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.

  1. Thumb 1588266557 artwork

    063: Leading Change with Melissa Asevedo

    In this episode, David and John catch up with Melissa Asevado, CEO of Preferred Voice Data Networks, a Star2Star top ten partner. The team is also joined by Joel Greer who supports Melissa's region in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Melissa shares her roots in the industry and tells the story of the many changes in telecom over the years and how she's adapted her business. Learn her success strategy, what challenges she predicts for the industry, how she's dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, and what the LSU Tiger's scores have to do with sales.

  2. Thumb 1586811597 artwork

    062: Engaging & Empowering The Channel With Theresa Caragol

    In this episode, David and John speak with Theresa Caragol, CEO of AchieveUnite Inc., a consulting and education company. Theresa shares how she works with vendors, distributors, and at times, directly with partners to enable their business for success in the channel. Learn about topics such as building trust with partners and customers, delivering engaging content, providing resources that partners actually want, and how to build-up a better co-selling environment. You will also discover key findings in Theresa's research project with CompTIA, the forecast for growth of the channel, and hear Theresa's one recommended sandwich to order to-go during lockdown!

  3. Thumb 1584118055 artwork

    061: Boosting Your Business Brand With Dave Sobel

    In this episode, David and John speak with Dave Sobel, show host of "Business Of Tech" and long time expert in the field. Starting his career with a computer science degree, Dave shares his journey from working in businesses throughout their lifecycle to launching his very own successful company to be sold. Join the conversation as the team delves into topics of Big Tech's reputation with consumers, why Amish companies are crushing business success metrics, and how COVID19 is affecting the technology industry and its customers. You'll also discover a valuable tool to help build desired values and ethics into your business core, what prized possessions Dave collects, and the favorite video games of the group!

  4. Thumb 1582743823 artwork

    060: Taking Your Tech Further with Gordon Smith

    In this episode, David hosts with Frederick Weiss, in a special appearance to speak with Gordon Smith, President and CEO of Sagent. Discover how Sagent helps customers optimize their investments on hardware with a focus on transparency for the client's best interest. You'll learn how Sagent is able to remotely test every repair, save customers $3 on every $1 spent, and stop e-waste. Grab a coffee and enjoy the group's chat on the need for 5G speed, and a tongue twister challenge on fish sticks.

  5. Thumb 1581541266 artwork

    059: Better Solutions For IT & The World With Matt Bauer & John Jordan

    In this episode, David and John speak with two of BetterWorld's leaders, John Jordan, General Manager, and Matthew Bauer, Co-founder and Director. Learn how the practice of giving back inspired this company to become the successful and purpose-driven full-service IT organization that it is today. The conversation covers what "The Power Of One" means to BetterWorld, how they manage a world-wide customer base and tap into new verticals, and what today's most common customer needs are for IT services. End the show with a few questions that will have you craving a vacation!

  6. Thumb 1580218126 artwork

    058: Accelerating Network Performance with Matt Stevens

    In this episode, David and John speak with Matt Stevens, CEO of AppNeta. Discover how AppNeta helps some of the largest cloud providers perfect network performance in the areas of delivery, usage, and experience. Keep an ear open to learn how AppNeta's services differ from SDWAN, what classic mistakes companies make when setting up new wireless networks, and what technology Matt expects to see phasing out in the next few years.

  7. Thumb 1577134121 artwork

    057: Forecasting for a Better Business Strategy with Jay McBain

    In this episode, David and John speak with Jay McBain, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Inc. As an individual in high demand for more than 50 keynote presentations, Jay's insights and words of advice are not to be missed! Get Jay's expert analysis on the pulse of the industry, learn how smart businesses are structuring their companies to grow upward with the market, and get answers on the most popular questions being asked by technology professionals. Prepare for an inspiring side-topic covering world travel as you learn how Jay visited 15 countries in a 21-day trip, along with his wife and 2 daughters!

  8. Thumb 1576101146 artwork

    056: Selling Virtual Desktop with Rick Tamberrino

    In this episode, David and John speak with long-standing Star2Star partner, Rick Tamberrino of Logic Found. In addition to learning a little about Rick, his business, and his relation with Star2Star, learn about which verticals are hot, some tips for selling Desktop as a Service, and who should and should not follow an MSP model. Stay to the end for vacation destinations, wine, and cocktails!

