Thank you to all who attended TEC 2019 in Denver, CO. Be sure to sign up here for event updates and stay tuned for more information on TEC 2020, April 20-24, 2020.
TEC 2019 is the premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. This year’s event pivots around a changing market and ways to stay relevant within the industry.
By Kelly Lake | Director, Strategic Alliances | Zenitel Americas
For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s Hospital has specialized in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, the hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, emergency and outreach services. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked Seattle Children’s among the nation’s best children’s hospitals for the 26th year in a row.
Seattle Children’s is committed to the safety and security of its patients, families and staff. Over the course of its history, the hospital has leveraged a wide array of tools and processes to ensure the highest levels of protection
Security and safety were important for Seattle Children’s, but it did not have a compelling vision and strategy that aligned with the organization.
As a result, they reacted tactically to the needs of the organization, but the way they deployed people to perform roles in a process using technology was highly inefficient.
“In 2007, we had technology silos with a combination of analog and digital devices with little or no documentation”, said Dylan Hayes, who, at the time was the Physical Security Program Manager for Seattle Children’s. “There was a home-grown incident reporting system, standalone emergency call stations, standalone panic/duress buttons and an un-scalable access control system.”
“Our IT department was not much better”, said Jack Jones, Manager of IS Strategic Relationships. “We had no overall strategy or planning meetings, no documented system architecture, no failover for our network and no collaboration with our security and safety department.”
At that time the security industry was also in flux. “We were still in the beginning of the transition from analog to IP”, said Tim Palmquist, Vice President Americas, Milestone. “Network bandwidth requirements were still being vetted.”
“At the time, we were only an integrator”, said Larry Minaker, Client Manager for Aronson Security Group. “We were being asked to take on a larger role within Children’s; one that included strategy and planning and technology road-mapping. The client was in a building mode and it was critical they had the right partnerships and program management to help them make the strategic moves necessary to support the organization.”
ASG knew it had to take its methodology called the ASG Path to Value, to a higher level. “We would have to integrate into a new model of relationship with IT, Security and our chosen technology vendors”, said Minaker.
According to Hayes, the roadmap elements for Seattle Children’s needed to include:
- Alignment with the vision and mission of Children’s
- Sustainability: the framework for continuous improvement
- Mission critical key performance indicators around availability, reliability, scalability
- Escalation protocols around security and safety
“We worked alongside security to develop key stakeholders in the organization”, said Jones. “We focused in on disaster recovery, network performance, availability through our data center as well as our total cost of ownership.”
This provided a strategic platform for an execution plan that IT could use to provision the mission critical components of Children’s, including security.
Security began to formalize their internal and external team. “We determined our pain points and began to evaluate and then benchmark the technology options”, said Hayes.
The teams patiently documented the gaps including the fact that:
- Patient care operations needed improvement
- Investigations were not efficient
- System performance problems diluted our trust with the organization
- We did not adequately understand the business processes that we were supposed to secure
“At ASG, we were mustering expertise around IT infrastructure, device vendor solutions, and software vendor solutions”, said Minaker. “Children’s and ASG needed to elevate the conversation and have the discipline to follow the ASG Path to Value and align it with Children’s Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to ensure we covered every detail.”
“As Children’s moved forward, our role was to provide the documentation and proof points needed for ASG to fulfill their needs, said Palmquist. ‘Milestone had to provide a road map that mapped to Children’s needs.”
Children’s recognized that TQM demanded they assess, strategize, plan and then implement. In the past, they did not have the strategic compass and discipline to do this. “Once we put the team together, we enforced a discipline to take this approach every time”, said Hayes. ‘As a team, we took the assessment data, developed a strategy, then formulated a functional specification that included how people would perform their roles using the new technology. We measured each vendor against this specification which included a use case for doing a proof of concept.”
According to Hayes, every technology must have an objective scorecard that fits the use case. “We began to assert certain standards from our relationship with IT that would apply to all vendors. We knew we were not buying just a solution. We were buying a part of our information architecture. We were creating the platform for the digital transformation of security.”
Children’s prioritizes solutions that have an Open Architecture program and technology. “The program is important, because it established design criteria in the development process as well as program criteria for maintaining that integration within the ecosystem of security solutions”, said Hayes.
