Name: Daniel Jackson
Position: Senior Director, Product Management, Digital Workplace
Overtime: Outside of work, Jackson enjoys hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, and spending time with family and friends.
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
DANIEL JACKSON: I am the senior director of product management for the digital workplace at Crestron Electronics. In my role, I lead a team of eight product managers who are responsible for driving new products for corporate, education, and government customers—including control systems, touchscreens, management software, and wireless presentation tools. My team and I work tirelessly to create and design new devices that help organizations drive greater communication, collaboration, and productivity at scale.
SCN: How long have you been in this position?
DJ: I moved into my current role four months ago. Prior to assuming this position, I was the director of enterprise technology, where I focused primarily on driving the future of Creston’s business by identifying new areas of opportunity and the needs within those spaces. Our team was responsible for analyzing these opportunities and deciding what kind of technology is needed to enhance the overall user experience. Today, I not only manage product roadmaps, but also play an integral role during the full lifecycle of each product within my business sector.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
DJ: My previous professional experience as a Crestron Certified Programmer, where I was responsible for programming and integrating Crestron systems in the field, has prepared me for my career here at Crestron. Being involved in the integration process has provided me with invaluable hands-on experience with Crestron systems, dealers, and customers, which gave me the knowledge to efficiently drive business forward today. Since joining Crestron in 2006, I’ve held numerous roles within the organization where I helped develop and manage the industry’s most innovative and revolutionary devices.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
DJ: In the short term, we have some very exciting product launches in 2020. I can’t disclose any details yet, but we will have some really good things to share very soon.
As for the long term, the workplace is changing faster than ever. New tools are changing the way people work. Collaboration across continents is becoming the new normal and work-from-home will likely become an increasing part of what we do, further driving the need for technology to enable good communication.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?
DJ: With the market moving so fast and technology constantly evolving, it is Crestron’s job to deliver products that exceed our customers’ needs. At Crestron, we not only want to ensure the longevity of our existing products, but also make sure that they all come together as a highly integrated solution. We are in the integration business, and offering a diverse portfolio of products is imperative. Therefore, our teams have to be diligent and inspired to ensure we continue to drive business and push the industry forward.
SCN: Where do you see the pro AV market heading?
DJ: The pro AV market is extremely strong, and technology is in high demand. If you compare today to five or 10 years ago, technology has grown to become the backbone of all of our businesses, schools, hospitals, entertainment venues, and beyond. As we continue to see new solutions and intuitive applications of technology, manufacturers need to be prepared and equipped to offer solutions that meet these expectations.
The growth of unified communications as a business-critical platform equivalent to the phone system or email has driven a huge growth in the scale of projects. Customers need solutions that are supportable, scalable, and secure. IT and AV professionals are outfitting, managing, and monitoring entire buildings with technology, so they need solutions that can integrate with each other to simplify the overall installation and user experience.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Crestron?
DJ: We are continuously looking at new areas to change the status quo to help improve the user experience. At Crestron, we are focusing on simplifying our solutions for both the integrator and the end user to enable scale. With solutions like Crestron Flex, DM NVX, and Crestron XiO Cloud, we are really reinventing the way our devices operate within spaces. As we continue to see needs evolve and new technology enter nontraditional areas, we are designing the tools that make this happen.
You will also see an even greater focus on partnerships to enable better solutions. As we continue to grow and expand our portfolio, we will be partnering with other industry leaders across the technology landscape.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you offer?
DJ: When it comes to designing and deploying technology, it is very important to be knowledgeable about your customer, technology, and every element in between. With the advent of network-based AV and UC integration, you can design for almost any customer need. As long as system designers are aware of the possibilities and technology available, the technology limitations are much lower. I believe our collective imagination as an industry has yet to catch up with what our technology can provide, so the more informed you are as an AV professional, the better equipped you are to serve customers. I will be watching the industry closely for the next few years and I expect to be pleasantly surprised with the innovation that will happen.