In This Issue
Register for the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference
CSIA members recognized with awards
CSIA / Sandler Sales Training Solution Program
New and improved Find an Integrator is in development
Nominations now open
CSIA Webinar Series
CSIA members make headlines
Mentor of the Month
Performance management program for technical professionals
End-user clients abound at ARC Industry Forum
Top 10 questions for 2014
Cybersecurity Task Force will tackle best practices
Welcome new members

Cogito Automation, LLC
Cypress, CA

Stateline Electric & Automation, Inc.
South Sioux City, NE

Talos Engineering Incoprorated
Richland, WA

certified logo 
Congratulations to these new CSIA Certified members!


Newly Certified
JMP Engineering, Inc.

San Antonio, TX

Synergy Systems Inc.
Lisle, IL



Contact Us 

Leadership directory



Get Connected 


Facebook Twitter




Apply Now  


Refer a new member!

Tell your colleagues about CSIA. Find member benefits and an application at




Did you receive this issue from a colleague? Get your own copy! Register to receive the CSIA Newsletter on a regular basis here

April 23-26, 2014

 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

January 2014  

2014 CSIA Executive Conference, April 23-26
We can't think of anywhere we'd rather be at the end of April than in sunny San Diego enjoying three-plus days of connecting with system integrators from all over the world. The CSIA Executive Conference is in its 20th year and continues to wow attendees and break records. Bring your key associates, sales people, marketing directors . . . and your family. We look forward to welcoming you!

Southern California!
Shake off the winter doldrums and put on a sunny outlook in San Diego. The sandy beaches can't be beat! From the welcome reception Wednesday night to the final reception on Saturday, we guarantee you will enjoy your stay in San Diego.

Top notch speakers!
Old favorites and new will deliver the goods on what to expect and how to navigate through the changing CSI industry. Our sessions are consistently rated high for their valuable content and engaging presenters. See the full schedule of programs.

Exhibit night!
Exhibit 2014 showcases the most recent advances in control system integration and provides an unequalled opportunity for you to meet with over 50 companies representing industry suppliers, manufacturers and service providers.

CSIA members recognized with awards
  • Eric Byres of Tofino Security, a Belden company and CSIA Partner member, was recognized during ISA Automation Week conference with an ISA award for his "leadership in developing numerous innovations, industry standards, and best practices in industrial cyber security." 

 Congratulations to you all!

CSIA/Sandler Sales Training Solution Program
by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director


The contract with Sandler Training is signed. Final details and registration for the new sales training program will be available soon so watch your Inbox. In the background, the Design and Discovery phase will be executed. In Design and Discovery, a Sandler certified trainer will contact 15-20 CSIA members to learn the selling challenges of our industry. Would you volunteer a few minutes of your time to convey the selling challenges of the vertical industries in which you participate? If so, send me an email. It's important to provide Sandler a good cross-section of the industries served by system integrators.


Although the details of the program will be in the marketing information you will receive soon, here is a summary. A student will complete an Individual Assessment prior to attending an Initial Training class. The classes are the two days before our annual conference and a two-day class in June. You choose either one.  After Initial Training, select either weekly training at a Sandler Training Center near you or the online Reinforcement Package. These will begin in August.

The program is for sales professionals, sales managers and top management. However, a person who has other responsibilities besides sales, but nonetheless has sales responsibilities, would also benefit immensely. The training is a small investment when missed sales opportunities are considered.


Once again, watch your Inbox for details and registration! 


Check out the welcome video from Sandler.
Check out the welcome video from Sandler.


New and improved Find an Integrator
is in development


Find an Integrator, CSIA's online directory of member companies, will be replaced by a new online buyers guide in 2014, as reported in the December newsletter


Staff and a task force are working with Diamax, the software as a service provider, to build this comprehensive guide to integrators and partners, both current members and prospects.

Planning and research are well underway, with design and strategy to be completed this month. A digital community manager has been hired to help members and prospects develop meaningful profiles, create awareness of the community, and disseminate relevant content.

