Recent News

Recent News

  • In 2012, CSIA launched its interactive Connected Community website, controlsys.org. It gave CSIA members the unprecedented opportunity to connect with one another online, search for peers in the online directory, access tools and documents from online libraries, and build discussions in both the Open Forum and a multitude of sub-communities. Today, CSIA has over a dozen online communities including those for Certified members, Committees and Best Practices Training. There are 3,700 active members on the site, 3,476 discussion posts and 229 library entries. While much of this activity is done on the computer, we know that CSIA members connect with colleagues on mobile devices, searching for one another on the community directory; reading, starting and replying to existing discussions; and regularly reading daily digests of discussions on their phones. It’s great! But wouldn’t it be nice if you could do it in an easier-to-navigate, streamlined way through a mobile app? Now you can. ...

  • Someone hacks into your system. They encrypt your data and hold it for ransom. You pay the ransom to minimize the disruption to your business. They then provide the key to unlock their hold on your data so you can resume operations. Cyber breaches hit the news daily.  While we all focus on the privacy liabilities associated with the cyber breach, there is less focus on our own loss. We are not fully aware of the potentially uninsured costs associated with the breach. The time, resources, expense and lost opportunity costs spent can be significant. In the above scenario: Do you have coverage for the ransom that was paid? How quickly do they provide the information you need to resume operations? Do you have coverage for the loss of income that you suffer while you are unable to access your system? What about coverage for damage to the equipment itself caused by the breach? Property insurance policies exclude damage to your property when the damage results from a cyber loss. ...

  • Integrators Alliance Automation Mdjimba, QLD Australia Aqua Sierra Controls, Inc. Auburn, CA Automatizacion Avanzada S.A . San Jose, Costa Rica Avanceon Ltd - Pakistan Lahore, Pakistan BSI Engineering Cincinnati, OH Central Process Engineering Wixom, MI Descon Lahore, Pakistan Digilogic Systems Pvt Ltd Hyderabad, India Fitch Company Bangor, ME IMTech Fremont, CA Green Industrial Solutions (Pvt) Ltd Lahore, Pakistan MCC Controls Hamilton, ON Canada NV Tecnologias Grecia, Costa Rica Panelmatic Inc. Piedmont, SC Vire Control Systems, LLC Clarksville, AR Western States Controls Martinez, CA Xenon, Inc. Irvine, CA Partners Contrinex Carrolton, TX ECBM West Conshohocken, PA erPortal  Software Inc. West Springfield, MA Flow Software Fourways, South Africa HAL Software Dublin, Ireland Harting, Inc of North America Elgin, IL JAMA Software Portland, OR Jenkins Electric Charlotte, NC Red Lion Controls ...

  • It’s here, the revisions are done, the pilots are complete and the feedback has been incorporated – Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual Version 5.0 is ready for its final release later this month. It’s been a long journey but a worthwhile one. One of the best practices in any endeavor is a continuous review and improvement process, and CSIA’s Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual is no different. Many people put in a lot of hours and were instrumental in the revisions and new material development, notably the members of the Best Practices Committee, the auditors, our vendor partners and our clients.  Once V5.0 is released later this month, the team will begin the process of looking for additional improvements, reviewing feedback and monitoring our members’ needs as our businesses and markets change. The manual has been updated to reflect new material in a number sections and includes an entirely new section on cyber security. The entire manual was reviewed for organization, clarity ...

  • El logro más destacado para el primer trimestre es la certificación de Cybermax por parte de Don Roberts (Exotek). Felicitamos a Víctor González (CEO) y a su equipo, junto con Ignacio Guerra, el consultor externo que ayudó a Cybermax a prepararse para la auditoría. Nuestro equipo de trabajo (task force) de LATAM se inició en mayo de 2017 como una iniciativa de nuestros miembros durante la conferencia ejecutiva en Fort Lauderdale. Ha sido exitoso y valioso para nuestros integradores regionales. Hasta ahora hemos celebrado 5 reuniones compartiendo ideas prácticas sobre los siguientes temas: Cómo prepararse para implementar las mejores prácticas: recursos humanos, financieros y tiempo Cómo priorizar mejor las áreas de alcance a fortalecer Autoevaluación Gestión financiera y de recursos humanos ERP  Agradecemos a Víctor González (CEO de Cybermax) y a Ignacio Guerra (CEO Deux) por dirigir a este equipo de trabajo y, por supuesto, a todos sus miembros por su participación activa. ...

