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1 Summer 2014 Smooth Transition Healthwise takes a thoughtful approach to rolling out Microsoft Lync with help from Cerium Networks. communication elements PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Tulsa, OK Permit No There was no question that Healthwise needed a new phone system. The organization s 10-year-old PBX was likely to fail at any time, and replacement parts were difficult to impossible to find. So the Boise, Idaho-based educational nonprofit developed a strategic plan to migrate its voice communications to Microsoft Lync. The organization installed Microsoft Lync and rolled it out as an instant messaging tool for internal collaboration. As users became accustomed to the platform, the IT team slowly migrated groups onto Lync for voice as well. This phased approach required that the old and new phone systems operate in tandem. We didn t want to do a big bang, overnight migration we wanted to slowly roll it out, said Shaun Titus, Network and Systems Engineer, Healthwise. The problem was that we didn t have a Lync-certified SIP trunking service in our area. We needed to implement that capability in-house. Healthwise had been looking for a Lync expert, and was referred to Rob Husted of Cerium Networks. Titus spoke with Husted at length, and was impressed with his knowledge of the platform. So when the SIP trunking issue came up, he naturally turned to Cerium for help. I was looking for someone who could tell me more about Lync but I continued on page 2

2 Smooth Transition continued from page 1 kept getting folks who knew less than I did, he said. Then one of them put me in touch with Rob from Cerium. Rob spent an hour and a half on the phone with me discussing what this system could look like. It was fantastic. We brought Cerium in to implement an AudioCodes gateway, integrate our old platform with the new platform, certify it for best practices and configure it for external dialing. The Cerium team played a critical role in the success of this project. Making the Connection SIP trunking is a service that enables organizations to make full use of their IP phone systems outside the enterprise. Based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), it enables the delivery of IP phone services and unified communications over the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Typically, SIP trunks are used to connect IP-PBXs to the outside world, but they can also connect any digital or analog PBX that has an interface for SIP trunking. Typically, SIP trunking is a feature offered by a telecom service provider. In this instance, however, Healthwise needed to implement an AudioCodes gateway to provide that functionality. When you convert from an old analog or even digital telephone system to something like Lync, you need a SIP gateway device at the perimeter so that the SIP-based system can communicate with a traditional phone system, said Mark Studer, Network and Systems Engineer, Healthwise. Rob informed us about the alternatives, one of which was to install a device that would emulate a SIP trunk. That was significantly helpful because it not only eliminated the need for a SIP trunk but also helped us integrate our old phone system with our Lync system. That was an important step as Healthwise systematically migrated 250 users from the old system to the new system. Cerium configured the AudioCodes gateway to properly route calls based upon which phone system a particular staff member was using. If someone s still on the old phone system, calls will get routed to that system, and if they re on the new system, calls will get routed to our new system, Titus said. It does the handoff between the telecom provider on one end and Lync or the old phone system on the other. Focus on People We have people who come from different environments where they ve worked with other collaboration tools, and say that hands down Lync is the best they d ever seen. Healthwise is dedicated to providing people with the information they need to make better health decisions. The organization partners with hospitals, electronic medical record providers, health plans, disease management companies and health websites to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information to the people they serve. Healthwise is also focused on the wellbeing of its staff, and has won awards for its unique culture and its support of employee involvement, onsite health and safety programs, and work-life balance. That commitment played a role in the Lync rollout. As we started the Lync project, members of our executive team said we need better tools to support our offsite staff, Studer said. They didn t feel like they had the tools to be part of the culture and to work with teammates who are onsite. So we started pushing out Lync as a collaboration tool and that has been well-received. We have people who come from different environments where they ve worked with other collaboration tools, and say that hands down Lync is the best they d ever seen. That enthusiasm extends to the Lync phone system. It really speaks for itself, said Titus. We ve been careful to roll this out slowly so that we could deal with any pushback. We ve actually gotten such positive feedback from the users who already have it that we re getting immense pressure to speed up implementation because everyone wants it so badly. Before this we didn t have visual voice mail. We didn t have an easy way for people to look up other people in the directory. A lot of the things that are common on today s systems weren t available or were difficult to get to on our legacy system. As soon as people start seeing how powerful Lync is, they re chomping at the bit to get on it. Staying on Track In addition to improved communication and collaboration and a more stable platform, the Lync rollout is bringing Healthwise increased IT efficiency. The organization has standardized on Microsoft products, and Lync fits nicely into that 2 Communication Elements

