BizTech BizTech Podcasts

62. What is Work Force Management and why is it important? With Chuck Krogman

March 29, 2023

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Listen in for an information-packed episode on the importance of Work Force Management in the Contact Center as we chat with Chuck Krogman, SVP of Global Sales from Playvox. They have a unique positioning in the market as they were born in the cloud, are very API friendly, and have a full suite of products. Don’t miss it as Chuck makes it easy to understand how to turn every $1 dollar into $4!

Transcript of episode can be found below.

Josh Lupresto (00:01):
Welcome to the podcast that is designed to fuel your success in selling technology solutions. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of Sales Engineering at Telarus. And this is Next Level BizTech.

Josh Lupresto (00:15):
Everybody. Welcome back. Today we are talking about Contact Center, but more importantly, workforce management. So if you tuned in on the previous episode, you got to see the wonderful Jason Lowe talk about it. We were in the studio talking about the different aspects of, of really workforce management, laying it out, his approach to it, some of his experiences. Today we get to be joined by Chuck Krogman, who is SVP of Global Sales at Playvox, and we get to hear about Playvox’s perspective and Chuck’s journey. So, Chuck, thanks for agreeing to come on, man.

Chuck Krogman (00:46):
All right. Well, Josh pleasure to be here. And I already feel a little intimidated. I’ve known Jason Lowe, as we affectionately call him J-lowe for many, many years. And he’s a, he is a tough act to follow. But appreciate you for, for the invite and participating today.

Josh Lupresto (01:01):
I have faith in you. I think it’s gonna be great. Don’t be scared. So, hey, Chuck, I, I want to hear first about just you, you know, before we get into Tech Stacks and WFM and all kinds of cool acronyms, just tell me about you. Give me your, your story, you know, your personal journey. Where did you start? How did you get here and, and, and, and how did you get to where you’re at now?

Chuck Krogman (01:23):
Yeah. actually I, when I look and just kinda look at my own personal journey, it kind of just maps right along with a lot of the customers. From a, my entry and from a technology perspective, I, I kind of moved into the technology sector in, at a time installing, supporting and maintaining large, you know, premise based call centers for for Rockwell. And it kind of moved up through, I took a bit of a journey as probably many people in your studio audience can testify too. I was with 13 years with ShoreTel and Mitel when the whole voiceover ip IP telephony kind of took off and was hot and continued to progress, moved over to the cloud, was with some, some great c a s providers with both Five Nine and Talkdesk and and now here kind of more specialized in a really exciting and growing segment of the market in joining Playvox just a little over two years ago. So it’s you know, it’s been a, a nice, as I said earlier, I kind of made that move from premise into, into a uc solution, into backend to contact center. So it’s been it’s been a kind of fascinating,

Josh Lupresto (02:37):
I love it. I love that you rolled with the journey, right? I mean, you’re, you’re in a spot that stood and, and, and it was what it was for a while consistently, and then all kinds of crazy evolutions. So it’s probably been fun to, to see all these different evolutions and who knows where it goes next. We’ll, we’ll get into some of that, I suppose.

Chuck Krogman (02:52):
Yeah, yeah. I, I will say you know, one of the gauges is it’s really tough to get your wife and kids to, to really understand what you do. I think I’ve heard it simplified as much as, oh, my dad does something with phones. And I said, let’s just stick with that, cuz and, and I also did see as my kids are growing up, you’re, you’re not really a popular career for bring your dad to school day. You know, the lawyers and the police and fire firefighters always kind of take a much greater command for those. But from a career and a progression and working with channel partners, it say it’s been, it’s been tremendous.

Josh Lupresto (03:26):
Yeah. I’m with you. I’ve, I’ve given up my kids just relegated to I get paid to talk on the phone, and you know what, , that’s fine. That’s fine. It is what it is. All right. So, so let’s talk about, you know, in that evolution for you when, you know, today’s track is, is about workforce management. What is it, why does it matter? What does it do? And obviously I want to hear a a, a Playvox’s spin on that. But, but talk to me about how you first learned, you know, when you went through that evolution, what was your first exposure besides in the broader CX side where the whole workforce management thing came into play for you?

