Integrators '20 under 40' 2015—Brent Van Haren

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Brent Van Haren, 36

Chief operating officer, SecurAlarm Systems

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Consulting with clients helps SecurAlarm System stay on top of new technology, according to Brent Van Haren, who became the company’s COO in July.

“We are pretty consultative with our clients … and [we] let that drive what we do. At the same time, we invest quite a bit of effort and time into testing and evaluating new products,” Van Haren said. “We try to be really deliberate in looking ahead.”

The cloud is the most exciting current technology, he said; SecurAlarm uses the cloud for servers, storage and backup. The company also offers cloud-based services to customers, such as access control platforms.

The cloud is becoming more understood in the marketplace. “We don’t really have to have conversations with clients about the value and the security of the cloud, it’s more about the functionality that they’re interested in. They understand the value of the cloud, a lot of them already operate there on some levels,” he said.

Generational shifts will have a big impact on the industry, Van Haren said.

Additionally, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the work force in five years, he said, which means younger generations in leadership roles. Millennials will expect changes to happen faster than previous generations, Van Haren predicted.

Creating the “right” company culture and atmosphere is important to bring in younger employees. Giving each position the power to make decisions and flexible work schedules positively impacts a company’s atmosphere, he said.

Van Haren was in electrical contracting prior to joining SecurAlarm, a family business. He started as a project manager for the company. Four years ago he became manager of engineering.