Recent News

Recent News

  • Autoware The energy management value Automation World Avid Solutions Configuration management and version control Automation World Bachelor Controls, Inc. Spanning the air gap: ICS network security Automation World ESE Data collection proves valuable in processing automation Beverage Industry Advanced controls yield major process improvements Food Engineering Portland Engineering How to build a better integration team Plant Servi

  • CEO Jose Rivera will be presenting CSIA - New Business Models Transform System Integration at the Panduit North America Partner Summit, March 1-3 at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nevada. The event will feature sessions on The Internet of Things (IoT) and how it will effect the future business market. CSIA members are invited to register at a 25% discount. The full cost of the event, including hotel and food, is $1,100. Use discount code GoldPartner (case sensitive) when registering at http://www.panduitpartnersummit.com/ .

  • At CSIA, I have a unique opportunity to speak with partner suppliers, system integrators and end-user clients. Rockwells Automation Fair extends the opportunity to meet all three in person. The Automation Fair, held in Atlanta in November, was a great place to not only see so many of our members, but also to continue our outreach to clients. When I showed the many clients I met with that we have a shopping mall of qualified system integrators (CSIA's Industrial Automation Exchange) and their supplier partners, many exclaimed, Where has this been all my life!? In fact, during one such booth interaction, we used the Exchange to find an integrator. After filtering by industry, specialty and city office location, our laser-focused search found an integrator that was also exhibiting at the Automation Fair. I walked the client over to our member and introduced them. Both the client and the booth staff were grateful. I followed up with the client last week and found that they are ...

  • The delivering of customer solutions for system integrators (SI) has traditionally used the waterfall approach to project management. In general, a customers requirements are set and agreed to up front using a signed-off functional requirements document (FRD). In this scenario, all requirements are considered to be not negotiable. Once developed, tested and met, they form the basis of practical completion. Unless it is a time and materials project, time and cost are the variables. Any cost variables are absorbed by the SI and the customer wears the time or the project manager spends time on variations to renegotiate deliverables, costs and time. Agile is a project management methodology that has been used extensively in the IT industry for many years. Contrary to popular belief, the methodology is far more rigorous than one may imagine. Using agile, time and cost are not variable they are considered to be fixed. Customers' requirements are generally expressed in terms of user stories. ...

  • Over the years, we have been very fortunate in that we have had only a couple of small general/professional errors and omissions liability losses. I know that many members have historically been frustrated by the insurance-related demands of their customers. Many are the days when I have heard, Never had loss. We don't really need the insurance just the certificate. Meanwhile, our accumulated premium reserves have grown. I have called it our rainy day fund . Well, over the last six months it sure has rained. We have seven losses now, one of which has maxed out the policy limit of $2 million. The other six are ongoing and several are carrying large loss reserves. I believe that for any of the insured members involved, if it were not for our program and the accumulated premiums generated over the years, they would be looking at the very serious possibility of being without coverage at next renewal. The coverage that we offer, which is exclusive to us, is extremely broad and crafted ...

  • At the most recent Executive Conference in Puerto Rico there was an interesting unconference on IoT. The room was packed with a good mix of SIs and Partners, and the expectation of a deep dive into the topic was high. Like any unconference, the discussion started with What do you want to talk about? and surprisingly the most interesting topic was What is IoT? It was a little confusing for me that many of the SIs in the room were anxious to understand what that buzz word was about, and if and how it could affect them. It was clear that most of us had only a partial understanding of how, not just IoT, but all the new technologies, could impact our traditional business. We are engineers and we love any new technological challenge. Thats our comfort zone! But this is not a technological problem - How this convergence of different technological opportunities is rapidly changing the business models in almost every industry and consumer market. There are many business trends that are ...