  9. Thumb 1574710900 artwork

    055: A Culinary Experience with Chef Christopher Covelli

    In this episode David Portnowitz and Graham Potter interview celebrity Chef Christopher Covelli for a second round (with a few rounds of world-class cuisine tastings). While your taste buds tingle, feast on some industry knowledge behind what goes into operating a restaurant, designing a top-notch menu, and upholding customer service that is as fine as the food! You’ll also get to hear about each of the chefs at Sage restaurant’s background in cooking, and how they came to cook under head chef Christopher Covelli.

  10. Thumb 1573681814 artwork

    054: The Effects of the RingCentral/Avaya Merger with Jeffrey Pearl

    In this episode, David and John are joined by Jeffrey Pearl, CEO Managing Partner at OTG Consulting for an intriguing talk focused on the effects of the RingCentral-Avaya merger. Settle in for some insight on Jeffrey's background as a pioneer in the hosted VoIP space, what OTG is all about, top customer concerns with cloud migration, and then get the scoop on the reactions of partners and customers since the RingCentral/Avaya merger. Find out what questions have been raised, who the real winners are since the merger, and what is needed to take advantage of the disarray. End with some inspiration for travel, what pie causes vegans to cheat their diet, and Jeffrey's road trip playlist.

  11. Thumb 1572281706 artwork

    053: Differentiating the IT Landscape with Matt Rosenthal

    In this episode, David and John are joined by Matt Rosenthal, CEO of Mindcore Group; Mindcore is a tech services firm for businesses of all sizes that solves IT problems. Matt shares his strategy for giving his customers an extra dose of value through incorporating something he calls "operations as a service", and tells us why this method truly gives him a foot up. More of Matt's outline for success includes the importance of hiring the right people and instilling the right process, gaining high visibility online with captivating content, and offering services that no other provider could easily replace. The conversation also covers the biggest IT challenges faced by business owners, Matt's tips on how to overcome them, and a pop-quiz on planets.

  12. Thumb 1568320100 artwork

    052: Building a Better Business Partnership with Jackson Haskins

    In this episode, Graham and David speak with special guest and former Star2Star employee Jackson Haskins, Business Development Consultant with SouthTech. Learn about SouthTech's business structure, successes, values, and how they differentiate their practices to create a meaningful relationship with their customers. Get a glimpse of the connection between the supplier, the managed service provider, and the customer, plus discover the importance of treating these connections as partnerships and not one-off transactions. Join this conversation that highlights successful partnership factors, the topic of security growth and its drivers, how to limit robo calls, and nostalgic memories of Star2Star's early days.

  13. Thumb 1567090577 artwork

    051: Identity Protection & Data Security with Vincent Oh

    In this episode, Graham and David talk all things data security with Vincent Oh, Director of Product Management at Telesign. Learn all about two-factor authentication and how it is essential for today's business as fraudulent activity continues to grow. Find out what data is collected and analyzed to improve security measures, what businesses are utilizing two-factor identification, and contemplate whether you've already happened upon Telesign's security measures! You'll also embark on a journey learning Telesign's growth history, valuable mergers, and methods of driving business. Take a guess of what type of pup Vincent owns as you listen to the end for some fun with ducks, dogs, and sandwiches!

  14. Thumb 1565959800 artwork

    050: Star Trek Tech That Came True with Zeus Kerravala

    In this episode, David and John are rejoined by Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research. Listen in on an analyst's intel on today's and tomorrow's tech, and be ready to embrace your inner Trekkie (Star Trek fan) as you learn how the famous Star Trek series inspired modern technology! The trio discusses the development of advanced inventions such as drones, telepresence, 3-D printing, and others that were first seen in Star Trek back in 1979. Get ready to wrap your head around the idea that "Things are only impossible until they're not" and contemplate with the group how something like teleportation might not be "highly illogical"! Join Zeus, David, and John to learn about speech interface, crypto-currency, and more!

