ASG HIRES JOHN SMALL AS SOLUTIONS ENGINEER

Small Joins ASG with Extensive Technical Background and Customer Perspective

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., September 29, 2022 – Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a solutions provider for media creatives and content owners, announced the appointment of John Small as a Solutions Engineer. Small joins ASG from Quantum where he served as a Pre-Sales Engineer. Previous to his work with Quantum, Small spent 16 years in technical roles at CBS where he was most recently Director of Technical Operations and On-Air Promotions.

At ASG, Small is responsible for providing technical expertise on infrastructure and workflows to clients in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. In his role, he’ll work closely with client management and technical engineering teams to identify issues and find the most efficient solutions for their media production environments.

While at CBS, Small was responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of 70 Avid Media Composer NLEs and finishing bays, ProTools audio bays and graphics workstations, as well as the management of captioning services, publicity shoots and upfront presentations.

“John’s technical knowledge and expertise in the LA media and entertainment industry is as deep as you can get,” said Dave Van Hoy, President, ASG. “He’s had several notable achievements and worked in every role you can imagine – from engineering to installation and configuration, environmental design, data center design and implementation, to project management. He’s built render farms from scraps and was part of the remastering team on the original Star Trek series. During his time as an ASG client, John was always a pleasure to work with. We’re thrilled to have his talents as part of our team.”

Small’s relationships with current ASG personnel makes the transition from his long stint at CBS far easier. “I’ve already worked with most of the ASG team in Los Angeles,” Small said. “As a customer I knew I could always count on them to come through with whatever we needed. I look forward to adding my unique experiences, problem solving skills, and overall positive attitude toward generating customer success.”

Small will be based in the Los Angeles area. He can be reached via email at: jsmall@asgllc.com

About ASG:
Advanced Systems Group, LLC enables creativity through better technology for media creatives and content owners. From acquisition to post-production to delivery, whether on premises or in cloud, ASG’s goal is to ensure customer success through tailored solutions that create optimal workflows. One of the largest Systems Integrators in North America, ASG provides engineering services, physical and cloud integration, training, and support. ASG’s Virtual Production Control Room allows clients to operate their live event control room in the cloud. ASG’s Managed Services delivers customized staffing solutions for all phases of media production, including creative and engineering. Based in Northern California since 1997, ASG has teams in Los Angeles, the New York Tri-State Area, and the Rocky Mountain Region to provide nationwide services. Find your solution at www.asgllc.com.

Andrea Thomas Q&A

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Thomas, Client Account Manager with Advanced Systems Group (ASG) – Managed Services group. Her extensive consulting and recruiting experience support the growing staffing and service needs of ASG’s media and entertainment clients. As Client Account Manager, Andrea helps to maintain relationships with existing accounts and assists new clients through the entire onboarding process. Her role closely aligns with the Managed Services group’s mission to facilitate each client’s specific business challenges from building a production studio, planning and executing a live, in-person or remote event, or providing creative support on a project-to-project basis. In this interview, we get to dig a little deeper into Andrea’s position at ASG, her background, and learn a little something most of us do not know about her! Andrea considers herself a partner of ASG’s clients, supporting their own development and requirements while helping drive ASG’s growth in the Managed Services realm.

Q1:  Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background

My career spans both the recruiting and consulting worlds across several industries including Cloud AI, healthcare, clean technology, and media & entertainment, among others. I have always found satisfaction in assisting companies around the globe find the pain points, isolate their challenges, and then helping them build successful teams through recruitment, streamlining and developing solutions, or other tactics.

Q2: Please give us more insight into your role at ASG

I joined ASG three years ago initially in a recruiting role, which quite quickly shifted to something more expansive covering multiple roles within the company. With the rapid growth of ASG’s Managed Services division and the demand for our services, we started wearing multiple hats to meet this demand. We now have more recruitment, finance, account management and resource teams in place to support this growth. Based in the Bay Area in California, my role is now to manage new customer accounts around the world, building and managing core relationships with our existing clients, and bridging gaps with our clients’ staffing, resource and even technology needs. This partnership also includes making sure our clients are aware of all the professional managed services we offer; regardless of whether they’re looking for short or long-term staffing, ad-hoc project based or flexible workforce models. I really like to present myself as a partner to our clients, connecting them to all aspects of the ASG business.

Q3: Can you please offer your thoughts (and predictions if you will) on industry shifts and trends in the coming years?

We are currently seeing an influx of activity as our clients prepare budgets for the coming year and beyond. As our clients ramp up their projects, decide on their staffing and team needs, and work on the various stages of new buildouts of production studios and other facilities, we are simultaneously ramping up our teams in preparation for this demand trend. In some cases, we’re expecting even more activity than pre-pandemic times, partly driven by the fact that clients can now see what else is possible with remote environments and remote production.

