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Automation Unplugged

Automation Unplugged is a Facebook Live show recorded weekly with our host Ron Callis, Owner and CEO of the digital marketing agency, One Firefly. In each Automation Unplugged episode, Ron speaks with leading industry personalities and technology professionals to discuss all things business development, technology trends, and more. These interviews are designed to help our clients and members of the custom integration industry keep up-to-date with the latest news as well as learn from experts in the field.

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Watch Episode #12: an Industry Q&A Session with Greg Simmons

Buyouts, Builder Programs, and Security RMR

Watch Episode #12: an Industry Q&A Session with Greg Simmons

In this Automation Unplugged episode, Ron Callis interviewed Greg Simmons, Co-Owner and Vice President at Eagle Sentry. Eagle Sentry is the 27th largest integrator in the CEPro 100. During the interview, Ron and Greg discussed best practices regarding RMR through security monitoring, reaching out to builders, Eagle Sentry's role in the smart home design for Indy racecar driver Alex Tagliani, and the process of doing a leveraged buyout.

About Greg Simmons

Greg Simmons started in the security industry as a central station operator for Eagle Sentry in 1989. He managed the central station for two years before being promoted to sales. While attending college full time, Greg sold security systems for 5 years before performing a leveraged buyout with his business partner of Eagle Sentry in 1996. He helped build the company as business development and sales director into a full systems integration company doing over 14 million in annual sales. He still holds the same position today, as well as presiding as the Nevada Security Association President. Greg is an active member of CEDIA. Eagle Sentry is currently listed as the 27th largest integrator in the CEPro 100.

Follow Greg: Twitter | LinkedIn


Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Greg:

  • How Greg got started in the AV industry
  • His role at Eagle Sentry
  • The process of doing a leveraged buyout of Eagle Sentry's existing ownership
  • Security RMR
  • Builder programs
  • The smart home design for Indy racecar driver Alex Tagliani
  • What's coming up at CEDIA

Transcript:


Ron:  Hello everyone. Ron Callis here with One Firefly for another episode of Automation Unplugged. Today is what is today? Today's Wednesday August 9th. It's 12:45 p.m. here on the East Coast. Getting started a little bit later than desired had a few technical problems as happened on occasion when you're recording live. But we got through it and we're here now and I'm very excited to bring you folks my guest a longtime friend and customer of One Firefly and really a leading figure in our industry both the home automation industry or the custom integration space as well as the security industry. And that is Greg Simmons from Eagle Sentry. How are you doing Greg?

Greg: Great Ron. Thanks for having me today.

Ron:  I appreciate you taking time and for everyone out there. Appreciate you watching. And please share this content. I have to get that out of the way Greg and I was just reading the some of the comments or the notes that we were going to put on the Facebook stream as far as the description. And of course we got into a quick debate on whether it's Las Vegas Nevada or Nevada. And Greg what's the right answer?

Greg: Absolutely NEVADA.

Ron:  NEVADA. Is that right Nevada?

Greg: It is definitely Nevada.

Ron:  So there's no debate is that what that is?

Greg: No debate.

Ron:  No debate. All right. Well if Greg says it there it is. All right. So Greg thank you very kindly for taking some time out of your busy day. I'm excited to have you on. And let's jump right into it. We're going to explore a little bit about your background. Let's talk about your business and kind of the long vision with you looking forward what you see coming down the road for our space. But before we we go there. Can you tell my audience just a little bit about yourself? How did you get started in the automation and the security space? What brought you into it?

Greg: It's a pretty interesting story. It started a long time ago in1989 I think January of 1989 to be exact. I was an incoming freshman at UNOV. And I needed a part-time job. And one of my fraternity brothers had told me about this small security company that was starting to monitor accounts in Las Vegas actually not far from campus. I went in and I interviewed I was the very first person they interviewed to start this central station. They only had about 70 accounts, Eagle Sentry only had about 70 accounts. Someone else, a guard service was monitoring those few accounts at the beginning it was back when you actually had a receiver with roll tape. So yeah I'm kind of dating myself but I came in spoke to the owner and he liked I think what I was hopefully gonna bring to the table for him and he hired me not only as the first central station operator but he said listen if you could fill this with your fraternity brothers 24/7 I'll make you the manager. I got out of the meeting called my dad. I said well I got a job. The first one I tried for and I go. Believe it or not I'm the manager and my dad said that company is in serious trouble now.