Finally, naming research is being conducted to ensure that CSIA attracts the right buyers and sellers to what has been referred to as "automation exchange" or "marketplace."


The new online community-buyers guide will be released in phases over the next few months, with a full introduction at the 2014 Executive Conference.


Seeking award nominations


Dear Friends,


As an organization we have a lot of exciting projects that continue to keep the board and staff very busy. One area that takes some time to prepare for are the nominations, selection and award of the various accolades that make up part of our awards program at each conference. 


This is the first request for nominations for our three awards: Charlie Bergman "Remember Me," Rising Star, and Partner. The awards nomination form is available online.


We really want your input on this. The form is pretty self-explanatory, but if you have questions don't hesitate to ask. As always I am happy to help.


Best regards,


Steve Goldberg

CSIA Past Chair, Nominations Committee Chair


webinar series

Tremendous response for webinar series!

We've been thrilled to see record attendance at just about every webinar in this series leading up to the 2014 Executive Conference.  

Be sure to join us for the last few webinars in the series.



Jan. 29, 2014
People: hiring, leading, coaching and evaluating

Ken Edmundson


Feb. 26, 2014
Performance management program for technical professionals

Gina Coleal


March 26, 2014
J-curve management

Nick Setchell



All webinars will be at 11 a.m., Eastern Time US (New York), and are hosted on WebEx by Software Toolbox, a CSIA Partner member.



Nov. 20, 2013 
Developing a professional project management team for systems integration

Jeff Miller


Oct. 23, 2013

24-month rolling plan
Nick Setchell
Sept. 25, 2013 
Organizational culture: Methods for improving performance

Ken Edmundson


Aug. 28, 2013

Holistic overview of proactive management
Nick Setchell 



CSIA members make headlines
in the headlines Members that have been featured in industry magazines recently include:



5 Reasons Why ERP Needs MES

Automation World


Avid Solutions                                 

 Top four considerations when consolidating multiple operator control

Automation World


Concept Systems                            

 Adding senses to robots multiplies value in manufacturing

Automation World


ESE, Inc. 

 Investments In MIS on the Rise                              

Manufacturing Business Technology


E-Technologies Group

 Before You Automate, Contemplate

Manufacturing Business Technology



 Corporate IT vs. Manufacturing IT

Automation World


Loman Controls                                               

New Year: The Ideal Time to Reflect on Your Real Purpose

Automation World


Patti Engineering            

Retailer chooses conveyor and sortation upgrade over replacement

Modern Materials Handling



In Search of the Self-Powering Test System

Aerospace Manufacturing & Design


Superior Controls

Better Data Solves Problems Before They Happen

Paperboard Packaging


Superior Controls             

Designing Data Into Automated and Manual Production

Manufacturing Business Technology


Superior Controls                           

The Flexible Factory Part 1: Merging Machines

Automation World


Synergy Systems

Common Mistakes With Process Control Upgrades

Manufacturing Business Technology 


Mentor of the Month: 
Eduardo Acosta, Omnicon S.A.
Meet Eduardo Acosta


Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. I graduated in electrical engineering from the Universidad Nacional and got my global masters of business administration (MBA) degree from both Tulane University and ICESI in 2013. I started into the control business in 1990 as a project engineer in the regional GE-Fanuc SI, then I was named the controls division director at the Allen-Bradley representative.   


When I was born I lived at my grandparents' home. My grandfather was an entrepreneur and the owner of an office furniture manufacturer. I always admired him for how he helped and positively influenced so many people around us (including my mom and her four children) thanks to his business, so I dreamed of working at my own company since I was a kid. I had that opportunity when I joined Omnicon in 1994.  


I met the love of my life, Jenny, while working at Omnicon. We have been married for 10 years and have two boys Sebastian, 8, and Samuel, 4. Jenny works with me as the purchase director. My passions are my three children (Sebas, Sammy and Omnicon) and my faith. I would like to share with you all a quote by Rick Warren that inspires my life: The greatest motivation is not external, nor internal, but eternal.  