Q4: Let’s get a little more personal now if we may; please tell us something most people don’t know about you

I have a great love of dance, which I am incredibly passionate about. I am really fortunate to have enjoyed a variety of dance experiences performing with local artists such as Manuel Romero and Xavier Toscano, or back-up dancing for American rappers, e40 and Snoop Dogg, and dancing in performances for our local Filipino channel. I’ve been dancing for most of my life – and still do – across all styles and have been part of a competitive hip-hop team for over ten years. Dancing is truly my creative outlet.

ASG President Discusses How To Use The Cloud To Deliver SaaS Solutions

Dave Van Hoy explores software as a service as both a technology model and an economic model – and how systems contractors can survive and thrive as more organizations embrace SaaS – in his latest column for Systems Contractor News.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE

Andreas Hoeschle Joins ASG's Southern California Team as Key Technical Account Manager

Hoeschle Brings Wide-Ranging Experience in Storage and Engineering to New Role

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., April 21, 2022 – Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a solutions provider for media creatives and content owners, today announced the appointment of Andreas Hoeschle as key technical account manager, Southwest, effective April 23, 2022. Based in the Los Angeles area, Hoeschle comes to ASG from Integrated Media Technologies (IMT) where he was a technical account manager. In his new role at ASG, Hoeschle serves as the trusted advisor to the ASG client, ensuring a smooth customer journey from initial installation through decommission. 

Andreas Hoeschle

Hoeschle is an experienced IT professional who’s worked in client support for over 20 years in various industries and disciplines. In addition to IMT, he’s served as a pre-sales engineer at ELEMENTS Storage, systems engineer at Dell Technologies, systems engineer at The Hallmark Channel, and a senior systems engineer as well as sales manager at GPL Technologies. Through his previous experience with high-profile, LA-based media companies and tech firms, Hoeschle has already worked closely with several ASG staff members. 

“With ASG I can use my years of experience to make a difference.  I feel like I’m coming home to a family. What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to excel with the incredible team here in LA,” Hoeschle said.

Hoeschle sees significant opportunity for ASG throughout Southern California and is looking forward to building momentum in the region. He believes his time spent as a systems engineer with television networks gives him a deeper insight into the challenges faced by ASG customers. “I was on the client side for years,” said Hoeschle. “When we sit down with a client at a facility, I can genuinely say I’ve been in your shoes. I know how hard it is when you must make everything fit within your budget. And with my storage, VAR and other experience, I can suggest a solution that’s going to be more cost-effective and innovative.”

Dave Van Hoy, President, ASG commented, “Andreas has a reputation for understanding a client’s needs and being able to bring that to fruition. His range of knowledge and diverse background will serve him very well at ASG. We feel fortunate to have him as a member of our team.”

Hoeschle be reached at: ahoeschle@asgllc.com

About ASG:

Advanced Systems Group, LLC enables creativity through better technology for media creatives and content owners. From acquisition to post-production to delivery, whether on premises or in cloud, ASG’s goal is to ensure customer success through tailored solutions that create optimal workflows. One of the largest Systems Integrators in North America, ASG provides engineering services, physical and cloud integration, training, and support. ASG’s Virtual Production Control Room allows clients to operate their live event control room in the cloud. ASG’s Managed Services delivers customized staffing solutions for all phases of media production, including creative and engineering. Based in Northern California since 1997, ASG has teams in Los Angeles, the New York Tri-State Area, and the Rocky Mountain Region to provide nationwide services. Find your solution at www.asgllc.com.

Cloud Power: Evaluating Technology and Needs in 2022

By Dave Van Hoy, President, Advanced Systems Group, LCC

As we enter 2022, public cloud is now a reality for the AV industry. Whether you’re comfortable with it or not, it’s here. Our job as the system integrator, remains the same as it has always been: to evaluate technologies and workflows with clients to identify their immediate and future needs to find the right solutions. That could be in the cloud or on premises. Cloud-based systems are the shiny, new object that everyone is talking about. Every year there’s another new, shiny object. However, some are more fraught with risk than others. When we look at the uses of public cloud, we really want to start with what is your customer looking to gain? Flexibility, cost, agility? What are they willing to give up for those gains? As with every new technology, there are tradeoffs. 

If your client has an existing, on-prem infrastructure, cloud may or may not be the best choice. If your client has no infrastructure and is starting from scratch, a cloud workflow may be worth evaluating to determine if it’s the best choice. 

Moving to the cloud is all about converting costs from capital to operational expenses as well as ability to iterate more quickly without expense equipment replacements. The first thing you want to ascertain for your client is, is there a financial motivation to move costs from CAPEX to OPEX in their organization? If there is, then you can begin to look at the possible benefits. But if the motivation is purely cost savings in the long term, then public cloud on an annualized basis may not save you a great deal of money. 

On the new risks side of the equation you will have:  Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) of Public Cloud vendors that are outside of your control. Connectivity that may be outside of your control, as well as greater security concerns. The security concerns are generally not within the hyperscaler itself as you would expect, but instead are more related to the network used to get the content to the cloud and back. That will be your concern as the System Integrator and not the hyperscaler’s. 