3 homogenous environment. Replacing the legacy system will also eliminate significant maintenance and hardware costs. One of our goals for this project was to get off the service contract we have for our legacy system, said Titus. We were having issues with devices but the system is so old we couldn t purchase new phones to connect to without paying for an upgrade license and buying new hardware. That cost was around six figures. Now we have a modern system with greater functionality that s going to be easier and less expensive to maintain. Cerium provided engineering and project management expertise to help keep the implementation on track and ensure that the Lync platform was properly integrated with the network and configured according to best practices. Cerium s experience with legacy phone systems was also a plus. That was one of the strengths Cerium brought to the table, Studer said. Even though we were focused on getting the Lync platform certified and optimized, we were able to count on Cerium for immediate help whenever we came up against an obstacle with our legacy system. They brought a lot of depth to this project, and without them it would have taken a lot longer. With Cerium, Healthwise found one partner that could provide a wealth of expertise across Microsoft solutions, the network infrastructure and legacy hardware. The Cerium team helped the organization overcome obstacles and ensured the success of the phased rollout of Microsoft Lync. They definitely know their stuff, Titus said. It s impressive. Communication Elements Copyright 2014 CMS Special Interest Publications. All rights reserved. Editorial Correspondence: 7360 E. 38th Street, Tulsa, OK Phone (800) Fax (918) Change of Address: Send updated address label information to the above address. Some parts of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced in nonprofit or internal-use publications with advance written permission. Communication Elements is published quarterly by CMS Special Interest Publications. Printed in the U.S.A. Product names may be trademarks of their respective companies CERIUM Microsoft MS-89 Summer

4 Cerium s HIPAA Security Assessment a Complete and Thorough Solution Does your heart bleed? That is a real question for many companies in regard to their network security, one that alludes to compromise from the Heartbleed bug, the latest security risk threatening networks. This heavily branded bug is a serious vulnerability inherent in some of today s largest and most sensitive networks. From a similar perspective, let us consider the risks and compliance requirements facing the healthcare industry. Today s healthcare providers utilize applications, some of them cloud-based, to create a more mobile and efficient medical workforce. Applications such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, electronic medical records (EMR), radiology, pharmacy, and laboratory systems create instant access to lab results and medical records, and reduce the time and costs associated with transcription. Healthcare plans provide access to claims and care management, as well as member self-service applications. The rising adoption rate of these technologies increases potential security risks. It may be helpful to understand that today s high adoption of EMR arises in part from a mandate by President Obama that requires all medical records to be transferred to EMR systems by the end of The initiative for EMR originally was led by the medical records industry. However, the electronic records systems received support from President Obama s Economic Stimulus Plan. The legislation known as ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) contains healthcare components that help with the adoption, development and meaningful use of electronic medical record systems for all patients in This adoption of applications for medical records is as much an evolution as it is a mandate for the medical industry. Long before this mandate for EMR, provisions were set in place to safeguard sensitive medical information. These provisions fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Security Rule 1. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop regulations protecting the privacy and security of certain health information. The compliance standards for HIPAA are outlined in two publications commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. The Privacy Rule, or Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, establishes national standards for the protection of certain health information. The Security Rule, or Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information, establishes a national set of security standards for protecting patient health information that is held or transferred in electronic form. 4 Communication Elements

