The common theme among the 347 attendees who represented 100 companies at the 2014 SedonaOffice Users Conference seemed to be “business is good,” according to the company.
The 13th conference, held in late January, provided nearly 50 educational sessions on a range of topics, as well as opportunities for unscheduled interaction and networking throughout its three days. According to one attendee, these connections make the conference even greater.
“The best value of the conference is what you cannot get anywhere else and that is the ability to meet face-to-face with the SedonaOffice staff and users to talk about the real life procedures and ideas,” said repeat attendee Karen Baker, senior vice president of The Protection Bureau, based in Exton, Pa.
Guest presenters included Michael Barnes, founding partner of Barnes Associates, who led a panel of SedonaOffice users in a discussion of management best practices. WeSuite, New York, delivered an entire track that covered the sales process from contact to contract. New for 2014 were user discussions that included representatives from Select Security, Lancaster, Pa., Mountain Alarm, Ogden, Utah, Advantech, Milpitas, Calif., and others who shared their expertise on various aspects of SedonaOffice.
“There are software companies out there who do all they can to keep customers away from each other and away from potential prospects. We have a completely opposite philosophy. Come together as a group and tell us what we do well. Tell us what we can do better. Talk amongst each other,” noted Don Faybrick, co-founder of Perennial Software, the Chagrin Falls, Ohio-based company behind SedonaOffice and AlarmBiller. “The SedonaOffice experience is a community and we encourage interaction between our clients. It always amazes me how competing security companies can meet in this setting, offering help and encouragement to get the most out of SedonaOffice.”
Day one of the conference was filled with informational presentations during a general session. The day opened with co-founders Faybrick and Michael Marks providing an overview of what users can expect from SedonaOffice in 2014. This was followed by a special presentation explaining SedonaEnhancement, a new program where users can vote for enhancements to the application. Keynote speaker Mark McCourt, group publisher of SDM and Security, presented the 2014 SDM Subscriber Market Forecast. For the final segment, McCourt moderated a discussion on new technologies that are both disrupting and enabling the security industry to move forward. Participating in the panel presentation were Faybrick, Rod Coles, president of Bold Technologies, Steve Firestone, president of Select Security, John Galante, president of AE Ventures and John Lombardi, founder and president of CIA Security.
An open forum with Faybrick and Marks wrapped up the conference. Meeting the high standards of their customers is no easy task, but Marks said they are up for the climb. “The analogy I’ve used in the past, and will use countless times again: Creating a great software product is like climbing a mountain, except there is no top to this mountain,” he said. “Every day we are working for you, to help you reach your potential. Helping you make your businesses great. There is no top to our mountain.”