Mr. Paul Carter ICONICS Business Development Manager and Mr. Ryan Legg ICONICS Business Development Manager host the first ICONICS Connect 2021 Newsroom. They highlight interesting topics covered in the first session reiterating the importance and value of these topics.

Video Transcript

[0:00] Ted Hill, ICONICS President and CEO

So, with that, that's the end of our opening session for Connect 2021. Thank you very much for everybody that was able to join us here in person, and all of you that are watching remotely. I'm going to turn it over to Paul and Ryan, who are going to introduce some of the topics that are coming up through the rest of the day. Thank you again and enjoy the day.

[0:31] Mr. Paul Carter ICONICS Business Development Manager

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, everybody. Kind of a new session that we've got here with the break with the Connect 2021 is the Newsroom. My name is Paul Carter. I'm going to carry some content and remind some content during the course of the break. For those visiting remotely and those live now is a break, feel free to just step away and take care of whatever: get a drink and get ready for some exciting sessions coming up. With me is Ryan Legg. I'd like to let Ryan introduce himself. 

[1:02] Ryan Legg, ICONICS Business Development Manager

Thanks, Paul. Yeah, it's great. Great to be here. Connect 2021. I’m excited to be here with Paul, actually in person. It's very, very exciting times here. True 3D. Thanks everyone for joining us today. We’ve certainly covered a lot of topics this morning. And we got a lot more to come. A few of the things that I wanted to recap on was the exciting time it is to be part of ICONICS. Here’s a company that's been around for 35 years now. Unbelievable software company for 35 years, going back to the to the MS DOS.

[1:50] Ryan Legg

Indeed, and also to be part of the Mitsubishi Electric family now, part of over $40 billion company that's been around for over 100 years. It's quite amazing. For me personally to it's very special to me. As you may know, Paul, I'm actually a former Mitsubishi Electric employee myself and now to be part of ICONICS. Being part of that Mitsubishi Electric family was very special to me; that was a big part of what got me to join ICONICS. 

[2:28] Paul Carter

One of the things I'd like to share with everybody is that this is my fourth or fifth Customer Summit, even though I've only been with ICONICS for a year and a half. I came to ICONICS from a channel partner, and I've been involved with ICONICS since 2005. And what I always find when I come to these is so many new things. And even sometimes just a new buzzword. Like in the in the video that Mitsubishi showed there was a little term in there called Society 5.0. I have to admit, I hadn't seen that before. I heard Microsoft mentioned something called Planetary Computer and talked about Scope Three Emissions. These are all new terms. What I do when I come to these to these customer summits is I take copious notes, and I write all these terms down. And I know that over the next couple of weeks that I'm going to be spending some of my time researching all of these terms to learn more about what's happening. In addition to the information that's presented in the keynotes and the other presentations, I also find that there's so many other things that are almost embedded in hidden in there, Ted was talking about connectivity. And if some of you may not have noticed, there was a couple of new terms in there one was Sparkplug B, something new I've got to learn about. And there was also another term that I know that we've talked about called MT Connect, which is a communication standard for the machine tool industry and in some of the things that that could transpire and take place there, I found those types of things to be very interesting. And I know that I've taken a lot of notes, and I hope everybody who's watching today is taking a lot of notes that they can go back and continue to learn in addition to be able to replay the videos, you know, pull out those little nuggets that are buried in some of these videos and some of the presenters slides and I think you'll find it's pretty amazing what is happening in the world and in this new normal that we talked about. So, I think that was rather interesting.

[4:22] Ryan Legg 

To expand on that a little Paul, a couple of points you hit on there and what I really think of is you're talking about the new innovations with Sparkplug B, empty connect, it's about universal connectivity. That's a key message from ICONICS. Right. Connect and the messaging from Mitsubishi about connect everything. That really hit me in that video. They're monitoring how far we're going and with the investments coming; here we are a company investing nearly $2 billion annually in research and development. It's very exciting. It's significant.

