Heads In The Cloud
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Join two telecom industry leaders as they discuss tips and tricks in the Unified Communications world. Plus, meet their expert guests who share their own unique perspectives on the industry.

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    027: An Authentic Look Inside The Restaurant Business With Chef Christopher Covelli

    David Portnowitz and Graham Potter interview Graham’s next door neighbor, celebrity chef Christopher Covelli. Chris specializes in Classic French, Italian, and Spanish cuisine and is currently the senior chef instructor at Toscana Saporita Cooking School in Lucca, Italy, where he has been teaching for 18 years. Join us as we discuss communication and sales within the restaurant business, get insider details about Chris’ new restaurant, Sage, that will be opening in downtown Sarasota in the next few months, and learn why Chris decided to become a chef. Chris also reveals his favorite food cities, shares his experience on the Food Network show Beat Bobby Flay, and explains the difficulty in cooking and being a TV host. Stay tuned for a fun discussion on the comeback of a certain wine and to find out which instruments Chris, Graham, and Graham’s family play.

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    026: An Expert's Guide To Successful Sales With Colin Johnston

    David Portnowitz and Graham Potter are joined, in-studio, by Colin Johnston, industry expert and Executive Vice President of Strategic Channels at Star2Star. Colin details the history of his telecom experience from his start with voice systems, to owning his own interconnect company, and working a variety of sales channels at Star2Star. We keep an eye on the second half of the year in the UC space; discussing SD-WAN, security, predicting what we should expect from future mergers in the industry, and explaining why and how businesses can differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Tune in to hear Colin share his opinions on the successes of Star2Star's business model and what it uniquely provides to its customers. From David's discovery of the what the Starfish desk phone actually looks like, the latest on Colin's golf game, insider info from David on which Florida restaurant offers the biggest selection of wine in the world (next to that of the Vatican and the Queen's collection), to Colin's pets, and more, there's a lot you won't want to miss in this episode of Heads in the Cloud!

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    025: The Future Of The Telecom Industry With Agustin Argelich

    In this episode, David Portnowitz & Graham Potter are joined by Agustin Argelich, live from Barcelona. Agustin is the Founder, President, and Principal Consultant at Argelich Network, an independent telecom consultant company that helps enterprises and government agencies use IT tools and networks to improve their business, create welfare, and improve societies. Agustin is also a Board Member and Chairman of The Society of Communications Technology Consultants International, Inc. and an associate professor at Universitat de Lleida. Agustin discusses the differences between business operations in the U.S. and Europe in digital transformation and cloud adoption. Agustin notes the importance of project management and leadership in business, topics which his book: "Analyze, Act, Advance", written from his 30 years of experience working and leading projects in the industry, tackles. Join us in this podcast to hear Agustin's opinion on the future of the telecom industry, travel, wine, and what it's like to live in Barcelona. Make sure to listen in to hear about Agustin's children, hear David speak a little Spanish, and to figure out how exactly David and Graham plan to get an autograph from Agustin on a digital copy of his book.

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    024: Workplace Productivity, IT, & Travel with Chuck Lear

    In this episode David and Graham interview Chuck Lear, Founder and Managing Partner of Lear360. They discuss workplace productivity collaboration, the current rundown on IT Enterprises, and their experiences with international travel. With 30 years of experience in the IT Strategy and Organizational Change field, Chuck shares valuable insights on company consolidations in the marketplace, Google's expansion into their version of Slack, and other up-and-coming technology applications. Stay tuned to hear about Chuck's pets, labradors Coco and Bella, his interesting background in the film industry, and which Italian cars Graham is considering to rent for his upcoming trip. Also, as a fun bonus, make sure to listen in for exclusive audio of David's attempts at different accents!

