Many of the education sessions offered were standing-room only. Here, a panel of experts discusses how to sell and deploy hosted and managed solutions.


PSA-TEC 2012, a training and trade show event organized by PSA Security Network, was held May 14 to 18 at the Westin Westminster in Westminster, Colo. At the show, several recurring discussions and themes came up repeatedly, marking some of the biggest integrator concerns. Principal among them was how to remain competitive while taking on the added risk of new services in order to achieve more pronounced growth than the systems integration industry has seen in recent years.

Through discussion panels and plenty of attendee interaction during education sessions, attendees explored the best ways to deploy new offerings and how becoming a “trusted advisor” (very knowledgeable in a niche and on a select array of products) can be a differentiator for many independent integrators.

Keynote speaker Dean Meyer, executive vice president of the Buildings Business of Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill., gave insight into some of the challenges that Pelco by Schneider went through post-acquisition and how the brand will continue to focus on IP, with 2012 marking the first year where IP sales will surpass analog sales. The theme of the keynote, which reverberated throughout five days of discussion panels, networking events and vendor spotlights, was “The Future of the Independent Security Integrator.” Meyer addressed some of the top trends changing the way integrators do business today and in a not-too-far-away future. He stressed that it’s more important than ever to run integration businesses with an eye on new opportunities to make up declining product margins in the services arena and by finding key partners as physical security turns greener, smarter and simpler and it converges with logical security.

The increase in attendance alone, with more than 800 registered attendees this year, demonstrated the integrator community is massively gaining interest in training and networking. As Bill Bozeman, president and chief executive officer of PSA, noted in his opening remarks, the role of the security integrator is changing significantly. While there always will be a need for systems integrators, finding where they fit in a changing industry is key.

The conference portion featured esteemed speakers from various sectors of the industry, discussing technology best practices, emerging opportunities in the cloud and Security as a Service business models, management strategies and much more. Some of the highlights included a session on how a co-op can become a key part of an integrator’s team, presented by Evan Hackel, president of Ingage Consulting, Woburn, Mass.; and a panel on mergers and acquisitions that predicted a busier M&A year in 2012 and integrator-specific valuation considerations.

Attendees had the opportunity to take certifications courses on AMAG Symmetry Essentials, UTC Facility Commander Wnx, Bosch Intelligent Video Analytics, Pelco Endura, Exacq and Arecont on the manufacturer side. On the industry certifications side, PSA-TEC offered ASIS Physical Security Professional, ASIS Certified Protection Professional, BICSI Electronic Safety and Security, Electronic Security Networking Technicians, Certified Security Project Management and Cisco CNT certifications.

PSA held its signature Jam Session on Tuesday night, where attendees and vendors showed off their musical talent on stage and all took some time to chat and network with peers in a relaxed environment.

More than 50 exhibitors, including SDM, filled the Westin Westminster’s conference hall on Wednesday. PSA partners recognized during the Vendor Awards Luncheon on Tuesday showed off their awards at their booths. Integrators got some one-on-one time with manufacturers representatives to learn about new products. The day closed with the Gold Sponsors Hospitality suites, showcasing some of PSA’s strong partners.