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Going East! The Great Conversation Launches in Virginia.

The Great Conversation

After 12 years of conversations each spring in Seattle, The Great Conversation is now launching a fall forum on October 27 and 28 in Chantilly, VA.   Aronson Security Group (ASG) and Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions will be the hosts. 

The Business Baseline


By William Plante, Director of Professional Services

Motivation to Evangelism to Extraordinary Performance


By William Plante, Director of Professional Services

I have a Sunday morning practice I have adhered to for nearly 20 years almost without fail.  I read the Sunday New York Times. From time to time I’ll read a business, technology, or similar topic that I think is interesting to share with various teammates. Recently, there was a 'Grey Matter' article by Amy Wrzesniewski and Barry Schwartz titled The Secret Effect of Motivation.

While there are many theories and perspectives about motivation, there are two elements that seem to be common among them; intrinsic or internal motives and extrinsic or instrumental ones. Understanding these motive modes are important to us as individuals, as team members, and as leaders. The article quickly summarized these important modes.

Methodology Matters: The ASG Path to Value

The ASG Path to Value

Does 'methodology' matter? According to Webster, the term methodology describes a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline; a particular procedure or set of procedures.

This is the first blog in a series describing how the origination of a methodology from ASG created the foundation for organizational and industry transformation and innovation. Each step in The ASG Path to Value will be discussed and linked to how this is possible.

First a little history. On September 11, 2001 the United States was faced with an event that would impact how we would define 'security'; personally, professionally, and as a country.

The physical security industry's business model had not changed in years. The manufacturers had created proprietary technology that was difficult to integrate with other systems. Although the 90's had seen the expansion of the computer software and hardware industry through standards and innovative business models, the physical security industry vendors lagged behind.

PSIM Webinar features Aronson Security Group

Plante web

On July 30, 2014, starting at 11:00 AM  PST, Commercial Integrator (CI), a leading publication addressing the needs of professional integrators, has asked Aronson Security Group (ASG) to participate in a live, free webinar entitled “PSIM: The Basics and Beyond.”

According to CI’s website, when people think and talk about physical security information management (PSIM), they realize it’s a critical tool in preventing security breaches and major incidents, as well as providing a predictive and proactive response.

CI believes the idea of PSIM seems to still be somewhat contained within and discussed by a select group of people. Those who aren’t part of the “in” crowd don’t always know how they can get involved with PSIM installations or understand why they should, especially in an age when the thirst for security management is at an all-time high.

According to William Plante, Director of Professional Services, ASG believes part of the challenge with integrators is they often lead with products. ASG, however, believes PSIM is a strategy posing as a product. Which is why ASG often pulls their clients back from a product decision and attempts to help them navigate the people, process, and technology strategies first. “We are a risk, resilience, and security solutions provider first,” said Plante. “We are interested in the intersection of risk and value for the business. This will often lead to a roadmap for a common operating picture where “integration” and information management tools are needed.”

Plante will be joining Michael Lamarca, Director of the IP Systems Group of Tyco Integrated Security and CI editor-at-large Craig MacCormack, to discuss the reasons why PSIM is gaining traction, how other integrators can become part of this lucrative but difficult-to-navigate space, and which markets still hold untapped PSIM opportunities.

However, Plante see this as a good webinar for clients as well. This is a healthy discussion that needs to be initiated more often since our industry is changing rapidly. This change will impact how we will optimally manage our people, processes, tools, our risk, and the value proposition of security.

Plante will be sharing some of ASG’s “secret sauce” when it comes to positioning information management within their client’s programs. ASG has done the research, listened intently to comments from the CSO membership community within the Security Executive Council, and had experience with enterprise level migrations of security systems.

Because of this research and partnerships, ASG knows that corporate executives are dealing with more risks than ever. Consequently, security operations need to be more effective and also streamline operations. That means reducing the complexity of collecting, managing, and communicating information. The security program is no different than operations, supply chain management, and sales. All mission critical functions must deliver information at the point of need, at the time of need, and in the context of need. In the end, the business of security is the business.

This means our clients are looking for a new level of leadership, metrics that really matter, a technology platform and strategy that allows them to measure risk, as well as their own processes, and standards.

They can no longer afford silos within their corporate infrastructure or their data. The days of buying point solutions without aligning them with a information management strategy are numbered.

