Heads In The Cloud
Hitc 2019

Join three 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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    040: The Advantages of the Cloud with Zeus Kerravala

    In this episode, The Cloud welcomes back Graham Potter to the podcast! Graham has returned from his travels to Kilimanjaro (and some fun facts to share). He and David also interview Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research. Zeus was the Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer at the Yankee Group for eleven years before leaving the company to become an independent research analyst. As the principal analyst of his firm, Zeus discusses what he has learned about research, including what prompts market transitions and his thoughts on how an analyst should evolve with the trends. He reveals some of the Cloud's greatest advantages as a technology, compared to traditional on-premises solutions. Tune in to hear more about innovations like seamless streaming across multiple devices, AI capabilities, real-time translations, and more, as well as his analysis of IoT and securing cloud networks, the SD-WAN revolution, and the catchphrase he wants to go viral.

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    039: Selling Results with Bill Stinnett

    In this episode, David and John interview Bill Stinnett, President and Founder of Sales Excellence, his corporate training and consulting organization. Bill has been in sales for almost 30 years; the last 17 of them have been dedicated to helping companies around the world improve their sales tactics and achieve their goals. Bill describes how he started his business and a few tips and tricks he shares with his clients, including sage advice from his father to "think like a fish". David and John also discuss Star2Star's relationship with Sales Excellence and how they are investing in their sales team and Partners using Bill's training tools. Tune in to hear more about how companies are embracing training, Bill's best practices for connecting with customers, John's Burger and Toothpick analogy, and more.

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    038: Sending Thnks with Brendan Kamm

    In our first episode of 2019, we reveal our new Heads In The Cloud logo as John Roth joins the team as a permanent host along with David and Graham! Join us in welcoming John Roth to the show's hosts.

    David and John welcome Brendan Kamm, Co-Founder & CEO of Thnks, to the podcast to discuss his company's innovative solution to building business with gratitude. Thnks is a corporate gifting platform that allows business contacts to send each other various gifts with just an email. Once a gift is sent, Thnks takes care of the rest so that colleagues can focus on their relationship rather than logistics. Brendan describes the philosophy behind Thnks and why it's so important in a digital world. He also describes the range of gifts available including cups of coffee, Uber rides, and song downloads, and some of his favorites including a full-size kayak and Weber grill.

    Brendan, David, and John share stories about how the ease of sending a gift to prospects, customers, and business colleagues can make a dramatic difference. Tune in to hear their stories (and more fun items available on Thnks), how Thnks got started in the midst of New York City, and exciting new features coming to the platform. Bonus: this podcast includes Breaking News from Thnks and farm animals!

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    037: The Insider Guide To Channel Management with Laz Gonzalez

    In this episode, David is joined once again by John Roth to interview Chief Strategy Officer, Laz Gonzalez, from Zift Solutions. Zift Solutions is a channel management solution provider, offering the tools for marketing, sales, and operations success. As Chief Strategy Officer, Laz works with clients to help them drive adoption and shares best practices for creating a stronger channel management strategy. Prior to joining Zift Solutions, Laz was an analyst in the B2B channel marketplace and held other channel-focused roles. He discusses Zift Solution's journey to becoming the leading channel management solution provider and the best practices of success in channel marketing, sales, and more, including his 6:3:1 ratio for managing Partner relationships. Tune in to learn more about Zift Solutions, the marketing elements that successful Partners embrace, and what Laz's favorite sandwich is! You'll also hear about how his Maltese Mix rescue pooch likes to root for the home team and what Cuban dishes he recommends.

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    036: Season's Greetings & Happy New Year with Michelle Accardi

    In this episode, David and John interview Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer at Star2Star Communications. Michelle covers a little bit of everything, from the holidays and plans for 2019 to her dynamic career, travel, pets, and food. From living and working in NYC as an aspiring actress to starting a job in sales and working her way up to management roles in various tech companies, you'll learn a little bit more about our President and how her path led to Star2Star. You'll also learn more about Michelle's passion for helping Partners succeed, her thoughts on true engagement, and why 2019 is going to be a record year for Star2Star. Tune in to hear about the new Sales Excellence Program, coming soon, reflections on 2018, Michelle's favorite sandwich, and how she ended up with four dogs!

