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Automation Unplugged

Automation Unplugged is a Facebook Live show recorded weekly with our host Ron Callis, Owner and CEO of the digital marketing agency, One Firefly. In each Automation Unplugged episode, Ron speaks with leading industry personalities and technology professionals to discuss all things business development, technology trends, and more. These interviews are designed to help our clients and members of the custom integration industry keep up-to-date with the latest news as well as learn from experts in the field.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #141: An Industry Q&A With Harshul Parikh

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Harshul Parikh of Trescent Lifestyles shares thoughts on the potential boom that will come from the increased interest in smart home automation.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #141: An Industry Q&A With Harshul Parikh

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Harshul Parikh. Recorded live on Wednesday, October 21st at 9:30 a.m. EST.

About Harshul Parikh

Harshul founded Trescent Lifestyles in 2006 after he returned to India following a career stint in Silicon Valley. Back in India he observed the growing demand for smart technology in the home and the shortage of integration firms available while he was renovating his own home in Mumbai.

Harshul understood that India needed World Class System Integrators with the growing demand for Smart Homes and Home Theatres and he decided to be part of the solution.

Harshul is a founding member of CEDIA India and has been instrumental in bringing CEDIA into the country. Since its founding, Trescent has grown to a team size of 35 employees and completed residential projects over 100,000 sq. ft with budgets of $2.5+ million USD.

Interview Recap

  • Harshul’s role in bringing a CEDIA chapter to India
  • How the custom integration space has been impacted due to COVID
  • Harshul’s thoughts on the potential boom that will come from the increased interest in smart home automation
  • An exciting AI software Harshul and his team are working on to make projects more seamless for Integrators and the design-build community

Home Automation Podcast Episode #140: An Industry Q&A With Jesse Silva

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jesse Silva of The PAVE shares innovative ways he has expanded their reach and customer acquisition through social media.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #140: An Industry Q&A With Jesse Silva

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jesse Silva. Recorded live on Wednesday, October 14th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jesse Silva

Jesse founded The ProView Audio Video Experience out of Phoenix, Arizona in 2009 as a side hustle while still in college and later on while working IT for Bank of America.

Jesse went all-in on The PAVE 3 years ago and hasn’t looked back. The PAVE is known nationally and internationally for their creative use of social media to stay connected with their clients, showcase their work, and to drive business development efforts.

Interview Recap

  • The impacts of COVID-19 on Jesse’s business
  • The PAVE doubling their growth since 2019
  • Innovative ways Jesse has expanded their reach and customer acquisition through social media
  • Manufacturers that embody “exceptional support” and how it has helped Jesse and his team grow

 

Home Automation Podcast Episode #139: An Industry Q&A With Michael Cogbill

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Michael Cogbill of REV2 Consulting, shares on the early days of custom integration in the 80’s and early 90’s.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #139: An Industry Q&A With Michael Cogbill

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Michael Cogbill. Recorded live on Wednesday, October 7th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Michael Cogbill

Michael Cogbill got his start in the custom integration industry in the ‘80s after reading an Electronic House article he found while traveling for work in the Defense and Aerospace industry.

Throughout his career, Michael has been involved in several startups, maintained a private consultancy for high net-worth homeowners, and was proudly involved in CEDIA since its founding.

Today, Michael is also on the CEDIA Board of Director and a new member of NEC’s Code Panel 3.

Interview Recap

  • The early days of custom integration in the 80’s and early 90’s
  • His experience working on a project for Bill Gates’ Seattle home
  • CEDIA initiatives Michael is most excited about
  • Michael’s predictions for the future of our industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #138: An Industry Q&A With Murray Kunis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Murray Kunis of Future Home, shares thoughts on the current state of our industry and what 2021 might have in store.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #138: An Industry Q&A With Murray Kunis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Murray Kunis. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 30th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Murray Kunis

Murray Kunis got his start in the music industry where he worked with top names including Prince, Van Halen, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Jackson. In 1990, Murray founded Future Home out of the demand from his clients for help with their home technology.

Murray was one of the founding integration firms of the trade organization CEDIA, he installed America’s first home THX system, and is the only Two Time Best-Of-Show winner of the International Home Technology Expo.

Interview Recap

  • Murray’s thoughts on the first 2020 Presidential Debate
  • Murray’s experience with installing America’s first home THX system
  • His recommendations for business just getting started in the custom integration industry.
  • Murray’s thoughts on the current state of our industry and what 2021 might have in store

Home Automation Podcast Episode #137: An Industry Q&A With Matt Fowler

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt Fowler of HomeTroniX, shares his approach to marketing and creating a strong digital presence.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #137: An Industry Q&A With Matt Fowler

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Matt Fowler. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 16th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Matt Fowler

In 2014, Matt invested in HomeTroniX with his father while a senior at Tulane University but chose to pursue his career in the Marine Corps and later in the wine industry. 

In 2019, with the company at a crossroads between growing at a faster rate or keeping the status quo, Matt agreed to join the family business as an executive with the goal of growing and scaling the integration firm.

Interview Recap

  • How Matt’s time in the Marine Corps impacted his role as a leader
  • How to grow and scale an integration firm
  • HomeTroniX’s growth during COVID 
  • Matt’s approach to marketing and creating a strong digital presence

Home Automation Podcast Episode #136: An Industry Q&A With Josh Willits

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Josh Willits of Portal, shares thoughts on the rest of 2020 and the future of our industry.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #136: An Industry Q&A With Josh Willits

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Josh Willits. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 9th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Josh Willits

With over 16 years in CI industry, Josh got his start in AV by selling speakers online out of his college dorm room. He spent years running operations at an integration firm before taking on the role of  Director of Operations at Jetson Systems, a Crestron CSP.

Later in 2012, he founded Invenshare, a website for dealers to buy, sell, and trade excess inventory, before merging his business with SupplyStream two years later.

After the merger, Josh helped rebrand the company that is now known as Portal and was part of their turnaround in 2019, where they shifted business models into a subscription based SAAS model.

Portal has also won multiple industry awards for customer service thanks to their Dealer Happiness team.

Interview Recap

  • Josh experiences in the CI industry that ultimately led to his role as President of Portal.
  • Portal’s turnaround strategy deployed in May 2019 that saved the company
  • Proposal trends during that last 6 months including the amazing growth since June
  • Josh’s thoughts on the rest of 2020 and the future of our industry