Chuck Krogman (04:00):
Yep. It was actually probably midway through my career at ShoreTel where we were starting to move more toward not just pushing UCaaS solutions, but also saying, Hey, you know, we do have an offering here in terms of call center. And as we started to get further and further into the, the contact center offering, knowing that we were seeing it’s pretty sticky and it was also part of a revenue generating, customer retention type opportunity. And so it was about midway through I started to have a discussion, you know, with particular customers and raising you know, as they looked at their staffing models and kind of just throwing bodies at things. And, you know, as I built my confidence up to ask just a simple question, well, how are you staffing the people? And how do you decide how many you need and when, and it, it really the response was typically, you know, a lot of spreadsheets and just Google sheets and a little bit of kind of finger in the air, look around the room, see who’s on the phone. And, and just by asking that simple question and then, you know, leveraging, you know, some of the folks, our solution consulting team and others that was, that was kind of my initiation into it, was just simply asking you know, pretty basic question.

Josh Lupresto (05:17):
Love it. Love it. My favorite, I’m gonna plug it again, my favorite book out there, power Questions. I, I’ve really missed out on getting royalties for this, but it’s, that’s what changed the game for me. Just always have an inquisitive mind and ask, you know, what is this? Why does it matter? Why do you care? You know, what do you, how are you doing this? Great. Love to hear that. Okay, so, so set us up now, current state workforce management. Tell me in your perspective, wh what is it, where is this industry? And then let’s lead us into kind of where Playvox fits into that and why people need this product.

Chuck Krogman (05:53):
Yeah, so I think from a, you know, from a Playvox perspective, maybe start with who we are. And we’ve while workforce management is really, that’s what we lead with and a really a core piece of what we call our Greater Workforce Engagement Management or WEM solution, and which previously got, went by a different acronym with a little bit different field to it be some folks might refer to as workforce optimization or W F O. But within our, our Playvox suite, it’s really a, a good I think a strategic advantage to be able to offer not only taking all the advantages of workforce management, but being able to bring quality management, learning performance and gamification into the entire suite. Do so completely or do it all la carte. So I think, you know, having that is important.

Chuck Krogman (06:45):
But to address your initial question, workforce management, I think I, I’m a firm believer, again just keeping it simple, because that’s what radiates with myself, partners, and actually the end users of maybe haven’t been even subjected to anything other than a, a spreadsheet or maybe a basic tool, is it’s really about getting the right resource and the right place at the right time for that interaction. And the more that you can streamline that and, and leverage historical data, it means that you’re doing more with less resources and actually doing a better job. And that in and of itself, I mean, you can apply a lot of different kind of things about call handling times visibility into the queues and a lot of other things that might complicate it. But I think it, it just boils down to getting the right resource in the right place at the right time will, will equate into operational efficiency.

Josh Lupresto (07:44):
Good. Easy to understand. Love it. Walk me through, you know, we, towards the end of this here, a few questions later. I want to get to the, the, the more recent deal. But before we get to that, I want to talk about maybe just one of the first ones that you were ever involved in. So walk me through what that looked like, how it came about and really what it transpired into,

Chuck Krogman (08:04):
Yeah. Is that you you always tend to remember that first that first opportunity, the first home run or, you know, whatever you might be looking at in terms of when, you know, when things occurred. And for me, it was in Louisville, Kentucky of all places. I was out working on a, with a, a customer. We had already sold a UCaaS solution to back in my ShoreTel days. And they were kind of talking through contact center, and we started to have a, a bit of a, just some normal discovery questions. And some of it, you know, as one of the higher level executives in the conversation, he, he echoed some frustration in terms of continually adding, you know, additional agents. And I said, is it just that your demand is grown or what, you know, know, why are we adding? He said, good question.

