I met recently with RTI CEO Ed McConaghay and asked him about his busy first year as CEO, new solutions and training programs, and CEDIA 2018. Part 1
Maureen Jenson: Last we sat down, you celebrated your first year at the helm of RTI and had a lot of initiatives planned for 2018, can you give us a recap on the most significant achievements?
Ed McConaghay: Thanks Maureen, yes in 2018, we have introduced a large number of new products, including an extensive line of AV distribution solutions, upgraded XP-6s and XP-8v control processors, and our RTiQ remote management solution, which makes it simple for dealers to monitor their clients’ AV installations.
Of course, our Integration Designer APEX programming software brings it all together with the latest version adding even more features to make programming easier, more efficient, more capable, and more customizable than ever. When you look at all that we have accomplished this year, it’s been with a focus on enhancing our dealer experience.
Beyond great new products, we’ve also been busy building up our dealer experience team, fine tuning our new RTIXCEL training programs including our state-of-the-art online learning management system, and increasing the frequency and volume of dealer relevant communications. So, it’s been a busy year for us and a great time to be an RTI dealer!
MJ: Tell us more about the RTiQ solution.
EM: RTiQ is a cloud-based solution that monitors RTI control systems and components controlled by one of our advanced control processors. It allows dealers to monitor the status of these systems on a web-based dashboard from anywhere in the world, and receive email and text notifications that alert them if failure occurs. If they receive an alert, they can quickly identify the cause of the issue and perform actions — which can be anything the control system is capable of — to restore the failed system or component.
RTiQ helps our dealers deliver a better experience for their customers by eliminating the need for service calls to address simple issues and by reducing system downtime. Our dealers see these benefits and their response has been amazing. Thousands of systems have already been set up with RTiQ worldwide.
MJ: Tell us more about RTIXCEL.
EM: RTI has always taken great pride in delivering comprehensive training for our dealers — whether it’s live hands-on events or webinars. RTIXCEL training programs are designed to provide custom installation professionals with many training options to accommodate their busy schedules – anyway, anywhere, anytime is the goal. Our new RTIXCEL online learning management system will take our dealers’ education to the next level. Designed to provide an end-to-end curriculum, RTIXCEL allows dealers to learn more effectively online and at their own pace.
We are also expanding our onsite training with regional trainings being held by our dealer experience team worldwide. Most recently we launched our three-day training held at headquarters in Minnesota, which is a comprehensive course with hands-on programming using racks of gear to give our dealers the expertise and confidence to take their businesses to the next level with RTI.
MJ: At CEDIA 2018 we got a sneak peek of the new RTI control interfaces making their debut in 2019, can you describe the new remotes and touchpanels?
EM: Our new T4x flagship remote control has a sleek, sophisticated design and a beautiful 4-inch touchscreen. It brings back a popular shorter form factor that our dealers are very excited to have back in the lineup. Of course, it offers the advanced features RTI is known for such as grip sensors, Wi-Fi, dual RF, and more. The new KA8 and KA11 touch panels feature sleek 8-inch and 11-inch high-resolution touchscreens that are easily wall-mounted or can be used with an accessory stand for tabletop installation. Ambient light and proximity sensors automatically adjust the screen brightness and LED backlight according to the environment’s light level, while built-in Ethernet with PoE and dual-band Wi-Fi enable video from IP security cameras, enhanced two-way feedback, and remote programming updates.