Q&A - Jason Andersen, vice president – business line management, Stratus Technologies

November 25, 2016 by John Hatcher
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Q&A - Jason Andersen, vice president – business line management, Stratus Technologies

Jason Andersen is vice president – business line management and is responsible for setting the product roadmaps and go to market strategies for Stratus Products and Services. Jason has a deep understanding of both on-premise and cloud based infrastructure for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and has been responsible for the successful market delivery of products and services for almost 20 years. Prior to joining Stratus in 2013, Jason was director of product line management at Red Hat. In this role, he was responsible for the go to market strategy, product introductions and launches, as well as product marketing for the JBoss Application Products.

How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
It really got started in earnest when I joined Stratus. A few months before I joined the company, Stratus had acquired Marathon technologies who had been building up their business in the physical building security market. Over the past 3 years, the team has done a great job of building up our everRun product as well as our relationships with many Smart Buildings vendors so it’s just kind of grown from there.

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
It’s an exciting time in almost every corner of tech right now with the Internet of Things (IoT) really starting to take form and the ecosystem it’s created for smart buildings in particular is something that should shape the future of building automation, construction and more for years to come. Stratus is in the business of ensuring smart building infrastructure remains “Always On,” meaning we have the opportunity to ensure the availability of systems and ultimately help guide companies to a future with more sustainable, efficient and safer buildings. This opportunity alone and the speed at which we’re seeing progress toward IoT for building infrastructure is certainly something to be excited about.

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
The rise of smart buildings has created a greater need to monitor and control so many disparate systems – security, IT, lighting, HVAC and more. Virtualized platforms are really the only cost-effective means of accomplishing all of this, but even then enterprises are opening themselves up to having a single point of failure that could be their downfall. Stratus has a foundational system for smart buildings, everRun® software, for downtime prevention that, when paired with our performance monitoring capabilities, allows these sorts of companies to see an entire building management network at once, aggregating everything from servers to virtualized apps, to cameras, door locks and sensors.

Smart buildings provide increased cost efficiencies through environmental controls, as well as enhanced protection and access controls to protect the people and assets inside, but enabling this transformation from legacy systems can be challenging due to the variety of systems and platforms most building companies have pieced together over the years. Building companies that choose to overlook the importance of having a reliable and simple way to virtualize these disparate solutions and easily monitor the entire building management solution are not putting themselves in a position for success.

What services does your company offer?
Stratus really has two categories of solutions. Our primary solution is a hardened and redundant server platform that is incredibly reliable and very easy to service. This solution is used in a number of industries however, our software offering, everRun, tends to be the more popular choice in Smart Buildings. everRun really makes sense in Smart Buildings since construction companies or building managers tend to purchase a total solution from a trusted vendor vs assembling a solution themselves. What’s great is that everRun is embedded into solutions from providers like Johnson Controls and Schneider. It’s a win for solution providers since it makes their solution better meet their customers needs especially in sensitive or mission critical environments like airports or manufacturing facilities.

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
That really depends on the industry. Our partners tend to position Stratus within their solutions in the more sensitive environments. By and large I believe those customers are very aware of their compliance requirements.

What are the benefits of a smart building?
There are a number of moving parts in any smart building system, but ultimately the interconnectivity that’s derived from allowing your systems to communicate with one another creates new value in so many areas – cost savings, safety measures, energy efficiency and more. Smart buildings are buildings that are outfitted to be a part of our connected future, where technology enables a level of security, sustainability, automation and more that just hadn’t previously been possible with older buildings and infrastructure. However, all of these benefits need to be trusted and reliable. Additionally, these new capabilities increase overall complexity. So there are barriers. Our goal is to help our partners solve both of these problems. If you solve both of these problems the solution is easier to manage, eliminates unplanned surprises and can even help with compliance and audits. So, what we’re trying to achieve in guaranteeing fault-tolerant infrastructure is something more than just a unique feature, we’re trying to reduce the intimidation factor of implementing these new capabilities.

What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
I’m always being asked what is coming next. For instance, right now we are starting to look at what applications will look like in 5 years. Because as applications change we must be sure that our key technologies (like our hardware and software availability engines) can support them.

What are the best/worst things about your job?
The best thing is talking to customers and partners about their business and how we can help. The worst thing is when we have to prioritize our plans since there are always more cool things to do than we have resources.  

 

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