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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    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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    029: The Challenges Of Running A Cloud Business with Michael Cromwell

    In this episode, David and Graham are joined by special guest and Heads In The Cloud fan, Michael Cromwell, Founder and CEO of EagleTEQ Solutions, a technology business advisory firm. With over 27 years of experience in the field, Michael spent most of his career leading sales and marketing teams, and now channels that experience into advising growing companies on how they can increase their sales, create standout marketing campaigns, and maximize their growth potential. Michael shares his knowledge on all things cloud and tech, hitting on the challenges of running a cloud business, digital transformation, and why CIOs have become one of the most important executive leaders in the last five years. Tune in to hear his expert insight on why businesses must create their cloud strategy now and all of the new technology you need to thrive. This episode also features a few fun animal cameos, from screaming goats to Michael's Instagram pets.

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    028: Embracing New Technology In Healthcare with Jonathan Edwards

    David Portnowitz and Graham Potter are joined by Harvard and Oxford grad, Jonathan Edwards, live from the suburbs of London. Jonathan, a Healthcare IT expert, spent 14 years at Gartner as a Research VP on the healthcare team. He is a highly experienced advisor with expertise in building a global research practice serving technology vendors and users. Currently, he is the Senior Analyst at the Skills Connection and Managing Director of his independent consulting firm that provides advice to IT vendors and service providers. In this episode, we discuss the challenges in the evolving healthcare IT space and the business value in embracing new technology. Listen in to hear us discuss additional topics including: the downfall in the hype of new technologies, the origins of the fax machine, moving to the cloud, which languages Jonathan has studied, and more.

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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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