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Q&A with Wayne Tighe, Optigo’s new VP of Global Sales

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We at Optigo Networks are pleased to announce that Wayne Tighe, former VP of Software Sales at Tridium, has joined our team as VP of Global Sales. Wayne’s guidance and insight will be key to driving Optigo Networks’ explosive growth in the smart building industry. We chatted with Wayne to find out why he’s excited to work with the Optigo team, and what his vision is for the company.

We at Optigo Networks are pleased to announce that Wayne Tighe, former VP of Software Sales at Tridium, has joined our team as VP of Global Sales. Wayne’s guidance and insight will be key to driving Optigo Networks’ explosive growth in the smart building industry. We chatted with Wayne to find out why he’s excited to work with the Optigo team, and what his vision is for the company.

Monica McMahen: What drew you to the software and building automation industries in the first place?

Wayne Tighe: I’ve been in software for over 25 years. In fact, my first job out of engineering school was to develop a software product roadmap for a Windows-based framework that could display multiple Hewlett-Packard call center applications on a single pane of glass. Although the hardware technology, software code, microprocessors, and memory chips have evolved over the years, it’s amazing to see how the vision back 20 years ago aligns with where software development and innovation are headed today. I have always been fascinated by how software can help build cool products and information services.

In the building automation industry, I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the most innovative Fortune 100 companies in the world. I’ve established global business partnerships that created solutions to solve complex integration, connectivity, and networking problems for large building infrastructures. Software has been the foundation to solving these problems. It’s created advanced building management systems that improved occupant comfort, ensured optimal efficiency of the building, and reduced energy consumption and operating costs while improving the lifecycle of the building. Our BAS industry has, and will continuously, change into the future. Software products and solutions will be a key driver for high growth in the BAS business world. It is truly a dynamic and exciting industry to be in today.

MM: That’s definitely something we believe in very strongly here at Optigo, and we strive to lead the changing BAS industry. What are some of the key takeaways from your 25 years in software?

WT: The one thing that I have learned while working in the software industry over the years is that writing code and developing great software products is never complete. Software today will not meet the needs of customers in the future. If you are in this industry, you are always building on the code you have today and making it better tomorrow. Your engineering and development teams must continuously improve their code to advance their technology to the next level.

MM: And with this need comes great opportunities and great challenges! Can you tell us, what did you do in your last role at Tridium – Honeywell?

WT: While I was at Tridium, I was an executive member of the management team and VP of Sales where I spent a lot of time and energy creating and implementing the corporate direction and strategy for Tridium’s sales operations and global strategic partnerships. We had a world-class sales team that delivered high-performance results over the last five years I was there. It was a very exciting time for me and the company. With the help of the Niagara community business partners we doubled everyone’s top-line revenue number and increased the number of Niagara instances around the world to well over 600,000 licenses.  

MM: Fantastic. You definitely bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your new role. Can you share some of the insights you’re bringing to the Optigo Team?

WT: I’m excited to lead the effort to share the company’s vision with customers, partners, and all stakeholders; to create a sales strategy that accelerates the adoption of Optigo’s networking platforms. I also understand the importance of leading with great software solutions through our channel partners and into their end customers. Optigo Networks has a well-balanced portfolio of technology for the smart and connected building. I want to ensure that our customers and partners recognize the power of our software solutions in Visual BACnet, Optigo OneView, and our future product offerings, like Optigo Insight.  We have a very powerful value proposition and brand at Optigo Networks. Getting our message out to our core target customers and around the world will be critical to our success. 

MM: Now that’s a message I can get behind! What excites you the most about working with us here at Optigo Networks?

WT: Optigo Networks is a fast-growing and dynamic company. The people are fantastic and great to work with. The “team-first” corporate culture drives an entrepreneurial spirit around the office. It is truly a first-class organization! This company can and will move fast in the marketplace responding to the voice of our customers and creating differentiation in the market. It is refreshing and exciting to be a part of the Optigo Networks team, especially after spending the last 10+ years working for Fortune 100 companies. 

MM: There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure! Shifting gears a bit, what do you see as the biggest trends in the smart building industry over the last few years?

WT: Over the most recent years I have noticed how control products and software solutions were primarily commissioned on-premises in a building with localized control and monitoring. However, as the edge devices in the building are get smarter and smarter, and the intelligent applications are being pushed up the IoT software stack and into the cloud, we are seeing a growing and acceptable way to deploy SaaS-based software solutions in large buildings and in the enterprise space these days. As a technology company, you must create innovative products and solutions that meet the needs of your customer tomorrow – not today.

MM: Absolutely. Where do you see the future of IoT and smart buildings going in the next five years?

WT: More and more data from smart devices and edge sensors is going to be connected to the cloud. The data that will be sent to the cloud servers can be used in many ways. As analytics are applied to the data, you will get more prescriptive action taken in the smart building. There will be analytics applied at the edge and in the cloud. When you analyze the data at the edge you will be looking at blobs of binary data searching for anomalies. These variances are then sent to the cloud servers for further machine analysis. What results is actual machine learning in the building. As machine learning occurs in the cloud you are pretty close to realizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), or what I call Machine Intelligence (MI) in the smart building.

MM: Yes, that’s a trend that people have started to allude to in the industry recenly. As you know, smart buildings are growing around the world, and the global smart building market is expected to reach USD 36B by 2020. How will this rapid growth change our industry?

WT: The global smart building market should grow at least 30% (or more) every year for the next 5+ years, from what I’m hearing from industry experts and thought leaders. And even at this rate, less than half the world’s large- and medium-sized buildings will achieve some level of advanced building automation and/or energy management system installed by 2025. So, our market is wide open for continuous improvements to make buildings smarter. I do not believe our current technology will be the same five years from now. There will be continuous development of better products, smarter edge devices, and significantly more intelligent software algorithms that will push the building into a true MI state. Building devices will perceive their environments and will take specific actions to maximize the chance of success to create the ultimate occupant comfort, ensure 98%+ operational efficiency, significantly reduce energy consumption, and ultimately operate a building at a competitive cost. It’s only a matter of time before MI will change our industry.

MM: It’s going to be an exciting 5 years! How will smart buildings change the world?

WT: I am imagining a world where everything in our lives is connected to the Internet and each other, from smartphones and computers to our buildings’ lights, windows, thermostats, water systems, and more. A world where these devices can be in constant communication and controlled by users remotely via voice command or the simple push of a button. With the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), this level of building automation has become a reality. We are on the brink of a smart building boom.

MM: Wow, it’s hard to believe we’re so close to what we used to look at as the “distant future.” Last question! When you aren’t working, what will we find you doing?

WT: I spend a lot of my personal time with my family. I also really enjoy power walking for at least two miles a day, preferably early in the morning before most people get up. And given the current fall season, I’m a huge fan of NCAA football on Saturdays, especially if there are two Top 10-ranked teams playing against each other.

Great! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Welcome to Optigo!


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