Innovations in Data Center and Electrical Systems Management with Phanney Kim Brevard

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Get ready for another exciting episode of Not Your Father’s Data Center with your host Raymond Hawkins and guest Phanney Kim Brevard on a discussion about monitoring and designing electrical systems for data centers!

Discover the exciting world of electrical systems, data centers, and sustainability as Phanney shares her journey in the industry. Phanney is Chief Strategy Officer and newly appointed Chief Information Officer at ETAP, a Schneider Company.

This episode is not just about data centers and tech strategies. It is a heartfelt journey through Phanney’s life, touching on family, resilience, and the delicate balance of work and personal life.

In this episode:

🤔 Phanney’s unique journey from being the sixth of seven kids, born in a refugee camp in Thailand, to becoming a key player in the tech industry.

🤝 Aligning IT with business goals – the ultimate challenge!

🔧 The hardware-agnostic magic of ETAP in monitoring power systems.

🌐 Digital Twins: Unveiling the intelligent models shaping the future of electrical systems.

Read the full transcript below:

Raymond Hawkins:        All right. Welcome to another edition of Not Your Father’s Data Center. I am Raymond Hawkins, Chief Revenue Officer with Compass here in Dallas, Texas. Today we are joined by the newly crowned Chief Information Officer, already Chief Strategy Officer at ETAP, a Schneider Company, Phanney Brevard. Phanney, thank you for joining us. Tell us about the new title.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Well, one, thank you for having me. I know we’ve been waiting to do this for a while and then the whole Dallas, New York Giants game got in the way.

Raymond Hawkins:        For sure.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       And then I just see the New England Patriots fall from grace, but yes.

Raymond Hawkins:        Precipitous fall from grace we might say.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       It hurts.

Raymond Hawkins:        Spend a few minutes on how great Bill’s press conference. I’m getting ready for Kansas City. What’s your future? I’m getting ready for Kansas City. That was epic. It’s epic, Bill Belichick.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       It really is. Just like a few years ago when we’re onto Cincinnati. But just moving forward without a plan or moving forward without any signs of change to your plan, just get us a good draft pick for next year and then I’ll just-

Raymond Hawkins:        Phanney, are you advocating tanking already? Is that what you’re saying?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       No, I would never advocate for tanking. Want us to fight as hard as possible knowing the long-term play here.

Raymond Hawkins:        Ah, let’s fight hard and keep the draft in mind is what I think I hear you saying?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yes. There’s always the short-term gain, but it’s the long-term play. That’s the strategy side.

Raymond Hawkins:        Delayed gratification is key even in the NFL draft. All right, Phanney. So you and I know each other, but the folks that listen to us don’t. So tell us a little bit about you and if we end up back in football, it will not shock any of our listeners because that happens a lot on this show, but we’ll try to stay focused on Schneider.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       All right. Interesting fact about me is that I am number six of seven kids. So I have five older siblings and a younger sister, and we’ve been in Boston pretty much my whole life. We immigrated here from Cambodia, escaping the Cambodian genocide in the early eighties. If you ask anyone, I’m as American as apple pie. Then there’s this other half of me that is defined truly by what my family has gone through to escape that war, to pursue happiness and freedom here. And then when I think about the path that has led me along the way to where I sit today, it’s quite remarkable given all of the adversity that we had to overcome. But along the way, I also realized I was in a very unique position in my family being number six because I grew up here, but I had five older siblings, three in which are older brothers.

                                    One’s a police officer so I had no boyfriends growing up. It really did allow me to look at the world quite differently from my siblings, but use that different perspective to help them because they were much more impacted by what they’ve been through. They remember everything from the concentration camps. They remember being separated as kids from my parents. And I actually was profoundly born on a refugee camp on the way here from Thailand. So all of that, the cumulative effect of all of that really did shape who I became today in terms of a profession. Being that rational, logical person, knowing that it isn’t always about short-term gratification, as we talked about in football. It’s about the longer term play and making sure people understand the implications of that because I grew up with two cultures.

