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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.

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Articles tagged with: Azione Unlimited

Watch Episode #19: an Industry Q&A with Chris Smith

Exploring Company Communication, Creative RMR, and Employee Retention

Watch Episode #19: an Industry Q&A with Chris Smith

In this Automation Unplugged interview, Ron speaks with Chris Smith, VP of Business Development at Cloud9 Smart. Cloud9 Smart is a high-end integration firm located in New York City. Watch the interview to learn Chris' tips on running a successful technology business through solid employee retention practices, RMR, streamlined operations, and more.

About Chris Smith

Chris Smith got a crash course in Sales at 17, running an inside sales program for a tool company. It was here he learned that if you out-hustled the competition in service and support you could win their business no matter the age. He broke into the AV industry pulling wires and getting certified programming home automation systems. After studying Sociology in Santa Barbara, California he moved to Boston to join Bowers & Willkins as a National Trainer before being promoted to Regional Sales Manager. When McIntosh Labs took interest he managed a sales team for them, and during their merger into World of McIntosh served as advisor, led the merging of sales teams, and oversaw the ambitious build-out of the WOM Townhouse in Soho. Working closely with Cloud9 on this project he decided to relocate to NYC permanently and join the Cloud9 team as VP of Business Development. In his spare time he likes to run, with 3 half and 1 full marathon in the queue this year.

Interview Recap

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

  • Chris' background on the manufacturer side
  • His role in the rollout of Slack for Azione Unlimited
  • His role on Azione Unlimited's Advisory Board
  • How Cloud9 Smart gets creative with transportation in Manhattan
  • Effective employee retention practices
  • The multiple avenues for RMR
  • Marketing strategies
  • And more

Watch Episode #13: an Industry Q&A Session with Richard Glikes

A Glimpse into the Benefits of Buying Groups

Watch Episode #13: an Industry Q&A Session with Richard Glikes

In this Automation Unplugged episode, Ron Callis interviewed Richard Glikes, president of Azione Unlimited. Azione Unlimited is one of the top buying groups for CE and CI professionals. Richard and Ron talked about the advantages of joining a buying group and what's coming up at CEDIA and the Azione Fall conference.

About Richard Glikes

Richard Glikes is the President and Founder of Azione Unlimited, a consortium of like-minded dealers, customer retailers, integrators, and vendors. Richard has more than 40 years of experience in the custom integration business, with roles at Wall to Wall Sound, Hi Fi House, Bryn Mawr Stereo, Tops Appliance City, and HTSA..

Interview Recap

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

  • Richard's reasoning for starting Azione Unlimited
  • What Azione Unlimited has to offer integrators
  • The biggest mistakes Richard sees integrators making
  • What at CEDIA has Richard excited
  • What to expect at the Azione Fall conference
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