I recently caught up with Joe Roberts, RTI CEO, about his new position, ISE 2020 and the company’s response to COVID-19. Part 1.
In early February, Joe Roberts joined RTI as CEO. Joe brings over 20 years of global experience with companies in the smart home and office, IoT, cloud, and software-as-a-service markets, with a tenure most recently served as president at Core Brands and then to Nortek Security & Control. At ISE 2020, the company highlighted its “resimercial” theme and solutions for collaboration and conferencing. I sat down with Joe to learn where RTI stands and is headed in 2020.
Maureen Jenson: Who would have expected ISE 2020 to be our last tradeshow and that upon returning we’d be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. How has RTI responded?
Joe Roberts: Of course, our primary concern and compassion is for everyone who has been personally impacted. It’s not just about the business; almost all of us know someone whose family or inner circle has been directly affected by COVID-19. Our hearts go out to them. And our gratitude goes out to those who have been working tirelessly to keep people healthy, fed and safe during this time.
From a business perspective, our global business has taken a hit, with dealers in some of the higher profile hot spots more affected than others. But we have a diverse and broad dealer base and a great group of distributors. We have been cautious with our expenses while maintaining a strong dealer focus. We’re doing ok and starting to see the rebound.
MJ: Given our WFH reality what virtual education and training is RTI offering dealers?
JR: In April, we rolled out a webinar version of our Integration Designer APEX training that had been exclusively on-site at our headquarters. We have now converted this into a six-week/twelve-session webinar course and the response has been amazing. Each session is recorded, each has homework assignment and provides a certificate of completion. It’s the real deal. We wrap up the final installment of this course in mid-May.
RTI U3 Remote Base Holster
MJ: What can you tell us of your first three months at the helm of RTI? How was your interaction with dealers at ISE 2020?
JR: ISE was my second week with RTI, and I can’t think of a better start than to meet with dealers and distributors from around the world. Shows are as much about the people and relationships as they are about the products, and I always appreciate the chance to meet everyone involved in creating and delivering solutions to customers. It’s the best way to hear the challenges and opportunities our dealers are facing, and of course to get first-hand response to the product. RTI has a strong international following with partners who have been with the brand for 10 or 15 years. The passion for the brand and the people is uplifting.
Stay tuned next week as I ask Joe about RTI’s theme of “resimercial”, RTI’s commercial solutions and RTiQ, the intelligent remote monitoring platform! Part Two here.