Never a Dull Moment for SSI Summit Guest

From general sessions to vendor engagement to networking, security integrator Seth Barcus says he finds value in every minute of the Total Tech Summit.

When the Security Sales & Integration Summit was added as a third track to the Total Tech Summit in 2016, the goal was to provide security integrators with the same experience custom and commercial integrators have been enjoying for years as part of the CE Pro and CI Summits, respectively. One New York security installer who has attended each of the first two SSI Summits says it too has become a must-attend event.

American Security director of security and interactive services Seth Barcus decided to give the inaugural event a chance two years ago. Now he doesn’t plan on missing any moving forward.

Seth Barcus (left) says the networking is just one of the aspects of the SSI Summit that makes the event so worthwhile.
Seth Barcus (left) says the networking is just one of the aspects of the SSI Summit that makes the event so worthwhile.

One of the most beneficial portions of the event for Barcus has been the general session content. He says hearing from industry leaders like Select Security founder and CEO Pat Egan, LOUD Security president John Loud and Integrated Security Technologies co-founder Andrew Lanning have given him insight into ways he could improve his own business.

“It’s about getting to listen to these successful CEOs and learning about the moves they have made to bring their companies forward. That stuff is priceless.”

Barcus says the keynote from the 2017 Summit was among the most thought-provoking presentations in his two years at the event. The address from DISH CTO Vivek Khemka focused on the future of 5G and the impact it will have on the industry.

“I think what it highlights is the same thing, to me, that the Total Tech Summit is about,” he explains. “That presentation encompassed exactly why this event needs to happen. For me, bringing the knowledge outside of our industry into our industry and making sure we’re all up on what’s going on around us and what will seep into our business was tremendous.”

The networking aspect of the event also allowed Barcus to learn about some of the event’s vendors. While speaking with other guests, they told him about Prodatakey, a cloud-based access control provider.

Barcus was unfamiliar with the company, but he had conversations with other integrators who had been in boardroom and one-on-one meetings with its representatives. They told him he needed to see what its offerings could do for him.

“We had been in search of a hosted platform that was robust and big enough to be able to handle what we do, but not too big where we would just be a number,” Barcus says. “The introduction to PDK and understanding who they are and what they do as a company was huge for me.

“Because of Total Tech, we’ve brought their line in and we’ve started to sell it. There was a little bit of a migration process for us in just learning what we needed the product to do, but certainly my ability to vet it at Total Tech and start the ball rolling there was crucial for us.”

Barcus has had success meeting with vendor companies at each of the first two SSI Summits.
Barcus has had success meeting with vendor companies at each of the first two SSI Summits.

This wasn’t even the first time something like this happened for him at the Total Tech Summit. In 2016, he fell in love with Qolsys during one of that company’s boardrooms. It was just one of the many boardroom presentations he says was great.

The fact that he is able to share these experiences with similar security integrators from around the country is important to him. He understands how difficult it is for these guests to leave their offices for three days, but he knows those who do are there because they take the event seriously and want to get as much as they can out of it.

Because of that, he and his peers recognize the unique opportunity they have. It’s rare to have such a collection of high-quality decision-makers from around the country together in a comfortable environment.

“Overall, I have been genuinely blown away by the camaraderie at these events, being able to meet people on a national footprint that are doing the same things that we do here in New York, but throughout the country and sharing best practices,” Barcus says. “It’s a great couple of days and I love everything about it.”