                                    Fun fact, by being in a big family, but being almost the baby, but the matriarch. It’s a blessing, but it’s also been quite the journey as well. Not all decisions are easy to make.

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah, we’ve done lots of episodes and I don’t think we’ve ever had a sixth born or a sixth of seven and certainly not one that’s family… So I want to make sure I get this right. Your parents left Cambodia with five kids.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Six.

Raymond Hawkins:        Escaped Cambodia, five kids and your mom pregnant.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yes.

Raymond Hawkins:        Just that right there takes certainly escaping Cambodia and the war there, the genocide there, that was brave. But doing it with five kids and mom pregnant. And you were born in Taiwan on the way-

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Thailand.

Raymond Hawkins:        … to the US. Thailand. Okay. Thailand on the way here. Holy moly. How wild is that?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       It’s quite wild. And it’s sad because I don’t have a lot of history to share beyond some of those facts because it uncovers a lot of pain for my older siblings. So there’s an age gap of almost 15 years between the eldest two and my younger sister. Growing up I wanted to learn more and hear more. It was never voluntary and I was always afraid to ask because there was a lot of pain behind those memories. But then the moment I’d ask questions, it would trigger those experience and those emotions. And us having a Chinese, Korean last name, Kim, we were very much targeted by those who were from the communist regime. So unfortunately on my father’s side, there was a lot of loss, a lot.

                                    So he had to make the decision too, do I stay and risk my entire family but take care of all of my nieces and nephews because my brothers and sisters were killed? Or do I try to at least save my children. Because if we stayed there a lower chance of survival and they managed to escape walking from the capital city of Cambodia all the way to Thailand to where I was eventually born.

Raymond Hawkins:        Brave man for sure.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yeah. I miss him every day.

Raymond Hawkins:        That will set the tone for your family. A bold, brave move like that for sure.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yes.

Raymond Hawkins:        Did all of you settle in Boston and is still in the area today?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Pretty much throughout the New England region. We do have one semi Yankee fan. We keep her out in Connecticut for that-

Raymond Hawkins:        And try not to talk about her. Yeah, for sure.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       But for the most part, all of us are in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. We stayed pretty close.

Raymond Hawkins:        Every family has one, every family has one Phanney, right?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yes.

Raymond Hawkins:        You can’t explain it.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       And then we also tried it because we only have my mom, Crouching Tiger, left. It’s hard to leave her because she is 81 years old and even at 81, her nickname is Crouching Tiger. She’s still really mean.

Raymond Hawkins:        I was going to say, I bet she is a force to be reckoned with.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       She’s 4’9″, she looks like a sweet old thing, but on Thanksgiving she told me that my shirt was really nice because it hides my belly.

Raymond Hawkins:        Thanks mom.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Thanks mom. That’s a little bit about me and the kids. My 11-year-old, my husband is about 6’2″, so my 11-year-old took more of his height genes and is currently my size at 5’2″.

Raymond Hawkins:        Well my youngest is 23 now, so it goes fast. So just-

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Embrace it.

Raymond Hawkins:        … enjoy all of it. Yeah, all of the weird stuff, all the crazy stuff, all the frustrations. It goes by quickly. I don’t remember who told me this, but they said, “Raymond, the days crawl by as a parent, but the years fly by.” And I think that’s absolutely true.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       It is. Going back to the work front. And for any of the women that’s listening to this podcast, this is where the work-life balance is such a struggle because I had sidestep my career to focus on being a mother because the further I had advanced professionally, the less I was present for my own family and I made a choice. And this is one of the things that aside from data centers or any industry, the entire world, as much as they empowered us to embrace being at the table, they didn’t necessarily change the environment where we could be successfully be the person we wanted to be at home as a daughter, mother, wife, as well as aspire to be what we’ve always been empowered to be, which is that the professional, the person who has a seat at the table, the person who was invited to the party, it’s always great, but I never had the time to dance.

                                    So I took a little bit of a side step and here I am. And it’s been a struggle over the past two months trying to come up to speed with everything. But I’ve learned along the way how to say no and really prioritize.

