Who are you?
My name is Andrés Garza. I’m 32 years old.
What’s your company and where is it based?
Our company is called Inteligable
, which is a blend of the Spanish words “inteligente” (smart) and “amigable” (friendly). We pride ourselves in designing smart homes that are user-friendly. We are based in Monterrey, Mexico, but serve the entire country.
How did you get into the industry?
When I was a kid, I was sure I wanted to be an architect, until I was introduced to the world of technology, and I then ended up studying computer science. Following college, I worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, first at Yahoo! and then at Apple. After a few years in California, I moved back to Mexico and started my own software company. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I found my true calling and went into the integration world. In a sense, I think it is the perfect blend of my passion for architecture/construction and my passion for technology.
What’s your favorite project and why?
My favorite project is probably the first “big” project we had that involved a little bit of everything: lighting, distributed audio, networking, media room, security cameras, etc. This project took the longest to design, as not only did we have to research which products and solutions to use, but we also had to establish relationships with new vendors. We took a couple of shots in the dark with equipment we hadn’t used before, but in the end, everything worked out fine. Even though we barely made any money out of this project (mostly due to the little things we “forgot” to consider in our proposal), we learned so much from it, and it really helped us prepare for future projects.
Which home technology do you consider the most important today and why?
For me, home networks and the whole trend of doing everything over IP is the most important home technology today. Nowadays, everything is “connected,” which makes both the wired and wireless networks in the home extremely important. Designing a good home network is perhaps the most crucial part of today’s projects.
What do you consider your biggest achievement as a CEDIA member?
My biggest achievement as a CEDIA member is getting three certifications (ESC, ESC-T, and ESC-N) at CEDIA Expo this year. I’m also planning on taking the test for ESC-D certification later this year. Hopefully, we will also win a CEDIA Award one day.
Which CEDIA benefits do you take advantage of the most, and why?
Mostly the training and networking, especially during CEDIA Expo. In my opinion, you are never trained enough, especially in a world where technology is constantly changing. I am looking forward to using The CEDIA Designer.
Do you regularly attend CEDIA education and make use of CEDIA resources? If so, which courses and resources?
I’ve taken most online courses, and at the past CEDIA Expo, I attended as many in-person training sessions as I could. I’ve also read both the Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems book and the Advanced Residential Electronic Systems book, which helped me prepare greatly for the certification exams. Finally, I love listening to the Tech Council Podcast on my commute to and from work.
I love technology and can’t see myself doing anything that isn’t related to the topic.
What’s the biggest issue for home technology businesses today and how can they deal with it?
I think the biggest issue is the wave of new products that get introduced each year and the constant change. The way we deal with this is with endless research, training, and testing. While we do have brands that we love and trust, we are continually evaluating new options and technologies. Events such as CEDIA Expo are a great way to stay on top of things.
If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be?
Even though this is technically not a problem in our industry, one of the biggest issues we have in Mexico (at least in our city) is that no one enforces the existing electrical codes and norms. In most cases, electrical design and installation is not done correctly. Because of this, we decided to start a new division within our business to try to handle all the electrical work ourselves.
If you weren’t in the home technology sector, what would you like to be doing and why?
I would no doubt be involved in the software business. I love technology and can’t see myself doing anything that isn’t related to the topic.
What does the next year hold for your company?
While we started the company in 2017, it wasn’t until this year that things started to really grow. We have a few projects already secured for the next few months, and we are really excited about the growth we are projecting for 2019. It is also extremely rewarding how word-of-mouth references from our satisfied customers have started to become a significant part of our business.