Inside the NPS

A look inside the judging process


Let me say here that these are not testing awards, nor are they meant to be. These awards are designed to help winning and placing companies market more effectively the attributes of their products. That being said, the process is quite different from actual in-the-field testing by unbiased companies (is there anyone really doing this?) And that’s why the SIA NPS judging gets volunteer integrators from small to large companies, end-users, media and consultants, to evaluate what they might know about how these products behave in the field—how easy or hard they are to install—what the total cost of ownership might be to the end user and how that parlays into an effective solution, or not. In fact, some of the discussions I have been privy to when we gather as a whole to discuss possible winning entries, have centered on products and how they may take days to set up or program, or didn’t meet the customer’s needs or criteria, despite the manufacturer’s claims to having satisfied those same goals.

Winners are excited to be part of the honors and past winners have talked about the definite boost the awards have given to their marketing and branding efforts. For those who wanted to know more, for the first time this year SIA presented a Winner’s Forum at ISC West, and those in attendance learned how judges are motivated, what the process is, what winners have to say about what they gained or hoped to gain from this exposure.

The award process is quite transparent and actually follows the Wikipedia definition of such when it comes to openness, communication and accountability: “Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed.” Sure, you can’t see directly into the judging chambers for the awards, but all of the rules and other criteria are open to see. Just check out these links in this story or visit www.sianps.com. It’s all there.

The SIA NPS fills a void that as far as I can see, couldn’t be filled by any other organization in such a professional and well-thought out manner. I’m proud to be part of this “academy awards” of the security industry, and grateful for the Security Industry Association, its staff and all the judges for helping elevate the stature of the security products industry.