Raymond Hawkins:        Phanney, as we think about the next time we’re going to have you on, we’ve got to get Crouching Tiger on.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       No, she’s going to say something about you and make you cry in the first five minutes.

Raymond Hawkins:        No, it’s all right. We’re just going to give her the mic and just let her have the whole conversation. Do you know Bill Clayman?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       I do not.

Raymond Hawkins:        So he’s a data center guy and his mom was a sniper in the Ukrainian army and I’m like, “Bill, why are we talking to you? Just get your mom on the phone. We want to talk to her.”

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Well, there’s the thing, she will fool you. She’ll show things the greatest things to you and then you turn around and next thing you know there’s a bamboo chopstick flying straight dead center for your forehead. I don’t want that for you.

Raymond Hawkins:        All 4’9″ of her,

Phanney Kim Bre…:       All 4’9″.

Raymond Hawkins:        All right, you brought up a seat at the table. Let’s talk about your new seat at the table, chief strategy officer already. But then you decided, hey, that’s not enough. How are we doing in IT? And decided to be chief information officer as well. So talk about that. Talk about how that came up. Talk about what you’re doing. For those you don’t know at ETAP, a subsidiary of Schneider. Talk about what you’re doing in both roles.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Sure. So just to clarify, I did not aggressively pursue having two jobs. Okay sir, as chief strategy officer at ETAP. So ETAP is a hardware agnostic software company. We were acquired by Schneider about three years ago. And it’s really focused on a lot of your electrical systems, your power systems, how do you design, simulate it regardless of the industry that you’re in. How do you operate it? Keeping in mind some of your energy targets, energy monitoring all the way down to your maintenance cycle. As you make changes, how does it impact your energy and what does it do in terms of overall consumption? Are you fully optimized? A slew of things, but the best part is it is hardware-agnostic. And I had spent some time as head of strategy and planning for what is now called AVEVA, very similar hardware-agnostic software platform, but very much focused on the process side of things. Not electricity, but process optimization, design control simulation.

                                    So that’s the company. And when I looked at the business, which like most large organizations, you go through acquisitions and there were a multitude of organizations that really needed to be unified. So as I looked at operational excellence, I asked the question, how are we going to digitally enable this and ensure that we are not digitizing processes that may not work in an optimal fashion with this new unified growth? So what are we doing there? How do we ensure that we enable the business through IT, workflow automation, all of the fun things when you hear about digital transformation so that we achieve the business outcomes that I am looking at from the strategy standpoint? And then it was, “Congratulations, this is now yours.”

Raymond Hawkins:        Thank you for bringing this up and we’ve got good news for you.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yeah, I was like, oh, okay. That’s a great challenge. Meanwhile, I was sweating, I’m pretty sure my armpits were stinging. I was like, okay, now I have two roles. But you know what? It actually makes sense. When you can align IT along with your business and ensure that both are headed in at least the same direction. It may not be in lockstep, but as long as you’re at least marching towards that same order and you know what your end game is, it just makes for a much more synchronized, more orchestrated, more well aligned business.

Raymond Hawkins:        The change is fairly recent, right?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yes. It was announced November 11th I believe, so just a couple weeks ago. So I’ve been drinking from a fire hose lately. So the work-life balance hasn’t quite been there. Right now is the time to just be a sponge and at the same time try to operate and execute.

Raymond Hawkins:        All right, so Phanney help us a little bit. So you gave the really good elevator pitch of what ETAP does. Can you take us one step further? And I liked you said hardware-agnostic because you guys were not part of Schneider before, so you were attached to all sorts of power systems, I’m guessing. I was going to say that’s the why behind the hardware-agnostic, right? You’ll hook up to anybody’s gear. But can you take us one step deeper into what you’re doing when you’re monitoring all these systems?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Of course. And I did want to say we were always considered part of Schneider. So we are a Schneider company, we are a Schneider brand. But because of the agnostic nature, there was a reason why Schneider left us and other software companies like AVEVA alone because it was so important to the industry. Why break that? There’s so much value in being able to connect a variety of different hardware into your data center, into your critical control system. If you look at it just like your card, there was no one vendor who’s doing things end to end. You may have the option to do that, but at the same time it was truly important to maintain that integrity of being hardware-agnostic.