5 The Security Rule operationalizes the protections contained in the Privacy Rule by addressing the technical and non-technical safeguards that organizations called covered entities must put in place to secure individuals electronic protected health information (e-phi). 2 Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule from The Security Rule The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states the following as guidance to the mission of the Security Rule: A major goal of the Security Rule is to protect the privacy of individuals health information while allowing covered entities to adopt new technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Given that the health care marketplace is diverse, the Security Rule is designed to be flexible and scalable so a covered entity can implement policies, procedures, and technologies that are appropriate for the entity s particular size, organizational structure, and risks to consumers e-phi. 3 The Security Rule requires covered entities to maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for protecting electronic Patient Health Information (e-phi). HITECH and Meaningful Use The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law on February 17, 2009, to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. For hospitals and clinics undergoing the process of qualifying for Meaningful Use, Core Set Objective #14 defines how to ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information. The Objective: Protect electronic health information created or maintained by the certified EHR technology through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities. The Measure: Conduct or review a security risk analysis per 45 CFR ( (a)(1) and implement security updates as necessary and correct identified security deficiencies as part of its risk management process. Risk assessments offer the following benefits: Reduce the frequency and severity of breaches Help ensure HIPAA compliance Protect patients Protect the financial wellbeing of the healthcare organization Define current state of security Begin the process of improving security by addressing vulnerabilities and reducing risk HIPAA Assessment Cerium Networks can provide a HIPAA security assessment to measure your network security against standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These standards are defined in a document entitled NIST Special Publication Specifically, covered entities must: Ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all e-phi they create, receive, maintain or transmit Identify and protect against reasonably anticipated threats to the security or integrity of the information Protect against reasonably anticipated, impermissible uses or disclosures Ensure compliance by their workforce Cerium Networks provides expertise to help your organization discover and analyze potential risks. Cerium Networks is the only local or regional resource for the provision of both your network security assessment and an assessment of your administrative safeguards (policies and procedures). There are five core characteristics that govern a security assessment: The testing team is independent of the organization The methods utilized are those of a hacker The maturity of the organization s security controls is measure against a compliance standard, such as HIPAA Vulnerabilities are identified during the course of the assessment Recommendations for remediation are defined in the final report The Cerium security consultants conducting the assessment utilize a hacker s point of view to probe the network from the both the outside (the untrusted border of the network identified by the external IP addresses) and the inside (the trusted internal network, LAN and/or WAN). For the vulnerabilities uncovered, the final report will include a risk matrix assigning a value to the degree of risk and the difficulty (the cost, time and resources required) of mitigating each vulnerability, as well as an action plan to fix it. A full security assessment is not only technical but also reviews the roles and responsibilities of IT personnel, as well as the state of physical security, disaster recovery planning, Summer

6 Stay connected and productive Cisco Solutions for Midsize Businesses deliver a range of unified communications capabilities that can provide reliable business connectivity, increase workforce productivity and create competitive differentiation. Basic capabilities include affordably priced voice and instant messaging. Enhanced capabilities add industry leading collaboration applications, video and a complete mobility solution. Contact Cerium to learn more and policies and procedures. The assessment will discover the maturity of information technology governance at the tested organization. Common Sense Reasons to Have a Security Assessment: To measure compliance with HIPAA To create a gap analysis between the standards defined in HIPAA and your current security program. Next step: close the gaps that are identified! To address risk and find out how securely your systems are configured To reveal vulnerabilities so you can fix them To improve your overall security posture To prove the integrity of your systems To follow best practices A HIPAA Security Assessment delivered by Cerium Networks will review your organization s security controls in the following categories: Administrative Safeguards Physical Safeguards Technical Safeguards Organizational Requirements Policies and Procedures and Documentation Requirements The assessment will culminate in a detailed report that includes the following: Executive Summary Best Practices Managerial and Operational Controls Technical Controls Physical Controls HIPAA Gap Analysis Full Remediation Recommendations The value of a HIPAA assessment is that it provides a baseline on security controls currently in place and, by identifying potential vulnerabilities, enables an organization to create a roadmap for improvement of security controls. By submitting itself to periodic assessments, an organization can focus on addressing the most critical areas and, over time, reducing the number of vulnerabilities CERIUM Cisco. All Rights Reserved. CIS To review a summary of the HIPAA Security Rule, visit privacy/hipaa/understanding/srsummary.html Communication Elements

7 Collaboration simplified Polycom CX8000 is a dedicated room collaboration solution, purpose-built for Lync 2013 to deliver exceptional visual collaboration capabilities. Built on Microsoft Lync Room System software, it is optimized for room use and is packaged with technologies that make the solution secure, easy to use, and high quality CERIUM A unique 360-degree panoramic view of the room and active speaker view keep the meeting more interactive and engaging. Tight integration with Microsoft Outlook and one touch meeting helps users both in the meeting room as well as remote locations to join the conference easily. You can share presentations, annotate on documents, and write your ideas on a virtual whiteboard with colleagues or partners easily. Simply put, the Polycom CX8000 solution turns a regular conference room into a rich collaboration space. Contact your Cerium Networks representative to learn more Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. PLY-03 Summer

