Greetings from ESX in Charlotte

 - 
06/09/2011

What I’m hearing from people on the floor and at different ESX events, is that they’re pleased with the show this year. There were more booths (and notably some bigger booths—Mobotix for one) and more people, everyone agreed.

It seems like in year four, expectations have been managed for ESX. It’s not a deal conference, but it’s a great venue for networking—is what I hear.

And I’d agree, that’s primarily what Dan and I are doing here, although Dan is also attending a bunch of educational sessions and went on the CPI central station tour as well.

I also had a chance to catch up with some manufacturers I didn’t get to talk with at ISC West.

I’m also moderating  a couple of panel discussions. Today at 3:15 I’m moderating a panel called “The door-to-door sales paradigm shift.” For the record, I did not name the panel but I am looking forward to it. I’ve got Alex Dunn, COO of Vivint (formerly APX Alarm) the biggest summer model company; John Strade, ADT’s director of training, who’s trained hundreds of ADT dealers in door-to-door sales; and Patrick Egan, president of Select Security, a traditional, full-service security company based in Penn. Last year, Pat went to Utah, recruited a bunch of college kids who he brought back to Penn. To sell Select Security door to door. It worked so well, he’s doing it again this year.

If it’s anything like the door-knocking panel I moderated last year, it will be lively. Stop by Room 207D if you’re in Charlotte.

On Tuesday I moderated a discussion with Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG Security and Michael Barnes, partner in Barnes Associates about “trends in valuation.” Specifically, how do those new services (hosted, managed services, home automation add ons, etc) affect the value of your company.

I’ll have more on this later, but in general, Joe Nuccio said that many, many of these services are tried and tested, plug and play, and as long as your company has the infrastructure to support the services and it fits with your company profile—they’re a no brainer. (Interestingly, ASG VP of sales and marketing Bob Ryan, who was in the audience,  predicted that ASG would sell “about 300”  more residential cameras this year than it will sell commercial cameras. “And we sell a lot of commercial cameras,” he said, adding that “if you told me that would be the case two or three years ago, I would have said you were crazy.”)

However, Nuccio said, you’ve got to be cautious, test them first, and choose your manufacturers carefully.

Mike Barnes advised caution as well. Services that complement your specialty and vertical market focus can be great. They should contribute to the growth of the company, however. And you should be able to document that growth.