Ron:  What does that mean that you were brought in to run this monitoring station? I'm not familiar with that lingo. Can you help me out and help folks watching. What does that mean?

Greg: Yeah. So you know from a traditional security standpoint, traditional security company standpoint you need to monitor these accounts 24/7. We were just getting into starting the Central Station. And keep in mind we were competing with companies like ADT and a very large local company in Las Vegas called Alarmco. And our goal was to really gain the accounts through the build relationships which I'm sure we'll talk about but the fact is we had to have that thing up and running 24/7 and it was my responsibility to hire the people get the equipment set up and get it started. And with the help of the two owners we did that and we did it successfully. We were able to staff it strangely enough with my fraternity brothers. Bit scary but it did work. They strangely enough you know they basically referred to it as Sigma Chi Sentry for a while because we were basically responsible for the safety and security of our clients. But it was a good group of guys. And we did it. We did a good job and we built a ton of accounts and then I guess we can talk a little bit more how it progressed from there but that's where it started. And it was in the times where literally you had a pull card for the account and you had a roll tape coming in with the phone signal telling you what account it was the pull card had to be pulled out to let you know what zone was going on and what the corresponding zone was. So it was pretty remedial but that's the way it was done back in the day. And we did it successfully and we took great care of our customer base.

Ron:  How did you transition from there? I know you transitioned at some point from that role. Did it go directly into sales because then you further , you and I were chatting and there was a buy out at some point. How did that progression happen?

Greg: So the progression from there , I was in the central station for about a year. Got it up and running, it was running smoothly and I had the opportunity just really as a between my sophomore and junior year of college to go into sales. The owner did want me to do a few other things I went into the field. I learned about project management. Our company was solely built on builder contracts. We were one of the first companies in the country to actually go after the developer and the builder. So when we signed a contract, it wasn't signing one client up in a couple of cases in our business it was signing 1600 houses and customers up and what we did was we established the contract with the builder, put a security system in every house, and the monitoring was paid through the homeowner's association. So in several cases we were getting one check from the homeowner's association. They were charging through the homeowner's association fees and part of that was the monitoring for us.

Ron:  Wow. Well I definitely want to dive into more on the builder subject. I know there's a lot of people that you've piqued their interest. And we do have some folks watching so if you're out there thank you for watching. And if you have questions for Greg please don't be shy. Type in the questions into the comments section there on Facebook and we'll get those over to Greg real time. And if you are out there please share this feed. It's a lot of folks in the industry that would benefit from hearing from Greg's wisdom. So please do that. Greg tell us today at Eagle Sentry, what is your role in the company I mean what's a normal day in the business look like for you?

Greg: So let me just finish up with this story of how it transitioned, I went into sales and I was handling multiple builder accounts. My now business partner Ray Latta sic handled most of the other accounts. So between the two of us we were handling most of the sales bringing on new builders. So really I was also in charge of business development. We both were. And building these accounts. So in 1996, we performed a leveraged buyout. The way it worked was the accounts which we had built 16,000 accounts in just seven years which for anybody who knows about RMR it was substantial. I'll just say that you know the company sold in the multi-millions of dollars.

Ron:  Did you sell out at that point or? I mean at that point you're worth a nice multiple of seven thousand accounts. My goodness.

