Eder Aguirre, CEO of iTech Solutions, talks about corporate audio/video solutions.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello Texas. Welcome back to Texas Business Radio. We got a great program going. Matt Register, my partner had to step out for this segment but we’re having fun and he’s just going to have to miss out on it. He’s going to be back for the next segment.
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So for this next segment, next 15 minutes, why don’t you just sit back and relax and enjoy this. We’re talking technology and some kind of interesting fun stuff. You know I love technology because it always changes. It’s almost like between one program and the next we could talk about what has changed.
Today we’re talking about AV integration and design, and what is the latest and greatest stuff going on there? So I mentioned Texas Business Radio, if you want to get a call in be sure to dial our 24 hour line, 8448148144. Okay? You can call it 24 hours a day, we will go find the experts. If Eder, our guest, is the person, we’ll get it. We’ll get the answers. We’ll get it on for you. That’s 8448148144, and of course we monitor #TBR on Twitter. Get it in, there’s lots of ways. You can send us messages at TBR, TexasBusinessRadio.com. Okay?
So let’s get started. Now Eder, I’ve screwed up your last name so many times I’m not going to try. Pronounce your name for me.
Eder Aguirre: Eder Aguirre.
Jay Curry: Aguirre.
Eder Aguirre: That’s right.
Jay Curry: Eder is the CEO and founder of iTech. Is that the way you pronounce it?
Eder Aguirre: iTech solutions, yes.
Jay Curry: Solutions, right. And your specialty is not unique, but your competitive advantage is really first class and unique. So tell us about what is iTech solutions?
Eder Aguirre: So we’re a commercial AV integrator, right? And that means we consult with our customers, we design systems for them, once we understand how they operate, what challenges they might be having technology-wise, and then we integrate those systems for them. We install them, we program them, we support them after the fact, and we like to say that we’re a turnkey integrator, because we take it from the consulting site to the full installation of everything. We coordinate with electricians and building management, and any trading between, so that the customer only has to sit down, learn a few things about the system and then they’re good to go.
Jay Curry: Yes. This, the thing that I struggle with, and I’m sure a lot of CEOs and business owners struggle with, with this technology, is it can get so complicated. I mean, just at my house, we have a large screen TV, we’ve got HBO, we’ve got Netflix, we’ve got Amazon. Everything’s over there, and if something goes wrong, you call one of them and they say it’s the other guy. You can go around the whole set of equipment and it’s always the other guy. You’re the one that solves that, right?
Eder Aguirre: That’s us. Hopefully for whatever system we install, we do work with our customers to where they don’t have to go anywhere else, right? We have maintenance agreements. But we are typically the guys that some of our customers call and say, “Hey, we have these guys. They have not [inaudible 00:03:50] in a week,” or, “They just disappeared, we don’t know where they are.” So we come in, we look at what they have. We try to implement a solution for them as quickly as possible, usually it’s something minor, for the most part, or maybe part of the integration didn’t go as smoothly as it should have. But that’s us, that’s a big part of what we do.
Jay Curry: So you’re not coming in and saying, “Well, we’ve got this package and we’ve got this package, and you can get the size C, package three.” You’re coming in and saying, “What is it you need to do? And we can put some of this in, put some of this,” it’s all state of the art technology. And you not only integrate them, but you design them and you program them so that it is easy to use?
Eder Aguirre: Exactly right. So we have engineers in house. We have programmers in house, and every solution that we do, it’s a custom solution just for that customer, right? A lot of the technology is going to be the same, or is very similar piece of equipment, but how we put them together, how we combine all these different technologies to make them work for that particular customer is kind of the uniqueness of our industry.
Jay Curry: Right.
Eder Aguirre: As far as the design, on the programming part, I think that’s a big part of our systems, is the user experience and how the users are going to interact with all this technology. It’s important, for one, and that’s how customers get their ROI, right, out of our systems. If they implement a system that doesn’t really work or their users are not using them, it kind of defeats the purpose of having it in the first place, right?
Jay Curry: Yeah. A lot of times, you implement something and they just never use it, because it’s complicated and difficult. Your competitive advantage is you make it easy, and you design it specifically for what they want.
Eder Aguirre: Exactly. And right now, we’re trying to get to that point, the holy grail of making a system smart enough to where you don’t have to touch it, the system kind of knows what you need at that point in time.
Jay Curry: Yeah, so give me a couple of examples. We talked a little bit about universities. You work for the universities a lot, and they’re getting pretty sophisticated, but some of the things you were talking about, where they don’t have to have a whole bunch of people running around and doing maintenance, and checking this and turning that on, how does that relate to new technology?
