In This Issue
Get the most from your CSIA membership!
2015 Executive Conference: Registration now open
Not-to-miss sessions at the 2015 Conference
New features for the Exchange to start 2015
2015 System Integrators of the Year
Upcoming Webinars
CSIA reaches out to Latin American integrators
A boring but deadly contract clause
Get in on the conversation!
ABB Automation and Power World
CSIA members make headlines

Welcome new members


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Quote of the Month

"At the end of the day, you must always bet on people, not strategies."

- Ken Edmundson


 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

January 2015

Your 2015 Resolution:
Get the most from your CSIA membership!

Ask yourself these 10 questions.

1. Have I taken advantage of the Exchange by fully utilizing my profile? Bronze comes with CSIA membership but have I considered taking full advantage by upgrading to Gold to get maximum exposure?


2. Does the person who manages my marketing use the Marketing Toolbox and other marketing materials in the Connected Community library? Are my managers taking advantage of the business documents in the library?


3. Have I registered to attend the 2015 Executive Conference? Are other managers attending, too? Have I registered my project managers to attend the two-day workshop "A Common Sense Approach to Automation Upgrades and System Migrations" (limited seating) that occurs during the conference?


4. As a Partner member, have I signed up to present an educational webinar (no cost, it's a benefit of membership) for our integrators and anyone else I want to invite? Contact Bob Lowe to sign up. As an integrator, am I having my technical people attend these educational webinars?


5. Do all the managers in my company have a CSIA Connected Community profile so they can access CSIA information and be able to ask and reply to questions on Open Forum? Emily Wiseman will assist you.


6. Does my 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 Best Practices Manual? Are those managers being held accountable for implementation which leads to overall improved business performance and perhaps CSIA certification? Note: The BP Manual is available in Spanish and Portuguese, too!


7. Have I arranged for someone to participate in the Best practices workshop on April 28-29 prior to conference? The instructor is Don Roberts of Exotek.


8. Am I missing opportunities to benchmark my company against others in our industry, as well as monitor my own performance trends, by participating in KPICs? How about the Salary Survey - am I participating to benchmark employee compensation? Contact Jim Campbell for information.


9. Has top management taken seriously all that is in Section 1 of the Best Practices Manual to manage business risk? Remember to consider cyber liability; are you protected? Contact Paul Barnard, CSIA Insurance Manager, for information. Our insurance program is available globally.


10. Am I attending the monthly educational webinars for managers? A series on project management concluded in November. Watch for what 2015 has to offer. If you've missed past webinars they can be found in the webinar archive.

New to come in 2015: Project Management Training for system integrators.


Registration is now open!


It's not too early to make plans to join us in Washington, D.C., April 29 - May 2. The annual CSIA Executive Conference is your chance to enjoy three-plus days of CSI business-related workshops, an engaging industry trade show and many opportunities to connect with system integrators and suppliers from all over the world. Bring your key associates, managers, sales people, marketing directors . . . and your family. We look forward to welcoming you!

Highlights include:

  • Best Practices Training workshop, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Automation Upgrades and System Migrations workshop, Thursday and Friday
  • Informative sessions all day Thursday and Friday and Saturday morning
  • Industry Expo, Thursday
  • Alan Beaulieu, Thursday
  • Awards Banquet, Friday
  • Golf, Saturday
  • Afternoon on the town, Saturday


Not-to-miss sessions at the 2015 Conference
by Bob Lowe, Executive Director

How to Make your Business International - From U.S. Immigration to Chinese Cultural Considerations 
More and more integrators are doing business outside of their home country, either by choice or out of necessity. Some are courageous enough to open an international office. To minimize the anxiety and risk that accompanies such an endeavor, we offer you a  multifaceted group of panelists who will "live" the growth of a hypothetical company from the U.S. to Canada to Asia and back to the U.S. and Europe. Glenn Birket of Birket Engineering is an integrator based in the U.S. who has expanded into China and other Asian countries. Jonathan Grode, U.S., and Evan Green's (Canada) company, Green and Spiegel, is a law firm that specializes in immigration policy and compliance and works around the world. Abhay Deshmukh of Logical Automation Solutions is an integrator based in India who brings the perspective of growing into developed nations.

How did these four guys from such varied backgrounds and experiences, from three different countries, with footprints in dozens of other countries, come together on such a powerful and important topic? It was in response to a CSIA blog and thereby exhibits the global power of CSIA. This session offers our integrator and partner members a unique opportunity in which just one idea could save or earn your company a bundle of money.

