December 2019
Message from the CEO
The 2020 CSIA Executive Conference in Context
By Jose Rivera

This newsletter is published to coincide with the release of the  2020 CSIA Executive Conference website . The launch of the website represents the culmination of a long planning effort. As is customary, CSIA announced the location of the 2020 conference at the conclusion of the 2019 conference. In Asheville, CSIA also announced the theme “Claiming the Role of the SI in the Digital Transformation.”

Digital Transformation Task Force and CSIA Regional Event

Sam Hoff , President and CEO of  Patti Engineering , volunteered to lead the  Digital Transformation Task Force . Since June, the task force has delivered seven monthly sessions with presentations and discussions covering three main areas: technology, process and organization.

The  CSIA Regional Event  that took place in Chicago on October 8 was also dedicated to the topic of digital transformation. This deep involvement has helped us to develop the program for the 2020 conference.

CSIA is auditioning for 2020 Executive Conference
By Jose Rivera

As you are probably aware, the theme for the  2020 Executive Conference is “Claiming the Role of the SI in the Digital Transformation.” From my regular interaction with SIs, I know that some SIs have started their journey delivering on previously untraditional SI functions. I know of SIs conducting "smart industry readiness" surveys to end users, value stream mapping, unmanned vehicle testing, etc.

CSIA would like you to share your experiences delivering on these functions as part of an SI panel. CSIA is auditioning for a possible panel role at the 2020 CSIA Executive Conference. 

If interested, please submit the following by January 31:

  1. Your name, your company and contact info
  2. Short description of the non-traditional role performed and how it impacted your relationship with your end user client

Send the above info to Jose Rivera at .

Please participate if you can.

Best Practices Committee announces
Acceptable Use Policy of IT Assets
By Remco Kappert

The  Best Practices Committee  is not only working on improving the manual for the next version, it is also working to produce documents that support system integrators in improving their business. For example, the committee is currently developing documentation for

  • Panel building
  • Configuration management
  • Quality

In the meantime, the committee has recently published the Acceptable Use Policy of IT Assets to help members address the issue of cybersecurity.

CSIA members can find the policy  here .

You will be interested in this policy if you have questions like:

  • How do I protect my company against cybersecurity incidents?
  • How do I protect my (or my clients') confidential information from being disclosed?
  • What do I teach my employees about cybersecurity?

By Lisa Richter

Here’s your quarterly roundup of recent content you may have m issed on the Industrial Automation Exchange .

Industrial Automation Exchange blog

Recent topics posted on the Exchange blog include:

Talking Industrial Automation podcast

If you are a podcast fan, you’ll want to check out CSIA’s Talking Industrial Automation. Some of the latest episodes include:

Interested in being a podcast guest or guest blogger? Both are available to organizations that have upgraded to a Gold Profile. Contact Lisa Richter to learn how you can take advantage of these opportunities to position your C-suite as thought leaders.

Decrease HMI/SCADA risk as a value-added service
Windows 7 obsolescence offers integrators an opportunity
By Alicia Bowers Millinger

Many of your customers are running their plant operations with serious risk. They are using Windows 7, which reaches end of life in January 2020. They could even be using an older OS. The question is, are they using the most up-to-date version of their HMI/SCADA software?

Most industrial applications lack recommended updates and security patches, which make them a target for hackers. Outdated architectures, backups and spares can also create problems. With the number of attacks on industrial applications rising and the critical need for plant system availability, you can add value for your customers by helping to minimize HMI/SCADA risk. You can decrease their unplanned downtime and protect their organization.

❤️ Love letters ❤️
A partner endorsement, an in-person thank you, a top 3 appearance and fan mail were just some of the compliments CSIA recently received. 
In this video , Jack Barber of Exotek reveals why National Instruments vetted potential partners based on CSIA certification.

Bryan Holmes of BD Becton Dickinson stopped by the CSIA Booth during the Rockwell Automation Fair in November to let us know he listens – and loves – the Talking Industrial Automation podcast .
When a LinkedIn user started a thread asking for people’s top three favorite podcasts, Sanchit Sahay of GubI4.0 listed Talking Industrial Automation as his No. 1 pick!

Unsolicited compliments are the best! In this case, Shawn Xurvein, a Sales Engineer at Industrial Tool Inc., took time out of his day to send an email expressing his appreciation for the Talking Industrial Automation podcast. Aw, shucks.
Using the R&E tax credit to improve profitability
By Tim Finerty

I have previously written about strategies system integrators can implement to maximize their  research and experimentation (R&E) tax credit . This article focuses on ways that businesses can use those credits to drive improvements in their revenue and profitability. Most system integrators have heard that the R&E tax credit can have an immediate impact on a company’s cash position as it frees up money that ordinarily would have been used
to pay annual or estimated taxes. Specifically, I will be looking at some ways a business can use those savings to attract more customers and improve operations.

Important Pulse and Salary Survey updates
By Jose Rivera & Tim Campbell

Benchmarking is critical for the success of any company or organization, including those of system integrators. That’s why CSIA has historically offered its members essential SI benchmarking programs that are not available anywhere else CSIA Pulse, Salary Survey and EZ Stats. CSIA is committed to evolving and improving these programs while continuing to ensure data confidentiality.

To that end, here are some important updates to these valuable member programs.

M&A corner
By Lisa Richter

The past few months have been active on the M&A front for the industrial automation industry with the following transactions:

If you have M&A information that has been made public, contact CSIA Industry Director  Lisa Richter  for consideration in the next issue. Disclaimer: M&A Corner is not intended to be a source for breaking news but a place to get caught up on recent deals.

Lisa Richter is Industry Director of Control System Integrators Association in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

Let's talk about introducing security
By Toby Weir-Jones

Automation system integrators earn their bread and butter staying on top of all the evolving solutions across the control systems space. No longer limited to hardware, it has spread to cover a wide range of software tools, specialized interfaces with physical assets and staff training around policies and procedures. 

These systems evolve over time and, even in relatively small environments, become complex. Documentation may exist, but even if it does, it may not reflect every detail; a certain belief in institutional knowledge among the skilled staff and supporting individuals always helps fill in any rough edges when decisions must be made.

LATAM Update / Noticias de LATAM
CSIA Best Practices Manual now available in Spanish

By Carolina Casas Anzola

Unfortunately, economic crises downturns, recession, contraction or economic depression are a frequent phenomenon of contemporary societies, especially those belonging to the so-called Third World, whose industrial and economic bases are not always very solid or depend on the market price of the export raw material, for example.  

En tiempo de crisis … un Buen Aliado … la major solución!

Por: Carolina Casas Anzola

"Cada crisis es una invitación a ingresar en el maravilloso mundo de las infinitas posibilidades,” Renny Yagosesky.

También puede representar una oportunidad para cambiar y corregir los errores cometidos en el pasado.

En CSIA hacemos el mejor y mayor esfuerzo, y enfatizamos en una cordial invitación para que nos vean y utilicen como sus más fieles y
consecuentes aliados. Es sano recordar el viejo adagio “una mano lava la otra y las dos lavan la cara”

Media opportunities
Does the thought of being featured in industry news outlets excite you? Do you want greater name recognition among your colleagues? Are you looking for way to boost your ranking in search engines?

Or do you simply love what you do and want to write about it?

Take a look at the media opportunities below exclusively for CSIA members. Click on each one to see details in our Open Forum (log-in required):

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Upcoming webinars

Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. (CT)

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