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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.

Articles in Category: Industry Professionals

Home Automation Podcast Episode #127: An Industry Q&A With Wim De Vos

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Wim De Vos of Genesis Home Technology Architects, shares about changes throughout Europe that Wim, his business, and clients have experienced since April.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #127: An Industry Q&A With Wim De Vos

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Wim De Vos. Recorded live on Wednesday, July 1st at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Wim De Vos

We initially spoke with Wim on April 14th, 2020 and discussed the challenges his European-firm, Genesis, Home Technology Architects, and clients were experiencing due to the lockdowns.

We catch up with Wim 2.5 months later as the lockdowns have begun to lift throughout Europe. Wim shares a new perspective on his company approach and the state of the custom integration industry.

Genesis has been growing for over 10 years and offers design, training, and marketing solutions with its premium branded products to a select network of 300 certified installation partners in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Interview Recap

  • Changes throughout Europe that Wim, his business, and clients have experienced since April
  • Whether America’s political and economic climate will affect the European market
  • Wim’s approach to digital transformation as his business re-opens and why he has decided to re-think his business as if it were a start-up
  • Inspiring books Wim has been reading in light of COVID and the resurgence of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States

Home Automation Podcast Episode #126: An Industry Q&A With Maryellen Oswald

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Maryellen, of Connected Design Magazine, shares about the potential permanent move to virtual meetings, demonstrations and trade events.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #126: An Industry Q&A With Maryellen Oswald

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Maryellen Oswald. Recorded live on Wednesday, June 24th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Maryellen Oswald

With 22 years in consumer publication, Maryellen and her team at Connected Design Magazine work to build bridges and create networking opportunities between technology professionals and the design & build community.

Connected Design Magazine is a seasonal publication venture between CT Lab Global Media and IFA that offers a visual showcase of the modern-day technology industry partnering with world-class architects, builders, and designers as they pioneer a new era of sophisticated connected homes.

Interview Recap

  • How Maryellen got her start in Consumer Electronics with Widescreen Magazine 
  • The potential permanent move to virtual meetings, demonstrations and trade events 
  • Insider look at the benefits of being featured in a publication such as Connected Design Magazine
  • Maryellen’s thoughts on the current state and future of our industry

Watch Episode #121: An Industry Q&A with Jason Barth and Jamie Carey

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jason Barth and Jamie Carey from The Premier Group, share the impacts that photography, showroom renovations, and increased marketing efforts have had on their business.

Watch Episode #121: An Industry Q&A with Jason Barth and Jamie Carey

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jason Barth & Jamie Carey. Recorded live on Thursday, May 21st at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About The Premier Group

Founded in 1999, Jason along with his two college friends and fellow bandmates, took their passion for music and technology to start their new firm. Jason uses his comprehensive and in-depth technical knowledge to simplify complex technologies in a way that's easy for consumers to understand.

With a background in marketing and the Director of Business Development at Premier, Jamie marries the two through photography and storytelling in a combined effort to attract new clientele, builder relationships, and architects and designers.

The Premier Group has been named a CEPro’s Top 100 Integrator in the U.S. for 11 consecutive years and has also won the prestigious Best Integrated Home award for the past two years.

Interview Recap

  • The impact that beautifully shot photography has had on their business
  • Changes Jason made in light of COVID-19 such as renovating their showroom, updating their website, and other marketing
  • Changes in consumer demand in response to COVID-19
  • How Jamie’s addition to the team as Director of Business Development has helped The Premier Group strengthen their company culture and online presence

Watch Episode #120: An Industry Q&A with Kevin Hancock

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Kevin Hancock, President of Frame My TV, shares about his first big break installing TVs for The Breakers at Palm Beach and how COVID-19 has impacted the recent expansion of their business.

Watch Episode #120: An Industry Q&A with Kevin Hancock

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Kevin Hancock. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 20th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Kevin Hancock

Kevin’s entrepreneurial adventure began 14 years ago after a friend told him his spray-painted crown molding solution for his TV would be a solution that homeowners and interior designers would love.

Kevin went on to founded Frame My TV from his Lowell, MA garage in 2006 and has since sold more than 10,000 TV frames to clients around the world in both luxury homes and commercial properties.

Frame My TV is now known as the go-to expert in TV concealment with all of their products made locally in Massachusetts.

Interview Recap

  • Kevin’s origin story and how he got his first big break with an opportunity to install all the TV’s at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida
  • How an ambitious decision at CEDIA 2019 helped build a strong relationship with Samsung that has led to his expansion
  • Frame My TV's Deco Frame product line
  • What Kevin is most excited for in 2020 and his predictions for industry changes in light of COVID-19

Watch 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.

Watch Episode #117: An Industry Q&A with Bryan Naquin

This week's show 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

Watch 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.

Watch Episode #115: An Industry Q&A with Henry Clifford

This week's show 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