ESX veterans talk about what brings companies back

DIY panels, video verification catch show veterans’ attention
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

BALTIMORE—ESX veterans told Security Systems News that peer-to-peer learning and networking are among the offerings that keep them coming back to the annual event that will take place here June 24-26.

“DIY is a hot topic right now. I actually changed my travel plans specifically so I could go to a DIY seminar,” Rob Driscoll, GM, monitoring services for Koorsen Fire & Security said. “Using video to verify alarms [is] another hot topic I won’t miss, something I definitely need to see and learn more about.”

Driscoll has been attending the show since its start in 2008.

Tom Szell, ADS east region and corporate services SVP, has also attended the show since 2008. He told SSN that networking is a top reason for returning year after year, “The networking [opportunity] amongst individuals in the industry is one of the best.”

“It gives you an opportunity to talk to people that are trying some new things that you can learn from, sharing of best practices, and just getting to see friends that you’ve known over the years,” Szell said.

Provident Security’s president, Mike Jagger, underlined the value in peer-to-peer learning. “A lot of different companies are using the same technology with completely different applications, so there’s a lot of value in that. … You get a lot of inspiration, a lot of ideas, from seeing that,” he told SSN.

Jagger estimated that he has attended the show six times in the past. He said the ability to tour monitoring centers during past shows has been valuable.

Driscoll also said that central station personnel are an integral part of the show, and installing dealers could specifically benefit from networking opportunities with third-party monitoring centers.

New this year at ESX is the TechVision Challenge

Driscoll said he values ESX’s specialized educational tracks, covering different areas of the industry in-depth. The educational sessions benefit “anybody who’s new in the security business, particularly if they’re an alarm company or monitoring company,” he said.

Driscoll also highlighted the keynote. “That has been one thing I always attend,” he said. “The speakers have always been very good.” This year’s keynote is retired Maj. Gen. James Champion, presenting “Leadership Is A 24/7 Job.”

Koorsen Fire & Security is an installing dealer based in Indianapolis, with 15,000 monitored accounts, and about 100,000 total installations. The company has 22 branch offices across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.

“It’s not the largest show, but that’s a good thing in my opinion,” Driscoll said. “[It’s] a little more intimate; you can spend a little more time seeing some of the same people and developing relationships with them over the years.”

Jagger concurred with Driscoll. “We end up having more in-depth conversations with some of our primary suppliers,” he said. Provident is an installing central station, about 80 percent of its accounts are residential, Jagger said.

“We send a lot of people [to ESX], we get a lot out of it,” Szell said. ADS is a full service security provider based in Nashville, Tenn.