  15. Thumb 1564434082 artwork

    049: Tech Trash Talk with James Patrignelli

    In this episode, David and John are joined by James Patrignelli, the Director of Northeast Sales, at Liquid Technology, Inc. James shares how Liquid Technology helps other companies get the most out of their old IT equipment in a manner that satisfies environmental responsibility and even could help to foot the bill on implementing a new replacement solution that fits their needs. He also covers the topics of cloud migration, how data security is handled in the ITAD process, and how IoT is growing more need and attention around the technology liquidation sector. If you aren't getting a return on your investment for replacing your old hardware, listen in and find out what you're missing out on!

  16. Thumb 1562950566 artwork

    048: Tech Trends, Tricks, & Ice Cream with Micah Bevitz

    In this episode, David and John interview one of Star2Star's top 5 partners, Micah Bevitz, CEO of iTelecom. iTelecom specializes in cloud/IT services, phone systems, and voice/data options. Micah shares the story of how his company partnered with Star2Star nearly 10 years ago and grew to reach its position as The Elite Service Provider they are today. Micah reflects on the telecom industry changes that highlight the importance of early adoption in the technology space. Join in to get Micah's insight on how the market is reacting to DaaS technology and how to identify a fitting opportunity for DaaS or SD-WAN. You'll also be in for a sweet surprise on making homemade ice cream, plus a continuation of David and John's hot dog debate!

  17. Thumb 1561668769 artwork

    047: Building Success as a Master Agent with Tim Basa

    In this episode, David and John speak with Tim Basa, president of Telegration Inc. Tim shares how this Master Agency uniquely aligns itself to deliver an inspiring atmosphere that supports its agents' business objectives. Tim also sheds light on the recipe he uses to identify fitting agents, as well as the secret sauce he uses to keep them motivated. Discover the Master Agency world, hear about some great technology showcases coming up, and even get a quick ear-full of David's best attempt at covering Tubthumping by Chumbawamba.

  18. Thumb 1560267681 artwork

    046: Building Your Channel Presence with Heather Margolis

    In this episode, David and John speak with Heather Margolis, the founder of Channel Maven Consulting based in Boulder, Colorado. This firm focuses specifically on providing marketing services and support to IT channel organizations of all sizes. Heather shares how she got into the industry and how Channel Maven Consulting helps its customers succeed through one-on-one assistance with content creation, social selling, demand generation, online branding and more. Hear about the importance of utilizing LinkedIn to create relationships with prospects, and even gain some tips to help achieve visibility online. On top of an in-depth conversation about how you can appeal to specific verticals and customer niches, join in for some fun debate on the Game of Thrones finale and hot dogs!

  19. Thumb 1559064472 artwork

    045: An Insider's Look on Marketing Automation with David Lewis

    In this episode, David and John speak with David Lewis, the Founder and CEO of DemandGen International Inc., a marketing agency that specializes in digital marketing. In addition to being the CEO of DemandGen, he is the author of Manufacturing Demand - the #1 book on modern lead management. In this podcast, hear how David Lewis got his start in marketing automation and marketing and sales technology. You'll learn why a company should invest in marketing automation, the importance of utilizing microsites, and their use in attracting customers. David Lewis also discusses what DemandGen does for its customers, lead scoring, what his book, Manufacturing Demand, is about, and his favorite sandwich.

  20. Thumb 1557515103 artwork

    044: A Marketing Match For Telecom with Michael Sterl

    In this episode, John and David speak with Michael Sterl, CEO of Carve Digital which is a marketing firm focused on the tech industry. Michael is also a Board Member of Telecom For Change, an organization that raises resources and revenue for underfunded charities, and is the Cofounder of Cloud Optik, a growing business dedicated to providing tools to offer a world-class set of data and analytics capabilities. Amid this packed discussion, discover what led Michael to specialize in working with cloud and telecom service providers, agents, and partners to tackle marketing efforts and enable their sales operations.

  21. Thumb 1555097432 artwork

    043: Improving Your Digital Handshake with Brian Fanzo

    In this episode, John and David speak with Technology Evangelist Brian Franzo. Brian is a millennial keynote speaker, specializing in marketing through social media within the B2B space. He shares his career journey that began with 9 years working for the Department of Defense in the cyber security sector. After being named the fastest individual to become Sr. VP, Brian made a drastic career change which led to his current passion of teaching businesses to stand out from the noise and engage with customers in the digital space. It was this passion that led him to form the company iSocialFanz, a company focused on launching digital and influencer strategies for brands, including Dell, EMC, Adobe, IBM, UFC, Applebees, and SAP. Listen in and learn all about topics covering creating your digital handshake, staying top-of-mind with your customers, utilizing and embracing change, building a trustworthy brand, and much more!

