Vasileios Nasis, president and CEO of Netronix, sat down with Water Online Radio for this live interview from the show floor at WEFTEC 2011 in Los Angeles. Nasis explains the company’s web-based monitoring technology, calling it the “Facebook of data.” Listen or read on to learn more.
Todd Schnick: We are back, broadcasting live from the Los Angeles Convention Center and the tradeshow floor of WEFTEC. I am Todd Schnick, joined by my co-host, Todd Youngblood. Todd, we have come to the end of day one at WEFTEC. I think we might have saved the best for last.
Todd Youngblood: Well, I think we did, and this gentleman wasn’t even scheduled. We were trying to get out until we heard what this guy had.
Todd Schnick: We had plans, which will be delayed a few minutes.
Todd Youngblood: Worth it.
Todd Schnick: Really excited about introducing this fellow. His name is Vasileios Nasis. He is the president and CEO of Netronix. Welcome to Water Online Radio.
Vasileios Nasis: Thank you, guys.
Todd Schnick: Well, before we get into a conversation, take a few minutes, Vasileios, and tell us a little about you, your background, and the work that you’re doing with Netronix?
Vasileios Nasis: I’m a trained electrical engineer, have a PhD in electrical engineering, and I started Netronix in Philadelphia about three years ago – Philadelphia, PA. Netronix actually brought the whole social experience, the social networking experience, into the remote monitoring sector.
Our company addresses remote monitoring in the water field, in the energy field, the environmental sector – and we bring a whole new experience into remote monitoring in all those fields.
Todd Youngblood: When you say “whole new experience,” take us a level deeper in the detail there.
Vasileios Nasis: Netronix has developed a fully web-based solution that allows you to monitor any devices that you may, any sensors that you may have, in the field –anytime, anywhere – through your iPad, through your iPhone, or any smartphone device. It’s fully web-based, the data.
We have developed a hardware which is called Thiamis, and Thiamis is actually a cross-platform device that can connect with any sensor that is currently manufactured.
That device can be placed anywhere in the field, collect the data from the sensor, and then the data goes back to our cloud where we maintain all the data, and the end user has access to all the data directly through the web.
So, as I said, it’s a fully web-based system, and it gives now a lot of social networking tools for people to do monitoring in a much more effective and efficient way. Just as a quick example – just to suit the impact that Netronix brings into this sector – think of the example of how easy it was to use computers back in the ’80s. It wasn’t very easy.
Todd Youngblood: I remember.
Vasileios Nasis: Computers were designed at that time so they can be used only by people who knew how to use computers, by engineers. This is very much how remote monitoring is done these days. You have to be an engineer in order to be able to set up a PLC or to establish any really remote monitoring system.
We have completely revolutionized this sector by introducing our solution, our remote monitoring solution, which allows anybody, really, who knows how to use a computer to be able to establish remote monitoring.
Todd Schnick: Vasileios, in the preshow briefing, you boldly claimed that this was the Facebook of data, and I thought that was a little bit of a strong statement. But after seeing a demonstration, I’m believing that you are the Facebook of data. Talk us through why that’s so significant. Vasileios Nasis: It is, really indeed, that this is what we have done. It’s a Facebook of data. Why? Actually, just recently I was asked whether I have a manual about Environet, which is our web-based solution, and I said: “No, I don’t have a manual. And, actually, if you hear Netronix having a manual for any of our products, it means that we have run out of creativity.”
So everything we develop…it’s not a matter of how many features – bells and whistles, in other words – it has. It’s about actually making remote monitoring a pleasant experience and something that just makes sense and it works. So we have been very much a group of young people – developers that you can find them in companies such as Google or Facebook or Apple – we have developed this comprehensive monitoring system that really allows you to do things in a very comprehensive and easy way. We like to have things simple and things that just make sense and work.
Todd Youngblood: Vasileios, you’ve talked a lot about the ease of implementation and ease of use of the whole Environet system and the hardware immigration. Talk a little about the financial impact. What does it mean in terms of dollars and cents?
Vasileios Nasis: The financial impact actually is tremendous. Think about that right now companies, if something goes wrong in the field, they always have to send somebody out in the field to check. Without having a robust monitoring system, that can cost a lot of money to companies.
In several industries, such as for instance agriculture, we have shown them that with remote monitoring they can save up to 30% of their operational expenses. We don’t have to go into details now, but you can take my word on that – that they can save so much money.
And that obviously happens in the energy of sector; let’s say you have a solar farm and some of the panels are not functioning well. That’s a tremendous economical impact that you can have. So a sophisticated solution brings impact to many different levels – from engineering, from financial point of view, from any different aspect.
Todd Youngblood: Is this data flow a two-way straight? We’ve been talking pretty much about monitoring. What are the control aspects of the system?
Vasileios Nasis: The data, actually, is always two-way, and it’s called full duplex bidirectional – in the sense that you can collect data, or send data to the device; which means that can be either to control another device in the field or to do firmware updates.
In order to make a system like ours, which is, as we call it, “plug and play,” you need to be able to have this capability. This way, the customer or the end user does not have to participate, really, in any firmware updates. Everything is done, and it’s just simple. We took all the complexity and we put it in the backbone.
Todd Schnick: Vasileios, is Netronix exhibiting here at WEFTEC?
Vasileios Nasis: No, actually, we’re not exhibiting at WEFTEC. But we plan to be exhibiting next year.
Todd Schnick: Outstanding. So what are your objectives at this show? What are your objectives at this WEFTEC?
Vasileios Nasis: At this WEFTEC, it was a good time for me to meet with some existing clients and also to make some connections – introduce the product to some p
otential clients. Todd Youngblood: And you’re on Water Online Radio, so you’re now going to be world famous. So you’ll be prepared for that.
Vasileios Nasis: Well, I’m in Hollywood. It’s a place where you can be famous.
Todd Youngblood: We’ll all be famous together. Yes, we will. Vasileios, we’re about out of time, it was a real pleasure to have you on the show.
Vasileios Nasis: Likewise. Thank you.
Todd Schnick: Before we let you go, share with the audience how they can get in touch with you and learn more about Netronix and your product.
Vasileios Nasis: Everybody who would like to get some more information about Netronix, they can go to our website, Netronixgroup.com, and they can see everything about our product. And they can get in touch with me directly from there as well.
Todd Schnick: Vasileios Nasis, president and CEO of Netronix, it was a pleasure having you. Thank you for joining us today.
Vasileios Nasis: Thank you.
Todd Youngblood: Thanks, Vasileios.
Todd Schnick: Okay. That wraps day one of Water Online Radio. Todd, we did it.
Todd Youngblood: We did it, man, and I can’t wait for day two. If it’s anywhere near this much fun, I want to do it again, man.
Todd Schnick: Yeah. Thank God there’s not an evening segment, though. I don’t know that I could pull it off.
Todd Youngblood: Well, I think I need an adult beverage.
Todd Schnick: I think that’s going to be good way to wrap up day one. On behalf of Todd Youngblood, I am Todd Schnick of Water Online. We’ll be back tomorrow morning. We’ll see you then.