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Are AMX VIP programmers valued like the competition.

ajish.rajuajish.raju chief evangelist of favantePosts: 185
I was just reading about another manufacturer which have an annual conference in US and Europe where their masters come to network, learn new skills and get pampered. Do we have something similar.

Comments

  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    Yes, us AMX VIPs do gather each year at a Developers Conference. it's usually around July/August. (This year is the first week of August) I won't take the thread into the potential track of it being a complaining or gripe session as that may or may not be the OP's intention.

    We usually get to meet with several of the key players/department heads of the various engineering and sales entities. For example we get to spend time with the firmware engineers who design the hardware/firmware for netlinx processors. we also get to spend time with the guy who writes Netlinx Studio and so forth.

    It tends to be a pretty enlightening gathering. We don't spend much (if any) time talking about coding theory or whatnot.

    And lastly, Ill say that there was some discussion about opening it up to all AMXers or at least some part(s) of it.

    So, yes - AMX does indeed have the thing you ask.
  • javery1javery1 Junior Member Posts: 21
    I'd be interested in going to something like that if it were opened up to more than just independents. Is it usually held in the Dallas office, or does it move around?


    I've yet to make it to the annual conference for the other guys because a trip to New Jersey is just too expensive..
  • HARMAN_ChrisHARMAN_Chris Harman Professional University Posts: 321
    Ajish,
    Yes - we consider members of AMX VIP to be an extension of the AMX Technical Resource team and have invited them to Richardson, TX for the last few years to participate in training and round table discussion events. The Developer Conference event has been previously only been open to members of AMX VIP, but we are expanding the event this year to include individuals who have earned the AMX Solutions Master rating by completing the current 6 AMX certifications. At some point in the future, we may consider opening it up to the entire global certified community, but not at this time.
  • JasonSJasonS If I had known it was going to be that kind of party... Posts: 229
    I would go BUT, I have billable things to do instead of maintaining Certifications in areas that do not pertain to what I do on a daily basis. LOL! I just realized that one of those things I don't do on a daily basis anymore is AMX!!! I have finally gotten over my disdain for the other guys programming language and am starting to enjoy it even!
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    I saw in the newsletter there are only 50 solution masters worldwide and while I've been certified 3 of the 6 for the last 10+ years which supposedly made me an "expert" (designer, installer, programmer) I don't see, especially at this point, an advantage to obtaining the other 3 certs since I barely use my existing certs anymore. A few years back when things (AMX) were going pretty good my North East rep told me I was the only properly (fully) certified dealer in his region which is really nothing to brag about, in fact it's was really pretty sad to think I was the only one that thought being certified mattered. Maybe they were right and I was wrong but regardless I'd say the fact that there are now only 50 persons or dealers world wide that have achieved this new master's level of certification is even worse. AMX needs an attitude change, a business change, something before AMX as we know it is gone for good and to me that means NI's and programming not SVSI or the other companies bought to change the AMX brand focus from control systems to hardware supplier.
  • ajish.rajuajish.raju chief evangelist of favante Posts: 185
    Thanks Guys for the info.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    I did get the ACSM last year. It was a slog to do all the testing. Thus far certain parts of it have opened some new areas for me on the business side. I have had zero requests for signage and almost none about SVSi. Don't get me wrong - I do see Video oIP as a good thing and a good market to explore. But, it just hasn't hit my radar yet.

    RMS has been an odd animal for me. My first act of office was to ditch the AMX SDK as fast as I could. I wrote my own and my deployment time went from days to hours. This has helped me in a lot of ways. But, I'm not sure if it has helped on the client side. My clients who are interested in RMS tend to not be overly familiar with control systems oddly enough. They tend to be IT/Networking people who've sorta bumped into it and are already familiar with asset management.

    I'm probably an oddball, but although I do Craptron, I almost get no calls for it. And the one's I do seem to be scary problem-children projects that I'm walking in the door to angry integrators and angry clients who are both just looking for a way out of the woods. These projects are almost always poorly engineered, over budget and the AV Integrators are panic-stricken "just trying to make cash flow" trunk slammers. I've tried a few of these and they always end in tears.