Greg: Well I was we weren't we were not owners at the time. So up until 1996 , we were building the accounts. We had a gentlemen's agreement which you know in this day and age is kind of crazy but we had a gentlemen's agreement with the owners that when they sold these accounts which we knew that's what they were building to do back in those days. Each account was selling for about a thirty-six multiple. So just take that multiple for what that account would bring in a year and multiply that. I'm sorry in a month and multiply that time 36 to 38 times what each account was worth. So they sold the accounts but at that time they were gonna get out. But we had all these builder clients and all this ongoing business and they really had interest in keeping that going. I mean it would have been you know it kind of would have got to the point we'd have to move out of town because you know all of a sudden you're not taking care of all these customers. So my business partner Ray and I , we negotiated a deal where the little money we got which was very small from that those alarm sales. They honored their Gentlemen's Agreement which was fantastic for us. I was only 28 at the time. We used that money to you know basically for working capital and they held a loan for us at about 50 cents on the dollar for all the equipment and everything else in the office because they were instant millionaires and weren't overly concerned about the rest of the stuff. So we took it from there. We had a non compete in gaming surveillance which was a big part of what we were doing we did a lot of cameras for the casinos but we then got into the audiovisual business and we started doing more than just security, central vacuum systems and intercom systems which is basically all we did at the time. So we continued doing business with the builders. We had enough working capital moving forward but we had to now start rebuilding that recurring revenue base from scratch. The big issue was whether the company was viable without all that recurring revenue. And we were able to prove that it was.

Ron:  So from 1996 when you did that leveraged buyout deal, your account went from 7,000 in RMR back to zero and you've since had 20 years to build that back more than 20 years now. Where, is that public information? Can you share where you're at now?

Greg: It's not. We have thousands of customers but you know things also changed a little bit that all those huge communities that we're being built are being built. We hit the boom at the right time. So for a while , we had to be, Protection One bought the accounts from the previous owners. So we became beholden to Protection One for a while. We were a Protection One dealer. We actually had to buy the name back of Eagle Sentry from them. Ray and I did that by selling our accounts to them for several years. So we haven't been generating our own recurring revenue since then. But in about 2000 we started building up again. So it was much at a much slower clip but we did have continued housing boom that helped tremendously. And we've been building accounts ever since.

Ron:  Now your idea back then to go after the builder and you had stated that was not common practice. Whose idea was that and who were you looking at in terms of modeling that business model in that structure? I mean if that was ahead of its time where did that knowledge or insight come from?

Greg: The previous owner the guy that founded the company. He just kind of said you know really why are we going to go out and compete after the fact. If we go to the builder and he had a relationship with one of the biggest builders in the valley. That builder said to him listen you know I'd rather just have you pre-wiring for everything. We understand the importance of security. We understand the importance of at least a pre-wire in every house and that's how it started. And then what we realized was we basically were eliminating the competition. It was done. We had the contract. It was built in and in a lot of cases the monitoring was already built and so we sort of blindsided the larger companies that were used to marketing and advertising to the client after the fact. And it was significant.

Ron:  So today, it's fair to say your revenues are published. I know that you guys made the most recent CE Pro 100 list at 27. What were the published revenues for Eagle Sentry?

Greg: Well , the published revenues were about 8.4 and we're tracking to actually over 10 million this year.

Ron:  10 million. And so that's comprised of a component coming from RMR and a component coming from your customer integration work. Is that accurate?

Greg: That's accurate.

Ron:  Now that I'm speaking from One Firefly's experience as well that RMR really changes everything when you have that stable cash coming in, in addition to the fixed price work of CI business. I mean would you agree that's a pretty fantastic thing to have for a business?

Greg: It completely changes the dynamic in especially in the CEDIA world. If you have this RMR, the security you know part of it is it's dramatically different. I mean it puts you in such a power position over your competitors basically you know after we took over and started building accounts again we got back to the point where you basically wake up in the morning and the expenses are covered. So I make that sound easy and I totally understand the struggles that the CEDIA channels had. You know the problem with security is it's become extremely competitive. A lot of companies have driven the revenue to the bottom driven what they're charging for components and products plus the DIY element. So when people say to me listen Greg we're trying to give the security division going but it's a struggle. I get it. The thing we had was we had volume . At Eagle Sentry's peak in about 2007/2008 before the housing market crashed. We were wiring 4900 houses a year. So the volume was there to be able to build a good recurring revenue base. Not saying that we were selling obviously recurring revenue to all of those houses but a portion of those and a lot of the traditional companies the licensing in your state is challenging your insurance skyrockets because now you're security. There are a lot of drawbacks but we're now as an industry working on other forms of recurring revenue. I'm extremely excited about some of the things we're hearing this year and we're going to hear into next year.

