We recently learned about a video surveillance vendor, AllThingsIT, who provides video surveillance systems and cameras to small towns, municipalities, and businesses in and around Indiana under the brand, “Safe Small Towns”. The idea is that video surveillance systems can help keep small towns safe by providing business owners and police departments with the evidence they need to find and convict criminals. They call this, “civic surveillance”.
Safe Small Towns’ website talks a lot about educating the consumer on how camera and other technology works and about providing “performance-based work statements”. They seem to really be up on results-based solutions and the primary way they do this is through JPEG 2000 technology, which takes multiple still images to make a video instead of traditional interlaced video. However, the primary value AllThingsIT brings to the table is in their knowledge of not just how to choose the right video camera solution, but how to integrate that solution into your existing computer network.
AllThingsIT has provided IT network support, video systems, and computer monitoring for a wide variety of corporate and government entities over the years. Their experience with servers, networks, video cameras, and monitoring makes them the ideal video surveillance vendor in the Indianapolis area. Safe Small Towns takes everything AllThingsIT has done with video and wrapped it up into a comprehensive package suitable for small towns, police departments, and other industries in order to offer them specific solutions for their video surveillance needs.
“I go to meetups to learn new things, things that aren’t taught in any class, things that you wouldn’t have learned if you hadn’t been in a group setting to learn them. There are things that happen in group dynamics that don’t happen while reading a blog post on how to do something. But to your point, the people make the difference and if you go to it with that mindset of just wanting to meet interesting people, then learning or networking or anything else is just a bonus on top of that.”
Every Thursday morning I attend a BNI networking group in Carmel. After the meeting I head over to the Subway next to Jason’s Deli and Office Depot. I get the $3 breakfast combo, which includes a 6-inch breakfast sandwich and a regular drink. I then sit down with my laptop and get online using the local Wi-Fi. LePeep, La Hacienda, and Jason’s Deli all have Wi-Fi so I encourage you to try any of those during lunch.
If the seat by the outlet in Subway is taken, I head down the strip to Starbucks. This particular Starbucks is loaded with outlets and many coworkers, commuters, sales persons, and solopreneurs hang out here during the day. I believe this is primarily because of a) the size of the Starbucks – it’s unusually large for a Starbucks, b) the sheer amount of outlets to plug in your laptop or mobile phone, and c) it’s central location to Indianapolis and Carmel.
After attending meetups and other networking events, I’ve started to know a lot of people around Carmel and Indianapolis. Usually, whenever I’m in a Starbucks I’ll run into someone I know and because of that, these cities have started to feel more like a community. I don’t know everybody, but my chances of running into someone I know are now greater than not running into someone I know. And although I check into Foursquare, it doesn’t ever seem to help me run into people, which is odd.
As I am an Indianapolis web designer, my meetings are sporadic and sometimes far in between. I use these ‘holes’ in the day to work out of various locations such as Starbucks, Subway, or Panera Bread. After doing it a while, you start to learn what other business professionals have chose to use as their personal office. There is a dog walker and an oil salesman at the Starbucks at 96th and Meridian and of course there is my habitual use of the Starbucks at Meridian and Carmel Drive.
The greater Indianapolis area is large in size, but it’s a small community. The people you actually want or need to talk to is relatively very small compared to the population of the whole city. For me, it’s business owners who can make a decision to buy from me direct, can be a referral partner, or can be a connector to someone I need to talk to. This is really what networking is all about because you also want to be those same characteristics to other people in your network. You want to be that power connector.
Robby Slaughter, a business process consultant in Indianapolis, has made it his goal in 2012 to help 1000 people. Because Robby is a power connector, he’s able to help a lot of people and I actually took him up on it and Robby had a one to one with me over the phone. Robby is a fellow BNI member of another chapter and he helped me figure out what would be some good referral partners for me and how to tweak my 60-second asks, some of which I’ve implemented. Thanks, Robby!
I’ve actually mentioned Robby Slaughter before as being one my local heroes. I ended up finally meeting Robby last August at Blog Indiana and then immediately saw him again when he spoke at Linking Indiana. Robby also wrote a guest blog post on my web design site entitled, Increasing Productivity In Website Maintenance, which was appropriate since he’s a productivity expert and I design websites around a CMS called WordPress. Thanks again, Robby.