I met AJ Thompson from the LearnAVProgramming.com website. He enrolled in a bunch of courses over the past few years and we recently exchanged some emails where he told me about some interesting solutions he is working on.
He tells us about what it takes to move from traditional AV programming to modern software tools and more importantly – why you would want to.
Dave Schoenbeck has a long history in managing and operating retail stores like Toys R Us and is one of the founders of Babies R Us where he served as senior VP of operations for 10 years. So what does that have to do with software? For more than a decade he’s been helping business owners in AV and beyond reach their goals as an executive coach.
When I started this podcast, I did not realise how much shifting to software defined systems affects the business models. But the words ”as a service” keep coming up, so I am really excited to learn a lot today from Dave Schoenbeck.
this is software defined survival where we explore how software defined systems are changing the business of IT and today software defined survival most the most business owners are not classically trained in business their technical experts and you’re running a business the network of whom you trust someone I chief information officer most of the people the people that are going to be if it’s the business traditionally is going traditional transaction service why would I should just this here’s the here’s the magic solution for that grow fearless leader that would test different things and throw away really fast this is Patrick Murray just a quick word about our first sponsor before we get started now all the sponsors for this podcast will be products and services that I’ve personally used and believe in and executive coach Dave shame back was recommended to me by a long time colleague who’s been working with coach Dave for many years and after the initial consultation I learned quite a bit about my strengths and weaknesses that I may have been somewhat aware of but never really saw in black and white and never realized or even explored how they affect the decisions I make and ultimately how I run my business we’ve had a few coaching session since then and while I can’t report that I’ve seen an immediate impact on the success of my company nothing happens overnight but my plans and and daily activities are a lot more structured and not alone takes a lot of the stress out of deciding on what to do next and there’s really just a kind of a comfort and confidence in following a plan that was put together with the help of someone who’s been through the process of growing many companies so if you’re interested in bringing your business game to the next level I definitely recommend booking a free consultation session with coach Dave just go to his website at deem Shane back dot com that’s Dave D. A. V. E. Shane back S. C. H. O. E. N. B. E. C. K. dot com one more time D. A. V. E. S. C. H. O. E. N. B. E. C. K. dot com there’s also a lot of great information on running a business on his blog a lot of great free information so go ahead and check that out Dave sheen back dot com hello my name is Patrick Murray welcome to software defined survival today’s guest has a long history in managing and operating retail stores like toys R. us and is one of the founders of babies R. us where he served as senior VP of operations for ten years so what does that have to do with software you may ask for more than a decade he’s helping business owners in AV and beyond reach their goals as an executive coach when I started this podcast I did not realize how much you think the software defined systems affects the business model but the words as a service keep coming up so I’m really excited to learn a lot today from Dave Schoen back Dave welcome to the show thanks it’s great to join you guys out there I say you’re not last name right I have hard hard time saying it would help the German accent well your debts actually the correct way to say it but nobody in the US can say it that way so young I pronounce it Shane back because it’s easier for Americans wow that’s fascinating Shane I never woulda came up with that one yes is there anything about that introduction that you’d like to correct or expand on those perfect thanks for reading it was pretty pretty cool yeah the big secret is %HESITATION just look at your linkedin profile and copy the words to so can you tell us a little bit about your first contact with the AB industry and how you kind of got introduced to me are sure how you started working with a %HESITATION at the control programming Cup companies custom programming company and %HESITATION we’re we’re having great success with with that firm and he introduced me to a systems integrator a local systems integrator in the northeast of the US and they were because of the two of them for awhile and then they introduced me to an audio visual labor installation and commissioning business so it was a little triad of the audio visual love businesses for from that to be really fascinating I thought it was going to be the coach of the AV industry and in a lot of fun %HESITATION working these companies and are you still work with two of those three so I learn more and more about the industry is every week goes on interesting so is there any commonalities are there any things that %HESITATION you could kind of pick out out of the kind of sets us apart in general I mean you work with a programmer systems integrator freelance installer those are really kind of different tasks but in general is there anything you can say about AB life a few of the the common thread between all three of them is just the incredible amount of consolidation and change that is happening in the industry were were you know the little system integrators fuses certainly a huge consolidation and a movement away from selling boxes to selling or suffers a service having a different mentality so that that permeates all three three businesses certainly up this consolidation is very typical of a lot of industries you think back through my biker career early career working in retail you know there’s there’s hundreds of grocery chains will drugstore chains discounters that were you know morphed into just a handful no never took place over twenty years again a considerable way so now you know see the same thing in the every industry so having gone through that what kind of opportunities in hindsight may have been available to any I think it’s a shitty shift of thinking you know night when I think back to earlier consolidations or or major changes in market places it’s really about us seeing over the horizon being a little more strategic in your view point not tied to old ways in your feet firmly certain countries cheese instead of being rock solid on on what you believe to be true because things change and in many industries so to be aware of that too how you’re in developed different sorts of thinkers I think would be would be a great advice for for the only initially street you should continue to hire people that are just like yourself in your industry is changing you were going to get caught flat footed without the kind of thinker that you’re gonna need in the future so I’m on board with that we’ve spoken to times and you know that I’m all game for trying out new things but there’s also a bit of risk involved with that do you have any advice for managing that kind of risk when you’re so that you don’t shoot too far beyond the horizon and and just wind up waiting for the future to come yeah hired coach find a mentor find somebody in your industry that’s willing to hell the the they can help you with the with section so we all lose our perspective about how far the goal line is well what’s acceptable stress levels were all those things we just you can’t hardly do it yourself yeah well all of us need to get rid of every business owner needs to get rid of that and trash that we all are born with limbic brain sort of fear that those in what I’m doing is to go to work because we need to fight for that and in generally entrepreneurs are like that incredibly tenacious and and then a resilient and fearless but we all have our moments where we doubt what we’re doing absolutely great advice that now that you say that %HESITATION even starting a podcast could keep a good way to just call cut collaborate with other people get your ideas out there make sure you’re thinking clearly and get influenced by by your colleagues yeah mastermind groups are good one %HESITATION a good idea to review have laws locally that are in your industry or in in love you know intact so to speak could be a lot of different though versions of tech businesses but a master mind group would really be helpful for for leaders to just get a different perspective think about things differently read outside of of what you’re comfortable with I collect information in a in a different way there’s so many aggregating of websites now that you can bring information to to your your laptop desktop phone that he has different ideas for example I die I use one call for for many many of you probably have heard of it I die keep the board for just entrepreneurship small business marketing ideas so that sends me articles all of the everyday world and with different viewpoints and so would this be a lesson is useless but so it is like wow I never thought about it that way so the advice is that we all we all continue to grow and develop ourselves and listen to different viewpoints and different ideas so a few minutes ago you mentioned %HESITATION how there’s a lot of change going on consolidation I think it’s clear it’s really obvious that the bigger companies are getting bigger hands the little companies are getting less but %HESITATION you also mentions change the business model on moving to a as a service model and that has come up quite a bit on the show software just lends itself to that as a service model because you don’t do it once and you’re done you don’t just build the system and run away there you know things change software needs to get updated and grow so do you have any advice on how to make this shift from maybe a margin based hardware based type of a business model to more as a service I think it’s going to be done for us Patrick because of this shifting so quickly to look at the new upstarts and yeah your your your your national conferences on what the what the manufacturers are going up is there’s a there’s a groundswell of additional service providers and less reliance on the traditional selling boxes in the so I think I think all of us that are about the industry are gonna be forced to to open our eyes to see that this is this is a major shift that we need to not deny it but to embrace it figure out work where are he said that might be what when you see it will be done for us that customers will start asking for it because it yeah AV is always on the radar like something in I. T. service level level agreement is kind of a common thing managed services are kind of a common thing and it’s just really not that common AV yet maybe in larger enterprises so if you wanted to kind of catalyze that a bit and not and do it in your niche evening space how would you go about doing that well yeah you think about who’s going to be making the decisions and that’s prevalent in the IT industry the I. T. chief information officer the loss of the few the people are going to be making decisions about AB in future okay so if they if they have a good have many are used to service level agreements in in their current industry what why would they the man that to be similar in any AV roll out if if if the business traditionally is is your is going for away from the traditional sort of selling boxes and and a transaction to a service well why would why should we just jumped in front of them the anticipated are there any common mistakes that you see a business owners make there’s tons of because the worst ones hello mistakes I think one is the that I think I can do it myself where the cuts that’s a big when we touch on that a little bit other common mistakes business owners make is %HESITATION not spending enough time understanding financials okay you know we run it too much out of the out of the checkbook in cash flow instead of the fundamentals balance sheet understanding can all budgets %HESITATION metrics that’s a huge issue for for most smaller businesses for sure and how do you get better at that well you get you find yourself a mentor that can that can help you with that colored so your accountant or culture or take a class it’s not that hard to understand but most the most business owners are not classically trained in business or their technical experts they are really really good and well leave your products and services that deliver but maybe not necessarily have the experience that they need something need some outside help trusted CPA okay see rule number one right don’t do it yourself told to do so the the other common mistake is that we hire for the most inexpensive person that we can find that much night could possibly get the job done instead of me doing investment spending into higher better tell investment spending yeah so you think about this is buying buddy like buying a machine you’re buying you’re buying your your biggest asset which is in the in the up and coming high performance individuals so we have a tendency to make to to buy on the cheap earlier or even passed earlier I understood I can understand early on better than them two or three years and into a business and I really learned my lesson on that from mobile babies R. us experience that that the folks that were loyal and great in the beginning were not necessarily the people that have the horsepower to handle it is to get better and it took me awhile to really see that my understanding is it’s an emotional decision why don’t these loyal people perform like they used to uses more complex and it’s more difficult there’s bigger decisions and that’s that strategic viewpoint the best the best people you wanna hire folks they concede that strategy meant that after working all the time but they can see where they’re going that they’re great communicators and this this is a really interesting point that how companies can change as a gross I think that’s a real challenge to us to have the same team when you’re a group of less than ten people and then you grow into a couple dozen fundamentally the yeah a different beast every sort of babies R. us there was three of us while you’re working on the original idea and at the end there was there was ten thousand people reported to me so you don’t think they get more complex as thirteen direct reports for or for a vice presidents and a bunch of directors and now the complexity of just managing brown would deliver telling people is completely different from what I did in the early days so roles changed for me and my viewpoint change and that’s what happens with all that I worked with some of those people just couldn’t grow to that capacity right so I’m still waiting for those problems so I’m do you have any stories of %HESITATION anybody in the V. or any other industry of somebody who just made up a good turn around that was kind of stuck with something at a problem that they just couldn’t get through and %HESITATION and really turned around yes we have a one one of my clients in the industry is when I first started work working with this guy he was he was out on his own a book keeper and self and on the net business through grew from that to you know a fairly significant companies use of language we don’t want to see the sales line with the staff is now about seventy people so in some highly profitable business so here’s the here’s the magic solution for that growth fearless leader that would test different things and thrown away really fast they didn’t work invest in and give it time to to percolate and grow look it didn’t work bone gone we’re gonna move on to something else so tirelessly create of yeah in trying different things the new he’s really really very impressive to me just because you don’t see them that often throughout the normal heart so let business six borderlines use daring Russell and and fearless grossly grin were there any armed practical things any exercise or practices that that you noticed in in what he was doing or what that company did that may have a attributed to that yeah I guess it just sounds like courage just having the courage to try things out and and see if they work on their own and Pat myself on the back but I think we’re I help this individual was was having bouts of being able to bounce ideas off of it and and because we all get when you’re running a business is very low in the years to really know your network of whom you trust is somewhat limited self coach by providing that the discussion so I’m gonna be I want to listen to what you say I’m gonna help you shake that idea think about a little different so the end result in the system success that he had was incredible amount of focus because we we kept clarifying what you’re trying to do bring it back to what was the original idea was are we methodical about this so when we come to believe but some direction and well discourse about about strategies that was how I ended up either interesting I’m just taking notes so as he was going through this process it must’ve been a different thing when the company was smaller so trying testing out different things it’s an investment of time probably capital as well and %HESITATION dead needs to come from somewhere was there kind of like a base of business that he had that allowed him to try out these different things or she so so there were a few things that worked out well early on yeah he understood understood his costs were very well and his margin requirements which is also another weakness in most businesses the idea of understanding be gross margins in overhead which I guess ties back to my earlier comment about understand your financials but there there is a definite weakness of most small businesses about understanding gross margin and how to use that had a price and and he had a extremely strong ask you then when it came to that so he knew where every nickel was he knew what his costs were in what he needed to make so there was a underpinning of profitability to allowed to grow it was you who you can grow in margin as time went on it a solid margin excellent that that’s kind of exactly what I was looking for because we can talk about courage and and and %HESITATION creativity and innovation but in the end it does come down to a very practical things and %HESITATION understanding the financials of the company seems to be what gives what could give you that confidence to take those chances because if you don’t know if it’ll work out or then you could plan on it and and you know what things look out I look like on the other side regardless of what happens well you service mentality to is really important for all small businesses to be really focused on on your client satisfaction in the you know I think a lot of us we view it as a we don’t hear any complaints everything’s cool and then that is probably not the right way to do it we need to do more surveying we need to be asking the right questions we need to be close to those decision makers so we understand how to fix things earlier so some of the most businesses certainly strengthen those individuals so a character in India quite you mention customer service what would that look like on a practical level just about the way one of the smartest decisions are made and when the babies R. us days that I tied the compensation of all the store managers to to guest satisfaction so we did service and then rolled up and number was a scorecard they at once we had a bass line and we know what what date where they were at in that store that clientele and then we give them a little left of this is what you need to do you need to get to this level and you get to make money your books so so that can be done in any business maybe not to that extent but it could be you have to measure first so you know there’s SurveyMonkey there’s a lot of different tools that you can use that electronically probes your clients to get you know three or four questions then you get a bass line and how you’re doing types of jobs that don’t work so well we’re get markdowns identifies process breaks and weaknesses you understand very clearly of what customers like you and which ones don’t and and it is a lot easier for a client to to give you a mark down on paper or electronic surveyed than it is to do with your face so when you were listening in and we’re not hearing any sort of problems we get in we get dolled into thinking that literally school but then if you look at what how they really feel in a in a in a return electronic digital Sir right well who we didn’t do so well what’s that all about yeah great stuff so that’s kind of like at the end of every stripe call you get asked that the return yeah is limited to learn a route we all want to collect way too much information and we’ll have the service in on the go on for fourty minutes you really I think most customers most clients want to help businesses they want help shape they want to have influence but just don’t warrant so what is the most important metric customer customer delight just what were you happy those five stars are really all you need to know yeah I think there could be some opportunity there for a TV industry to to build in a little feedback loop just like this guy called right have those five stores whenever somebody shuts down the system or not so if anybody would like to get in touch with you how would they go about doing that you can you can contact me at %HESITATION Dave Shane back dot com so many emails Dave at a machine that can really hurt remember that’s probably the easiest way I have a contact form on my website you’ll ever and ever needing help %HESITATION just click on that and I are for one hour complimentary coaching sessions for anybody that’s interested of a problem that let’s let’s schedule time willow will talk about excellent Dave thanks a lot for the talk today my pleasure Patrick thanks for listening to software defined survival I hope you found it useful and maybe it inspires you to try out something new this week if you have any questions does software defined survival dot com and click the appropriate I’d love to answer questions on the air and if you’d like to help spread the word please subscribe comment and share it with your friends
Lee Rivers talks about how programmers can guarantee AV project success by working directly with
consultants and end users.