The Transition between Leadership and Management of People
Project management goes beyond managing details; it involves adding value through leadership to drive increased probability for project and overall organizational success. So how does leadership, as opposed to management, really affect projects? What are the key differences between leadership and management? Gina Coleal of TEC Systems Group will answer in detail at the 2015 conference, but here's a primer: Leaders help influence the behaviors and attitudes, set the direction and help the people on projects overcome challenges effectively. Effective leaders possess a combination of soft skills and hard skills, but rely heavily on their soft skills, whereas effective managers rely heavily on their hard skills and focus on managing details and the process.

There are thousands of books, articles and websites that help define leadership and provide examples of leadership skills, but putting these skills into practice is especially difficult when trying to meet clients' deadlines and dealing with multiple people and priorities. These pressures drive tendencies to managing the details to get the project completed; however, projects often fall short of achieving anticipated results not because of project management, but from deficient leadership in a project. There is a lack of understanding about the transition between leadership and management and the impact it can have.

Leadership in a project is essential because people execute projects. People are at the beginning, end and core of projects. They come together from all different professional backgrounds, approaches, agendas and experiences. Again, there's no question that both leadership and management are needed for a successful project. However, there is more focused learning about the management of processes in a project than learning about the necessary transition of providing essential leadership in projects.

Be sure to attend both of these sessions - they are game changers.


New features for the Exchange to start 2015

New features have been added to the Industrial Automation Exchange that will make it even easier for you to connect with prospective clients. Here's a brief description of what the new year brings for Exchange users:


Advertising Management: Your company can now purchase and manage all of its advertising for the Exchange directly through your profile. Quickly change your ad for an event or webinar and switch it back after it's done! You can also see which categories are available to advertise and purchase multiple categories at a time. Remember, each category has only one slot for advertising.


Content Tagging: Making a post or uploading a document? Now you can tag which industries, specialties or even which products are relevant to the post. You can search for other articles and posts based on those same categories.


Editing/Deleting Posts and Uploads: Made a small typo, forgot to add the link or tag the post? Now you can edit your post and make sure everything is in working order.


Search the Exchange: Now the "Show All" option is connected directly to the resource center, where you can search for specific articles that will impact your current or next project.


Partner Uploads: We're wrapping up the final details in a script written to connect all partner companies that wish to have their verified system integrators connected to them with a logo. 100+ companies? Not a problem!


Want to learn more? We are putting together more videos detailing not only the new features, but how to quickly use the Exchange. Keep on the lookout for these videos and for more exciting features coming your way.


Congratulations to the CFE Media 2015 System Integrators of the Year - all CSIA Certified members! 
(l to r) Stephen J. Malyszko, president and CEO of Malisko Engineering; Paul Galeski, president and CEO of Maverick Technologies; Charlie Jager, president of Polytron. 

Coming up!
See all the archives on the webinar page.

OPC Tunneling with Kepware Technologies
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2014, 11 a.m., EST (New York)
Sam Elsner, Senior Application Engineer, Kepware Technologies

In today's software automation industry, OPC tunneling is one of those subjects that raises eyebrows and further questions such as: What is OPC tunneling? Why would someone want to tunnel? What makes a great tunneling protocol? What makes a great tunneling product? During this webinar, Kepware's Senior Application Engineer Sam Elsner will provide a technical overview of OPC tunneling, an introduction to OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), and a demonstration of OPC tunneling and protocol with Kepware's KEPServerEX OPC UA-based tunneling solution.

Registration opening soon. 


This CSIA Partner webinar presented by Kepware Technologies

Register Now 



Grow Your Business and Serve Customers Better with SaaS

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, 11 a.m., EST (New York)

Xavier Mesrobian, VP, Sales & Marketing, Skkynet Cloud Systems, Inc.

Change is on the horizon for industrial software, driven by customer demand, market forces, and Internet of Things technologies. With the introduction of Software as a Service, new possibilities are opening for revenue sharing. How can you capitalize on it? How will it work? Can it make SCADA more attractive for smaller players? Will it open new markets? What are the benefits for legacy systems? What about security? This webinar will discuss the key concepts, examine parallel industries, and help you gain better insight on embracing the SaaS revolution, get closer to your customers and create new revenue streams along the way.Registration opening soon. 

This CSIA Partner webinar presented by Skkynet Cloud Systems, Inc.

