PSA-TEC 2009: Focus on a changing industry

SD&I editors Deborah O’Mara and Natalia Kosk share insights from this year’s PSA-TEC conference


Now in its 25th year, 2009 PSA-TEC continued on a roll in St. Charles, Ill., at the Pheasant Run Resort, delivering a well-attended conference for security integrators, manufacturers, public safety officials and many others in the industry who gathered to assess the changing landscape of the industry, attend training sessions and certification courses, and have some fun in an informal atmosphere.

Frank Abagnale kicked off PSA-TEC, delivering the keynote address during the opening mixer on Tuesday, May 5. Samsung Techwin, a PSA supplier partner, brought in Abagnale to discuss identity theft.

Exhibit hours were reserved to the second day of the show, and many suppliers brought out new products or familiar ones to help integrators deliver solutions to customers. Pelco and Flir drove impressive semi-trailer demonstration trucks to the event, where attendees got some hands-on and real life examples of products and technologies in action.

Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA, kicked off the Vendor Appreciation Awards Luncheon, which moved from a dinner format to a noon-time event. He opened the luncheon welcoming attendees and talking about alliances, especially from the IT side of the business.

“The solutions in the marketplace have become much broader,” Bozeman said of the increasing emphasis on the IT side of the business in security. He pointed to a new alliance and partnership with 1nService, a technology service provider based in Bellevue, Wash., as a prelude of more to come.

The luncheon included the presentation of the 2009 Vendor Appreciation Awards recognizing companies that delivered exceptional service, support and highly reliably products. Vendor awards were handed out in a number of different categories and included:

• Rising Star Awards--Exacq Technologies Inc.

• Outstanding New Vendor--Samsung Techwin

• Customer Service Team Award; Outstanding Manufacturer’s Rep Awards; and SuperStar Awards--Communications Supply Corporation (CSC)

• Customer Service Awards--Bosch Security Systems and Middle Atlantic Products

• Customer Service Team Awards--Altronix, Pelco and TransTech Systems

• Star Awards--Aiphone, Bosch Security Systems, Dedicated Micros and Pelco

• Superstar Awards--Altronix and Middle Atlantic Products

Education and certification

The show also offered an intense daily schedule of educational courses and certification for systems technicians and integrators. One course, “Partnering with Your Customer in a Converged World,” addressed a two-part discussion on network convergence and system management, led by Chris Neill, of Firefly. Students learned the different IT roles and responsibilities that one must know in order to understand the benefits of partnering with IT as the presence of IT in security becomes more of a prominent factor. The course also identified what the customer’s needs are, what can be done to increase productivity with customers to produce more revenue streams and the importance of working at all levels for an integrated solution.