this is a software defined survival where we talk to AB IT professionals and software developers to find out how to leverage software to reinvent ourselves and we do business we listen to their stories and ask for advice and tactics on how to survive and thrive in a software defined what today software defined survive and then I get there and then it project manager got none and I we want this button to do this and do that easy rider writing way it’s going to be handed out of it you know the next day and it’s like two weeks worth of work we need some money from someone with an understanding the banking code what’s required all understanding how to really it’s not so easy and that really wanted and this space pasted to stand up and take control of this whole prices because it was a safe space it really understand these prices Haiti Patrick here just a quick recap of my week before we get on with the interview I just got back from Amsterdam where I attended Crestron master training event it’s the year two thousand eighteen in case you’re listening to this sometime in the future ends quite honestly I almost did not go but on the recommendation of my body Steve Greenblatt he really encouraged me to go and he was right it was the right thing to do because I was really surprised about some of the things that I’ve heard now in AV one of the things I’ve been talking about for a long time is this whole software defined stuff using modern programming tools to %HESITATION do your automation and control and pretty much all the traditional control manufacturers have been hesitant to take that approach because I understand it right quite frankly they’ve put a lot of resources into creating proprietary control systems proprietary ID ease in software and they have all the support structures and dealers who are trained up in this stuff I completely understand that and on top of that their tools work great they do what they should but from my perspective once I started using iOS swift and Java script with no J. S. ends working with other developers and subcontracting work out to other developers it became very difficult to go back to those tools because it’s just a completely different development environment so I think there’s a place for everything there’s a time and a place for these traditional tools there’s certainly more of a role that modern tools could be playing and that’s why I was really blown away this week when I attended a class at this Crestron events where they announced that their touch panels will be programs with HTML five CSS and Java script and they will not be providing an ID touch panel designers will be expected to use modern web development tools to create their touch panels and this is a complete paradigm shift it’s a total one eighty from that closed proprietary system approach because now basically you create a web page and it could run anywhere I could run on your laptop it could on on any browser any could also run on Crestron touch panels so this completely opens up the weight AV projects can be done on the touch panel side because we have so many more resources now you could hire any web developer to make a whiz bang touch panel ends you could re use that however you like you could serve it up from somewhere browse to it from your phone you could package it up as your own app and you could brand that out and I think this is a really big deal because let’s face it Crestron is a really big company and when they do things like that people will pay attention to it so I’m really excited about the things that I’ve heard this week ends also their touch panels will be running android so it looks like you may even be able to run your own applications right on the touch panel so this is really exciting stuff and along with some of the other things that I saw this week like the the partnership with apps space a digital signage company starts to make sense because the run that digital signage platform it’s basically HTML web pages so it kind of makes sense that they’ll move in this direction and of course all the video I. P. over IP was a big big thing that we talked about this week and quite frankly he V. systems are going to have to be done differently they’re going to have to be designed and plans quite differently even a good CAD drawing you know the days of of writing on the back of a napkin or certainly over but even a good CAD drawing will not be enough to get buy in from IT professionals so the landscape certainly is changing and one of the biggest takeaways that I took away from this week is that Evey programmers and software minded integrators are really the ones who are best positioned to shepherd in this new paradigm of AV IT and software defined AV IT on a technical level sure obviously that’s why we’re best position because we understand things so deeply what needs to be done and the order in the way it needs to be done but on a business side I think we have a lot to improve on and that’s why today’s guest gives us a lot of tips about how to change your business and really take advantage of the opportunities that are waiting for us so let’s get on with the interview my name is Patrick Murray welcome to software defined survival I’m here Chris Johnson master training two thousand eighteen in Amsterdam and I’ve met some interesting people and one of them is my guest here today and being that I’m a masters I have not had a chance to look at is linked in profile and give the typical background so I’ll just let him do that himself Louie rivers welcome to software defined survival how are you today things country can you tell us a little bit about your background how you got it starred in a movie and not all that sure %HESITATION yes I’ve been doing this for about thirty seven years sort of my background was initially doing invent some and %HESITATION as a DJ and production and then sort of went into the I AB side of things in regards to silos and technical and installation and they need to programming and project management and running says as a senior project manager and yeah so it’s kind of pretty much everything in the industry all kind of have a doubling and had to play with excellent and what was that initial impulse to get into a V. what what was like your first project or %HESITATION probably as a DJ but both my brothers with the Jason so it kind of was in the family and %HESITATION and yeah I like a lot I used to set a mark around this kid doing recordings and and that sort of thing so I was really not very much into music to really enjoy it cool thank that pops up a lot there it is again music usually it’s guitar something that we’ve got a DJ on the show and %HESITATION yeah that’s a recurring theme that music is a gateway drug for a fee which is it different so %HESITATION could you tell me a bit about your most successful project and and what made it special for you I guess the %HESITATION the not so much the lightest that probably one of the biggest I did was set on a few years back I did a project for the department of education and it was somewhat different to this standard project in that %HESITATION always working directly with the consultant and always engaged by the client to actually do the programming commissioning which meant that the SI was the one that actually just supplied with equipment and installation and I did all the programming commissioning full that project working directly with the consultant and the and the and the client take Mike showed that the interface is we’re going to deliver exactly what I wanted %HESITATION and the project end up becoming %HESITATION %HESITATION will actually like we had the guys coming out from integrate at magazine to do a just a cover story on and %HESITATION and it wasn’t long before I see in two thousand seventeen and %HESITATION and then we found out that bag she had put herself for the international war practically you without you asking for yeah without a sign asking for it we digest and and when it was only like about two weeks out from the shot and so I you know I wasn’t trying to guide to I see because I was already coming a masters in Amsterdam and it’s a long way from Australia to to come here so it was at a big commitment to it be up to come twice but two weeks out and found out that would be nominated in the consultants at night you betta get tickets even a common we came to Amsterdam and I’m surprisingly we actually won the international project of the year which we went expecting because there was seven of the major projects from around the world and it wasn’t a large project but the innovation in the project and how it all went together and the client was just over the moon with that and it worked really really well and kind of %HESITATION from there it’s sort of staying rounding to me looking into more working with consultants and and the end user to get a pet a outcome and I guess that’s probably out of all the projects that are done browsing the projects are done over the years that was someone and I guess what’s with the United a stand out the most so I’m looking at that projects what really set it apart for you was that direct contacts with the consultant generex yet and definitely early on in the in the prices so you know I I I’m just speaking to people he and everyone has exactly the same issues with you know when they’re working at that sees the %HESITATION and sort of working we %HESITATION system in a crisis this it’s usually time is always the issue you know and I don’t have the time to be able to scope it out probably ended really get %HESITATION might be to talk to the end user client to really understand what the requirements are from from the client’s perspective side they do their best and then I get there and then it project manager got none and I we want this button to do this and do that do that subtle changes in its usually right at the end of the project way it’s got to be handed over the you know the next day and it’s like two weeks worth of work to trying to facilitate the requirements and and you know if Ian seems to be getting set up the file all the way along the trying said to be able to be engaged on very very early crisis you know we were spending we spent a lot of time developing the actual touch panel layouts before any code was actually written so it worked out perfectly and so when it come time to to trying to with no changes required because it was all worked out that’s really a really interesting you know I’m really excited about this whole idea and because it’s the same old song and dance that’s being set up for failure happens over and over again so I’m really excited about this idea of %HESITATION getting involved as early as possible but that’s easier said than done right so do you have any usually I ask for advice at the end of the park as but let’s just jump right into it do you have any practical tips for anyone who wants to get closer to the origin of the project yeah definitely look I I think that some as program is we’re always at the coal face and we can bring a lot to the title when it comes to helping al consultants and even system going into great dissident doing design construct talk works all I believe and this is what I did which took me a long time I spend a lot of time meeting with consultants and meeting with you know a system integrators and just explaining to them what you know how I can deliver for them and and what we can do to to help them when they designing from a design perspective without understanding the packing code what’s required for understanding how to really do a good interface %HESITATION it’s not so easy for an a so I or even that the consultants to be able to %HESITATION paint a picture for the client so when we come on board we know what works what doesn’t work and we can explain that to the client and then we can find at the intricacies of what I require one of the issues there they’re experiencing and how can we in code and in the in the face %HESITATION be able to provide that and why this is gonna be easy for them to use excellent so the benefits sure if you’re in early you have more time right you don’t have that time crunch at the ends obviously contacts to the end user that you could really understands what what issues they’re trying to solve what what kind with their solutions should look like those of the benefits has there been any %HESITATION challenges that have been introduced by getting in so early is there anything that any negatives to it a look they res %HESITATION obviously when you change the way things get done in any industry you can have some sort of resistance and so I found the wrist any resistance at all I’ve experienced is mainly from the system in a crisis %HESITATION by it you know I see me as a threat %HESITATION as you know that I’m taking away part of the works %HESITATION button in actual fact %HESITATION every project that I have run with this model %HESITATION has worked perfectly with the client and then actually might system integrator look bad on %HESITATION because nine times out of ten that the the the product mix delivered is not exactly what the client wanted all the consultant had this online %HESITATION because of all the time limitations in money because I mean that was a tender arrangement with that putting the pricing as cheap as possible just get in and get out and then run on variations to try and actually make some money out of the project by the way doing it is not about you know looking variations it’s about being up to understand what are the deliverables from from the outset so that we can actually deliver that to the client rather than how we got to get in and get out in a certain period of time so how does integrators flips have they changed their mind set after going through the process look some have %HESITATION some haven’t I mean you can’t change everybody but I think in the long time people will see the benefits of this model excellent so let’s get down to some practical details what does the process look like so there’s a consultant who has a project you’re on board to help him what are some some of the steps some of the tasks that you actually do and and the timing of those tests like I so depending on where the projects are sometimes we just organize like assume chorus or Scott call with the client or all the key stakeholders that again we utilize the for the day the %HESITATION the system or to maybe %HESITATION services system or their own internal IT or to all IT departments have everybody involved that would like to have input in the eye roll you know you soul operation of the system %HESITATION side that’s the first thing is to be able to scope it out a lot of the times like for instance of a recently did a university project where they had like six different types of of the legacy touch panel laughs and what we did was we tried to everyone of them and we said I chi what’s the good the bad and the ugly for each one of these and then basically grabbed all the good bits and try to get it all together and and and documented a once I will let’s let’s work from this and and basically built %HESITATION a touch panel out having all the functionality within the one system and then sort of guy from there so it gave us a framework of way to stop from %HESITATION and then where I would be able to do it and build and build until it got him absolutely everything that I wanted to do but still easy for an ID educators to you because you know the light at the end of the day to day the guys that are going to be able to get out there and just be able to you know select one button and the whole system turns on the white guys it’s gonna be very easy for them to be able to do that pot from the the people that are actually the intent of life you know like two guys I know the issues they’re experiencing and I to die Dino the floors in the existing systems and I can provide that feedback from there you sort of given a really good clear roadmap of what you’re going to deliver once you’ve got nice touch panels done in light and light out the coding is easy because it’s normal cry it’s it’s really black and white yeah that’s come up several times to programming is actually easy once everything is defined so just to recap real quickly step one is talk right talk with the end users see see with their their needs are step to analyze if they have anything already really take a good look at it what’s the good what’s the bad and step three is documentation so you’ve mentioned touch panels several times %HESITATION does does your value really revolve around the coup we interface or is that just part of it is it is there more to it than that look I believe the Kiwis probably ID percent of it to be honest %HESITATION seriously because at the end of the day the people that are all private that I’m K. one brandies it’s irrelevant it’s just about the user experience and I that’s bandied around a lot of Instagram at the user experience but it really is about the user experience so if you can get thank you we rely and make it nice and easy %HESITATION you know your job done do you have any way to %HESITATION it was not do we rooms are and so %HESITATION keypads or it real animation where there’s just sink detection or or things like that maybe even voice control yeah look I think can sink detection yes %HESITATION haven’t done a lot of key pad type stuff from because typically the systems are out of work on a usually quite large and complex said there’s not a lot of that sort of requirement and made the point I want to range where Mike in their breakout room or you know since a little meeting rooms about that %HESITATION that %HESITATION haven’t done any yet voice control but definitely interested in in in sort of looking into that area okay so you’ve got the functionality defines in whatever the user interface is going to be let’s say it’s a good week you’ve got that defines with some just wire frames or is it a full blown %HESITATION graphic design do you put some text in there to describe things give me an idea what that was don’t do that we want to climb into the client is not something sometimes you can be just a simple yes actually doing all the touch panels because you gonna do them anyway you’ve already got the job so much of the touch panels and then screenshot to send it to the client and then if you can have a meeting them to be able to explain how it’s the the functions working things out that really depends on the complexity of the of of what the project days you know if it’s just a basic little meeting rooms are not that that’s one thing that’s you know you really kind of to get into it too much if it’s more like a more complex you know meeting room board room or you know a multi purpose to offering where it split into three range of things out that then you getting them more complexity in you need to actually get down to the nitty gritty and you need to have everybody spying on on we have to get that information sure and numb once that’s approved and everybody agrees on everything what are the next steps are probably pretty obvious but just take me through that case a missing anything side typically once that some of the that signed off for me that’s the next step for me to get my next progress payments %HESITATION because for me it’s all well and good to be able to do the work but if you’re not managing risk of business that’s the other part of mapping of the program is it is it it’s it’s a business as well you know you gotta make sure that you you managing cash flow and you managing that that you you get you made a milestone in you you put any invoicing and once anymore spine then you get a next step and you’ve clearly defined that from the outset so the client really knows what are the key points along the way so once you’ve got that signed off and you you know you put invoicing in you being tied for the ice man a works then it’s getting on to the programming I’m saving up the program and you know maybe you can you know do some off site testing you know you might have a little crisis you go home and be able to actually play tricks and all that sort of stuff working and anything else that you can test as much as possible I like to try and have pretty much most of the code components completely finished before I go to start and stop loading the other thing that from there is that would be really dumped on and make sure that the system integrator is completely understanding of what is required before the program is going to get someone you know make sure that a lot of the RP information’s being supplied to the