom Security, a company founded by Anthony McLintock in 1998, the father of the UTM Group’s CEO, Kelly McLintock.

Kelly and his brother Chad took the bull by the horns and launched the UTM Group as a provider of end-to-end integrated security and networking solutions when Provicom Electronics, a division of Bidvest, bought out Armcom Security.

The company today employs 25 people in South Africa. It has a national support footprint, providing future proofed and backwards compatible turnkey security and networking solutions to the retail, pharmaceutical and educational sectors as well as for residential and commercial estates.

The total security management solution is handled by three synergistic divisions within the company: technical support, sales and monitoring. The offering includes managed surveillance, access control, time and attendance and business intelligence, all aligned with best practice technology.

The technical division is responsible for the supply, installation and project management of products and is enhanced through the strong networking and IT knowledge and the capabilities of its staff. The sales division is responsible for identifying opportunities within the vertical markets, monitoring on-site progress and functioning, and liaising with clients on-site to ensure that all parameters and expectations of a project are successfully met by the UTM team.

Kelly McLintock believes that the company’s main differentiator, in a highly competitive market, is its understanding of systems architecture and the constantly evolving technology. “It is important, when designing and implementing an integrated security solution, to ensure that the foundation of the system is appropriate for the application at hand. Without a complete understanding of the requirements and client expectations the system and technology just becomes an expensive white elephant.

“The niche expertise our employees have in the IT environment allows them to gain a comprehensive overview of the specific infrastructure requirements of the clients. With this knowledge in hand they are then able to look beyond merely surveillance needs and focus on an entire solution based on the business value chain,” McLintock says.

According to McLintock, it is critical that systems can communicate with each other seamlessly. “Unfortunately, when designing so-called integrated security solutions, not enough research is done on whether the technology used in other systems, such as fire and access control, can effectively interface with your surveillance system.

“Experience in analysing risk factors and customised needs forms the basis of our customer offering and we are able to refine policies and match the products to the overall business and security portfolio, by leveraging previous applications knowledge and experience,” added McLintock.

McLintock describes UTM as a multi-brand business. “We believe that there is no ‘one size fits all’ in this market. Or to quote Henry Ford: ‘You can have any colour you like as long as it is black’. There are many good products on the market as well as many inferior products. However, at the end of the day the success of any project hinges on the ability of a product to undertake the task at hand. A product that may be more than adequate on one application may be either overkill or inadequate for another project. The technology needs to align with the risk architecture, not vice versa.

“Security is a grudge purchase. This means that you need to be extremely thorough in your risk assessment of a client’s site in order to ensure that the system you propose for him will perform according to specification and ultimately provide him with a flawless solution that has maximised uptime and availability,” adds McLintock.

“Boxed solutions rarely perform the high-end functions of a truly integrated solution, so time should be taken to educate the client on the value of choosing a company with a solid track record and a portfolio of evidence in applying systems that are built on a strong architectural foundation,” he concluded.

For more information contact UTM Group, 0860 22 22 66, Kelly@utmgroup.co.za




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