Tell us about Omnicon.
Omnicon was started in 1992 as a control system integrator. The company has grown into a multidisciplinary enterprise with 200 employees and locations in Cali, Bogota, Barranquilla, Colombia, and Lima, Peru. We focus our solutions for the oil and gas, heavy equipment, food and beverage and consumer industries. Our objective is to become our clients' trusted advisor. Since 2012 Omnicon has been able to provide turnkey services for civil, electrical, instrumentation, control, information solutions and communications projects.   


We are thankful to have had the opportunity to implement automation projects in plants from over 20 countries. We live deeply our slogan: Dream it, we make it real! We would like to be a great ambassador of our country to the world.  


Omnicon joined the CSIA in 2005 and was the first Latin American member certified in 2009. We are also ISO 9001, 18001 and 14001 certified. In 2012, Omnicon was awarded the best contractor of the year by Ecopetrol, the biggest Colombian company.  


What has CSIA done for you and your company?
I am thankful to be part of the CSIA family. In the association I have learned from marvelous people and made great friends. We have taken Sebas and Sammy to the conferences since they were just months old. I always remember kissing the certification plaque the day Omnicon received it. It was one of the happiest days in my life! Finally, the privilege of serving on the CSIA Board of Directors has fulfilled me with life lessons and experiences that I would never have gained otherwise.


Omnicon is a better company thanks to the CSIA and its certification process. CSIA is tailored to fit our needs. We have taken advantage of most of the resources: conference tips, sales training, certification, KPICs, insurance, the Connected Community and peer groups. We are part of the Automation Alliance Group, a peer group with 14 CSIA members around the world that partner together to share ideas, improve our organizations and find business opportunities.   


What can you offer as a CSIA Mentor?
I offer the experience I have gained at the company and serving on the CSIA Board of Directors, especially in the constantly changing environments like the ones of the emerging countries. As a mentor I would be happy to share experiences and ideas of how to overcome crisis and turn them into opportunities and growth for the organization, adapting the Best Practices & Benchmarks Manual and the value given by the certification process to a different business culture, like the Latin American one.   


What one piece of advice would you give to a new member?
Explore the CSIA! I attended the conference for the first time by a Rockwell recommendation and found a treasure. Think about the possibilities of partnering with more than 300 companies, learning from each other and improving yourself and your business as a result. Involve the key people in your organization in the CSIA and discover all the resources available for your company.  

If you're a new member or just want to find out how you can get more benefit from your CSIA membership, please feel free to contact Eduardo at



Looking for a member mentor? In the Connected Community go to Directory > Find a Member. Check Mentor search box, then Find Members.


Performance management for technical professionals is webinar topic for February
by Gina Coleal, TEC Systems Group, Inc.,
CSIA February webinar presenter


Technical skills, also known as "hard" skills, are highly valuable especially in today's labor market where there is a limited supply of technical professionals who are highly sought after in industries such as in controls systems integration. Companies spend thousands of dollars each year recruiting technical professionals at university career fairs, on career websites and through technical recruiters. Once on board, companies typically spend thousands of dollars in technical training to continue advancing their skills sets. However, while technical investments are important, hard skills are rarely sufficient by themselves to produce professional success or produce the most productive professionals. "Soft skills," the positive personal attributes and competencies that enhance relationships, job performance, and value to the market, are being recognized by companies.


So why are soft skills so important? In order to gain competitive advantage, companies need to make sure their people know how to relate to their clients and peers. And let's face it, as control system integrators, unless located in the North Pole, will be interacting with clients and peers in both technical and nontechnical capacities. The inability to relate effectively has a real cost resulting in the increased demand for a "softer" skill set from technical professionals. Some other driving forces behind an increased demand for soft skills are: the necessity for improvements to the bottom line and increasing competition. The increased pressure on the bottom line translates into a requirement for a higher rate of project success. But, technology intensive projects have high failure rates. Some studies put the failure rate somewhere between 40 and 70 percent. Another recent survey of more than 250 technical leaders cited the biggest reason for project failure as a lack of soft skills. The business case for investing in soft skills training, regardless of the techniques, is becoming clearer.


