BizTech BizTech Podcasts

68. IoT: What do propane tanks, cows, and air quality sensors have in common? With Guest Chris Whitaker

May 10, 2023

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Listen in today as we have a return guest and host of his own podcast Chris Whitaker, also VP of Mobility & IoT on the show. Chris goes on some key comparisons to battlefield strategies he leverages today with building out the practice. He talks about how we’re tying all the solutions together, pulling us business drivers and ultimately solving that with sensors and ideas customers hadn’t even thought of. There’s so many great ideas, you don’t want to miss out!

Josh Lupresto (00:01):
Welcome to the podcast that is designed to fuel your success in selling technology solutions. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of Sales Engineering at Telarus. And this is Next Level BizTech. Everybody. Welcome back to another episode. We got a crazy title for you today. The title of today’s episode is What Do Propane Tanks, cows and Air Quality Sensors have in Common? And you’re probably going, what? But anyway, we’re gonna get to that. We’re gonna answer this as we get going. Today we have the wonderful, the amazing VP of Mobility and IoT, Chris Whitaker from Telarus back on Chris. Welcome back, man.

Chris Whitaker (00:42):
Yeah, I am glad to be back. And like, you know, I say all the time, anytime you get like-minded people with similar goals together, amazing things happen. So here we are. I, I think we have similar goals, you know, we, we wanna win, you know?

Josh Lupresto (00:55):
I think so. I think so. I love it. All right, man. So listen, this is the part of the show where you get to take us back. Give us something in your background, some unique story. Maybe some people heard some things about you before. Tell us something we don’t know.

Chris Whitaker (01:11):
Oh man. So there I was knee deep and in grenade pins. Mel, that’s not a real story, . So the real story, you know, cause I’ve said this before or you’ve asked me that before. So I was like, actually, I really wanna share something different. And it occurred to me my 10 years in the Army, you know, you can talk about my background. That’s a big part of my background and my influence in my life. But I was, what you call it, indirect fire infantrymen. You know, it’s interesting. Even my first career had the word indirect in, and I just didn’t know that was a precursor to my next career. So, as an indirect fire infantryman, my job was to be available when the frontline needed me. So the frontline, you know, if they had got in a bad spot, they will call in on the radio, Hey, you know, we call it Request for fire Mission.

Chris Whitaker (01:58):
Now sounds again very militant, I apologize. But, but regardless, you know, they needed some help. They were in a bad, bad spot. And they needed help. And what they would do is they would, they would give me their coordinates. They would tell me where they were. They’ll tell me, tell me what’s the nature of the problem they’re having? You know, was it the enemy forces coming on them, or tanks coming on them, or, or you know a trench line in the open with enemy soldiers, whatnot. So they would tell us, Hey, here’s where we are. Here’s what we need. Here’s what we’re looking at. Here’s what we’re dealing with help. And we would take all that information and calculate and determine where we need to send these rounds, what type of rounds and how many rounds. So I, I love that story cause they just occurred to me. It’s like, wow, that’s kind of what I do today. You know, I take that call from the front line, they tell me where they are, they tell me what they need, what they think they need, what they’re looking at. And then I get with my team, the mobility team, the sales engineering team, and we calculate, Hey, what’s the best answer here? What should we send down range to solve for this problem? So hmm. That’s a big part of who I am. And I I just love how they kind of relate.

Josh Lupresto (03:06):
Love it. Yeah. You’re, you’re doing your best you can to work with the information that you have. And at the end of the day, it’s you that, that has to help figure it out. I love it. I love it.

Chris Whitaker (03:15):
You know, Jason it, as you were, you know, as I finished that up, it occurred to me, cuz every now and then we got bad information. We got the wrong grid coordinates. True story. We literally dropped rounds almost a mile from where we should of what time all the calls of one digit was off. So I think that again, what it, it relates, man, we need the right info. You know, if we don’t have the right info Yeah. Things can go awry and, and it could be a bad outcome.

Josh Lupresto (03:43):
Yeah, good point. Very, very true. In our day to day. All right. So, so let’s let’s say somebody’s tuning in. They, they didn’t go and catch the other episode that you were on. May maybe just do a little bit of a reset for us breakdown. You know, we, we’ve got all these engineers here. We talk a lot about kind of what our focus and our role is. But, but walk everybody through kind of as the VP of mobility and IoT in this emerging practice where all kinds of things are changing, trillions of dollars is gonna be spent. From a customers perspective, what is the focus of your role?

Chris Whitaker (04:15):
Man, well, first all, if you didn’t catch the last episode, stop right now and go back and listen to it. Cuz it was, it was a doozy man. In fact, all your shows are doozy really good and doozy. But I don’t know where that word came from. That’s a, that’s an old

Josh Lupresto (04:28):
School’s take. We’ll allow it. We’ll

Chris Whitaker (04:29):
Allow it. Okay. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s a, it’s a family show. So so yeah, you know, I’ve kind of I find myself, you know, two years into this role again, been a, you know, longtime friend and, and fan of Telarus as a supplier my past life. Going back to I think 2011, it’s a little over, yeah. Going know what, 12 years or so. But today I feel like you know, I have three roles here at Telarus. And I’ll tell you those three. And then, then, and then there’s three more points I’m gonna make. But the first role is partner enablement. You know, partner enablement. Second role is colleague enablement. You know, cause a lot of my colleagues come from a true telecom background, and even they’re like, mobility IoT, what, what are you talking about?

Chris Whitaker (05:10):
So, you know, helping, helping my partners help with my colleagues. And then as important, helping our suppliers. You know, I’m, I’m a internal resource consultant for all of our suppliers going, Hey, here’s what we need to win. Here’s the information we need from you. Here’s the support we need from you. So those three things are important. But from a partner perspective, you know, I’d like to break it down to as to how the why, the why. You know, so the, how very partner focused, how do you do this? What’s your go-to-market strategy? You know, we, me and my team, you, I say my team, my teammates, you know, there’s five of us, you know, advanced solutions, CCaaS, UCaaS, cybersecurity, cloud, and then me, IoT and mobility. And, and I love the, there’s a whole nother story how I can talk about how we, there’s a, a line that kind of weaves us all together.

Chris Whitaker (05:58):
But you know, how, you know, a lot of our, our team e even go as far as helping our partners do interview processes to hire someone, to be a specialist in one of these disciplines. So, you know, that’s what we do for the partners. You know, how to go to market, how do you do this? How do you create your own practice? How do you lean in and make one of these advanced solutions a big part of your offering versus, you know, gimme your phone bill, I’ll save you 30%, get you something better. Right? Right. Again, that works. But let’s face it, if you wanna go deeper in what intent account, you need more, right? Yeah. So that’s how, or the what this podcast is a great example of the, what is the technology. Let’s break this down. So many of us in this space kind of grew up in our technology careers.

Chris Whitaker (06:40):
Again, simple connectivity, you know, whether it be, you know, back in the day of t1 s and prs up through coax and fiber now, and, and you know, dare I’ll say even all things wireless, you know, microwaves, cellular satellite. So, you know, we can help you break down the why, help you do that technology overview. And a part of that is a supplier overview. Cuz the technology is great, but if you don’t know who you can go to to get it from, then what’s the point? So, so go to market the technology. And then I love the last part. The why, why is all that important? You may ask, it’s the revenue. How do you make money with this? How do you take it? My, my friend Greg Plum, Illa guy, I love his yes, thank you. How do you take it from promise to profit? Now the promise of what this product and this solution delivers all the way to now the customer’s profitable, you as a partner are profitable cuz you’re earning commissions. So that’s really, when it boils down to it, that’s, that’s the big deal. That’s the big why. How do we go for promise to profit? And, and that’s what my role does for all things wireless, mobility and internet of things. And of course, my colleagues, that’s what they do in their disciplines as well for, for what they do.

Josh Lupresto (07:55):
Love it. All right. Let’s talk about changes. So if we look forward, right? Yeah, I know, I feel like I should’ve, I feel like I totally should have prepared better and had that soundtrack. What do you think changes coming here in, in 2023? Right? I mean, I’m, I don’t, don’t walk me out too far because we’re gonna talk at the end of this about beyond, but, but just about right now, any kind of changes that you see right now in the short term for mobility and IoT, and then any strategy for, for the partners, right? A little bit of secret sauce for them to hear.

Chris Whitaker (08:26):
Yeah. Well, you know, just in the last six months a few things, a few observations as I mentioned, have been in this role for two years. The first year was kinda like phase one, just trying to get the word out. Hey, hello, you know, the open signs out front. We, we can now do IoT and, and advanced wireless solutions. So spend a lot of time just kind of getting that message out. But in the last six months, it’s been amazing. Even yesterday, I was at a Gear Up event in Atlanta, Georgia. And the lights are coming on, you know, the moments are happening that I’ve been waiting for, you know partners coming to me going, Hey, I need to talk to you. I finally get it. You know, I’ve heard you three or four times. It kinda reminds me of the sales cycle too, Josh.

Chris Whitaker (09:09):
Yeah. You know, there’s a lot of stats that say, you know, most companies, no one only makes a buy-in decision on the first one or two calls. It’s like the fifth or sixth or seventh call, you know? So I think our partners are probably no different. You know, it takes, it takes hearing the message 3, 4, 5, 6 times before it goes, ah, I get it. And I was talking with one partner yesterday, and literally in, in, in this five minute conversation, there were three moments. He’s like, oh my God, you just gave me another idea. Oh my gosh, you gave me another idea. All of our partners are working with enterprise companies or mid-size companies, even SMBs can benefit from all these things we’re talking about. So yeah, there, there’s more going on. I mean, you know, the, the word ai, the acronym ai, artificial intelligence actually had someone ask me yesterday, so what is AI again?

Chris Whitaker (09:52):
I was like, okay, how much time do you have ? But when it comes to, again, AI’s being used again in almost all of these advanced solutions in some capacity. But yeah, for me, the one I think is the coolest right now is AI video. You know, we, we have a handful of great suppliers offering that, but the, the, the surveillance cameras we see everywhere. You know, so if you’re partner and you’re visiting your cut, your, your customers, your prospects, and you see a security camera, just ask the question, Hey, how are you guys using that security surveillance video? Is anyone watching it? You know, have you ever had an event happen and you had to go back and look for the event on tape for the police, whatever have you ever, you know, needed to go search for something or find something?

Chris Whitaker (10:31):
So making surveillance more proactive, put geo fits geofencing in there, you know, facial recognition, weapon detection, actually, you know, looking for someone with a, a, a green shirt on and a black backpack and a white ball cap. And you can tell the ai, this is what I’m looking for, and it will show you everything. So, you know, that is pretty big for, you know, retail manufacturing, even agriculture, car dealerships, medical. I mean, it’s really pretty much wherever there’s a camera, there’s a need for some kind of AI video solution. And, and that’s pretty exciting.

Josh Lupresto (11:03):
So I’m gonna take you back here for a second. When I was selling vacuums door to door the biggest thing that I found helpful, because it turned out people did not wanna buy a $3,000 vacuum without being persuaded a little bit, was how to handle objections. . So I wanna talk about objections for a second. Wh what do you think a common reason that partners avoid this area if they’re not doing it right now, if they know it’s there and they’re not doing it, what would you say you expect their objection to be and how do we help them overcome that?

Chris Whitaker (11:39):
Right, great question. And there’s two areas that I, we’ll call it, two buckets. Two buckets that I kind of tend to, you know, the mobility wireless, and that’s all things with a sim card, you know cell phones, tablets, watches, gateways. And then the other bucket is more the advanced solutions, emerging technology enabling technologies of internet of things, which is a huge bucket, by the way. I think it’s a bigger bucket. I had the, it’s more like a, that’s just a bigger bucket. We’ll leave it at that. So yeah, I hear these, I hear these objections and these reasons a lot, you know, from the mobility side, Hey, it’s not much money in it. It’s complicated. Nobody wants to talk about that. I don’t want to get in the cell phone business. I’m not gonna be, you know, I don’t want nothing stock cell phones and have to break, you know deal with breaks, broken screens.

Chris Whitaker (12:28):
People are forgetting their passwords. I mean, all of these aren’t like, you know what, you’re valid. I wouldn’t wanna do that either. But the good news is, you don’t have to anymore. I mean, years ago that was the case. But with our suppliers today and our mobility team, you know, we can remove a lot of that heavy lifting and a burden away. I mean, does it, does it mean it’s simple and easy and there’s no problems? Of course not. You know, why it’d be lying. But again, we have the expertise and the relationships with all these, whether it be the, the major carrier wireless carriers or all of our mini aggregators. We we’re slowly but surely just kind of chipping away at this to make it a more profitable. In fact, we’re seeing a trend. We’re seeing a trend. Even the carriers, you know, trying to go back, you know, try to get to that re recurring residual model.

Chris Whitaker (13:09):
Historically, the big carriers have been just all up front, and no one’s too excited about that. I will tell you this, the largest deal last year, you know, this is a big announcement. I don’t know if this has been in the release, but we’re, we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna go there. The largest deal last year was mobility. Mobility was the number one deal last year. And I wish I could tell you that these kinds of deals are falling from the, from the trees, but they’re, but they’re not. But they’re out there. I mean, if this partner didn’t have the, the wherewithal in the foresight to go, Hey, let me, you know, let me dig into this. Let me ask the questions. Let me look into this and, and figure out how can Dores help me with this. So it was, it was a massive deal.

Chris Whitaker (13:50):
400,000 plus MRC. It was just a, a really whopper of a deal. And, and even I was just looking at our numbers this morning from February, I mean, a huge month on February. And the average deal size is just going up, up and up. No, I mean, it used to be literally a couple hundred bucks here and there, then a couple thousand here and there, and now it’s like eight, nine, 10,000, 20,000, 25,000. And the other area, by the way, yes. So yes, cell phones are a big part of it. Mobility SIM cards, but wireless expense management. Hmm. Manage mobility as a service. So even if you don’t change any SIM cards, you don’t change any hardware. There’s money to be made mobility by just asking the question, how do you manage mobility in your business?

Josh Lupresto (14:31):
The, the time on that right now, right? If you look at the weirdness of the last 12 plus months, the current economic climate, I think the timing on that is huge. Where I don’t know that a lot of people have thought of that wireless expense management in the same way they know traditional telecom expense management. So I think your point there is huge.

Chris Whitaker (14:49):
Yes. I mean, it’s it’s massive. So, you know, all we, we, and we have a great collection of suppliers in this space. All you need to do is just get, you know, one or 2, 2, 2 cellular wireless bills are better than one. Cuz obviously, you know, one could be a you know, have different variables at play there. But if you have two, that’s great. You know, they can do an assessment and, you know, come back to you before you even get on the phone with your customers. Say, Hey, by the way, if they were our customer these last 60 days, we would’ve su we would’ve saved them 20, 30%. Yeah. And they wouldn’t have had to worry about, you know, cuz maybe, maybe they are a company that has someone in accounting or someone in it, which makes a lot of sense, reviewing a phone bill, but most often no one’s reviewing the phone bill.

Chris Whitaker (15:35):
Cause it’s a hundred, 200, 300 pages. All these different codes that mean nothing to the layperson. And they just look at the bottom of the bill, go, okay, it’s says $10,000. Well, we got budgeted $12,000, so hey, it’s below budget, sign off on it, send it to accounts payable. Problem solved. No oftentimes they’re overpaying so much. So, you know, you as a partner can help there. Yeah. And you’re, you’re, you’re spot on, man. What CEO or C level is not looking for ways to save money today. It’s always been the job of this sea level to be profitable and look at the bottom line. Yeah. But probably more so now than in in many years. Yeah.

Josh Lupresto (16:11):
So let’s talk about l Let, let’s come back to the topic of this podcast for a second. That, you know, the question is, how do propane tanks, cows and air quality sensors, right? How do they all tie together? And, and, and why do they matter? I mean, you know, we, we’ve seen in, in years past, we’ve seen a visual of the connected cow, right? We, we can check the milk output, we can check the temperature, we can check the location, all of these things, right? And we’ve talked about, rather than sending out a tech to the check the propane tanks at all the different locations, we can have it notification when it’s low. We can embed 4g, 5G in there, air quality. All those things. Help me understand, you know, how, how do these things tie together, right? How, how do we help partners view that it isn’t just, and, and maybe it’s okay if it is just a sensor here, a sensor there to start. How do you look at these things, right? Do they all need to tie together? Should we be talking about these things separate? And, and maybe just without getting too far into the weeds on an, on an example, cause we’re gonna, we’re gonna push you for an example here in a second. Well, how does a deployment, if we go do a cow or we do the propane, or, you know, whatever, walk me through some of these,

Chris Whitaker (17:18):
Man. Gosh, you’re right. Where to begin and how much time do we have? I love this question. It always comes down to, by the way, you know, we don’t sell IoT solutions. We don’t sell connected cow solutions. We sell outcomes. We’re looking at the outcome. So every business has a different desired outcome. And this is where it gets challenging. This kind of goes back to the last question too, of, you know, what kind of objections are you hearing? You know, we talked about mobility, and I’m gonna kind of bring that question into this question as well. But when it comes to IoT, you know, a lot of partners, like, wow, it’s just so complex. Christian know, you talk about three, 400 different sensors and solutions. I’ll just stick with SD WAN and UCaaS and, and cybersecurity. These are, I got these.

Chris Whitaker (18:00):
But what you’re talking about is just so wide, such a, a, a wide range of topics. But it’s about how can the company become more efficient and effective using technology. So that’s how we, you gotta boil it down. Don’t, don’t overthink it. And I do have some great examples I’ll share with you in a moment. But but the connected cow, just real quick. I was visiting data to go down in, in, in Florida Robinson, Tori great, great guy. And, and I was telling him about a partner that had a large cattle opportunity, 400,000 head of cattle. And, and it was in Columbia of all places, but it was American, US based company. And they, and I was just sharing with, I was like, wow, you know, this is great. Cause he asked me, how was it going?

Chris Whitaker (18:47):
I said, man, this is great, man. The, the funnel’s growing. The opportunities are growing. I mean, we just got, I just got off a call with 400,000 head of cattle. He goes, are you kidding me? And he, he opens up a cabin. He pulls out a harness for a cow with a, it is like, it’s like a, you know, a smart watch for a cow measures, you know, temperatures. You mentioned how many steps they’re taking, where they are. And they’ve had the RFID where every time they went through a, a, a corral gateway or whatever, kind of measured, identified where they were. So cool, cool stuff there. Yeah, but I digress. So what was the question again,

Josh Lupresto (19:19):
? No, no, no, no, no, no. You got it. I mean, it, I, I, I think sometimes people think of this, these solutions as Lego blocks, right? And I, I, I, the idea is just, yes, you’re right. It is Lego blocks. There are these different pieces of it, but you brought up a good point, right? You just, you can’t think of it like that. You have to think of it as the business outcome. And just know that you have all these Lego blocks don’t get caught up. And you may or may not know the Lego blocks and which, which piece goes where, and what color each piece is, and how long each piece is, and blah, blah, blah. But, you know, you brought up a good point. It’s, let’s, let’s figure out the problem that he was trying to solve. And let’s go from there. I think, I think you nailed it, . Let’s, let’s talk about here. You know you’re a fast-paced guy. You’ve only got 30 hours in your day and you got a technology that’s fast-paced, right? How do you stay up and how do you help partners? You know, how, how do you make sure that we have pace with innovation, right? And, and that we don’t have any gaps in the portfolio, right? It’s, you know, how do we pay attention With so many things coming at us what would you answer to that?

Chris Whitaker (20:22):
Wow. Another great question, Josh. And, and by the way, it, it, it’s not lost on me how fortunate I am. I mean super grateful and lucky that every day I get to wake up and, and do just that research interview folks talk to suppliers. Just this week went to a Comp TIA community and council forum, and spent two days with some great, brilliant minds in this space. I do all that. So our partners don’t have to, I mean, our partners are trying to close deals, right? So to your point, I mean, I went to mobile Disrupt Mobile World Congress. I’m always trying to identify what’s the next thing and is there, are we missing anything? And, you know, and of course, one thing I will point out, I mean, sometimes there’s some great technology out there, but if it’s not channel friendly and channel ready, sometimes we just need to wait on it. It’s like, Hey, great technology, great solutions. I know we’ve had this conversation many times, that’s great, but if, if it’s not gonna fit in our, in our program we’ll wait till your, till you get your channel program up and running. Yeah,

Josh Lupresto (21:27):
Yeah, yeah. Fair point. And we would rather do that than have bring something in because it’s cutting edge, and then have them go, wait, pay somebody forever. That’s crazy. You know? So definitely a big part of the process in there to get them to understand the importance.

Chris Whitaker (21:46):
Yeah, these suppliers, they’re open and willing now, I mean, years past, I love hearing the stories from Adam and Patrick and Richard, you know, going, you know, you know, 5, 10, 10, 15 years ago, some suppliers wouldn’t even take their call. They, you know, they had to deal with some, you know, support specialist person. Now you had C levels and, you know, the, the global VP of channels now coming to us going, Hey, what can we do? Can you, you know, help us build out our programs? I mentioned that’s one of the three areas that I’d spend a lot of time on, is helping these new startups have great technology going, look, here’s the things we need from you. Once you have ’em come back to me, then we’ll talk. And they’re like, got you. And then three or four months later, I get that email. Chris, I think we’re ready. Can we review again? So that’s encouraging.

