meet the integrator
BY WILLIAM ATKINSON
On the Road to Success
ROSENDIN ELECTRIC’S NETWORK SERVICES GROUP
These days, it is becoming more common for low-voltage contractors to specialize
in a specific type of work (such as security or
audiovisual) or a specific customer base (such
as hospitals or schools).
While the Network Services Group of
Rosendin Electric, San Jose, Calif., does work for
a wide range of customers, it has also been able
to carve out a customer niche: transportation,
including rail, air and highway.
Founded in 1919, Rosendin Electric has
been an employee-owned company since 2000.
It has more than 5,000 employees worldwide
and offices in eight states. The company has also
performed work in more than 30 states.
The company’s Network Services Group provides a single source for customers’ data and
telecommunications needs. It specializes in fiber and performs a wide variety of terminations
“However, we are not just a cable contrac-
“From a systems perspective, we can do
tor,” said Ron Clarkson, division manager for the
Network Services Group. “We also specialize in
systems design and installation.”
The group handles work related to 24/7/365
emergency response, cabling, long-haul fiber,
voice/data, surveillance, access control, audio/
video, paging, display, supervisory control and
data acquisition, and traffic controls.
pretty much everything—wind, LAN, network,
servers, telephony, voice-over-IP systems and
audio paging,” Clarkson said.
With a “soup-to-nuts” strategy, the group
offers design/build services, including discovery, programming, conceptual design, design
development, construction documents and construction installation.
Overall, the group bids strategically, rath-
er than gravitating toward any specific group
“We look for projects that make sense
for what we can do,” Clarkson said. “How-
ever, we have ended up being really good at
transportation projects. One thing we do, for ex-
ample, is video signage for bus terminals and
The group has been involved in a number
of airport projects. A job at the San Jose In-
ternational Airport involved the demolition and
renovation of 100,000 square feet, followed by
new construction of a four-story, 433,000-square-
foot terminal building with an inline baggage
handling system, security checkpoints and pe-
In the north concourse of the Sacramento
International Airport, the group was involved
with electrical and telecom duct bank installation, including cabling to support the passenger
terminal boarding areas and security systems.
Terminal A modifications included improving
flow and capacity to the security entrance
points as well as upgrading the security systems and fire alarm system. With the new
construction in Terminal B, the division was
involved in security checkpoints, baggage scanning devices, a TSA-approved security system,
the fire alarm system and significant tele/data
infrastructure. Terminal C modifications included major upgrades to the tele/data, security,
fire alarm and other systems.
The group is also involved in many projects
related to highway and traffic monitoring, in-
cluding Wi-Fi, radio and CCTV.
“We do a lot of work for [the California De-
partment of Transportation],” he said.
The group also works with the Department
of Homeland Security on projects such as CCTV
networks for bridges and tunnels and radar de-
tection systems for water-to-land intrusion.
These days, one of the Network Services
Group’s most popular types of projects relates to
electrical work on high-occupancy vehicle (HOV)
lanes, also known as a carpool lanes or diamond
lanes. HOV lanes are a traffic-management
strategy designed to promote ridesharing and
features a restricted traffic lane reserved for
peak travel times.
“It is a lane that drivers can get into and pay
“This was an area that really needed it,”
to use during commuting hours,” Clarkson said.
“The Bay Area has been going live with a lot of
HOV projects recently.”
The group’s work involved handling the elec-
tronic monitoring of these lanes in and around
the Bay Area. It just completed the work for a
10½-mile HOV stretch of I-580.
The group is also working on an HOV lanes
for a stretch of I-680.
One key to success on all its projects is work-
ing closely with others involved. These include
many of its product and equipment vendors.
“Big ones for us are Panduit, CommScope
and Superior Essex,” Clarkson said. “On the net-
work side, we work closely with vendors such
as Cisco, Juniper, Dell and Avaya.”
The group also works closely with general
“We are part of their budgeting process from
the beginning, and then we are in touch with
them on daily basis during the projects,” he said.
“We also work internally, connecting with the
electrical side of our business on projects we
are both involved in.”
ATKINSON has been a full-time business magazine writer since 1976. Contact
“We look for projects that
make sense for what we can
do. However, we have ended
up being really good at