Jenne is Your Value-Added Distributor for Cloud Solutions

Cloud computing is evolving the IT marketplace and the channel. Organizations are adopting infrastructure, platform and application services to augment and replace legacy IT hardware and software. End-users appreciate the Cloud’s agility, scalability, elasticity and predictable IT costs.  Cloud computing affords Value-added Resellers and service providers with the ability to offer scalable solutions at lower operating costs with fewer assets, provide reoccurring revenue and predictable profitability.

Jenne offers Cloud Solutions from some of the channel’s leading companies.  In Unified Communications, Jenne offers solutions from Digium, Mitel and RingCentral.  These business communications solutions are easier to manage and more flesible than on-premise communication systems.

Plantronics has a unique Device-as-a-Service Pro program that offers a simple 12, 24, or 36 month subscription offering Plantronics UC Audio Devices and services to SMBs, mid-market and even enterprise customers looking for a flexible solution.

In Network Management, Jenne offers ADTRAN’s ProCloud solution, a customizable, cloud-management platform, centralized configuration and firmware management system with 7×24 proactive monitoring alerts and quick access to technical experts for support.

With Digium, Jenne offers SIP Trunking which helps VARs’ customers reduce their telephony costs and deliver a higher standard of service by replacing traditional phone lines with Digium SIP Trunking.

Jenne also offers Cloud Video Conferencing with AvayaLive Video and Lifesize Cloud.  Both solutions enable collaboration.

Jenne will continue to add additional Cloud Solutions in the coming months. So stay tuned for more announcements!

 

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Adapting to support the modern meeting

“The way users get their work done is undergoing a dramatic, historic change,” according to Wainhouse Research senior analysts Bill Haskins and Andy Nilssen in a report they have authored entitled “The Collaborative Enterprise — How Enterprises are Adapting to Support the Modern Meeting.”

Haskins and Nilssen say they find this new work environment is being embraced by ‘work-life-harmony-seeking millennials and driven by highly collaborative interaction.” Anyone and everyone can become instantly engaged through the use of technologies that enable virtual collaboration.  But are these new technologies really improving collaboration?  Are they making the dreaded business meeting more productive?  If the technology exists and works, why is it still in many cases a hard sell?

The Wainhouse Research analysts surveyed online cross-functional decision makers at mid-to-large enterprises — those with more than 250 employees — and asked questions about their company’s facilities strategy, collaboration habits, and probed the respondents for the tools they use to get their work done.  The results of the survey led them to the conclusion that technology has indeed transcended the ability to simply enable virtual collaboration.  Anyone and everyone can instantly become engaged and contribute to the work product. Some are contributing in-person, some virtually from home and others while on the road.  Users are no longer satisfied with just audio conferencing and are adopting the use of video more and more.

“The Collaborative Enterprise” report sites seven key findings:

Finding #1:  The Modern Meeting = High Volume.  Workers are attending more and more meetings, with a classification of “Power Workers” spending almost half of their time in meetings equaling an average of 27 meetings per week or almost 5.5 meetings per day.

Finding #2:  The Modern Meeting = Virtual, Visual and Anywhere.  The more frequently a respondent meets the more likely they are to include virtual attendees in their meetings.  Video becomes a critical component of these meetings enabling collaboration.  Average respondents include video in almost half of their conferences.  The Power Workers use video in over 60 percent of their meetings.

Finding #3:  Workplace Transformation = Collaboration.  The physical workplace continues to undergo a transformation.  Companies are reconfiguring and adding more conference spaces and huddle rooms.  There is more support for the mobile worker indicating the growth of teleworking and flexible seating environments.

Finding #4:  The IT Environment = Growing Complexity. IT departments are finding themselves managing highly complex communications environments.  Over one-third of respondents have two or more UC platforms in use.

Finding #5:  Huddle Room Collaboration = A Traditional Mix. Companies are relying heavily on a mix of conferencing technologies in today’s huddle room.  Respondents indicate that almost 44 percent of the time conferences in their huddle rooms involve four or more people in the huddle room  This has implications for outfitting the room, how participants connect, how a/v is captured and how content is shared.