[5:00] Paul Carter

I also found that one of Ted's early slides really hit home to me. And that was if you can imagine it, you can build it with ICONICS. And I think that all the engineering people and all the engineering talent, I'm sure that's watching today, certainly watching live, sometimes engineering teams seems to be kind of dull and routine and task oriented. And I think it with an application like ICONICS, that allows us to open up into think about what's happening in the world, and what could our organizations possibly do, if we can really make that invisible information visible. And so I found that slides spoke a lot to me, it really triggered me. And then he followed it up with some of the applications that customers had used with our product. I remember coming to this workshop, or this Customer Summit multiple years ago when the term big data was starting to be talked about and everybody was like, “Well, what does big data really mean?” And here we are, this year listening to a company like Continental Tire that's collecting 27 trillion samples a year. I mean, that's almost beyond almost beyond imagination. It's incredible. Or Microsoft collecting 500 million samples a day to operate its buildings, again, things that we probably could not conceive of five or 10 years ago are realities. Right. So it's really incredible.

[6:30 ] Ryan Legg 

Yeah, well it would always hit me is just hearing about the real world examples. And what our customers and partners are doing? You hit on one the Continental Tires; that was one great example. We heard about what Scholle IPN is doing with their OEE. Hearing about Microsoft to I mean we talked about Mitsubishi. We'd be remiss not to talk about our key relationship with Microsoft. Right. We're absolutely very proud partner of Microsoft for a very long time; a 10 time Partner of the Year, that means a lot. And we were talking about being the runner up, I believe it was for the Sustainability Award. And that was out of what over 4000 submittals for that award?

[7:22] Paul Carter

You heard that right, at least, that's what I heard. 

[7:25] Ryan Legg

I mean, that speaks volumes to me. To be obviously business is a company's goal is to run a business and make a profit, but when we see we're doing things like that are helping society, that's something I'm very passionate about. We talk about the sustainability topic a lot, right? That's something we heard a lot a lot about today. How about that, SUSTIE building? 

[7:57] Paul Carter

I found the SUSTIE building very interesting because if we normally think about energy savings, almost all the time, we're thinking about the envelope, the building itself, the equipment in the building, and in the SUSTIE building, it was talking about the usage of the space inside the building as well. Right. It's a much more holistic approach that not only did was in an experiment or R&D center, but they've actually proven that it works, right. And so, use your imagination; how could these things be deployed? Or how can our partners take these types of ideas? Take them to their customers? Or for those customers that are watching today? How can how can they reimagine what they think their facilities and their buildings could be? And in what type of journey could they get on to do that? Right. And, and so you got to start somewhere. And we've got a lot of tools to start in. And who knows where it can go,

[8:52] Ryan Legg

Picking up on the connectivity topic. A new relatively new solution ICONICS has come up with it I caught was mentioned early two is this new CFSWorX solution which is exciting and which is our Connected field worker solution to be able to really not just connecting data but connecting people. This is about connecting your field service network to be able to more quickly react to your customers’ needs to do things like to set up a geo fence, for example. When your field service engineer is driving an area and hit a trigger, it says, “Hey, we have a customer in this area, maybe it's not an emergency situation but it has to be taken care of.” He's in the area, and maybe there's some maintenance that needs to be done. That's a great example. So again, not just about connecting the data, but connecting the people as well.

[9:56] Paul Carter 

One of the application examples we've shown, we didn't name the company, but it was a large global automotive company. I'm very, very fortunate to have that as a customer. I actually worked with that company. And it's been an amazing journey to have watched them come from their imagination to their result and what they're doing with it now and to helped them along that journey. It was rewarding to watch them obtain their goals. Not always easy, but it was a very, very rewarding journey. And I really appreciated the opportunity to have worked with that customer. They've been fantastic to work with.

