October 4, 2018

At PSA, we believe our integrators are the most innovative, advanced, and effective in the electronic security industry. To recognize these exceptional qualities, we bring PSA integrators to the stage each month and introduce them to the PSA community.

Northland Controls designs, installs, manages and harmonizes physical security systems across the world. The company has successfully executed thousands of projects for the world’s most demanding organizations—especially those grappling with rapid growth. The company has two offices in the Silicon Valley, as well as offices in London, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangalore, New York, and Washington, DC.

Opening Northland Headquarters Office

Opening Northland Controls Headquarter Office

How long has Northland Controls been in business?
Northland Controls (“Northland”) has been a California Bay Area security system integrator for 30+ years. However, it became a more well known, design-build focused, integrator when Pierre Trapanese purchased the company 12 years ago. At that point, Northland made its entrance onto the world stage with offices in California, Washington DC, Singapore, China, India, Shanghai and London. It has expanded to include the world’s largest commercial global security operations center as a service (“GSOC aaS”) that monitors more than 350,000 employees across 400 sites in 20 countries, and a professional services division that provides everything from security systems audits and maintenance to performance improvements to compliance assessments.

How is Northland active with PSA?
Northland is extremely participative with PSA. Currently, our COO, Paul Thomas, is the Chairman of the Board. We actively participate in three of the committees and have Northland representatives on those committees. We send a large contingent of employees to PSA TEC each year where we focus on the CSPM offerings for our Projects Managers, certification courses for our technicians and cybersecurity initiatives for our IT Team. We also do the majority of our product purchasing through PSA.

We are active participants in the National Deployment Program (“NDP”) and have used that network to find partners across the United States. We have 125+ partners globally and are continuously looking for new opportunities to partner on projects throughout the world. PSA’s support has allowed us to successfully execute projects in 80+ countries last year.

Those that enter the industry with some drive, ambition, and a willingness to learn are typically rewarded with great career paths and growth opportunities.

To date, what has been the most unique or interesting job Norhtland has been a part of? 
We have a wonderful customer base around the world that challenges us every day. However, the most interesting and unique project to date at Northland has been the opportunity to work on one of the largest new corporate headquarters in the country. This project has been watched around the world and in progress for (4) years now. It was designed by an international celebrity architect, and we are close to wrapping it up. It has challenged us in all facets of our company and has been a very rewarding experience. The unique design of the building at the significant amount of attention the building has received challenges us every day to work better, smarter and harder to please all of our customers.

Shad McPheters, General Manager, Americas, PSA Leadership Committee

What market or application does Northland work within?
We work in many markets including high tech, banking, higher education, government, entertainment, and healthcare. However, the company was built around high tech customers with enterprise systems in Northern California and the charge to follow their footprint all over the world doing their security system project management, application engineering, design, installation and commissioning works. So, it would only seem right to highlight our amazing opportunities we have had in the high tech vertical market with a handful of very amazing, world-class customers.

How did Northland Controls get started in the high tech market?
For Northland, our kickstart into high tech began when our owner, Pierre Trapanese, purchased the company 12 years ago. At the time, Northland was generating 1 million dollars a year in revenue with 100+ small customers. Pierre made sure those companies were happy and then moved them on to other integrators. He then implemented his plan for pursuing high tech customers with enterprise security systems in the Silicon Valley and pursuing their global integration work. Pierre’s implementation of this vision has been very successful, growing revenues from 1 million dollars 12 years ago to 80 million dollars last year—and from a local Silicon Valley-based integrator to a truly global presence able to deliver a project anywhere in the world.

2017 Solarthon Grid Alternatives solar installation block party and fundraiser with Northland Controls team.

What are some of the biggest challenges that integrators are facing in the high tech market?
Our customers in this space are very savvy and extremely intelligent. They want to be on the cutting edge of technology and want to provide the best possible user experience they can for their employees. We put a lot of time and effort into understanding our marketplace, what technologies are available, and what the best products are to meet their specific needs.

Another challenge is finding the best people to meet our customer’s needs. We are in a time of low unemployment, and it’s hard to find good talent. However, we have implemented programs to find the best, train the best and work hard to be the best we can be with our customers and our employees. We are hiring! We are always looking for great people that want to be part of a great team.

PSA’s support has allowed us to successfully execute projects in 80+ countries last year.

What makes Northland Controls stand out in the physical security industry?
That’s a great question. We recognize that there are many good integrators in our industry that do great work. We partner with many of them at some of our largest customers and work very well with them side-by-side. Outside of those customers, we compete.

We believe that our core values and culture allow us to deliver the same consistent quality of service globally, and that makes us different. Honor, People, Fun, Do Whatever It Takes, and Take on Challenges define us and inform our customer and employee experience. We work very hard on our culture and strive every day to make Northland a place where people want to come to work every day, can have a good work life balance, and can have a career they are proud of.

2017 Dragon Boat Races

What qualities will a successful security integration company have?
I think the answer to this question is well summed up in our core values:

  1. Take on challenges
  2. Be honorable
  3. Have Fun
  4. Our People
  5. Do whatever it takes!

What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?
Be willing to study and learn. Be open to working collaboratively and come with an open mind. There is a lot of opportunity in our industry and a nice career path for all kinds of education levels and life experiences. Those that enter the industry with some drive, ambition, and a willingness to learn are typically rewarded with great career paths and growth opportunities.

 For more information on Northland Controls: