Jason Ault [jault]
What is your professional position? What technology do you work with?
I am the Co-Founder and COO for Coffman Media. We are a solutions integrator for digital signage & digital media networks.
Please list web addresses where one can see something about you.
Do you consider yourself a geek?
I would consider myself a technology geek, yes. Any new gadgets, apps and ways to streamline business and life I am always into.
How did your professional interest in technology come about?
I have a background in Computer Information Systems and networking and the past 6 years prior to my current position I was in the commercial signage industry, which touched on digital signage. I really seen a need to defragment a fragmented marketplace, and so I made the leap to develop Coffman Media - and launched February 1, 2010.
Were you one of those who broke toys to see the inner workings?
I admit it, yes I was. I always wanted to know how things worked so I would break them down and try to get to back to their working condition. This stems from my father being very tech savvy in the Telecom world and driven as well.
How would you describe the emotion that comes from getting involved in a new technology?
Getting involved in new technology is such an adrenaline rush. It allows myself and my organization to help fix a pain-point or issue that people or our clients are facing. There is nothing more gratifying than providing help.
In your field of work, what is the major technological trend on the horizon?
In our field, digital signage, the major trend is accessing many facets of "digital sigange" via the cloud. Gone are the days of digital signage just being displays on the wall. We can now meet the consumer or target-audience at the cross-roads of reality and digital by communicating to all their mobile devices and allowing them to interact with the digital signage displays through RFID, NFC and other gesture based controls.
What factors should one keep in mind when giving advice about an investment in technology?
Always ensure the technology you are investing in is scalable, adaptable and a leader in it's space.
Do you think businesses waste a lot of money on bad technology?
I don't think businesses waste a lot of money on "bad" technology. However, I do think businesses do not spend enough time evaluating if the technology they are looking to implement fits their organizations current and future growth and pain points.
Organizations have to have a need and a written plan to measure success or else there is a high probability the technology deployment will fail.
What brands or companies within your professional environment are you used to recommending with great confidence?
With our digital signage networks we utilize the following brands / companies:
Sprint for our reliable, secure cellular connectivity.
Seneca Data for our media player needs.
Signagelive for our software, CMS backbone.
How do creativity and methodology combine to resolve technological problems?
When a company or organization is able to adapt to it's surroundings or current problem, and think outside the box, they are able to create a solution that is a win-win for all parties involved.
Many times, companies are pigeon-holed into following the straight line and written processes / methodology which will ultimately hinder the end-user client who's needs they did not adapt to.
Which one is needed to work in technology: great patience, or an especially ordered mind?
Great patience. Many times when technology is deployed in a "live" environment, no matter how much you "bench-test", issues will arise.
You need to have great patience to stay the course and resolve.
Does pressure impede your concentration or is it a stimulus to outdo yourself?
I am always looking to outdo what I have previously done, so I continue to challenge myself.
Aside from work, what other technologies interest you on a personal level?
I'm a huge music fan and avid drummer. So I'm always interested in the latest drumming tools: mixing digital with accoustic hardware.
What are your favorite gadgets? If someone can't find you, what store would they need to go to in order to look for you?
I can't leave anywhere without my Samsung Galaxy SII (waiting for my SIII currently), my iPad and laptop.
If I can not be found, look for me at the nearest electronics store or electronics department of the store we are in.
Are kids and teens too “technified”? Can one become addicted to technology?
I do not believe you can be too "technified" but I do believe there needs to be a limit on the amount time/hours of technology kids and teens have.
I think it's great my 3 year old daughter can navigate my iPad to what she wants, but she only gets it for 15-20 minutes per day.
Which is more difficult: dealing with machines or dealing with people?
Haha. Dealing with machines. End of story.
How often are you called on outside of work hours to solve an urgent problem?
We have a 24/7 support line so we are called often. But with our digital signage being a critial communication tool to some of our clients, we need to be accessible all hours.
Play futurologist: what will the technology of your sector be like in 20 years time?
In 20 years time I see digital signage playing a vast role in tele-medicine and the major communication method of most organizations.
The "standard" will then be interaction instead of being the "new" technology.
Do you attend fairs, conventions, or other events related to your sector?
Yes. I can be found each February in Las Vegas, NV at the DSE (Digital Signage Expo)
What professional challenge would you like to undertake at this time?
I would like to continue to bridge the gap with the "cloud" based digital signage and continue to educate how reliable and more economical it is to deploy.
Where is your professional career headed? What do you imagine yourself doing five years from now?
Five years from now I'd like my firm, Coffman Media, to have branched into international sales.
What magazines, forums or websites do you use to keep up to date with technology?
I keep up to date with our technology through: Digital Sigange Today
What advice do you have for those reluctant to try new technologies?
Do research, test or pilot the technology to define how you want/need it to work, and then do a phased roll-out.