IT Awards: Service Provider of the Year

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Opscode, Seattle
Employees in Washington: 50

This three-year-old startup understands that clouds don’t have fixed boundaries.

As more companies move to build their own cloud-based systems, managing growth and needs can be difficult and costly. Opscode’s Chef framework automates many of the processes to manage cloud computing, making it easier to deploy and scale applications reliably across a company’s entire IT infrastructure.

The ability to adapt can be critical for many businesses, such as when game development studio EA2D (part of Electronic Arts) expected many thousands of people to sign up for its new online game, Dragon Age Legends. Using Opscode’s remote service, Hosted Chef, EA2D could deploy 200 servers quickly using only two staff members.

Responding to customer feedback, Opscode also released Private Chef, an automation appliance that can be deployed onsite behind a corporate firewall. Through its services, Opscode has been able to save its 4,500 customers time and money, spanning a variety of industries such as consumer internet, financial services, life sciences, education and gaming.

[Second Place]
FiberCloud, Seattle
Employees in WA: 35

No one is small in the cloud, or so suggests FiberCloud with its Cloud City hosting service. While the company has provided colocation and cloud services to firms of all sizes for the past decade, its latest initiative for small business allows even the tiniest to use secure, enterprise-level services through an internet connection. FiberCloud takes on the role of an IT department but without the capital investment or long-term contract, allowing even a new two-person marketing consultancy to deploy business-class email, mobility and secure online backup.

Sponsored

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Wearable technology increases productivity for HVAC technicians
 
 

Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

XOEye technologies created a smart glasses tool, built specifically for field technicians to capture real-time documentation. When MacDonald-Miller heard about the new wearable technology platform, they saw it as an opportunity to be the first mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest to implement these smart glasses into their services.

We interviewed MacDonald-Miller’s Chief Information Officer, Bradd Busick, to hear first-hand how this new technology will be integrated into services and how it will streamline HVAC projects.

What are the capabilities of the smart glasses? 

The smart glasses, MacLens, capture and stream high fidelity audio and visual content, enabling first-person point-of-view (POV). MacLens includes a camera, earpiece, and microphone — all built into a single headset, capturing real-time documentation of equipment, work performed, and recommendations being made. 

How does it work for technicians?

Once service techs arrive onsite, they put their MacLens glasses on to create an intro video communicating where they are, a brief diagnosis or repair identification, and a summary recap for the customer. After the site visit is complete, the tech then uploads the content to the call summary report on the customer portal, where customers can access it at their convenience.

What is the benefit for the end-user?

Building owners and property managers have to trust their maintenance provider is actually doing the work they claim. Most building owners will never see the work being done on their properties, but they will receive a list of recommendations for changes and a bill. It’s a relationship built on trust. MacLens adds a level of transparency and customer experience where we are able to show in real-time what is happening on roofs and in mechanical rooms. MacLens embeds audio and video content into each summary report, providing customers with the peace of mind that comes with unbridled transparency.

What is the vision behind this technology roll-out?

The goal is to enhance the customer connection to the services provided and also enable technicians to connect with each other. There are incredible operational efficiencies that enable mobility and collaboration through telepresence and increased accountability.

How will they affect the next wave of HVAC technicians?

Not only will MacLens increase workflow productivity, but it also offers training opportunities and safety benefits without adding any additional work to service technicians. This is a major educational advantage. Now expert journeyman can train apprentices simply by walking through their daily tasks, recording those sessions and sharing them in our learning management system — it’s the next evolution of training!

See MacLens in action here.

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is a full-service, design-build, mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s recent projects.