CSAA already hard at work at ESX
PITTSBURGH–So I arrived in Pittsburgh for ESX a little later than planned today due to a protracted layover at JFK… But hey, let’s be honest, if you’re gonna be stuck in a protracted layover anywhere, shouldn’t it be JetBlue’s JFK terminal? Plenty of good food (I had some ginger chicken for lunch that was out of this world), free wifi, ample seating… It was kind of nice to sit, eat, catch up on email and read a book.
Anyway, I arrived in Pa. and was immediately impressed (and not a little relieved) to find out all the cabs in Pittsburgh (not so much in Vegas) accept credit cards, which was nice since I once again neglected to hit the bank-in-a-box on the way to the airport this morning.
The cab driver shared with me some of the history of Pittsburgh, along with it’s geography, size, population and selling points… He was really pushing the curb appeal. I wondered if he maybe moonlighted as a real estate agent and was about to ask if I wanted to see a really nice loft downtown. Anyway in describing the city, he said it was “clean, green and secure.” That was his word: “secure.” I’m sure I wasn’t the first security dude he’d carted off to a downtown hotel today…
Anyway checked in here at the Westin and then went downstairs to have a look around. I promptly bumped into Gerry Duffy of Bloomfield, N.J.-based Spectrum Cable and Alarm Systems and Chris Mosely from Marlboro, N.J.-based Complete Security Systems–both active members of the NJBFAA. I spoke with Chris last year regarding a developing story that was near and dear to his heart as his municipality’s PD got into alarm monitoring, providing the service for free and effectively cutting out the alarm company. I followed up on that original story here early this year when the MPD began an aggressive marketing campaign for their free monitoring service. We walked around for a bit and checked out some of the conference rooms where CSAA has already been hard at work in board meetings and such. Then we decided to go have some dinner.
Chris and Gerry were great company and we had a good time talking shop and telling stories. We discussed communications mediums coming to the fore in the face of the impending POTS sunset. We talked about RMR and what may or may not happen to it as a business model as more and more telcos threw their hats into the game. We also talked about the lead paint issue now spreading. I talked about life in the northern reaches of the Union (SSN’s based in way up north of Portland, Maine), Chris told of his beginnings as a young man in the alarm industry after a stint on a turkey farm didn’t work out (”There were thousands–thousands–of birds… You don’t want to get into poultry.”), and Gerry regaled us with tales of his personal, home-based surveillance system being at the right place at the right time and baggin’ some bad guys–more than once.
After dinner I briefly bumped into Texana’s Sean O’Keefe, and met up with SSN associate publisher Gregg Shapiro (whom you’ll recall joined me on a wild tour of Texas a couple weeks back), CenterPoint Technologies‘ MJ Vance, and DICE’s Cliff Dice and Melissa Courville for some casual conversation.
Nice start to the day. Now off to bed for an early registration and a session on making PERS a Profitable Solution.