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Eric Simone InterviewAM •:
software, building, infrastructure, industry, eric, 29th annual, company, ibm, selling, people, systems, masses, mainframe, late 80s, work, assets, fluke, iot, technology, industrial
On this Industrial Talk, we are broadcasting from the 29th annual SMRP conference in St. Louis. And we are talking about making technology simple, frictionless and available for the masses. Let's get going.
Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hardhat grab your work boots, and let's get
right once again, welcome to Industrial Talk the number one industrial related podcast in the universe. And I don't think I'm overselling that and we are broadcasting live from the 29th annual SMRP conference here in St. Louis, Missouri, wonderful venue, incredible. If you want to educate yourself, you come to this thing in the world of maintenance, reliability, asset management, and now we're throwing in technology in a big way. Big time. I want to thank Accruent and as well as Fluke Reliability. If I go up to their handy dandy website, I'm going to find a couple of things here is Fluke Reliability provides maintenance and reliability professionals, but data to do the job asset by asset, wherever they are, try to argue against that one, you cannot do not come to me and say I can argue that. And then of course Accruent. There. They're about real estate. They're about facilities are about asset management, of course, gaining insights to transform how your organization manages its physical resources. You need that they're great company. Both are great companies, great people, great solutions, no fuss, no muss, find out go to their website, you will not be disappointed. Alright, I'd say. We've got Eric Simone. ClearBlade is the company. You're the founder, right? I am. You're the bigwig.
Yeah. Yeah. You know, I like to pretend
he's smarter than me, which is pretty much everybody. And we're going to talk a little bit about modernizing in the infrastructure with intelligent assets, which is pretty doggone cool. But before we go down that road, because I'm going to geek out on that, give us a little background on who Eric is.
02:12ade, we've been at this since:
Good move. You wanted to do that? Yeah, I
did a number of reasons family, their sporting, sporting, and I wanted to put my kids into the same high school I graduated from, so they could get the true Breakfast Club experience. Many years later.
Yeah, that's pretty cool. Yeah, yeah. The first one. All right, let's do it. Let's venture into this. One of the themes that I like that you constantly and we're gonna we'll talk about it that you constantly sort of harp on in a nice way. Not a bad way. But it's, it's your obligation. You, as a coder, you as a programmer, you as a creator of systems, you're obligated to simplify. Yep, you're obligated for the end user to be able to achieve what they need to achieve without the fuss or muss because I would imagine you know that if it's hard, I'm not using it.
Totally true. I've seen it my whole career. So I used to be a programmer. Let's put like that. If you call me a programmer, my engineers here that don't laugh. But you know, I know enough to be dangerous. I know enough about what I've been through. Going from mainframe to PCs to the cloud. Bay Area craziness. And one thing that I've learned is we've got to make technology consumable by the masses. Yeah. And IoT specifically, has been, it's such a buzzword. And it's such a movement, it's real. And it's really difficult. And we have got to put software in the hands of the professionals on the plant floor. maintainers on the railway, right? In the buildings, that's not intimidating. It just has to be intuitive to use, and they shouldn't have to learn anything about coding or any of this technology example,
when, when I started this, you know, media thing, and I did it out as a result of trying to gain attention from my other company. I was concerned, I was nervous, because I just know, I'm entering into something that I really don't know. And then I was just surprised at how easy things were. And and, and I recognize and realize that there are just companies, they recognize nurses are saying, hey, for the masses, that's where the, that's where the value lies. And so and it is drag and drop, whatever, you know, you're not going to get yourself sideways. And
it shifted to in my mind just just a few years ago, actually, really 10 years ago, because as an engineer as a computer scientist, right? I sacrilege to say you don't need to code, right, right. To me, it's like, of course, you can't do this without coding. And I was a proponent back in the day of these visual drag and drop builders PowerBuilder, visual age was IBM's. And I built a whole business on that. And what I learned from leaving IBM and building that first business was, this stuff was great when I was demoing it around Chicago, right and selling it. But now that I have to use it at scale and these big projects, it doesn't work. Yeah, it really and this is why you don't see these tools again, right. And I actually see the industry making the same mistake for low code like, so no code is is a little bit different. It's not drag and drop and use these specialized tools. It's fill out a form and use, like, if you were to buy something on Amazon, you enter your credit card information, right. That's what no code means. It means I'm typing words to say things like, allow the farmer to say turn on fan when temperature in greenhouse 16 is above. Right, right, right. Yeah, turn up 75 degrees, or whatever. And they're just typing that in. Right? So it's natural language, usually language,
natural language. That's pretty tough. And cool. Now, you're going to touch upon a subject matter that I'm quite interested in, is because we have all this buzz out there about industry for Dido and digital journey and blah, blah. And and one of the areas is just infrastructure. Yep. That is, it's like, you know, that is a business that's been around forever. And it's just, you know, we've got assets that are 70 years old, what are you thinking? And I don't I don't have an answer of how you do that.