Josh Lupresto (22:28):
Love it. All right. Let’s talk about examples here. So in this part, I wanna talk about, somewhere you got into the weeds you know, you see a lot of things. You, you talk to a lot of different providers. You talk to a lot of different partners, and you see a lot of different needs and use cases. So walk me through you know, pick a win or two wins, or, or, or, you know, I don’t one that jumps out at you. And I think what would be great to help is, is how maybe they had lower expectations and with what we were able to put together, come in, kind of crush those expectations. But then the gold here is what did it solve for the customer?

Chris Whitaker (23:05):
Yes. Yes. See, that’s a, it’s like, you know, going back to what’s my favorite child, right? I mean, there, there’s some great ones, but the one that jumps out that I shared with Illa this week, that, again, light bulbs were going off across the room. I’ll change the name of the locations to protect the innocent, but we the mid last year, I guess now it’s six, eight months ago, we had a partner that brought us in. And we were working with a large amusement park. And as a technologist, you know, going, Hey, there’s a lot of technology in the amusement park. You know, every, everyone has expectation of fantastic wifi everywhere is important. Let me manage wifi on the amusement park, any public spaces given nowadays. But they were going through discovery and, you know, ask that question, Hey, what you know is talking to the director of operations, you know, what’s one of your biggest problems you’re dealing with right now?

Chris Whitaker (24:00):
What, what’s, you know, what’s the problem of the day? This, you know, you guys are talking about in your leadership meetings. He goes, believe it or not, I don’t think you can help me with this one, but it’s staffing. We just can’t get enough people to work, you know, in the middle of the summer at the amusement park. Just can’t get enough people. And he goes, well, that’s interesting. You’re right. I’m not a staffing agency. I mean, I could probably, you know, help hook you up with some folks, but by the way, what task are not getting done? Cause shorthanded, and what a great follow up question, by the way, that’s called a diagnostic question. You know, there’s questions and there’s diagnostic questions, right? Diagnostic questions lead you to the opportunity. So the partner goes, yeah, what, what what’s not getting done? He goes, well, it’s probably a lot of things, but the one right now that I’m getting the most complaints on is the trash cans in the park.

Chris Whitaker (24:45):
We have over a hundred trash cans, and our, our patrons pay a lot of money to come here. And the last thing they wanna see is a trash can overflowing with bees buzzing around and it smells, and there’s sticky soda spilled on the, you know, at the bottom of the trash can. No one wants to see that. And, and I can’t, and by the way, my employees, no one’s really excited about going into trash cans. The partner goes, wow, that’s, that is, that’s it. You know what, I might, I think I can help you with this. What if you knew which trash cans were full, which ones were halfway full, and then which ones the deem need to be emptied? If you knew that all on the say, I don’t know, smartphone app, would that, would that help? Well, yeah, I guess it would. I mean, I, I wouldn’t have to have, by the way, 12 employees needed 12 employees to make sure all these a hundred trash cans were empty.

Chris Whitaker (25:34):
Whoa. Another floor 12 employees. And he said he was always about four or five short. So there was always some trash cans not getting empty. So they deployed this solution, you know, and IoTt solution, a trashcan sensor, if you will, that could measure the volume, you know, of if it was full half full or not full. And those devices talked to the gateway, which talked to the cloud, which sent it back down to a smartphone app or a tablet, and gave them a, a dashboard and prioritized the trashcans in order of which ones were overflowing. And, you know, so forth. Three employees from 12 to three, come on. And, and, and here’s why I’m really excited about it. Cause okay, see, like, that’s great, Chris. They know which trash can is empty now. Great. That’s awesome. I mean, not to mention going from 12 employees, think of the payroll for that down to three, and able to use those employees elsewhere in the park.

Chris Whitaker (26:29):
But here’s, here’s, here’s where the, the data gave them some more information. They started to realize, Hey, white, these five trash cans are always the fullest. Maybe we need more trash cans over there. Maybe, maybe we need to redesign and think about our trash collection points in this part of the park. And by the way, they also noticed, you know, it was an indicator of where everybody was at. You know, they kind of knew, cause they had cameras and they had other people counters, but it was, again, the more data points you have to validate a, a a metric, the better. So they realized that the bathrooms, we, you know, where there’s trash cans flow up, the bathrooms need to be cleaned more often. You know, we need, we need to be sensitive to that. And the trash cans and those bathrooms probably need, need sensors as well. So they were able to just collect additional data on, on the activity in the park off from monitoring trash cans.

Josh Lupresto (27:16):
Wow. Great stuff. All right, beautiful.

Chris Whitaker (27:20):
And by the way, that’s what I love about this whole story, Josh, man. I mean, there is no one, I mean, there’s no real trend. I get asked all the time, what’s, what’s the hottest I of t I’m like, what depends which vertical you’re talking about.

Josh Lupresto (27:30):
Yeah. It doesn’t, it doesn’t work like that. You’re right. Yeah. I mean, just think about, think about what ideas people are gonna get from hearing your trashcan example, right? I mean, just that people need to be able to liken and take in a, a parallel of that to whatever industry, whatever conversation, whatever customer, whatever business they’re talking to. I, I think you could use that 10 different ways and inspire another idea. It’s awesome. Absolutely. Okay. Final couple thoughts here real quick. So I, I, if I’m a partner, I’m getting excited, I’m getting comfortable, I want to go talk about this more. What would you leave them with here, before we get to the final question? What would you leave them with? What’s the talk track again? Maybe you, you kind of alluded to it in the beginning, but I won’t steal your thunder. What do you want partners to walk away with in, in how they talk about this technology to their, their current customers, their prospects, whatever.

Chris Whitaker (28:20):
Yes. Well, you know, first of all, acknowledge that it’s here to stay. I mean, you think about your home, chances are you have a ring doorbell, probably a Nest thermostat, may have some cameras. You have a smart tv, most likely maybe even have a refrigerator connected to the internet. And you just think of everything connected to the internet in your house. And then those same partners go, I just don’t understand IoT, you do. You really do. It’s not as foreign as you think. So that’s all the same benefits and features. We, we enjoyed our house. It’s available to businesses now. So first think, think bigger and broader when it comes to doing a, a due diligence or discovery session with your customers. Just go a little bit deeper, ask those diagnostic questions. You know, another favorite one to have is, Hey, look at your operating budget.

Chris Whitaker (29:06):
Do you have complete visibility where every dollar goes? And is there a part of your budget you wish you could control a little better? Just a great open-ended question. It it could take you to a lot of different places that you would’ve never thought of now. So now you got that business owner going, yeah, that’s a good question. You know, I’ve noticed, you know, this part of my budget keeps growing. I’m not even sure why. I mean, chances are there’s a sensor or an IoT solution that will help with that and give ’em that visibility, give them that data. Again, mobility, same story. How do you manage mobility? Are you comfortable with the amount of auditing being done on your mobility bill? So I, I think that says just, you know, understanding that both mobility and IoT, the one thing they have in common efficiency and effectiveness, it makes us more efficient.

Chris Whitaker (29:52):
Could you imagine if we didn’t have our smart phones? I mean, gosh, no. How much work do we get done on these things to quite efficiency and effectiveness? Yeah, cow probably, I mean, probably at the number one invention of the last, you know century, I think that has made us more efficient and effective. Yeah. Think of anything we get done on our phones and, and of course you, it is proof and you go to the airport, our restaurant, you look around, what’s everyone doing? . It’s either keeping up, we’re keeping up with friends or doing some kind of work. Right? Yeah.

Josh Lupresto (30:18):
Good. Okay. Final thought, man, I want to think to the future here for a second. So if we look out, let’s call it as, as Chris is pondering, if you’re not watching this on video if we look out, let’s call, you know, 20, 24 and beyond, where we’re talking to sensors, gateways, all this great technology, is there anything, you know that you want to say, this is coming next, right? We, I’ll leave it to you. Whether that’s ai, whatever it is, anything you want people to be aware of, of just, hey, pay attention. You might hear this in the near future and you need to kind of understand that.

Chris Whitaker (30:56):
Yeah. A few thoughts on that fact, I, I think I’m gonna go back to my buddy Greg Plum. He’s are my mom. We spent a lot of time together at CompTia. He does Ted Talks and you gotta check ’em out at, at But he has one on what would George Jetson think. And I love, it’s a great talk cause you may not know this, but first of all, I hope you even know what I’m talking about. The Jetsons, the cartoon, the Jetson, I guess was in the seventies. I’m not even sure what year was out, but I, I watched it growing up. So it’s a futuristic cartoon. Yeah, futuristic cartoon they live in, in the future. But George Jetson was born in 2022, you know, so we meet George Jetson in the cartoon. He’s 40.

