Brown Talks Yorktel, Flexible Workspace & the Importance of Hypercare

By Paula Bernier

Yorktel, which built its name as an AV integrator, but has since evolved to meet the demand for video managed services, cloud services, and unified communications and collaboration, leveraged ITEXPO this week in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to talk about the next-generation worker, hypercare, and to provide an update on its recent accomplishments.

The company saw a 17 percent increase in revenue year over year, as reported in March, noted Yorktel’s Vishal Brown. Business in the EMEA region, he said, spiked 50 percent from 2013 to 2014, and Yorktel’s 2015 numbers will be out shortly. And the fact that Yorktel achieved ISO 27001 certification, he added, was good for the company’s play in the telehealth arena.

Last year was also noteworthy in that Yorktel launched the Univago cloud service in October. Univago is an interoperable cloud-based platform that provides videoconferencing capabilities without the requirement of owning an expensive room-based system from a Cisco or Polycom (although companies that own them can use it too). Customers that have Skype for Business and Office 365 can also use Univago, which allows for any-to-any interoperability.

Speaking of cloud-based services, 50 percent of Yorktel’s revenues are now from recurring services/managed services, Brown said. It ranks third, just behind AT&T and BT Conferencing, in the video managed services space, per Frost & Sullivan.

Yorktel garnered at least a couple of noteworthy accolades in 2015. That includes an Emmy for providing the media services involved in the production of a video about a soldier that the American Veteran’s Center sponsored. In 2015, Yorktel also received the Integrator of the Year Award from the publication Commercial Integrator. Brown said that was particularly noteworthy given the company has not been the top dog in this space. Nonetheless, the publication selected Yorktel, highlighting its content development and thought leadership on this front.

2015 was also a great year for Yorktel’s professional services business, which Brown leads. The group saw 93 percent year-over-year growth between 2014 and 2015, he said, and its bookings growth was 250 percent over projections for 2015. Professional services, he said, lets Yorktel and its clients respond to changes in markets, and address vertical requirements. It works with partners and consultants to produce the solutions clients need, and sometimes productizes those solutions.

Among the developments driving business to Yorktel’s professional services are Microsoft’s positioning of Lync/Skype for Business as a full PBX replacement and inquiries by businesses regarding bringing videoconferencing capabilities to their joint workspaces, Brown said. Businesses turn to Yorktel to better understand the offerings and roadmaps of different vendors, learn what products are available today and what is still vaporware, and find out what’s realistic today, he said.

Yorktel professional services can also help client companies with training, and to create the support models to ensure their employees have the training they need to make the most of the tools made available to them, Brown said. 

“A lot of customers underestimate the need for training,” he said. “They confuse doing a one-hour session with the IT team on how tools work as training. That is not training.”

IT personnel are not trainers by definition, so having IT do training “is not the ideal recipe,” he said. If a company has an adoption group in its organization, that group should do the training, Brown said. If not, the company can and probably should hire someone – like Yorktel – to provide that training, he added.

Training goes beyond simply providing employees with information during a one-time session, Brown continued. Instead, it should involve what Brown refers to as hypercare, which provides employees with the opportunity to participate in additional training sessions and interface with people and resources to provide them with guidance after the first training session. That’s important because people tend to absorb just 30 percent of what they hear and see in an hour, he explained. So Yorktel provides that important follow-up training, going as far as having representatives walk the floor at its clients’ locations offering ad hoc help, providing office hours when those who need help can stop in, and staging secondary or tertiary training opportunities.

Brown went on to say that a large and growing percentage of the workforce is and will be from the Millennial generation. These folks prefer to work any time and anywhere, and the technologies available today allow for that, he added. So many businesses are moving from real estate with lots of offices and cubicles to open spaces in which workers can pop in as needed to work and collaborate with others in and out of the office. Yorktel, Brown said, allows businesses and their employees to use their office real estate in the way that makes the most sense for them.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, TMC

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