[10:34] Ryan Legg

You made me think of something else there, Paul. We go back to the Spirax Sarco customer example. Fascinating usage of technology there, first of all. Now, he talked about being able to remotely see what's going on how and IoT was very key to that, but besides, the technology what really hit home to me during that presentation was to hear him say “ICONICS is like part of the family”. We’re obviously a technology company driving technology solutions, but that can only get you so far. What really takes you to the next level is the people and to hear a customer say that you're like part of their family. That means a lot to me; I'll say personally since I've joined ICONICS, that's what it felt like to me. It's a very great collaborative company. I love the way everybody works together; it's just an exciting place to work. And that's great synergy. I do think as well, it’s with Mitsubishi Electric. I can say that from my own experience as well, when I worked for them, and now having the great opportunity to collaborate.

[11:54] Paul Carter

Just a little different business.

[11:57] Ryan Legg 

It's the same culture there. And I think, again beyond the technology, the collaboration and the people really, really make a difference.

[12:08] Paul Carter 

Before we get too far into this little newsroom, I think it's appropriate to recognize Russell Agrusa and everything Russ did to start the company, and he set the cultural tone of the business in the way he ran the business and the way he brought people into the business. And in he unleashed the imagination of all the people from ICONICS, and who joined the company. Many of them still here; some that have moved on to other opportunities to pursue. And ICONICS was the foundation for which they could do that. A lot of us knew Russ; I didn't know him well, but a lot of us knew him. And he was really visionary. He had a wild and vivid imagination. I can remember Russ used to do all these keynote speaker announcements. So, this is kind of a transition in our world too with Ted coming on board. And I'm sure that we will find tremendous things coming out of Ted as he imparts his cultural ways onto ICONIS. And I know we're all looking forward to working closely with Ted.

[13:14] Ryan Legg

There’s been great leadership in this company, in the past, and now with Ted as President, and I'm absolutely confident into the future as well. 

[13:25] Paul Carter

Absolutely. So, what other the things that you saw this morning that got your attention? I now there were a couple of things that got my attention. 

[13:32] Ryan Legg

How about that robot? 

[13:37] Paul Carter

Well Ted did say it was kind of spooky when you watch that robot move around. I've watched the Boston Dynamics for a number of years, in their videos, and it's like, “What are you going to do with that? What are you going to do with that robot?” It's really cool. It's a really neat, real amazing piece of technology. What are you going do with it? One of the Mitsubishi groups said, “I know what we can do with that; we can put advanced sensors, put intelligence on it.” And if you saw the video, that robot was going into substations, and that's not the most safe environment for humans to be in. And think about the creativity: if they can imagine that you can do it and, and they went out and did it with a really interesting piece of technology with that with that robots.

[14:18] Ryan Legg

It’s a great application because I think, unfortunately, some people may think of robots like, “Oh, is that taking a job away from a person?”, but we're talking about an application where you don't want a person.

[14:31] Paul Carter 

This is about safety and possibly it may even be more about monitoring those types of equipment more often. Because you don't have to worry about safety and I don’t know about what the safety protocols are in that type of industry, but it may be that they have to shut all the equipment down inside the substation. Now, they don't have to do that. So, it's amazing. The other kind of very interesting presentation that certainly spoke to me was Daniel with MERL and the evaluation of time series data. And if we think about it a Hyper Historian collects massive amounts of time series data for many of our customers, and I know that I've been involved in a discussion with one of my channel partners about monitoring servo motor currents and torques. And trying to figure out whether or not there were mechanical anomalies starting to occur in things like linear actuators and in other types of motion devices in discrete manufacturing operations. But one of the challenges we had is we didn't have the knowledge, the brains, to understand that time series data information. And so, I'm really excited about maybe something like what Daniel talked about is the catalyst to allow us to monitor those mechanically driven devices in manufacturing machinery and to help prevent unexpected downtime events.

