passed the $19 billion mark. Cybersecurity, according to the Deloitte study, remains a prime concern, as does the skills gap, among those employing cognitive systems. The study was based on the results of a survey of 1,100 IT and line-of-business executives from US-based companies in Q3 2018. Deloitte’s conclusion, while general to all industries, could apply to any AEC firm that branches out into AI and machine learning. “Our survey results clearly show that growing numbers of companies are becoming more sophisticated in their usage of AI technologies. Now is the time for organizations to start selecting the business-use cases that can deliver measurable value through AI-powered capabili- ties.” The Partnership The partnership between Ortenzi and Orlando has stood the test of time, 18 years to be exact. Their tactic is fairly simple – divide and conquer. Ortenzi mans the “back of the house” with research and development, design and engineering, while Orlando works the “front of the house” with business development, sales, and marketing. Together, the two of them log about one million air miles per year. The hectic schedule means they don’t see each other too often. “It’s been an interesting road,” Ortenzi jokingly said. “Whenever we’re together it’s either really good or really bad.” Ortenzi dates his tech career back to the early 1980s – MS-DOS, 8088 processors, and the dawn of the “network or networks,” now known as the Internet. With a laugh, he guesses that he has built upwards of 4,000 servers in his day. A self-taught computer technician, Ortenzi has a degree in business administration from the University of Colorado. Like Ortenzi, Orlando also traces his tech roots back to the early years, when he was just 18. He started out testing RFID in clothing, meat- packing, shoes, and other products. From RFID he came up through the data center scene in Southern California, crossing paths with Ortenzi in 2004. Orlando has a degree in international business from San Diego State University. Orlando is always looking ahead to the next big thing. But he also understands the value of what happened in the past, specifically as it relates to his partnership with Ortenzi. “We’ve been blessed,” he said. “We’ve had about two or three cross words [in the last 18 years].” The results of the partnership speak for themselves. “We now have one of the most complete and capable cabinet platforms in the world,” Orlando said. “We are able to serve a customer wherever their demands are.”
Chris Orlando, center left, with NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, center right, standing in front of a ScaleMatrix cabinet at the NVIDIA GTC conference in San Jose in March. Photo: NVIDIA
In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced that M.C. Dean, an electrical design-build and systems integration firm for mission-crit- ical organizations, will invest $25.1 million to incorporate a new prod- uct line at its fabrication and distribution facility in Caroline County. The expansion, which opens this summer, will double the company’s manufacturing capacity to support high-growth, mission-critical cus- tomers such as airports, healthcare facilities, and data centers. In 2017, McKinsey & Company, in its report, “The New Age of Engi- neering and Construction Technology,” announced that the engineering and construction industry “is at the cusp of a new era, with technology start-ups creating new applications and tools that are changing how companies design, plan, and execute projects.” The report cited applications of cutting-edge technologies across the full gamut of the AEC cycle, from design to preconstruction, and from construction to operations and management. In a subsequent report, however, McKinsey & Company concluded that “adoption of AI solu- tions is quite low in E&C [Engineering & Construction], particularly compared with other industries.” Last year, in “State of AI in the Enterprise, 2nd Edition,” Deloitte reported that the global market in cognitive technologies has already The ScaleMatrix cabinet system at work at a Future-Proof data center. Photo: ScaleMatrix
RICHARD MASSEY is managing editor of Zweig Group publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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