  22. Thumb 1553889005 artwork

    042: A Technologist's Take on Trends with Gary Audin

    In this episode, David and Graham welcome Gary Audin, President of Delphi, Inc. With a background including over 40 years of computer, communications, and security experience, Gary humbly defines himself as a Technologist. He produces webcasts, podcasts, EDUcasts, and whitepapers for hundreds of vendors and service providers, along with being a prolific speaker at hundreds of conferences and user groups. Gary touches on a variety of topics including everything from Security's growing importance, SIP Trunking's most common issues during installations, 5G predictions, and his border collie Keyboard's special talents. Listen in and also hear David's unusual animal encounter story and how it relates to repurposing old sheets/pillows for a good cause.

  23. Thumb 1552591832 artwork

    041: An Inside look at Channel Event Management with Art Wittmann

    In this episode, David and John reveal the details on Star2Star's upcoming event at Channel Partners in Las Vegas. They also interview Art Wittmann, SVP of Content for Informa's US Technology brands. Art shares his journey of working as Channel Partners SVP and Manager during the transition to Informa's Knowledge and Networking Group, along with his experience in rebuilding Channel Partners into a thriving brand with a bright future. He discusses trends on Channel Partner's growth over the years, announces upcoming events including news on their first show in London, and reveals the keynote speaker for the next Channel Partners event in Las Vegas. Tune in and learn about which technology topics will keep you one step ahead, the importance of UX, and what dinosaur is John's favorite.

  24. Thumb 1551365986 artwork

    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.

  25. Thumb 1550180427 artwork

    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.

  26. Thumb 1548786449 artwork

    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!

  27. Thumb 1544134978 artwork

    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.

  28. Thumb 1544553307 artwork

    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!

  29. Thumb 1543586009 artwork

    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!

  30. Thumb 1542056451 artwork

    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!

  31. Thumb 1539374862 artwork

    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!

  32. Thumb 1538166047 artwork

    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!

  33. Thumb 1536944911 artwork

    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.

  34. Thumb 1535725767 artwork

    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.

  35. Thumb 1533932975 artwork

    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.

  36. Thumb 1532979409 artwork

    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.

  37. Thumb 1531426378 artwork

    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!

  38. Thumb 1530303042 artwork

    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.

  39. Thumb 1528823942 artwork

    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!

  40. Thumb 1527866819 artwork

    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".

  41. Thumb 1526319727 artwork

    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!

  42. Thumb 1524669059 artwork

    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.

  43. Thumb 1523650821 artwork

    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.

  44. Thumb 1522349660 artwork

    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.

  45. Thumb 1521122278 artwork

    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.

  46. Thumb 1520001434 artwork

    017: Looking Out For The Latest UC Trends with David Mario Smith

    In this episode, David is joined by special guest host, Frederick Philip von Weiss, Executive Producer of Heads In The Cloud and Creative Director at Star2Star. David and Frederick interview David Mario Smith, Founder and Principal Analyst at InFlow Analysis. They discuss David's illustrious career as an analyst in the communications space. From starting at Gartner right out of school to founding his own company in response the digital disruption. David has seen the ins and outs of the industry from a perspective trained to look ahead. He provides his take on Net Neutrality and some of the trends piquing his interest right now including chatbots, machine learning, and the conversational enterprise. Tune in to this episode to hear about the adventures of David, David, and Frederick, and learn more about UC from an expert industry insider. Bonus content: Frederick's other podcast, Thunder Nerds, and the story of Biscuit the Dog, David Mario Smith's family pooch.

  47. Thumb 1518645148 artwork

    016: Welcome To Our (Master Agent) World with Chris O'Brien, & Phil Keenan

    In this episode, David and Graham talk shop with Chris O'Brien, Head of Sales, and Phil Keenan, President at MicroCorp. As a business with 30 years in the communications space, MicroCorp has seen everything from the days of selling long distance to the value-added recurring revenue services of today that are better known as VoIP and UCaaS. Chris and Phil discuss the world of Master Agents, what SD-WAN means to their business, and what they are looking forward to in 2018 as the field continues to evolve.

