Message from the CEO 
By Jose Rivera 

2019 Executive Conference
As of the time of this writing, we are two months out to the CSIA 2019 Executive Conference . Registrations are coming in at a healthy pace, staying ahead of previous years except for 2018, where we were in San Francisco and set an attendance record. Asheville is developing nicely as another well-attended conference.

In terms of sponsorships for this year, we are ahead of San Francisco and trending toward setting a different record.

To top it off, we will also be celebrating a milestone: CSIA's 25th anniversary.

All of which is good news, because this event energizes membership and staff.

Digital Transformation: Opportunity for SIs
Early in February, I attended the 2019 ARC Forum in Orlando, Fla., as I have been doing over many years, starting before my current position at CSIA. Unlike the CSIA conference where the focus is on SI business-related matters, the ARC event is centered around the end user. Attending this forum provides me with a reference point for developments by end users, the clients of our SI and automation equipment vendor partners.

Message from the CSIA Board Chair
B y Jeff Miller
Greetings from your CSIA Board of Directors! Time continues to fly and, by the time you get this newsletter, we will be just a few weeks from the  CSIA Executive Conference .  I am excited to travel to the conference again this year as it promises to be another great one with lots of interesting speakers and topics to help you improve your business. 

I  hope you are considering attending this year as you are sure to gain knowledge and develop relationships with peers across the globe. CSIA Treasurer  Luigi de Bernardini  and I have been working closely with CSIA CEO Jose Rivera as we continue to on board Kellen, CSIA's new association management company (AMC). They are doing a great job learning about us and preparing for the conference. Please help them to feel welcome at the event as they will be serving us in this capacity for the first time. Read more from Jeff.
The Pulse and Salary Survey Are Evolving 

By Jose Rivera and Jim Campbell 
The mission of the Control System Integrators Association is to advance the industry of control system integration. Relevant quantitative SI company performance benchmarks are key, yet not easily available. 

Most independent SI companies are privately held and, as such, not required to publish their financial results. Large automation equipment vendors are publicly held but don't disclose in detail the performance of their system integration services as they normally represent only a small percentage of their overall business.

CSIA Pulse and its predecessor programs, such as KPICs, filled this void since CSIA was formed, providing participating SIs with quantitative benchmarks on KPIs. A separate benchmark study was offered on industry compensation via the CSIA Salary Survey. Through dedicated work, participating SIs, the Statistics Committee and iLumen (the provider of the platform) were able to deliver these surveys and create actual benchmark data. CSIA leveraged this data to compare the performance of certified vs. non-certified SI companies and publish the results in the "Proven Better Performance" white paper in support of the CSIA Best Practices and Certification program. Learn more about the vision for these programs.
Annual Member Survey Results
By Jose Rivera

At CSIA, data aids our decision-making process. During and after the Executive Conference we ask for your feedback. At the end of the year, we ask you for your input through the annual member survey.

We also seek information to better understand the evolving SI market and set benchmarks for SI company performance. We do this through the survey conducted in partnership with JP Morgan (Spring and Fall), the monthly EZ Stats (two simple questions: revenue for the past month and business sentiment: up or down) and through the voluntary Pulse program.

These represent a significant number of input requests. I assure you that it is all appreciated, and the data is fully leveraged. I particularly thank the 117 respondents to the 2018 Member Survey.  Review the high-level summary now.
Chosen by the Membership: BP Cover
And the Winner is...

The Fifth Revision of the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks now features a new cover, one chosen by CSIA members themselves via the 2018 Member Survey.

Thanks to all members who participated and shared their opinions. For more information about the Best Practices manual, 
visit the CSIA website.
What's Mine Is Not Yours: Protecting Your Existing Intellectual Property

By Julie Weller

Whether it has its own, specific heading or is inherently part of a provision regarding the ownership of work product, intellectual property (IP) provisions frequently appear in automation contracts. If you are an integrator, your company works hard to develop and improve its own "background" IP to better serve your customers. This background IP is a part of the experience and expertise that sets your company apart in a growing market.

From the perspective of an end user retaining an integrator, it may see itself as the customer paying for the work product--and, therefore, may think that it should have ownership of everything related to the deliverables. How can these two competing interests be balanced?  What follows is one idea of a process to create a solution for both parties .
Protecting Intangible Assets

By Jeff Forbes

When people think of property insurance, they often immediately think of buildings--things like houses, retail stores or warehouses. If they continue the thought further, they may think of additional items of property like furniture or inventory. These items have a very real physical presence, and that physical presence subjects them to potential damage or loss from known hazards such as fire or water damage. Property insurance exists to protect individuals and companies from that loss.