  • The Rockwell Automation Fair in Atlanta, Georgia on November 9-10 provided a great opportunity for CSIA to reach out to the Latin American SI community: CSIA LATAM members (13) met at the CSIA hospitality suite on Tuesday to get to know each other a little better. We provided an update on CSIA-led activities in the region in the past year and explored new ideas for 2017. Rockwell Automation hosted a breakfast meeting on Thursday for an audience composed primarily of Latin American system integrators, along with a few European and Asia Pacific attendees. CSIA CEO Jose Rivera had the opportunity to speak, as did Steve Szamocki, VP sales and marketing from JMP Engineering Inc., who endorsed the contributions CSIA makes to the success of its member companies. This generated additional interest among the breakfast attendees in learning more about CSIA. Peer-to-peer recommendations are always welcomed and encouraged! CSIA also hosted a booth at the Automation Fair, and we enjoyed ...

  • For system integrators or other companies falling within the umbrella of the Internet of Things (lOT), the engineering gap represents the most troubling of industry trends. For years, much attention has been given to the lack of qualified STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers entering the American workforce. It has been estimated that the United States graduates about 70,000 engineers annually , a significant drop-off from the 600,000 or 350,000 that China and India add, respectively, to their workforces each year. If China graduates eight times as many engineers as the United States, how will STEM-dependent companies such as those in the fields of automation and system integration be able to compete with their foreign competitors? This decrease in the nations STEM labor force has already caught the attention of U.S. policymakers, with the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stating the need for approximately one million more STEM ...

  • CSIA and Partner member alliantgroup will be hosting a CEO Roundtable on Thursday, October 13 at the alliantgroup headquarters in Houston, Texas. Similar in nature to the CSIA Executive Conference, we will address issues relevant to our members' system integration businesses. The forum will be led by alliantgroups economic, legislative and policy experts on the latest trends impacting the industry as well as the U.S. economy. We would like for this type of event to take place in a few other U.S. cities across the country in 2017. Please join me at these unique events

  • Control system integrators have to know the A to Z of industrial applications and have to be the architects to zookeepers for the range of projects they manage. Because of this, it is important for system integrators to be able to rely on an association like CSIA to inform and advocate for their specific needs. In addition, they need to know where to turn for the specialized technical knowledge they need for their projects. In conjunction with CSIA, ODVA is another association that can be a key resource for the system integrator community. Founded in 1995, ODVA is a trade and standards development organization whose members comprise the worlds leading automation companies. ODVAs mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation. ODVA recognizes its media independent network protocol, the Common Industrial Protocol or CIP(tm) and the network adaptations of CIP EtherNet/IP(tm), DeviceNet(tm), CompoNet(tm) and ControlNet(tm) ...

  • The CSIA Legal Plan is an automatic benefit included with your CSIA membership which provides a bundle of free and discounted legal services oriented to the special needs of integrators. With this benefit, CSIA members are entitled to up to two free 30-minute legal consultations per quarter in English at no charge. For more information on the CSIA Legal Plan, including additional benefits available to you as a CSIA member, please visit www.faegrebd.com/csialegalplan . I am often asked what types of issues come up during these teleconferences. The answer? When there is a free benefit, you really hear all sorts of things. But here are some of the common issues that can be addressed during these free consultations: Developing a strategy for how to reach a finalized agreement with a new customer or for a significant new project. Gaining an understanding about what a particular provision in a proposed contract really means, and how it may differ from your companys usual risk ...

  • On September 7 , Mitsubishi Electric hosted the Partner Committee's annual meeting at their North American headquarters in Vernon Hills, Illinois, outside of Chicago. We had 20 members, both SIs and Partners in attendance. CSIA CEO Jose Rivera provided an update on the various initiatives CSIA has been working on. One of these was the new approach to communications approach, which now includes LIVE! Webinars and Member Plug-In (printed newsletters) in addition to e-Newsletters. This new mix of communication channels is designed to cater to various communication preferences and improve the likelihood of important membership information reaching all members. CSIA staff members Lynda Patterson and Brittany Olson gave a brief presentation on the plans as they are shaping up for the 2017 Executive Conference. The Partner Committee was instrumental in making the decision to use pods at the 2016 Executive Conference. This minimized the logistical efforts by the Partners participating at ...