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    023: Our Interview With Dr. Disruptive a.k.a. Jonathan Yarmis

    In this episode, we talk tech with one of the leading experts in Advanced, Disruptive, and Emerging technologies and a veteran of 30 years in the tech industry. Jonathan Yarmis, also known as "Dr. Disruptive", is one of the earliest adopters of PC, internet, social networking, and a myriad of other groundbreaking innovations. Jonathan was one of the first Gartner analysts to help grow the company and has worked as an end-user for Deloitte, communications professional for Waggener Edstrom and Hill & Knowlton, and today provides analyst insights with The Skills Connection. He shares many exciting stories from his career on the cutting-edge, including infamous interviews with Tom Brokaw, Bill Gates, and James Barksdale, playing chess with Howard Stern, and how he got the nickname "Dr. Disruptive".

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    022: From Mainframes to the Marketplace: An Analyst's Memoir with Joel Wecksell

    In this episode, David and Graham welcome expert analyst and possible X-Men, Joel Wecksell from The Skills Connection. Joel is the Founder of The Skills Connection, an industry advisory company that specializes in helping technology businesses prepare for and build relationships with analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester. Joel and his expert team help companies communicate their strategic vision and demonstrate credibility in the marketplace using their extensive prior experiences as senior Gartner analysts. Joel discusses his 35 years of experience in the technology realm, from programming and selling mainframes to working at Xerox and then Gartner for 18 years of his career. He provides front-row insights into the innermost workings of being an analyst--from both sides of the desk. Tune in to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the secret life of analysts, and hear the surprising shared experience Joel has with one of the Heads In The Cloud hosts!

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    021: Wining, Dining, & All Things Consulting with J.R. Simmons

    In this episode, sponsored by VTech, DJ Potter brings in the beat and David gets to the meat of their interview with J.R. Simmons, President and Principal Consultant for COMgroup, Inc. COMgroup is the largest and most influential independent telecommunications consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest. With over 33 years of experience as an independent consultant, J.R. has expertise in a range of areas including telecommunications planning, design, analysis, and implementation, data networking design, and much more. He discusses his experience, love for consulting, and some of the industry's burning questions such as how to identify decision makers and how to keep up with the increased rate of change. You'll also hear about his current projects, involvement with BC Strategies, and his role as an expert witness on the stand.

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    020: 🤓 Catching Up On The UC Headlines with Tracy Venters

    In this episode, sponsored by VTech, David and Graham talk with Tracy Venters, Chief Strategist for Town Crier Consulting. Tracy's firm specializes in helping high-tech companies grow their brands and their revenue. She and Graham recount how they first met at Enterprise Connect for a meeting, followed by a discussion of Tracy's background in software engineering, marketing, and communications which culminate in her role at Town Crier Consulting. Also in this episode, you'll get exclusive hints about new products and events from Star2Star, hear about the technology trends on Tracy's radar, and the pet situation in her skyrise residence. Hint: this family member isn't fuzzy and also isn't afraid of heights.

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    019: Exploring The Deskphones Of The Future With VTech’s C.H. Tong

    In this episode, David and Graham interview C.H. Tong, President of VTech Telecommunications. Star2Star and VTech have been providing high-quality communications solutions and products together since 2016. C.H. discusses his role as President of the Telecom division and how VTech made their breakthrough into the SIP market, eventually leading to the Star2Star/VTech relationship. David, Graham, and C.H. also discuss the future of the desk phone, what the “cool” trends will be, and C.H.’s perspective on industry drivers in telecom. Also in this episode, you’ll hear about C.H.’s school adventures at King's College, London University, the running culture at VTech, the struggles of humidity, and much more.

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    018: Talking Security With Harold A. Logan From Star2Star

    In this episode, David and Graham invite Hal Logan, Star2Star's very own Director of Professional Services. They discuss Hal's career and experience in the world of professional services and security where he directs the engineering team responsible for custom development projects. Hal describes his career from beginning as a paratrooper in the Army to working in municipal government and then joining Star2Star. Tune in to this episode to hear about how Hal started in security, his take on the current trends in the industry, and how Blockchain works from a security standpoint. Bonus content: This episode comes to you live from outer space (courtesy of the Gen X-1 stylophone) and evolves into an entirely different podcast, touching on topics including the Oxford comma, how to train for jumping out of planes, and Hal's Yorkshire Terrier, Jocko.

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