Mission-Critical = Mission Possible
For those outside of the field, technology companies from Silicon Valley may seem surprising businesses to encounter around the ‘mission-critical’ concept, as the term generally tends to conjure thoughts of emergency scenarios. However, contrary to popular belief, a great number of other markets rely just as heavily on monitoring critical information as the FAA or Department of Defense does.
Constant Technologies, a world leader in mission-critical operation center integration, is favored by heavyweights as diverse as Microsoft, the Department of Defense, Bank of America, CitiBank, Akamai Technologies, and many others for its particularly high level of expertise in audiovisual, video and data wall integration within the global market. While the company doesn’t build its own technology, nobody beats its integration methods of redundancy – the means by which system stability and safety are guaranteed. This is achieved by duplicating certain aspects within every system, ensuring complete uptime and situational awareness for users.
Constant works closely with its clients’ network and security teams to ensure all products being integrated meet the rigorous corporate or government standards to ensure that no product compromises network security – and this is why the company’s expertise is so critical both in social media command rooms and in the military.
The exceptionally complex field of mission-critical operation center integration requires one to know much more than simply the difference neat wiring vs. cabling that looks like a plate of spaghetti. Optimally merging the latest information technology with audiovisual technology takes serious strategic planning and execution, while successful integration demands solid expertise. Based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, Constant Technologies is quite possibly the best-respected specialist in this field.
The company has all it takes to install and support such systems, increasing situational awareness and large format viewing that helps its clients in everything from saving lives and protecting assets, to protecting users’ personal information. Its mission-critical technology is tailored for 24/7 operational use and comes complete with fully integrated fail-over systems and guaranteed uptime. Plus, the company also offers full support service agreements that give operators the peace of mind they need to get on with their business.
The only operator of its kind, Constant Technologies specializes in secure technology for very complex environments. Its solutions are turnkey, and clients can choose from spatial and workflow design, vetted technology procurement and integration and more. “What makes us most recognizable globally is that we are the only ones specializing in these most complex mission-critical, operation center environments,” says President Brad Righi. For this reason, the company does not focus on any form of general installation such as audiovisual boardroom and high volume conference rooms for instance. Instead, its singular focus is on being the best in the world at its particular niche. As part of this advanced offering, the company’s services also include project management, spatial design and a full line of console workstations.
One of the company’s most rewarding features is its combined sales and project management team model. Rather than passing newly signed customers from the sales department over to the project management division, Constant Technologies has enjoyed untold success by merging long sales cycles with corresponding construction projects. Thanks to assigning a dedicated team to each project from start to finish, clients deal only with one team instead of multiple teams. As a result, the complexities of sensitive systems are handled more efficiently.
Once the team has been briefed in detail and has a clear understanding of the entire operation to be set up, an overall system is designed for the mission-critical site. The client is then presented with a list of vetted technology to be fitted, including everything from routers to displays to control systems, which is then procured and installed by the Constant Technologies team. Each project is carefully planned and complete project coordination, documentation and freight logistics are taken care of, while experienced technicians handle control systems programming. The company’s after-sales support is second to none and no client is ever left in the lurch. Instead, the fully-equipped support team is always on standby to assist clients with any possible queries or requests as well as provide tech support.
Considering the high stakes involved and the nature of this business, one of the most crucial aspects here is ensuring that all electronic equipment arrives in good, functioning order. To protect customers’ interest and the parts themselves, absolutely everything arrives securely wrapped and sealed. This is paramount to minimizing installation time as parts that are dead on arrival can slow the process down significantly. “This means that instead of building a complete system for the first time at the client’s site, we are rather assembling it in a timely fashion and we know that it is entirely functional,” says Brad.
In order to be accepted and remain a preferred supplier with Constant Technologies, technology has to live up to some pretty demanding standards. Absolutely everything that is used in all of the company’s installations undergoes rigorous testing before this trusted leader will consider becoming a reseller. “If we’re going to put our name on a product, we need to know that our suppliers are able to guarantee the level of support that our clients require,” Brad explains. “For example, there are several manufacturers that supply commercial grade displays for video wall applications but we only utilize a few of the very best, including Planar.”
