Leading with change: 6 local leaders weigh in on the tech that's transforming their industries

by April Bohnert
March 12, 2019

Yesterday, we celebrated the 30th birthday of the World Wide Web — a potent reminder of the impact technology can have in every facet of our lives. Right now, even as you’re reading this article, new tech innovations are emerging to transform entire industries and change the way we think, work and interact with those around us. It’s hard to say where technology will take us in another 30 years, but there’s no question that, right here in Colorado, local tech companies are helping to shape that future.

We caught up with six local leaders to learn more about the products their teams are building and how they’re leveraging tech to drive their industries — and technology as a whole — forward.

 

Arrow Electronics tech innovation Colorado
Photo via Arrow

Founded in 1935, Arrow is a pillar in the tech industry here in Colorado and around the world. The company serves as a supply channel partner for over 100,000 OEMs, contract manufacturers and commercial customers and provides a range of products and services to help businesses bring innovative new products to market. VP of Arrow Digital Allison Sabia shared how the company has evolved over the years and how it continues to improve lives through cutting-edge tech.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Arrow has built a reputation of being the most trusted advisor to our customers and suppliers alike. We are uniquely positioned to help solve the complexities of bringing technology to market at an unprecedented speed and scale. We are able to do that because we have transformed ourselves from being a components distributor to a company that creates, makes and manages technology across the entire supply chain.

Innovation to Arrow means we are leveraging technology to improve people’s lives. We have helped Sam Schmidt, a quadriplegic race car driver, to be able to drive again. From that technology, we were able to help many veterans with paralysis get behind the wheel again and be in control of their lives. It’s all about helping to create new opportunities to improve quality of life, and that is what truly matters.

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

Today, the world is evolving at an extremely rapid pace, and that is why we always have to be thinking five years out to stay ahead. Artificial intelligence, of course, is front and center in the role it plays in technology, but for me, it’s really about the role data security will play. In today’s digital world, everyone expects data that is immediate and impactful. The opportunity for us to be the trusted partner for their most critical information is key to future success. Those companies that can do that securely will win.

 

Assignar tech innovation Colorado
Photo via Assignar

Assignar’s SaaS platform helps contractors and construction professionals manage the ins and outs of their field operations in real time — including tasks like project scheduling, asset management and regulatory compliance. Vice President of Construction Market and Innovation Jason Barber gave us a glimpse into some of the ways his team is driving the industry forward.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Several of our executives are industry veterans with deep experience in engineering, construction and technology. We understand the operational challenges faced by subcontractors and self-perform contractors first hand, and that helps us to better connect with our customers and provide solutions that fit their specific needs. Our construction operations platform helps companies ensure the right employees are at the right place, at the right time and with the right equipment through software and data insights.

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

The digital transformation continues to be a big trend in the construction industry. Many companies still rely on paper, spreadsheets, whiteboards and single-point solutions to manage projects, workers, equipment, certifications, forms and schedules. If they have digitized any of these workflows it has been with point solutions, resulting in isolated silos of information and multiple entries. The adoption of newer, more collaborative construction technologies will eliminate many of these inefficiencies.

Modern, cloud-based, mobile-first technology allows companies to take the complexity out of managing the construction business and adopt a field-focused mentality. As Assignar continues to innovate, we are adding new features and functionality that help companies increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage in the market. If we are solving the same problems for our customers five years from now, we are not innovating.

 

Maxwell tech innovation Colorado
Photo via Maxwell

The mortgage industry is ripe for tech innovation, and Denver-based Maxwell is leading the charge. Its SaaS platform helps residential mortgage professionals automate workflows and streamline communication and collaboration, so lenders can spend more time building relationships and closing loans. Head of Product Lindsay Hunt explained how Maxwell is leveraging new tech solutions to help both lenders and homebuyers.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Though the mortgage industry is often behind the curve in terms of technology adoption, the appeal of automation has piqued the interest of lenders looking to improve productivity. Unlike other technology solutions in the market, Maxwell believes in creating products that empower loan officers, not replace them. We want people to be able to do their jobs more efficiently, so we’ve thoughtfully implemented automation to assist with tedious administrative tasks and free up time to foster stronger relationships between loan officers, home buyers and referral partners.

