PSA Security & ITS group partner

Recent changes in industry highlight need for specialized training
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

TAMPA, Fla.—It’s been in the works for 18 months, but the partnership announced Oct. 3 between PSA Security and BICSI—a professional association that supports the information technology systems (ITS) industry—could not have come at a better time, said Bill Bozeman, PSA Security CEO.

BICSI, based here, offers information, education and knowledge assessment for ITS professionals. This partnership will promote training and credentialing for the security integrators. It’s a professional organization that offers a number of well-known credentials, but of particular interest to the security integrator is the ESS, BICSI’s Electronic Safety and Security designer credential, Bozeman said. Notably, the ESS credential covers life safety as well as security-based systems. Also important is the fact that BICSI’s training is product agnostic.

“It’s a first-class group. They have hundreds of trainers,” he said.

Why is the timing so fortuitous? Bozeman pointed out some major players have announced some big changes in the past couple of months. For example, UTC Fire & Security and UTC Carrier Corp. combined to form a new business called UTC Climate, Controls and Security Systems; and Siemens merged its fire and security businesses. This means more competition for the independent integrator, he said.

“As more and more security and life safety systems are installed on a building’s backbone, BISCI’s training and teaching become very important,” Bozeman said.

“Will this [restructuring in the industry] affect the guy who does security in homes or local convenience stores? No. But will it impact those who do hospitals, airports or buildings over five or six stories? Yes. And this is where a lot of PSA integrators play. This, in a nutshell, is why the partnership with BICSI is so important,” Bozeman said.

“This partnership is an essential step toward increasing the visibility and knowledge of both organizations’ education, training and credentialing in the field of electronic safety and security,” said BICSI President Brian Hansen, in a statement. He said, “BICSI is eager to work closely with PSA in the coming months to accomplish that goal.”

Sharon Shaw, PSA Security director of education, said that integrators who obtain the ESS credential are likely “to win new projects based on their competency [with information technology] and the fact that they’ll do a better job designing and implementing jobs that reside on the network.”

The ESS credential will carry weight when an integrator is meeting with a potential customer’s CIO or CTO, Shaw said. “They’ll recognize that [BICSI] credential because they have it themselves or they will appreciate how much work it takes to get that credential.

Among other activities, PSA and BICSI will co-market their security programs, and participate in each other’s conferences.