VTI University: Fostering learning and loyalty

The goal is to be a 'trusted business partner'
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS—VTI Security’s education program for its customers fosters loyalty and provides valuable insight to VTI about customer needs at the same time, according to Thomas Asp, VTI Security CEO.

Started six years ago, VTI “U” brings VTI end users together to network and to teach them about technology and to discuss security topics of concern such as workplace violence or active-shooter scenarios. Asp and VTI EVP Bryan Viau emphasize that it’s technology education, not product training or sales.

“Instead of trying to sell them [something], we invite customers in and discuss topics,” Viau said. Technology sessions might explore POE, when to use megapixel cameras, or IP versus analog. The discussion covers the business challenges and technology options.

Technology classes are hands-on and tangible. For example, when discussing megapixel cameras, Viau said that they don’t talk about camera brands or specs, but rather about the picture.

Getting as basic as setting up cameras with different resolutions and looking at the varied images helps end users decide what they need for certain applications, what they want for a type and quality of image, and what they’re willing to pay for that image. It helps the integrator choose the right product. “The expectation is met,” Viau said.

Attendees really appreciate the opportunity to learn about technology alongside their peers, Viau said. And, while attendees may or may not hire VTI for a future security project, VTI staff members learn from the discussion.

“The goal is to be a trusted business partner—they allow us to sit at the table with them. We value that,” Viau said.