                                    Now in this particular case, for data centers specifically, on the design and simulation side, depending on how you engineer and also what your preferences are for what the design should be, each type of hardware, whether it’s switchgear, whether it’s a UPS, all of that, the PDUs, as they start to get connected, as you’re designing for that, you want to simulate how they’re going to operate. Whether it’s in a steady state fashion or if you’re making dynamic changes, you want to be able to have a digital twin of that so you can determine the impact.

                                    Look at your power consumption. Is it within the grid code compliance that’s in your particular region or country or municipality? So it takes into account all of these different scenarios and they have a library of over 140 different models to consider. But it’ll take all of those scenarios and try to adjust them real time for you depending on the software that you acquire from the portfolio to determine is this how you want to operate? Is this within the parameters that you set? And then once you’re live and running, now you’re on the operate stage. There’s a whole other set of capabilities where it’ll help you look at, are you consuming energy as you designed it and based off of the scenarios that you originally built? And if not, why? So there’s all sorts of analytical capabilities, arc flash studies, a number of things related to your electrical network and even network optimization to help you meet the targets that you set for your particular operation.

                                    And then along the way things happen, switch gear goes, UPS has to be changed out. Your cooling system, that whole system is replaced. How do you ensure that all of that information is managed and captured somewhere? So within the libraries as well as the digital twin, you effectively have a constant real time image of your electrical system so that if you do send a field service engineer and they are now more aware of what the system actually is versus assuming it was what was designed 10 years ago, it keeps them safe too. So there’s a strong degree of safety when you think about having that digital version, that mirror, that digital mirror image of your electrical system, not just for, yes, it’s important to be sustainable and it is important to ensure that you are fully optimized, but it’s also the number one priority to keep your people safe.

Raymond Hawkins:        For sure.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       And you can’t be safe if you don’t know what’s in your system. And having some sort of electrical digital twin, what at least enable that.

Raymond Hawkins:        Where you can look and see what it is on a screen instead of when you’re standing in a power center, an example.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       And then just like a Google map, you go and if you make a change, there’s this capability called net PM, you go and make a change on your digital twin because you’re like, all right, I switched out this particular piece or this component or this PDU and anybody who has access to the same app, it becomes that centralized platform for everybody to have the same version of the truth so there’s no surprises. Which to me that’s quite powerful. I get spooked by electricity. Switching a light bulb is one thing, dealing with power at that level given the size of data centers today, definitely critical. Keep your people safe, be sustainable, and optimize your operations.

Raymond Hawkins:        Safety way up on the list. If we were smart at the production of Not Your Father’s Data Center, we’d work in Google Maps and Waze and things like that in show commercials. We’re just not that sharp yet. We’re going to have to think about how to do that, Phanney. And this next segment brought to you by Waze, we’ll get there. All in time.

                                    All right, so we’re certainly talking about the operational mode of the business. I’m going to sound like the dumb sales guy that I am. When I hear you describe what ETAP does from a design perspective on the front end, it sounds almost like, and smart people laugh at me when I say this. It sounds almost like CFD modeling for thermodynamics that goes on in the data center. We try to model what happens if you change this, if you increase the CFM, if you increase the set point, if you lower this right, we try to model what we believe will happen. That sounds to me like what you’re doing, but on the electrical side. And I know I’m on the front end, I’m not in operational mode, but is that directionally right, what you’re describing?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Very much so. It’s very much that. How do you take all of these different variables and all of these potential scenarios while also being compliant and determine what does my operation look like before you actually get to the build stage? So it’s always good to know. And even based off of your constraints, you have all of these different variables and constants that you enter into the system to determine how am I fully optimized? Can I load shed somewhere, can I increase somewhere else? It’s all about designing first and then simulating what that design could be in operate mode before you actually build. Because once you start building and Compass being a powerhouse when it comes to data center builds, once it’s going, it’s going. And then once you start getting those change orders and that’s when things start to. Your speed to deployment is now impacted, you’ve got changes not just for that one piece, but the impact of supply chain and the impact of really your entire ecosystem related to your build.

