Balancing the scales: how Open Options acquisition complements new owner ACRE
Open Options, based in Addison, Texas, provides a truly open access control architecture that will strengthen the ACRE portfolio and increase the breadth of solutions offered by the global provider of security systems.
The acquisition of Open Options is also an opportunity for ACRE to focus on growth opportunities in North America and “balance the scales a bit,” says Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, which significantly grew its reach in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the acquisition of Siemens Security Products in 2015.
“Open Options is also a company that's growing, is profitable and fits seamlessly into our vision for the access control space in which we operate,” says Grillo.
The strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States
The Open Options brand will continue to operate independently under the ACRE umbrella. Open Options CEO and Founder Steve Fisher will continue in his role as leader of the company, says Grillo. “There is a strong and competent management team in place that will continue to provide leadership going forward.”
Open Options’ open-architecture access control solutions will add value to the solutions ACRE already offers under the Vanderbilt brand. In a market that has traditionally been proprietary, the open-platform solution offered by Open Options helps deliver more opportunity to offer customers a full-scale solution based on their needs, says Grillo. In addition, due to its origin as a Texas-based company, the strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States.
Technical and financial resources
On the other hand, ACRE provides a greater level of technical and financial resources that Open Options can utilise to help them grow even faster. These resources were not as available to the company if it remained independent, Grillo notes.
ACRE’s divestiture of Mercury Security in 2017 facilitated this investment. As discussions began earlier this year, ACRE realised the potential of adding to its access control portfolio in the North American market, says Grillo. Open Options and Mercury have been "partners" for 20 years; Mercury provides hardware panels for Open Options systems.
Each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently
“The Mercury brand continues to be a strong one, so we're interested in continuing to nurture that relationship, and in fact we have become a larger and stronger partner to Mercury as ACRE,” says Grillo. “After owning Mercury for a number of years, we had the understanding of the company, the product portfolio and the partner relationships that defined it, so we were confident that the deal would be a positive one for the ACRE brand.”
Meeting customer needs
“Open Options and Vanderbilt share some customers already and we can leverage that by gaining more share of their business while providing them with a portfolio that will meet a broader set of customer needs,” says Grillo. “Where possible, we can look for synergies in channel partners that are not currently shared to provide access to both brands. This will be a benefit to Open Options, Vanderbilt and our customer base. However, importantly, each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently.”
Are there more acquisitions on the horizon for ACRE? “We're always looking for opportunities that fit into the nature of our business,” says Grillo. “Companies that have growth potential and share similar go-to-market strategies and visions for the future are of particular interest to ACRE.
"We're still operating in a highly fragmented market, so we're going to see continued consolidation in both access control and beyond, which means ACRE will be looking for the right opportunities to follow along that path.”