dive down all their system testing and so on exam that might show the days you know anything it for their one night you know Wallace and for for the yeah program to going in and load understanding that you know who seems in control of the commissioning side of things and that sort of thing and basically it it’s just run like a project you know you’re going to have more you different elements of what’s going to be done and and it’s done in in in in time once the programming is done then it’s putting in time to say a couple of programs done now I’m ready to come to sought once they’re ready and then somebody it’s another %HESITATION and then it’s the final go to sign in to you funneled lighting and testing and commissioning and trying excellent %HESITATION I usually have a note pad and take notes but I’ve got a bright rely on my memory for now so there were a couple things I want to touch on %HESITATION you mention payment as being a critical part of the process it’s not all fun and games you know the as technical people we we like to have fun we enjoy our jobs but %HESITATION I like the way you you place that importance on there it’s got to be part of the project processes when we we paid for what tasks so I think that’s a really think important thing to note and of course you did the programming because that’s %HESITATION when you’re background where you come from but there’s also this installation part so it almost sounded like you become there’s a transition between where you’re doing some consultancy on on what the final solution looks like and then you transition almost to a project manager do you help select the %HESITATION as a systems integrator and and then can you talk a bit about the transition from being a consultant to a project manager yeah look down at the moment in the role that have been doing we %HESITATION the consultants there’s no real involvement and he’s getting shot in a chosen to to do the work in regards to the tender process of %HESITATION %HESITATION by in demand definitely with the project management I’m actually managing my part of the project and on making sure that I know in advance when I’m required on site on like show that Dave because you know what they ducks in line of Donald a big that I need to tell you because it’s all about ensuring that I understand what my requirements on before he shot because I don’t want to get the site and I’m not going to work %HESITATION because just wasting everybody’s time yeah so is so once a project is installed and complete and accepted is that the end of the projects because I kind of have this idea of if you look at software development you’ve reached version one and then there’s a long time between that between version one release and when that system reaches end of life and that tends to be ignored a lot in AV do take that into account and all and and what does it look like for you you look alike to run have the chance to be able to go and get back to the client and just see how even it’s going you know just to calling you can just have a coffee just to see how it’s all going but also I I I tried to exceed in case they mean to you know providing some sort of found a service agreement you know from the from the %HESITATION %HESITATION uniting site com you know for more updates and and %HESITATION you know testing is systems and stuff like that I mean it’s all well and good to be installed will have certain you know my idea slicing in place but from a from a code in an operational taught us perspective %HESITATION I’d like to have make sure that my relationship with the client is still strong and in any changes they want to do United gonna come straight to me every time just to just to make sure that %HESITATION you know what it is going to be done in code can be facilitated excellent excellent yeah you mentioned %HESITATION %HESITATION says security updates and we just sat in a class together where you know the big take away for me was if security is a feature if you view security as a future then you should be updating firmware regularly that’s that’s a part of it yeah and so so it is a little bit loose right it’s it’s not really an a contract is not part of a documented part of the work flow but you definitely keep in touch with the end user is so is there anything else that %HESITATION that you’re working on that you’d like to share with us any plans for the future you plan on doing anything with this model or just continue to execute it on your own yeah look I am working at the moment %HESITATION to put together a %HESITATION it basically I’m looking at building strategic alliances with people not just in a stripe around the world there are like minded and wants to set a time you know I’m take more control of where the going in and advice to give themselves the opportunity to actually succeed in business rather than just you know I get the cards dealt with in and and I’ve got to put up with it and tried to do the best I can with with what’s dealt to them %HESITATION and so in saying that odds actually got some alliances throughout history of cuts and make a line in the U. S. that we’ve been talking with and there’s been quite a few people that I’ve met here at %HESITATION at monsters that I getting at are asking the same questions that everybody else is asking their own experience the same issues so you know just saying this model is saying how works and and and a sexy sits a few places in the U. S. that are actually running exactly this model %HESITATION and it’s working really really well and in talking with some some of the head guys here Crestron a dinner last night and he said the time that we’re trying to get people from from CS pasted to to run this model the ease and and yeah and that really wanted and this space pasted to to stand up and take control over this whole crisis because it was a serious piece it really understand this crisis and now hoping that that we’re up to do that now I can understand why it hasn’t and because everybody’s different you know some people %HESITATION management people some people out another ticket to known that big data really just want to get in because I really don’t want to be client facing that really don’t want to be running a business is such two as a business development manager they just wanna write code and I want to do any voice and I want to work on the next job not so bright image finding you can earn good money that way but essentially if you want to be you know in charge here and destiny and you want to be able to work on some pretty amazing stuff and be involved from the outset and rather than sort of you know on my small of being rude being a much like a bottom feda you know you you get to the top of the pack and then so you will be working at that high level you really need to be able to have strategic alliances with those people that can actually help you to get to that point and so you sort of working together and it becomes you know it’s a win win deal for everybody that’s involved when I know I believe in life you gotta love what you do when you get away with doing a lot allies that were actually going to enjoy that and will likely we work in the industry that pretty much every on that I’m not in the industry level I do you know it’s it’s a fun industry line %HESITATION side that’s a first base so you got to be happy with what you’re doing and I believe you got to be in control of your own destiny not like if you sitting there and being upset of the county got a date you getting dealt stymied getting you pack now it’s time to move on and and and take control of yourself and if you can’t do it yourself align yourself with people that are going to help you be able to get a you know help them to get with any ticket and you help them and I help you when you when you know it you’ll go along the path together and it’s amazing what you can actually chase absolutely inspiring stuff you you’ve got me all fired up and I can’t wait to get home and start executing on some of this and %HESITATION based on some of the things we’re seeing here this training software is really going to be more of a part of the way AT projects are done and %HESITATION we’re going to have to develop software development cracks practices we will not be sitting on a cable school behind Iraq doing things last minute so the industry will have to change and a lot of the things you said about you know taking charge of your own destiny I really think it’s time for for AB programmers and software minded people to stand up and say yeah we could do this and %HESITATION and to get to it so if anybody would like to get in touch with you we’re gonna follow up probably some time and a half for your your so and and see where this whole journey takes us but if anybody like to get such a few in the meantime how they go about doing that and you can get to it contact me through I linked in this one way I’m all up and leave at on my dash excel the XC L. dot com today you excellent thank you so much for being on the show early thanks Patrick hate Patrick Ewing and thanks for listening to the show if you enjoyed this discussion if you liked what you’ve heard if you want to hear more discussions like this please go to I tunes legal review to the show send me a comment get in touch with me somehow and let me know that you’re out there listening and that’ll motivate me to keep doing these shows get more so if you’re driving or whatever to set something in your calendar to give you a reminder to go to I tunes thanks for listening to software defined survival for transcripts and show notes go to software defined survival dot com
Steve Greenblatt is probably least known for being one of my former employers. His AV career began by spending a few years working as a Systems Engineer for Crestron, then he went on to found what was probably one of the first Independent AV Programming companies, Control Concepts. With over 21 years in business, Control Concepts is one of the longest running AV programming business out there. He is also host of AVNation’s A State Of Control.
Micha Van Der Stoop started his career at Cisco where he was involved with everything from designing and implementing their internal office networks to business development for Cisco’s Proof Of Concept Lab.
He also he worked at Shell Global Solutions where he was responsible for the global Reference Architecture and Solutions designs for AV, collaboration and CCTV.
He is currently Managing director at IDM Solutions, a Consulting & Design firm in the Netherlands.
this is a software defined survival where we talk to AV IT professionals and software developers to find out how to leverage software to reinvent ourselves and we do business we listen to their stories and ask for advice and tactics on how to survive and thrive in a software defined what today software defined survive and then all of sudden there is a space that start thank and we asked cables stick if you are well I and I thought that was the area with those opportunities that the IT space but everything that sits in the datacenter space is more reliable more feature backs and infinitely more welcome to software defined survival my name is Patrick Murray in today’s guest star his career at Cisco where he was involved with everything from designing and implementing their internal office networks to business development for Cisco’s proof of lab kind of proof of concept glad he also worked at shell global solution’s where he was responsible for the global reference architecture and solutions designs for AB collaboration and CCTV is currently marketing director or you’ll have to correct me if I get that wrong at IBM solutions which is a consulting and design firm in the Netherlands welcome Misha Misha fenders correct me on all that in a second welcome to this well thank you very much them yet so mischief on the stove sis which is console the rest was the treaty at pretty corrects managing director of IBM solutions from the Netherlands them will brief you statements sat through excellent thank you for that is there anything you’d like to expand upon about about that introduction and you know I I think in light of the conversation that we’re asking is the the the backgrounds that I have and the legacy that that we carry Kenexa every well into this into this topic and I came from an IT backgrounds and like most of the people I’ve met so far in the AC industry and and that I see background has been as a result many firsts as being dispersed as voice over IP deployments in Europe going away from traditional P. B. access to and an IP enabled said medical manager at the time going for the first wireless working with universities in the Netherlands and around the world to develop the wireless protocols and the standards and to go from real standards based CCD feet to an IP enabled should your surveillance system and yeah due to Cisco I actually rolled into the yeah that AC space realized that it was well a fairy boon regulated says space and and so a lot of opportunities and and those opportunities are now how I have few years later finally manifesting itself in this whole topic of IP enabled said I T. enables and and clouds enables connectivity the wild west of AV can can you tell me a little bit about that transition what happened there at Cisco that got you involved with a yes it was in their way was very very interesting so the wild west of IT was in the mix that early nineties it was fantastic time where I have projects would be left right and center offices will be deployed Cisco’s internal offices will be Abby would install an office a week and when we had done everything in that so the in in Europe later Middle East Africa as well and even later into full at emerging markets if there was something new that’s is glad you would just go in and add that that’s gave a lot of space for interface and for personal development ad for networking in the broadest sense of the words and at one point we we got in full into the holographic telepresence and we helped to develop that’s which was absolutely fantastic but it was always the DAC portion where Wesker Prisco some projectors science and all those kind of things and starting to realize there was already some hate it’s different worlds rather we knew at a field the from all the office of the officers that we deployed but we never really got around to it **** as an IT yeah organization and the screens were the present screen Satele drawn first it was just screens in a room that sway you connected to the PC with CJ or or and may be the CIA if it falls fillable and but it was there and then and starting to add to talk to the guys that did show production that we organized that the Cisco networks and just go live for a few years there were all these companies like yours Johnson coming in and bring in all the states heaps and heaps of kits and equipments and it was at one and say Hey seem to work quite well and at the same time it couldn’t work with anything that we had which was sick why did you make money and starting to stink and starting to work for a company that says like well date got everything that you’re doing needs to be per faces doesn’t matter where you are and then all of sudden there is a few space that started saying it needs to be absolutely perfect and and we have cables the stick if your arm to run for a while why ends and Anya in that space coming from that sell across the presence of the projects I realized that there was a whole market out there where we could so we could actually and it was and well off the two thousand census was two thousand seven I think that that it was my real first introduction that into this into this area and I thought that was the area with all those opportunities that the IT space had in the early to mid nineties so I got into its and it’s being that is being very much it’s very fun is very fun right I like the way you were you you compare the opportunities that it did we always say that AV kind of flags ten twenty years behind IT and %HESITATION that’s one of the things that I really I really haven’t thought about is that you know this in the during that transition the early years of IT there was a lot of opportunity and and that may be present now on TV as well and you also talked about how he could work like the show production guys in the AV people there their stuff just it was so different than I TT and and dealing with data let the AVIC convergence right but it’s it’s it’s actually more of a clash at the time it was was was definitely a class or if it wasn’t even a day but just Santa parallel boss that would never cross and read that damn band videoconference came along it was a your friends but say the experience and some local people in your show except the but the experience of safety was really or as people coming in and now I do you support the war technical support and to come in and explain to people how the the remote control work of video conference system and then use ice the end to dial out because you want to do something really really difficult and all of a sudden there is this as the easiest to telepresence portfolio for Cisco but also the political mad telepresence solutions that came there that all for one touch panels really kicks **** whose phones that could be controlled said there’s always the a lot of technology development and going on dad’s what would let Fritz out all the technology that’s it’s in their **** it can be easy and that was what what the present was about in the beginning it’s easy is high quality you don’t have to do anything and of course in the very first deployments were difficult and sent to build a telepresence system mad at the show which we did so is like going around all Cisco’s expose that was also a lot of work you would be the I. T. equivalent also show guys because it was lots of boxes and screen somewhat ask you but installing that in all fairness and all of a sudden leasing that’s for years and there are still many of the systems that have been deployed says a hideout almost twenty years ago that I still see around and I guess that testifies to the stability off that IT environments and a since we last week we actually had a company yak coming %HESITATION square in the not so let’s see they were saying that the still have offices that use got three and it still works and that was a deployment of thirty years ago Sir can you imagine that any of the A. C. technologies would still work off thirty years that it’s as an aim for signal the bin as just that a cable between your laptop and your screen buds infrastructure cabling because I had to get three would also do still sufficient data for for what’s what their applications work so that’s that’s I guess the promise all flights he did this a long term investment so you need to have a long term strategy need to make your decisions rights you need to understand the the IT space in order to really leverage swat is coming up in the a few space because there’s definitely benefits in the in the a few space and set the opportunities are such that it’s within the a few space you will be among if not to the desktop contends producer on add on a corporate network and the D. emailing your friends it’s it’s only small portions but start to do IP encoding and streaming that still sign it’s all your video surveillance then all of a sudden if that’s in the a few well or in the next realm good that’s where the content is and if you order one that’s controlled the contents than that you can also see the well get your the one that probably both from to come at it a customer and what’s what’s this goes said in one what’s discussed description was said back in the day it was the plumber off the internet so if your if you’re going to build the house shaking too cold Lamar or are you going to call the architects and that’s what it is what this is about and that’s also works with these opportunities are about Saturdays you want the architects to to tell you not even the consultants anyone to ask people with with a very wide on the standing to to give you an overview on how you could move forward how you can really have a long term investment and not all that’s how you can secure your whole environments as to well whatever left will you require and say we work with companies that that that work up to J. weeks lawful lab and military security rates and at that that’s completely different ballgame than that what standards AC or even standard IT is all about yeah absolutely there really put things through their paces in the in the in the defense area you touched on