August 17 2021

Why I Joined Skydio: Michael Brubaker, VP of Enterprise Sales

Skydio

Throughout my career in enterprise sales, my focus has always been on helping customers diagnose and solve their most business-critical pain points in an effort to make money, save money, or mitigate risk—often with innovative software they may not have even known existed. When we find the right solution, it's a "light bulb" moment for their teams. New and exciting possibilities suddenly present themselves. The vision for the future of their company fundamentally shifts, modernization occurs, and value is recognized.

When I first encountered Skydio, I had a light bulb moment of my own.

I've been engaged in enterprise software sales since 1998 and before joining Skydio earlier this month, I spent the previous six years working closely with utility companies around the country. Part of that work included event response and damage assessment efforts.

Historically, damage assessment was completed by people in the field doing visual inspections. Over the last several years, the utility industry began adopting drone technology to replace or augment those people in the field. In my then-role, we began to leverage the drone data collected by our customers to help populate the data required by our software platform—helping our clients more quickly and easily create work tickets and get resources assigned for the repair or replacement of their assets.

The benefits of manual drones were clear to me. However, it was also apparent that they carried their own challenges.

Manual drones are hard to fly, easy to crash, and unusable in environments with high GPS or compass interference—making it impossible for them to replace outdated inspection methods at scale. And to use a drone for the most basic tasks, you had to have a skilled, highly trained pilot—often brought in from outside your team—on-site, complicating daily operations with the management and expense of external resources and once again inhibiting the scale at which a drone fleet could be deployed across the enterprise.

At the end of the day, early generation drone technology brought value in a highly specialized "nice-to-have" manner, but technology limitations prevented wide scale deployment across numerous use cases critical to operations. I would have likely remained a skeptic, if not for Skydio.

In an instant, Skydio shifted my perspective on what was possible with drones. And it all comes down to software!

Regardless of the application, any software worth its salt will make your work simpler, more automated, and more productive. And Skydio does just that. Our autonomous Skydio 2 and Skydio X2 drones use cutting-edge artificial intelligence to navigate using computer vision, so that inspectors don't have to worry about crashing or navigating tricky terrain with no GPS, and can truly make drones just another tool on their belt—as common, as safe, and as easily used as any other tool.

But Skydio's software solution isn't just changing the game when it comes to navigation. With advanced software solutions such as Skydio 3D Scan and Skydio Cloud, Skydio is turning drones into intelligent online devices, opening up an entirely new set of applications and undertaking complex tasks such as automating the digitization of assets and scenes.

For many of our customers, 3D Scan alone has already been transformative. The benefits are incredible! The feedback from some of our early access customers—which included Sundt Construction, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), and the Boston Police Department—showed they've seen up to 75% faster data capture, 50% greater inspection team output, and 30% lower reinspection rates during the trial period. And the use cases this capability will unlock for other industries such as oil and gas, transportation and logistics can only be imagined!

These software solutions are already available on our entry-level Skydio 2 drone, but we know our enterprise customers have been clamoring for these same capabilities on the Skydio X2 to tackle even bigger jobs. Which is why, today at AUVSI XPONENTIAL, we're excited to announce that the new Skydio X2E Color with the full Skydio software stack will be available this September—combining Skydio's industry-leading software offering with a ruggedized, NDAA compliant airframe that now mounts an inspection-optimized sensor.

I was originally attracted to Skydio because of the technology & innovation the company is bringing to the world with drones. I became even more interested once I recognized the scale of business value that our drones and software will drive for our customers. And ultimately, I was completely sold on joining Skydio once I had an opportunity to meet the incredibly talented go-to-market team, led by Mark Cranney, that is executing at the top of its game.

As the Vice President of Enterprise Sales, I'll be leading our growing Enterprise Sales Team here in the Americas to help our large, private sector enterprise customers achieve their business goals by using Skydio's drones in a manner that is faster, safer, and far less costly than the traditional methods of completing their work. Combining these efforts with Skydio's incredible Federal, State, Local & Education sales teams and our growing partner ecosystem, I truly believe our drones and software are going to modernize the legacy ways of getting work done!

This week, I'll be kicking off my new role with Skydio at AUVSI XPONENTIAL. If you happen to be on-site, stop by booth # 2425 to learn more about our breakthrough autonomous drone technology.