Face-to- face beats it all

Technology being what it is, are we relying on virtual communications to do our networking too much? I understand the value of all the social media, etc. but are we missing the opportunity to get out in the real world and find out what's really happening?

Isn't it amazing that during these days and times we all still relish one-on-one interaction with each other? Don't you cringe on those days spent in solitude pouring over materials or specifications and perk up when you can venture out to converse with humankind? Maybe that's why I really look forward to the trade shows and meetings that come up, especially during the summer months. I get to meet and greet so many great systems integrators. This is our show issue, the magazine we will have at the ESX show and also at PSA-Tec and NFPA. Hopefully you're pouring over our editorial as you roam the halls of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. But now wait; put down the tome and look all around you-here are your peers, the folks who can tell you most everything about principles of detection, business management, IP technology, access control and much more! But you have to be there, be open and let the knowledge come pouring in, because we have so much to learn from each other and so much to do to make it all work.

Teach me what you want to read

When I do an interview with a source, I always learn much more than I ever imagined. It's through the systems integrator like yourself that I learn. They often tell me kindly that integration is really more of a word and less of a practice when it comes to products talking nicely to each other, or, that non-profits often want donated equipment, and who can blame them? I learn from you and rely on your expertise to help me position the magazine to where people want to read it. But the bottom line is that it's all about relationship building. My job is to provide the value-add content that will help integrators get more business and grow their companies--because if the integrators are successful, the manufacturers will be successful and SD&I will be successful, as we have been for 32 years.

The content in this issue is going to make you think, learn, take action, just as I did when I began the story process or planned the editorial calendar or took a step back and asked myself: 'what do my readers want and need to know?' Take a look at the table of contents on pages 4 and 6 and check out the education vertical market focus starting on page 28. Our fire and intrusion feature on page 38 focuses on two different school FACPs and check out our education-oriented Services & Funding story on page 42. There's a roundtable on video management with all the latest from the suppliers and others, page 54 as well the world of GPS and cellular signaling technology, starting on page 66.

Don't rely solely on virtual technology to do your job. It's all about me meeting you at events and talking to you to see what your challenges are on a day-to-day basis. SD&I is leading the way. When we stop doing that-the mission is over.