Brent Franklin Interview with Your Security Adviser
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Brent Franklin, President and founder of Unlimited Technology, Inc. just before he was getting ready to jet off to meet with clients. I have known Brent Franklin for years and had the opportunity to work with him at Unlimited Technology. I remember one of the first things he told me was it’s important to work hard, but you have to have some laughs along the journey. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.
Working with Brent Franklin was one of the best experiences I ever had as a professional. After working in higher education for over 15 years, it was time for a change. My colleagues were quick to let me know I was going to the Dark Side, but for me, it was just another challenge and an opportunity to learn more about sales and physical security integration.
Brent and his team quickly took me under their wings and in no time I was meeting with clients, walking sites, engineering systems, and putting proposals together. Brent and I have remained close friends ever since I left Unlimited Technology.
So, before Brent has to run for his next flight, let’s get right into the questions.
YSA: Did you see anything at ISC West, which got you excited about the direction the physical security industry is moving?
Brent: I saw 1/3 more people than last year, and the place was a buzz. I think the economy is coming back, and more people attended the show this year. I did not see anything innovative or blistering to get my arms around but of course, video is everywhere, and you need a Ph.D. to understand all the nuances the manufacturers tout of the new marvels in video technologies. All in all, they are on the same technology and who can get it out faster and cheaper. Lot’s of talk about mergers and acquisitions and what is going to be the next shoe to fall. Speculation and discussions were everywhere.
YSA: What do see as the obstacles (challenges) facing the securing of our countries critical infrastructure?
Brent: There is a lot to protect and how do we define secure? CFATS floundered leaving everyone with a bad taste in their mouth, and now the energy sector has CIP regulations abounding and all the security companies trying to get their piece of it. All in all the ball is moving slowly up the hill and energy, and Petro-chem continues to aspire to meet the regulations as best they can. I don’t think these industries will ever be at the same level and point leaving some pick point to being unsecured and vulnerable to the attackers should they decide to do so.
YSA: Can you give a brief overview of the process Unlimited Technology utilizes in assisting clients with protecting their critical infrastructure facility?
Brent: We always try and understand the regulations, our customer’s assets, the site vulnerabilities, and then provide a budget-minded approach to securing the client’s assets. We don’t ever do a one size fits all approach, and we always have the customer’s best interest in mind while formulating a solution to make them compliant. I will say that we have been doing this for over 15 years and all our client sites we have installed systems are still running and protecting the assets. There is the maintenance of course, and some upgrades have occurred to the electronics as they fail, but we have had an excellent track record of dependability and duration of the systems. Our clients are extremely satisfied with the system, design and methods we deploy to maintain the systems.
YSA: You and I have been in the security business for a long time, given your experience and expertise what advice or recommendations would give young security professionals?
Brent: Run, kidding of course. It is a changing industry, and there are a lot of new people and companies getting into it. The industry is evolving and needs new blood and thinking into it. The older generations are getting out in the next 5-8 years, and new blood is needed. Learn the industry and learn the technology and add your flare
YSA: Looking into your crystal ball, what challenges lie ahead for security over the next 5-10 years?
Brent: The challenges are enormous, and we are seeing them happen now. They range from Chinese products flooding the market at crazy prices to manufacturers selling direct to end users. Distribution is being purchased by larger ones and melded into the group. Large manufacturers are merging and acquiring similar or sought after vertical business. I don’t know where it will end but when the dust settles the integrator will be bruised up and better have a good plan to be standing and have a sustainable model that will allow them not to be so reliant on the “box sales”.
YSA: What does the future hold for Unlimited Technology, Inc and Brent Franklin?
Brent: Interesting question. I referred to the older generation above and yes I am one of them I guess. I love what I do and enjoy sales and the customer interaction. I love being a part of this vibrant and ever-changing industry and don’t see me leaving it anytime soon. I believe that Unlimited is changing the way clients think about the physical security industry and are more dependent and trusting when they have a reliable partner. Moving forward our goal is to provide new offerings to keep the industry a buzz, and I am excited to see what we can do to make an even bigger name and splash in the physical security industry.
Brent, it was nice catching up, safe travels and don’t forget to find time for a good laugh.
Brent Franklin, President
Brent has logged over 25 years of lock and security industry experience and is President of Unlimited Technology. He is self-taught in the areas of locksmith and electronic security. He attended Delaware County Community College, concentrating on a degree in Criminal Justice at the same time spent 16 years as a firefighter and EMT. Brent began developing his career path by managing and designing life safety and security systems for Shared Medical Systems (now Siemens Medical) of Malvern, PA. He managed the physical security as well as the first access system (Rusco) installed in the region under his direction. He then pursued the physical side by becoming a locksmith and started hands on with electronics while maintaining his status as a Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL-ALOA). 1989 marked the inception of Unlimited Lock and Emergency Lighting, the predecessor to Unlimited Technology. In 1999, Unlimited Technology was incorporated in response to the growing demands of the electronic business. His leadership and vision have helped to create a company which holds an excellent reputation for delivering quality in every aspect of business. Brent perpetually has his eye on new technology, emerging trends in security and unique opportunities which benefit the company and its growing customer base.