Gina Coleal is responsible for human resources and business strategy at TEC Systems Group, Inc. She will present "The Growing Value of Soft Skills in Technical Professions" at the 2014 Executive Conference

End-user clients abound at ARC Industry Forum
CSIA members save 10% on registration

What strategies can industrial enterprises adopt to help position them to take advantage of the latest round of technology changes while prioritizing their investments wisely? CSIA Integrator and Partner members, to be prepared as a trusted advisor to answer that question for your clients, attend the Eighteenth Annual ARC Industry Forum to learn what your clients expect you to be knowledgeable of. It is also an opportunity for integrators and suppliers to meet automation leaders from nearly all vertical industries.


Managing project risk and increasing business value when automating manufacturing and process systems is critically important to end-user clients. So several CSIA Certified integrator members and their clients will present a 90 minute session on Thursday, sharing lessons they've learned regarding project risk and business value. The presentation will include a panel discussion and real-world applications. By attending the session, end users/owners/operators will learn the value of working with a certified system integrator, key principles for project success and pitfalls to avoid. Integrators and suppliers will benefit by attending this session also. Learn more at ARC Industry Forum

With CSIA being a trade association and an ARC client, individuals from CSIA members receive a 10% discount on registration. To register for the ARC Industry Forum 2014 in Orlando and receive the discount, contact Paula King at 781-471-1110 or There are no comparable events anywhere in North America. For our members outside of North America, ARC hosts these forums in several countries. Check the ARC website for a forum near you.


Top 10 questions for 2014

Resolve to get the most out of your CSIA membership this year. Start by asking yourself 10 questions.

  1. Unlimited profiles in Connected Community. Are all the managers in your company able to access the information that CSIA has to help them, including the Open Forum to ask questions?
  2. Best Practices Manual Rev. 4. Does your human resources manager, financial manager, business development and sales person(s), project manager(s), shop manager and quality assurance person have the applicable section of the manual? Are those managers being held accountable for implementation which leads to overall improved business performance and eventually certification?
  3. The Marketing Toolbox with everything from a basic press release to social media. Does the person who manages your marketing use these new tools?
  4. KPICs Business Performance Indicators. Are you missing opportunities to benchmark your company against others in our industry? How about the Salary Survey, are you participating in that?
  5. Business risk management. Has top management taken seriously all that is in Section 1 of the Best Practices Manual? Remember to consider cyber liability; are you protected?
  6. Business education. Are all the right people attending the webinar series "Proactive Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Landscape?"
  7. Executive Conference. Are all the people who could advance professionally attending the annual conference? Educational and relationship building opportunities abound.
  8.  Library. Does your company take advantage of the available documents, templates, survey results, etc.? 

    And coming in 2014! 
  9. A new and expanded Find an Integrator. Is your company ready to shine on this all-new platform?
  10. CSIA/Sandler Sales Training Solution Program. Intensive sales training specifically for CSIA members. How high will your revenues go? 

Cybersecurity Task Force will tackle best practices

by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director
Reviewing and providing comment on the IEC62443-4-2 document "Security for industrial automation and control systems - Part 4-2: Technical Security Requirements for IACS Components" is the current work of the CSIA Cybersecurity Task Force. Next on the agenda is to write a cybersecurity best practices white paper for our members. Eventually those best practices will be integrated into the Best Practices manual revision 5. There is also potential for collaborating with ISA to develop the Supplier Practices section of ISASecure™.

CSIA thanks these member companies for providing a cybersecurity expert for the task force:

  • Avid Solutions
  • Belden/Tofino
  • General Control Systems
  • Interstates Control Systems
  • Maverick Technologies
  • Phoenix Contact
  • Stone Technologies