Jones illustrated ITs impact on the implementation plan by outlining key success criteria for a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO)
- Executive sponsorship of desired outcomes
- Governance structure to remove road blocks and provide clarity of direction
- Conformance to the standards and policies of the IT architecture documented and supported
- Project Management: manage internal and external resources to established time, cost and quality outcomes
- Identify Post Implementation support. Security traditionally lacks the foresight of IT which needs to maintain and sustain mission critical applications for the organization. “If security is mission critical, it must have a managed service budgeted and defined by either the vendors or internally”, said Jones.
- In the Performance Support Plan, define owners and responsibilities at each level of support.
Palmquist provided an example from Milestone of the key elements of an Open Platform Program:
- Application Program Interface (API) that is intentionally built for integration
- Software Development Kit (SDK) to encourage and foster an ecosystem of integrations
- Open Platform Program: formalized to ensure a long-term approach to all integration partners
- Certification: To ensure quality and performance. (A trusted seal of approval)
- Managed and Reviewed Performance: Walk the Talk
“Our vendors all need to put a stake in the ground like Milestone’s Open Platform Program and create the infrastructure and measures to follow through”, said Hayes. “We need the entire ecosystem to:
- Ensure their supply chain is robust and dependable from design through to manufacturing, distribution, implementation and support.
- Learn the language of our business and support the values of our business
- Ensure the ‘ilities’ of a mission critical business solution: availability, defensibility, reliability, maintainability, and sustainability.
Today Children’s has begun, brick by brick, to establish a roadmap for their future. With a keen eye to their IT architecture and the alignment of their risk with the opportunities and goals of Children’s, security is planning and securing its future.
“We will have 600+ beds by 2030”, said Hayes. “We had 336 in 2012. This growth will stretch our capabilities and our budget. Therefore, our needs analysis and our spend must show discipline and planning. This will require a high degree of commitment with our chosen vendors like ASG, Milestone, Axis, Zenitel and Lenel. All of them must stay at the table and continue to foster innovation and care.”
The key lessons derived from the Children’s path to value include:
- Seek Alignment. Understand the key organizational initiatives and integrate your value into them
- Seek Strategic Partners. If you assess your vendors this way, you will move from simple features and function analysis to an innovation scorecard based on your current and future requirements
- Team Optimization. Design your teams, internal and external for optimum performance.
- Continuous Collaboration. This is not project centric. This is a critical trait and performance measurement.
- Seek Synergy. Relationships matter. Seek alignment and the right placement of people on the bus. Make the tools work for the people who use them.
- Own the outcomes. Measure frequently.
The scorecard for our vendors has adapted to include a stronger collaboration between our chosen platform providers. Lenel, Milestone and Zenitel have proven they rise to this challenge.
And we are driving the IT scorecard against all vendors.
- Scalability: We have over 40 buildings and growing in our enterprise security risk management purview. It is critical we can scale this application to meet our ever-growing needs.
- Intelligibility: Like most security organizations, we depend on timely and clear communications to ensure we have the information we need to provide an efficient and accurate response to any situation. Ultimately that scorecard influenced our choice of our communication platform and our video platform. With Zenitel’s Turbine product, we could literally hear the difference from our old analog systems. The key point: Intelligibility can be measured. It is incumbent we do so before we purchase.
- Interoperability: We realized that just making two products work together is not enough. We had to be confident there is a program with and between our strategic technology partners. This is the foundation of the integration and ensures scalability and maintainability. Lenel, Milestone and Zenitel have a history of creating powerful integrations with core application providers and sustaining those integrations through their individual program management.
- Availability: This is paramount. We take our role in the organization seriously. Our technology platform is mission critical and must be measured to a 99.999% performance. Seconds matter when our people and our assets are threatened. Downtime is unacceptable.
- Maintainability: our IT and Security staff will have to be able to provision and maintain systems across a wide spectrum of environments. It is critical we have an efficient means to do this.
- Defensibility: We are asking our technology vendors and integrator to ensure the cyber hardening of the systems before we implement. We must have security over our security.
