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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 #119: An Industry Q&A With Matt DeVance

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt DeVance, Founder of DeVance Electronic LIfestyle, shares his perspective on the shift in demand for technology in homes and how integrators can prepare.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #119: An Industry Q&A With Matt DeVance

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Matt DeVance. Recorded live on Friday May 8th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Matt DeVance

With over 25 years in the custom audio/video industry, Matt got his start in-car audio after spending his youth watching his father repair home electronics from their home basement as a side-hustle.

After spending 4 years at Dallas based audio-video retailer, Home Entertainment, he ultimately decided to strike out on his own and starting his own integration firm, DeVance Electronic Lifestyles, in 2002.

Today, DeVance is constantly growing. They are expanding their business by buying a building that will double their current space. They have annual revenues approaching $3M with a staff of 11 people.

Interview Recap

  • Ways in which previous life-changing events, such as 9/11 and the Great Recession, has prepared Matt to better handle this pandemic
  • Matt’s perspective on the shift in demand for technology in homes and how integrators can prepare
  • How EOS evolved Matt’s business and communications approach 
  • The importance of company culture and the mentoring of employees

Home Automation Podcast Episode #118: An Industry Q&A With Eddie Shapiro

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Eddie Shapiro, Founder of SmartTouchUSA, shares growth opportunities for home security solutions as well as new marketing and business development strategies he is executing.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #118: An Industry Q&A With Eddie Shapiro

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Eddie Shapiro. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 18th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Eddie Shapiro

With over 30 years of experience in the AV and low voltage channel, Eddie got his start designing and installing systems for companies like IBM, Nestle, and Verizon.

Eddie founded Washington, DC-based smart home integration firm, SmartTouchUSA and has since joined organizations such as CEDIA, American Society of Interior Designers, and American Institute of Architects.

Today, his goal is to help CEDIA and industry members build a deeper respect between architects, lighting designers, builders, and the design industry.

Interview Recap

  • Growth opportunities for home security solutions
  • Steps they have taken with staff and customers in light of Covid-19
  • New marketing and business development strategies he is executing
  • Eddie’s thoughts on the CEDIA 2020 Expo, will it happen?
  • Eddie’s thoughts on Crestron Home

Home Automation Podcast Episode #117: An Industry Q&A With Bryan Naquin

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Bryan Naquin, President of Acadian Home Theater and Automation, shares the importance of relationships with your team and industry peers as well as his approach to paid service plans.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #117: An Industry Q&A With Bryan Naquin

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Bryan Naquin. Recorded live on Friday May 15th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Bryan Naquin

Bryan got started in the audio-video industry back in 1995 and has since amassed 25 years of industry experience. In 2005, he founded  Baton Rouge-based technology integration company, Acadian Home Theater.

Acadian has been awarded the Top 100 Integrator Nationwide by CE Pro for 8 years in a row, making them the only Louisiana company holding that consecutive record.

Acadian is also recognized as the only Diamond Control4 Pinnacle Dealer within the state of Louisiana.

Interview Recap

  • Steps Bryan is taking to keep his team safe during COVID-19 such as turning down jobs in high-risk areas 
  • The importance of building relationships with industry peers and your community
  • Bryan’s thoughts on whether CEDIA will return this year and the possibility of a virtual venue
  • How Acadian approaches paid service plans during their sales cycle and the benefits they’ve experienced with Parasol for 24/7 remote servicing and support

Home Automation Podcast Episode #116: An Industry Q&A With Rusty Deeble

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Rusty Deeble, President of Digital Installers, shares how interior design has elevated their showroom as well as using social media methods to strengthen design-build relationships.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #116: An Industry Q&A With Rusty Deeble

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Rusty Deeble. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 5th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Rusty Deeble

With a life-long passion for technology, Rusty has been building computers and networking them for businesses since he was 14-years old. Towards the end of his studies at Cal State University, Rusty founded Digital Installers out of Long Beach, California in 2001 and has never looked back.

Digital Installers now has an impressive showroom that mixes interior design with smart technology and even won the ProSource Dream Theater Makeover Contest in 2019.

Rusty uses his showroom as a way to bring the community together, from offering it as an event venue to even gifting movie nights to dedicated clients and prospects.

Interview Recap

  • How the use of quality interior design has elevated their showroom and helped consumers better envision smart technology in their home 
  • Ways Rusty is using social media to strengthen relationships within the design-build community
  • The benefits using his showroom as an event venue has brought to Digital Installers over the years
  • Why Rusty created the concept of TV templates and how he believe it can help integrators save time and win larger projects

Home Automation Podcast Episode #115: An Industry Q&A With Henry Clifford

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Henry Clifford, Co-Founder of Parasol and President of Livewire, shares his strategies for virtual communication and sales as well as Parasol's methods for team training across many vendors.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #115: An Industry Q&A With Henry Clifford

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Henry Clifford. Recorded live on Friday, May 1st at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Henry Clifford

Returning guest, Henry, started Virginia based integration firm, Livewire, in 2001 after identifying the need for simple home technology in Central Virginia. solutions provider in his market.

Under his leadership, Livewire has acquired 5 competitors since 2011 and is now the largest home technology integrator in Central Virginia. Livewire also made the Inc 500 out  5,000 list in 2013 and 2014 along with the CE Pro100 and RVA 25 lists in 2014.

With 250 dealers under Parasol, Henry and his co-founders, Greg Simmons of Eagle Sentry and Ted Bremekamp of ETC, provide 24/7 remote support for home technology integrators and their clients.

Interview Recap

  • Changes Henry has made within Livewire due to COVID-19 regulations- from virtual calls to pivoting communication strategies
  • Henry’s approach to prioritizing internal communication and putting his team and client safety first
  • Tools Henry uses to gain prospects and sell from home, such as Vidyard email integration
  • Parasol’s “For Integrators, by Integrators” approach
  • How Parasol works to keep their keeps their team trained across many vendors

Home Automation Podcast Episode #114: An Industry Q&A With Rob Hopper

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Rob Hopper, President of Beacon Audio Video Systems, shares the importance of product trainings made available through vendors as well as marketing strategies for the CI industry.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #114: An Industry Q&A With Rob Hopper

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Rob Hopper. Recorded live on Wednesday, April 29th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Rob Hopper

With nearly 25 years of experience in the custom integration industry, Rob got his start in car audio before moving to the residential space.

After the great recession, Rob founded Ohio-based Beacon Audio Video with a mission to bring a higher level of service and experience to custom integration clients.

At Beacon, Rob and his team aim to focus on the client experience, quality of design, and craftsmanship from the first meeting through the project life cycle. 

Interview Recap

  • The rise of consumer interest in solutions such as outdoor entertainment and home networking 
  • Rob’s opinion on 5G and how it can benefithelp end-users stay connected
  • Ways Rob and his team have been taking advantage benefiting from of all the recent educational resources and webinars being offered in our industry
  • Rob’s previous experience with marketing and website design and what stood out to him since working with One Firefly