Very carefully. Yeah. Well, one of the reasons we focus on infrastructures, because that's what the the industry led us there. Right. So as we started selling our software, we were selling into industries like rail, yeah. Big iron, right? into building facilities, into aerospace into agriculture, right. And so when you start looking at the definition of infrastructure and critical infrastructure, it's things like energy, water, transportation, agriculture, right. So so when I looked at those boxes, like, okay, that's, that's broad enough for our software. I mean, there's a lot of criticism, sometimes you get for thinking broad and having that vision, you can't possibly attack all these industries at once. What if the software's not industry specific and customizable enough for any of these industries? And then you go work with the partners that know those industries, know those customers? That's, that's our go to market strategy. And that's what we do.
When you say that you're going to work with these partners who are partners, like what do you mean by partners?
So great question. People who know their customer, who know how to bring the best technology to bear both hardware and software, but are building bespoke solutions over years of development, their trusted advisors that know your manufacturing operation or know your rail operations, or know your aerospace operations. So when they know about our company ClearBlade, and they said, Look, we can combine ClearBlade software with the sort of sensors and gateways and it can stream data into your ERP system, your your enterprise, your enterprise systems, right, right. And then we can give them results in a matter of weeks or a couple months by configuring Software as opposed to building from the ground
up. Great stuff, don't get me wrong. Okay. So I'm just my, my, my head is swimming, because let's take, let's take utilities, let's take the infrastructure of utilities, there's a lot of a lot of things happen in there. And a lot of people are talking about it. And I think to your point, I think there's a gap and the gap is people that really know what the problem is. And really leaning on that there are just companies that are out there saying, Yeah, we're going to be doing this and we throw it out there. But do you really understand what's going on?
We don't, I'll tell you right now, I've got customers, that their, their full picture of what they want to do doesn't really get revealed to us until later. But what the partners know, they're, they're playing in their mission. So so we are, we are a vendor of software, right? You should, we shouldn't be in there directly selling anything, we should be working with a partner. And to to understand that bigger mission, right? If working with a utility specialist that understands what they need to do to modernize their existing infrastructure, and then applying the right software products, and hardware products to that solution. We've got great examples, we can tell you all of the reasons why our edge compute or IoT or AI is fantastic. But without that specialist in the middle, you're going to have we're going to struggle, because you've got to be able to identify what the business
and you know it, this is human right here, if you lose credibility, if you don't have that, that, that that subject matter expert, whatever, that individual that has the street cred that understands that business, and you come in and you you go round that individual, yeah, you're gonna screwed up and and then all of a sudden, whatever strategic initiative that they want to do, it's just thrown it's like, this is This is bull.
