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Specifically Speaking with Bruce Yoch – ‘This exciting industry allows us to use emerging technologies to protect and safeguard assets’

Specifically Speaking with Bruce Yoch – ‘This exciting industry allows us to use emerging technologies to protect and safeguard assets’ Principal at BrightTree Studios discusses his career path, emerging technologies, industry views, and more

Specifically Speaking with Bruce Yoch – ‘This exciting industry allows us to use emerging technologies to protect and safeguard assets’

YARMOUTH, Maine—Bruce Yoch’s company believes in collaboration, creativity, and challenging the status quo.

Yoch is a principal at BrightTree Studios, a technology design and consulting firm specializing in AV, IT, telecom, security, acoustics, Internet of Things (IoT), and intelligent buildings, based out of Pittsburgh, Pa.

BrightTree StudiosFounded in 2007, BrightTree Studios provides holistic, innovative, cost-efficient, and timely technology design and consulting for its clients’ unique needs.

As the company states, “We’ve grown and improved with each technology space we’ve designed. As regular collaborators with architects around the world, we know how transparency, inclusion, and ingenuity can lead to tremendous built environments that inspire the ways people live, learn, work, and play.”

“I am responsible for leading our IT/telecom and security groups. In addition, I act as project manager and lead designer for various projects,” Yoch told SSN.

As part of Security Systems News’ monthly column Specifically Speaking, the following is an exclusive Q&A with Yoch:

SSN: What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

YOCH: BrightTree Studios is a full-service technology firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa. We specialize in designing and consulting audio-visual, IT/telecom, security, and acoustic solutions. We work with architects, engineers, developers, and end users to create leading-edge environments that inspire people to collaborate, work, teach, create, and learn.

SSN: What vertical markets does the company specialize in? Any interesting projects that you can mention?

YOCH: While we do not limit ourselves to one specific vertical, we are very active in the higher education market. In addition, we have experience in health care, science and technology, and government markets, among others.

We were fortunate to have been chosen to be part of the design team for the first academic building being constructed as part of Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus in Arlington, Va. This is the first of three buildings planned to comprise the new campus. This 300,000-square-foot building will provide graduate-level computer science and computer engineering programs.

SSN: How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

YOCH: I began my career installing systems as an apprentice electrician. The apprenticeship program offered the opportunity to work on various construction projects, installing security and automation systems. From there, I progressed through multiple roles, including pre-sales engineering, sales, and senior leadership.

Prior to my current role, I managed a team of network engineers across the United States and Canada. The team was responsible for establishing internal standards focusing on cybersecurity. The transition to my current role was a natural fit as it allowed me to take advantage of the knowledge I’ve gained throughout my career and my education to develop and lead a dynamic team of systems engineers. Our team focuses on industry trends, technological advancements, and continuous education as we strive to provide services that consistently exceed our clients’ expectations.

SSN: Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

YOCH: It’s no secret that there has been a lot of talk regarding artificial intelligence. Like most technologies, there are challenges associated with it. We believe the risk of this technology being used inappropriately is a serious concern. Most notably, privacy concerns with artificial intelligence and video surveillance. The potential exists that the technology could impose bias and discrimination, resulting in prejudicial or unfair outcomes. This is not the intent, but we believe if we can develop countermeasures to avoid unintended biases, AI and video surveillance can be very powerful.

With that said, the benefits of artificial intelligence are numerous. For years, manufacturers have been promoting analytics as a tool. Artificial intelligence takes analytics to another level, processing ‘big data’ and further enhancing security platforms, making the systems smarter while they adapt to their specific environment. Artificial intelligence can also help offset staff shortages while enhancing situational awareness. But most importantly, artificial intelligence will help provide a safer environment and a better customer experience.

SSN: What is your view on the industry moving forward?

YOCH: This exciting industry allows us to take advantage of emerging technologies to develop solutions to protect and safeguard assets in an ever-changing landscape. Staying current with technology trends is paramount, as is sharing knowledge and lessons learned. Continuing education is the opportunity to combine years of experience and lessons from the field with the latest research and developments to bring new ideas and innovations to this important work.

The value of shared knowledge and mentorship in our field is too often overlooked. Coupling mentorship and continuing education is critical to how we harness new ideas and innovations to pursue excellence for our customers and communities.


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