Also, when looking at the costs, one has to remember that some of the greatest costs in cloud today are egress charges – traffic that exits a network in transit to an external location. Egress charges represent the cost of bringing a signal or data back from the cloud to your client’s premises. The formulation for looking at total cost of ownership with the Cloud is immensely more complex. Because you’re moving from predictable fixed costs of hardware and software, even if the software is as a subscription, to a world of subscription, consumption and egress. This is not to be taken lightly. We learned this the first time one of our clients did a proof of concept (POC) believing that they wanted to be all in cloud. They just did not want another server in their rack. Their budget was $10,000 for a 90-day POC with the hyperscaler. After 90 days, they got a bill for $30,000.

That is not to say that cloud is always right or always wrong. It’s always about finding the best answer. Sometimes that’s about the technology. Sometimes it’s about the economics. and sometimes it’s both. So how do you go about this? By taking the same steps that you always take with your client: 1) discovery 2) an evaluation of needs 3) look at potential solutions 4) price them out for your client. One note is that as you go through this process, you’ll find the amount of work to do it in the software-defined and hyperscaler world is more than you are used to. It likely will require skills you may not have directly in your organization today. 

Early on there will be a great deal trial and error since this is not mature standards-based technology. It’s a very iterative process, something you may not know how to do today. Projects will likely require sub consultants if you don’t have the in-house experience. However, once you go down this path, you’ll find the system design criteria are very much the same as every other system you’ve done in your career. You’re looking to solve for functionality and quality. Some of the leading vendors today may have parts of solutions or may claim to have the entire solution. But we all know how that really works out. At the end of the day, you are hired by the client to be the one, truly responsible party. 

Because this technology is so new, you’ll find yourself doing a great number of POC projects. It’s important to understand how to characterize the project, what parts of the needs are real-time, and which are offline (recording or archival). All of this points to how much risk is inherent in the project. And of course, the risk has to tie back to the gain or why bother? 

Our recommendation is that as you enter the world of cloud-based, audio visual systems as follows: 

  1. Select some of your staff and get them training at the appropriate levels within the hyperscalers you’re going to work with, they differ highly. 
  2. Make your business deal with the hyper scalers and decide if you’re going to resell their services or merely integrate them.
  3. Do your technology evaluations with existing vendors for what they’re doing in cloud, and look at your competitors to ensure that you understand a balanced offering of products. 
  4. As with all new technologies, make sure you have adequate time to design and test iteratively. Always include all of the signal paths, including ingress and egress to the cloud. This may point out challenges that you may not have expected.

And lastly, enjoy the ride. It’s always fun to learn new stuff.

ASG Personalities: Collyer Spreen

Collyer Spreen joined Advanced Systems Group in October 2020 as a sales engineer for the audio team. A Pro Tools expert, he spent more than seven years as a pro audio solutions specialist for Avid Technology. He is based in Dallas and continues to work as a freelance recording engineer through his company, Soundasleep Productions.

What drew you to audio technology?
I’ve played drums since I was six years old. I built my first set of drums out of Charles Chips cardboard tubs – I turned them upside down and they became drums. Growing up listening to vinyl, I became a particularly focused listener. That led me to wanting to learn how to make those sounds myself. 

How did your career progress as a professional musician?
I played my way through high school and college with various bands, and then I moved to New York City and became a recording engineer. After two years, I moved to California, and within nine months I had another studio job.

About this time, MIDI appeared, and I became really good as a MIDI programmer. Actually, I had moved to L.A. to be a drummer, but I also realized that drum machines were here to stay – so I figured I’d better learn how to program these things or I was going to be out of a job! I hooked up with Starship as their MIDI programmer during their Knee Deep in the Hoopla tour, and wound up working with them for four albums and tours.

What sparked your interest in Pro Tools?
I was literally there in the golden hour of perfect sunlight of audio as it transitioned from analog to digital. After the music industry started to change to home studios in the late 90s, I decided I could do what I did anywhere, so I moved back to Texas. Pro Tools hit the market, and I started to learn the technology, which I used as a post engineer for commercial and episodic TV for 15 years.

Around 2010, I was laid off – but within six months I was hired by Avid as a Pro Tools and workflow specialist. That was an incredible experience on so many levels, and reconnected me with so many people that I had lost touch with when I moved to Texas. Joining ASG was a good opportunity for me to gain some stability with a company that has thrived and grown during the pandemic. 

What do you think is the next “big thing” in audio?
Audio over IP is on a significant growth curve – networked audio is an important part of studio infrastructure. There’s also a going to be a lot of continued growth in immersive audio, which is still defining itself. With immersive audio, it’s like being in a pool of sound, and you can put yourself anywhere in that pool. Dolby Atmos is the leading format, but there are many competing formats from other companies. It’s just going to continue to develop.

How can ASG help with today’s audio challenges?
The pandemic forced the industry to accelerate the adoption of working from home business models. That’s where the industry was going anyway, but the time is now instead of five years from now. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a lot of people on the curb instead of the highway of progress. We decided to get in front of the challenges of remote production workflows and solve them.

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