8 CERIUM CONTACT CENTER Customer Experience is one of the great frontiers for innovation Customer experience will decide the winners in the year ahead. Jeneanne Rae, President and CEO, Motiv Strategies The Value of Customer Experience How Cerium Contact Center creates and fosters a unique customer experience. By Tracy Wessel, with Susan Anderson 2014 Cerium Networks The concept of developing a unique customer experience is not a new one. Some attribute the introduction of this concept to a 1998 Harvard Business Review article by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore titled Welcome to the Experience Economy. The two management consultants conceived and documented the rise of Mass Customization, the Experience Economy and Authenticity as the new business imperative, and most recently the infinite possibility of virtual experiences. They suggest that businesses must create memorable events for their customers, and that the experience itself becomes a significant part of the product. But what do we know about the Customer Experience, and what it means to your business? For starters, we know that the Customer Experience defines a relationship between the customer and the organization. Strong relationships increase customer retention, reduce acquisition costs and increase profitability. But to what degree? Losing a customer carries several economic burdens. In terms of measuring customer dissatisfaction against the cost of implementation of technology and innovation, we can consider some of the following: Economic impact of losing a customer Cost associated with replacement (the cost of acquiring a new customer is five to 10 times greater than the cost of keeping an existing one) 1 Economic impact of negative word of mouth (a single unhappy customer generally tells many other people about the poor experience) Economic impact of the reach of negative social media In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, some interesting statistics come to light: 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience The White House Office of Consumer Affairs reports that most dissatisfied customers will tell nine to 15 people and 13 percent of those will tell over 20. Considering the viral nature of social media, a preferred channel for sharing brand dissatisfaction stories, the number of eyes seeing that negative feedback could be astonishingly high. The risk in not asking for this vital experience feedback is simply too great. Guerrilla Sales & Marketing - Customers Pay More for Better Experience, By Lori Turner-Wilson A similar report conducted in 2006 showed that only 68% of consumers would walk away after a single bad experience but this number increased to 89% in MCorp 8 Communication Elements

9 Consulting s independent research shows that this increase has trended closely alongside consumer adoption of smartphones. Put another way, the smarter the average customer becomes, the greater the likelihood to leave after a poor experience. And why not? Almost everything about your competitors are in their pockets. It s a click of the mobile browser to find an acceptable alternative. 2 quality response to customer concerns or issues. Tailoring Contact Center solutions to align with your objectives allows your agent resources to provide the experience your customers deserve and demand, creating high customer satisfaction ratings and reducing customer dissatisfaction. Performance management tools allow for in-depth analysis of service both from an internal and external perspective. Effective utilization and understanding of this data helps organizations drive improvements, and provide the services that are in line with expectations. The old adage for Call Centers is that you can t manage what you can t measure. This includes your customers satisfaction with the customer experience your organization is providing. Do you know how satisfied your customers are with the service you are providing? 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience In a world where disruptive innovation is leading to perceptual commoditization in many industries, customer experience is one of the greatest opportunities for differentiation there is. Michael Hinshaw, Managing Director, MCorp Consulting 79% of consumers who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored. How Satisfied are Your Customers? The Contact Center is pivotal in the overall customer experience within most organizations. It is the front line for providing an introduction to your company, providing essential support for your existing customer base, and/or ensuring On a smaller scale, the customer experience directly impacts the return on investment for innovations and solutions deployed to enhance that very customer experience. Advanced technology that is not deployed effectively can have an adverse effect on your overall return, directing customers to ineffective channels and creating disjointed experience and information flow, therefore lowering satisfaction ratings, says Susan Anderson, Cerium s Contact Center Business Practice Leader. Proper use of solutions all starts will a well-defined strategy and understanding of your customer base, your organization, and your customer s lifetime value. The full customer experience is a differentiator between you and the competition. This is a defining strategy to success in the marketplace. Susan Anderson, Contact Center Business Practice Leader, Cerium Networks Summer