Ron:  And can you can you go into more detail? I mean that's where I wanted to take it is that there's the angle of security and security monitoring and I'd love to hear your high level. What does an integrator need to do. I know state licensing is different. I believe around the country so maybe it's just at a high level. What does an integrator need to do to start exploring that path of recurring revenue and then these other paths which would be I'm assuming you're thinking of more of the service or maintenance contract side angle for integrators. I'd love to hear you talk about your experiences or your position on that as well.

Greg: Correct. Obviously the security recurring revenue is still king. The reason it's king is because on the open market those accounts have value and people were consistently signing them up for a period of multiple years. Right. Some of the experts on the security side say that they'd like to see a five year contract. We traditionally do a three year contract. But in this day and age with the you know the service providers and everybody talking about month to month and no contract it's a battle. So they are still very valuable right now. Anybody who has security contracts that are properly signed in a market that you know has what they consider quality accounts they generally look at the base price of houses and kind of what market you're in to determine the quality of those accounts. But if they determine right now that those accounts are quality they will pay you a 40 multiple. So in some cases if you're charging thirty five dollars a month you know you're talking about accounts that are worth twelve thirteen fourteen hundred dollars a piece and because they've been doing it for so long people sometimes sell and finish those transactions in a matter of days. So the challenge we have in the CEDIA side, if you have some volume and if you're licensing issues in your particular state or the challenge is to get licensed are not that bad and really your insurance company understands that you're still first and foremost in the CEDIA channel and you don't have an insurance element. Security is highly recommended to pursue and there's a ton of us pursuing it. You know it's multiplied dramatically over the years and a lot of people have called and asked us here at Eagle Sentry you know how do you do it. And we've helped a lot of people and some people are doing it extremely successful. So they've basically been building up what could be a great retirement which in our businesses it's sometimes hard to do. The problem you have with maintenance contracts is maintenance contracts really have no value on the open market. It's not like you can just transfer that to another Central Station, a maintenance contract means someone locally there has to go out and clean those cameras four times a year or whatever it might be. So there's very little value except to the owner if there's profit in that maintenance contract. The recurring revenue that we're all pursuing obviously on the service side and to be able to monitor the network and to be able to monitor the components in the system that's coming and I think we're going to be very successful at that. The issue is how do we create value there. Value for the accounts outside of just the recurring revenue it's generating. So I think the industry is working on that. I think we're in the security world, taking note and I hope that we over the next several years can figure out how CEDIA world's, CEDIA channel owners can also be able to secure our retirement and have something to sell. And I'm very excited about it.

Ron:  So that's an interesting perspective regarding the premise of putting the technologies and or the software in place that I know a lot of the CI space is trying to do right now. You know companies like Domotz and Ihiji they have products and software that allow an integrator to go and monitor the devices in the home and make sure they're stable and online and so they from your perspective they can go in and do that and get an RMR stream going which is really strong for the business to have that stable cash flow. But in terms of that then , the next step being valuable on the marketplace where someone would say Great you've got one hundred accounts on a service or a monitoring plan. There's no buyers for that yet. Is that what you're saying? So where as security there's clearly a proven multi decade market of a lot of acquisitions going on there on the service and maintenance contract that precedent is not in place.

