Intelligent Security Solutions: '5 Minutes With' Brent Duncan from Interface Security Systems
We're joined today by Brent Duncan of Interface Security Systems to talk about what's new at the company, and how they have achieved rapid growth in the middle of a global pandemic.
SourceSecurity.com (SSC): Can you quickly introduce us to what Interface Security Systems does and the reason for your fast growth?
Brent Duncan, Interface Security Systems (BD): Sure. So Interface is a managed service provider. We are focused primarily on consumer facing distributed enterprises, so you can think of retail, restaurants, hospitality, and we're really managing all of the technology that goes into those stores short of the point of sale system. So you can think of all the physical security services, all the underlying network and cyber security services, as well as taking all the devices on the network - you know, internet of things - and aggregating all of that data to provide business insights for our customers.
SSC: I know you joined Interface in 2019 as Chief Revenue Officer, so congratulations on your recent promotion to President and CEO. Could you tell us about your journey with the company and how your role will be expanding with your new promotion?
BD: I joined Interface 18 months ago really with the goal of transforming its go-to-market organisation. Interface has a great story and hadn't done an effective job in really taking that story to market. So increasing brand awareness, product development, product innovation has been key, as well as putting in an innovative technology stack, scaling the sales team, you know, really taking the message out to market. We've had a lot of success - in 2020 we've seen our new logo customer growth grow by 165 percent, so that's a great testament to the work of the team and to the new go to market organisation. And, really with the expansion of my role, the goal is for us to really tie together this complete customer experience. So from prospect to customer, onboarding those customers, and then the full life cycle of supporting those customers - the goal is to tie that all together on one vision with our culture of fanatical customer service.
SSC: How has the pandemic actually impacted Interface and how has the company faired during this time?
BD: Interface has had lots of challenges, just like individuals, families, businesses. First and foremost in the spring our goal was to be a good partner to our customers, so that meant reaching out to them, understanding their status, what measures they were taking to deal with the changing economy, and then figuring out how we could help. From there, we sort of shifted into product innovation mode where the pandemics created a new environment - I mentioned our customers in restaurant, retail for example. So we've developed products for loan workers; we've developed products for workers who are having to move outside of the traditional format of the store, so for curb-side things like, personal protection monitoring. We've also developed some additional tools around social distancing, using AI and our integrated video systems to monitor store environments, do automated and custom voice downs for employees working in those stores, who need to enforce policy, social distancing. Overall the company has done well, and I think it's all rooted in supporting our customers and helping them weather the storm.
SSC: Beyond restaurants and retail, are there other vertical markets that need your solution? And which ones need it the most and why?
BD: I mentioned our consumer facing distributed enterprise. We've had good recent success in the cannabis space, so that looks and feels a lot like a traditional retailer but obviously it's an emerging market. We've also made a lot of effort into the banking space, so when you think of consumer banking, branch banking, obviously security is of the utmost importance. The technology that goes into those branch banks, cyber security - it's a natural fit for Interface. So those are two markets that we've been expanding into over the course of 2020.
SSC: So what's ahead for Interface Security Systems? Tell us about what excites you.
BD: I would say the future is bright for the organisation. The culture amongst our 700 plus employees is one of delivering innovative products, providing an incredible customer experience, being fanatical about customer service, and we've done a much better job in the last 18 months of taking that message out to market, and it's clearly resonating. We've seen great growth, so there's great energy in the company - I think that's reflected in the service that they're providing to our customers, and we're incredibly bullish on the future.