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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 tagged with: Automation Industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #108: An Industry Q&A With Keith Harrison

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Keith Harrison, Founder at Total Home Technologies, shares his perspective on the importance of RMR solutions and his approach to using virtual reality during project demos and system servicing.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #108: An Industry Q&A With Keith Harrison

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Keith Harrison. Recorded live on Thursday, April 9th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Keith Harrison

Keith got his start in the custom integration industry in 1992 when he opened up his small A/V retail store while still in college. Today, Total Home Technologies has three Control4 certified showrooms, two in New Jersey and one in New York, and is the highest volume Control 4 dealer in the North East. 

Keith is known to be a pioneer in the CEDIA channel for recurring revenue and offering the innovative solution of leasing automation systems to consumers.

Interview Recap

  • Keith’s approach to handling the changes in his business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Keith’s rental equipment leasing model and how it has been bringing ⅓ of the companies revenue for the last five years
  • How Keith and his team use virtual reality solutions like Help Lightning for virtual, hands-on support calls and Modus VR for media room and home theater demos
  • Keith’s motto of building a bulletproof system through implementing backup routers to make more profit as opposed to relying on ongoing servicing

Home Automation Podcast Episode #107: An Industry Q&A With Mike Giffin

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Industry veteran, Mike Giffin VP at Help Lightning shares his experience in the CE space and the benefits of a remote servicing solution for smart home integrators.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #107: An Industry Q&A With Mike Giffin

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mike Giffin. Recorded live on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Mike Giffin

With nearly 45 years in the CE space, Mike Giffin is an industry veteran with experience in wireless and high-fidelity audio. Before joining Help Lightning, Mike founded Wren Sound Systems, a pioneering premium brand in wireless audio after his 22-year tenure with Harman International.

As Vice President at Help Lightning, Mike develops the custom integration and consumer electronics channel to provide integrators and service technicians hands-on servicing sessions through virtual and merged reality.

Interview Recap

  • The increased demand for virtual servicing during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How integrators can benefit from a solution like Help Lightning as more  consumers begin to depend on technology
  • Mike's perspective on ways integrators can make it through these uncertain times

Home Automation Podcast Episode #105: An Industry Q&A With Navot Shoresh

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, industry leader Navot Shoresh, President of Spire Integrated Systems shares h unique perspective on value-based leadership and his approach to the importance of branding his company as oppose

Home Automation Podcast Episode #105: An Industry Q&A With Navot Shoresh

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Navot Shoresh. Recorded live on Saturday, April 4th, 2020 at 11:00 am. EST.

About Navot Shoresh

With 15 years in the business, Israel-born Navot Shoresh started his first business at the age of 22 after his service with the Israeli Army ended. In 2001, he decided to take his passion for providing high-quality audio visual systems and founded Spire Integrated Systems out of Michigan. 

Now, Spire Integrated Systems employs over 20 employees between their Detroit and Traverse City locations. Spire Integrated Systems has been titled Best of Detroit 2019 by Hour Detroit Magazine in three categories including “Places to Buy Audio & Stereo” category and “Home Theater, Audio, Video Specialist.”

Interview Recap

  • What Navot and his team are implementing to come out stronger on the other side of COVID-19 from revising company weaknesses to training processes
  • How Navot is approaching leadership during this time of crisis and his recommendations on demonstrate value-based leadership
  • Navot’s perspective on the future of our industry and why we matter to our communities after the Coronavirus
  • The power of recurring revenue and a look into Spire’s service contract: SPS Ready

Home Automation Podcast Episode #102: An Industry Q&A With Rohan Dunbar

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ron Callis interviewed custom integrator Rohan Dunbar, Owner of Atlanta based smart home automation company, Digital Lifestyle Solutions.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #102: An Industry Q&A With Rohan Dunbar

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Rohan Dunbar. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Rohan Dunbar

Rohan Dunbar, Owner of Atlanta based Digital Lifestyle Solutions. Rohan got his start in the AV business in 2005 working with Audio Command Systems out of New York learning how to install smart systems in high-end homes. It wasn't until 2008 that he began working closely with Crestron control systems for Residential and Commercial spaces. 

In 2010, Rohan founded Digital Lifestyle Solutions with a focus on offering solutions as a CSP, Crestron Service Provider to integration firms throughout North America. In 2017, he made the transition to convert Digital Lifestyle Solutions into a full installation company serving both residential and commercial clients in the greater Atlanta market

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Rohan Dunbar:

  • Rohan’s transition from Crestron Service Provider into a Certified Crestron Dealer 
  • Ways he is pivoting his focus to make up for project pauses caused by COVID-19
  • How his business is preparing for the possible boom of business on the other side of COVID-19
  • Which Crestron technologies have him jazzed for 2020
  • What he’s doing to help other integrators grow and thrive

Home Automation Podcast Episode #101: An Industry Q&A With Alexa and Angel Centeno

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Alexa, and Angel Centeno of SDI Boston share their passion for the custom integration industry from their recent merger with audioDave to their impressive smart home showroom.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #101: An Industry Q&A With Alexa and Angel Centeno

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Alexa and Angel Centeno. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Alexa and Angel Centeno

Husband and wife duo, Alexa and Angel Centeno, are the owners of Systems Design & Integration also known as SDI in the Boston area. After working with one of the largest AV integration firms in Orlando, Florida since 2006, Angel founded SDI in 2012. Once Alexa joined shortly thereafter, the company began shifting away from simple TV installations and surround sound projects to implementing complete smart home automation systems and full integrations for larger homes.

SDI was awarded Savant's 2018 Through & Through Award and named Best of Boston in 2019 by Boston Magazine for Smart Home Specialist. Alexa and Angel are one of the youngest businesses in the country to pick up and offer the exclusive McIntosh product line. In mid-2019, they finalized their merger well known Savant integration firm audioDave out of Newton, Mass. SDI’s impressive 6,500 square foot showroom in Needham welcomes builders, designers, and homeowners to experience what technology truly is today and how it can be implemented into the design industry.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Alexa and Angel Centeno:

  • How they've accomplished running a business as husband and wife
  • Their recent merger with audioDave, a company with over 38 years in the industry
  • The response from customers and the design trade on their 6,500 sqft showroom
  • How they approach Instagram to help build their platform and reach a larger audience

Home Automation Podcast Episode #100: An Industry Q&A With Lee Travis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Lee Travis, innovator and thought leader in the home automation industry, brings a unique perspective as an owner of two custom integration firms in different markets.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #100: An Industry Q&A With Lee Travis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Lee Travis. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Lee Travis

Lee got his start in car audio over 30 years prior to founding Wipliance in 2006. With two locations, one in Bellevue, WA, and the other in Scottsdale, AZ Wipliance has 35 employees, made $5 million in revenue, and was named Integrator of the Year for 2019 by the Consumer Technology Association and CES. 

Wipliance’s unique approach to marketing efforts includes a dynamic video portfolio, exciting showcase events, and a sister company, Obot Electric, that offers a seamless experience for clients. 

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Lee Travis:

  • His process in integrating electrical contracting to his business
  • Challenges and advantages to operating in two different markets, Washington State and Arizona
  • The importance and benefits of being part of a buying group
  • The future of 5G and how it might impact the custom integration industry