Chuck Krogman (08:57):
And he said, when I look at the call volumes, he goes, I’m, I’m not sure we’ve even figured out kind of where that is. I said, how exactly are you, how are you scheduling back to my, my power question, if you will? And there were two or three folks on the staff that had spreadsheets, and they, you know, they had a certain block of time that they had for coverage hours, and they kind of just spread those across and then crossed their fingers. And in doing so, I just said, well, I said, you know, one thing you might want to consider, there are tools and we can take historical data and we can actually map that to get your degree of variance, which essentially spreading people out at the time of need and doing a more efficient job. And I said, as a result, we may end up, you know, needing fewer staff or getting it in, you know, as a result, you’ll probably see improvements from csat, your call handling time, the wait times, et cetera.

Chuck Krogman (09:53):
Needless to say, that was my kind of bell ringer, if you will, is that the moment of excitement and possibility. He said, now that’s something I’d like to hear more about. And at the time, I hadn’t sold a lot of WFM, all I knew was a couple of quick questions. So we did, you know, follow up after that, they ended up deploying a workforce management solution, saw some very, very good results. And the amount of hiring was significantly less than they were planning, which meant the ROI was, it was less than 90 days when you look at the, the salary saved. So for me, it made me certainly made me a believer in the technology.

Josh Lupresto (10:36):
Good, great story. Let’s talk about, you know, this idea of does it need to be integrated? Do I need to buy it with my seats? Should I, you know, should I have this fully integrated WEM suite? What’s, what’s your perspective on maybe how do you, how would you encourage people to look at that process of should I add it, should I get it in the beginning? You know how do I look at that?

Chuck Krogman (10:57):
Yeah. I’m you know, having sold a, a really good amount of, of contact center and c a solutions, you know, my personal recommendation is, you know, you’re gonna get the most benefit if you, you know, if you can allow yourself the opportunity to deploy that full workforce engagement suite, right? You know, right out of the gate. Now, sometimes there’s limiting factors to that. Some is, is my staff just doesn’t have the cycles because, you know, we have other competing projects. But in the end you know, the summary in terms of where I feel a full integrated suite in terms of the value of workforce engagement management is it allows you to really, you know, enhance the agent experience. It allows the, the value of those one-on-ones that an agent has with their supervisor. So if you look at it holistically, like one of the examples I might share is, you know, if I’ve, if I’m an agent and I get a chance with my, you know, with my supervisor, I look at maybe a scorecard and see where, you know, my strengths have been on my calls, and they say, Hey, Chuck, you’ve done great, but your, your empathy hasn’t been so great with some of the, you know, with some of our customers.

Chuck Krogman (12:11):
And so what the, the recommendation is, of course, is why don’t we assign you into a learning track to take a couple of our courses on empathy. So what a, what that can do with a fully integrated suite is it allows you to one, you know, enroll me into an empathy class, when do I get assigned into that empathy class on the workforce management tool that says, call Peak volumes are down from two to four on Thursday afternoon, Chuck, you’ll be taking your empathy courses from two to four on Thursday afternoon, and it b brings it full cycle. And because I learned so much in my empathy class, I could actually then on my next meeting with my, you know, with my supervisor, I can see if I’ve improved and if I’ve improved, my supervisor can send me off to, you know, the, what we call a karma store here in Playvox land. And I can get a reward in terms of earning points and in using our gamification piece. So it brings it full cycle when you have all the tools at your disposal with one, you know, with one solution. But it also, you know, with that, you know like I said, there’s, there’s sometimes competing projects, resources, et cetera. So you also offer the flexibility of doing that in an a la carte fashion as well.

Josh Lupresto (13:31):
Woo. That’s awesome. If that doesn’t get you excited about technology, I don’t know what will, because that that, that leads us in maybe to the next question here. You know, in, in, when you’re in that sales cycle, I mean, sitting here listening to you, it’s, it’s clear as day how somebody should be able to understand how they need this. But, you know, what do you walk into for maybe a challenge perspective? What are you finding that, I have to imagine a big chunk of this is that people don’t know what they need. But I, I would love to get from your perspective, what are the hardest parts about this? Or maybe just some of the objections to overcome. What do people think they need or think they don’t need, or what do they think they already know? Just give us some insight into that.

