Name: Hal Truax
Position: Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Company: Hall Technologies
Overtime: Truax and his wife support Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a charity that transforms the lives of infants, children, and teens with physical deformities through reconstructive surgery performed at no cost to the patients. They take advantage of the benefits of living near the beach in Southern California and enjoy stand-up paddleboarding and surfing.
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
HAL TRUAX: As the vice president of sales and marketing, I oversee marketing efforts and manage global sales initiatives. We recently finished a complete rebranding where we evolved from Hall Research into Hall Technologies. The rebranding included launching a new website and orchestrating a multi-pronged marketing effort across many different mediums.
I also am responsible for increasing our revenue by targeting specific vertical markets, strategic customer acquisition, and channel management. We are aggressively expanding our customer reach and diversifying our customer portfolio.
SCN: How long have you been in this position?
HT: I was hired in late September 2020, in the midst of some of the biggest changes the company had experienced in its history. I was aware that Hall Research had just appointed Jason Schwartz as CEO and I knew that some realignment was taking place, so I reached out to Jason, and after several interviews, here I am.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
HT: I started in this industry as an entrepreneur within a big box retail store, running a CI business with more than 200 employees. There, I learned how to effectively manage a team of associates and how to influence key decision-makers.
From there I went to OmniMount, which was my first position with a manufacturer. It was at OmniMount that I learned how to work with retailers, integrators, and the pro AV market. I grew to love the manufacturing side of the business and found I have a talent for looking at opportunities through the eyes of everyone involved, which created long-term strategic relationships.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
HT: My short-term goal is to double our revenue by successfully implementing effective marketing campaigns that closely tie to our disruptive sales strategy. Long-term, I’d like to help Hall Technologies become a top-three brand in the pro AV space. Part of that long-term strategy is pushing the industry to adopt our new technologies, which are in areas people don’t expect from us. HIVE Control, our cloud-based AV control platform, is the first example of that. Through our best-in-class support and our focused efforts in innovating full-solution products, I hope that we become the benchmark for pro AV technology.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?
HT: The greatest challenge, one we all are having to overcome in some form or fashion, is that the COVID-19 pandemic has single-handedly affected so many businesses, large and small. We have changed the way we live, work, eat, and even the way we relax. The face of business may never look the same. Two years ago, this would have seemed like a science fiction novel: people in masks, isolating, not going outside, etc. If we as a society effectively defeat this virus, and if we can return to some sort of normalcy, we all win—not just in business but in life.
SCN: Where do you see the pro AV market heading?
HT: I see the market trending toward technology that incorporates industrial IoT into pro AV designs and using an ecosystem that can be monitored from any location. I see software-as-a-service becoming more important to pro AV. Many of us, including Hall Technologies, have been solely hardware providers for years, but in today’s world, software is a necessary component of selling a user-friendly, remote-manageable system. Software gives us access to analytical data by monitoring system performance on an external server. With this data, we can predict when a component in the system needs maintenance before it actually fails.
For example, we can create a dashboard that shows overall system health, helping to prevent downtime. A simple illustration of this concept is being able to see the number of hours that a projector lamp has been in operation. By comparing this number with the life expectancy of the lamp, we can replace the lamp before it is likely to fail, thus eliminating downtime from a lamp failure. This is a very simple example of how software can be coupled with industrial IoT to help with system diagnostics.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Hall Technologies?
HT: For 36 years Hall Research has engineered and manufactured great products that are second to none in reliability. Today, Hall Technologies is focused on solving problems by delivering end-to-end solutions. The HIVE suite of products is the first of many that combines the latest in native cloud technology with a node-based architecture. I wish I could tell you what’s coming up next, but all I can say is that this is just the beginning of our products that incorporate disruptive, problem-solving innovation. We have a very elaborate and extremely aggressive product roadmap.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
HT: Integrators who are not yet familiar with Hall Technologies can visit our website at halltechav.com to find out more about what we are doing. With the huge problems the world is facing right now regarding the efficacy of education, integrators can be part of the solution by getting familiar with HIVE products like the EMCEE200, a seamless multiview presentation switcher that is a key component needed to solve technology shortcomings as they relate to education. This is just one example of how we are working to solve the problems of today.