Finding #6.  Huddle Room Technology = Lagging Behind.  Technology in these huddle rooms is usually a speaker phone, followed by a fixed display. The use of mobile technology is on the rise.  Almost half of respondents note they use their smartphone or tablet to participate in at least some of their huddle room conferences.

Finding #7:  Users Want Better Collaborative Tools.  While using a laptop to collaborate in a huddle room is typical, respondents indicated they are looking for more advanced collaboration and technology that will facilitate this.  They indicate that their laptop’s microphone doesn’t perform well enough and their embedded laptop camera doesn’t work as well as they would like.

The sponsor of “The Collaborative Enterprise” paper is Logitech, for which Jenne is a value-added distributor.  Logitech recently announced their ConferenceCam Connect, a portable device capable of delivering 1080p video and 360 degree sound.  It is optimized for huddle-room meetings with one to six  local participants and supports a range of connectivity options, including USB, Bluetooth, NFC and HDMI for an in-room display.  This device is the third installment in Logitech’s ConferenceCam family.

 

 

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2015 B2B Technology Content Report

In volume three of the Eccolo Media 2015 B2B Technology Content Survey, technology buyers, from engineers to the C-Suite, were asked about what content they consumed via social channels during a technology purchase.

Buyers were asked about which phase they find social content most helpful. Sixty-seven percent picked the first two phases of the buying cycle: 1.) the pre-sales phase (31%) where they are actually unaware of their problem or need; and 2.) the initial sales phase (36%) where they are beginning to understand their need. In the mid-sales phase, where buyers are identifying solutions and considering vendors, 25% said social media content influenced them. In the final sales phase, where they are finalizing the vendor decision and purchasing solution, only 9% said social media made an impact.

Technology buyers also were asked about what content tyes they are likely to consume in a social channel when making a purchase. They listed these types of content that had an impact:

  • Case studies/succes stories (25%)
  • Detailed technology guides (16%)
  • White papers (16%)
  • Podcasts/audio files (13%)
  • Emails (13%)
  • Blog articles (12%)
  • Infographics (12%)
  • Video/multimedia files (11%)
  • E-newsletters/digests (8%)eBooks (8%)
    Webinar (7%)
    Competitive vendor worksheets (7%)
    Web slideshows (6%)
    Customer magazines (5%)

The report asks “what do these findings mean to content strategists and planners?” The answer is to pay attention to social channels but don’t get sucked into the hype. And while all content types are consumed socially, the old standbys perform the best.

For more information on the report, visit: http://eccolomedia.com/what-social-content-has-sex-appeal/

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What is a CREEPER?

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Written by Rick Coan  
 

Accounting departments have a unique perspective on the operations of the company that is rarely leveraged. This unique perspective should allow the accountant to see, feel, and hopefully deal with the affects of transactions gone wrong. Transactions gone wrong, and worse yet, those that increase, are what we call CREEPERS.

CREEPERS stem from upstream operational transactions and flow downstream to the accounting department. In the accountants world, CREEPERS show up, and worse yet build up, in areas such as aged receivables due to pricing issues and unresolved debit memos to accounts payables due to RMA’s not being processed correctly, just to name a few.

What accountants do about CREEPERS depends on the leadership, or culture, of the department. The culture tends to go one of two ways:

 1. An inwardly focused department will resolve the CREEPER within the department, solving only the symptom, causing it to continually come back.

 2. An outwardly focused department will resolve the CREEPER in partnership with operations, solving the root cause and preventing it from coming back.

 The department that does not reach out to operations to resolve CREEPERS develops a reputation of green-eyed shade sequestered monks righteously protesting transactions gone wrong. The culture of an accounting department that is inwardly focused is missing a huge potential by not reaching out and being viewed as valued added financial advisors.