  48. Thumb 1517410826 artwork

    015: In A Podcast Far, Far Away... with Paul Hoffman

    In this episode, we travel to a galaxy far, far away to interview Paul Hoffman, President of SouthTech IT, a long-term Star2Star partner. Paul takes us back through SouthTech's founding, originally started within a CPA firm, and tells us how a few SouthTech employees eventually branched out to become an IT company. We also discuss the trends Paul currently sees in the industry, his customers' #1 concern for communications, and how SouthTech is really more of a "people business" than an "IT business". Tune in to hear more from Paul plus a bonus debate about Sarasota's local brewery scene and Star Wars sound effects (no spoilers).

  49. Thumb 1516040619 artwork

    014: Breaking News! Alan Foy On The Star2Star & Blueface Merge

    Get to know Star2Star's new CEO, Alan Foy, as we host him on our breaking news episode of Heads In The Cloud. We recently merged with Blueface, a pan-European UCaaS company, which Alan also directed as CEO. Hear how this all came about from Alan himself, where the new Star2Star/Blueface Group is headed, and some other details about our new Group CEO in our new segment, Rapid Fire With Graham Potter. We discuss what his favorite drink is, music taste, and more!

  50. Thumb 1513953740 artwork

    013: Why Blockchain Is 'Off The Chain' In 2018

    Happy New Year, friends of the pod! For our first podcast of 2018, we speak with Joseph Williams, an analyst and consultant in the UC industry. With specialties in the channel and UCaaS, Joseph provides us with his take on the top trends from 2017 and what to look forward to this year.

  51. Thumb 1513636743 artwork

    012: Extra, Extra, Read All About It! UCaaS & CPaaS Are On The Front Page Of The Internet

    In this episode, we interview Doug Green, Publisher at Telecom Reseller. As a leading news service since 1989 with over 40,000 readers, Telecom Reseller continues to connect key players with the latest updates and trends in the industry. The team reports on unified communications (UC), cloud, and collaboration technologies. Doug shares in-the-know insights about the most-read stories, market changes, and how hardware companies are adapting to increasing rates of cloud adoption. Tune in to hear The Pomeranian Analogy for these UC trends. BONUS: We also travel through time in this episode.

  52. Thumb 1512401446 artwork

    011: Heads In The Game

    In this episode, we speak with Steve Shenbaum, Founder and President of Game On Nation, an interpersonal communications and leadership training firm. Game On has worked with small-to-large companies including big names like Honda, Gatorade, NASCAR, the NY Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, LA Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, NFLPA, ACC, and SEC teams, among many others. Steve's name may also sound familiar to you because he acted in several well known films including Space Jam, American Pie 2, Big Fat Liar, and EDtv. Steve's passion these days, however, is helping people create connections and communicate on a more personal level in the digital age. He discusses some of his tips and training exercises for helping others discover common ground in order to connect more authentically

  53. Thumb 1510673240 artwork

    010: We're Not Here For A Long Time, But A Real-Time

    In this episode, we switch bodies to greet HITC's first international guest--but only one part of that is true. Our guest, Tsahi Levent-Levi, calls in from Israel to discuss his passion, Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC). Tsahi is an Independent Analyst and Consultant for WebRTC with over 15 years of experience in the telecommunications space. He discusses the advantages of WebRTC and how it accomplishes so much with all the things it doesn't have. Tune in to hear about how WebRTC touches every aspect of the communications space and what new and exciting developments to expect in the near future!

  54. Thumb 1509477712 artwork

    009: The Wheel, The Telephone & 5G: The World's Greatest Inventions

    In this episode, we discuss the latest advancement in wireless technology, 5G, with Gregory H. Collins, Founder & Principal Analyst at Exact Ventures. Exact Ventures is an independent market intelligence firm who focuses on developments in technologies such as telecom, wireless, and networking. In our discussion, we touch on the advantages of 5G, how it will roll out, and what that means for current networks and the future of wireless technologies. But the real question we want answered: will 5G finally improve airplane wi-fi? Gregory has all these answers and more. Plus, we also discuss Session Border Control (SBC) and how it relates to our new platform, Hybrid Connect. Episode 9 of Heads In The Cloud has much to offer!