Chuck Krogman (14:13):
Yeah, but I think there’s, you know, from our, you know, day-to-day world is, you know, we were born in the last decade as a, you know, cloud native digital first solution. So one of the things, even before we get into, hey, what’s under the, under the hood is just who is Playvox. So, you know, we have a, an opportunity to, to share that really, I think in power, powerful story in that being able to have the unfair advantage of starting with a clean sheet of paper and being able to bring forward a, a very mod, you know, modern, scalable architecture that allows you to take advantage of your complete technology stack. And so as we’re having these, you know, discovery questions with, with a customer, it’s very much about, Hey, you know, today I, I’m using Zendesk, or, you know, I’m using this CCaaS solution, and I have BambooHR.

Chuck Krogman (15:07):
And you know, there, there’s just, we’re pretty complex. And you know, right now, I think we just focus on, you know, getting agents in the seats. And, and that’s our main concern, the place where we, you know, where we like to educate and really, you know, show that there’s a lot of value is being that aggregator that allows you to, you know, get the data and the tickets and everything out of a Zendesk and allows you to bring these voice conversations. It allows you to be able to do all of this in a single journey. And it, and from a supervisory perspective, see where each of your agents are and where, you know, where they’re spending their time during the day and completely enhancing that agent experience. Because at the end of the day that’s one thing that our founder, you know, really created when he, when he put Playvox front and center, is, how can I, how can I enhance the agent experience?

Chuck Krogman (16:05):
How can I make it better? And so, when you put these tools, we all know the most outside of any, any of the software you might purchase, the agents and your, you know, people sitting in those seats are an extent, not only the most expensive resource, but the most value driven resource. And so a lot of what we will talk about in this, in, in working with customers is, you know, what is the agent experience look like? How are they looking at their schedule? How do they feel about improving in their day-to-day work? And how are you measuring that? And how are you, you know, how are you making these, you know, these stati the statistical data available, and then how does it roll up into your company goals, like csat, net promoter scores, et cetera.

Josh Lupresto (16:51):
Do you find that, when, when you’re asking some of those questions, do you find that they have answers right away? Or is there a lot of Yeah, I don’t know. We’re not really doing that to where you just kind of call it out.

Chuck Krogman (17:01):
It’s, it’s almost a hundred percent is, I don’t know, because, you know, I I, everybody gets really comfortable in the way that they do things. And so they, they kind of get themselves into this rhythm. And so when you start to ask these discover, because as we talked about earlier, you know, we’re not policemen or lawyers and kind of, you know mm-hmm. , we, this is what we do every day, so these are things that we need to think about. And so as we’re asking these questions, which are really the benefit of having, you know, many of these conversations throughout the week, just with working with, with customers to improve the, you know, customer experience you know, from a prospect perspective that that’s not what they do. And so they really wanna look at us as that trusted advisor, kind of get to know, know what other people are doing in the industry. And that’s one thing that we do like to share, is not only to make it, you know, these discovery questions, but why the questions. It’s because they, they end up translating into return on investment and value for the customer.

Josh Lupresto (18:03):
Good points. Yeah. okay. So, so we’re gonna get to a, a recent detailed example, but maybe before we do that, let’s say in the market, there’s Playvox and there’s competitor A and competitor B. How do you feel that, or, or, or, or what do you feel that some of the biggest strengths or the best fits are for, for Playvox, right? Where do you win, where do you want partners to be thinking about? Is it a customer size, is it a vertical, is it a need? Is it a, you know, whatever. I’ll, I’ll kind of leave that up to you to paint the picture.

Chuck Krogman (18:35):
Yeah. So when we look at, and this is really what excited me about coming to work here at Playvox, is it, you know, as we went, we were just kind of moving through this period of Covid and it moved, you know, when you look at kind of, everybody used to work in a centralized place, people came into the call center, now they’re all working from home. And even in today’s world, it’s hybrid. And it, it started to, it really started to emphasize the need for better tools when you can’t just simply look out over the floor and see who’s in their seat and who’s doing what. And so my time as far as coming to Playvox, I think was, you know, I think the, the exciting part of that, and where I feel like we have a decided advantage over competitor A or competitor B is one, you have to start with the just, you know, the, as I mentioned earlier, we were born in the last decade.