Attend Kelly’s Session at TEC
The Digital Transformation of Security
Tuesday, March 12th 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Systems integrators are improving value to their clients by evolving their business model from a focus on technology silos of excellence to one that captures the hidden costs of the security program. Those costs include lack of a fully integrated and maintained business intelligence platform for security. This platform will create a force multiplier in capabilities, risk mitigation and budget optimization. The new category of “Intelligent Communications” refers to communications between systems and within business processes, and encompasses all forms of communications, not just voice. When leveraged within a business intelligence platform like access control, an enhanced level of interoperability between people, processes and technology is possible, and the stage is set for the age of voice and machine learning. This allows integrators to provide intelligent and sustainable solutions that optimize their customers’ systems, improving response time, situational awareness and accountability.
Moderator; Kelly Lake, Director, Strategic Alliances, Zenitel, USA
Panelists: Jim Hoffpauir, President, Safety & Security Sector, Zenitel USA
Tim Palmquist, Vice President, Americas, Milestone
Chuck O’Leary, Vice President of Sales, North America, LenelS2
Dylan Hayes, Manager, IT Security, Enterprise Security Technology, Seattle Children’s Hospital – Research – Foundation
Booth # 212
Thursday, March 14 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Kelly’s mission is to create a highly differentiated value proposition for Zenitel’s Strategic Alliances by articulating the value of intelligent communications in an integrated risk, resilience and security model. Through close collaboration in research, development, marketing, and sales, the partnership with Zenitel’s Strategic Alliance Partners offers clients unmatched value by embedding highly intelligible voice communications into their command and control solutions. Kelly is also an accomplished musician, which infuses her perspective on sound quality and voice intelligibility.
Networking is a significant component to the TEC experience. Spending time out of the classroom getting to know other attendees, vendors and speakers will establish and nurture long-term professional relationships.
Monday, March 11 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Join your colleagues and vendors at the opening night Welcome Reception with some friendly competition to kick off TEC. Arcade games, drinks and light appetizers provide an opportunity for everyone to meet someone new and reconnect with others. This event is included in the cost of registration and is open to all TEC attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. Need dinner ideas for after the reception? Click here to check out this guide for suggestions.
Welcome Reception Sponsored by:
PSA Vendor Awards Dinner
Tuesday, March 12 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Join us as we award the vendors and customer services representatives who have been the most supportive of PSA owners and customers over the last year. This dinner is included in the cost of registration and is open to all TEC attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.
Vendor Awards Dinner Sponsored by:
Networking Happy Hour
Wednesday, March 13 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Mix and mingle with your peers and vendor partners before heading out on the town. This event is included in the cost of registration and is open to all TEC attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. Need dinner ideas for afterward? Click here to check out this guide for suggestions.
Thursday, March 14 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Exhibit Show gives you one-on-one time with vendors who can accelerate your business. Check out their products, services and programs in person. This is also an opportunity to continue those conversations with other TEC attendees while visiting the show floor. Check out who is exhibiting.
Exhibit Show Happy Hour Sponsored by:
For more information, visit https://www.psatec.com/.
By Julie Rolles, PSA Training Manager
Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. -St. Jerome
Success in your career involves more than just showing up every day and collecting a paycheck. Your long-term success depends in some ways on winning the attention of others at work and in your industry. Maintaining a positive image and getting involved in the industry could help you enhance your overall career and long-term performance.
In today’s competitive work environment, being good at your job may not be enough to get you noticed and you may not receive the rewards you want and deserve to grow your career. You need visibility to get more out of your hard work.
If you keep your head down and avoid the spotlight, you may be missing out on big opportunities in your field including specialized work assignments and promotions. Being visible to the decision makers in your company and industry can help you get ahead.
Here are 5 tips to get noticed (in a good way!)
1. Get Out There
If you are able to handle more work along with your regular tasks, volunteer for extra assignments. Expanding the scope of your responsibilities shows you are willing to be a team player and go above and beyond everyday expectations. Plus, this shows your manager you have initiative rather than waiting to be asked. Depending on your position you may be able to get involved with projects where you can work with other departments and teams, expanding your connections throughout your company. In addition to increasing your professional network, getting involved in high-visibility projects will increase your exposure to decision makers beyond your direct manager.
