The Team Behind the Technology at CBT
An Interview with Lonnie Ludwig, VP of Solution Services
Meet Lonnie Ludwig, Vice President of Solution Services at CBT. Hear about what it means to be a Domain Expert Integrator, how we determine which partners to work with, and some insight into leading-edge tech trends!
Can you pick one of CBT’s core values and explain why it resonates with you?
Collaborative can-do attitude. That’s one of the things that impresses me most about CBT, and it really goes across the entire organization. I’ve never heard anyone within CBT say “we can’t do that” or “I can’t do that.” It’s always an approach of “yeah we can do that, let’s figure out how to do it.” And that always impressed me not only since I’ve worked here, but even before I knew CBT when I worked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. That same value resonated back then.
Why did you choose to work for CBT?
I chose to work for CBT because of that can-do attitude and the core values that I talked about before. CBT had a great reputation in the channel when I was at Hewlett Packard Enterprise as being a company that was not just focused on selling widgets. I knew Kelly from before and she was really focused on creating solutions and trying to create value and uniqueness within the industry. I didn’t want to just do the same old things so that really attracted me to CBT.
What is the role of a Domain Expert Integrator?
We work to really identify and collaborate with the best of breed partners and OEMs. As a Domain Expert Integrator, just like a systems integrator, we bring various partners together to deliver a solution. The difference is the domain expertise and just like it sounds, we bring expertise from a variety of domains. It’s not because we say we’re experts in it, but because we’ve hired people who are experts in those areas. And that’s really where the expertise comes from and why we can label ourselves as Domain Expert Integrator. Other companies can say that they approach IT/OT integration or digital convergence from one area but then come to it strictly from an IT perspective. Conversely, it’s the same thing if they’re coming to it from just an OT perspective. You can’t drive digital convergence if you just have IT or just have OT expertise. The way CBT approaches it truly is unique in the industry.
What criteria do you use to determine a potential partner is a right fit for CBT’s solutions?
I think that’s one of the challenging aspects of the role and for everybody within solution services. There are so many companies out there that bring very unique technologies. The challenge becomes okay this technology is really cool, but how does it fit into our solutions and what we’re trying to deliver to our customers. If something is a very cool technology, but it’s standalone and a widget, that’s usually not the best approach. We need to work with partners who are not only best-of-breed but also have technology that is viable and fits into the solutions and business values that we deliver to our customers. One of the things that are maybe not as obvious is the culture of the company. It’s really beneficial to have a company that has similar values to what CBT does and have that collaboration. There are several smaller companies that we are working with that come to the table want to collaborate with us on solving problems. It’s just incredible and so making sure that there’s a similar set of core values is important also.
What are some leading-edge tech trends that you are most excited about?
The biggest one right now is augmented reality. The value it brings, whether it’s part of a connected worker solution, training methodology, or an add-on to the manufacturing process; augmented reality is really going to change the way we all experience life and do business. Artificial intelligence and the advancements of AI are going to significantly change things also. So think about video analytics and the ability of a drone to take pictures. We are actually able to influence those images and videos, do modeling at the edge to derive some value, notice anomalies, and take correct corrective actions. AI is becoming more and more part of every company’s business strategy; it’s not just the Fortune 50. Everybody wants to leverage AI in day-to-day business, to drive better business value and then advancements in computing. Compute used to be really restricted by Moore’s law, but now computers are taking significant jumps forward with speed and performance and it’s enabling a lot of new technologies to come to the forefront. Those are the things that excite me right now.
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