S4 On the Road in Canada

Last month Nancy and I made a trip to Canada to visit partners and learn a bit more about our neighbors to the North. Our first stop was in Vancouver, where we had the opportunity to visit with Peter and Carol Chipkin of Chipkin Automation Systems. Chipkin was one of S4’s first distributor relationships and we both learned a lot through this relationship.

Initially, we defined Peter’s territory as Western Canada but as our distributor network grew we realized that we live in a different world than 20 years ago and that geographic territory restrictions on products like our S4 Open Appliances are just not practical and are nearly impossible to enforce. We redefined our definition of territory for Chipkin, and all of our distributor partners. Today, there is no mention of geography in our territory definitions. Instead, we define the territory as any place that the S4 partner normally does business and has the ability to deliver quality pre-sales engineering and 1st level technical support. Peter shared his vision for the evolution of Chipkin Automation Systems and his plans to expand his international marketing efforts. We are looking forward to seeing Chipkin staff at one of our upcoming S4 Boot Camps where we will help them to hone their skills on the S4 products.

We had a great evening with Peter and Carol while they showed us some of the local sites. It really is possible to mix business and pleasure!

Carol and Peter share a local footbridge outside of Vancouver, Canada.

The next stop was Calgary. Rodney Lyster and his team at the ESC Automation branch have taken on a monumental project at the Calgary airport. It is a combination of new construction of an international terminal and upgrading the legacy JCI BAS to bring it under control of modern Delta Controls technology. We had the opportunity to tour the airport installation with Ryan Mitzner and discuss potential product enhancements with him and John Van Hooft. The ESC team is a very talented and sophisticated group of integrators who have stretched the capabilities of the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router to match the size and scope of this project. The product and the S4 and Obermeier Software staff rose to the occasion and everyone has been successful. See the S4 case study for the Calgary Airport project http://www.thes4group.com/case-studies/calgary-internation-airport-upgrade.

We had a luncheon meeting with airport officials managing the BAS upgrade project and got to hear first-hand their experiences. Blaine Adams, Director of Facility Maintenance for the Airport Authority, stated during the discussions that there was no way that they could have accomplished what they did, in the timeframe, and at a cost that they were able to, without the S4 product and the skills of the ESC team.

And now comes the fun. ESC treated S4 to the Calgary Stampede, a wonderful dinner, and the evening Chuck Wagon Races and stage show. What a way to top off a very successful business trip. The Stampede is something that has been on my bucket list for too many years to count!

Calgary Stampede stadium

The trip was a success – we are so grateful to know and work with such stellar people in this industry, and look forward to more ‘work-cations’ such as this one.