SecurityXchange: Making Meetings Matter
September 1, 2009
Imagine the opportunity to meet face to face with your manufacturers and vendors and asking them exactly what you want to know. Imagine the same scenario, without interruptions from phone calls, emails, or other distractions. Sounds like something too good to be true, right? Actually, it’s not.
That scenario is SecurityXchange, an industry resource that facilitates face-to-face meetings between top-level security executives and manufacturers. It is designed for chief security officers and security directors who are involved in building strategic vendor relationships and making the final selection of product. It offers up to 20 strategic meetings, new product discussions, business growth opportunities and networking – all in one place over the course of two days. Additional networking opportunities are available throughout the day during the breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
SecurityXchange stands alone from traditional methods for searching for solutions, such as Internet searches, integrator and peer recommendations and collecting brochures at tradeshows. The follow-up phone calls and office visits alone can take up a lot of valuable time with each of those methods. Some security executives don’t even use any of those techniques and will just stay with what they know.
Instead, attendees at SecurityXchange have the opportunity to research physical security technology solutions through direct discussions between end-users and solution providers. End user profiles are provided in advance to manufacturers and vendors so that pre-meeting agendas and research can be done to make each meeting as beneficial to everyone as possible.
“SecurityXchange is a resource to create efficiencies for the security industry leadership to assess new technology while fostering beneficial relationships; our process helps save time in an era where everyone is stretched thin,” said Jon Lowell, executive director, SecurityXchange.
Security magazine spoke to end users and solution providers who have met with each other at SecurityXchange, including Wells Fargo & Company, Citrus Valley Health Partners and Siemens Healthcare. Their stories tell of a valuable experience that many wish to repeat because each one has found a way at SecurityXchange to stay on top of innovations, find new solutions and establish and improve strategic relationships with manufacturers to leverage their expertise. As we all know, during these challenging times, a resource such as SecurityXchange that brings efficiency and helps to fill the gaps is priceless.
Ted Barron, vice president/security manager at Wells Fargo & Company, noted that the meetings at SecurityXchange are more relaxed than traditional meetings at his office. “It’s more of a depth of understanding because it’s a more relaxed atmosphere and an informal exchange of information,” he said. “Through SecurityXchange meetings, you achieve as much in one meeting as you would if someone came to your office three to four times to review their product.”
Barron said that he attends other vendor events such as trade shows, but that SecurityXchange offers “a controlled environment and a refined process where we have access to the best experts presenting their products, and they are available for questions. We get to select the people we want to see, some of whom we had never thought about seeing.”
For Quintron Systems, a manufacturer of integrated communications and security systems, attending SecurityXchange gave them the type of access to Wells Fargo that they would not have been able to get on their own. This resulted in an unexpected and innovative solution for Wells Fargo, and a growing relationship and future opportunity for Quintron. In turn, Barron said that it would be very unlikely that he would have met Quintron if not for SecurityXchange.
Barron said that the Quintron product he learned about at SecurityXchange will allow Wells Fargo to install a more integrated access system. “If I have a location that needs access control, instead of a new access control device, I can use an existing device, and through the Quintron software, I can manage it on an enterprise level,” he said. “Because I can do that, it allows me to save money, because I don’t have to install a separate panel just for access control. It’s the Quintron product that will help me on an enterprise level, for 4,000 to 5,000 locations.”
“It will save us 20 percent on access control on the retail side, which is a large savings to us,” he added. “Having the ability to see the Quintron product in advance at SecurityXchange, I will be able to move forward with the process faster and easier.”
Barron also noted that SecurityXchange meetings can be more important than meetings at a traditional trade show. “If we go to a show, all we get is raw product information,” he said. “We may get a presentation, but because there are so many products to see, it’s not really a dedicated venue. SecurityXchange provides a forum for serious product and service deliveries, and our relationship with Quintron is an excellent example of that.”
Barron added that he even sees value in meeting with vendors at SecurityXchange with whom he already has a relationship. “They are interested in what changes have occurred with us, so it becomes a process where their head people can dedicate a whole day to meet with us, versus simply meeting [a company’s] sales people at a trade show,” he said. “We encourage their product development and we get better products and service as a result. Yes, that can happen in my office, but I really think they enjoy it just as well because the vendor has everyone at SecurityXchange on the product side that would not normally visit my office.”