At Constant Technologies, ‘global’ literally refers to the entire world. Its phenomenal reach includes all of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and beyond. All these clients strategically locate their mission-critical centers according to the ‘follow the sun’ model to enable their facilities to be operational every hour of every day, year-round. Key to this functionality is that Constant Technologies lives up to its name, able to provide these clients with consistent design, layout, technology, and content sharing around the world, no matter where these facilities are located. And, thanks to decades of experience working internationally, the Constant Technologies team is well-versed in foreign labor coordination – a task that presents its own complexities and is often undervalued by less experienced contractors – until it is too late.
It is no surprise that Constant’s mission-critical integration systems are so greatly valued by so many. It creates first-in-class command, security, network operations and security operations centers, as well as fusion centers. These are used by the defense department to track possible terrorist and cyber attacks, and provide visual collaboration for information sharing between different agencies.
Constant Technologies was born of humble beginnings as a data center controller cabinet supplier which led to the console workstation building within mission critical spaces. Brad met the company founder in the 1990s and the two identified a number of opportunities to expand their offering within the control room market, such as design and integrated audiovisual systems. They soon became known for their superlative service and expertise in the field, and since then, the type of mission-critical rooms the company is deployed in has drastically changed as the business has evolved. Today, Constant Technologies offers this turnkey approach globally as the market for monitoring critical data continues to rapidly expand.
When it comes to Constant Technologies’ phenomenal team of experts, Brad’s praise is high. “Nobody here works for anybody,” he says. “Instead, we work together in finding solutions for our partners and at being the best. We’re very proud of our collaborative company culture. It really allows us to deliver a better product and service to our clients,” he shares.
And the results speak for themselves. With the sheer scale of the company’s projects, such superb overall management can only be achieved by experts. “Our people take exceptional pride in their work. In return, we reward them generously. We especially value freedom and a work-life balance,” he adds.
After many years of behind-the-scenes achievements, Constant Technologies is suddenly hot on the media circuit. In addition to Business in Focus, the company was also recently featured in SCN Magazine and made a star appearance on ‘The World’s Greatest’ show. It will soon also appear on the front cover of Systems Integrator Magazine in recognition of the phenomenal fleet operation center it created for Carnival Cruise Lines. “It is a great honor to be recognized for our work after being in the background for so many years,” says Brad. Of course, increased global trust quickly translated into increased global sales and one of the results of the team’s exceptional work is the complete overhaul of its headquarters, which boasts a massive addition of a 40 percent bigger footprint – a gargantuan upgrade by anybody’s standards.
Its debt-free, 20 percent organic year-on-year growth is another source of great pride to Constant Technologies. “The reason we’re so proud of this is that our global clients – especially those with multiple location offices – genuinely see us as long-term partners rather than one-time vendors,” Brad says. With a reach as vast as this, however, success does not come without its challenges. The company’s greatest current hurdle is competing against companies who specialize in other aspects of AV integration and occasionally enter this niche market. These are truly the most complex environments and far different from entertainment or digital signage integration. Trying to get that across in a bidding situation to a potential client can present its challenges. Those not understanding the knowledge that goes into building these centers and just using any integrator are taking a massive gamble.
As astute business leaders will attest, the age-old comparison of cost vs. price always has the last laugh. In light of this, Brad’s advice to startup businesses is to focus on one thing that you do really well and to continue to excel at it. This great business secret has taken Constant Technologies right to the top, which is where it will remain, thanks to its great team and business acumen.
“It is also important to take very good care of your people,” says Brad. “If you are good to your people they will treat your customers in the same way.”
Of course, as the need for cybersecurity and data protection increases, so does the need for Constant Technologies’ world-renowned mission-critical operation centers. With critical stakes in play, the company understands that clients often need an initial introduction to the possibilities that exist and the best possible outcomes provided by the company. For this reason, its team is fully versed in guiding potential clients through an initial design analysis of their facility prior to committing to any implementation – all entirely free of charge. This can be done simply by submitting a floor plan and general requirements to its offices and the design team will take care of the rest.
Constant Technologies has found the balance between truly rewarding service and solid integration. In a world where information and safety is easily compromised, the future of mission-critical operations is safe in these hands.