The ISC West 2011 show has not started yet, but I’ve already been in Vegas for almost a day and a half, so a daily recap is in order.
The booth setup went smoothly, apart from a monitor damaged in transit, a video camera that finally gave out, and a shipment that did not arrive (aka the usual). But, the wireless is up and running, so it’s all that matters!
Working with Security Specifiers
On Tuesday, I was able to join one of the ISC West Education sessions: Working with Security Specifiers. The panelist presented a good mix of perspectives: integrators, consultants and end-users. Here are a few take-aways (adopted from my tweets from the session):
- Practitioner perspective: relationship with vendor and support they are able to provide are more important than intricate differentiators between vendors
- Consultant perspective: Include manufacturer into the process, in addition to integrators, consultants, end users [KC: music to our ears!]
- Integrator’s perspective: Goal of an integrator: Mitigate risk; provide compliance; deliver ROI for the project, and most importantly: build a long-term relationship with both the consultant and the end-user for ongoing project success
- How can RFP response stand out? One example: send CEO to the pre-bid meeting! (And provide your home number so that the end-customer can reach you) – That approach really stood out for one of the panelists.
- How can you compete with a “low-bid integrator” in your RFP response? Define the price in terms of long-term value and project life cycle, vs “bill of materials.” Also, show domain expertise in a particular vertical; without a track record for this particular type of install, the integrator will be learning on the job at the user’s expense.
- Validate claims of your bidders – e.g. visit offices of your prospective integrators (consultants may play this role)
- One of the speakers (an end-user) cautioned against using a consultant who may be a one-man shop. He advised: Don’t be afraid to approach larger consultant firms with a smaller project; they may use junior associates who would work under a senior member’s oversight
- New construction vs retrofit: in former case, harder to get to end user and communicate value. Consultants can be the conduit.
- RFP needs to be written based on an assessment, not cut and paste from industry spec – This was a common concern regarding MEP firms (mechanical, engineering, plumbing).
- When the panel was asked “how do you handle a situation where a spec is clearly cut and paste?” – the integrator on the panel had an interesting perspective: Don’t just assign blame; use cut-and-paste or old spec as an opportunity to develop a relationship and educate the consultant for *next* project.
Overall, it was an interesting session: it was educational to see the emphasis on relationships and track record (although it’s hardly surprising).
Women’s Security Council
Another highlight of the day was the Women’s Security Council kick-off reception at the V Bar in the Venetian. I got there pretty late (7:30 pm) and was surprised to see the great turnout – most of the bar was dedicated to the event with a good crowd mingling. (Compare that to the conference session above, where I was the only woman among the 80-90 attendees). I ran into the women I knew before, some who I only exchanged emails with, and met some new people. Thanks to Rhianna Daniels and the entire Council for organizing! Find out more about Women’s Security Council at the organization’s web site: http://wscouncil.com/
The show officially opens today at 10 am. I hope to see you in my session Social Media for Dealers and Integrators (4 to 5 pm Wednesday April 6, Room 202), and on Firetide booth 24083!
For more ISC West 2011 posts, see:
- Day 2 ISC West Impressions #ISCW11
- Day 1 ISC West Impressions #ISCW11
- Tweetups, Networking, and More Things to Do While at ISC West
- Attending ISC West? Here’s Where to Find Firetide Team at #ISCW11