10 CERIUM CONTACT CENTER How Can Cerium Contact Center Help My Business? Cerium s existing customer base for Contact Center is very organic. Our Contact Center practice consultants bring a depth of experience which comes not only from a technical base of education and experience, but from an equally valued experiential curriculum in marketing and mid-market business practices. Cerium is the one of only a few locally based Contact Center solution providers in the PNW. We have a rich heritage of providing Unified Communications, telephony and network solutions over the last 14 years. In addition to our technical capabilities, we have a depth of resources that includes the best of the best in industry practitioners, and successful long term relationships with our customers, some extending well over a dozen years. Being locally based allows us to interact with our customers on a regular bases and fosters these long term partner relationships. We are here [in the Contact Center Practice] to work with you to define where your organization is, and where you want to be on the customer experience spectrum of solutions. Each business has a different definition and requirements for Customer Experience, says Anderson. Cerium s consulting capabilities allow us to understand your organization and design the right solutions vs deployment of cookie cutter technology. Currently in our market space we are seeing many trends that enhance customer experience and create efficiencies within organizations. Trends include some of the following Contact Center deployment models: Consolidation of resources for work such as scheduling in the healthcare industry Delivery of a multichannel service in financial institutions Development of new call centers to handle voice strategies where calls were previously handled as other duties Notifications for utility companies on items like bills and outages Automated customer surveys for State and local governments Automated basic transactions for all industries Automated payment processing for Insurance Companies Migrating transactions from being agent assisted to being handled by automation Evolution of cost containment drivers for transactions to experience driven drivers We ve worked hand in hand with our customers to deploy effective solutions under all of these models, and transitioned customers from a model that entraps the customer experience in an IVR unable to get to a live body, to creating persistent conversations through the blending of agent assisted and automated services with integration to web and mobile interactions. Proactively communicating with customers through effectively designed automation can reduce contact center volumes allowing for efficiencies and cost containment. Often we see the contact center having the ability to take on more without the need to grow through these strategies. Cerium consultants can help you develop a strategy, define requirements, create a design, deploy your solutions, and create an effective administration plan or provide managed services. With so many options in the market surrounding customer experience management solutions for contact centers it is important to have a plan for where you need to be today and where you want to go in the future. You can t boil the ocean says Susan Anderson, you have to start with a foundation and a plan to get to your long term goals. Deploy solutions that will help you grow as your needs expand. Cerium can help you develop this plan and define where to start! Cerium will also help you align your contact center strategy with that of your organization. Aligning with marketing, back office, and other service delivery groups is key to creating a consistent customer experience and increased customer satisfaction. Helping other business units understand the impact of their initiatives on the Contact Center can help ensure effective campaigns and deployments, increasing both internal and external satisfaction. What to measure, how to measure it, and what it means to your organization is critical to defining the success of your Contact Center strategy. Is your solution and configuration meeting business objectives? Are customers getting the experience they want? Do agent have the tools to provide an effective experience and are customers satisfied? As part of a Cerium engagement we can help you define and answers these questions and more around performance and metrics. Contact Center support doesn t end with planning and deploying. At Cerium we consider the Contact Center a solution that should continually grow and change with your organizations requirements, and we are here to create the proper support structure. Susan Anderson, Contact Center Business Practice Leader, Cerium Networks 10 Communication Elements

11 Technology alone does not provide the customer experience and create customer satisfaction. Proper utilization, knowledgeable administrators, and performance management expertise are key in creating long term success. What is the Deployment Time? But how long does all this take? Contact Center deployments can be lengthy by technology standards. Because Contact Center is a practice programmed and developed uniquely for your organization, the time to launch is dependent on the complexity of tasks. Will the solution support skills based routing, or will advance integration be needed to authenticate customers, produce screen pops, or automatically populate data fields in customer applications? Will automated services provide basic transactional information or require customized experience based on customer status or previous transactions? What is the Consulting Expertise Behind Contact Center? Our Contact Center Practice is managed by Susan Anderson. Ms. Anderson brings more than 22 years of high level and varied industry experience, including experience with some of the top Contact Center solution providers. To fully develop the customer experience within the Contact Center environment, practitioners should have a broad range of experience to facilitate understanding the process behind aligning customer experience with client goals and best practices across multiple verticals. You can t be just a tech head, says Ms. Anderson. We are able to bring this expertise to our customers because we have a deep base of experience within the practice. This expertise is hard to learn in one place. Pamela Treischel is a Contact Center Consultant with more than 20 years of Contact Center Management experience. Her expertise lies in workforce management implementations, staffing needs analysis, quality program development and implementation, measuring and assessing key performance indicators, customer experience management and multi-channel access strategies, process improvement methodology, and business continuity and disaster recovery strategies. Angela Krisinger recently joined the Cerium team as a Contact Center Consultant. Angela brings nearly 20 years of Contact Center experience and a resume that includes mid-market to large customers in a wide range of industries, including health, utility and technology. Susan s strong skill set expands the Contact Center Practice capability as our customer base grows. Angela supports the Contact Center consulting offerings along with Pam, providing application support across our portfolio, and serving as an overlay to our advanced application projects where our ecosystem partners are engaged to ensure Cerium quality Contact Center solutions are delivered. Our Contact Center Engineering and Support staff also provide critical roles in our practice success. Their product experience allows our designed solutions to be deployed and managed to Cerium s high standards. You are only as good as your team which makes the Cerium Contact Center Practice excellent! 1 Get Customer-Centric/ Strategic Planning CMO EXCLUSIVES September 17, 2013 Just How High Is The Price For Delivering A Poor Customer Experience? Michael Hinshaw Managing Director for MCorp Consulting 2 Ibid Summer

