Mobile’s the word at annual DICE conference

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BAY CITY, Mich.—Participants set the agenda at DICE Corp.’s annual Users Group Conference, so the topics can shift to reflect what is actually happening in the field. And a lot of the buzz at this year’s event focused on what everyone in the industry has been talking about lately: adapting to keep up with the Web.

The ninth annual DUG conference, held Aug. 6-8 in Frankenmuth, Mich., attracted nearly 80 participants from 75 companies, according to Melissa Courville, head of marketing and communications for DICE.

Courville said a request from DICE software users changed the format of this year’s conference, with the usual discussion about best practices moved from the last day to the first.

“We usually do best practices as a wrap-up, but they wanted it to be on the first day so it could generate ideas that they could use throughout the event,” she said. “It added a lot of open-forum flavor throughout the three days.”

Much of the talk revolved around DICE’s mobile applications, including Matrix Tech Service and Matrix Fire Inspection. The apps earned the company two Maximum Impact Awards at the 2012 Electronic Security Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

“The biggest topics [at DUG] were our new Matrix products, our new Web-based monitoring, data entry dealer tools, and the new apps that we have for iPhones, Android and all the mobile devices,” Philip DuPont, director of operations for DICE, told Security Systems News. “Because everything is going to the Web.”

Matrix Tech Service provides mobile access to account records and allows technicians to enable or disabled installed systems remotely. Matrix Fire Inspection provides a step-by-step “progress bar” in the browser of a mobile device to ensure that every inspection follows procedure.

DICE will institute another change in its conference format next year by holding the 10th annual event at a client site: Engineered Protection Systems in Grand Rapids, Mich. Plans are also nearing completion for the 2014 conference, but the site has not been disclosed.

As with all DUG events, the blueprint for training and seminars will follow the needs of the industry, Courville said.  

“Users set the agenda,” she said. “It is a 100 percent client-driven conference.”