Greg: That's correct. I mean really where the value would come is somebody internally or somebody looking to buy that company. It actually has value because one , it's going to increase the net profitability of that individual company and someone looking to buy that company. The reason a lot of people don't want to just come in and buy your audiovisual integration company is because they see it as buying small trucks and they see it as you know taking on almost liability in some cases. So if we can show more profitability one it just becomes more attractive to someone who wants to buy that business plus if they're looking at buying the business and then building on that recurring revenue is there, those contracts are signed and that buyer. I think it's going to bring way more buyers to the table in our industry like maybe businesses that have that now because of that recurring revenue even if it's not valuable on the open market. It's extremely valuable to that business by itself. And I think that's super important because right now when we try to sell the business as we're retiring whatever it might be, very challenging but with a recurring revenue base we've built up they're going to pay you for that. And there might be an opportunity where we could get to the levels that security's paying because I think where it's moving is as security goes to DIY and the prices come down. What we're gonna do on our side is going to be very new. We have to create value to the customer and then which a lot of these people are creating products that allow us to do that, create value for the customer, that the customer is willing to stay and continue to pay those recurring revenue fees over time. That's where you start to see the value a lot. What happened when in the security world is once you had a monitored security system even if you don't even turn your alarm on which a lot of our customers don't. It's a peace of mind thing and they're willing to pay for it because of that one time they might need it or the two times a year they go on vacation they're willing to pay. We need to work as an industry to show value in these other things we can do and to be able to have them continue to pay.

Ron:  Do you mind sharing with our audience, what some of the products or technologies that you're looking at that are assisting or aiding your ability to offer maintenance contracts or service contracts to clients from a technology monitoring standpoint?

Greg: Well I mean a lot of us in the industry know the products are out there. There are multiple companies that are doing it. I believe probably multiple companies you know that are coming and I think what you have to do is you have to figure out which of those products whatever it might be fits within to your ecosystem. And you know the people that are developing strong platforms I think it's very important that you choose what you're comfortable with. I'm not really here to talk specific products necessarily.

Ron:  You can't knock me for trying to get you to name drop. I don't want to upset any vendors or manufacturers.

Greg: Let's just say that there's a lot of great companies in our industry that are doing great things and I really think people need to attend this year and I think people really need to pay attention because there's already been some announced but you're going to see a surge there. I think we've been talking about it for years and I think it's coming and I feel good about the industry and listen we get right back down to it. The recurring revenue, I'll just throw out a number at you, I think we were bringing in before they sold those accounts almost four hundred and forty thousand dollars a month. The costs were 75 grand. I mean these guys were in their late 20s early 30s. We can recreate that and we can do that in this industry because we're going to have a captive audience with a new service that isn't doesn't have juggernauts in it yet. They will be. And I think we all need to pay attention to that.

Ron:  I think that you know about something the rest of us don't know about. Is there some stuff around the corner maybe that Greg's been tipped off to? I saw a little smile there.

Greg: I just, a lot of people are working on good things. And yeah I think we're all going to learn about those. But I have nothing to talk about in specifics.

Ron:  Well what are you speaking about CEDIA. CEDIA is around the corner. It's August 9th today and CEDIA is September 5th there in San Diego, it's biggest event of the year for us at One Firefly it's our biggest marketing and promotional spend and great time to hang out with our clients and future clients. So I know I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be my 18th show officially in a row. So for you Greg , what are some of the you've mentioned some of the monitoring technologies that you that you are currently using or you're looking to forward to hearing more about at the show. What are some of the other vendors or topics that you are looking forward to being talked about or presented at. Anything that's top of mind that you wouldn't mind sharing?

Greg: Yes. So I think from my personal standpoint and I think what our company is looking forward to I believe we're gonna see some announcements. You know if you look at what's happened with acquisitions just in this last year just since the last CEDIA I mean it's crazy. And I think we have to pay attention to what the bigger picture of these larger corporations that are getting into our business. I mean look at the presence last year we have to pay attention to Amazon. We have to pay attention to all of these entities. We have to pay attention to what Apple is doing and they understand the importance of our industry. So I'm really looking first and foremost to see how these people that have recently become interested in our business are looking at the way I believe they're going to they might be responsible for molding it. So I think we need to pay attention to the big players. We need to look at what's happening with these acquisitions and because I think it's gonna affect us all.