 As mentioned, the accounting department is in a unique position to be more than bookkeepers and chroniclers of history. The leadership/culture of an accounting department should be outwardly focused and view CREEPERS as opportunities to partner with operations, to solve issues at the root, and to make it a better company.

 Ok, you see the CREEPERS, but how do you go about “partnering” with operations? I’ll cover that in the next blog post, coming Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Rick Coan, CPA, MBA, is senior vice president of finance at Jenne Inc., a leading value-added distributor of business telephony, data, audio and video conferencing, and security technology products, including equipment and software for the data, SMB and enterprise markets. Coan was the recipient of the Crains Cleveland CFO of the Year in 2009.

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Getting Started in Social Media for B2B Companies

Facebook hit one-billion users on October 4, 2012.  Twitter is at about 500 million users, but only about 170 million are active.  LinkedIn hit 175 million users as of the summer of 2012.

B2B companies in all market segments are still trying to figure out their social media strategy, and the telecommunications industry is no exception.  Just because we are all involved in a technology industry doesn’t mean we have it all figured out.  One of the biggest challenges that B2B companies of all types face is determining where to allocate limited time when there are so many different social media sites and opportunities to choose from. Many companies still have elected to sit on the sidelines because they don’t know what to do and/or think it will take to much of their limited time and resources.

If you are thinking about social media for your company but haven’t dipped your toe in the waters yet, here’s how to get started:

1.  Define a strategy that is your means of reaching your target audience.  Identify which social media your audience is engaging in, and then dive in.  The most effective social strategies engage their audience where they are active and receptive to learning more about your company, so figure out which social media sites your customers and prospects frequent.

Social media can suck up a lot of time if you aren’t focused, so allocate your time based on where you think you will get your best Return on Investment.  LinkedIn and Twitter are two social media sites that many B2B companies have found to be valuable conduits to their customers.  LinkedIn has hundreds, even thousands of Groups that are formed around common business interests and industries.  Start scanning their Groups with word searches and you will likely find numerous groups formed around similar business interests.

2.  Determine your social media goals.  Your goals can include:

  • Increasing brand awareness and/or name recognition for your company
  • Positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry
  • Generating leads
  • Engaging in meaningful conversations with customers and prospects

3.  Identify and implement tactics that you will employ. 

  • Create engaging content that can be multi-purposed onto various social media sites.  This includes writing a blog (like this one!); press releases; and content posted on your company web site.
  • Listen and respond to what your audience is saying about your company.  There are many tools that can help you with this, including HootSuite.
  • Listen and respond to problems that your target audience is talking about — but be careful not to make it too much of a “sales pitch.”
  • Offer educational opportunities for customers and prospects including free webinars and white papers.

Most importantly, commit to a plan and get started.  Reevaluate your progress every three months or so.  By working the plan on a weekly basis you will likely be surprised at your results in a very short amount of time.

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Jenne Staging and Provisioning Integration Services Save VARs Time and Money

Many Jenne customers do not realize that Jenne offers staging and provisioning services.  Jenne will perform all the preliminary configuration, licensing and upgrades enabling resellers to rapidly install systems on their customer’s network or as a stand-alone unit.  Since a technician’s time is focused on billable hours, resellers have the peace of mind that their customer’s unit is tested and upgraded to the latest software and firmware.

Jenne staging and provisioning integration services are not limited to only the product that we offer.  Our integration reconfiguration service also allows for a reseller to integrate third-party products.  Jenne can incorporate custom-design images and asset tags to virually any product.

In addtion to pre- and post-sales technical support, configuration services, sales and technical certification training and financial services, Jenne provides the following additional services:

  • Custom label and asset tagging creation
  • Customer-provided asset tagging
  • Customer-provided RFID tagging
  • Material inserts
  • Software installation
  • Extended warranty registration
  • Kitting and BOM assembly
  • Packaging and shipping
  • Third-party product warehousing
  • Quality checks and diagnostic testing
  • Configuration staging and license burn-in
  • IP PBX custom staging and testing
  • SIP phone provisioning

Jenne customer, Aaron Kane, CEO Of CTI Technology, a Value Added Reseller based in Chicago that provides integrated voice and date technology solutions, called on Jenne when the company faced an 86-site VoIP installation for a national home healthcare company.  Originally, Kane was planning on having his 384 field technicians install three to five systems per week until all 86 sites for the project were up and running.

