Message from the CEO 
As we reach the end of the year we look back at key milestones:
  • 2018 was a very good year for most SIs, in particular for those in the US. I base this on conversations I've had throughout the year with many SIs and from the business sentiment statistics we gather with our CSIA EZ Stats (for 81% of the respondents "things are looking up"). In case you haven't seen the EZ Stats monthly results, I welcome you to visit and participate.
  • The 2018 CSIA Executive Conference was a resounding success with 599 attendees (this exceeded our previous record by 61) and very positive post event feedback.
  • We delivered two successful SI Regional events in 2018: Chicago and Houston.
  • CSIA transitioned to a new Association management company (Kellen) in September. Our staff is now located in Oakbrook Terrace, a suburb of Chicago. The transition has progressed smoothly and I have been very impressed by our new staff. I'm confident that this transition will allow us to take CSIA to the next level.

Read more about the 2018 success stories.

Welcoming our new CSIA Industry Director
Join CSIA in welcoming Lisa Richter to the newly-created position of industry director, reporting directly to CSIA CEO Jose Rivera.

A key responsibility for Lisa is related to the outward facing efforts for the Industrial Automation Exchange. She will work directly with Daniel Krupa - who still provides Exchange technical support - on various initiatives. 

Another key role for Lisa is centered around content creation.  Content is key for our digital marketing and our ongoing CSIA brand development efforts. Good content allows us to continue to gain internet relevancy for the benefit of our website and the Exchange. Lisa is in charge of the very popular "Talking Industrial Automation" podcast, which will return in early 2019. She will also head the CSIA training initiative, which has been designated as a key area for development.  In 2019, Lisa will work to develop a complete plan to deploy in 2020. 

Lisa has a solid background in writing, marketing and association management. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa.

We look forward to working with Lisa and for her to meet the CSIA membership.
Welcoming our new CSIA BP Auditor
From left to right: Steve Malyszko, Jose Rivera, Louis Hannigan, Mary Bergjans and Tim Malyszko at the Malisko Engineering offices in Saint Louis.
By CSIA CEO Jose Rivera

I am pleased to announce that ASR (American Systems Registrar) has designated Louis Hannigan as the new auditor to conduct CSIA BP audits. On November 27-28 I attended the first official audit by Louis for Malisko Engineering in Saint Louis along with Gordon Cox, the ASR auditor that over the years has conducted many CSIA system integrators audits.
 
Succession planning is one important part covered in our BPs. Gordon practiced what he preached. Over several months we had been in conversations to recruit and develop his successor at ASR. Gordon and I provided the training to help Louis leverage his vast experience in ISO and other certifications and make it relevant for the CSIA audits he is now conducting.
 
I welcome Louis Hannigan to CSIA. You will have the opportunity to meet Louis in person at our 2019 Executive Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. I would also like to congratulate Steve Malysko and his team for completing their fourth CSA certification.
 
We thank for Gordon all the years with CSIA, conducting audits, being an active member of the Best Practices and Certifications Committees and delivering the BP Workshop as part of the trainer duo. You are always welcome at CSIA and hopefully we get to see you at the Conference. Happy retirement! 

Louis can be reached at: louishannigan@gmail.com, Gordon at  gcox@sssnet.com.
Message from the CSIA Board Chair 
B y CSIA Board Chair Jeff Miller
Greetings from your CSIA Board of Directors! It seems like the year has really flown by and before you know it we will be seeing each other face to face again at our annual conference. 

For those of us in the US, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and were able to spend time with family and friends! I am very thankful to continue to serve the CSIA membership as board chair and am also thankful to be a part of such a great group of people!  Read more from Jeff.
Auditing Your Legal Health in the New Year
By CSIA Attorneys Mark Voigtmann and Brian Clifford

The start of a new year presents a great opportunity to conduct a self-audit of the "legal health" of your company.  While the legal health of your company has much to do with its culture and people, your company's legal documents provide an important look into how you manage your relationships, both internally and externally.  Take the time to evaluate the following documents (or the lack thereof) to start 2019 off strong!
The Ever-Present Additional Insured Request
Editor's Note: In the September 2018 issue, the article 'The Latest Cyber Schemes and Update in the CSIA Cyber Insurance Program' was attributed incorrectly. The correct authors of the piece were  Gloria Forbes and Paul Barnard from ECBM insurance brokers & consultants. CSIA regrets this error. 