12 By Tracy Wessel 2014 Cerium Networks Good morning Mr. Andrews, my name is Drew, and I m calling to invite you to an event we re hosting this week Who is the friendly voice on the other side of the call? Is it a call center worker, subcontracted by Cerium? Or a telesales rep, reading some script? Well, neither. The other side of the call is handled by a current apprentice of Cerium Networks ISR Program. While ISR does stand for Inside Sales Representative, ISR does not imply a cold-calling machine that processes orders under the pressures of a quota. What is the ISR Program? The Cerium ISR Program is an apprentice program designed to welcome a person interested in technology sales with Cerium. The program puts them through a rigorous and immersive program for about a year, to better prepare them for their career goals in consultative sales, says Michelle Rice, Cerium s Marketing Director. There are several core goals of the program which distinguish it from what you might typically see with inside sales programs. For starters, the importance of the ISR begins with what it is NOT. The ISR is NOT a telemarketing position. It is a value-based service because (1) it opens up time for the Account Executive (AE) to be the consultative persons they are supposed to be to our customers. The main focus of the ISR is to have those initial conversations with prospective customers and only pass on to the AE those that are interested in further discussing the solutions and services Cerium offers. 2) It provides in-depth training for future account executives of Cerium Networks and Cerium Express. 3) It increases Cerium s resource pool from within, which we feel is a main source of sustained competitive advantage within our industry. The ISR Program is similar to Cerium s [Engineering] Apprentice Program which trains IT graduates to move into the industry as engineers and solutions architects. We find these programs help ensure our new hires are committed to the industry, and helps to continue our tradition of excellent employee retention. We saw how successful the Apprentice Program was for the engineering team, and wanted to mirror it for the sales side, says Michelle. 12 Communication Elements