  55. Thumb 1507927691 artwork

    008: This One's All About Marsha, Marsha, Marsha--And Media Management

    In this episode, we interview one of our very first customers, Marsha Friedman from Event Management Services (EMSI), the guaranteed media firm. Marsha's relationship with Star2Star goes back to September of 2007, when she first met our Chief Knowledge Officer, Graham Potter. She describes her experience with Star2Star since day one and why she has stayed our customer for the last 10 years. Our hosts also get the inside scoop on what it takes to get noticed by the media, how the Heads In The Cloud podcast can "celebritize" itself, and the professional profile of EMSI's furry Chief Security Officer.

  56. Thumb 1506712198 artwork

    007: Chaos Is A Ladder

    In this episode, we talk shop with one of our very own--a first for the Heads In The Cloud podcast. As our first ever in-studio guest, John Roth, VP of Established Channel Sales at Star2Star, discusses what we do and how we do it. John's career has focused exclusively on the channel, from selling door-to-door in the 80s to when he first heard about our one-of-a-kind Hybrid Architecture in 2009. Industry developments and the exciting dynamics of a 100% Channel Partner sales model await in this installment!

  57. Thumb 1505398333 artwork

    006: Keep True To The Dreams Of Your Youth (Pumpkin)

    In this episode, we chat with Evan Kirstel, renowned social media influencer and 5th most influential B2B marketer in the US. Evan shares his expertise in digital communications to shed light on some of the most forward-thinking trends in UC. We discuss the fortunes and futures of today's groundbreaking UC developments, including voice-first, mobile-first, cloud-first, and omnichannel technologies that are reshaping how we communicate. And if we're lucky, these industry changes will fulfill the dreams of our youth. Post-script: we also discuss everything pumpkin spice.

  58. Thumb 1504646274 artwork

    005: Collaboration Innovation, What's Your Implication?

    In this episode, we chat with Shawn Puddester, VP of Global Service Providers at Polycom. Star2Star has a long-standing relationship with Polycom and Shawn going back to our founding in 2006. Since then, the market has seen many shifts and game-changing developments. Shawn shares his experience with Polycom and how they have handled these developments in terms of innovation and staying competitive in an increasingly commoditized marketplace. Among our discussion points: Shawn's marketplace analysis of the communications space, tips for staying ahead of the competition curve, and Area 51...

  59. Thumb 1503425701 artwork

    004: Digital Transformers, More Than Meets The Eye

    In this episode, we chat with leading UC analyst and strategic consultant, Sheila McGee-Smith. Having covered the industry since 1990, Sheila provides storied insight into how contact centers address digital transformation. She describes the importance of tracking the customer journey, and how a younger demographic has changed that path with new technology. We share great examples of companies using artificial intelligence to better serve the consumer. Graham also gives a sneak peek into Star2Star’s new contact center experience.

  60. Thumb 1502387082 artwork

    003: We Like To Merge It, Merge It

    In this episode, we chat with VP of Digital Transformation at Frost & Sullivan, Elka Popova. We discuss changes in the UCaaS space including the Mitel/ShoreTel merger and hypotheses for future M&As. Elka shares her insights regarding churn in the partner community, embedded communications, and the factors driving these industry changes.

  61. Thumb 1499441709 artwork

    002: Mobile Killed The Desktop Star (Maybe)?

    In this episode, we chat with VTech’s Director of Sales Service Providers North America, Matt Hickey. We debate whether the deskphone is truly “dead” as sales remain steady and smartphone integration continues to grow. Matt shares how companies like VTech innovate in the device market while addressing mobility.

  62. Thumb 1499440117 artwork

    001: If You Build It, Will They Come?

    In our inaugural episode, we chat with President and Principal Analyst at COMMfusion LLC, Blair Pleasant. We discuss user adoption in the rapidly expanding UC space. Blair shares her six-step strategy for engaging customers before a new service rolls out, and how to achieve the best ROI.

Back Home