If You Tell Them, They Will Come

So last month I drove down to Indianapolis for Vicon's half day IP seminar, "Building Blocks of IP Video."  Vicon is actually holding these seminars all across the country, and since the Indy one is closest to where I'm at in Chicagoland I figured now was my chance. 

Scheduled to go from 9 a.m. to noon, the seminar went by rather quickly.  The speakers were Tom Cook, director of sales, and Guy Arazi, digital product manager.  Cook gave an overview of Vicon, how it started out as a hardware company and morphed into a software company.  He also noted that Vicon's stock had risen by a factor of about four in recent months; he theorized that Vicon's recent change in business model to sell to an exclusive dealer group could be a factor in that.

Arazi gave an overview of IP video as well as how the ViconNet 4 software platform could be used to operate a video suveillance system.  ViconNet 4 will officially be released this June, and ViconNet 5 will be released in 2008.  (Vicon plans to upgrade its ViconNet platform every year, with each version being backwards compatible with the previous version.)

During a break in the seminar, Cook told me that Vicon's training was having a much better turnout than they did 2 years ago.  He credited the fact that these seminars are co-sponsored by Security Dealer, Security Technology & Design, and SecurityInfoWatch.com with getting the word out.  Rather than just having their own dealers attend (as was pretty much the case 2 years ago), Vicon is now getting their own dealers, potential dealers, engineers, consultants and end users.

As it turned out, the gentleman sitting next to me during the seminar was a salesman from Cincinnati who's not even in the security business.  His business is more on the electrical and cabling side, but his boss wanted him to attend in order to start learning about IP video. 

From what I can tell, there is high demand for training in the security industry.  However, some companies (and organizations) who are offering the training don't always get their message out.  I've seen classes have extremely poor attendance, and I've even seen classes get canceled.  Sure, sometimes this is because a class isn't offering what people want, but I think more often the case is that the right people don't know about it.  So, with that in mind, it was nice to see 45+ attendees pack a hotel room in Indianapolis for Vicon's IP class.  And better yet, people actually learned something.  A lot of the questions came from dealers--and some of them were tough.  But Cook and Arazi hung in there and gave their best answers.

Who knows, maybe my next trip to Indianapolis will be for the Indy 500?  (I'm actually not a racing fan, but hey, I'd got just for kicks.)