Bad economy=best thing for ISC West

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04/02/2009
It sounds horrible, but I'm a little bummed about the news the economy might be picking back up. This is by far the most productive ISC West I've ever had and it's because the difficult economic times have forced manufacturers to focus their businesses on helping integrators make sales and run their businesses and the conversations I'm having are the most pointed and interesting I've had. Further, while the traffic might be down here, the universal sentiment is: good riddance to the people that were only coming here to party and pick up trinkets at the booths (or to ogle the scantily clad women employed as dealer attractors in some booths). Everyone's telling me that they're having the same productive conversations with the attendees as they're having with me. The people here are serious about doing business, are committed to the industry and security, and they're aggressive in tough times. Elan Moriah, president at Verint, told me: "The people that came here are people who are looking to make buying decisions, not so much of the visitors who come just for the gifts, which we’ve seen the last couple of years. It's definitely different this year." Everybody's talking about ROI, total cost of ownership, value propositions, making the business case for security, and at the same time talking about providing more training for the dealers, more marketing and sales tools. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that it's not about the newest technology, it's about supporting the technology that exists, innovating to meet needs that actually exist, being smarter about selling into specific verticals and understanding the real-world security problems that exist in each individual business and operation. Two years ago, it was about which party you were going to and all the cool things the widget could do. Hopefully this kind of business focus can be replicated even in the good times.