Lenel, S2 Marriage Ignites Strong Legacy Memories

 

Steve Lasky of SecurityInfoWatch explores the historical context of LenelS2 and discusses the newly unified company with Alex Housten, Vice President and GM for Fire & Security Products at UTC Climate, Controls & Security.

By Steve Lasky, SecurityInfoWatch
October 5, 2018

 

When I entered the security industry in the late-1980s John Moss was already attaining legendary status. His launch of Software House in 1981 created the first true enterprise access control system that was seamless and relatively open to other technologies. The Software House C•CURE solution became one of the industry ’s most installed products. Moss was a technology evangelist who is certainly regarded as a key pioneer in the development of the modern age and someone I enjoyed listening to relating what visions of the future might entail.

A decade later I met a captivating Russian couple at a tiny technology company housed in the bowels of the Kodak Company in Rochester, New York. Elena and Rudy Prokupets had convinced Kodak that their idea related to managing photo images on a PC was worthy of a start-up division called Edicon. Their digital ID technology evolved into a $50 million enterprise for Kodak. Both Rudy and Elena left Kodak to launch Lenel Systems International, which began as a software multimedia company providing innovative solutions to customers such as Oracle, Borland, IBM and Microsoft.

I still remember being invited by Rudy to a celebration of its  “grand opening” at the new facility in Pittsford outside Rochester in 1995. As a small start-up, Lenel immediately faced the challenges of entering an established access control marketplace. But the Prokupet’s innovative approach to technology and the promise of an open-architecture solution Lenel soon gained a following. In short order, Lenel’s OnGuard enterprise management system emerged as an industry standard.

The Prokupets sold Lenel to United Technologies in June of 2005 for around $400 million, which began a flurry of more than a decade of high-profile mergers and acquisitions around the security industry, one of which was Moss selling Software House to TYCO in 1996.