NSCA Focus: A Secure Alliance
Jan 1, 2004 12:00 PM, By Bill Bozeman
The systems integration industry is changing. Systems integrators can no longer provide products and services in their own niche market without expanding their horizons. End-users don't want to deal with separate integrators for access control, life safety, CCTV, and nurse-call systems.
The changes in the industry are forcing the support networks for dealers to also change. In 2003 the NSCA Expo was held in Dallas and the PSA Security Network Conference was held in Denver. NSCA specializes in audio, video, A/V presentations, lighting controls, telecommunications, and data controls. PSA is the specialty provider of support systems for security integrators who provide sophisticated access control, CCTV surveillance, alarm point monitoring, and the peripherals that go with those systems. This year both organizations are combining forces to offer systems integrators and security professionals one convention, the Systems Integration Expo, which will be held in Las Vegas in March.
So why did the PSA and the NSCA join forces? Simply, working with the PSA Security Network will bring the NSCA to the fastest growing of all the low-voltage segments — electronic security.
From a head count perspective, the NSCA Expo is much larger than the PSA Conference. NSCA usually draws about 10,000 attendees, and the PSA has focused on a member-only conference (600 attended the conference in 2003). The big benefit that PSA brings to the table is expertise in security and life safety and training programs. If systems integrators want to learn about access control, CCTV, biometrics, smart cards, perimeter protection, and fiber optics as they are related to the security industry, there is no better place than at the training classes offered at the Expo. The seminars will range from technical to sales to business management.
The PSA had outgrown the facility used in Denver for the past 15 years. The booth show was always a sellout, so the organization had to turn away vendors who wanted to show their products. The hotel would also sell out, making conference attendance less convenient for some members.
With the move to Las Vegas, PSA now has infinite expansion possibilities, both with hotel rooms as well as space on the show floor. Previously, the exhibit schedule had been only one day long, so many members didn't have time to visit all of the vendors. Now the exhibits will last three days — more than enough time for everyone to attend the training classes and seminars and still be able to visit the show floor.
The PSA will encourage its members to join the NSCA, a movement that will hopefully be reciprocated. The criteria to become a PSA member or associate member includes being in business for more than three years, having a sustained annual sales volume of more than $2 million, and having a good credit rating. Membership does have its benefits, including volume pricing, the competitive bid program, and exceptional training opportunities.
You don't have to be a member to attend the Expo. The PSA will still have some private meetings, including a private banquet and private board meeting, but the conference and show floors are open to all integrators and nonmembers. In fact, this is an opportunity that has not been available to the security industry in years past.
Both organizations are known for strong networking, and merging the conferences will open up additional opportunities. If an NSCA member chooses not to get involved in security and has an access control project, chances are there is one or even two PSA members in the area who can help meet the customer's needs. The same holds true for a PSA member who might want to work with a company experienced in A/V presentation installations.
This partnership will make PSA a better organization, increasing our purchasing power, which will help all members. In addition, PSA members will be able to gain knowledge about NSCA specialty areas and decide whether they want to expand their businesses into new arenas. It will also open up training for NSCA members, even if they don't want to join the PSA. Either way the Expo promises to bring both organizations and members closer together and offer a better show for all.
Bill Bozemanis president and CEO of the PSA Security Network (www.psasecurity.com), the world's largest electronic security cooperative. He has 24 years of experience in the security systems integration business, having served as vice president of Strategic Alliances for Pinkerton Systems Integration and president of Delta Audio-Visual Security, Dictograph Alarm Systems, and Delta Countermeasures.