                                    So designing first, engineering first, then simulating that design is so crucial. And to be able to do that on the electrical side, because energy, we think about how much power data centers are consuming. Yes, we consume a lot and everybody likes to harp on like, “Oh, all these data centers are taking up all of our energy.” We don’t take up all that much. We do take a lot, but how do we do that in a more, I would say, responsible manner knowing that we too need to play a role in our sustainability and decarbonization role.

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah, Phanney, you bring up that there is a knock on our industry of, hey, you guys consume a lot of power. And the reality is, in certain locations we do. Where the big buildings are, we’re taking up a lot of power. But I always enjoy asking folks, “Hey, if you’ll just tell me what you want to stop doing on here, we will stop supporting. If you want to quit ordering Uber Eats, just let me know. If you want to quit getting your plane tickets booked on here, just let me know.” And not to be cheeky in it, but at the end of the day, we’re really the infrastructure setting the stage for the digital transformation that continues to go on in so many parts of our world. So yes, the data industry is where the bill lands, but it’s really the support of all the things that folks get to do on these smart devices everywhere.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Exactly.

Raymond Hawkins:        We’re just the aggregation point.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       And this is where education and evangelization of what does a data center enable the everyday person to do. That’s where I think there’s also an opportunity just for the industry alone. There’s a lot of buzzwords. I was waiting for the term paradigm shift to come back and emerge, but now it’s AI, it’s generative AI, it’s digital twins. But ultimately to the everyday person, they’re not making that connection. So I think it’s a great opportunity to say yes, you see data centers and yes, you may think that we’re consuming all of your energy, but the benefit is in your hand.

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah, you’re holding it.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       You’re holding, it’s in your pocket. You literally-

Raymond Hawkins:        It’s in back pocket.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       … have a digital twin of the entire world on this thing. And more importantly, it has third party data and insights, you can now… So similar for the electrical system, I can now look at the digital twin version. So in maps, the map is one thing. It’s knowing the traffic, other routes, was there an accident?

Raymond Hawkins:        Why is there traffic? I want to see the icon.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Because we are human and we want to know. But all of those additional elements, that’s pretty much what ETAP can do. You have your electrical design, which is really just a digital map, but it’s all the other insights pulling from different types of hardware, the conditions of that hardware to pretty much show you, here’s what’s happening and if you make an adjustment, here is the possible output. So that’s the modeling and the simulation piece. So that part’s super cool, but to the point back of people not making that connection, I think as an industry we get it. But to Crouching Tiger, probably not.

Raymond Hawkins:        Whenever I go home for the holidays, I’ll always get a kick out of whether it’s the next boyfriend who’s come with one of my nieces or nephews or whatever. And what do you do for a living? I just make it easy. I’m in commercial real estate. But no. Eventually, “What do you mean? Oh, a data system.” Next layer, the next layer, the next layer. And eventually you have to try to explain to people what happens in our buildings. And that’s always a fun conversation. “Wait a minute, you mean when I order an Amazon package, that order goes through a building somewhere?” Yes it does. There’s a server somewhere in a building being energized and being cooled and being housed. And it’s where your order went when you hit that button and then that sent an order to a warehouse and then that puts something on truck and it’s always fun to talk through.

                                    All right, you used a phrase that I’m going to admit that I’ve not heard until we talked today. I’ve not heard the phrase digital twin, the background of that. I think I can infer what it is, but I’d love to hear a little bit because it sounds like it’s part of ETAPs story that you tell when you explain to folks what you’re doing for them. Will you take two or three minutes and get a little deeper into what you mean by digital twin?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Of course. And I actually just did a webinar with MIT last week because they had a huge focus on digital twin because the term is starting to become so pervasive. And I make fun of it, like paradigm shift, is just another buzzword but in reality for ETAP think it’s an intelligent model. It’s a mirror, the digital mirror of what’s truly happening, whether it’s in this case, a map, in ETAPs case, your electrical system. But before you even design the map, you want to make sure that your roots or roads are optimized and in the same way of an electrical system, that it’s fully designed to not only meet your performance targets, but also helps you achieve other targets you may have in mind for sustainability or the constraints that you have. Because like I said, not every country is so willing to give you all the power you need to operate your data center.