a whole bunch of stuff there we’re not going to get through it all but there’s a few things I’d like to circle back to and numb I really like the way you talked about that how that cat three infrastructure still does the same thing as today’s so you’ve got this long term standard the planning was you know this thing will always have data that goes over but what happens is in AV is that the signals change right we have completely different signal types today HDMI than we did many years ago which was all analog so it wouldn’t even be possible to make any kind of an in a long term infrastructure in that sense but now that we’ve switched to digital I guess %HESITATION everything could be over the network because it is now just data but %HESITATION that the mindset of taking that long term architecture approach need to catch up to the end is as complex as it’s a complex ways is not very complex transition but you need you need to make that transition and you need to think about its and what you also see is that the industry as a whole and the industry is not backing that’s as that idea and why am I saying that so the industry is obviously backing the idea of standardized cabling which just why AC based you came along you can use your your your cat five or cat six that will better infrastructure buds it’s a different protocol so therefore it doesn’t transfers over the network that shoe that you have which is set a which is a problem AT be is also a problem because a few beats I have there is that many fantastic things about its but the problem and the real problem is that none of the and the prices stats that I know and probably none in the world will have to fool a few be enabled infrastructure so unless you’re coming in the segregation road again and you start to deploy your equipment parallel to the I. T. network then you and you’re not going to see the benefits off a few B. as social that is that’s one thing and that that that there’s other protocol standards and to do the or regional implementation all done so without to dent the domain controller Watson IT protocol absolutely as it runs on an IP network it can you can communicate to multiple devices that was a moment surveying troll elements into it but at the same time it would end cross she leads and if if you if your a night do you know that C. lands are my logical groups of IP addresses that you have in the building that belonged to separate ranges and sometimes say you want all of them to talk together sometime she wants to apply axis list or as like strengthen your security even further good with them to without any of the security considerations you could not all from one network segments to the next whereas from an audio perspective to why wouldn’t you want to go from the first floor to the second floor in the building and that that’s a logical box and and and if you follow that pause why would you go outside label to to another building because arguably you can see aching hole or as we swayed and with this in the few that were happening we using soon which is software and goes over the internet and it’s it’s pretty good but there’s always a need for better or more reliable quality or a quality that runs in parallel to your to your common office tools because your in in trading Adam excuse you begin trading they have all sorts of lights you go through the whole arm and say you got your direct communications and then there is always online stats that are happening and also to you Lou cats at the mixed stack protocols where is the only way to deal with it is oh for an I. P. naval networks IP is pervasive and it really needs to be professors to the matter to the letter and and and and to expand upon that even further add the the whole new line of thinking at all everything in four K. space for instance it’s fantastic it’s four KT sixty four full four planets as soul which is almost bus were set aside that were already with AC at the time but it’s do customers really need debts of course this whole area of customers that will need it but in a standard office environments where arguably for gay will be quite useful and that some of the displaced vehicle or affordable so why wouldn’t you have four K. but to to have a four K. solution that okay the move off I think two thousand sixteen it was with us at all we got four K. for for a rat and sixty frames at ten gig really cute as a well let’s stand gig line on that than kicking my network so when I call icons really deployed that maybe one or two units and now we’re at the we have that same quality but we do it at night mac I completely nine then that make it my network and one or two units but if you understand how the infrastructure is being built dads Debbie guns and quite incredible we’ve done deployments with with hundreds of IP encoders decoders if you start to follow that nine hundred make roads that and look at what the up links with your switch capacity needs to be there and it’s not even back Frank best is just a plain capacity that doesn’t exist eating in any of the testing and the prices and and that’s the whole point you need to you need to have that architecture bring it together and say yeah that’s fantastic and there is a need for it’s a medical lab we use fiber connections where you have some compromise quality maybe that Indian exploration you need to have and compromise quality Oxley in entertainment you once after quality because that’s what people pay for but then there is a whole other remained stats just one so bad good quality then will not see the difference and that don’t really care about the difference if if you are one on art should be sell the X. or Y. and as long as it’s sort of similar them it’s it’s fine and deuce people which is good ninety percent said it not ninety nine percent of the enterprise said environments only one that’s as anyone to half that pervasiveness again they want to be able to say I’m an engineer all want to have quality that is better than what my scarf business can get supplied me or I want to run a comb and sharing feats to a colleague in another building or in another country in parallel to my meetings that I’m running because I would just working on the problem why would you not allow them to do that’s so why would you go for an infrastructure that steers to that route so there’s a few things I want to address their %HESITATION you mentioned a bunch of protocols right so each she Beastie ABB even Dante and he did a great job of of breaking it all down and %HESITATION making the argument that everything has to be IP I totally agree with you there and %HESITATION it’s it’s a real challenge to find a protocol that that is purely IP and and please by all of all the rules state that I. P. requires like V. lands are there any protocols out there that you have your eye on that album which to fill all those seats yeah able you see you see that the protocol start to develop a then to get to to do maintenance here we’ve being that talking to the alternates the people and and many people are talking to order dates and said a day understand now what what needs to happen we’ve been talking to two people of QC to buy an ad two two and short at the stifles protocols can work in and prices like that shell or any of the other companies and all of videos sights you see there is always the markets and this list H. two six four eight two six five and with it which is old which is all good but that’s that’s it and that’s where where do you make the choice as a manufacturer at are you going for in these markets are you going to say okay we have this solution and it’s uncompromised quality is fantastic and I can testify as some of these products are really really cute **** at the same time as the that that’s that’s a fairly small percentage of the markets and if you go to it’s still very cute but is not fantastic and then that there is a difference in how you yet it’s very subjective what you want to fly but then a you can get to that reached so is there a single protocol no there is not a single protocol it’s it’s just stack it’s an idea all saying statue that you need to do Hey it’s about security that’s that’s the way that’s a TCP IP protocol as we built it’s it’s old different layers different stacks and different elements steps that have been described and that that that are compatible SNMP as the is one of those said things eighty two dot one ax is something and and if this if you’ve if you consider that said if you do your engineering backwards and that’s what’s so that we’re doing in our test lab was almost a manufacturer’s we start to talk to them we get their products was deserved okay you can do whatever you do whether it’s video or audio or you can do that very well Bucks now lets states to be the other way around would this product be suitable for an enterprise not on its quality sat on is downright qualities but on what is around it because what this the enterprise needs the enterprise needs monitor ability so you need to be able what your devices doing you need to be able to to maintain a surface level and that is ideally five nines so that’s five minutes downtime year of the loss and you need to to have control because you can only get that kind of stability if you can control lets you need to have security Adam there’s old and new chapter now way in in Europe whiskey deep yard the general dates action regulation what are you going to do with all the days that where are you going to stall rates can you actually at the front end of the network where you are going to transmit contents can you do something there embedded there’s a whole bunch of stuff that it’s our questions to manufacture our debts that are outside off their core business center or businesses for instance forget switching back and it’s not security that it’s not as a remote operations but it’s very important AA if anything’s probably the most important thing in enterprises today absolutely absolutely that’s that’s come up a few times on the show is a because of the switch to IP based software dealing with data we need to start engineering backwards instead of starting with the equipment that we’re used to and and the gear we should be starting with some wealthy end user experience and obviously like you mentioned in the enterprise you have to consider their needs first and if you work backwards from there then %HESITATION to show probably only have a handful of solutions that that will work for you I like the way you broke down those different pieces of wood and enterprise needs that there could be a a product roadmap for for some out there looking to develop a product you talked about it so it all comes back to architecture is what it sounds like dealing with work yen’s I’m I’m just curious I don’t know if this is off the beaten track or not what what do you think about ten gig networks are they going to become pervasive or is that something that %HESITATION will will be %HESITATION unique no ultimately you will you will get that as %HESITATION but said it comes down to cost reports and then there there’s a few companies in the world dad’s pretty much have dominance over the switch markets and so Cisco juniper HP as few others extreme but they already start to play in the margins and and if you look at their portfolio is not that they don’t offer ten gig switches butted in there were courses that they have then kick is not that common and it’s also that in the end the price and said it’s it’s it’s a stack later you can access layer of all the switches that is where all the a few quick mind will be connected to my old cameras and encoders and decoders senior screens and anything that you ask then you got your distribution later on if you have a larger networks and you will have all your sure first ad and your HP services connected that there might be a core later these days you see you collapse score distribution pending on the model buds those are big investments and if you if you start to talk about investments and we we had the we spoke about the late one infrastructure cabling early X. cabling is the investment that will stay in your building the longest started to get three different we long for your your gets Pfeiffer as feisty York at six at six a it’s it’s wrong you you pulled that it’s a lot of work it’s it’s all right it’s often and it requires a lot of construction or lan is like tearing down buildings full ceiling school debates all those kind of things you don’t do that very often so if that stays there then we know that we have right now on most well not most but on a lot of the cables that have been deployed in everything that will be deployed from today onwards you should be able to run thank rights that’s most notable books and then you got your switch architecture and with the switches you need switches export extrication there is always the all and line of thinking how to go to two full wireless and a wireless protocols become better day become more stable and their race five G. coming up where to potential at the moment staff already managed to get speeds of one point zero five gigabits per second on five G. but the potential Lestat it can actually get to ten under kinky along on the stock protocols as soon as the terminals are there and I think that I read to actually this morning from one of my old school collection article that said that the five G. would be able to do Adam a million devices per square kilometer and that’s that’s how which could serve so then at even if you are coming to transmit everything on on Dan cake that and maybe not but there’s another interesting salt there and talking about software there there are a lot of and it will not not a lot but there are few companies now in a world that start to develop new what protocols that start from scratch that unstable we got eighty six for now let’s starts the H. two six five that’ll really re engineering compression protocols from the ground up making use of common off the shelf hardware and and and it can do compression and in in a much smarter way and off of even seeing as I’m com and was actually the NTG for for Japan is now doing the H. K. that they want to run for the Olympics in twenty twenty or something like that at what twenty twenty two but Adam what what they were saying we can do that eight K. compression or dated eight K. resolution of four times four K. on eighty five megabits per second so if that’s the case then what does that mean that means that you need to have a proper hardware encoding and decoding of course which is expensive if it’s if it’s a novelty but at the same time it also means that you can have incredible and resolutions over very limited spends with and then you don’t need to upgrade to infrastructure so will the cost be in upgrading your infrastructure I think over time bad things reprises will drop one kick will become or ten gig will become a standards but if you look at the one kick now there’s not a lot of applications acts actually do require one kick your PC in the office is not system benefiting all that much and benefits off one cake is dad’s it’s quicker in timing so even your your voice packets will perform better on a one gig laying down on the one on the mac link but it’s not that you need all that space and that’s so that meant that it is difficult for the difficult thoughts but I don’t think that studying video protocols and an old compression dad step nine hundred mac or ten cakes as uncompressed SD and Sir it will go to the novelty solutions that will use a fraction of that over your existing network and then you can really make a all you step forwards well really great stuff great overview we don’t know how it’s going to play out we have the infrastructure in place with the the cat cables but I’m I like the way that a you know compression may be the answer instead of %HESITATION increasing bandwidth that saw interesting take you mentioned a test lab research lab and I’ve I’ve heard from a few people about this can can you tell me a bit about your your research laboratory yes yes it was a what we have in in entering into ball when we started the company we started to provide consults and actually we started with implementations them and I thought well I day since this is really brothers complex job it’s hard work and the then you need to you need to prepare and that and we see implementations you have staging area but it never really stuck to his only tested if the stuff that you have selectable paper stuck to work together from from that architecture is a said there is a solution architecture that you need to create and then you need to implement the technology but that’s technology as set gets skits I’d be connected you need to know to quality off that technology before you do that Sir I don’t like it sweat and when I asked to make decisions purely based on a custom or manufacturers spec sheets because it’s not it is not that is not true it is often the stuff that is not in there that becomes important and I guess everyone knows the as the content protection issues that you could have between different types of equipment there’s one doubles testing but said we are in the realm all schools and the price so we test for security or read the remote support and all those kind of things and then you can see that it’s it’s just not there there’s only a few companies that are not even call systems that have a couple of products that are secure most of them are not secure and some of them don’t even consider security anyhow test lab we’ve said let’s let’s not get to the test all does this I’d be encoded to decode it works very well when it’s on the same switch no does it very well works very well if it is sits on an enterprise environments so your whole speckled lan switches from hopes if needs be we’d be half that’s basically in the lab to showcase we got them cakes which you’ve got five where we got a wee wee cuts everything that is required but we can also start to simulate and did the network between an offshore platform and your core environments and once we note latency specifications Adam also satellites which often around two seconds if you know your jets are correct restricts and you know to back up laws says if if you should do quickly monitor your links or your us your I. T. department wanted to the links we can all take those parameters and put that in our test equipment and then we can really showed customer if you are going to deploy this solution if you’re going to deploy this camera Dan this is what you’re going to see it is not as beautiful and as pretty and as quick when it was all running on the same switch this is the real life is this acceptable and then that’s from there you can define as today’s you can start to say if there is there’s a percentage said old network or there are network as the districts where it’s always goods and then there is a point where it breaks any in between you can you can split it up any way you want so you can say everything left off the bar is good and everything right if the bar is is wrong but it’s Andrew what is acceptable to you might not be acceptable to me or vice versa so that’s what we what we tests as we tested the security we test if it can integrate into control platforms we get a we test if it integrates into the as into the monitoring as tools ideally into the I. T. monitoring tools because they’re very sophisticated birds but it depends on the on the level of customer at IT monitoring tools once are also not not that cheap that it requires quite a bit of knowledge and it provides you with so much information that if you’re not familiar to this type of trouble shooting it will become very complex to to comprehend and birds but yes security reports always useful whether you use it or whether the I. T. department uses its because then you can also gonna say Hey my equipment is supposed to use all these sports but in actual fact we render reports and is using all these TCP and UDP ports that wall according to documentation shouldn’t be necessary so please feel to those out because those are security vulnerabilities addresses all fell you chain there where and it is hard to put a price to security but you know that once you get taxed it can be very costly and once it’s down is also costly so that is that’s important with another interesting seeing is we tested and security cameras sometime ago notes on the quality of the video feeds but on the full you must if you DO feeds forces want to manufacturer specified and the specification was that the manufacturer said we do full HD as on thirty frames on or back for seconds