Inside the judge’s chambers
It’s not a clandestine operation. I know there are some out there who can’t see or fail to see the absolute real value in the Security Industry Association. Maybe I was one of you at one time—a skeptic. And then I brushed aside any predispositions and took a good hard look inside the organization and started working more with them on all kinds of topics. Several years ago they invited me to be a judge for the New Product Showcase (I’m honored to be the only security trade publication holding a judge’s position) and then it all became clear. I mean, the expertise and the willingness to give up precious time is unbelievable. Sure, SIA has one heck of an impressive staff, but it’s the manufacturers and distributors and many others who give of their time to make the association tick. The SIA New Product Showcase is the place where manufacturers have their products evaluated by a jury of their peers, with no preconceived notions. And this year the competition is slated to be the best ever. There are more integrators and end users as judges and the categories which companies can enter into have been revamped—all with an eye toward total system solutions, convergence, integration, open platforms and protocols, new communications technology—the changing face of the industry.
Today is the judging—all day. I’m privy to the internal, sometimes heated discussions that occur, and we all have a lot of fun too. I’m not going to give anything away, but I will tell you that what comes out of these two day meetings will be those technologies that will continue to move the industry forward—quite firmly—into the future. Isn’t that what you would want from your security association?
Sidenote: Tempered in with all this enthusiasm for the program is a bit of a sad note. Sandra Jones, the consummate advocate for the industry, will step down as chair of the SIA NPS this year and she will be missed, but she’s not leaving the industry, just focusing more on her company, Sandra Jones Co. out of the Cleveland area. And stepping in is Jennifer Martin—she’s sharp, smart and a mover and shaker—best wishes to both.
You’ll find out more tomorrow when you read my blog about the winners, who will be announced inside the show floor at 3 p.m. Check out this space for more and other insights from ISC West. – Deborah L. O’Mara