Meet the Panelists for Symco’s Technology Showcase & Seminars: Carl Maurer and Gregg Heimer

Meet the Panelists for Symco’s Technology Showcase & Seminars: Carl Maurer and Gregg Heimer

Gregg Heimer, senior network engineer at Montgomery County Community College
Symco, InfoComm, IMCCA, and Systems Contractor News (SCN) are teaming up for two days of exhibits and seminars focused around commercial audio, video, data solutions, and unified communications and collaboration. The first event will be held on March 31, 2015 in Washington, D.C., and the second in Philadelphia, PA on April 2, 2015.

As part of the schedule of events, SCN will host a panel discussion with CIOs and CTOs from thecorporate, education, healthcare, and government markets, discussing the product and service solutions they are using today. Kirsten Nelson, SCN Editor-at-Large, will moderate the panel.

Before the events kick off, SCN wanted to give a little more information about each of this year’s panelists. Today’s spotlights include Carl Maurer from General Dynamics Information Technology, who will speak at the Washington, D.C. event, and Gregg Heimer of Montgomery County Community College, who will speak at the Philadelphia event.

Gregg Heimer
Mont
gomery County Community College

SCN: What is your current role within your organization?
GH: Sr. Network Engineer (Previously Manager of Media Services)

SCN: What has been the most surprising shift in technology since your career began?
GH: The overlap between AV Technology and networked systems. AV Technology has progressed from analog equipment to digital and now on to IP based delivery. If AV equipment is not embedding networking components to control or monitor systems, integrators and consumers often keep looking for a solution that fits their needs. Just as telephony has changed, often leaving analog experts struggling to learn new trends in VoIP, AV technology has done the same. A current AV engineer should be incorporating new skills to keep current with understanding the IP based world. AV engineers tend to lean on the network engineer in many organizations to assist in configuring their devices, or the network engineer begins to understand AV technology in greater depth by constantly working hand in hand with the AV engineer. Melding the two skillsets in an organization at a basic level will make you an asset that an organization will see great benefit in.

SCN: What is the biggest change you're seeing in the workflow within your organization?

GH: End users require much more assistance due to the complex nature of many AV systems that have been integrated into their spaces.

SCN: What do you think of when you think of "AV technology?”
GH: I think of connected systems, and how every product has its role and must work well with each other. With one item out of place, AV technology fails.

Carl Maurer, audiovisual manager, AV SME, General Dynamics Information TechnologyCarl Maurer
General Dynamics Information Technology

SCN: What is your current role within your organization?
CM: AV Team Operations and Maintenance Lead

SCN: What has been the most surprising shift in technology since your career began?
CM: I can't say anything has really surprised me. I've been a techie since the 80's, so I've seen a lot of changes. Many of them welcome, some of them frustrating. Take digital video and audio, for instance. Some days I long for everything to be analog again because I know how to make that work. There are two things of note in regard to technology that I'm glad are finally here. The first is fiber optics. I think the AV world kind of dabbled with fiber optics for too many years. Now we see a true embrace of it industry-wide that will make it affordable. The second, which kind of snuck up on me, is laser light engines. Projectors aren't going away anytime soon, but eliminating lamps is brilliant. The environmental impact is a great upside.

SCN: What is the biggest change you're seeing in the workflow within your organization?
CM: We are making great use of enterprise management network tools to monitor the AV systems. We do this in tandem with our AV management tools. This has made a big difference in finding root cause across a large network with thousands of pieces of AV gear. It translates to savings for our customer because we do more with fewer people.

SCN: What do you think of when you think of "AV technology?"
CM: Anything that lets you see and hear something using an electronic system. For me, that's everything. Everywhere you look we are immersed in AV technology.

SCN: What technology is the next "must have" within your organization?
CM: Hard to say. So many new things are not permissible in our environment. The onslaught of BYOD hasn't hit us and won't until we get through all the security wickets. Mass notification is probably next. We have to find a way to do mass notification that really does reach everyone. It has to be more than just a text to cell phones since most of us don't have a working cell phone with us all day. Folks are in and out of secure spaces, and not everyone has a TV on where they work.

Panelists for the Washington D.C. event, held at the Waterford at Fair Oaks, Fairfax, VA, include: Brian Brustad, project officer, International Monetary Fund; Joel Bilheimer, vice president, cybersecurity, Pershing Technologies; Carl Maurer, audiovisual manager, AV SME, General Dynamics Information Technology; and Bisi Oladipupo, CIO and professor of engineering, Morgan State University.

The Philadelphia event will be held at the DoubeTree by Hilton, Philadelphia Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. Panelists include: Gregg Heimer, senior network engineer at Montgomery County Community College; Eric Woebkenberg, director of multimedia and classroom support, Widener University; William Kearns, multi-media communications design engineer, Lockheed Martin.