These days, however, intangible property makes up a larger and larger share of what matters most to businesses. Studies have shown that brand value and intellectual property (IP) now make up the majority of the value of most companies.  As intangible property has risen in importance to the functioning of commercial enterprises, questions have also risen over ways of protecting that property and how insurance can help companies mitigate losses to intangible property. Read more
Do You Have a Succession Plan?

By Lisa Richter

Three in five small businesses do not have a business succession plan, according to a Nationwide's Small Business Survey .

Yet, there isn't a more critical component of an operational plan than a solid business succession plan for providing seamless continuity in a time of crisis or transition, according to Kirt Walker, president & COO of Nationwide Financial.

The CSIA Best Practices Manual (5th revision) addresses this topic in the General Management section (1.1.14). You'll also find some resources on the CSIA website .

Interestingly, younger business owners appear to have a better grasp on the importance of succession planning. According to the survey, Millennial business owners are most likely to currently have a business succession plan in place (61 percent) in comparison with Baby Boomer (32 percent) and GenX (32 percent) leaders. 

Lisa Richter is industry director at the Control System Integrators Association in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
OMAC Golf Tournament

OMAC Celebrates 25 th  Anniversary During Annual PackML Training Workshop

The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC), a CSIA partner, celebrates its 25 th anniversary in 2019 during its annual PackML Training Workshop.

PackML, which offers advanced and basic programming and training, will be held Thursday, May 16, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare. PackML experts from B&R Automation, Bosch Rexroth, Rockwell and Siemens will lead the training sessions. 

Basic and advanced sessions will include multiple workstations for participants to learn and practice coding and implementing PackML. The goal is to provide attendees with practical experience by simulating a programming and installation environment. Learn more.
Analytical Software Prevents Sewer System Spills

Using historical data and Seeq analytical software, Nukon calculates when sewer blockages will occur up to 13 hours in advance to prevent spills.

By Andrew May

Following a sewer spill at an environmentally significant site at Midway Point in Tasmania in August 2017, the statewide water utility sought a way to reduce the likelihood and impact of future spill events. To do this, they needed a way to predict future sewage spills, with plenty of notice so preventive measures could be taken.

The water system has 970 water and sewage pumping stations. A portion of these are high-risk sites where spills have occurred in the past. The system also has 176,000 sewer connections across the state and suffers about 2,000 sewer mains breaks and spills per year.

Having previously worked with the utility on its process historian data management system, Nukon was asked to identify and provide a proof-of-concept for an online sewer blockage detection system. Nukon aims to be the preferred partner in unlocking data for decisions that matter. Analyze the data.
Message to the Latam Region
Dear Latin American CSIA System Integration and Vendor Partner Members,

I would like to inform you of an upcoming organizational change. Marcela Vallejo has concluded her role as CSIA Latam director, effective March 15. This newsletter issue will feature her last contribution as LATAM director. 

I thank Marcela for all her efforts. She joined the association in October 2013. Through her leadership and the support from the Latin American system integrators and vendors we have now a vibrant Latin American chapter for CSIA with more than 50 company members.

CSIA will be evaluating and selecting the replacement for Marcela and preparing him/her for the role in the coming months. Cynthia Ramirez remains our administrative assistant and your main point of contact.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Please join us in wishing Marcela all the best for the future.


Jose M. Rivera

LATAM Update
By Marcela Vallejo

We are very happy to share with you ongoing activity in the region, supported by our partners and affiliated SIs.

On February 21, Phoenix Contact sponsored an event in Bogotá, Colombia, that drew 21 attendees from 17 companies, as well as from other cities such as Pereira and Barranquilla. General managers Hélmer Muñoz, from Kamati Ltda., and Eduardo Acosta, from Omnicon, shared their experiences with CSIA and how their companies have grown and become more solid by becoming certified CSIA members. Read more.

CSIA Webinars

Partner members: did you know as part of your membership you can host a Partner Technical Webinar? Need ideas on what to present? Educate our SI members and their clients with a white paper or case study. Or highlight a challenge or trend in a certain industry. Imagine the connections and impressions you'll make! 

Email  Holly Lundgren t o schedule your own webinar today.  Be sure to watch your inbox and check our Events Calendar for updates. We look forward to learning  with you! 
Executive Conference: Thank you to our sponsors!
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