okay but the reality was that it actually did some twelve microseconds so one camera on a gigabit network not going to make a big difference but it’s in video surveillance all of sudden you look at on that shelf cameras if not thousands of cameras and then head that suggests that that’s that’s a fact or on top of what you what you saw it’s it’s going to implement your network designed it’s going to implement the stories that you require add that race this performance issues on the on the servers that need to be coats the defeats so it has a very big impact and then again you need to be able to tell the customer there are ways to really get to that for Mexico for macro sale states bird said it was compression in full instead acceptable breasts and and we we help people with stats in the in the lab to prove their radical chaps and we’ve done that said as successfully as of the last couple of years for various companies and those like one of the companies have gone come this close it now but said we made a cute said to us very not sold the sign and in the Netherlands as works for an integrator it came from a graph came from the IT space and they’ve asked us to to come up with a few design and and and and be sold that’s everything that we did we were able to to make it the sign that was not only add about six times cheaper as well to completion and hats and in place at the time but it also was more effective in terms of how to operate it and at a speed that’s the benefit was completely based all on all software hardware components installed SD yes cameras or as servers birds with the software you can you can start to look at analytics are you at the mall it’s raining which which which promised that this company could have much more efficient supports ad with the analytics it meant that a lot of the work that was done manually previously could be done automatically there is the way that you bank and say we can change control codes actually without a programmer it’s it’s just reckoned drop so we don’t have to have these states enormous high skill sets sold for of engineers in our company I still sting gets you’ll wish you to have fled the highest skills so that you can get buds it is not your your business to per I need to maintain equipments that now maybe you don’t need programmers and you you can ask that skill somewhere else hands and by having the piece you did this this architecture roadmap backed up by let testing in the face and and and one of the things that we we obviously do is we work across the friend saw them fields in it that because she’s a we work at the IT and security and all the official I am and if you water areas as well you start to get an awful ideas and you can also start to do that not full six there is is a quick mundane day to send the world that is identical to what the AC world that has think about men and speed used but also think about it I teach your real workers and with everything that sits in the datacenter space is both cheaper more reliable more feature backs and infinitely more secure server so that it is it is really time to for everyone to Luke across different boundaries and and just well removes the yeah the blinds sounds like a a really really powerful exercise where you know like you said we could learn a lot and %HESITATION improve things and and make things cheaper and more reliable more flexible I think we could do an entire show just on what you found while doing this but if you had to pick just one thing like something that comes up all the time preferably regarding AV where could %HESITATION AB manufactures or solutions software whatever it is is there any one place where we could really use the most improvement well I think it is it’s it’s moving things to the to the cloud or to a central location at mass of first it’s central to the building and bear in mind to the time and the stability of your network which arise for country and that’s if you’re if you really get into that mindset all’s consolidating your technology stand the only things that you need to have in your rooms our endpoints cameras and go to decode the screens bud no longer at the old friends codex no longer and DD DSPs because that will become centralized and if that sits in the cloud the F. of fairies solid and stable basis to build upon because then it doesn’t matter if there’s a screen change every every year or if your screens a need to be replaced or or any of those kind of things Hey your your core and then sits at the central location and once it’s it’s it’s it’s central location there is a whole layer off of innovations that it’s that you can use as ad there is the set analytics can be applied and and and Alexa as you mentioned before the show could be applied to to do room control but there is also the layers of and as software defined control solutions like what do you tell if she offers you spoke about that with John to make a last week dads as sit at that layer all ski as off the clouds that it can have control that can integrate into all the solutions and dad will have to promise to you to be as a software platform integrates with all these different services and I think gathered those those type of platforms can generate a lot of golf recurring rest and you and and long term customer commitments to any of the integrators fascinating fascinating moving to the cloud kind of like the all the benefits that office three sixty five offers doing that for Evey could be a really interesting business model so really quickly last question if you have any advice for anybody who’s interested many companies integrators manufacturers in moving more in that direction what would be the first steps that you would recommend I am rollouts as a long term fashion shows a really understand from your customer what it is that they want this and that and and notes is trying to see through what they have seen and what they want to date because that we always gets the bigger questions of all I’ve seen this a in this company or in that building and we want it as well and then turns out that what they sold was three years old but it’s ignore the technology get to the to do work flows get to process this and see what they want know dad’s there is always security in fall flat because otherwise you’re going to play anymore going forward there is alway monitoring in full because otherwise you cannot keep up your end of the bargain in providing the support and the stability and hands and you had just planets out to plan it out and then once you have your plan is for every genet what it could be very specific but it doesn’t mention brands it doesn’t mention equipment so that it is the is the conceptual flow off what you want to do then you can start to specify that at some point you’ll have contestants Hey you come just say Hey we’ve run a pair and it works once because do you screw the D. statistics on escalates no one asked them as I haven’t seen it from the manufacturers is not in any of the reporting is not in any of the tenders but if the customer knows sits before the integrated dust and the customer has a huge advantage in defining the SLA criteria if the integration that was at the front step and they can just dictate the way that they’ll set up their **** lace and in general if everyone just knows where where the tipping point in in quality a creationists then you can go forwards and then you will be called say that this very proactive and consultant to integrate their customer doesn’t really matter that it’s you can you can control you can shape that the the future excellent so planned tests and the deploy and be aware of what you’re what you’re prepared to guarantee in the industry yes great %HESITATION I think we’re going to have to do a part two some type of thing that it would be very nice if anyone would like to get in touch with you how would they go about doing that I can be a complex it’s and it’s %HESITATION from our websites said W. W. W. IBM and solutions got an L. and I or at my email address Nisha which is with the C. H. at IBM debt solutions stuff and I’ll wonderful Misha thank you so much for being on the show thank you as well eight Patrick here again Moesha was nice enough to mention products that we’re working on called catch connect it allows you to turn basically any device on the network into an LX a smart home device you could also use it to integrate IFTTT with devices and AV systems which opens up a whole New World of possibilities now today is April twenty seventh two thousand eighteen and catch connect is currently in public beta we’ve got a few tutorials up at catch technologies dot com and if you have a few minutes and this sounds interesting to you please go check it out and let us know what you think we’re really looking forward to your feedback so that we can make this a really awesome product so check it out let me know what you think catch technologies dot com and remember it’s still in beta so please don’t use it on any live projects yet all right thanks a lot thanks for listening to software defined survival for transcripts and show notes go to psalm thirty find survival dot com
Erik Calissendorff has spent most of his career working on some of the largest mega yachts in the world. He also spent some time working as a software developer for a data analytics company called Tibco Spotfire. And I’m guessing that while he was working as an ETO, he had some ideas and eventually decided to execute on them and develop Plejd. Plejd is a control system for entertainment and comfort systems, lighting, shades and heat and things like that.
If you go to the https://www.plejd.com, it looks like a simple lighting system, but I know from speaking with some of my contacts in the yachting industry that it is much more than that.
this is a software defined survival where we talk to AV IT professionals and software developers to find out how to leverage software to reinvent ourselves and we do business we listen to their stories and ask for advice and tactics on how to survive and thrive in a software defined what today software defined survive nobody ought to see it would change usually change any of the other one after we get from the most praise musing custom although since it is to make them into a meeting for us expensive really by the technology is between the ages and the two thousand of us change things happen like in every day invented a control system and apples this is why are we doing it this way Haiti Patrick Murray here I just wanted to take a quick minute to apologize for the audio quality on today’s show but I still think it’s worth listening to that’s why I’m publishing it because today’s guest gives us some really interesting insight on what it’s like to work on mega yachts which is a segment of the AV industry that if you’re not in it you may not be aware that it exists at all and they have some really interesting challenges that they need to deal with on a day to day basis and Eric came up with some interesting ways of solving them so again I know there’s a lot of audio guys out there and this may hurt your ears a little bit but it might just be worth it to have a listen cell I promise I’ll do better next time enjoy the show welcome to software defined survival my name is Patrick Murray today’s guest has spent most of his career working on some of the largest mega yachts in the world he has also spent some time working as a software developer for data analytics company called tibco spot fire and I’m guessing that while he was working as an EEO he had some ideas and eventually decided to execute on them and develop pledge pledges a control system for entertainment and comfort systems like lighting shades and he for those of you who are familiar with the marine part of a V. there’s a whole sector of AV where they work just on these mega yachts and the person who kind of lives on the boat and takes care of all the AV equipment and everything else that’s electronic his job is and ETL he’s an electronic technologies off officer so just to give you a little background there that’s what we’re talking about when we say you DO now if you go to pledges website it looks like a simple lighting system with a nap but I know that speaking from some of my contacts with some my contacts in the awning in the street that it is so much more than that and that’s why I wanted to have on today Eric Kolis indoors welcome to the show Eric break is there anything about that introduction that you’d like to correct or expand upon I got to deliver of expansion of mean is gonna start in this ten years ago now or the company after that story needs to be a long time before that and basically what a goal to go into him over the edge of an old house I’m points out this is the thing a long time for no houses to be ready and finally a few years ago on an opening in the global market lighting system which is not working on our homepage that’s the reason for that kind of shift in our marketing efforts excellent so we’ll get to that more later on I want to go back to the beginning though just to kind of really get a feel for your background place how did you how did you get your first job as an EEO it’s kind of a long story about that I don’t have to tell you the bass family started many years ago a tune like that they sell was working us our computer specialist armed forces since we don’t and had decided I wanted to travel the world so unsettled went down to the Mediterranean on the stay there for the summer and then in the summer of folk well I need to get around the world a contest in Europe so anyone can be a flight trip around the world is not much challenging that’s our said our Yasser strip mall land Orsino to look into it and I thought well oceans big container ships to learn all about windows that’ll really the case realized almost on the Mediterranean so one thing led to another and that but in the summer had come down choose your altar and I hope some of the most in Europe and get over to Atlantic and see the rest of the world but unfortunately for both are as all of you has been there is but for smaller only because there’s some stuff but the bigger York’s basically for bankers and leave again so they’re out to get on the grin off so they just stopped fill up on gas and then keep moving along right handed to him on time to pick up anyone or to shift to the whole persisting cold so they can now there walk around their little rock and I think this is what was more or less of them another option was based in the back all the way to Italy and then the show crippled you give them that Africa and basically that’s where only the clothes that I was a little bit down by this nation that that will most likely be our military and so based on the way back from the the rock era stumble across are the reason that some of them coaster on the porch and one thing led to another and are they working enough for them I think we thought there was no like Smalley also micrometers maximum and only speak your levels like thirty four meters was a Swedish flag young and I’m sorry about that myself is your gonna have been are gonna be working on the basically I just woke up to the dock goes yeah anyway and then pull the rotor and pressed them to myself any kind of both women do I really know you lots of luck yet Adam could shut down the one thing that’s another and I worked there for a month or so and during that time is that it opposes up into balls around there yeah looking for some other work to do the crossing and eventually after some time I got a cold Roma measure for a big help to the time I didn’t know what job they will see us and it was one of you big big along yes all of them need some new clothes deliver up to your money I have also your home their own way of not only our own will look back up to the north part was simple sweet and so on awfully back home but I thought well is much much chance to get on the big you also get some real experience and that can how do the rest of chocolate also out of the rain and big deals on my life traveling with him to see you all done as much experience as possible so that will this is so and then yeah position and that they will face as a background doesn’t know a to say that it is kind of our house janitor for the office misleading care of the index sitting here is more votes than all the rest of it cleaning from morning till night that that sums it up pretty much exactly do yeah so I got on the ultimate organising because it is mostly drama which is another very famous yup I would say it’s one of the really big X. expedition awesome yeah I think is very well known if you industry and it’s very easy to recognize because two giants locks on this off thank one the state setting up the the same size there is something here Morial as well on back let’s face it tenders for these young yes especially as we don’t mean anything off of that size is so you shot and that’s a tender so yes you have been asking yeah it’s amazing some of the things that they do when they’re building these things so I love that story ends whenever I meet anybody who works on boats I I always ask them how they got their first job because it’s always something similar well I walked up to about the job yeah and then you just work your **** off and %HESITATION if you can do what you say you could do eventually you’ll get in some kind of a position where yeah where you’re in charge of more than keeping things clean and I’ve heard that similar story many times in the auto industry and I always get a kick out of hearing it and up I like the way you decided I want to travel the world but you wanna work doing it how do I get there while %HESITATION maybe building some kind of career I don’t know if that was your intention but %HESITATION when I I find that kind of interesting too yeah I mean if I’m here is my ideals I mean yeah one from the world but then one can you was getting back to the science and technology it at some point in my life but not something different I wanted to travel and over let’s not focus on my career so there is a reason I was quite happy to do do you they working in that yeah number two number of basic rights are they going to look on the base yeah they offer me their radio Serb position which back then was the same as the deal with today and you didn’t have a name for the year there was no report of data into his own position in his own name there’s also the small thank you so much for all her I mean that I would help out a little bit but I’m reluctant to do that I’m already on deck and yeah nothing else in the us there is a break from my little experience but one thing led to another and after a couple months as a realizable polishing is being less than the vanishing in the left is not really what I want to do the rest of my life and I don’t like being on the seat so I still do destructor air so that right so you see you didn’t plan on on getting into technology was really just to kind of take a break from work and you’ve certainly found some mindless work to take care of but you kind of fell in love with being on the boats and found the way to use your technology skills on their %HESITATION what is so what is a typical day like for an EEO when we were teens is this make sure everything’s they worked off the lights and depending on what kind of cool and those you have I mean I will send you the last person to go to see it because yes quite often autism make yeah set up with the bands or what if somebody is sitting movies or one example is there a loner who was really into football and basically we were in that ask at this time and you have been up to Alaska please there’s always very worked very well up north is wrapped in Sweden where I’m coming from and the other thing is that a lot of fjords and mountains to stop them he tried to watch TV two things to bear in mind or soul the sellers are at the creator which meets the third most BR lower down nor I think you have the satellites the kind of become the problem we have all these fields and stuff in the latest one because honestly mountains are quite high but it was the first kind of issues that need to have evolved from the mother’s return receipt anything about all the other thing was basically said owner had a really big game coming up and you really want to watch this film Alaska isn’t the biggest the soccer fans as such so there was no the station that was even brought companies looking for us nearby calling you come up with the idea well you see it having the right to the scene back in Europe and I’m sure a I’ve also read you give them a call