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    034: The Demands of Building a Communications Company with Kevin Cox

    In this episode, David is joined once again by John Roth as co-host to interview Kevin Cox, President of GulfTech IT. Kevin's relationship with Star2Star began in 2013 when he was hired as an account manager. He discusses his hiring experience and how he and fellow Star2Star employee, Brian Kummer, later started their own company, GulfTech IT. As you will hear, starting and running your own business requires many steps and components which Kevin had to learn through his transition from Star2Star employee to Star2Star Partner. He talks about the dynamics of running a business, GulfTech IT's milestones so far, and how he leverages Star2Star's Partner Marketing Hub, Co-op program, and other marketing tools. Tune in to hear more about GulfTech IT, their 2019 outlook, and how they adapt to the changing needs of their customers. Bonus content: Find out what color Kevin would be and John Roth reveals one of his bucket list items which involves an 8-hour adventure expedition!

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    033: Finding Your Path In The Communications Space with Dave Gilbert

    In this episode, David and guest co-host John Roth chat with Dave Gilbert, lifelong entrepreneur and currently a communications Sage with Refire Advisors. Dave began his career journey as Founder and CEO of SimpleSignal, an innovative UCaaS startup that played a pivotal role in making Voice over IP an industry standard in communications. He describes his experience with SimpleSignal and how growing the company helped shape the rest of his career. After several years of incredible growth and development, Dave realized that the time had come to sell his startup; through this experience, he realized his passion for coaching executives and their teams on how to achieve success in their respective fields. Tune in to hear more about Dave's adventures in the communications space, his thoughts on why a work culture of embracing weirdness is an advantage, his extensive hat collection, and more!

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    032: The Communication Protagonist's Journey with Dave Michels

    In this episode, David and Graham chat with Dave Michels, independent industry analyst and consultant focusing on IP PBX UC strategies and solutions as well as an avid blogger on telecom and related topics on his site: www.TalkingPointz.com. Dave identifies himself as a "Communication Protagonist" and describes how he has always had an interest in the communications world, from the early days of PBX to the transitions to UCaaS and beyond. He takes David and Graham on his journey throughout his career and discusses how his blog has been a place for him to share direct opinions about the world of communications. Some of his talking points include remote work, today's collaboration experience, and security and privacy with AI devices in the home. Tune in to hear about Dave's take on these topics as well as his advice for how to transition to working from home!

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    031: SD-WAN & UCaaS: Match Made in the Cloud with Jeff Burchett

    In this episode, David and Graham are joined by Jeff Burchett, Vice President of Sales and Co-Founder at Bigleaf Networks. Jeff has spent his entire career in the Telecom industry, and started Bigleaf with Founder and CEO Joel Mulkey in 2012. Bigleaf offers cloud-first SD-WAN technology services that help customers to optimize their network usage. Jeff, David, and Graham deep-dive into the business of Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN), Bigleaf's origin story, and the start of Star2Star and Bigleaf's relationship. Jeff discusses how the technology really works, the best way to sell SD-WAN, and why UCaaS and SD-WAN are truly a match made in the cloud. Tune in to this episode to also hear about Jeff's first adventure on SilverStar--Star2Star's private jet--, Graham's instagram doppelganger, Jeff's pets, and more!

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    030: The Secrets to VoIP Success with Kevin Emahiser & Jeff Donatini of Propel-U-4-Ward

    In this episode David and Graham interview Partners, Kevin Emahiser and Jeff Donatini from Propel-U-4-Ward. As Star2Star's #1 Partners in lead generation and most active users on the Partner Marketing Hub, Kevin and Jeff have many insights to share about how to successfully identify, attract, and convert customers. They discuss how they met over 20 years ago and started their successful business, the evolution of "Hybrid" architecture, and how Star2Star's unique solutions help them convert customers who are wary of VoIP. This episode also includes shoutouts to several Star2Star employees and a discussion about the importance of the Provider/Partner relationship. Tune in to hear even more fun topics ranging from Honeybaked Ham to old school switchboards and the truly unique pet living at Jeff Donatini's.

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