Security Business

MAR 2014

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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58 www.SecurityInfoWatch.com | SD&I | March 2014 People who are jazzed by A3's culture love what they do and how it all comes together. "In a word, our people are 'passionate' about their jobs," Thomas says. He adds 'competi- tive' and 'prideful' to his list. "What separates us is the fact we are not just a networking company," Thomas says. "We are not just AV, or physical security, or cabling, or virtualization — we are able to offer to serve all of an enterprise's technical needs under one umbrella." What business would not be charmed by a company that has done away with the blame game when a system has a hiccup? For A3's customers, there is only one team to deal with and that team is dedicated to fixing problems. "It does away with the finger- pointing," Thomas says. More Growth Coming Over the next five years, Thomas says that he would like to see A3 expand its national footprint and go beyond the Southeastern regional market. Make no mistake: the Southeast has been good to A3. A couple of years ago, it opened an office in Atlanta. Business boomed — again, following the template of success established in South Carolina with offices in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston. The Atlanta office grew 200 percent in its first years, and it is where Thomas is based. "We treat expansion almost like creating a franchise," Thomas says. "We want to be a national integrator and I believe we can do that." North Carolina became the next growth target. In addition to geographic expansion, A3 is broadening its market footprint while always staying true to its enterprise, govern- ment and education foundation. A typical growth pattern for A3 can be seen in the financial market. Several years ago, it got a contract from a regional bank in South Carolina. Things went well and they began talking to other banks in state. Soon, they found themselves serving some major banking customers. "We learn from what we do," Thomas says. Their customers learn, too. Twice in the past three years, first in 2011 and again in 2013, A3 has been named Axis Communications's Education Market Partner of the Year. "We are seeing the rise of big security systems in the education market. We've found we can do it for them," Thomas says, adding that A3 understands the purchasing process schools follow and knows how to help them work with their client bases to assure them that their money is well spent. Under Thomas' leadership, A3 was rec- ognized in April 2013 as the "17th Fastest Growing Systems Integrator" in America by SD&I for the company's exponential growth in recent years. Today, it is perched at #4. Prior to joining A3, Thomas held various sales and management roles in the telecommuni- cations and mortgage industries throughout Atlanta. He is also an Honor Graduate of the United States Marine Corps and served as an M1A1 Tank Crewman before his medical discharge in 2000. From computers to IP, from security to accounting, Thomas speaks the language of success in the security business. ❚ Curt Harler is a technology writer and regular contributor to SD&I magazine. For more information on the Fast50, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/sdifast50. A CLOSER LOOK COMPANY: A3 Communications, Inc. WEB: www.a3communications.com HQ: Irmo, S.C. PRINCIPALS: Brian Thomas, president; F. Joseph Thomas, CEO YEAR FOUNDED: 1990 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 52 RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL SPLIT: 100 percent enterprise TOP TECHNOLOGY BRANDS SOLD/DEPLOYED: Axis, Cisco Networking and Wireless, Exacq Technologies, Video Insight, Samsung, Sony, S2 Security, Paxton Access SDI_54-59_0314 Fast50 A3.indd 58 3/5/14 1:39 PM

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