Yeah, you got it. And I'll tell you, our biggest challenge is, people that make their money, building things paid by the hour, not saying these companies are bad, but there's a lot of people out there building the same wheel over and over and over again. And they make a lot of money doing that. And there's internal fiefdoms in these companies where look, it's really cool to go build an IoT system, because that's your, you're an engineer, your software engineer, this is what you're paid to do. But it's not the most efficient way to go about doing but
that is been the point, especially with the infrastructure companies, right? They have these these, you know, patchwork type of legacy systems that it's like, yeah, I got that one, oh, I bought that one, they sold this, and they don't talk together, and then all of a sudden, you're trying to figure out what to do. And that's it. It's just, and that's just one organization over here that has a different set of
oh, it's, it's so so going back again, in time, which I love to do, you go to the late 80s, right. And one thing I learned is these enterprise systems, they don't go away. They, these are major investments from these companies, they evolve, right? And you better know how to work and play nice with those big systems, and be a valuable component. So play nice with others other software, other hardware, and be that flexible, flexible piece of software that can tie this stuff together. Yeah.
That's, that's where it's at. That's where it's at. And if you have any of that strategic to you, let's just put it this way, the infrastructure, the world of infrastructure has to do it, there has to be some way of strategically transitioning, it's not going to happen overnight. It's going to happen. Well, who knows, right? Just gonna have a lot of people.
And I'll tell you intelligent assets, right? That's a term that we use, that is focused on the operator, the maintainer, the business person. And that's a shift for us. Because we were selling to the technology, people look here, here, your picks and shovels, before the pandemic. And then what happened during the pandemic, is the customers that continued to buy, were buying in buying the value of intelligent assets by adding sensors into their operation, adding edge gateways in but using our intelligent asset system. So when we looked at the future, which looked pretty bleak a year, year, year plus ago, right, so let's go double down on that and make our intelligent assets system better and really focus on the end user, not the IT department and the developer. Now, of course, we can't cut those people out. But we already built for them. So once we built this application over top of it, to work with the people that run the run the machines right out in the field, then And they started using it, then it starts getting involved say, wait a minute, what are you using here? Oh, let's open it up and do more and then we give them that capability to so we just go in in a different manner. Now
see, and I like that because that is really where the rubber meets the road are the operators are the one that keep the assets running and doing whatever they have to do. And they do a great job.
Well doesn't happen. Software nerds, right. So we there's so much to build. We shouldn't be building it all. There's other high level things to do with AI and ML and other stuff. So upskill that stuff, right?
There's a lot out there it is. I don't know how you guys keep up with it. Even I get it's never boring. It's never boring. How do people get ahold of you?
Eric Simone at ClearBlade.com e si, m o ne. Okay, good.
Oh, you don't have a.in there. No dot between Eric and somoni.
You know, the dot gets scraped away anyway with the server. So it's actually meaningless. That's it. That's it. Technically it is. No matter. Just so you know. You can put as many dots as you want in there.
Make a note of that listeners. The dot doesn't matter. The dot doesn't matter. Was that on a bumper sticker, the doc doesn't matter. I love it. Wonderful. Thank you very much for being on Industrial Talk. By the way. You did a great job at the roundtable. dealio SMF. Be
glad to get moderators.
Oh fest right here. All right, listeners, don't worry, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. After the break, we're gonna just make sure that you get get the right information about Eric. And if you need to get a hold of them kind of get on you. We're not going to be disappointed. I'm just telling you right now, you're not going to be a disappointing
answer as many dots as you want in there. Yeah. Because the server doesn't
care or whatever. It doesn't care. Dot person. All right. Stay tuned. We'll be right back.
You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.
All right. Eric, smoke, thank you very much for being on Industrial Talk. And we were broadcasting from the 29th annual SMRP conference. Booth is in your pipe and smoke it. We've got to make technology simple. We've got to remove the friction. We've got to make it available to the masses and put it in the hands of the operators. And that is a must if we are to succeed in this digital transformation world that we are venturing into. We can't put any roadblocks in the way that's Eric Simone. Reach out to him LinkedIn also thank you to crew and as well as Fluke reliability for your sponsorship. Go out to their both websites. Great company, great people, great solutions, solving problems. accruing Fluke reliability, make it happen. happen. All right. Be bold, be brave, dare greatly hang out with people like Eric. Be bold, be brave and daring greatly. You're gonna change the world. Alright, we're gonna have another great interview from the 29th annual SMRP conference shortly