When John Stroia assumed the role of chairman of the Security Industry Association for 2014, he stated among his primary goals were to grow membership, deliver on SIA’s robust investment in education and training, and continue vigorous outreach to professional organizations and vertical markets. To achieve that and more, Stroia will call on his veteran industry experience, which includes joining The Will-Burt Co. as CEO in 2012, and 21 years with Diebold as vice president of corporate development.
What factors go into determining the coursework offered as part of the SIA Education@ISC West program?
Direct feedback from conference attendees via focus groups, one-on-one outreach and onsite and post-event evaluations guide the design of the ISC West conference program from year-to-year. Across all demographic groups, including integrators, attendees report the primary reason they attend SIA Education@ISC is to keep up with the latest security technologies, so the majority of sessions are geared toward helping attendees understand those technologies, explore their application and interoperability, and, for integrators, create the best security solutions for their customers.
How do you prevent program redundancy from year to year?
No two ISC West conference programs are ever alike. Each year, in response to customer demand and with the guidance of industry experts on the ISC Education Advisory Board, we reshape the program. When our customers said they needed more hands-on experiences, we added learning labs to the schedule. When they asked for higher-level content, we transformed the program to include more intermediate and advanced level courses of a technical nature. This approach is paying off; customer satisfaction with the sessions, speakers and overall conference continues on a steady rise.
What upcoming training initiatives does SIA have on its agenda that excite you especially?
2014 is the year of security project management for SIA. Coming soon is the newly developed Certified Security Project Management [CSPM] certification and a host of education activities, including a new CSPM Review Course, online education specific to security project management, and a library of resources in general project management. These efforts will be deployed through a new learning center built on a state-of–the-art technology platform.
What do you view as SIA’s most important work currently in addressing the need for standards in the industry?
SIA’s most important work in addressing the need for open standards in the industry is the work being done on SIA Open Supervised Device Protocol [OSDP]. OSDP is a specification that allows for bidirectional communication between control panels and peripheral devices such as card readers, biometric inputs and other sensors. It serves as not only the next step in access control, but also as a technical building block for this industry’s foray into the consumer-driven “Internet of things.” A number of companies that are already embracing OSDP will be demonstrating their conformant products live at ISC West as part of an open standards OSDP Plugfest.
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