Publisher's Viewpoint: Our greatest asset is you, our reader

It’s true that most industry publications are funded by manufacturer’s advertising dollars and because of this you might have the impression that they are more important to us than you. To some perhaps this is true but to us, not so at all.

Each month as we write stories or select content to publish we think about what you’re looking to learn. And the bottom line here is that we are always trying to earn your attention with our content. We know that you don’t read stories if they are not talking to you. Further, we believe that the better we address your concerns, the more time you will spend reading our issues. And thus ultimately manufacturers get what they need, which is premium visibility where they can advertise their products unique strengths that support your business growth.

So in this vein, of striving to be your best resource, Deborah O’Mara and I talked a lot about you last year. We talked about technology, the pressures you face and what your future business path looks like. We surveyed you on what you want to know, what’s easy and hard to do, how you make your money and where you see growth opportunities. We reached out to global research groups for market insights. We talked with associations and the financial community. We developed a focus group with the leading systems integrators centered around their challenges and concerns. We asked questions and we listened, then we asked more questions and listened more.

There was a clear consensus, whether you’re a commercial/ industrial integrator, alarm systems contractor or a home systems provider; with the operative word being systems. You said that technology is a challenge and an opportunity. Integration is a trick to accomplish no matter what markets you serve...and your business growth is directly aligned with your systems capabilities and your vertical market understanding. You agreed that integrating products, networking technology and managing data are the next big evolution and you want to grow through these opportunities. You’re worried about cash flow, new business development, the lack of compliance standards and more.

After defining your needs, we set about designing an editorial plan to address them. And thus you will see some differences in our look and layout starting this month, not just in the content that we cover but in the way we organize it. Our content, or pages will cover the technology challenges and opportunities you identified. And since more than 90 percent of you grow through vertical market development, each month we will focus on a key market sector as well. We will tie the technology pieces into those market focuses, providing you with more comprehensive information than ever before or available anywhere else. Even if the markets we focus on are not your target, the technical content will still apply to other markets.

We’re not done listening or asking questions. We can never be, as this industry is evolving every day with no end in sight. We have just begun to truly look at the breadth of opportunity before us.