By Jeff Forbes, ECBM, LP

Certain provisions in contracts are so standard they're practically boilerplate, despite their importance. The frequency with which these provisions are seen can lead people to be blind to the consequences of their agreement. Its always useful to take some time, review contractual provisions, and make sure they make sense for the unique positions of the parties to the contract.

One provision that finds its way into the insurance requirements of almost every agreement involves additional insured status. These provisions generally require that the contractor list the customer as an additional insured on their insurance policies and that subcontractors list the general contractor as an additional insured on their insurance policies. These provisions are so common that many commercial insurance policies grant blanket additional insured status whenever a contract requires it. But what is an additional insured? And what sort of problems can it create? Read more
M&A in the SI market place
Intelligent Alarming Leverages Industrial Internet of Things to Reduce Risks and Costs
By Alicia Bowers Millinger, product marketing manager - Automation Software, GE Digital

With intelligent alarming and the Industrial Internet, systems integrators can configure to send the alarms that matter, when they matter, to the right person.
From proactive analysis to guiding operator response, modern alarming technologies use the IIoT's connected systems layered with new apps to help eliminate alarm noise and confusion while driving the right corrective actions.
 
What's the biggest challenge on the plant floor? According to a recent GE survey, managing alarms is still the biggest challenge.  But, today, every organization can manage alarms, and control systems integrators are critical. With intelligent alarming and the Industrial Internet, systems integrators can configure to send the alarms that matter, when they matter, to the right person. 

Engineers and operators can receive prioritized alerts with instructions, helping them react to and resolve alarms quickly. Read more.
C-Corp vs. S-Corp: Tax Reform and R&E Credits
The passing of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has many closely held business owners raising the question, "Should I convert to a C corporation?" On the surface, with the corporate tax rate now at a flat 21% and the highest individual tax rate at 37%, it would seem to be a "no brainer" that business owners would benefit by converting to corporations. 

However, additional factors should be considered before making such big decision. Such factors include:
  • Does the business qualify for the pass-through deduction?
  • Is the business generating research credits?
  • Will the business pay dividends to its owners?
  • What is the long-term exit strategy?
Looking at the first two factors, the pass-through deduction provides a 20% deduction on qualified business income. If business owners qualify for this deduction the tax rate on business income that flows to their personal return will be reduced from 37% to 29.6%. Read more.
8 Drivers of to Increase Your Business Value
By Cathy Durham, president of Capital Valuation Group, Inc.

While financial performance plays a key role when it comes to valuing a business, there are many other qualitative factors that need to be considered when you are looking to increase value in your business. 

LATAM Activity 
By CSIA Latin American Coordinator Marcela Vallejo

2018 has been a great year, we have reached 54 members in LATAM, an important growth compared to previous years, after six years of activity in the region.
 
Our partners have also increasingly supported us, inviting CSIA to their events or sponsoring some exclusively for the association, proof of their belief in the importance of their SIs becoming more professional and better structured companies. We want to thank Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Bosch Rexroth & Hermos for helping us promote and increase members´ growth in LATAM this year.  Some of our members attended Rockwell Automation Fair in November and visited our stand.
 
Our Task Force has also been very successful and productive for our members in the region. We get together every month, discuss and share experiences that have helped our SIs to better implement Best Practices and prepare for certification. We especially want to thank  CEO of Cybermax,  Víctor González - one of our certified members in Mexico and chair of our Task Force - along with Ignacio Guerra Deux CEO (consultant company) for leading this group. Ignacio and Victor put together a very useful document for Best Practices Implementation, which was the compendium of the monthly meetings.
 
We very much look forward to continue growing in Latam, thanks to all members and partners for your enthusiasm and support.  Happy Holidays to you all and all the best for 2019!
CSIA Webinars 
 

CSIA is proud to work with our Partners to bring you a compelling lineup of free webinars.  The CSIA Business webinar series "Road to the Conference" kicked off with a December webinar on "Research Insights to Guide Your 2019 Strategy." CSIA will produce this free series in conjunction with Executive Conference speakers to provide our members with valuable education for their business, as well as create excitement heading into the 2019 Executive Conference! 
 
The CSIA Partner technical webinar series will kick off early in January. This valuable series gives CSIA's industry partners the chance to present solutions and information to the CSIA membership.  Be sure to watch your inbox and check our Events Calendar for updates. We look forward to learning  with you! 

For more information about upcoming webinars, or how to plan your own Partner Webinars, contact Holly Lundgren .