What does Barron expect from a vendor once at SecurityXchange? “The presentations range from simple questions to more candid questions that find out how they can fit our needs,” he said. “They [vendors] should be asking those questions to create larger business relationships. The ones who ask them will get further along.” He said that a two-pronged approach is best: establishing a short-term opportunity through SecurityXchange to create a long-term opportunity after he returns to the office.
Citrus Valley Health Partners in Covina, Calif., through its three hospital campuses and hospice, serves a community of 930,000 people in the San Gabriel Valley. It employs more than 3,000 staff members and 1,000 physicians. So the challenge for Frank Michaud, manager of security services of Citrus Valley, is to find solutions that will save him time and money. By talking with leadership at Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies at a recent SecurityXchange, Michaud learned how do that and more.
Michaud first attended SecurityXchange in 2008. “It was very beneficial,” he said. “It gave me another insight into the vendor world that I was not aware of. I was used to doing things by word of mouth. But when you talk to a vendor, [you realize that] that they may be able to offer something larger than you expected.”
Michaud previously had a business relationship with Ingersoll Rand before attending his first SecurityXchange. “But after sitting down with the head of sales at Ingersoll Rand last year, I was surprised at the knowledge he had of my company’s products,” he said.
After meeting with George Nortonen, vice president of sales for Ingersoll Rand at SecurityXchange, Michaud said he discovered a way to add an antimicrobial coating to biometric hand meters, in addition to a strategy for integrating part of his security system into the entire Citrus Valley enterprise.
“This is a time and money savings for me,” Michaud said, noting that by using the Ingersoll Rand solution, he does not have to incur the costs of running new power lines or new wiring. He can cut costs by one-third versus installing a new system.
How long would it have taken to find a solution on his own without the meeting at SecurityXchange? “I still would have been in the dark,” he said, “because my local contact at Ingersoll Rand changed. By being there, I learned more about the product. Otherwise, it may have taken six months or longer. Once the hospital gives us an ok to do something, they want it done yesterday,” he said. “So making hospital administration happy can be more valuable than the dollar. When they are happy, I get more money for future projects.”
Michaud also appreciated the opportunity to speak with his peers at SecurityXchange. “I have a law enforcement background and I have been in security work for 20 years, but there is always something to learn,” he said. “The caliber of the people present was incredible. I was able to speak with my peers and receive direct answers right away.”
For Mark Brunstetter of Siemens Healthcare, attending SecurityXchange literally means saving money.
Brunstetter, who has attended SecurityXchange for two years, said that he found a solution at one SecurityXchange from HID Global that has saved him a significant amount of money.
“When I first read about SecurityXchange, I was a little leery and then I figured that I could probably save so much time if I could go to one location and was able to talk to the top notch people from each of these companies,” Brunstetter said. “I started thinking about the time I would save from here getting meetings set up in my office and the SX logistics are incredible. Not only that, but SecurityXchange allows me to customize meetings to whatever projects I have.”
At SecurityXchange, Brunstetter said that he was able to find a creative solution from HID for building access. He had already used HID’s product, but noted that if had not met directly with HID’s key people at SecurityXchange, he said it is unlikely that he would have solved his problem in the way he did. He also would not have been able to save his company as much money.
In addition, Brunstetter said that the year before at SecurityXchange, he met a leader from a perimeter solution company who told him about a solution for fencing and fence detection around a Siemens Healthcare facility. This was an entirely new solution for Brunstetter, which enabled him to save a significant amount of money.
“It’s not just the time saved, I have confidence now because of two successful years in a row that when I go to SecurityXchange I’m going to come out of there saving money,” Brunstetter said. “I look forward to going to SecurityXchange to make sure that I come in under budget and that makes everybody happy.”
Security executives are pulled in many directions, but they still need to be connected to the vendor community as a way to verify that their security department is on the right path. End-users will continue to work with integrators and consultants, but for those leaders that want a hand in technology selection and a direct relationship to access when in need; SecurityXchange can offer an expediency and productivity to the process.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Lowell. “The SecurityXchange format has a unique way of fostering relationships and networking that lead to solutions and beneficial partnerships.”
SecurityXchange 2010 will be held Feb. 7-10, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.
For more information, contact Jon Lowell, executive director, SecurityXchange, 952-277-0800, or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found online at http://www.security-xchange.com/enterprise/index.html