Ron:  I agree and it's great to always look forward and keep your eyes wide open. Jumping just, I'll just keep you on here for another couple of minutes. Greg I appreciate you being very generous with your time. I know you're a very busy man.

Greg: No problem.

Ron:  You are a member of a buying group. You're a member of Pro Source.

Greg: That is correct.

Ron:  And can you share with the audience here why you think a buying group is something to be considered or that integrators should look at and maybe what type of integrator should look at a buying group and what's the reason you decided to focus on Pro Source?

Greg: So strangely enough we fought the buying groups for years. Like during the boom years I kind of look back and I kick myself a bit because I think of what could have been. In regards to savings and maybe learning together as a group so I thought it was actually the recession that caused us and almost forced me to look at other ways to save and to become more efficient. And I met with the Pro Source rep I had heard good things I knew at that time if there were kind of a let's say a juggernaut for a particular buying group in your market you really didn't. In some cases you didn't have the opportunity to join that buying group. So I looked at the buying groups that were available and I met the rep from Pro Source, guy Chad Evans. Anybody knows, tell Chad he's an amazing guy and he laid it out to me and we looked at the products that we were currently selling and we talked about the potential savings. We talked about the educational things and it was the right fit for me. When I met the powers that be a t Pro Source and I saw the companies that were members I'll be honest with you. A lot of the Pro Source member companies a lot of these people are some of my best friends now. It's a little bit more than just a buying group. It's an educational thing but it's really synergistic in the way we both learn from each other. The best thing I ever did in business by far and I think you need to see where your products align or if there's adjustments you can make. But the real good thing is to meet people and to talk to the people that are responsible and I think you'll find the group that works for you but Pro Source being the largest buying group gives us power real power as a group. It gave us the capability to make money selling televisions , video again which at the time was was almost non-existent and I just can't tell you the camaraderie that I built with those people but it was the right choice.

Ron:  All right. Appreciate that too. Two closing questions. One is for that business that integrator out there that's maybe a three to five-man shop maybe they're around three-quarter of a million two million bucks in revenue. What's your advice and maybe they're just a couple of you know maybe three to five years into the business. What's your advice to them to help them that you wish someone had told you when you started? What advice would you give them?

Greg: You know I had the advantage that we took over a business that was doing well that had become a little bit of a brand. So it's one of those questions that you know has eluded me a bit because we didn't struggle I think like some people might starting off. I think that we're in a competitive world. I would say that one look at what recurring revenue sources you can start out with. Look it how because it can make you a lot more powerful. Look to and props to you but One Firefly built us a great website and a social media presence. And it's been very helpful. But I think you have to be very careful in your expenses. A lot of companies over the years have built too big a showroom. And you know you have to think about what you're willing to spend you have to try to balance it out. A lot of people will make a mistake of making too large an investment. You have to think about even if I get to this net profitability I don't want to start something that's going to take me 8 or 12 years just to start becoming profitable. So I think there has to be a balance and really the way to do that is to come to these events. You've got to be at CEDIA. I believe that you know once you get into a certain level the Total Tech Summit. I believe that these groups the buying groups especially are where your peers that have been through it. And you know some things are regional. Right we're in the southwest. So things are done a little differently here maybe in the northeast or the southeast. And learning from others is the best anything you can do to learn. You may have that moment that prevents you from making a mistake.

Ron:  I second that. I think it's a great perspective to give and that is leverage your peers leverage that there are peers, you're not the only one out here fighting this battle. There's people that come before you pass cell phone in a space where you can learn from them. Be humble , check your ego, and don't be afraid to ask questions. That would be my addition to your answer. One last thing. Greg you had this really cool project. I know I followed it on CE Pro this Alex Tagliani I might be saying his name right. Alex Tagliani project and you actually introduced me to this guy's a racecar driver a year or two ago. I don't remember exactly. Maybe at a Pro Source event you introduced me to him. And anyway there's a famous race car driver super cool guy. Watch your Facebook feed. You're always out hanging out with him around the country around North America. Different races and you designed and I believe installed the technology in his home and you fully documented it for CE Pro can you Why did you do that? What were you hoping because you're bringing that at least from what I did see to the trade. You're bringing that project to the trade. What was your ambition there in terms of sharing that experience with everyone?