Chris Whitaker (31:38):
So we still got 40 years, or 39 years to get the wage. George Jetson was, you know, flying cars, living in apartments, you know, you know, thousands feet above the ground, robots, you know, 3D printing, you know, things just appearing. So he breaks down all this technology and it is pretty fascinating. So but the one thing that, you know, I’m, again, automation. I mean it scares people sometimes, but they think it’s gonna take jobs away from folks. But let’s face it, I mean, the one thing that most workers today would, you know, and business leaders, you know, there’s not a lack of work. I mean, you know, rarely do you end your day with your to-do list, fully checked off, everything’s done. Think about it. You know, so, and what we can automate, whether it be through software, robotics even driverless, you know, autonomous vehicles, you know, we’re starting to see shuttle buses and even long haul, we, we, we gonna call Jason Coffin and I wanna call a few months back where the company’s actually developing 18 wheeler trucks that go between large warehouse thinking about Costco and bj, you know, BJs are, are yeah different big large warehouse stores, you know, cause it’s, it’s a set route.

Chris Whitaker (32:46):
They go every day at the same time. Hmm. And a lot of challenges there. You know, 5G is helping ’em with a lot of that. Edge Comput is helping with a lot of that. It’s all cloud driven, you know, private 5G and whatnot. So all the technology’s here, you know, it’s just a matter of, of it is every, I feel like every month is getting more and more refined. So you can see more robotics, more automation, even autonomous vehicles. And especially in the area of like shuttles and where it’s set path. I think autonomous vehicles, you know, you’re, you’re your Tesla, you know, we talked about this. It, it can kind of self-drive itself, you know, to a degree. But are you really, you know, can you really not have a steering wheel in the car? You gotta have that steering wheel still there.

Chris Whitaker (33:25):
Yeah. So we’re not quite there yet. This, the technology is, is is there, in fact even, you know, Greg’s talk around, what would George Jetson think? George would be happy. I mean, cuz you know, we are, we, a lot of the technologies needed to live in the George Jetson era exist. A lot of them are maybe halfway baked or 75% baked. But, you know, the way it’s evolving, there’s a saying, the technology doesn’t move fast until it moves fast. Well, I feel like, man, this picking up steam picking momentum because the cost of connectivity is going down, the cost of sensors is going down. We know more. I mean, AI’s really accelerating all these conversations. So every now and then I do come across to somebody that’s like, old school, still got the clipboard. Yeah. Still got the flip phone and they’re resisting, you know, resistance as futile, as as it’s the line.

Chris Whitaker (34:16):
Yeah, it’s coming. And, and it’s not all, it’s, it’s not evil. It’s good. This is good stuff. It’s helping us become more efficient and effective, get more done with our time and deliver better outcomes. That’s how you have to look at this. That’s what all of our partners, by the way, can I just give our partners a a big run of applause? I mean, you make a living helping others make a living, by the way, that’s what we do too. So, I mean, it, it, it, the, our, our our intent, our our motives are pure, our heart’s purest. It’s a good thing. It’s a good place to be. Use a technology to help folks make a living, to make a, a better outcome.

Josh Lupresto (34:49):
Okay. And that’s where we wrap it, Chris, so many knowledge drops, man. I really appreciate you coming back on. Thanks. thanks again for doing this,

Chris Whitaker (34:56):
Man. My pleasure. I don’t know about the knowledge drops, but I got a lot to say as you could tell, man. Hey, if you want hear more, you know. Yeah,

Josh Lupresto (35:02):
It’s good. It’s good stuff. Hey, if they wanna hear more, where do they go, Chris?

Chris Whitaker (35:06):
Yes. Oh, it’s funny. You should ask. Thank you. My, my second favorite podcast after this one is, is Mine . But yeah, it’s called The Wireless Way. And also have a YouTube channel at Wireless Wit, where I’m dropping all of my Wireless Wit videos. It’s over a hundred videos, all of them about two to three minutes on various topics of all things technology. So that’s that. Again, going back, that’s what the advanced solutions team we’re here for is to collect this knowledge and share it with you, our partners. So you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it, you know, so there you go.

Josh Lupresto (35:36):
Love it. It go check it out. Lots of great content there, verticals, all, all kinds of good stuff. Great. All right. Chris, take us out. Appreciate you coming on, man. I’m Josh Lupresto, SVP of sales Engineering at Telarus. And this is Next Level BizTech. Till next time.