Another method of getting your name out there is to get involved in your industry by joining associations and taking advantage of developmental opportunities. One way to get more involved through PSA is to join a PSA Committee. These committees are comprised of industry professionals that come together as a network to share ideas and tackle industry challenges head-on. PSA’s specialty committees deliver value to ALL integrators, regardless of size or markets served. For more information about PSA’s committees, please visit: https://psaeducation.com/. You can apply to join a committee HERE or for more information contact Julie Rolles: email@example.com
2. Say Your Piece
Your departmental meetings are a key time to increase your visibility within your immediate team, provided you speak up. If you are worried you don’t have much to contribute or are shy, read through the agenda in advance of the meeting and anticipate what questions to ask or what you what to share.
Success in your career involves more than just showing up every day and collecting a paycheck.
If you are a new trainee, you may think of yourself as too inexperienced to contribute. However, according to Liz Weisman in her book Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work, she claims that “rookies consistently outperform veterans in innovation and time-to-completion.” Additionally, Weisman argues that their research “confirms that rookies listen more, are more likely to ask for help, believe they have a lot more to learn, and learn faster.” Weisman claims that rookies are more likely to notice details that veterans overlook. So, if you are a new trainee, don’t be afraid to speak up and say your piece! In addition to sharing your insights, speaking up (especially as a new trainee) will catch the attention of others.
3. Share and Own Accomplishments
If you want to get noticed and be more involved in your industry and career, do not be modest – share and be proud of your accomplishments! If a colleague or supervisor gives you a compliment, be sure to thank them and acknowledge to yourself what impact you have made. Another good reason to share your accomplishments is that you may help someone else learn something. You never know what you will say or do that can help impact others around you in positive way. Sharing your knowledge will not only benefit others, but will help increase your professional profile as well.
4. Make Connections
Distinguishing yourself within your industry and career means you need to be well known outside your immediate team. By increasing your network and contacts, you build camaraderie and ensure you are known throughout your organization and industry. It is a good idea to know your stuff and keep up-to-date with company news.
Don’t forget to connect online as well. It is important to keep your online profile up-to-date and to make sure that it has the correct contact information. People like to connect through social media and this is a great way to join the conversation and make more connections within your industry.
Another great way to expand your network is to present at or attend industry conferences like TEC. TEC is the premier education and networking event for professional systems integrators and will be will be held March 11-15, 2019 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver, Denver, CO. TEC is currently accepting session proposals for the 2019 education program through August 10, so now is your chance to get involved and establish your reputation as an industry resource! TEC 2019 For more information about TEC 2019, please visit www.psatec.com
5. Be Polite
Those who are polite and mind their manners stand out from the rest of the crowd. Try to maintain a professional demeanor and even-temper. Be discreet, smile, and you will get noticed. It is important to remember that people around you will judge you based on your response to stressful situations and your emotional control. Always try to keep your manners in mind.
You can do more, say more, and be more – get going today! Practice all of these illustrated points and get noticed in your industry by joining industry associations and taking advantage of educational and developmental opportunities.
Wiseman, L. (2014). Rookie smarts: why learning beats knowing in the new game of work. New York, NY: Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollins.
TEC 2018 will deliver leading education and networking opportunities for systems integrators. There’s a lot to do during the week, so here’s some quick tips to get the most out of an industry conference.
1. Network! Network! Network!
Attend All Networking Events
Get started with by attending the Welcome Reception on Monday, and be sure not to miss TEC on Tap Tuesday evening.
Find Someone New Every Day
Make a goal to sit with someone new outside of your company each day.
Make Networking Easier
Wear your badge at all events and use the mobile app to connect with your fellow attendees.
Not Sure What To Do?
Check out the digital signage or talk with the PSA team to find out what activities are going on each day.
2. Write it Down
Take Notes During Your Sessions and During Your Meetings
Even if you think you will remember something important you learned, take notes anyway to be sure you leave
with all the information and key contacts you have collected.
Complete Session Evaluations
Be sure to complete evaluations while the content is still fresh so we know how to make TEC even better for you
next year! Complete your evaluations on the mobile app.
3. Visit the Exhibit Hall
Take Advantage of Show-Exclusive Offers from Exhibitors
Find details about show-exclusive offers at the booth and in the mobile app.
Learn Something New
Educate yourself on all the new products that are being showcased.
Visit at least one new vendor you have never heard of before.