RFI Sees ROI In Strengthening Partnerships And More At SecurityXchange

For twelve years, Brad J. Wilson, CPP, the President of RFI Communications and Security Systems, has been attending SecurityXchange (SX). While he was skeptical at first of the value of SX, Wilson is now one of its most vocal supporters and an Advisory Board member. RFI is one of the leading integrators in the security industry, and year after year, they continue to see the benefit of attending SX.

Wilson has his SX strategy broken down into three parts. “50% of why I go there is for some validation. I can validate my strategy against the manufacturer’s product roadmap and in essence, ‘skate to where the puck’s going to be’. The other 30% is looking for new technology. These smaller, more agile companies can really navigate and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them. And for the amount of investment they make at SX, typically they’re going to have their President, VP, or COO at that meeting. The last 20% would probably be the industry networking. It’s really the books you read, the people you meet, and the experiences you have.”

With a busy schedule, Wilson had many valuable meetings for many different reasons, but one of the standout meetings was with HID Global. Wilson has had a relationship with HID for over 15 years, but he intentionally meets with them every year at SX. In Wilson’s opinion, you really can’t meet with an existing partner too much. “If the velocity factor is high and there are a lot of things happening in their business, then it’s probably a good idea to meet.” HID, an industry leader, is certainly one of those companies that continues to launch new products and is constantly looking to grow.

The Meeting: Even though there is an established relationship between HID and RFI, and even though Wilson attends the roundtable discussions that HID hosts, the discussions that they are able to have at SX are different than those that can take place in any other venue. For instance, even at a meeting in the office, Wilson can’t achieve the same results he gets at SX. “It’s a much more general session when they come to the office. At SX, we can do the meeting then lunch or dinner and get that client time and have that time to talk about other things. And that’s the ROI. If I walk into a room and there’s four of them and one of me, I kind of like that because I can bounce these different ideas off of them.” As an executive, SX is one of the few places where Wilson can meet in a one-on-one environment with the leaders from HID and have a discussion completely focused around his common needs and interests.

The Relationship: RFI and HID have what Wilson calls an alliance. RFI has been participating in some of the HID’s syllabi for some of their training that they’re getting ready to roll-out. RFI wanted to be early in and have some influence on HID’s product roll-outs and that is the relationship that both companies have worked to foster.

The Difference: Said Wilson, “You go through these [trade shows] and… you get your roller skates on and you stop at a booth, scan your badge so they know you’ve been there, leave a breadcrumb or two, and maybe get up in a private suite somewhere with a key client. You can’t really get a good quality snapshot of the technology at those shows because quite honestly, a lot of the stuff is a little bit of smoke and mirrors.”

As for why companies should attend SX, Wilson said, “Why are 20% of the Top 100 SDM Integrators, or the companies that do over $100 million in business attend SX and you don’t? We have to find new methods to new markets to do different things, and I think that’s what SX provides.”

SecurityXchangeJuli Patty