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June 29, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Regional Security Integrators for Private and Government Sectors


David Edmunds



Stone Security


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – June 29, 2015


CEOCFO: Mr. Edmunds, what is Stone Security?

Mr. Edmunds: Stone Security is the premier security integrator in the Western United States, particularly in the inner-mountain region. We are a regional security integrator based in Salt Lake City, Utah with operations in Denver. Those are our two focus cities. We have been in business for almost 10 year, and have been able to achieve a great deal of success with our business model.


CEOCFO: What is your business model?

Mr. Edmunds: We believe that our business model is somewhat unique. We focus on key products, and we develop a deep understanding of those products. Then we go to market with our customers, with something that is truly different, from the standpoint that we know our products better than any of our competitors.


CEOCFO: Who is turning to you for services? What is the common thread?

Mr. Edmunds: If there is a common thread, and I believe that there is, it is that we have large customers, particularly government organizations. I have been fortunate enough to serve for many years in the government sector and many of the relationships that I was able to develop there, as an elected sheriff, has assisted us in being able to go into the government sector and garner a great deal of work there. Our reputation has been established in both the private sector and government work. In addition to our big government clients, we also have some big private sector clients. Increasingly our business is starting to focus the government sector.


CEOCFO: When you are working with a government in implementation, what might you take into account that others do not realize is important?

Mr. Edmunds: One of the things that is unique about us is that a number of our employees are former law enforcement. We have a former secret service agent, and I am a former sheriff. We have people who have knowledge of what the government sector needs as it relates to security integration. It is not unusual for us to approach a potential client and be able to discuss the complexities of the job they are looking at intuitively. That is very unique; particularly in the environment that we are working in right now.


CEOCFO: How has your approach changed over time? What do you do and understand better today?

Mr. Edmunds: That is a good question. What we understand is that our business model was a stroke of genius. Focusing on Axis cameras and Milestone as the VMS was probably something that at the time, when we decided to make that decision, many people thought was fool hardy. Many people thought that it would not bear fruit. However, what we have found is that model has been tremendously successful. In fact, there are others that are out there now trying to emulate that model. If anything, we have found—and it has been confirmed unequivocally—that our business model is the model that breeds success.


CEOCFO: Has the current environment about security and the police nationwide changed your approach or made it more difficult?

Mr. Edmunds: If anything, it has bolstered our position as security integrators. The fact that law enforcement is in its current state in America, give us a unique opportunity to go out there to find and work with our law enforcement partners to create solutions. Law enforcement right now in this country is in an unprecedented position where they are in need of unique and diverse solutions, so we, as security integrators, have a exceptional opportunity to get in there, figure it out, and work with them to achieve their goals.


CEOCFO: How do you evaluate all of the new technologies to know what to add to your product offering?

Mr. Edmunds: We spend a great deal of time evaluating our products. Our systems engineers put these products through the paces. We may look at two or three different offerings and then decide on one. That has always been our model. Our systems engineers will run the product through its paces sometimes for months before we make a decision. We will go to some of our larger end users, sit down and discuss what their needs are. Then if that product fits inside the parameters of what they need, we will recommend it. It is not something that we do haphazardly. It is significant for us that we are able to experts on the products we deliver.


CEOCFO: How do you get to the root of what an end user really needs?

Mr. Edmunds: As is the case with so many endeavors, it is all about relationships. If you have close relationships with your customers, you can have difficult conversations about what their needs are as opposed to what they think they may need. It is up to us as their security integration partner to be able to speak candidly with them and be honest about what our assessments are. Ultimately, they are the ones that will make that determination. However, if you have fostered appropriate relationships with a client, they will know that you have their best interest at heart.


CEOCFO: How do you reach out to potential new customers or are people coming to you, given your history and high status in your industry?

Mr. Edmunds: Many people come to us as our reputation has really grown over the last few years. However, we never stop, as we are consistently hungry and never satisfied with where we are. We do have an expert sales team that is out there trying to drum up new business all of the time. We spend a great deal of time doing that and in fact that is one of my focuses as CEO. I am always doing what I can to increase our sales and customer base. However, what we have found is our best advertisement is our customers, as they are the best people to talk to about Stone Security. Every potential customer that we talk with, we direct them to our current customers, because the best thing that they can do is go talk to our current customers. They have never failed us yet.


