In November 2019, Steve Young joined Advanced Systems Group as head of system design and integration. He is based in the company’s main office in Emeryville, CA. The industry veteran spent more than 15 years with Sony Electronics. As the director of system solutions, he managed the Sony Professional Solutions Project Delivery Group. He also spent two years as COO for David Carroll Associates.
Q: How did you become interested in systems integration?
A: I have always been a builder of things. I had a soldering iron by the time I was 10, and I would build things with switches and lights. When I started my career, I was on the operational side of the business, working with different artists in the recording industry. That’s when I discovered there was a whole industry dedicated to building and designing the systems I was using every day. When the recording industry started shifting to low-cost digital recording, I moved to system design and integration.
Q: What were some of the interesting projects you worked on during your career?
A: My first project for Sony was project manager for a facility they were building in Tokyo. It was an urban entertainment complex featuring interactive gaming and a lot of AV. The project took a year and a half, and I served as a liaison between the Japanese workers and the U.S. designers and systems engineers.
When I returned home, I started as a project proposal manager with Sony’s systems integration group, which was primarily focused on the major broadcast networks. I learned a lot there, because their standards were basically setting the standards for the broadcast integration industry at that time. I also had the opportunity to work on the system design and security protocols for Sony’s very first digital cinema systems deployed in theaters.
Q: What do many people misunderstand about systems integration?
A: The order of operations – how you move from a concept to a conceptual design and budget, then move forward with a more detailed design, follow that with a project plan, and conclude with delivery and installation. When people don’t follow the process, the project becomes more challenging than it needs to be. That’s why you need a strong relationship with a company like ASG. We manage the process and keep the order of operations intact.
Q: What are some of the new trends you’re seeing in the industry?
A: The most obvious trend over the past year has been remote production. Clients are trying to figure out what operations can be done remotely versus what has to be done on site – and what does that mean for physical plant design? Right now, it’s less about 4K or HD and more about how to adopt remote production workflows and maintain a limited footprint in the studio. Not only can we help answer those questions, but ASG now offers our Virtual Production Control Room, so our clients can produce real-time coverage of live events with no on-prem services required.
Q: How can ASG help organizations looking to build new facilities or refresh existing systems?
A: There is so much new technology out there, from cloud solutions to video-over-IP, and all of it is relatively young in its lifecycle. Selecting the solution that is going to meet your business needs and be reliable requires experience and due diligence. ASG’s approach is built around both, with the goal of establishing lasting partnerships. With so many different workflows to consider, this is not the time to choose a company that just wants to deliver and disappear.