                                    So how do we get the most out of the energy that we’re allowed to take still being compliant, ensure that we’re still operating safely before we actually start building. So the idea of the digital twin is really, it’s an intelligent model, but it becomes that centralized platform for any of the stakeholders who are involved in the value chain to have that end-to-end continuity of data so that everyone is essentially on the same page. It’s your single version of the truth, but there are a number of assumptions behind it that everyone’s connected to it, everybody has access to it. And like most software companies, it all depends on what you choose to have access to. But the whole idea is as you’re designing, as you’re simulating, know that you are already in the process of creating a digital twin, your digital mirror of your actual system. And as you adjust along the way, anybody who’s connected to it through that digital twin, that digital mirror will also be informed. This way you can operate more confidently and also operate with full safety along the entire valley chain.

Raymond Hawkins:        So I’ve got sensors on all this electrical equipment, and that’s feeding back to my twin and giving me… Because I start with a design, there’s nothing deployed yet. I start with the design, then I deploy it, then I operate it, and it’s that operational stage. I’m getting real world data back from all of these devices and that’s informing my digital twin. Is that essentially what we’re saying?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Essentially, whether it’s through sensors or even just not everything has a sensor, but as changes are made and it’s updated in the system or in the platform, those changes are then modeled into the rest of the fuller system so that you understand the impact. Because with IOT, yes, everybody wanted everything connected, but sometimes not everything needs to have that sensor.

Raymond Hawkins:        Fair.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       I don’t need to know when the last time my toilet flushed. There are just some things that just doesn’t make sense. But in terms of the number of things that we can connect, it’s great when it gives you data, but data doesn’t matter without contextualization. And this is where domain expertise becomes crucial with software. And because ETAP, we are the defacto for energy or electrical systems, or at least the design, the simulation, the modeling within all of the US nuclear power plants, we are the trusted software provider for them for the entire industry. So that goes to show we have the expertise there. So when we consider those scenarios where certain types of components may not have a sensor, we know enough about electricity. We have PhDs all over the world, pretty much designing the software, contributing to the design of the software that help us with, I would say the intelligent models that come out. It’s pretty cool in the sense that you can have that single version of the truth. And it’s even cooler that you can now have it on your phone.

                                    Electrical system with power management on your phone. You would’ve never thought this 10, 15 years ago when we were all on MapQuest hoping not to miss that turn because that’s all I had for directions. Now-

Raymond Hawkins:        MapQuest. We are dating ourselves.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Yes, we are.

Raymond Hawkins:        So your kids are a little younger than mine, but I will tell you a funny story. So my children, as they began to lobby for getting cell phones, which yours are probably really, your 11 year olds probably have already asked, right?

Phanney Kim Bre…:       She asked for a watch.

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah. Okay, there you go. And so my children of course asked me as they got to be in the tween years, 10, 11, 12. “Well dad, at what age did you get a cell phone?” And I told them I got it when I was 22. And they were like, “22, what were your parents doing?” And I’m like, “Guys, there were no cell phones before I was 22.” They just couldn’t comprehend it. They’re like, what dad? And then when I told them my cell phone came with a shoulder strap and it weighed six pounds, they’re like, “Dad, you’re just making things up.”

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Like, no, let me Google this for you, child.

Raymond Hawkins:        That’s exactly right.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       When Ellie asked me, she said, “Mommy, were you alive when there were these things called phone books?”

Raymond Hawkins:        Were you alive? Thanks honey.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       I felt a hundred that day.

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah. So I make my kids watch old movies, especially when they were younger. And I remember when my son were watching, I don’t remember what the movie was, and he asked me, he said, “Daddy, what is that curly thing coming out of the bottom of the phone?” And I said, “Honey, what?” He goes, “Dad, look that guy. There’s something stuck to the bottom of his phone. Dad, what is that?” He’d never seen a phone in his life that had had a cord. He just didn’t know what… I said, “Well honey, that was the cord.” He’s like, “Dad, why did it have a cord?” Okay.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       You know how they hit you with basic fundamental question, the technology we had back then and you just get so stumped.