and then roll you should build so you have to do the only good news programming we didn’t know before a couple of satellites and you should be able to get two of you can receive we hope all the sounds very him so there was a call modernism yeah for now the owner wasn’t that much but from our perspective we have jammed his permission I think was like hang around like that US it also hurt me because you know since it is impossible on from that day until two weeks later on the actual game well song also missing the guests were talking about that with like are you should the challenge for us and we had a meeting showed me what he gave us all yeah I mean it’s kind of amazing %HESITATION that things like that are possible but %HESITATION yeah obviously money can solve a lot of problems if you have it so what were some of the things that kind of push you towards developing a new control system yes so the damn thing the normals challenges for your own war with this you know there’s one thing that they don’t understand them for good reason I would say this is the kind of I mean if they have the money to do whatever you want them no it’s not is never a good answer sure it is not an answer all you need to find a solution for whatever they wanted one with another in call the company’s new gaming consoles to come with some new equipment and they look up to their TV and well see that is found the control system which has promised everything or anything else way way before I form will see them or types I mean right we will something quite there seven a I haven’t really seen touching myself before I got on the office I mean using American or online in some magazines but you never tested before this when I was about afternoon in also something else death row is become yeah I can do it but to have to now used this to start a TV they have to take his own remote to change their input on your receiver and then you have to take this for the remote to do some of the crazy stuff and if the owners are looking and you say okay all this money what does have to be complicated yeah and I mean it hasn’t I have a computer back on my cell phone I was really impressed with what we’re also must offer both will this is related in this country I mean this is engine technology I mean why are we doing it this way still I mean you always knew no question they mix in the US as well I mean and they started nothing it was like my Canadian stuff like that they we can make a name for himself and all the technology is between the ages and the two thousand the loss big change things happened and if I like that everyday reinvented their their control system on their approach to things yeah I just wanted to to follow up on that you’re you’re right the paradigm has not changed and I think the example that you gave where somebody comes with a new source and it’s just one so you know it’s a typical thing I the Xbox is new I want to play with it I bring in in why can’t I just plug it in and use it and I think that’s a very simple example but you face much more complicated things when you’re working on a boat for example at this time of year it’s it’s pre season in the Mediterranean and over the winter many vessels will be in the Caribbean and when they get back to the Mediterranean they’ll be able to pick up different satellites so they’ll be times where you’ll have to replace twenty thirty sometimes even fifty satellite receivers and of course you’ll have to adjust all the programming with that and if those are I are drivers are kind of hard coded which is normally how it is then that could be a pretty big job that needs to be done at least twice a year ends anybody looking at this you know people are so busy it’s it’s hard to step back sometimes and say I know there’s a better way to do this why her we you know making this thing dynamic what why can’t it just switch I’m in Europe I’m here and there why can I just have thrown I or file onto a server somewhere and have the control system read that out instead of having to physically go in and re compiling and re install everything so you’re right there is the paradigm it really comes from conference rooms as far as I could tell where you build it once you put it in and then maybe they’ll be some maintenance in a few years but typically they’re left alone so these systems really are not as flexible as they could be so I feel your pain and then the other thing I would say so have our conference room where our residents as well I mean they are the most in moving their station senior editor of one position and yes making notes move basically means that the school you have chosen this normally down the road a few boxes also if your property you call them and they got me on our right another side I mean usually change any of the other world when you have the biggest problem in the most against need for assistance you can plan on that yes I know myself I mean sometimes you have to get a program result in the complete two weeks to get them onboard yeah lots a skymiles Yemen the poorest by the time you get the programmers aboard a yes or left in their quest to have this is not the not any interest anymore so yes very difficult situation in much higher the malls in their environment and typically station I would say alright so we’ve worked on some of the same boats we we’ve never met each other personally this is the first time we’re talking and %HESITATION I know that some of those projects you can see how these programs evolve so I dont will to believe it builds and then it’ll have a refit every two or three or five years and maybe the programming will be done from scratch but more often than not you’ll take the old programming and build on top of it and after a few years these programs turned into like these Frankenstein objects you do and I think you know some of the code that I’m talking about and it’s easy to blame the programmer right but when there are ten or twenty programmers that were involved over all that time it so it’s really hard to blame anybody for that situation and I wonder if we could benefit from adopting more a more modern software development techniques like things like add child development and %HESITATION ends and back up paradigm’s like using get hub for example to store your code and even share it so other people could see it and maybe be more motivated to to write cleaner code you have any thoughts on what we want all the things we mention is the reason we’re why started played in that we have our own control systems stuff because I too limited in the founder from the media existing system wrestling next to name a few what the their systems at the base of black folks fusee is even anything which is really good if you want to do something very spoken very specific but a lot of times your whole thing to work and you as a programmer you can as we have to talk to get this working stretching the functions we require them make does work that you have no time to go through it and make it real nice and then published because as you know and I guess the audience might be a no it’s one of the V. is the last thing to go into a reset or I’ll do they need you need to have the need to have the walls need to have that docking unit and everything is in place mostly without me projects like a loss you run over time which means they will have to have some of the time is the lost people so many people so there was a scramble for time to get things finished my favorite part of the projects I mean anything I mean this is the reason for my travel while stuff I mean I like to send to like to really do things that people don’t think it’s possible to our times yeah about the same time you don’t make a lot harder than necessary either so balance no I I really don’t enjoy those those times because generally a many times people start coming coming up with new ideas when you’re trying to execute on the old ideas and it just turns into an impossible situation way too much so I I’m always an advocate for planning more in the beginning and and trying to avoid those crunch times because with software I mean honestly everything should be able to be tested offsite before you even see the boat you should be able to test all of your code get all of your user interfaces approved %HESITATION and even get most of the equipment and tests directly with that as well and that avoids a lot of those things but for some reason that that kind of planning like you said AV is always last and and the programming is even more of an afterthought yeah I mean nothing’s happening seasons two thousand seven in itself but enough about the pattern the last such hasn’t changed that much there are some new players meals yourself on a some of them the core four is also having a different two things about those two out of there way too limited for the young in this room but at least they have a more finished product in this easy dressing room right so what are the things that make him the yacht industry special what what are some what are some requirements for control systems in the mega yachts that are that that may control a little bit different two biggest ones this was a plan for change I mean nobody nobody ought to see it would change retirement I will not be satisfied with five year old TV’s online they wanted their latest and greatest so there will be changes from you know and I was using a server using as a particular run working on we got our nation is is what should be a song by the time that the livery that’s changed already so is always moving it back roads that this is the biggest one in the market for the second one is in the states and we’ve got four which means you can’t plan for being on site to do all the changes you need something that can be managed by the crew will be managed remotely you see interesting so let’s shift gears and start talking about pledge a little bit can you give me a really brief overview of of what makes it different than than other types of control systems course were so basically please respond if the core I. there was space we have something that David manages to solve from you don’t need to program everything some more conversation and setting up down the shore programming but if you on the inflation side of things within the design of software to okay program itself them what that means is when the nation basically tell the consistent so I these kind of devices low res and the fires receivers major changes screens projectors since long before invested telling them how to make this all these opportunities with universities in Aberdeen the blueprint to ask translating to the language of their system and then the system so can find all the right in this room I mean to you all these different sources as I can find a path from the repair mission to ensure through there extender to your local theater to the TV well in that the cross from where you work it too menace AOL all this water to be available to all the sources are in this room and you get the next was able to test the same kind of sources and get it over and over again right what we doing instead of facing the same issue print on the system find out this is what actually is impossible to do in order or rooms adding sources would you recommend the next you will basically removing sources say well maybe in the case of I don’t want them to have access to that orders to sell my books for example when you remove it so you kind of revoking their methods of somebody else isn’t it is capable of doing everything in the room with things you don’t use interesting so you’ve created a data model that can handle different types of data points inside of a framework correct and so so you’ve got like your typical AV system how do you handle when something comes out of left field with I don’t know maybe and a special audio processor or two or three dips displays or things like that yes I was in this one room unit with our system is basically what we decided we made a rare genetic so the system we have in there softer side of things doesn’t he know what EDS is completely AV independence means you can raise if anything service once we do screens for the screens or even you would use it for something different some way of modeling the well defined path through a maze more less can you say that again modeling the world to find to find the path from a to B. basically is yeah I’m going to of our yeah maybe some would say you have a mentor contaminated point in somewhere could make you can get to the exit of how you get there you don’t really know until you try out all the different paths and saw what this is doing is is fine though ask for your automatically that is very interesting I like the way you describe that okay so where does the system run what kind of hardware do yes this other thing basically is our focus was to make to the brain of the system to speak so we are server based they control system and network base I should say is one of them is basically reinstalling a server on the on the office than me using whether they’re hardly one to use for actually control what end points so when the lawyers this mission mission if we are part of a day in the H. one of biggest overseas you can also move on their part is not and will never prays musing custom hardware for all their employees controls metal release simplify program of the consent process since it is to make them into a meeting across that’s an expensive really box yeah it is focusing on the basis is because it is a big name this seems a lot of clients will to have Christian hardware them I mean there’s something wrong with the already existing programming to make them where I’m reliable all times so we don’t mind that interesting approach so an end does it matter what kind of server use or do you need something particular like is it always axes Lennix our computer here of independence so I’m basing this is software itself is written it off as he can offering to me definitely wants and if somebody needs a device driver would you would you up bring that into the pledge system would you write the driver yourself would a developer like myself have a way to integrate third party products with pledge or what I need to use something like a an external a third party control processor to to integrate something new yes men who have currently a spectrum of two different layers so have their call ya systems then you can make the drivers in the language that’s what we do ourselves or we used to do all that then I’m kind of this and that the language we use them as a corporation five days in the country configuration five to make simple drivers along with and I are cold some simple rules for their lan network Asian as well that’s what you do is mostly used for the devices and even receiver some that some this year’s and stuff like that so it’s not just that one we condition is willing to wait as long but it’s not something you would use for like the latest game for a very heavy media from then you do have a dedicated drive about four I was a ninety percent of the drivers who do not we do need this you never get a language which is based on XML file as some rules onto it yet that some really it’s a really interesting point I want to take that apart a little eighty to ninety percent of the devices don’t really have that much logic that you need to write in a driver you mentioned colitis gape obviously that’s a media player so you’ll need to arm if you want to get a movie list or something like that you’ll need to parse out a lot of data and that’s deal definitely need some logic to do that but that really is not most devices out there now a days it’s actually an exception their import their important pieces of the system but %HESITATION most devices generally are relatively simple send the commands and receive a commands and that’s about it now you have the right to mean saying the biggest problem with new devices today is not the complexity will be doing this morning yeah imperfections on how to do it and when he does examples like projectors and TV’s and stuff like that that you have for the homeless will do something yes some quirk students doesn’t respond to messages during the first or second spot upwards and handle seven months in seven states that that was a step in the fishermen devices the complex as such is just find out how to work more death do you think some they will have a standard control protocol I’m gonna for example I mean if you have the whole market now which is only working on color mean you have did you have a very good gonna systems yeah I was on the Exxon with other so but even there is something looking like BSNL onto the I don’t think it’ll ever happen I’d love it to you it would you know there’s nothing special about your power on command but no I’m not in that respect I would say that he can come back with all respect goes go back ten years then everyone had a higher remote printing and you can use my are to get some basic control for everything knives things which network which was a real life but it seems fun there’s no one way to do control for everything anymore yes so that always means a bit of a a bit of driver writing a bit of human labor take to get that thing under control yeah there has to be done that’s nothing to happiness unfortunate form there is we want to network and more of arms control her he would like because you’ve got a few back and the more robust condition the furnace quite often you get these Sir in the locked as well might have not someone on the list offers means that a Christian allows you to don’t share it means even if you can see the traffic you can really do much with it less important in some respects yes the way apple handles security on the one hand I can understand that they want to put security at the fronts but %HESITATION it is very frustrating for guys like us when %HESITATION more we want to control something in and %HESITATION and our control my break because they push an update next week that so not an ideal situation so tell me about your customers what kind of %HESITATION companies or or end users have the most success with a pledge system control system of basically in tune off years ago or who are we party would be the age of being a the letter in then that the nerve that runs so they do a lot of concessions non mostly that Daystar sold signs for the audience you as we speak right now okay relations yeah BBH means van back I had a holler I’ll put a link to that show notes they are %HESITATION yeah it’s a Dutch company that does a lot of integration work perhaps one of the biggest systems integrators for AV in the yachting area I’ve done a lot of work with them myself in the past and anybody who’s in the out of business in Europe definitely knows that name so what does a typical project look like like say I’m an integrator and I want to get involved with pledge I want to use it on a projects what what would be the first steps to get started and maybe some of the steps at the end as well installation this work will organizations are going to do is get the reference of the dispensation of mission before so what can we could but a system already to connect and is there a particular format that you like to see for that really I mean any kind of normal S. committees will do just fine I mean okay into the chorus basically no we can put them up as I use on the different devices and this well what kind of brands on their device models they are come within the core information we need right and then they still getting into something that into our nation’s language so they smoke five missions and then you use the okay what’s in our database already on the what’s new devices after being there and for the running on the new devices to the device firestorm existing ones basically read the US this is being okay and then what about commissioning then the interpreter would take that programming on site or would you guys help remotely how does how does that all work out number anything to do all that himself on this wealthy corporations can do a lot of us all one thing I would say is this new in two stages of the First Nations and you have to move great thing you know how the system is supposed to work and was supposed to be there this if you have nothing around the old system in like a nominal which means you will get there you are only a touch panels to the older compound’s being sent them house also breaks you got a few forays all the sources I know the rules of a letter if I could do and then when you have a computer and then you can race to take it on site and stuff and it