Building Customer Engagement: Christie's Gary Klassen Q&A - AvNetwork.com

Building Customer Engagement: Christie's Gary Klassen Q&A

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Name: Gary Klassen

Position: Director of Solutions Software

Company: Christie Digital Systems 

Overtime: Follow Gary on Twitter, @gehr

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?

Gary Klassen: I am the director of solutions software for Christie. I lead an incredible team of software developers who develop the software required to make it easier for anyone to create new and spectacular shared experiences, and intuitive and interactive 3D visualizations. 

SCN: How long have you been at this position?
GK: I joined Christie in March 2016 and have already learned a lot from our customers and partners, as well as from the team at Christie.

SCN: How has your background prepared you for this role?
GK: I feel fortunate to have seen a number of new solutions grow from concept to product in several industries. I have worked with a variety of cross-disciplinary teams that span hardware and software, as well as design and technology, and collaborated with colleagues around the world. I am looking forward to bringing the best of what I have learned and blending it with the team at Christie.

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
GK: Our first goal is to bring greater awareness to Christie’s capability in content creation and management, designing visual solutions and ensuring a high-quality experience. We have great success when we engage and listen to customers and deliver tools to help solve their problems. Doing this is part of our long-term plan. The development of Christie Boxer is a perfect example of listening to what our customers wanted and then delivering on it. At just 160 pounds, it is the most powerful and brightest projector in its weight class. Christie has a number of new solutions planned already, and I am excited about what is achievable from this continued collaboration with customers and partners.

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In his free time, Klassen enjoys spending time with his family and cycling around Waterloo Region of Ontario, Canada. This photo was taken by his son in front of the ‘corduroy road’ recently discovered in the area. 
SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
GK: Christie’s expertise in, and tools for, designing solutions and shared experiences is less well known than its reputation for high-quality display and projector hardware. Our greatest challenge is building awareness of what is possible today.

SCN: Where do you see your market heading?
GK: Recently we’ve seen many examples of compelling interactive experiences developed for major city landmarks, sports venues, and theme parks. As the technology and tools to create these experiences becomes more accessible, we look forward to seeing more of these experiences in more places and for longer periods. And what is most exciting to me, is that as these experiences become easier to develop, designers are seeing new ways to tell stories and engineers and scientists are seeing new ways to visualize data.

When you have the ability to project interactive 3D content onto any surface—whether a wall, a building, or even a sculpture or 3D model—it becomes a wonderful and very natural way to visualize and interact with information. We are already exploring a number of compelling examples and the best will be those that haven’t even been imagined yet.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
GK: There is no need to wait. Now is a particularly good time to engage with Christie to better understand what is possible today and help us inform the future. We are looking for good examples and good challenges. I would encourage anyone looking to create new visual experiences or wrestling with the challenges with building experiences like this to contact Christie.

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