    Does my ACSM helop? I dunno. I have never had any business ask me if I am one - or no deal. But, I have had some say they called because they saw I was certified in such-and-so. The one thing I can say is a lot of the higher-end contracts for enterprise level gigs usually require that the programmer/engineer have at least certain creds (In my case ACE Programmer and/or AMX Designer) I do worry that some of these longer range contracts might get balled up if Harmon changes everything up too much.

    And I will say too that I have a deep seated hatred of the BSS DSP. I will definitely have some major issues to overcome if they demand that I be certified on it. I already do a lot of Biamp and they are present in projects (at least in my case) around 50 to 1.

    e
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    ericmedley wrote: »
    I did get the ACSM last year. It was a slog to do all the testing. Thus far certain parts of it have opened some new areas for me on the business side. I have had zero requests for signage and almost none about SVSi. Don't get me wrong - I do see Video oIP as a good thing and a good market to explore. But, it just hasn't hit my radar yet.

    RMS has been an odd animal for me. My first act of office was to ditch the AMX SDK as fast as I could. I wrote my own and my deployment time went from days to hours. This has helped me in a lot of ways. But, I'm not sure if it has helped on the client side. My clients who are interested in RMS tend to not be overly familiar with control systems oddly enough. They tend to be IT/Networking people who've sorta bumped into it and are already familiar with asset management.

    I'm probably an oddball, but although I do Craptron, I almost get no calls for it. And the one's I do seem to be scary problem-children projects that I'm walking in the door to angry integrators and angry clients who are both just looking for a way out of the woods. These projects are almost always poorly engineered, over budget and the AV Integrators are panic-stricken "just trying to make cash flow" trunk slammers. I've tried a few of these and they always end in tears.

    Does my ACSM helop? I dunno. I have never had any business ask me if I am one - or no deal. But, I have had some say they called because they saw I was certified in such-and-so. The one thing I can say is a lot of the higher-end contracts for enterprise level gigs usually require that the programmer/engineer have at least certain creds (In my case ACE Programmer and/or AMX Designer) I do worry that some of these longer range contracts might get balled up if Harmon changes everything up too much.

    And I will say too that I have a deep seated hatred of the BSS DSP. I will definitely have some major issues to overcome if they demand that I be certified on it. I already do a lot of Biamp and they are present in projects (at least in my case) around 50 to 1.

    e
    On the bright side if you stick with it eventually all the programming work will have to go through you since you might be the only one left. I was going to add a smiley emoticon but it's not really funny. I happened across the Spire site recently and didn't notice anything about AMX and that made me depressed. Do you still work with them at all?
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    vining wrote: »
    On the bright side if you stick with it eventually all the programming work will have to go through you since you might be the only one left. I was going to add a smiley emoticon but it's not really funny. I happened across the Spire site recently and didn't notice anything about AMX and that made me depressed. Do you still work with them at all?


    Spire: Not really. SpireJeff is still on here and occasionally checks in. Spire is pretty much a Savant and C4 place now. This is strictly my opinion but I feel pretty strongly that in the case of Spire leaving AMX - it had much to do with the rather odd relationship with the AMX Sales department in that territory. I'm not naming names simply because I do not remember who that was/is. What I can say is they were oddly hostile to a company that was still selling a ton of AMX. The issue was that Spire was really trying to migrate into commercial work. But apparently that kind of sales were handled by a different bunch at AMX (Resi vs. Commercial) Spire was not trying to ditch Resi, just add commercial.

    But, the Resi side seemed to take a rather hostile attitude about it and really pissed Spire off in the process. I was frankly dumbfounded sitting in on the meetings on the phone. I didn't speak but wished I could have made the point that nobody was wanting to ditch AMX REsi. In fact we had a good many projects that were very successful due in no small part to Jeff's very cool "No Programming Solution" I had taken that part of the gig over and Jeff was working with Navot on the new commercial startup.

