Allied, others, bring in Engebretson

Why go out for training when you can have it delivered?
Monday, May 1, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash.--Okay, so Jay Hunt, president of Allied Fire & Security, wants to do IP. "I go to these conferences," he said, "and when you're talking to other integrators, there's some concern about convergence, but there isn't that much concern. I'm a little worried about that. I think there's a whole lot of change going on out there, and I think a lot of dealers are not seeing the writing on the wall."
Hunt's seen the writing, though, and it told him to get his people trained on networking. "Every generation has some threat," he said, "and these days it's with IT convergence." He's looked into partnering with IT companies, as he's seen his customer become "more of an IT manager/department," combining his security knowledge with somebody else's IT knowledge.
"That's one option," he said. "The other option is that you learn as much as you can."
To that end, after seeing him in action as part of a Seattle training sponsored by Panasonic, Hunt has decided to bring in David Engebretson and his training firm Slayton Solutions, to train the staff at his $25 million independent commercial installation company on IP engineering and installation. "He seems the most knowledgeable in this area about security," Hunt said. He and Engebretson haven't set a date yet, but the trainings will be conducted at each of Allied's three offices.
Engebretson, who's been in the industry since 1977, four or five years ago "bought a Panasonic camera, took it home, looked at the instructions, and they were 80 pages long. I said to myself, 'The guys I know, they're not going to read 80 pages of instruction.'"
He's since self-published in 2005 The Technicians Guide to Networking for Security Systems, and sold more than 1,600 copies. He counts executives at the FBI, Bosch and Panasonic as readers.
He has a collection of trainers he contracts with as part of his Chicago-based company, and works often for the NBFAA, PSA Security, and the ISC conventions. He said the follow-up that Hunt decided upon often happens.
"I am not inexpensive," he admitted, but "I think more dealers and integrators are seeing that in terms of training you get exactly what you pay for." He said some vendor training is excellent, but his experience as an Ademco trainer reminds him that, "If you came to me and said you had a problem, I might know that a competitor could solve your problem, but I got paid by Ademco."
Now, after Engebretson's done, "They'll be able to install whatever products that you want to buy."
That sounds good to Jay Hunt: "The majority of people are just now figuring out how to transition their company. If you haven't done it yet, you're going to be coming from behind from now on."