We’re leading the industry in field data collection because of the amazing people behind Fulcrum and we think you should get to know them!
To that end, we’re introducing a new monthly feature here on the Fulcrum blog: the Staff Spotlight! Each month, we’ll publish a short Q & A with a member of our team so you can meet the folks who are helping you improve your productivity with Fulcrum.
Today, we are kicking things off with the Fulcrum Integrations Manager, Bryan McBride!
What does the Integrations Manager do?
The Integrations Team is tasked with a variety of objectives to help bridge the gap between the customers, product team, and engineers. We are the “utility players” within the company and are very familiar with all aspects of the product. We spend quite a bit of time speaking with customers, trying to understand their challenges and help them come up with creative technology solutions for improving their processes and workflows.
I work closely with the sales team on technical sales calls, with the customer success team on advanced support issues, with the engineering team on troubleshooting and fixing bugs and with the product team on designing the specs for new features. Integrations leads the “professional services” wing of Spatial Networks. These services primarily include professional consulting, customizing reports, data wrangling, scripting and workflow automation, and developing custom business intelligence solutions.
Tell us more about Fulcrum’s integration capabilities.
Fulcrum was designed to be extensible. The core focus of the product has always been to be the very best mobile field data collection platform available. While we tend to focus primarily on the data collection challenges, we can’t forget about the rest of the data cycle! Once collected, data must be processed, summarized, or analyzed, so that it can be turned into actionable information. This is where integration is critical!
Our REST API, webhooks, and data shares all provide scriptable integration opportunities, but integrations built on these can be difficult to build and tough to maintain due to the flexible nature of the product (new apps, schema changes, etc.). Our partnership with Zapier has opened the door to integrating with over 750 popular services, but it can still be a challenge to work directly with other systems. We’ve been working hard the past few months to build some new tools to make database level integrations with Fulcrum much easier.
You are a largely self-taught developer, is that right?
For the most part. My 8-year-old son took two coding classes over the summer. I joke that he actually has more formal coding training than I do! I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to work with some truly talented people and have been given the opportunity to learn a lot on the job. I don’t typically work directly on our core products, so most of my “developing” consists of writing small scripts and programs to automate tasks, manipulate data, and just get things done.
What project are you excited about right now?
One of our latest developments that I’m really excited about is Fulcrum Desktop! Desktop is an experimental command line tool that intelligently syncs your Fulcrum Organization to an on-site database without your having to script anything or worry about all the moving parts. This opens the door to new opportunities for working directly with Fulcrum data in other best-in-class products, from asset management to geographic information systems (GIS) and business intelligence systems. We are currently deploying this tool internally and have made it available for users to test as well. Stay tuned for more information regarding Desktop in the coming weeks!
What are some of the challenges of your job?
I’m always amazed at the interesting things our customers do with Fulcrum. It’s such a flexible platform that we can never really anticipate how it’s actually going to be used in the real world! Some customers have very challenging technical requirements and others just have challenging personalities! We do work with customers across the globe and the logistics of working across time zones always presents challenges. We pride ourselves on top-notch customer support and I think that is reflected in the loyalty of our customers.
You were a Fulcrum user before you were an employee. What were you using it for?
The first real project I used Fulcrum on was an airfield-asset inventory project. We had high-quality survey data for the locations of things like signs, lights, and gates, but we didn’t have any corresponding attributes. I built a Fulcrum form with some choice lists, imported our data, and then proceeded to drive around the airport recording the colors of lights, types of signs, etc. From there we used Fulcrum for a variety of other initiatives, including facility condition surveys, parking lot inspections, and utility pole inventories. One of the great things about Fulcrum is the near-instant gratification of being able to build a form and collect a lot of valuable information very quickly.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Coffee mostly. I’ve never been much of a morning person and I’m much more productive late at night when there are fewer distractions. If you’re asking what motivates me to come to work each morning, I’d probably have to say it’s a mix of seeing the awesome work our customers are doing with our products and being a part of such an amazing team.
What is something you’d like people to know about you?
I love boats! I grew up spending summers in the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River and currently live about a mile from the Erie Canal. I have a 1962 13’ Boston Whaler which my dad and I restored back when I was in college.
What do you do in your free time?
My wife, two kids and I live in the Capital District of New York, just outside of Albany. It’s a great area for outdoor exploration located at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, just south of the Adirondacks and just north of the Catskill Mountains. The kids absolutely love swimming, so we spend a lot of time exploring nearby lakes and rivers in the summertime. Now that autumn is approaching, we hope to spend the weekends hiking and enjoying the fall foliage.
See you back here next month for another Employee Spotlight - Interesting in joining the Fulcrum team? Check out our current openings!