On End User Empowerment

9 min video  /  8 minute read

We’re better when we work together. Watch how Ignition’s open source platform, free trials, and ease of use allows system integrators and end users to envision all possibilities and accomplish the impossible.


Elizabeth Hill Reed: So I think the biggest impact that I've seen is that customers are much more knowledgeable about the platform. A lot of times they come to us and they say, "We've downloaded Ignition, we've done a proof of concept, and we wanna do X, Y, and Z with Ignition." They come to us, they're excited, they have all these ideas for how Ignition can help solve them. I think that's pretty different from any other platform I've seen. And I think that it is very impactful for our customers to have that knowledge and understanding of Ignition, prior to even working with system integrators.

Bart Mans: I think most companies, definitely back in the years, they only had PLC engineers or controls engineers. They were able to program PLCs, but not really able to program SCADA or HMI solutions. But what we see with Ignition is that it's really easy to learn. And we are also giving the trainings to our customers that they can learn Ignition and know how to program it, based on the applications that we make for our customers. And that enables us to really collaborate with the customer. Instead of working for the customer, we are just collaborating and building cool solutions together. I think one of the biggest benefits is that whenever a customer has a little experience with Ignition and has some programming experience, they're able to create some quick screens and they do some tests and eventually we get those tests back and I tell, "Hey, AT-Automation, can you make this screen or this functionality in professional code?" And then we just translate it. But the customers, they can do their first quick wins, their checks, and if they are confident that that program needs to be made, we can make it.

Alicia Lomas: I'm not from the integrator space, I'm an end user, but I've always worked at places that did everything ourselves from scratch. So as my confidence was building with Ignition and feeling like it can replace those other SCADA systems that we had been using that were very traditional, basically looked at it as a viable option and brought it into a lot of the companies that I've worked at. And so we wouldn't necessarily go get Ignition certified, but we would go take Inductive University and continue to grow our skill sets. And so I would hire people that had never used Ignition because they came from a very traditional factory and was able to teach them how to use Ignition, which is a really cool experience. And over the years, more and more people hear about it, more and more people are using it. Most integrators now have that experience. And so you're really adding value to your employee's resume by giving them the opportunity to use Ignition.

J.C. Harrison: Building something that the customer can take ownership of. If you tend to try to build proprietary things... Even if you try to build proprietary things inside of Ignition, usually that doesn't end very well. If you're thinking of the customer, build something that the customer can take ownership of and that makes a happy customer. The longstanding customers who've adopted Ignition where we've introduced them to it, they've taken it to levels after we have then left them that I don't know that we could have taken it to as easily. Because when you deploy these MES and data systems and SCADA systems, whatever you want to refer to them as, if the end user doesn't adopt them, if they don't take some type of change in their business structure, most of those things die on the vine. And so our end users, the ones who really embrace this have taken it to a much higher level.

Courtney Smith: When I'm working with a customer, I really enjoy being able to help them solve their problems and help them figure out their own solutions oftentimes. And that's something that has been increasingly common now that customers tend to have their own internal Ignition teams. When I first got started three years ago, it was more, "This is your project, you get to take it on." Now more and more we're starting to see a lot of customers with their own internal teams, right? So take this one client that I'm working with right now, for instance, all of their system, it's all in Vision. So now part of what I'm doing is migrating those Vision screens and functionality into the newer Perspective screens. But I'm working, not alone, I'm working with their internal teams. So I am doing this migration, but I'm also in a way passing the baton. I'm training them on how to use the new features that Ignition has to offer. And that was something that I didn't expect it to be so collaborative between us and a client. It made sense when it would happen with coworkers, but for it to happen with a client too has been a unique experience, a unique development.

Julio Velasco: I think customers are able now to have access to, again, information status and control of their system. Perspective has definitely opened up the floodgates. Thanks for providing that. Now everybody wants to see it on their phone and their desktop. But yeah, it's just power to be able to visualize and access information at any given time. To be able to react to alarms, to get a call, an email, a text message when something goes wrong, so you could immediately address the situation, the problem, and solve it. When we turn over a project, it's property of the customer. We don't believe in, "You need to call me to fix it or to support it," or "I cannot give out the secret sauce," right? It's kinda like when you buy a car, right? When you buy a car, it's yours. Go do what you want with it, and then you get to enjoy it and customize it yourself.

Julio Velasco: So I kind of see it that way too with Ignition. You create a project, when the customer is interested in getting to know the software and be able to manage it and do internal development and improvements or additions to their own system, we encourage it. You show them how to use a software, you show them how to add a page, how to add a component to the screens. Again, in a week, I could show anybody how to use a software. By giving and empowering the customer access to the development side and the internals of what a project is within Ignition, gives them the ability to one, have their internal team do modifications, fixes, additions, or use it to troubleshoot the system itself. But also it gives them a perspective of the insight, right? Open up the hood. And then they could be more intelligent on, "Hey, can you add something here? Hey, I noticed you're doing this here. Can you also do this?" So it gives them a perspective of how they could improve their product if they know how it really works on the inside.

Madiha Javed: Ignition's a lot easier for us. One, to build out, but it's also a lot easier for our customers to use. We have unlimited tags, you can connect as many devices you need to. All it is is just getting an extra license for each computer. But you can really build out infrastructure and do a lot with Ignition without having the hassle of, "I need more tags. I need to buy another license." One of the customers I'm working with right now, they have their own automation team that works with Ignition. They also call out integrators for help on larger projects, but they have fully fledged teams that use Ignition, that know Ignition and can troubleshoot Ignition as well.

Jonathan Swisher: You can easily go from idea to tangible to in the user's hands. And I think that's one of the things early on that we saw and why it started to be kind of our go-to tool. 'Cause there wasn't a lot of setup to get a new thing up off the ground and going. A lot of the infrastructure was already set up, so you could easily just create a new project or add a new kind of piece to an existing project and save it and publish it. And it's out there. There was no going around and installing to people's client machines. There wasn't asking for budget to purchase this new software or this new module. A lot of it just was easily pushed out in a rapid fashion. And when you do that, you get feedback from your users and then you can go back and adjust and make it better.

Jonathan Swisher: And I think our users saw that here. And that's why they keep coming back, asking for more and more and more and, "Oh, wouldn't it be better if such and such did this? Well, let me give that a try." And we'd implement it and push it out and they'd give us more feedback and so on. We felt very comfortable with Ignition that we decided to implement a warehouse management system using the Perspective Module as opposed to getting an off-the-shelf solution or implementing a totally different platform or framework. Ignition allows us to collaborate and develop in either the same exact environment or you can break off and go into independent development environments. So we all pitch in, we all design, we all develop, we all throw in ideas as a team.

Posted on November 21, 2023