New Zealand's top technology security firms Gallagher, Tait Communications, Wynyard Group and Endace are trying a coordinated push into global markets as they share resources and draw on each other's existing capabilities.
The Security Technology Alliance will give the firms, who offer tech-based security products but don't compete in the same markets, a way to bundle up their services in a one-stop shop for prospective customers, while also forging an identity in a sector that runs under the radar domestically, despite the four companies employing more than 2,000 staff.
"The STA is a focused and well-supported initiative aimed at expanding New Zealand's security industry, capability and export earnings," STA spokesman and Wynyard chief executive Craig Richardson said. "Our companies complement each other's strengths and joining forces creates a compelling new global market proposition in this high growth market."
In doing so, the alliance aims to diversify New Zealand's international brand away from the primary products and food production. The country exports some $30.98 billion in primary goods a year, and sells some $537 million in computer and information services abroad.
All four companies in the STA have had success in winning international customers, and the alliance's initial focus will be on getting traction in the US, which has more than 18,000 different enforcement agencies from federal to state to local officials.
Richardson says the US market's importance is not just one of earnings potential, but also in accessing capital for the sector.
"The first thing we looked at for the US market, 'is how do we approach it'?" Richardson said.
That's seen the STA open an office in Washington, DC and appoint former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary to the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement Luois Quijas to spearhead the push into the US.
Quijas will take a strategic role opening doors for the New Zealand firms, who are well-regarded in international security circles, and helping them coordinate their research and development on products that will be attractive to US agencies.
The alliance also hopes to attract new talent to the tech-based security sector in presenting a unified front to students and ex-pats.