Face it. Strong relationships produce successful business. The travel often required for both discovering and maintaining those relationships takes time and money though. So how do you get a maximum return on investment (ROI) for the amount of time and resources you invest into travel to get the face time you need?
SecurityXchange helps integrators and solutions providers achieve those goals and more, providing strategic sales meetings, new product discussions, business growth opportunities and networking – all in one place. Over the course of two days, top-level executives from systems integration firms meet privately with solution providers for up to 20 focused meetings. Additional networking opportunities are available throughout the day during the breakfasts, lunches and dinners. That’s a lot of “face time” to create and sustain relationships and find new solutions, which is SecurityXchange’s goal.
“We recognize that strategic relationships are an important component to growing a successful business,” says Jon Lowell, executive director, SecurityXchange. “That is why our service is designed to nurture new and existing partnerships.”
According to attendee John Nemerofsky, president, TSS International, Trevose, Pa., SecurityXchange lets companies operate efficiently.
“The ROI on this program is so tremendous,” says Nemerofsky, who has attended SecurityXchange as both an integrator and as a solution provider. “To see the number of people you have the option to see here in the two days for the cost that is involved is unbelievable, and there is less wear and tear than would come with traveling to each one individually.”
SDM talked to integrators and solutions providers who have met with each other at SecurityXchange. As their stories reveal, the results of the face-to-face meetings that are the core of SecurityXchange are well worth the investment – especially with end results such as finding new technology solutions, establishing partnerships where both parties gain business or strengthening existing relationships.
Finding New Solutions
You can find new resources for your company by putting yourself in a position to meet new companies. WeSuite, Trevose, Pa., a solutions provider, and Mountain Alarm, Ogden, Utah, met for the first time at SecurityXchange.
Scott Sessions, vice president of Mountain Alarm, wasn’t looking for new sales software, but when he met with WeSuite at SecurityXchange, he found an unexpected solution that saves his company time and money and matches up with new developments the company was already undergoing.
“SecurityXchange was the gateway for us to meet,” Sessions says. “We go every year with an open mind without any preconceived notions. When we visited with WeSuite, the solutions they offered were specific and had capabilities that I had never seen before.”
According to WeSuite’s vice president, Tracy Larson, the two companies might not have met if it weren’t for SecurityXchange, making one of its benefits the way it can help companies expand their sales efforts.
“Look at how many integrators and alarm companies there are in the United States,” Larson says. “It is very difficult to cover the geography unless you have a sales force like IBM. SecurityXchange has been a huge resource for us from the perspective of extending our sales force.”
The quality of the meetings and their impact on business relationships stands out to Larson.
“To me relationships are everything. Good business is when you have good trusted relationships and the meetings at SecurityXchange allow that because they are quite a bit different. When we met with Mountain Alarm, we really liked their approach to their business and to our industry. We saw that both companies were a good fit for each other because our philosophies are very well aligned. To get that in a 30-minute meeting is pretty significant,” Larson emphasizes.
Establishing Collaborative Partnerships
Quintron Systems Inc., Santa Maria, Calif., and Adesta LLC., Omaha, Neb., met at SecurityXchange, and through the meeting they have developed a mutually beneficial relationship.
Rick Foster, director of marketing and sales, Quintron Systems Inc., went to SecurityXchange looking for exposure and hunting for new relationships with installers. Quintron was ready to end its 100 percent dedication to federal agency business and take its core product, an access control system broadly deployed in the U.S. intelligence community, and open up a commercial effort. In order to do that, Quintron needed integrators to help install, service and support it.
Foster met Adesta, No. 15 on SDM’s Top Systems Integrators Report and SDM’s 2008 Systems Integrator of the Year, for the first time in one of his meetings at SecurityXchange.
“I had some criteria because I was looking for a successful integrator who could handle our product, which really is an enterprise-class solution. Adesta hit all my criteria just right,” Foster says. “They were the first integrator we partnered with, and we’ve handled million-dollar contracts together now.”
“Coming into SecurityXchange, I was representing this unknown vendor needing as much exposure to the right people as I could get,” Foster continues. “Here there is the opportunity to cultivate and maintain relationships at the decision-maker level and keep brands at a higher level of consciousness in the decision-makers’ minds. I got that exposure and found a partner to build a mutually beneficial, successful relationship with in Adesta,” Foster acknowledges.
“When we look for vendors and partners, obviously one of the things we look for is a company willing to help us create new business opportunities,” says Jayson Swope, director of engineering, Adesta, LLC. “Based on the SecurityXchange meeting, we were able to secure a sizable contract to perform security deployment for a major project. This not only included the platform that Quintron offers, but additional access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection for that particular facility on a design build basis.”
Strengthening Existing Relationships
For RFI Communications and Security Systems, San Jose, Calif., and HID Global, Irvine, Calif., the benefit of meeting at SecurityXchange is plain and simple – you can’t meet with your existing partners enough. And meeting with them in a neutral environment is even better. The two well-established companies already have a business relationship, but both find value in SecurityXchange in general and the meetings they can have with each other there.
“You can’t communicate with your customer too much,” says Paul Kluttz, vice president of sales, Installing Dealer Channel Team, HID Global. “As a company we are always open to having discussions with our customers, and we try to interact with them as much as possible.”
Kluttz also points out that the meetings he has with RFI at SecurityXchange puts the two companies on neutral turf, which changes the conversations that can take place.
“I can pick up the phone and talk to RFI any time and RFI knows they can pick up the phone and call us – but the interaction and the focus that we have at SecurityXchange puts us in an environment that is neutral. We are not in their office, we are not in ours, and we are in an environment that promotes meaningful interaction.”
The two companies see the meetings as a way to validate products, road maps, and trends, says Brad Wilson, president, RFI. “In my meetings with HID Global and other companies at SecurityXchange, I can validate my strategy against the other company’s product road map. It is, as Paul Kluttz often says, ‘skating to where the puck is going to be.’”
Kluttz says, “There are a lot of trends that integrators get to test against us as manufacturers, and we get to test our observations with them to see if we are synched up. If we are both seeing the marketplace from the same direction, it really helps form strategic thoughts and actions.”
More for Less
Achieving efficiency that can pump up your ROI matters now more than ever. The companies attending SecurityXchange think they can do that, using the face-to-face meetings and networking available there to get a lot done in one location.
Altronixâ€™s Forman on SecurityXchange
Altronix Corporation, Brooklyn, N.Y., a designer and manufacturer of low-voltage electronic components, has attended SecurityXchange all eight years it has been held. As the following Q & A with Alan Forman, president of Altronix, reveals, the company puts a lot of value on the face-to-face meetings it has with integrators at the event.<
SDM: Why do you attend?
Forman: SecurityXchange provides Altronix with the opportunity to have our management staff face to face with so many key decision makers – all of whom are existing or potential customers. Additionally, meeting off-site allows meeting attendees to focus on business at hand without distractions from daily responsibilities.
SDM: Why does SecurityXchange remain relevant in a challenging economic environment?<p>
Forman: It allows us to mine new directions for product development by listening to the needs of integrators based on their actual experiences in the field. It also allows us to keep up on the pulse of the industry.
SDM: What is the value of meeting with existing partners?
Forman: It is important to maintain an open channel of communications with customers. With most communications taking place these days via e-mail, it is often very difficult to conduct face-to-face meetings. There is no substitute for interpersonal interaction.
Find Out More
Jon Lowell, executive director, SecurityXchange
will be held at The Lodges at Deer Valley, Park City, Utah on August 1-4, 2010
will be held at The Lodges at Deer Valley, Park City, Utah on August 1-4, 2010