all yet so you can do most of their lifting before you even step on board which is a vehicle and they talk about the timing and stuff mission before absolutely is there any kind of monitoring built in or or any kind of service level agreement type of them when outlines so mean currently we are sending one I find ourselves to resume a head over to the nation we have some answers agreement in the media provides for upgrades in this world being available if they need some changes and stuff like that seasons otherwise I mean this yes and server yeah you’re welcome remote login to the server and see log some nasty was going on yeah which okay Sir are you doing anything with the data like collecting data and maybe a dash board to see how the rooms are being utilized or anything like that then none of the moment but this you could expand on it requires about yeah them very seem to need as you go right and that’ll leave me right into the next question are there any do you have any interesting plans for the future that you’d care to share with us I mean to be honest I mean the big focus not has been there ever since markets which that’s really a llama blow our minds so I mean we started about two years ago and last year was the first really on the market them dangerous in there most of the action is just in or any kind of exist they should we have so been raining everyday exciting in the face it means taking up with quite a lot this last year and this year that’s what I’m sure what what kind of customers do you have in in residential as it is an end users or lecture shins integrator saying there wholesalers today locations so they are direct customers but those leading the team is using is is you and me on the back and he wants us I think now in Sweden we have the sixty thousand Alexis told in different houses from their motives to the sound border so you were basically all over Sweden on every single the town more or less so it’s very very quick out of options we’re excited about that them before too expensive other parts of Europe as well very nice if you could put your finger on any one thing or one or two things why do you think there was such rapid adoption yeah I would say this is simple the bathroom doing so smart didn’t give her the more like systems some respect and we do different from other people is a minimal knowledge from user experience them how to make something as easy to use and it is just all to something that’s been made extremely a yeah cost efficient as well so or about thirty percent more love difficult on diversity getting these smart dimmer with all of these other benefits for the Christians along and say well maybe someone else if I go to the old lady Aurora young kids okay technologies severing standing army always giving them is different because the best ever and this make my job easier and faster so this was his only reason for living up to his death really good prices oath problem for people here now solves a problem blame being easy to use and install and and of course or cost is always a factor if you were would you have any advice for someone that has some new ideas and is thinking about turning it into a product whether it’s an application a piece of software may be a small hardware products do you have any ideas or advice for them on on what their first step should be to to bringing that into the world I mean they don’t advice most learning that there are some of the right to self of what you need is an account of it and there were like this you will need to be a product and we need to look at doing and will have the first nation to great causing it would take your time and with the hard times in the past but it will be our roller coaster in all respects on the FDA would we need to put in that first and then stick with your idea all right put on some body armor believe that what you’re doing be ready and then put on your body arm be ready to persevere and go through some tough times first have your partner and the U. close family and everyone to support as well closely at when will they will be involved in this just to give you the time you need to work on it or other ways so you need to have that there for Iran you happen to be with you in it devils required absolutely absolutely having %HESITATION could support team is absolutely critical it’s not talked about very much either in them in the tech world at all but %HESITATION yeah if if the people you you live with and see every day aren’t on the same page as you then it’s going to make things that much more difficult so Eric if somebody would like to get in touch with you how they go about doing that yes to email us on our newly mentors him for it played up come this close to me and my colleagues so some will definitely connected using that unless you have a whole but just one play dot com up on them Nina cooling unit delta local excellent Eric thank you very much for being on the show this was a great talk so much and I’m looking for to hear more from you thanks he Patrick here again just one more thing before we wrap things up if your navy programmer or if you have one on staff and you’re ready to make the switch to software defined now is the time to start learning go to learn eighty programming dot com and where ever you see an opt in box go ahead and put in your email address some really useful information so you can get started learning right now we also have paid courses at learning the programming dot com by step how to use these new programming languages and how exactly how they apply Evey systems so if you’re at least remotely interesting go ahead and go to learning the programming dot com check out the free stuff in role in one of the courses and get started today set aside a little time each week and before you know it you just might make your own control system like it all right see next week thanks for listening to software defined survival for transcripts and show notes go to software defined survival dot com
We have two guests on the show today, Wes Hatchett CEO and Nick Melin, VP of Customer Success at Control Envy. Both experienced in the world of AV and software. Along with a great team, they’ve taken that experience to form Control Envy.
Control Envy is an automation, control and monitoring platform that takes a software first approach to provide custom solutions that are gorgeous and full of insights and data.
Control Envy runs on many platforms and ticks all the boxes of being a software defined solution.
this is a software defined survival where we talk to AV IT professionals and software developers to find out how to leverage software to reinvent ourselves and we do business we listen to their stories and ask for advice and tactics on how to survive and thrive in a software defined what today software defined survive its right to be skeptical of at the level of the state a lot of the projects that you know we’re all involved in or and many times control systems actually control it was really a friend a lot of these online courses are your friend in such a way that you could never have accomplished the same sex if you had a much more limited set of resources available to close maybe on the house what five hundred members to be ineffective integrator insults and no matter which technologies you’re using get above the surface all focus on the actual outcomes are and then choose your tools based on those instead of being tied down to one box greetings everyone in AV lance welcome to software defined survival my name is Patrick Murray and today we have two guests on the show both experienced in the world of AV and software and along with a great team they’ve taken that experience to form control Andy control envy is an automation control and monitoring platform that takes a software first approach to provide custom solution that really are beautiful user interfaces are just gorgeous and it is also full of insights and data control and be runs on many platforms and it takes all the boxes of being a software defined solution so please welcome to the show west hatchet CEO and Nick melon VP of customer success at control envy Nick and Wes welcome to the show gay thank you glad to be here Patrick thanks a lot better thanks for taking the time to us to talk with me tonight it’s nighttime here afternoon there is there anything about that introduction that you guys would care to correct or expand upon well I think it was great %HESITATION I’m listening and I’m looking forward to listening to that one back but yet now it’s a and I like you know of course we’ve known each other for a while and so it’s been neat to arm the able to to let you see more and more of what we’ve been doing and and you know how that’s really materialized into a complete system and like you said really focused on the data aspect of getting getting behind more than just being the touch panel you know as far as how we look at programming and what we’re providing correct so we’ll get more into the solution in a few minutes first I’d like to hear a little more about your background so I have some stock questions that I like to ask people and I’ll split them up between you so Wes how did you get started in AV how did you wind up in this crazy business my first job in a V. was at hi fi buys which was a Twitter company so I was doing sales essentially my first year out of high school wanted to take a year off before college and just get a save a little money and which ended up being spent on guitars and I think that interest in music get everything out in the music business lots of it just drove me to that first job in high five guys and %HESITATION through some friends and just other you know other things getting into that world’s it was several years later not too much later but a few years later that I really became aware of everything that was happening around control systems and get going in that direction interesting you are the third guests to be a guitar player so %HESITATION including myself as for guitar players have been on this short lived show so far watch out guitar players you might wind up with a career in AV or to the wise where industry failed musician force more musicians one way yeah Nick tell me about your most successful projects in navy and and what made it rewarding for you oh man great question well my background in AV started at from the construction pass strangely and then from general construction I came up through doing alarm systems and ended up because of that working on some very high profile security projects and I was introduced to a project that we was going to have star Crestron integration arms but they really wanted to make sure that the interface was really usable and so it was a great joy to basically be able to be involved in the scoping and design of the entire infrastructure but then knowing that I got to have creative control over how the interface with and eventually end up being years and that project was twenty plus zones of audio and video a couple of different media rooms fifteen plus touch panels and has been running successfully with only a couple of minor glitches for ten plus years now I’m so I look back on that one and think about all of the the the pains and and difficulties that go into designing interfaces when you have to deal with bitmaps and what not instead of you know the web development tools that we have now and I think the young guns don’t realize how easy they have it compared to what we dealt with this in years prior so but a lot of good memories came out I was not I’m not sure if you bring up a lot of memories for me with that that maps and I’m not sure if it was easier I think that says a funny word we were certainly there was a a tighter limitation by far and what we were able to do %HESITATION said the message the methods were very old school I give you that definitely a great point grade point HTML five is certainly not easy dealing with C. S. S. can %HESITATION can drive you crazy for sure but %HESITATION of course you have really great looking graphics that go along with it and a lot more possibilities that you could do so there’s always that that give and take that you get more power more responsibility and easy I love your respect of that word yep Wes whenever somebody tells me something easy I I tend to get a little bit afraid so tell me guys what separates what differentiates differentiates control and be from other control solutions in a nutshell if you could do that you for what yeah well I think like you said it’s it’s hardware agnostic and one of the things that’s interesting about that is that we don’t focus only on one platform so whereas you know even our work and raspberry pi right now we have existing in a couple of different languages and I think being at a philosophical level really open to having our concept of what the system is and letting the hardware landscape involved you know as we know it will and so there’s you know there’s all kinds of hardware hardware and digital signage all kinds of places that we really have an embedded approach you know to our mission of what we want to do and that goes along with our open source license which I think is the other big part of what makes us different is that not only are we you know actively engineering and looking at the architecture of so many hardware platforms but we’re open source while doing it and that enables us to build a wide network of partners approaching different kinds of systems in different ways so you bring up open source ends there can be a lot of confusion around those two words so can you give me like just a brief really brief definition of what open source means to you yeah out what it means to me is that I have access not only to the out well I guess coming from AV perspective you know we we all talk a lot about source code and having the source code to our projects and as far as it related to say a Crestron projects having your source code if you had all of the graphics and everything else yet you were able to change whatever that project was on what it means to control and be is that not only are you able to change what a project is but we also recognize in this new era that you need the ability to change what the actual product engine behind it is all the way down to work flow in terms of how these projects are designed to Floyd and tied together so I was gonna say so I would to me it it means that I have access to everything necessary to me to make the solution work it’s for my use case is is the practical application I think why open source is important and there’s also a transparency side gets into security and there’s of course a lot of a lot of ways you can expound on that but I think what’s most important to me is that I know the solution can never change in a way that I don’t want because I could always develop on what I’m already comfortable with so it helps you to remain agile and flexible you kind of hinted towards this that it really is a huge topic open source there are many different %HESITATION legs of that ox octopus that you can get into about the benefits of it in the end it basically just lets you view the source code and %HESITATION in in this case even change it if you need to so maybe if you could talk briefly about licensing and and how that affects open source well I think in open source what you primarily about what you see the large open source based companies selling at a license level really is their support their support as well it you know including things like SO ways behind a performance of certain systems and that’s how we look at %HESITATION yes through our partner network and in the projects that we work on it’s it’s really that the the software license you know that you are purchasing is effectively purchasing our official support and and you know the ability to stand behind your deployment excellent so we’ve got open source we covered a bit and now you mentioned SL ace and that kind of gets more into the the business aspect of open source so how you make money with open source can you tell us again in a in a nutshell this is a huge subject as well but out what is an SLA how could apply to us in AV Nick you feel like dealing yeah Assoc SLA is a yet another acronym I and I think that should be a term yet another acronym for %HESITATION service level agreements and service level agreements are very familiar to enterprise purchasers of our software solutions and even not open source operating systems like clinics are produced with as delays as an option that you can purchase from red hat or others and what a service level agreement means is effectively that as a business you can rely upon a certain level of uptime and functionality from the subscription that you’re maintaining and if those agreements are ever compromised in any such way that there is a form of compensation that you’re entitled to as the receiver of the SLA so the benefit is that open source can continue to develop but the software can be provided to you as a service instead of you having to have all of those developers on staff in order to modify the open source tools in the way that you see fit one of the drawbacks to the open source environment when X. is that yet in many times it’s at years a whole bunch of code and tools and do with it what you will it’s a bit of your left to your own devices our companies that can modify open source software to the point where they can provide a stable SLA help you to bridge that gap in between open source and standard commercial software great explanation so can you give me a a practical application that that I as I am in a V. guy would understand well let’s think about for instance zoom meetings are I I don’t know what zooms our current SLA practices are but if you think about zoom as something that eight be companies are becoming familiar with it’s a service it lives in a cloud it ties into your hardware and the systems that you may house in an integration project in yet that software does not necessarily live inside the integration itself but it’s a service that has to stay up constantly has to be reliable and has to be available whenever your meeting is kicked off in your room the implications of zooms cloud service going down mean that suddenly your video conferencing system itself is compromised by a missing service so in that context an SLA around a hosted service such as soon would ensure that you as a business never experienced the implications of that down time and if you do there’s comp station for and could this supply really to the hardware to the TV not turning on and things like that boy in that case that side no there’s no isolates I’m aware of the go down to that level but right but something like a data collection and monitoring and things like that you could provide some courts sort of a guarantee that that things will be available yeah okay so we have started working on a project together and one of the things that %HESITATION came up was in the very beginning of the process Nick you were talking about user stories can you tell us a little more about your ideas on user stories and how to communicate the expectations of projects yes Sir so it to answer that’ll go back a little bit to the question that you asked west and that was what are the most exciting things to you about for instance having control and be available as a tool in your toolbox for me what that comes down to is it being such an open platform that all opportunities are still on the table when you’re having a conversation with someone about what they’re trying to achieve and what that leads to is instead of approaching projects our conversations with a with a number of technical constrained it’s like we have to use this hardware and there’s already X. amounts of devices that have already been determined and now I just need a price you can back up from that conversation to the level that consultants typically approach it and at that level you’re not talking about those implementation details you’re talking about what’s the final outcome what’s the end results that we want to achieve by even taking on this project and how is that in results meet the needs not only of the business that you’re servicing as a client but of your own business and so that’s where user stories come in their way to define in such a way that designers and developers can understands us a second language around what the outcome is that they’re trying to achieve and the store worries are written from the perspective of the final user and the final user might be somebody of of different flavors like for instance if