Meeting George West

Siemens' new head of security reconnects with the field offices
Monday, May 1, 2006

LAS VEGAS--Here in Vegas for his first ISC West show as Seimens Building Technologies senior vice president and division head of its security systems business, George West seemed relaxed and at ease in his new role. The only thing he lamented over the course of a half-hour interview was the fact that his promotion took him away from New England, which his family had grown to love over the course of his three years as head of Siemens' New England district office.
West in January replaced Alan Calegari, who left the full-service security company in October after serving in the position for a year. With his 12 years at Siemens and 10 years at Johnson Controls, West has 22 years in the building technologies business, built on a sales, engineering and general management background. He said his top priority in his new role is "reconnecting with the field organizations," what he called "the heart of the business." Currently, Siemens has 120 field offices, but West said he is the "first person in this role with an extensive field background.
"Talking with the field guys," he said, "they're excited about knowing I feel in my bones what it's like to be in the field." His experience there tells him "what customers are looking for is commitment to the life of the relationship."
As for where he sees the market going, and what Siemens' role will be, he said, "more customers are asking for more integration." Because of the breadth of both Siemens Building Technologies and the Siemens company as a whole, West feels he can offer a wider variety of expertise than many of his competitors. He noted that the cost per sensor is going down rapidly, and "getting data is cheaper." As customers buy more sensors and put them in new places, West called turning that data into "actionable intelligence" his "biggest customer challenge."