Integrators cross-pollinate at CSIA conference

June 13, 2017
Executive Conference 2017 draws close to record attendance of system integrators to Florida to exchange insights and best practices.

JUST shy of an all-time record attendance of 530 system integrators from 16 countries descended on Fort Lauderdale on May 2-5 to share best practices, raise awareness, gain insights and support each other during the Control System Integrators Association's (CSIA) 2017 Executive Conference. The three-day event featured keynote addresses, 20 workshops and sessions, and special events including the second annual CSIA Fun Run/Walk, CSIA Women in Industry networking breakfast, annual industry expo and awards dinner.

The conference's two programming tracks included "Small Company SIs and Best Practices" with methods for helping younger, smaller system integrators grow to become well-established companies, and "Transformative Business Models" that showed how integrators can adopt new business models to help them and their clients adapt and implement new technologies such as those offered by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

[sidebar id =1]"Research by Gartner and other analysts indicates that 50% of system integrators may not be here in just three years unless they change their business models or partner with a third party," said José Rivera, CEO of the CSIA, during his opening keynote address. "So maybe we have to integrate in some unexpected ways with systems and applications. This kind of transformation is what our founding members achieved in 1994 when they established the CSIA and our core best practices, or when they later created peer groups, and system integrators can do the same today when they use CSIA's online Pulse tool to benchmark their performance."

To further instill and distribute their best practices, CSIA also held a two-day training workshop just before the conference began for attendees interested in learning more about the application of the principles behind CSIA’s Best Practices and Benchmarking manual, which in turn lays the groundwork for CSIA’s signature certification program.

During the conference's annual awards dinner, CSIA recognized five outstanding organizations and individuals for their contributions to the system integration industry:

  • Interstates Control Systems Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D., was named 2017 Integrator Company Member of the Year;
  • Kepware was recognized as 2017 Partner Company Member of the Year;
  • Timothy D.C. Nolan of Data Science Automation, Pittsburgh, Pa., won the 2017 Rising Star award;
  • Former CSIA CEO Robert Lowe of Loman Control Systems Inc., Lancaster, Pa., won the 2017 Charlie Bergman "Remember Me" award, which recognizes a member for upholding the principles of sharing, leadership and promoting the profession. The award honors CSIA founder and visionary, Charlie Bergman, and remains the highest distinction for CSIA members; and
  • Leidos, Walled Lake, Mich., won the 2017 Social Responsibility, which is a new award.

The CSIA's 2018 Executive Conference will be held on April 24-27 in San Francisco, Calif.