RF Code, the company best known for its RFID-tag-based asset management solutions has a new CEO at the helm. Ed Healy has stepped into the role as the company prepares to launch a new strategy, aiming to change the dynamics of using Big Data to run data centers. Early in his tenure, Healy sees massive opportunity in both global expansion and improving proactive asset management capabilities through software.
RF Code provides asset management, environmental monitoring and data center optimization solutions. Its strategic imperative is to provide actionable insight into collected data. “It’s a misnomer to view RF Code as strictly an RFID play,” Healy says. He believes there is a lot more value in the data the company collects, and that value lies in predictive analytics.
“A lot of what’s going on right now is collecting a lot of data,” he says. “We’re putting it into reports that are meaningful to operators. In terms of predictive analytics, there’s a lot of development we can throw in. We’re tied into building management, so adaptive technologies are the big opportunity going forward.”
The new CEO sees scaling revenue over the next six months to a year as the company's biggest most immediate challenge, but the second key challenge is more strategic. "There’s a very focused effort within the company to increase the value we provide through software. We can almost leapfrog what’s currently being done in terms of a software platform,” he says.
Positioning as Internet of Things company
Healy wants to make sure RF Code has a place in the world of increasingly connected devices. A self-described big user of the "Internet of Things" in his personal life, Healy brings up Nest (the intelligent home thermostat control company Google bought earlier this year) as an example. Controlled by smartphones, Nest's technology learns about the temperatures you like and adjusts it accordingly when you're there. The result is a lower energy bills and a thermostat that you don’t need to touch, he says. It’s one of the bigger, early successes in the Internet of Things.
“If you think about what we’re doing, we’re sort of like the Nest of data centers,” Healy says. “We’re providing control over smart phones. We’re an IoT play for sure. While Nest has done a great job in terms of their software and their ability to self-learn [home temperature] patterns, we’re increasingly doing the same in data centers.”
Aggressive push into Asia underway
RF Code hit the 2 million assets mark in data centers in September of last year. The company has high market penetration in North America, and the EMEA region is its fastest growing market. However, Healy sees Asia as a big chance for growth and has the background to help the company hit the ground running there.
“We’re missing a complete market for ourselves over in Asia,” he says. “That’s my background.” That background includes an executive role at Silicon Laboratories, an Austin, Texas-based semiconductor company with big presence in Asia, and a role as senior advisor to the chairman of MediaTek, a semiconductor company headquartered in Taiwan.
“We can grow our revenue significantly there in the short term,” he said. “We’re using on the ground distributors that I have close relationships with, and they get what we’re doing.”
He says his existing relationships give RF Code a foothold in Asia without the need to invest money in establishing initial relationships in the new market early on. Healy has full confidence in this network, which has already started yielding results. The company recently touted a win with one of Hong Kong’s largest power companies to improve energy efficiency of its data centers.
A month in, it's still early for Healy, but he says he feels very good about the software talent within the company and its ability to develop further capabilities around analyzing the data its asset tags collect. “One thing I’ve always felt pretty good about is I’ve always been able to assess talent, and the developer talent is here.”
Several data center infrastructure management providers integrate with RF Code and state that it’s one of the more popular integrations. Better predictive analytics and adaptive technologies will increase the value the company provides. “For me the real challenge will be to hone in and provide a real focus and strategy on what we want to do in the next year,” said Healy.