  • I just want to give a quick update from the board of directors on what has been happening at CSIA over the last 3 or 4 months. It is hard to believe that the CSIA Executive Conference is right around the corner, and all indications are that it will be a record breaker in San Francisco. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to get registered quickly - We really are just a few weeks away! First of all, 2017 proved to be a strong financial year, contributing to the continued rebuilding of our nest egg so that we can make future investments back into CSIA. We had a member retention rate of 87% this past year and a growth in Certified Integrators of 5.8%, which was great to see. The investment in the development of the Industrial Automation Exchange is now paying off as well, as we exceeded its budgeted revenue by $2,500 while keeping our direct costs very close to budget. Tony continues to do a great job of promoting participation on the Exchange, as well as helping our members ...

  • We are looking forward to connecting with you at the 2018 CSIA Executive Conference. We hope you will join us on Thursday, April 26 at 9:45 a.m. for round two of our critically acclaimed Contract negotiation of the year . As you may remember from round one at the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference in San Diego, we were able to come to an agreement, but not without some jokes (and bicycle horn honks) along the way. We are working on our lines for this exciting negotiation tips-in-action presentation, and we believe there are lines that you should be using every day in your business, too. Here are three that you should always keep in mind during your own contract negotiations: “This contract is our entire agreement.” Contract negotiations can span weeks, and even months. When you finally come to an agreement, you want to be sure the other party is not relying on any previous conflicting or inconsistent proposals or representations. Include a knock-out provision in your agreement ...

  • This is the first in a three-part series on the imperative and value-add opportunity for system integrators to add cybersecurity to their toolkits when servicing the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Digital transformation and automation is changing the way your clients do business. But moving from an analog to digital posture opens manufacturing and processing industries to cyber risk. Yet, very few SIs are integrating cybersecurity into their offerings, this creates a lucrative opportunity to expand your company’s role. Here’s how you can take advantage, even if cyber isn’t your sweet spot. Filling the void: Is it time to add cybersecurity to your toolkit? Independent system integrators in the industrial space are nothing new, but in recent years they’ve moved from a support role in the manufacturing and process industries to playing a more critical role in engineering services engagements. A recent survey by CSIA and Automation World, found that entire engineering departments ...

  • This is the third in a three-part series on Mergers and Acquisitions topics addressing the Control System Integrators Market. When an owner is ready to begin the sales process of a system integration firm, there are a number of pieces that need to successfully come together. In order for a company sale to occur, it is important for the owner and advisors to jointly manage the sale process. By doing so, the outcome is more likely to be orderly, smooth and lucrative for the business owner. Buyer types The advisor and the seller of a company need to determine what objectives, goals and potential buyer profiles look like early in the process. Finding a best fit for the seller is a vitally important step. Buyer options can include strategic buyers, private equity-backed strategic firms, private equity firms and entrepreneurial buyers. Each buyer group brings unique offerings with different advantages and disadvantages attached. It is important for the owner to have a strong understanding ...

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    M&A Corner

    This is a new section in our quarterly e-Newsletters, as well as on our website. We would like members to share information that has been made public. Our goal is not to be the source for breaking news, but a place to get caught up on recent deals. Comment: The SI market has seen interesting developments in the past years. Strategic buyers have recognized SIs as a key element for the delivery of differentiated solutions, either for the products or machines they provide. We have also seen some infrastructure companies acquire SIs to deliver their projects too. Private equity has seen an opportunity in the SI market to consolidate, providing an exit strategy for SIs wanting to retire. Here are some recent examples: February 1, 2018 Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP), a Charlotte-based private equity firm focused on investing in growth-oriented, middle market businesses, today announced it has closed a platform investment in E-Technologies Group (E-Tech), signaling broader interest ...