Greg: Well two fold. So one of the things that happened early on here in Las Vegas is a lot of professional athletes are moving here because of the no state tax. You know the big joke was the two attractive places. No state tax. No offense to anybody else out there but we're Florida and Nevada and we were seeing this influx. I had a very close friend who was a world champion his name was Jimmy Vasser who lived here in Vegas and we did his home and then I met a lot of the other race car drivers that were moving to Nevada. Again we built this amazing super speedway here and a lot of the race car drivers were moving here. So I did Paul Tracy's house I did Patrick Harpontay's house. Jimmy Master's House and then Alex Tagliani's. A couple of houses for him here. We became very close friends. So really the article was more about one I was helping him out which I've always done. We were always his technology provider and I can't take credit for the actual install. OK. There is a great company called Home Sync in Montreal Quebec Canada that did the install they absolutely flawlessly installed the large home Adobe Atmos home theater that we designed. But they with our discussions they designed most of the rest of the system and it was kind of a neat partnership. We did the same thing for Chris Letang from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Similar thing it was on the cover of CE Pro and I helped design the whole thing. But a great company, crossing borders and doing installs is very challenging. So you have to have good partnerships but really it's about how communication if you can communicate and have a job come out as well as these jobs did in another country you can really really provide good communication within your own market. And I think you learn a lot from that. So yes there is a personal, I love marketing and I love to have articles and things to share with our customers. And so the selfish part is that Eagle Sentry gets credit for these jobs and it's good PR.

Ron:  It's great PR.

Greg: Yeah but they have to go well I fortunately got to go up and see both of these homes and I just was at Alex's house a few weeks ago and the theater is amazing. I believe it's coming out in the September October issue of CE Pro and the heart you know in the magazine. And you'll be able to read more about the whole story. But he's an excellent friend and it was really great working on the project with him and his wife.

Ron:  Well I'll speak on behalf of the industry and everyone watching. Thank you for sharing that project and that experience and I think we all learned a lot from it and appreciate it. Or at least enjoyed watching the project come full circle and seeing Alex the homeowner on camera talking about wire and cables and speakers I got a kick out of that. That was pretty cool.

Greg: He's a character and it's a different perspective and I think it's a perspective that we all need to see. We need to understand what's in the minds of these clients and I think when you put them on camera like that they almost describe and tell you things that maybe they were thinking but never really talked to about when you did the job. So it was an interesting perspective and it was a learning experience for everybody and the end result is this amazing system. And the theater is great. You'll see the photos but has all of his racing uniforms over all the years the pole position stuff at the Indy 500 and all the helmets all on mannequins around the entire perimeter of the theater. And the photos will be spectacular.

Ron:  Wow. I can't wait to see that. Well Greg we are going to wrap this up sir. We've been on for about thirty eight minutes. Just run a couple of minutes over. But again thank you again Greg for sharing with our audience and I look forward to seeing you in person here in a few weeks out in San Diego.

Greg: That's right Ron. Thanks I'll look forward to seeing you there and thanks to everybody for taking a little time out.

Ron:  Awesome. Well gang thanks again for watching another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is Ron Callis with One Firefly signing off and I look forward to seeing you on the flip side. We'll see you next week with our next episode. Thanks again for watching everyone.

Show Notes

Greg Simmons's first role with Eagle Sentry was as central station operator in 1989. He managed the central station for two years before being promoted to sales. While attending college full time, Greg sold security systems for 5 years before performing a leveraged buyout with his business partner of Eagle Sentry in 1996. He helped build the company as business development and sales director into a full systems integration company doing over 14 million in annual sales. He still holds the same position today, as well as presiding as the Nevada Security Association President and an active member of CEDIA.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and Links from the Interview:

You can also learn more about Eagle Sentry at https://www.eaglesentry.com/ Be sure to follow them on Facebook.

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