Eder Aguirre: Yeah, so that’s part of building automation, right? Trying to incorporate all the technology that you may have in your facility, put it in one place to where you can see everything, you can manage everything, you can control it remotely and you can take actions based on the information that you’re getting. And that would be whether maintaining a piece of equipment, so in the example of the universities that we have discussed, some universities used to have, and I’m sure there are people out there that still do this, but they come in in the mornings, they make sure that every room is functional, the teachers are good to go.
Jay Curry: This is like a maintenance person, or a technology person?
Eder Aguirre: Exactly.
Jay Curry: Has to go room to room, building to building?
Eder Aguirre: Exactly. Either part of the maintenance team or part of the IT department. At the end of the day, they’re the ones responsible for checking that everything is off, that they’re not utilizing a system that, you know, you get wear and tear, projectors or TVs, you don’t want them on 24/7. So the way technology is replacing some of these jobs is you can automate that. So you can set a time. Either you can say, “At 9PM every day I want the 250 classrooms that we have to go off,” or you can say, “When nobody’s in the room, turn it off.” You can do it manually yourself, just from somebody’s office, from the IT department’s office, they can say, “Okay, let’s shut down now.” You can see what rooms are being utilized, what rooms are empty, so you have a lot of control that now is being done by one person, compared to a whole department, as in the old days.
Jay Curry: Or I could see three or four maintenance people on a good sized university going all over the place, turning stuff on, turning stuff off, figuring out why the light didn’t come on, what’s wrong with this light. Not even knowing until they get there that they’ve got a light problem. What you’re talking about is building a control center, really, where you can sit and watch everything that’s going on, and you’re going to find out that that light’s not working first thing, and you can send somebody in to fix it. And you don’t have to run in, turning things on, turning things off, right?
Eder Aguirre: Exactly.
Jay Curry: It’s amazing.
Eder Aguirre: Even better than that, you can get some reporting, right? Where the computer is telling you ahead of time, “Okay, this piece is about to fail.” That happens on UPSs, which is the battery supply units. Lamps for projectors. Those units will tell you, “Okay, I’m about to go bad in 200 hours.” So you can be proactive about it and actually fix problems before they actually become problems.
Jay Curry: Another area, translating it to corporations, there’s a lot of applications for this. I mean, just a ton in corporations. But one that we kind of preached, we had on a recruiter not too long ago, and his whole thing was you’re not interviewing anymore, you’re being interviewed, and the look and the technology and the wow factor that you called when we were talking earlier, just your main office when you walk in, being able to have technology there and information relating to you, welcome, things like that. That could be a big deal, and it’s not very expensive anymore, right?
Eder Aguirre: No, not at all, and that’s like a business to business first impression, right?
Jay Curry: Right.
Eder Aguirre: If you have, like you were talking about an employee coming in. They’re going to make their first impression from your lobby, right? But that could be a vendor, that could be a customer. So how you look, it’s important, and if you can actually take the time, if you’re going to make them wait there for a few minutes, you can actually have some content that might make it valuable to them.
Jay Curry: And the whole thing is all about the user experience. You focus on the user experience. That’s what it is.
Eder Aguirre: That is the goal.
Jay Curry: Okay.
Eder Aguirre: I think so far, the technology is not very smart, even though that’s what we do. But the goal is to make it smart to target content to specific people that need it. So in this scenario with the lobby, if you have a customer coming in, would be great if you could have it to where the customer comes in and you can have their name up there.
Jay Curry: Absolutely. The company.
Eder Aguirre: They’re greeted, they feel welcome. And maybe you can put some other content that might be relevant to them, about what you’re talking about that day or whatever the case might be.
Jay Curry: So, talking about goals, we have a goal to pay a few bills, so we’re going to have to break at this point. But Eder, tell us, if somebody has an interest, how do they get ahold of you?
Eder Aguirre: Sure. So they can go to our website, itechavs.com. That’s iTech Audio Video Solutions .com. They can call us at 8329197378 or they can just send us a quick email at sales at itechavs.com.
Jay Curry: Great. We’re going to put all that on Texas Business Radio, folks. Don’t worry if you didn’t get it the first time. It’ll be there, go look at the video. We’ll have it on the screen on the video. We’re going to go pay some bills, we’re going to be right back, get Matt back in the office where he needs to be. So don’t go away, we’re going to be right back.
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Jay W. Curry
Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.