Goodnight Irene – we hope that you and your families made it through the storm safely. If your company has been adversely affected by Hurricane Irene, please let us know and we’ll make it a priority to assist you in any we that we can.
IDeACOM rocks was one of the many sentiments echoed during this year’s annual conference, which was held in early August in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year’s event had the highest participation of vendor-partners and attendance of members. In my personal opinion, this annual event gets better every year.
The festivities started Sunday evening with a welcome cocktail reception, which was hosted outside on the patio. It was a beautiful night where everyone had an opportunity to catch up with old friends as well as make new acquaintances.
The event was kicked off Monday at 8:00 AM by Bill Gillam, and in traditional form, Bill got everyone’s attention by presenting a montage of entertaining, thought-provoking, and motivational video clips.
Ray Keller, our keynote speaker talked about tough times and the importance of attitude. He provided some personal anecdotes and stories from his hometown in Jonesboro, Arkansas with a down to earth inspiring message. Ray can be found at www.raykeller.com.
Next up was Ron Cates, who is an email marketing specialist with Constant Contact. Ron had a tough act to follow since Ray Keller had delivered such a powerful presentation; and Ron rose to the occasion with the combination of his extensive knowledge, unique delivery, and self-deprecating humor sprinkled throughout his presentation as he made his points. Ron demonstrated his prowess and expertise in the area of email marketing with specific examples of easy and inexpensive ways to use the technology. His theme was “Email Is Not Dead”, and he certainly proved it.
Our next speaker was Rich Graham with Exact Target. Rich has been involved with The IDeACOM Network for about 3 years and heads up our IDeACOM Insights monthly eNewsletter. Rich introduced “Insights version 2.1”, which included some new design enhancements that have been incorporated into this month’s edition.
I guess you can say that Monday morning was designed around social media and marketing as our next speaker, Emily Leach talked about search engine optimization (SEO) and how to create an SEO strategy. This is an area that still confuses the heck out of me as the rules seem to always be changing and no one can give you a straight or consistent answer to a question. They’re like meteorologists in that we listen to what they have to say, they get paid for what they do, and they’re not held accountable for the recommendations they make. Anyway, Emily is informed about her topic and raised some valid points by providing practical ideas about keywords, key phrases, and ways to incorporate video.
That wrapped up the morning session. Monday afternoon consisted of our vendor-partner exhibits in a trade-show format, which gives us the opportunity to learn about new products and services offered by our extensive rolodex of high quality vendor-partners. Monday night was capped off with our annual awards dinner.
Tuesday started with a technical presentation by one of our suppliers, Graybar, on structured cabling and power over Ethernet (POE). Emily Leach came back for a follow up session on creating a social media strategy.
Our newest vendor-partner, Interface Security Systems (ISS) introduced their capabilities to the group, which got a lot of attention with our members. ISS provides nationwide support for implementing broadband services, provides managed routers for QoS and traffic shaping in VoIP installations, PCI compliance for credit card transactions, and IP-based alarm monitoring with cellular backup and camera integration on the security side. Overall, ISS provides a comprehensive, yet cost-effective managed service.
ISS was followed by a presentation on surviving a disaster by one of our members, Brad Little whose organization recently survived the agony of a fire. So in addition to how to deal with the aftermath, Brad discussed preparedness and what to do to minimize the disruption and interruption that a disaster can have on you business and your clients that are depending on you.
And the conference was concluded with our popular Mining Our Diamonds session, which is a roundtable style format where all members share ideas that have helped them improve their businesses. This year, the format was changed slightly and focused on solving problems. So instead of bringing ideas to share w/everyone, members were encouraged to discuss a problem they were facing, to which the group would kick around and offer suggestions or specific recommendations about what they did to solve that same problem within their company.
So now we’re back to work, managing service and sales, along with the numerous daily priorities that pop up in a service business; while trying to implement a few of the many great ideas we brought back from Santa Fe.
The IDeACOM Network has an impressive portfolio of more than 50 vendor-partners that specialize in telecommunications. In our central & northern New Jersey market, we specialize in the installation of phone systems, carrier services including VoIP & traditional, structured voice & data cabling, and competitive leasing services to acquire it all. Here’s a current list of our “leading” vendor partners that help us deliver responsive and knowledgeable support on a daily basis. They include:
- Zultys – one of the first pure IP PBX manufacturers on the market that has the reliability of a Linux platform, a grasp of what clients are looking for, a talented engineering group to write easy to use software and app’s, and a successful track record.
- AccessLine Communications – provides high quality voice over IP phone services with a truly dedicated order and implementation team. AccessLine helps us get it done for you.
- Vertical Communications – one of our long-term “converged” VoIP system providers.
- Access Point through VGE – provides our traditional voice & data carrier services that enable us to significantly reduce your monthly recurring phone costs. They too have been a valuable IDeACOM partner.
- GFS – for competitive leasing and bundled maintenance packages.
- AMS – for over 20 years we’ve relied on AMS for customized on-hold services, and they’ve always delivered.
- ISS – new managed services vendor partner with a lot of potential.
In closing, we are grateful to be part of such an influential organization and feel privileged to have so many capable and high quality vendor-partners to represent. And our nationwide member network is among the best of the best in the industry.
IDeACOM has the experience and resources to identify & prioritize your needs, sort out the best overall fit for your organization, and the ability to help you get the highest payoff from your phone system in terms of results.
Contact us to schedule an evaluation, or to simply learn more about how we can help you. Make the call and put our experience to work for you today!