Sep 19, 2020 | Updated: 11:04 PM EDT

Executive Interview: Greg Millar, CTO and Sr. Vice President at Schneider Electric, MultiSight

Apr 11, 2014 10:51 AM EDT


Greg Millar joined Pelco (now Schneider Electric) in 2002 and has served in several positions within Engineering, specifically around developing digital IP-based products for the company. Most recently Mr. Millar was promoted to CTO and Senior Vice President, Solutions and Technology Office. Mr. Millar has over 30 years experience in various technology related businesses, 20 years of which were in Silicon Valley where he served as VP Engineering and CTO at Radius and as CEO at Snippets Software. Mr. Millar has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering (Computer Visualization of Computational Fluid Dynamics) from UC Davis.

Greg Millar, CTO and Sr. Vice President

Droid Report: Hello Greg, could you tell us more about your role as CTO and SVP at Schneider Electric?

Greg Millar: Our team is called the Solutions and Technology Office (STO). We provide the company with a look at technical and market trends that may affect our future business in either a positive or negative way. About two and a half years ago we concluded that there were some important technologies that were converging that could significantly impact our business and we wanted to make sure we took advantage of that opportunity. The outcome of that work is MultiSight, an operational video service for retail chains. It is primarily a mobile system for gaining insights into business through video, video analytics and cloud services.

Droid Report: What are your initiatives for 2014?

Greg Millar: This year we are launching this service into the market in the US and testing it in a small number of other countries. We are constantly in the loop with our customers to make sure that they have the right tools to gain insight into their retail operations. So the service is evolving as we go. Given our architecture it is very easy for us to bring new features and functions to our customers on the fly.

Droid Report: Are there any future plans for MultiSight to be supported on the Android platform?

Greg Millar: Yes, that is on our roadmap this year. We will be building a native Android app because we want the user experience to be natural and fluid on that platform. Providing a mobile webpage is one way to do that, but we don’t think that will give the best experience in the end.

Droid Report: How does video play an increasingly critical role in building and sustaining a profitable retail business?

Greg Millar: Most chain retailers have district managers, perhaps regional managers and people at the corporate level that would like to see first hand what is going on in their business locations. Traditionally this has been done with video security systems. These systems were not really designed for this type of task. Simultaneously viewing across locations by view type (show my all the registers, or all the back doors, or the offices, etc) was difficult or impractical, easily sharing pertinent video with others in the company often required exporting clips from a DVR to media such as CD, DVD or USB drives, and seeing all of this in high definition on a mobile device was an iffy proposition. Managing users, IP addresses and entitlements could be burdensome to the IT department.

Enjoying instant insight into your operation from anywhere is required for improving operating practices. Having pertinent scenes delivered to the user in a proactive fashion saves time. Having all of that available on your phone or tablet makes access easy, instant and timely.

Droid Report: What is your personal take on mobile innovations for the enterprise?

Greg Millar: Mobile is the clear trend for the enterprise. Desktop computers will fill a smaller part of the equation in the future. Managers are on the go and want to be able to see, react and relay information from where ever they are. Video is part of that and increasingly a big part of that. We designed our service to be consumed on mobile platforms first. Desktop computers were a distant second. Generally, mobile is an afterthought, especially with video. Designing for mobile from the beginning impacted design decisions throughout our service. That makes our user experience best in class.

Droid Report: Is there anything else you feel Android users and the Android market should know?

Greg Millar: Operational video should be as easy to retrieve as a Youtube video. Android users are used to that sort of high quality performance from video on their devices. But since our video sources are scattered across many location with very limited computing resources and very tight bandwidth budgets the ability to consume HD video from anywhere can be difficult. That all changes with MultiSight. Android users will be able to request and view beautiful video from anywhere. New insights can be realized and yet another new use for their devices will become practical.

We hear you. We really do. No one wants the job of deploying 100 conventional DVRs, getting them configured for remote access, plugging in all their IP addresses into some mobile client, and periodically checking to be sure they're all up and running. Just when you think you have everything set up correctly, some yahoo unplugs the router and a whole store's worth of video is inaccessible again. And don't even TALK to us about the pain of provisioning users and managing software updates on all of that equipment. This is one of the reasons we created MultiSight: to lighten your load. We install our equipment, with no special configuration required on your part ;as long as our gateway can reach the public Internet, you're good to go. Our gateways "phone home" to our cloud services, ensuring that users can always connect to video from their stores. And we take care of monitoring your system's health and pushing out updates—our cloud-based architecture makes all of this easy.

With technology constantly taking over our everyday tasks, keeping it all together and in sync is a never-ending challenge. It is critical to be able to rapidly find and consolidate information in order to take proper action. We believe software should be continuously harnessed in ways that improve our daily existence and help us stay competitive. That's why we've made it our mission to create world-class innovative software products designed to make the task of managing our lives simpler and easier. We will always listen to the needs of our customers and are constantly striving to improve so that we may accomplish our mission.

We would like to thank Greg Millar for taking the time for this discussion and Schneider Electric, MultiSight.

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