13 But where did all this start? Well it started with The Man as the ISR students call him. That is Joseph, the ISR Manager. Joseph grew up in Ghana, West Africa, and captivates audiences both with his charming accent, and melodic vocal tones. I was between jobs, and was searching for jobs on I immediately saw the advertisement for the ISR position with Cerium. I was the first applicant. My supervisor explained his vision for the ISR program at Cerium, and having had prior inside sales experience along with understanding exactly what the vision was, I was brought on as the first ISR for Cerium. After 7 months, I had become successful and highly productive, proving the model successful. I expressed a desire to train others to do what I do. So, in November of 2012, we hired our second ISR, Elaina and thus, a full inside sales team was birthed. That second ISR coincided with the launch of Cerium Express and now Cerium Express employs three graduates of the ISR program Elaina, Doug and Matthew as account executives. Elaina finds there is a key differentiator between ISR graduates moving into AE roles, and AE personnel coming from the street. The big difference I see between them and graduates of the program is product knowledge, and understanding Cerium s strengths. The ISR program leads you to really understand what sets Cerium apart from the competition. Incoming AEs that don t graduate through the program have a learning curve. What is the ISR Curriculum? The ISR Program curriculum is taught in stages. First, students learn about Cerium and the solution offerings. They begin working on their manufacturer training. They learn the value of these solutions to the customer, then go on to learn about Cerium s customer base and industries, so they can have an educated and knowledgeable interaction with customers. After that, they go through an appointment quality training, then have multiple role plays to develop their consultative knowledge base and skills. The ISR works to earn an appointment for the AE. The ISR must be able to speak the language of the solution, and provide the AE with enough foresight so that he or she can enter the appointment with good understanding of the issue the prospect is facing and a possible solution to that issue. The ISR Program is currently in its 5th class. While the vision for the ISR Program has evolved, the program heas held true to its originating goals. Joseph explains, We train students to become effective ISRs that produce well qualified appointments for the AEs so they can graduate and become well groomed account executives. We actually graduated those three students into Cerium Express; Elaina, then Doug, then Matthew. The ISR Program, which lasts months, has evolved over the past couple of years. It is now a pathway with a well-mapped curriculum. Drew is the newest ISR student. We had a lot of call shadowing, listening to Joseph first, he says of his first weeks in the program. In just the two months since I started, I can see the program evolving for the better. It s becoming more structured as we continue. Joseph is formulating an entire new training program, which shows just how much Cerium is growing. Kayla is about midway through the ISR Program, and hopes to be promoted by December 2014 to a marketing or AE position. I came into the ISR position with no training or experience in this technology, says Kayla. Kayla also sets daily goals within her ISR performance curriculum. I have a goal to set quality appointments for AEs in order to generate more opportunities for the company. Kayla has worked diligently to obtain her manufacturers certifications, currently holding three Microsoft sales and marketing competencies, one for Polycom, and one for Avaya. There are currently five basic certifications that we must complete. Then there are incentive based goals for further certifications, she says. The third ISR student currently in training is Edward. Edward uniquely arrived with a degree in MIS. I currently have seven sales certifications: one Avaya, one Polycom, CSE, and four Microsoft Certs. I m interested in networking and communications. I want to be a solutions architect, so I m studying to enter Cerium s Engineering Apprentice Program. What do the students find most impactful about the training? The ISR students and graduates are unanimous in their praise of the ISR Program, and in articulating that the most memorable and valuable part of the curriculum as the mock training with Joseph. Recent graduate Matthew also appreciated training sessions with technical resources to further explain the solutions. It built up my confidence to speak fluently about the solutions, he says. Matt goes on to say something which is critical to the success of those endeavoring to enter a sales career. The ISR program teaches you the work ethic needed to succeed. I ve seen AEs in the past that don t have a prospecting background and, they have a hard time prospecting. The ISR program really prepares you for that, and gives you an edge as a successful sales person. Where do students come from? Previously, we ve run advertisements for an ISR to recruit into the program. Going forward we will be looking at college majors. We find those with business and technology majors have an interest in longevity with the industry. We are looking for candidates that want to make Cerium their career, not just a job, says Riverson. Summer