  • El pasado 19 de septiembre del 2017 los mexicanos despertábamos como cualquier otro día más a realizar nuestras actividades cotidianas, sin embargo, era un día que desde hacía 32 años no pasaba desapercibido. La mayoría de nosotros recordábamos aquel 19 de septiembre de 1985, como uno de los días más difíciles vividos como nación, nuestro país había sufrido un Terremoto que dejó muerte y devastación. Un día que siempre llevaremos en la mente. Esa mañana mi esposo antes de salir de casa me recordó que ese día como cada año habría el simulacro con el que México solía recordar aquella fecha. Me pidió que no me fuera a espantar si escuchaba el sonido de la alarma sísmica, pues ésta sonaría cuando el simulacro diera inició. Minutos después de haber terminado el simulacro, salí de casa para dirigirme a una cita de trabajo en el centro de la ciudad, ese día tomé una ruta diferente a la habitual. Aborde el metro de la ciudad, por la hora que era el vagón no se encontraba saturado, sin embargo, ...

  • In the modern world, almost every business uses some type of network to store information, even if it’s as simple as housing their email. Even companies hosting their email with outside providers, such as gmail, yahoo or some other private email hosts, are at risk. Many small businesses believe that the information that they have is not sensitive, important or attractive to thieves. These businesses, no matter how low-tech they may think they are, probably has sensitive information saved somewhere. Sensitive information includes any customer information. A customer list in a spreadsheet, a mailing list saved in your contacts, even correspondence with a customer in your inbox - this sensitive information is everywhere. Now, the information that you collect and save may not be dangerous on its own, but stolen customer lists are popular targets for social engineering scams. Your customers could be contacted based on the information that is saved about them (age, location, name, relatives). ...

  • Since my first visit to South Africa in 2004, I have developed a special relationship with this country. It is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited, having fully enjoyed it as a tourist. Over the years, I have developed precious friendships and valuable business relationships. I usually travel to South Africa to present at the Schneider-Electric Wonderware X-Change Conference and their separate dedicated Maximyse System Integrator Conference at various sites around South Africa. In addition to promoting our company, I have always found a way to promote CSIA as well. This year, I had the opportunity to present about CSIA and its Certification program. Alwyn Rautenbach, CEO of Iritron, a local SI client and CSIA member, teamed up with me to also share with the audience about his experience attending the CSIA Executive Conference for the first time earlier this year in Ft. Lauderdale. There was a lot of interest. One of the topics from the presentation that resonated ...

  • Growing up near the 55 th parallel in Western Canada, I knew most of the country thought we lived in the north, but I also knew there was a whole lot more of Canada further north yet. I spent much of my youth studying maps of the north, reading the poetry of Robert Service, and listening to older siblings and friends tell stories of their northern adventures. And then there was that giant, mysterious lake named Great Bear - simultaneously one of the largest, most northern, most inaccessible, and, for all of those reasons, most pristine and untouched bodies of fresh water in the world. This past July, ten of us in six small aircraft launched from Grande Prairie, Alberta, on a 10-day Northern Air Safari. Our trip followed the famed Alaska highway to Whitehorse, the Yukon River to Dawson City, across the mountains and barrens of the Yukon Territory to the Mackenzie Delta, to within spitting distance of the Arctic Ocean. We spent two glorious days exploring the lake of the Great Bear, and ...

  • Do you ever: Just want to get an open and honest answer to a business-related question? Wonder if you are really that good, or do you just think you are? Feel like you are inventing every wheel that you need? Then you may be a candidate for joining a peer group. Based on the experience of the current Peer Groups comprised of CSIA member companies, a program has been developed that will provide an environment for interested companies to learn more about what Peer Groups are, their benefits and the guidelines on how to join one. If all this sounds interesting and you are ready to learn more, go to the Connected Community to see what it’s all about and how to become a candidate to start or join one. Go to Membership/Member Benefits/Peer Groups . Then, at the Executive Conference in San Francisco, attend the breakout session on Peer Groups. It consists of current Peer Group members that want to answer the questions you might have, to help you determine if this is ...