Register Now 



Understanding and Implementation of Machine Safeguarding Standards
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, 11 a.m., EST (New York)
Mike DeRosier, Engineering Services Manager, Schmersal USA

Do you find it difficult to achieve effective machine guarding? Is it complicated to apply the wording from regulatory and industry standards into practice? This webinar will help add some practicality to machine guarding, thus reducing the arguments against properly implementing machine safety guarding systems. Join us for this informative webinar session where we will highlight some of the common thoughts and practices in machine safety integration as it pertains to both U.S. and international safety standards.

This CSIA Partner webinar presented by Schmersal USA

Register Now
webinar series
Coming soon: 
Monthly educational business webinars
on Configuration Management
CSIA reaches out to Latin American integrators


CSIA members and staff are actively spreading the word about best practices and the value of CSIA membership to system integrators in Mexico. CSIA Latin America (LATAM) Coordinator Marcela Vallejo has made presentations at a series of events that were made possible by Partner members. As a result of this effort, three companies have joined and several others have expressed an interest.


Rockwell Automation hosted three educational events for integrators in their partner program. An evening social event was sponsored by Anixter, at which CSIA Director Eduardo Acosta spoke. Acosta is president of Omnicon S.A., based in Cali, Colombia.


The CSIA Board of Directors identified expanding membership in Latin America as one of the association's top priorities in 2012. Marcela, based in Mexico City, works closely with Greta Mattison, CSIA global coordinator, to identify and deliver benefits to members and prospective members in the region. 


A boring but deadly contract clause

by Mark Voigtmann 


There are several parts of a contract that quickly draw the eyes of integrators (or should) -- price, limitation of liability, and warranties-to name a few. However, when it comes to a "waiver of subrogation" clause, let's just admit it: It's pretty darn boring. Maybe it's because the concept is difficult to understand. Or perhaps it's because it takes looking at legalities in more than one piece of paper (contract and insurance policy) to understand what's going on. Or, most likely, maybe it's because waiver of subrogation is something that most integrators blindly shoot over to their insurance agent for handling.


Good luck with that. Let me suggest that a somewhat more hands-on approach might be in order.

  • What is a waiver of subrogation? It's your agreement to give up (i.e., "waive") the right of your own insurance carrier to seek legal compensation from a person or company that caused a loss.
  • When are such waivers used? Mostly with property insurance, but sometimes with other coverages as well, like worker's compensation. For instance, in the property insurance context, one party typically provides builder's risk insurance, the type of property insurance that covers stuff under construction. If a loss is suffered as a result of an accident, the builder's risk insurance pays, but the waiver would prevent the builder's risk carrier from suing the person or company that caused the loss. The idea is to reduce litigation.
  • What can go wrong? Here's a few: Did you need to get consent from your insurance company before giving the waiver? If you did-and did not get it -- you might have lost your coverage entirely. Or the waiver might be defined in a way that is unclear or unhelpful. For instance, does it apply only to the work or does it also include damage to existing or adjacent property? Are subs included? What about post-completion losses? And worst of all, does the waiver apply even when the insurance company has denied coverage?

There is also (of course) a much more down-to-earth impact to these clauses: rates. Constraining the right of your insurer to pursue an ultimate wrongdoer means the insurer is biting off additional risk. Did you think that this risk transfer is a freebie? Not so much.


Mark Voigtmann and his firm Faegre Baker Daniels are counsel to the CSIA. Mark is the author of The Automation Legal Reference. Mark can be reached at or 317-237-1265.


Get in on the conversation!

Here is a sample of topics that members are sharing on the Open Forum:

  • Need advice on selecting engineering document management system
  • Looking for a translating service that is good at English to Chinese translations of technical documents
  • When will more U.S. universities start offering four year degrees in \automation engineering?

Log onto the Connected Community to join the conversation with your peers and stay in the know.



ABB Automation and Power World: See you there!

CSIA will be at the ABB Automation and Power World show in Houston, Texas, March 2-5 with a booth that is compliments of ABB. We are grateful for their generosity. This international event is a must-attend event to stay abreast of industrial automation technology.


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



Agile Project Management for MES Deployments
Automation World

Concept Systems
Automation's Environmental Benefit
Automation World

Interstates Control Systems
Replacing Instinct with Data Analytics to Improve Production
Automation World

Loman Control Systems
The Right Questions to Ask About the Internet of Things
Automation World

3 Ways to Implement Mobile in Manufacturing
Automation World

Portland Engineering, Inc.
Is cellular telemetry right for your machine data?
Plant Services

Global integration trends, with a focus on best practices
Control Engineering