CEOCFO: How do you devise a solution using the technology available today, when three months down the line there may be better, newer models?

Mr. Edmunds: That is the real trick in this technology-based profession, as you are always in danger of having something becoming obsolete. That is why we select open based platforms. Milestone is a perfect example of that. They consider themselves the open based platform - VMS. We really try to go out and find products that can be able to be reconfigured and take on new technologies easily, then integrate with the other systems that we install. That is absolutely critical. If you are dealing in a technology space like security integration, you have to be able to find open-based systems that are capable of taking on new technologies in a very rapid manner. If you do not, then you are not looking out for your customers.


CEOCFO: Is global a growing area for you or is it ancillary?

Mr. Edmunds: It is somewhat ancillary. One of our large customers, the LDS Church based here in Salt Lake City, has a global footprint and they are constantly building around the world. Therefore, they are primarily the folks that take us internationally. However, we anticipate that there will be more going down the road. Our relationship with the LDS Church as really opened some doors for us. They do not represent all of our international partners, but currently they are by far the biggest.


CEOCFO: What do people, in general, miss about security?

Mr. Edmunds: The theme that we have seen is that so many people look at security as an afterthought. In the post 911 world that we live in, with the increased likelihood of terrorism and all of the things that we face as Americans that are unique to the 21st Century, we can ill afford to be people who are thinking about security from a 20th Century perspective. So many large corporations forget that security has to be at the forefront of their minds. In fact, we did a walkthrough yesterday with a large company that has a massive footprint in the United States, and their security director said that his executives really do not see security as a major issue. He was frustrated from that standpoint, because there are those that truly believe that. We have to start looking at security as a major priority because of the environment that we are in.


CEOCFO: What are one or two of the newer technologies that you have employed that really make a difference?

Mr. Edmunds: We are really excited about the Cannon acquisition of Axis Camera and Milestone VMF. We are excited about the potential for some real technological advancements as it pertains to that particular merger. Because we focus so strongly on those two companies and their products, we are waiting with great anticipation and believe that Cannon’s ability with lenses and some of the other things that they are so good at, will bring some advances. One of the things that we looked at recently that has been absolutely fascinating is the German company SICK. Their laser intrusion detection system is impressive. In fact, we have brought them out to some of our larger customers recently and have been absolutely blown away by their capabilities. I have been very impressed with the advances in the intrusion detection systems world. That is something that has grown leaps and bounds, but over the years that has been an exceedingly cost-prohibitive piece of technology for a smaller government agency or smaller corporation. However, the technological advances in intrusion detection have made that something that is more affordable, and I have been impressed by those technologies recently.


CEOCFO: What do you look for in your people over and above skill? What are the intangibles needed to represent Stone Security?

Mr. Edmunds: There are three things that I look for in our employees. First and foremost, I look for intelligence. I look for high-energy people and I look for people who have empathy. If you can find those three attributes in people, then you can be highly successful. We have been very fortunate to find people that embody those attributes.


CEOCFO: Put it all together for our readers. Why choose Stone Security?

Mr. Edmunds: What I tell people all of the time is that what separates us from our competition is our unique understanding of the products that we sell. We vet those products, understand them and constantly keep ourselves current on those products. We are truly the experts in the products that we sell. Moreover, what makes us different is our broad based experience, particularly in the law enforcement and government field, where we understand intuitively what governments want and need. That translates also to the private sector and the large corporations, because security tends to be so law enforcement centric and this is so true in the 21st Century. That broad based experience separates us. It makes us different. However, more than anything, it is that intelligence, energy and empathy that I talked about. Those attributes make our staff and what we are providing to the marketplace so very unique.


What I tell people all of the time is that what separates us from our competition is our unique understanding of the products that we sell. We vet those products, understand them and constantly keep ourselves current on those products. We are truly the experts in the products that we sell. Moreover, what makes us different is our broad based experience, particularly in the law enforcement and government field, where we understand intuitively what governments want and need.” - David Edmunds


Stone Security


David Edmunds







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