Security is a hot topic

Patronus International

The security experts at Patronus International Ltd help clients deal with any threat or hostile environment, from gunmen to earthquakes – but they turned to ATEED West area office for help to safeguard their own company’s future growth.

With distinguished police and security careers, Patronus’ founders Darren Morton and Keith Suddes have provided advice to law enforcement and security agencies globally, including in the UK, US, and New Zealand. The company has helped organisations including the FBI, US Homeland Security, police SWAT units, and international security companies.

They are experts in corporate security, VIP protection, anti-terrorism, and corporate and personal safety training activities – alongside general emergency and risk management techniques. While New Zealand hasn’t yet experienced the same types of serious crimes experienced in global hot spots, Patronus believes it is only a matter of time – time which the company says should be spent preparing.

Keith Suddes, Executive Director of Training at Patronus, says the company’s clients in New Zealand also include the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Ministry of Justice, media agencies, corporates and schools. Patronus has developed what it believes is a world-first computer program which helps clients deal with any emergency.

“Darren and I are both passionate about educating people so they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Being prepared is the key. We’d much rather they were empowered to protect themselves and their loved ones before they are put at risk,” says Keith.

“Many schools lack anything greater than a standard fire evacuation plan. We can work with schools to assist their planning and preparation to prevent and resolve a wide range of concerns, from general crime prevention and natural disasters through to major security issues such as someone on school grounds with a firearm, known in the industry as an ‘active shooter’.”

He credits ATEED West Business Advisor Gill Ellis with helping to provide essential guidance for a start-up: “While Darren and I are good at what we do and have a wealth of security experience, we are still learning how to run a business. I have an MBA in marketing and know the theory, but Gill has been able to provide us with connections and advice on the practical skills we need.”

“We sought help from ATEED because we wanted to make sure Patronus was transparent and a business that had the right systems and processes in place from the very start.”

Gill met Keith and Darren, carried out a detailed assessment of their business needs, and developed a plan to help them meet their goals.

ATEED delivers the Government’s Regional Business Partner programme across Auckland. Gill helped Patronus access training vouchers from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise which helped Keith and Darren improve their business skills.

Gill also provided Patronus with the contact details of potential clients, partners and relevant business groups who are part of ATEED’s wider business network. She helped the founders connect with two entrepreneurs from a specialist business service provider Garvey & Muller who continue to mentor them on how to identify markets, generate revenue, and focus on two or three key ideas to develop.

The company’s services include mobile phone ‘apps’ in which the focus is education – advice about personal security and risk management.

“Our point of difference and philosophy is to educate clients on what to do before it’s too late – you shouldn’t get to the point where you need help because you’re in trouble,” says Keith.

Patronus has developed a console called EmerMan™ – short for emergency management. It is compatible with a tablet and a personal computer and covers everything from natural disasters and utility failures, to crime and terrorism. Patronus is seeking a partnership with a technology company to take its innovative products to the next level.

While armed threats and shootings are much more common overseas, Keith’s niece and nephew were at Kristin School on the North Shore when it was locked down due to a possible armed person near its grounds. Another, Macleans College in East Auckland, had a bomb scare. Staff, students and parents all need education in what to do in these situations, and both of these schools have been involved with Patronus throughout the development of the EmerMan consoles.

“The person responsible for an organisation’s emergency management protocols can use EmerMan to find out exactly what to do in any situation, at the push of a button. Anyone who has a duty of care to the public needs to have a tool like this in place, and we think ours is a world first. New Zealand businesses and corporates as well as sports teams travelling overseas would also find EmerMan information and best practises invaluable.”

The technology is attracting interest from health boards, banks, hotels and the retail industry. Following specialised security training courses Patronus delivered to the Reserve Bank’s security team, the company was commissioned to develop an EmerMan console to assist them in an emergency. The company’s plan is to continue to develop EmerMan with the help of New Zealand corporates, hotels, banks and school clients, and then export the technology globally.

“The beauty of what we’re designing is that we can continue to be based in Auckland but take our products all over the world.”

“Working with the team at ATEED has helped us prepare for the growth we are experiencing,” says Keith.


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To find out more about how ATEED West office’s business growth team can help your business, contact Gill Ellis, Business Advisor on 09 354 0067 or at Gill.Ellis@aucklandnz.com