Raymond Hawkins:        Funny. We thought we were killing it when we had the cord that was long enough that we could take the phone into our room. You were something-

Phanney Kim Bre…:       You can go around.

Raymond Hawkins:        Which you could walk, you could get up and walk around when the cord was long enough and you could close the door so your parents couldn’t hear. That was something.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Until they could pick up the phone from the other room and listen to the other-

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah, listening. Yeah. That never happened, ever.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       It’s just crazy how far we’ve come. And I know I throw out MapQuest just because in that webinar I did talk about really the analogy of mobility and how so much is now within the palm of our hands to an electrical system just to be able to articulate it in a way that was just simplified. I have the experts, I’m not a technical expert within ETAP, but we have all those experts that could walk you through steady state to dynamic simulations, one line simulation. But for me it was, I wanted it to be an opportunity for people to realize that the value of having an intelligent model that’s pretty much a digital mirror of your system can just really ensure not only, again from an operational standpoint, the optimization, the excellence, the ability to operate with confidence. It’s the safety piece too. Because now you’re much more aware and your awareness awarenesses within fingertips reach.

                                    And I think to me, that’s pretty powerful for any industry.

Raymond Hawkins:        For sure.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       And then I also say MapQuest because one of my worst memories was printing it out, trying to get from Boston to Times Square and we missed the exit and I didn’t know what to do. I remember being like, we need to turn back around and start. See, we can not miss the exit.

Raymond Hawkins:        This paper doesn’t go further. Yeah, that’s all I got.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       We’re like, oh my goodness. But it was a fascinating time. And look at how far we’ve come. Now we have Google, we have Waze, we have Google Maps, we have Apple Maps. It’s all pretty amazing.

Raymond Hawkins:        Yeah. All right, Phanney, we’ve got to convince Schneider to have you back because I got at least two more episodes. We need an all Crouching Tiger episode where we just give her the mic and we just let her talk. It would be epic for her to talk about her journey and life. It’d just be awesome. And then we got to have an episode about nuclear power because I am convinced that as our world continues to industrialize, continues to grow, continues to prosper, the thing that pulls people and nations out of poverty is industrialization, electrification. We need more electricity. And I think the only clean answer for that is nuclear. I may upset some people with that, but I think it’s the only way we’re going to get the volumes of power we need without destroying our planet. And we got to get comfortable with that. And the sooner we can do that, so it’s something that’s worth talking about.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Absolutely. I think it’s a fascinating topic because you cannot help as humans be somewhat conservative because when you think of nuclear, the association is yes, it can give you some great upside and great benefit, including supporting our journey to electrification. But then if mishandled or without the proper safety controls or without whatever the scenario may be, that’s what triggers the… I don’t know if we’re ready for that in mass volume to the magnitude that we need. And there’s a humanity piece in there too, which is always fascinating and a part that I think a lot of industries tend to when we have these types of conversations, not everybody puts in, “Well, what’s this do to society? How do people feel?” And I would love to incorporate that in our next discussion.

Raymond Hawkins:        Episodes coming, Schneider Electric Marketing. Come on guys. We got more to talk about.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Featuring Crouching Tiger, all 4’9″ of her. And her daughter, Job on the Hut.

Raymond Hawkins:        I can see the promo videos now.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Oh, I’m just going to pander to you. If you want to do a pre-interview and tell me how you survived, just, yeah, awesome.

Raymond Hawkins:        Crouching Tiger coming to a podcast near you. Phanney, thank you for joining us. Congratulations.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       A real pleasure.

Raymond Hawkins:        … on the new role.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       Thank you.

Raymond Hawkins:        And also my condolences on the new role. It’s a lot.

Phanney Kim Bre…:       We’re going to do great things and this company is going to do great things. And I so appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this. So thanks again, Raymond.

Raymond Hawkins:        We look forward to having you again. Thank you.