SIA NPS New Product Showcase Judging

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Apr 18, 2013

"It's like a cute baby contest. If only 12 ugly babies enter, then only ugly babies are going to win," explained the SIA New Product Showcase (NPS) chair, Jennifer Martin, of their awards program.

Many industry people, or at least us, have been confused over the years about the significance of these awards. While most security industry programs are obviously picked without any real consideration, SIA's sometimes seemed to be different.

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Comments (4)

Carlton, definitely there is less value than would be provided, for example, by a product comparison rating where specific features and capabilities were tested standardly across the products, and the results published.

However, it does provide a starting point for considering the new technology entries, from companies new and old, and given how much there is to cover at the show, it helps to have starting point. i asked myself the value of paying attention to this before the show, and I decided that I could use the feature sets of the new products (and other data gained from watching them in action) to compare them to similarly promoted items.

I'd say there is more value for the vendor than for the prospective customers, but if IPVM then reviews the products and runners up in your lab—the combination would provide real benefit to your subscribers, don't you think?

However, as far as customers getting "unknowingly stuck with an ugly product"—that comes pretty close to insulting most customers I know. I have never heard of anyone making a product selection based solely upon NPS status. So I think that's a bit of an overstatement. [ Uh oh - I thought only vendors were guilty of that! ;-) ]

Ray, that last sentence was added by me. In fairness, you left out the 'could' in that sentence, so clearly we were not saying always.

While I have never heard someone making a product selection based solely on NPS (or IPVM recommendation, etc.), I have seen many people use it as a key justification for buying a product, especially for the 'best in show' one.

John, true—you did say "could". And come to think of it, I have met a few facilities managers who were told they had to "buy something" vy management and so went to a show looking for a "best of breed" product to select.

Still, I would think purchases based primarily or mostly upon showcase status are exceptional cases and most security and facilities professionals would apply some due diligence, such as checking customer references. Maybe showplace contest satus would help when trying to break a tie.

I also do have to give the NPS Committee Chairperson credit for giving an honest answer.

Ray, I am sure that other criteria is almost always used, such as checking customer references.

However, 'best in show' is a far rarer credential. While nearly every company can get customer references, there is only one company that gets 'best in show' each year for the US's biggest trade event.

I give them credit for being honest but if that is really what it is, doesn't the industry need better?

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