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Meet Jason Block, HMS Networks Solution Manager

by Julia Sheridan | Jan 29, 2018

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As Solution Manager for HMS Networks, Jason Block helps HMS customers and distributors enable IIoT by solving challenging applications for network interconnectivity and remote management using our Anybus, IXXAT, and eWON product lines. With over 20 years of experience, he brings value to customers as an analytical, consultative sales professional.


Who are you?

At heart, I am a problem solver. I have always derived satisfaction from finding solutions, often very creative, to challenges that face our customers, as well as friends and relatives. I love data and numbers, which often drives most of the decisions that I make. 


What does HMS mean to you?

The decisions that are made in manufacturing are only as reliable as the least available piece of information, from the least available device in the factory. To me, HMS means assuring our customers that the equipment they rely on to run their factories is connected, and available, so they can be productive and have the information needed to make sound business decisions.


What was your path up to your position as Solutions Manager/Channel Sales Manager?

I started in technical support/applications engineering helping customers resolve issues with various products, then eventually migrated to outside sales with a focus on channel partners. Having done support and being technically centric in nature, the value that I offered to our customers as an outside salesperson was being able to gain a deep understanding of the customer's applications then credibly offer the best solution. This approach has helped prepare for my current role as solution manager since I bring not only product knowledge, but application and market knowledge as well.


What is your morning routine?

I am one of those strange people who sleeps with his iPad under the pillow, so I tend to check email the minute my eyes open in the morning. Once I get seated at my computer, I open the previous day’s sales reports to see how we are performing. This is often followed by conference calls with our business units since they are seven hours ahead of our office.


Let’s talk more about the HMS. How do you feel HMS Industrial Networks is positioned today?

I think HMS has a great reputation in the market and our core business in industrial network connectivity is very strong. With the addition of eWON to HMS, and the adoption of information-centric technologies such as OPC UA, MQTT and .NET on our industrial network platforms, I think HMS is excellently positioned to be a leader in Industrial IoT solutions.


How would you describe the atmosphere at HMS Industrial Networks?

Friendly and collaborative. The people at HMS respect and like each other, so they are willing to work together towards a common goal.


What are some experiences you have had working as a Solutions Manager/Channel Sales Manager at HMS?

To me, the most memorable experience has been seeing the rapid adoption and growth of our wireless solutions from our partners and customers.


How would you describe the Anybus® Products of HMS?

Industrial IoT (IIoT) is the hot topic of discussion in the market today, but IIoT is not achievable without connectivity. Anybus® is critical to our customers taking that first step towards IIoT by enabling connectivity to industrial networks, wired or wireless.


What movie or TV show would you recommend?

The Big Short, the movie is considerably fictionalized from Michael Lewis’ book on the collapse of the market for mortgage-backed securities and the people who profited from it, but does a great job of capturing the incredulity and humor in Lewis’ writing.


What trends are you seeing currently in Industrial Communication?

The key trend is that information-centric networks need to coexist gracefully with control-centric networks on machinery. Information has now become as valuable as effective machine control on the factory floor.


What is your favorite part about your position at HMS?

The favorite part of my job is when a new product or marketing initiative that I drove is executed well and shows outstanding results. Success breeds satisfaction.


From your time at HMS, do you have a favorite success story?

For me, it was having our Anybus gateways used on the new Zumwalt class destroyers for the US Navy. We needed to connect EtherNet/IP devices into the ship’s PROFINet network. It was a project that I managed from beginning to end and has resulted in over $250K in business for HMS.


Thank you, Jason, for your time. We have one last question for you, what project are you looking forward to this year?

Josh and I are going to start doing podcasts quarterly focusing on products and customer applications, which both excites me a lot and terrifies me a little. A joke I make repeatedly is that I have a face made for radio and a voice made for silent movies.


Connect with Jason Block on Linkedin

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