[16:03] Ryan Legg

I think the key words there are driving towards predictive maintenance. How many times do you hear this from manufacturers to optimize their operations? This is the holy grail to be able to use big data. But what does it mean to have a lot of data if you don't know what you're doing with it. And we build models to drive towards predictive maintenance. That's what we want to do with this big data. So, to really optimize operations, the ultimate goal is to avoid downtime entirely, or at least reduce it but to avoid completely is the ultimate goal,

[16:52] Paul Carter

I'm going to divert a little bit. I had the pleasure to work with a customer in Florida in the United States that made hurricane proof windows doors. And in the middle of the last recession, they knew they had to get their operations running more efficiently. And they decided to implement a set of ICONICS tools. And almost immediately, one of the things that they saw in the data coming in was that one of the tech time, the cycle time, in one of their heat treating furnaces started to go up. And they didn't know what that meant; they just noticed it. So, they saw something they never knew happened before. And about two weeks later, the heating elements in that furnace failed. And so, what they were able to determine immediately, by being able to make the invisible visible, was they're able to find and predict that fault, that they were able to move that from being an unscheduled downtime event to a to a preventative maintenance event, by being able to monitor that data. It totally changed the operation of that company because over time, they were able to increase efficiency. They were able to close the plant and consolidated into one plant, and then they went even further, and they're able to eliminate building an entire another plant because they were able to gain such tremendous efficiency out of that one plant. So, this whole concept that we talked about being able to pull all that data and make the invisible visible, there are real world examples of this. And for all those customers watching, or all those channel partners, speak to your ICONICS representatives and talk about these things. These are real realities of things that are happening in the world. So, I apologize for diverting. This wasn't one of the sessions today, but it was just something that that came to mind that really made sense to me. 

[18:45] Ryan Legg

Another topic that really caught my attention this morning, Paul, and I think we all hear this from our customers and everywhere is a topic of security. This is a critical factor obviously, and without it, what good is a solution like ICONICS to drive your analytics and everything, if you don't have the confidence that the system is secure. One of the exciting things to me when I came on board with ICONICS was to learn that we're working with the Department of Defense, Department of Energy. Obviously, organizations like these demand the absolute highest level of standards when it comes to security and to know that ICONICS is working with the Pentagon, National Laboratories. Very, very exciting stuff. And for those of you that are interested in that topic security, I believe that is one of our presentations coming up.

[19:47] Paul Carter

It will be one of our presentations just after lunch and I didn't mention when you were talking about CFSWorX earlier, there'll also be a presentation that features that. So, again, a couple of topics that we'll have as the Connect 2021 goes on to be some great things.

[20:04] Ryan Legg

So, another thing that Ted talked about this morning is he talked about this new normal. We're all excited that we are here live and that we actually got to see one another. Ryan and I have been working together for almost a year, and we met last night. That was the first time we met. So, it's very enjoyable to be able to meet Ryan because I hear him every week on our conference calls. And it's really interesting, but Ted talked about some new things in the new normal and one is this edge to cloud concept, digitalization, digital transformation and how we're all going to work differently, and how we all need to be able to have our data available, anytime, any type of data anywhere. These are really important things that are confronting us as we move forward in our business careers. And as the time continues to move on. 

[21:02] Ryan Legg

Absolutely. It’s great to talk about how this affects people, not just the data but if we go back to the SUSITE building, for example. A lot of that was not just about the energy savings, driving towards a goal, but also towards the comfort level,

[21:18] Paul Carter

Not only the comfort level, but to a certain extent, the safety level. They had an occupancy threshold that they wanted to make sure they maintained in their buildings because of the unfortunate tragedy of COVID that we're dealing with. And so, you want to make sure that you don't violate those things. They let us take our masks off while we're here talking. But we're all wearing masks here today. And it's part of the new normal; it's just part of where we're going.

[21:45] Ryan Legg

Again, it’s exciting to be here. And maybe we'll have an even bigger event next year.

[21:52] Paul Carter

You never know what the future holds. 

[21:57] Ryan Legg 

Well, I'm happy to introduce Mark Hepburn who is going to be joining us again on the stage. He's been with ICONICS for over 18 years now. He’s our global VP of sales. So, without further ado, Mark.

[22:18] Paul Carter 

Thank you, everybody who's watching today. Hopefully, you'll find the next session to be as interesting as the first. I watched the practice session yesterday. and I took a lot of notes yesterday. So, there's a lot of good stuff coming up.