“We knew we’d have to program the system, ship it to the location, install it, train personnel, and go live, leaving us no room for error,” says Kane.  “If a product was shipped and found to be defective upon set up, it would set us back at least one week for that particular install.”

That’s when Jenne stepped in.  Jenne tested and preconfigured the units before shipping direct to the healthcare customer for CTI.  This saved three to five days per install.  Additionally, no systems were found to be defective at any of the 86 locations.  Ultimately, the entire installation took about 10 months.  Kane is convinced that the implementation process would have lasted an additional five months if not for Jenne’s help.

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What Does it Mean to be a True Value Added Distributor?

The term ‘Value Added Distributor’  (VAD) has been around a long time.  What does it really mean?  And why should Value Added Resellers (VARs) be picky about the VAD with whom they choose to partner?

Let’s start with the definition of a Value Added Distributor.  A true VAD not only offers top-notch pick, pack and ship services, but also offers programs and services that add value to the distributed products that increase their value or worth.  This value addition can be segmented into three areas:  1.)  Pre-sale; 2.)  Support of the sale; and 3.)  Post-sale.

Jenne, Inc. truly is a VAD.  We offer assistance pre-sale through many means, including Jenne Solutions Designer (JSD), a multi-product online configurator that allows resellers to design real-world solutions in a matter of minutes. JSD allows resellers to quickly produce professional quotes, proposals and customized cover letters in a user-friendly export featuring their own company logo and branding.

Additionally, pre-sale and throughout the entire sales process, Jenne’s team of sales professionals, including both inside sales representatives and territory field sales representatives, work together to provide first class customer service and support, making sure that every request and order is satisfied in a timely and professional manner.  It is this ‘high touch, fast response model’ that distinguishes Jenne from the competition.

Additionally, Jenne sales reps are highly trained and hold certifications for the top manufacturers represented.  They take additional on-going training throughout the year to stay current on their certifications and new products as they are introduced.

Another value-add that Jenne offers is training to resellers through Jenne University.  Jenne U. is the place where training and support converge.  While other distributors outsource their training instructors and facilities, Jenne maintains its own brick and mortar training center where customers can gain technical or sales expertise.  State-of-the-art training facilities incorporate fully equipped classrooms with a conference demo center.  Jenne offers customized training maps specific to a reseller’s sales and technical competency to insure the curriculum aligns with their business needs.

Jenne University also is a Pearson VUE accredited testing center, which means that students take the test on-site as soon as the class is completed.  They do not need to register for testing at a different location or at a different time.  Students benefit from having the course material still fresh in mind, resulting in higher pass rates.

In addition to technical and sales training, Jenne offers Technical Support services with in-house technicians who have completed manufacturer certification requirements necessary to qualify for Tier 2 technical support.  Technicians are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET at no additional cost.  Full 24/7 support also is available for a nominal charge.  Jenne technicians have access to all of the equipment the company distributes so that they can access equipment and replicate problems or issues as they are presented by customers and help them resolve the issue.

A problem area for VARs is the tracking of service agreements, post-sale.  Jenne has a unique, proprietary service contract tracking program that notifies resellers when service contracts are coming due for all products purchased through Jenne.  Resellers receive advance notification at 90, 60 and 30 days prior to expiration so that they can contact the end-user customer and renew the service agreement.

Jenne’s goal is always to strive to be the premier Value Added Distributor in the telecommunications industry.  We continually are looking for new ways to satisfy our customers and surpass their expectations.  We’d love to hear your feedback.  Contact Susan Elder, director of marketing, selder@jenne.com to share your ideas.

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