The technology and service vendors must understand this as well.

“Our message to the integrator community is “Don’t think you have to do it all yourself,” said Plante. ASG has architected a ‘Global Security Network’ that believes in process optimization that saves the client time and money and reduces the amount of waste in typical project cycles. Since ASG has that experience, integrators who are close to their clients may want ASG to be partners in helping them roll out an enterprise information management strategy and architecture. “We have a program that is tried and tested and is based on best practices developed over many programs and projects,” said Plante. “We regularly and programmatically work with 20-30 consultants and integrators across the world to deliver quality solutions for our clients.”

CI is accepting questions before the webinar. They can be emailed to in advance of the event and the panelists will be sure to address them during their presentations.

Or let us know your questions directly and we can get back to you with our opinions and share our experience. Click here to go to form.


Helping Your Enterprise Security System Fit Into the Hosted IT Infrastructure

cameraBy William Plante, Director of Professional Services

Let's say that you are one of the many companies whose security systems – stand-alone or enterprise class – are not part of your information technology’s infrastructure or support program. Perhaps it's because IT is unaware that the security system server is sitting in a rack somewhere in the closet, underneath someone's desk, on the floor, or perhaps they just choose to ignore it. I've seen all kinds of dark servers across many companies. A security system represents one of the critical lines of defense for the company's security program. If enterprise security is all about access control then the access control, intrusion detection, and video surveillance systems should be managed with an appropriate amount of care consistent with a mission-critical IT application. I firmly believe that every security system that protects an enterprise must be viewed as mission-critical.

A Great Conversation About Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

Sage logo

Recently, The Sage Group, the producer of The Great Conversation, authored an article in the ASIS publication Security Management Magazine. The article was entitled: Seeing Opportunity Through Risk.

The Risk You Have Not Understood or Documented

Value Stream

By William Plante, Director of Professional Services

I cannot imagine facing my executive team after an enterprise system failure and telling them the reason: I reacted to their budget and determined I could not fund a proactive maintenance or performance management plan for my security program. Instead, I determined that I would operate a break, and if necessary, “fix it” program. I treated a mission critical element of our organization as if it were an electronics device I bought in a store or a physical piece of hardware in a building. 

Breaking News! These security systems are mission critical. They are information system components that are, in part, intended to collect data that feed a common operating picture of program performance and risk mitigation to your organization – they are not locks on doors or entertainment devices.

Each of these system components requires a professional discipline to manage and maintain it. Hence, both certification and experience is necessary. Qualified people can be hard to find, train, and certify. And it takes investment. You do not task an intern, admin, or security staff member to manage application performance or conduct database maintenance. It needs qualified support just like a production network and the databases of your critical line of business applications like ERP, HR and Supply Chain Management. 

What can security teams learn from IT technology departments?

A Recap of The Great Conversation

2014 Great Conversation

Close to 350 attendees created a high energy, fast paced executive leadership program called “The Great Conversation” on March 3 & 4 in Seattle, WA.

The program kicked off with the Next Generation Security Leader forum with 87 senior risk, resilience, and security executives gathering to hear the emerging trends that impact the operational execution of their programs. One of the presentations, from Tim Rigg, CSO of Alcoa, continued at the next day’s event. Tim did a great job showing how to lead and navigate change through a highly collaborative approach with business and program leaders.

The two days are intentionally intense, high energy, and fast paced. And, according to conversations that occurred at the post event party, created the context and impetus for change.

One senior executive approached us and said (I am paraphrasing): “I get it now. I see what this is. I see what you are doing. Every one of these groups (The consultants, manufacturers, integrators, and security executives) all have their own unique perspective on our market. But, in isolation, it is an incomplete picture. Somehow The Great Conversation pulls these perspectives into a 360 degree force multiplier for the industry. In other words: a common operating picture.”

Leading Change that Matters – A Conversation with CSO Tim Rigg


No one is more familiar with the intersection of business value and security than Tim Rigg, Chief Security Officer of Alcoa. A global leader in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that enhance transportation and improve consumer electronics products. Their products enable smart buildings, smart energy, sustainable food and beverage packaging and high performance defense vehicles. They helped pioneer the aluminum industry 125 years ago and, today, have over 60,000 people in 30 countries.

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