    It was this and several other interactiions I've seen around that time that seem to be the hallmark of what went wrong. yes, the Resi market was drying up. But AMX was doing itself no favors with how they treated dealers. I'm not a dealer and try my best to stay a programming wonk. it's hard not to notice, however.

    To point out my major take-away from this example and the three or four of a similar nature: I've never really understood why AMX made such a distinction between Resi and Commercial. I do understand that the two verticals are radically different. But, gear is gear and expertise is expertise. The way AMX set up its interface with the dealers, technical folks (like us here) and it's end users (here again In my humble opinion) fostered an environment of "Camps" and "Tribes" There was and still is obvious in-fighting and territorial pissing matches between departments and territories that becomes toxic over time.

    In my little world I can say I've never dealt with any other equipment manufacturer that handles it's dealers and clients this way. It was totally unique to AMX. (this is not to say that OEMs don't have a brimming raft of crap they delve out liberally) In a lot of ways AMX does quite a lot better than most. But, folks! Your dealer base makes or breaks you. The last group you want to piss off is them.

    sorry Vining... I get to blathering on. I know you didn't want to slog through all this... :) (and there's a happy face for you)
    e
  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,548
    Something that complicated the resi/commercial crossover was the vastly different discount thresholds. In recognition of the low volume of resi, the annual purchase requirements were much lower for resi dealers for the same levels of discounts that commercial dealers had. So commercial dealers (and sales reps, remember that commission is a percentage) were perpetually angry when a resi dealer stepped across the line. One could easily conclude that efforts to level the playing field helped lead to the end of most resi dealers.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    ericmedley wrote: »
    sorry Vining... I get to blathering on. I know you didn't want to slog through all this... :) (and there's a happy face for you)
    e
    I actually liked that long answer. My take is that it sounds like Spire didn't jump ship as many did to to cut cost (programming) but rather because of the in ability or reluctance of AMX to work with Spire and find an appropriate solution. Seems like the last 8 years was just one bad move after another on AMX's part. Now C4 is enjoying a 160M/yr revenue in the mostly resi sector so I don't see how AMX couldn't find a way to tap into that or should I say maintain a portion of it and grow it as easily as it seems C4 did. Some members said Rashid was a visionary but if that were true AMX's market share wouldn't be shrinking on all fronts.

    John,
    I think the hubris of AMX over the last 8 years has done irreparable damage to all involved, customers, dealers, programmers, reps and the future of AMX itself and what I find so annoying is that they won't even admit it, own it or maybe still don't realize what a serious problem they're facing as programmers go elsewhere. I can't imagine CineTouch is doing all that well since most resi guys moved on. I would think those were your bread and butter clients. Might even be wishing you guys took AMX up on that buy out offer while the value was at its peak.

  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    John Nagy wrote: »
    Something that complicated the resi/commercial crossover was the vastly different discount thresholds. In recognition of the low volume of resi, the annual purchase requirements were much lower for resi dealers for the same levels of discounts that commercial dealers had. So commercial dealers (and sales reps, remember that commission is a percentage) were perpetually angry when a resi dealer stepped across the line. One could easily conclude that efforts to level the playing field helped lead to the end of most resi dealers.

    I think these are valid points and I am certainly blowing right over a lot of the nuances between Resi and Commercial. I think in the specific case under discussion, Spire was one in which one could argue that they would have been a fine Resi and Commercial dealer. Their sales on either side were well above the lower limits most manufacturers/reps require for entry. What I felt was we were dealing with an internal turf war in the AMX world. There was no logical reason (being careful here - IMHO) for the Resi side to try and shut down the Commercial side. It seemed to be a case where neither side would lose.

    But I agree you have to set a line somewhere. RE: Resi crossing the line to do commercial: I've personally been hired to do Resi systems for CEO's of companies hiring me for their commercial systems. I can say from personal experience on both sides of the fence that the two types of integration are very different and it is not easy for one to quickly retool and move over to the other. They are completely different disciplines.
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