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OKC Company Specializes in Complex Security Challenges

Complex Security Challenges Oklahoma City businessman uses his experience in protecting American assets around the world to build firm that designs, installs and maintains security systems for big businesses and governments. By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." title="Email Don Mecoy">Don Mecoy Oklahoman, published: February 14, 2012.

Sean Crain has transformed eight years as a security officer with the U.S. State Department into a successful security firm based in Oklahoma City. Formed in 2008, Orion Security Solutions has more than doubled its business each year, said Crain, CEO of the firm. The company handles various forms of security ranging from technical matters like video surveillance, physical security such as ballistic windows and blast walls, and information security, which involves protecting networks and the data carried on them. What Orion doesn't do is residential security. The company specializes in complex jobs with private corporations and government entities.

Crain, an Owasso native who earned his engineering degree at Oklahoma State University, returned to Oklahoma when his father fell ill. He stayed to launch Orion. Crain said: “2008 was probably not the best time to start up a business. Banks were puckering up and not wanting to lend money. We had no past performance because it was a brand new company. “We self-financed and resourced the entire operation.”

The company generated much of its early business designing, installing and maintaining security systems at Indian casinos before branching out into private corporations and county government entities such as jails and courthouses. “We definitely try to pound the ground in Oklahoma, but the market here is what it is,” he said. “We have to find the right clientele who are looking for a certain expertise.”

After Orion was well-established, the firm became eligible to bid for federal government contracts, he said. That, Crain said, has moved his experience full circle, as he again is responsible for security of overseas federal institutions. The company has about 30 employees, most of whom spend much of their time on the road dealing with customers. The company's biggest challenge now is managing its growth, he said. Crain said the firm sells its expertise and doesn't try to compete with “trunk slammers,” small one-person operations with little overhead or experience. “We're very cost competitive if you look at the tier of people we actually compete with,” he said. “There's very few true competitors.” Orion also attracts some business fixing bad security installations, he said. “They know how to run it after the fact after you get it in, but when it comes to actually build the system and put it together, I'd say 98 percent of them fail,” Crain said. “We clean up a lot of messes.”

Crain prefers not to discuss the details of his former career with the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, except to say his job was to defend U.S. embassies and officials, including heads of states, in scores of countries. On the wall of his office are personalized photos of him and his wife with President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among others. Orion's chief operating officer, Greg Vance, said Crain's experience has been one of the firm's biggest advantages. “He traveled around the world, learning how to design complicated systems to defend our nation's assets,” Vance said.

The company's motto is “dedication, honor, integrity.” “It's a difficult task to find a small business with the credentials and experience that we carry,” he said.

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