The complexity of securing a global organization becomes more and more intense as the number of locations increases, especially if those locations are in different countries. The global accounts team at Convergint Technologies helps to simplify global security integration with coverage across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Grace Li, Convergint’s Vice President of Global Accounts, Business Development & APAC, leads this global accounts group in the Asia Pacific region. Here Grace shares some of her thoughts on emerging trends and provides insight for security professionals who are looking for more answers on global accounts.
Tell us about your professional background and role at Convergint.
I have worked for Convergint for nearly 17 years, starting as the National Customer Service Manager with their subsidiary company, ICD Security Solutions. Before moving to the United States in 2008, I participated in the effort to develop APAC business and establish our footprint across Greater China, Singapore, and India. After I moved, I transitioned into establishing business development and sales operations in North America, intending to be closer to our North American customers and partners. APAC’s business is primarily focused on Fortune 1000 companies. With that being said, 95% of business in APAC is U.S.-based, with some being from European-based, global companies.
Between 2008 and 2013 I worked with all of the major security integrators in North America as a partner, including Convergint, who at that time had not yet acquired ICD. Then in November 2013, when ICD became part of Convergint, I transitioned into leading global accounts business development for Convergint.
My primary goal now is to help Convergint to acquire, develop, and manage large global accounts by working with the local Convergint Technology Centers (CTC) in the North American, Asia Pacific, and European regions.
Can you explain what qualifies a customers as a global account?
The criteria Convergint is looking for in global account includes:
- The customer is looking for a strategic and long-term partnership with Convergint.
- Convergint has the capabilities to support these customers with our established presence and resources.
- The customer is looking for standardization and consistent delivery.
- The customer values our technological expertise and professional engineering services.
How do you coordinate teams across a global company?
To tackle global customers, it’s important to recognize that it takes a team effort. This includes the global accounts team, other strategic initiatives teams, and most importantly our local CTC teams.
Depending on the account and business size, we do quarterly, monthly, or even weekly meetings to make sure we keep everyone informed and synced in both strategy and plan. We also use various tools to manage projects and services, and stay in constant communications, which help the team become more effective and efficient.
How do you balance each customer’s unique needs?
Every global account has unique challenges, though there are some common ones. We must learn how to manage different needs with each customer. It takes time and extra effort to understand the organization’s expectations and relationships. The challenge is always in communication and cooperation.
We answer the question of how Convergint can bring additional value to the global customer as a service provider. We get to know the organization very well and make sure we have a deep understanding of what they expect from Convergint, who the stakeholders are, and how the organization is structured.
As a global service provider, we have three layers of structure to support the customer. At the top layer, at the corporate level of the customer, we work very closely with the global security team, as well as other teams who may have an impact. Within the second layer, at the regional level, we have regional account executives in Europe, APAC, and North America working together to manage the account relationship and activity in each region. The third layer is the local level, and that could mean in various countries or down to the site. We understand that only after we satisfy the customer on all three layers can we truly provide added value and support for overall success. Our goal remains the same, to support our customers to become more successful in their organizations.
With all the customers that you are working with, do you see any trends favored by global customers in particular?
In today’s security market, new and innovative technology is extremely valuable. Every year new products come out at trade shows to address a challenge our customers face.
Two key differentiators for Convergint are our advanced solutions team, offering a consultative approach to producing business outcomes for our clients, and then the professional services we bring to our customers, which is the very core of how we do business. We constantly evolve our vision, understanding, and resources to develop new offerings to support new challenges within security. Those differentiators are highly appreciated by our global customers and are necessary to take the leading position in this industry.
What makes Convergint the best choice for a global company?
I truly think that Convergint’s Values & Beliefs are something we live by every day, and that being our customers’ best service provider is our goal in everything we do. If we continue to keep this mission clear in our minds, and support it with a strong execution, our ability to support global accounts is unmatched, and our future is unlimited.