First impressions are important, and the loan application is the first point of entry into the mortgage process for home buyers. Loan applications are lengthy and time-consuming for borrowers, and the applications probe deeply into personal, financial and employment information. We’ve developed a new solution that authenticates the borrower’s identity and then pulls their information from our network of data partners to pre-fill sections of the loan application, saving time and reducing hassle for the borrower. The entire experience is built off our API, giving our clients the ability to customize the experience to meet their needs.

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

Despite the rise of digital mortgage technology, the mortgage process still takes around 46 days and costs the lender around $8,500 per loan on average. As lenders increasingly adopt technology solutions, I think we’ll see growing demand for more data analytics and reporting functions so lenders can dig into productivity and profitability metrics at a more granular level.

We’re currently working with our clients to identify the most crucial, actionable data points that will increase visibility and help them identify ways to increase closing speed, reduce costs and optimize the borrower experience. Our product and engineering teams will be pushing heavily over the next few months to roll out data solutions that will empower our lenders with deeper insight into their operations and fuel data-driven decision-making.

 

IntelePeer tech innovation Colorado
Photo via IntelePeer

In business, customer experience is everything. IntelePeer empowers companies to create experiences that are fast, easy and flexible every time, with a communications platform that integrates voice, messaging, open APIs and custom workflow automation. CMO Robert Galop shed some light on the tech that sets IntelePeer apart and his vision for the future of its platform.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

IntelePeer has always set ourselves apart in the telecom and communications industry by continuously innovating our products and services. Most recently, we have been pioneering the next wave of communications platform as a service (CPaaS), which has typically been aimed at developers. While we still offer open APIs and integrations for developers to build with, we also deliver tools that anyone can use, even if they don’t have any coding skills. Marketing, finance, operations teams and more can use our out-of-the-box applications to embed communications into their everyday workflows and drive digital transformation in their company, which is something others in our industry aren’t doing.

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

AI is a hot topic in every industry right now and a lot of companies want in on the hype — and with good reason. There are a lot of awesome ways that AI can benefit a company, especially when it comes to analyzing communication data and using those insights to automate processes and learn about customer preferences. The challenge is understanding how to truly make it work for their business and finding a provider that can deliver an easy-to-use solution. We want to make the trend a reality by delivering AI as part of our platform in a way that works easily and seamlessly for enterprises.

 

T-Mobile Home + Entertainment tech innovation Colorado
Photo via T-Mobile Home + Entertainment.

T-Mobile Home + Entertainment is leveraging the power of an advanced 5G network to transform the satellite and cable TV industry, offering “un-carriered” mobile TV services that deliver HD video to any connected device. VP of Hardware, Firmware and Special Projects Chris Cholas explained how the company’s customer-first approach has influenced its technology and helped it stand out from the competition.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

We set ourselves apart as an industry leader because we are customer-obsessed. With 5G around the corner, our upcoming innovations will change the game — we will fix another broken industry.

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

In home and entertainment, the next big trend will be around delivering video to users over 5G directly to small screens and indirectly to big screens. T-Mobile has a proven track record of staying ahead of trends. We start trends for the industry to follow.

 

Personal Capital tech innovation Colorado
Photo via Personal Capital

Personal Capital has set itself apart in the industry for its unique high-tech, high-touch approach to wealth management that combines simple, user-driven financial tools and live consultations with financial experts. CEO Jay Shah shared how this hybrid approach to wealth management created an entirely new trend in the industry — and how he plans to keep driving that trend forward.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Personal Capital has been at the forefront of changing how people engage with their money and their financial advisors. Our digital personal finance tools allow users and clients to see their entire financial lives in one place. We created a whole new way for people to see, understand and manage their money.

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

I think we'll see more companies in the space trying to adopt the hybrid model of combining technology and human advisors. We see newer players trying to add human elements to their services and the incumbents working hard to integrate new technology. By virtue of being built on that hybrid premise, we are leading the way on that trend. By continuing to focus on delivering what's best for consumers and investors, we believe we'll stay ahead of the pack.

 

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