you’re looking at a remote service management dashboard or monitoring platform the user in that case might not necessarily be the same user that’s touching a interface inside of a board room one person might be monitoring the health of the system the other person might be actually using the system so those are two different users the typical language around a user stories actually very simple sentence it’s as a user I want to do acts so that I can accomplish why and using that framework you can have discussions with businesses or even with end users such as our estate homeowners to discuss with them while they’re actually trying to accomplish so that you can lay out those goals without having to get down into the weeds and when you have a platform is open is control and be that becomes a huge benefit because the options available to you are so broad that if you started by trying to lay out all options you would never be finished so instead you lay out what is it that a person considers to be successful or desirable and then you can go to find that and work backwards to be solutions that will fit good stuff I like that equation that X. Y. Z. equation of %HESITATION of making a framework so so that you know where you’re going this is come up several times on the show already obviously experience is a big buzz word lately but it’s really important it’s the right way to approach the projects and like you were saying there are so many possibilities out there especially when you look at more open platforms and commodity hardware did the possibilities really are endless but you don’t need to do everything you just need to do a specific set of tasks so once you have this user story hammered out and everybody agrees on who the players are in and what who the users are and and what their goals are what are the next steps what would a typical project look like Wes you want to extend yes so I think they a lot of what we’re doing on the data side and the you know the insight side of room usage in and those statistics integration with building systems would typically be in an office environment where that side of of the product is really a big part of it and of course that’s like well you saw said I at sea in the smart building wing and that was very much the type of demonstration you know that that we had set up there was so I think we very strongly picture our system and you know a lot of the projects that we work in indeed smart building %HESITATION arena what we’ve also found and Nick is as just started working on a project in that stuff very similar in feel but a different end result being the amenities spaces and and and do you and finding that you know a lot of those same needs again it really depends on who which person in the user story you’re talking about so like make reference the what the end users in either case care about is different down facilities managers or or building staff but they share those things in common and even the idea in those spaces where you could you could paint the amenities space for the hospitality space traditionally I think a little more in the residential direction though we’ve been having conversations where the day you want to have easy access to skirt so that people can communicate around the world so I’m I’m seeing a blur there are now only that even between the commercial and quote the residential side where for a lot of people that are interacting with multiple systems in the office at home where they hang out on things like access to a consistent calendar and having information even at that level with scheduling I think can apply in a lot of markets really interesting take on it obviously the technology that we use at home Skype and facetime and things like that are very similar to the things you’ll use at work zoom or anything like that %HESITATION Skype again shows up at work as well but I like the way you tie that back to even your calendar because your schedule is your schedule right it doesn’t matter if you’re working here at home if you have to be some place you have to be some place so it’s an interesting spot where some more integration could could even take place so getting our hands dirty with control and the what what what do I need to do right so so I’m a I’m a navy integrator maybe I’m a programmer what what happens once everything is hammered out we know what we know we need to do we know what equipment is in the projects what happens next typically what we’ll do with a new partner so you know if it’s our first time working together and we’ve we’ve looked at a project that looks like it’s a great fit and have gone through that process to establish budgets and all of that that will be determining what what role am and this is partly determined by skill sets but you know what role do you want to play not only in this first project but in the evolution of of where you want to go with us because we do have some partners who are primarily on the project management and design site and don’t necessarily have the desire add to get their hands dirty as you said with respect to say the software so we actually all for software development as well in our solutions group and so working with a partner we can not only through our souls but then also through other development partners on put that together so that it so that everyone can play the the role that they want to play so that’s the first thing is we’re not it’s not just stay a software product we’re the only people working with us are programmers first given the model and then you know the market where we come from obviously we work with a lot of programmers suit and that question then becomes which languages are you proficient in and that has you know is also determined by the architecture of what is being deployed %HESITATION so if we’re doing a Crestron system for example %HESITATION that’s gonna be architected in a certain way and and we’re controlling the fits and there may be tasks that even that you know as someone who’s the Crestron programming side could take ownership of then and help works through the development out as far as you know how things went down altogether especially if their legacy systems being considered any number of things there so that’s really the next step is in terms of what we’ve defined %HESITATION dinner for working with a software developer and we have a list of art these drivers are going to be developed for this project and this type of custom functionality %HESITATION we do most of our work through we’re really all of our work to get you know through version control center matter what it is on the next step there with the developer would be to share resources with van and you know be the guide rails and in their support to whatever part of the project they had taken on who along with us on their way to becoming a trusted consultant and that that’s essentially our you know a program of this certification if you will but it’s going through the process to where we can actually put a project in your hands from the beginning and know that you would be able to answer that entire train of thought and also have access to our engineering department as you need it just say Hey here’s a request I’m getting in that’s actually we haven’t seen that before so let’s talk about it that’s what we provide I think that’s pretty cool that kind of flexibility and customization it’s not only in the platform it’s also built into the way that that you’re offering the services well so even if I don’t have any software skills on staff I could rely on you for that or if I do then %HESITATION then you’re flexible in that way so are that’s that’s pretty interesting approach for sure and %HESITATION is probably influenced by your software backgrounds and even using things like %HESITATION get just to exchange information is also on I love the sound of that because dealing with Dropbox or even emailing files is it gets to be a headache really quickly so having that that one place where everything a repository where everything is always up to date makes makes your life a lot easier I think that that subject by itself is something that is maybe worthy of its own conversation even on this podcast in the sense that version control practices when I first got into this business I wasn’t familiar with them I didn’t realize how far along that those practices had already been done I looked in other software industries and that’s kind of true of many things in a beat in the sense that what we experience in our evolution as an industry has has already been experienced in other industries like for instance IDE as six to six to ten years before we’ve experienced at and that includes even the are developing solutions around certain problems and version control itself is one of those things where if you as a programmer find yourself trying to figure out naming schemes and folder schemes for files that you don’t lose track of which version you used for which particular purpose and what you really need to be looking at is a version control system and by its nature control and V. because it uses languages that are already well established within version control system such as Java script and nasty sharp you can make use of things like defend your files where you can see a line by line difference without having to do remains and even being able to check dad’s a version history so you can see a time line of every change you’ve made and when you may have deployed that changed to a site so that if you ever have to go back and reference rents it project that you may have touched six months ago there’s that track record there’s that audit trail history that helps you as a developer as much as it helps anybody else and it it can happen within a system that’s built to handle those kinds of changes instead of just drop box or your own file versioning system so that those kinds of practices are in a lot of ways new to AV programmers and yet that then nice thing is there’s a lot of prior art for two to really take yourself to the next level yeah it’s it’s all been done before there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel and %HESITATION that’s one of the knock on effects of open source is here kind of motivated to work to use these these technologies and best practices just to make your code better and more manageable and it it just makes sense so Wes you mention the raspberry pi before obviously Crestron would probably be done in simple sharp and I’m sure you have hooks into %HESITATION using simple windows with that but if you were to deploy control and be on a raspberry pi for example what what programming language would you need to have the skills and to %HESITATION to do that if you wanted to do the programming yourself primarily Java script it is Java script okay so for like your typical AV programmer what would you recommend they do to start transitioning into %HESITATION yeah it’s a Java script I guess code cadmium yeah I mean there’s there’s a lot of tools out there that even things such as our %HESITATION alerts language is a written within Java script snippets and that during the beta days of control in V. I was participating as a project manager external to the team and using it to solve some of my own problems me and I was amazed by the fact that the the Java script syntax was really powerful I’m I wasn’t job script programmer at the time but because there’s such an open community of Java scripts on the web I was able to think about my problem and go out and find a snippet of code I that was recorded in like I think it was W. three scenes standard yes and drop it into what I was trying to accomplish with my alerts and it was the search to completion was a course of probably fifteen minutes yeah and it’s really amazing to realize how much prior art there is out there that Google is really your friends a lot of these online courses are your friend in such a way that you could never have accomplished the same thing with such speed if you had a much more limited set of resources available to you like for instance a closed forum that night maybe only has what five hundred members because of need the limitations of a particular manufacturer and and how they released their SDK those things just are problems that are solved by having open source communities I’m really glad you brought that up because obviously it’s a it’s a huge problem you know the the community is small and it’s it’s relatively close some people aren’t open to sharing what they’ve learned that much and when you get some more web based technologies the mindset is completely different and I remember hearing an interview with the the one of the main developers are first developers of Java scripts and he was saying that the whole intention of the language was for it to be quickly shared and copied to help people just do stuff so your example there of you wanted to do something you copied and pasted it into your code and it just kind of worked is really a great example of the power of of that of open programming open source programming so anybody’s afraid to Java script don’t be get out there and start grooving and just try it I think you’ll be surprised at how approachable is so would you have any advice for integrators that are more interested that are interested in moving towards a more service based model using things like the raspberry pi getting away from the old black box paradigm well I would say first of all try to involve yourself in conversations with and users as much as possible it’s less about the solutions and more about the outcomes or I guess that is the solution but it’s it’s more about the solution lies about the individual components and when you start thinking in that context you can consider all systems of any minute any manufacturer is simply a tool in the box instead of something that you are beholden to I used to have a saying back in the earlier days of control systems before we went this open source route that it many times control systems actually control people instead of being in it of controlling so if you think about it your project is constrained by the limitations that are stat by technology within one manufacture but it’s not just me project it’s all of the businesses involved who are your programmers they have to have a specific skill set who are your integrators they have to have specific relationships that entire IT recipe doesn’t necessarily happier but the end user’s best interest in mind so to be ineffective integrator and consultant no matter which technologies you’re using get above the surface of all of that focus on what the actual outcomes are and then choose your tools based on the house instead of being tied down to one box so that would be my advice is to it’s more of a mindset change then it is necessarily a hard skill great stuff west you have anything to a you’d like to add to that I was thinking as in a few directions while while you were talking there but I I think that I mean that pretty well I think covers it is just really keep an open mind to it and it’s right to be skeptical of new at the level it in the state comes you know what a lot of the projects that you know we’re all involved in our so that’s one that we completely understand and I think it’s you know talking to people talking to I. T. departments you know and not in a confrontational way but just in trying to better understands alright well if if we were able to modify this in a certain way then it would look like a good solution to you and you know that’s that’s really I mean there’s there’s obviously like you said a lot of change we we’re coming from where you picked one manufacturer and that was that was pretty much it you know in terms of how how you were going to get to the finish line for project in there’s a lot of different ways now absolutely great stuff guys if anybody would like to get in touch with you learn more about control and be how they go about doing that trolling be dot com is a good starting point yeah we’ve got a contact form there where you can give us some information just a little bit on your background and if you’d like to see a demo and you know what what market you work and all that so we can get just a little information and follow up with you immediately and then we said we’ve got a solutions group that can actually put a project into action armed with you if you think it’s it’s gonna be something good for your project or if it’s something that you want you would want to put in front of them and get get your hands on on a demo or something that you could actually take an and test the waters with so I would say yes starting at the website and go from there so one think the cool thing about that contact form is that it’s the same thing is the user interface for control NB is it not %HESITATION gotcha yes so it I mean it does it that that’s a really interesting point but yes fundamentally a lot of the same web widgets and HTML five things that we tie in from the app and that’s really cool that you picked up on that because to me it it hasn’t gotten to that point yet but our long term goal with the website is to include interactivity from these various HTML five components and things inside the interface because I mean that’s that’s what’s dope for right in the short answer yes the control and the contact us form is actually built with our own tools yeah nice way for people to a get a little taste and feel of it gentlemen thank you very much for being on the show thank you very much better look for to begin sometime absolutely thank you take care Hey this is Patrick again we talked about a lot of great stuff on this episode like open source and version control and how to know when you need it which is probably all the time and we talked about the raspberry pi Java script and house solutions like control envy use Java script so if you want to program them you’re gonna have to learn how to do that and make mention some great resources like code academy and I really encourage you to get out there Google around and find some information and just give it a try set aside an hour a week for forty five minutes a day whatever it is put it in your calendar start really simple and small open up a telnet connection to a display or some kind of AV device and start sending come some commands over to it and there’s plenty of information on the internet to get you started if you have a hard time getting up and running with Java script I recommend checking out no rate it’s a drag and drop editor from IBM completely open source and free and they developed it to control the I OC to make it easy to control devices which is exactly what we need they make it super simple to make TCP connections HTTP requests and some more advanced stuff as well and then you create your strings in Java script and send them off to devices it’s a great way to have some early wins so check that out and when you’re ready to really use this stuff in a project and get into infrared control serial relays all those things we need to deal with writing device drivers saving stuff to a database running reports check out my courses at learnAVprogramming.com because it will save you a bunch of time I’ve been through it I went through all the forms I’ve Google to my **** off I’ve searched and searched and tested and tested and now I have a system where I could use these things on real projects and I documented at all in the book courses at learning the programming dot com so there’s no reason that you have to go through all that again now these courses aren’t exactly cheap but they will save you a bunch of time and I think you’ll wind up using them as a resource as well it’s not the kind of thing where you just go through the courses and that’s it I find myself going back to the lessons over and over again when I forget how to do something when I just need a reference what were the steps to get from a to B. I go back to the course search on the table of contents find exactly what I need and then I’m back up and running again so that investment will be a time saver on and on into the future and if you go to learn a programming dot com anywhere you see a sign up box go ahead and sign up and I’ll send you some free information to get you started and then you’ll get a little bit of a feel of my teaching style and you’ll be able to see if things are for you or not alright so get out there get started give it a try ends let’s bring this industry to the next level thanks for listening to software defined survival for transcripts and show notes go to software defined survival dot com