14 ISR Success Stories Elaina is the first graduate of the program. When she joined Cerium Express as an AE, she was their first and only AE. It was a ground up operation, but well supported through her training, management and Cerium Networks. Being able to do mock calls and to have Joseph listen in on calls when I started making them was so helpful. It was really my first job out of college. It definitely was an asset to have the training from Joseph, who had been doing it awhile, says Elaina. I began as an ISR in November 2012, and graduated at the end of February Elaina holds a degree in journalism, and aspires to grow within the Cerium family to more progressive roles in sales and management. I started on March 1 of 2013 at Cerium Express. I definitely think the ISR program prepared me for this role. I didn t come from a technical background, so that training really set me apart for this role. My territory is Seattle. There were a few months of ramp up because [Cerium Express] was a new business. So it was a bit of a start-up, but I was prepared. I have a lot of prospects I was calling a year ago that are now calling me back wanting to purchase solutions or have consultations from me. The process has come full circle. Doug says: I was hired in May of 2013, and graduated the program in November Sales is something I always knew I d be successful with, though I d not had the opportunity to enter into B2B sales. I was able to go into the program and learn from Joseph. It took me some time to figure out what worked and what didn t. I had to get certified on the solutions, and become fluent in the language of those solutions (Avaya, Microsoft, Cisco, and Polycom). The goal is to set up the account executive to have success. The ISR role is to call on enterprise companies and speak with IT managers, Network Administrators, and C level executives. If you don t have a basic understanding of our services, you won t be able to communicate, nor to begin the consultation process effectively. You need that expertise in order to properly consult with the prospective customer and to understand their needs. We also need to be able to understand and communicate the needs of the prospect back to the AE. When the AE goes to the appointment, they need to have good information about what to speak to. We d have a weekly ISR Team meeting, new product training, and one-on-one role playing with Joseph. It s a very disciplined platform for young professionals to get started in the sales team. I owe everything I have accomplished with Cerium to the ISR Program. Doug goes on to say that the beauty of the ISR Program and Cerium Networks is the integrity of their sales practice. When I was interviewing for a lot of sales jobs out of college, I got a shady feel from places. There was an attitude of we don t care what we sell, we just want the money. I ve never heard that from anybody in Cerium, nor do I ever get that impression. Matthew is the most recent graduate of the ISR Program. The Tacoma native and Fantasy Sports aficionado is enthusiastic about his career. He thinks he might celebrate his first successful consult and sale at the Diamond Club Lounge at a Mariners game. Matthew began the ISR Program in March of 2013, just three months after college, and graduated 11 months later with a promotion to AE at Cerium Express. The ISR Program gave me the confidence to be able to talk to customers. I was a business major, and don t have a technical background. The ISR program gave me the technology training. Also, Cerium has some of the industry s best people, which allows us to talk to the best of the best. So the ISR program gave me so much confidence. With Cerium, AEs are more consultants than pushy sales people, because we have diversity of solutions to offer this allows us to offer the best value solution to the customer. Cerium is a great place to start your career. We have the resources to support your career and training. Transitioning to AE So what is the hardest part of transitioning to AE from ISR? Matthew says The overwhelming change was making quotes and presenting to customers that was a bit overwhelming, because I m now responsible for the entire sales cycle. We get to design some solution concepts and marketing tools, and present. We [at Cerium Express] can get resources from Cerium Networks side, But Cameron shadows me on my calls, and continues to train me in my new role, so again I have confidence. Cameron is the Managing Director for Cerium Express. Matthew says Cameron has a lot of sales experience, but also is very technical. [Cameron] says It s just people buying from people. We re trying to help their business and save them money. One thing is true at Cerium Cerium cares for the success and well-being of its employees. This is evident in interviews with staff, and is part of the historic and ongoing success of Cerium. Roger Junkermier, President of Cerium Networks, says: We are committed to developing and sustaining the excellence of our people, not just the ISRs, but all our associates. Even our senior engineers continually supplement their base skills with ongoing product training and certifications. Having well rounded, knowledgeable and capable people is a differentiator. It is also our future. If you d like more information about the ISR Program, please contact Michelle Rice at Cerium via or by calling Communication Elements

15 TECH BRIEFS Information Crisis Looming? The rise of big data, social networking and mobile interactions coupled with an accelerating increase in the amount of structured and unstructured information enabled by cloud-based technologies is creating information management problems for enterprise organizations. Gartner predicts that onethird of Fortune 100 organizations will experience an information crisis due to their inability to effectively value, govern and trust their enterprise information. Gartner says organizations must design enterprise information management (EIM) initiatives so that sharing and reusing information creates business value, and the value created must contribute to enterprise goals. EIM initiatives can enable people across an organization to share, manage and reuse information that was created in different applications and stored in different databases and repositories. New Laser Could Accelerate Internet A new laser developed by a research group at the California Institute of Technology holds the potential to increase by orders of magnitude the rate of data transmission in the optical-fiber network the backbone of the Internet. Today s worldwide optical-fiber network is still powered by a laser developed in the 1970s at Caltech. However, the semiconductors used in that laser also absorb light, which degrades the spectral purity of the laser and thus reduces the amount of information that can be transmitted. The Caltech researchers recently announced the development of a new approach in which an added layer of silicon prevents light absorption, dramatically improving spectral purity and creating a laser light with a frequency range 20 times narrower than that of previous versions. The result is a beam with significantly improved data-carrying capacity. Realize better ROI from your communications solutions with well-trained & confident personnel Summer 2014 Class Schedule Avaya Voice and Data Networking July Avaya Communication Manager Basic August 4 5 Avaya IP Office Administration August 20 Avaya Session Manager August Learn more and register at or contact us for custom training options! t: Summer

16 CeriumSky Webcast Series Learn how CeriumSky s solutions can give you enterprise-level features and scalability with: Little to no capital expenditures Automatic upgrades and release updates via the cloud Simplicity of deploying a service across multiple users, devices and locations Ability to partially deploy or customize only specific UC tools Go to to watch the complete series: CeriumSky Overview Cisco Unified Communications as a Service (Cisco UCaaS) Microsoft Lync as a Service (Lync UCaas) Video as a Service (Vaas) WiFi as a Service (WiFiaaS) Microsoft Office 365


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