Chuck Krogman (19:32):
And when we use terms like, you know, cloud native, digital first, cloud native important, we never had a legacy solution. We never stood up hardware anywhere. It’s, it’s been cloud native from the get-go. But digital first now we, you know, we embrace, we always, you know, we see voices still king in the primary channel in most contact centers today, but digital first, there’s, you know, competitor A and competitor B typically are challenged with that because a lot of our main competitors were born in the nineties. And getting things up to speed in terms of omnichannel and being able to really see what that full journey looks like in terms of, you know, real-time data and, and also being what I call AI by design. So we were, as the solution was built, AI was definitely, you know, a technology microservices in terms of architecturally the platform was all, you know, a tool that was in our toolbox.

Chuck Krogman (20:29):
So it allows us to be extremely a API friendly. So, hey, you, you know, do you have this api? Yes, we can connect it much different than the old kind of c t I middleware games of, of having to have really complicated integration work. So you see that, how is that reflected? We typically have a much less pro-services cost because we’re leveraging just open APIs. And like I said, just that ability, I, I, I, I come back to is, you know, we had the unfair advantage of just starting with a clean sheet of paper with, with this you know, leveraging these types of tools. The other thing that we put a high port importance on, as I mentioned, people might say, well, who is Playvox? It also means we have to, we gotta shine on every single opportunity. So we, our customer success team is just white glove treatment.

Chuck Krogman (21:27):
We assign a customer success manager to every single, every single deployment. And our, our, IT shows in the, again, the underlying architecture, how it was built, ease of use, modular, but that translates into our time to value. You know, we had a thousand plus seat contact center that, or workforce management solution that we sold signed in the month of October. And they were, you know, presenting at, at one of our you know, sales kickoff type forums in January already talking about the noted improvements they were seeing and how the executives were rallying around, which just translates into unmatched time to value sign the deal in October, a thousand plus agents talking about the results in January, some of our competitors wouldn’t even have a project manager assigned by that time

Josh Lupresto (22:22):
. I love it. I

Chuck Krogman (22:23):
Love it. . And that’s unfortunately the truth. But wait, it’s the truth we like.

Josh Lupresto (22:28):
Yeah. So no, look, you just, it comes back to you. You gotta just do some of the basics really good, and Oh, oh yeah, you have a cool technology. Oh, great. Yeah. You know, like we talked about this earlier, it’s, you gotta get, if you get the basics right, the rest is easy.

Chuck Krogman (22:43):
Yeah. And we’re, you know, we’re also excited as, you know, as we’ve grown over the last couple of years. I mean, the relationship that I might add is, you know, we’ve put a high premium on aligning with those that really know this business very well, and this relationship with Telarus, it is extremely meaningful for us in that you mentioned J-Lowe, Mike Baillargeon, yourself, I mean, Samantha, there’s so many good people that really understand the contact center space. So for us to be able to forge a relationship of, yeah, we’re performing out in the market, we’re signing great customers, but you know, this was also a very strategic pillar, is align yourself with the right partners. And we feel really strong about our relationship with Telarus.

Josh Lupresto (23:27):
Appreciate it. Appreciate it. All right. Example time. So walk us through a, a deal that you got brought into and you know, it, it, it’s okay if it’s, Hey, this deal looked absolutely nothing like it was when somebody brought it to us or we found it and our thing, our product fit Exactly. Perfect. Or, you know, I’m just kind of curious cuz what we see a lot in this part of the this part of the podcast is the deals don’t always end like they start. And so I would love for you to walk us through, did you have one that ended, like it started or looked nothing like when it got done and really what were you told the problem was? What kind of solution did you put in place and, you know, what, what did it solve? How was it different after?

Chuck Krogman (24:12):
Yeah, so I think, you know, one that would come to mind, and this is a, an online pharmacy type solution. And it was initially raised to us as an opportunity where they have an existing CCaaS solution in place. And as we know, a lot of the CCaaS providers have moved in and say we also do WFM, however, the, as a, as a move from spreadsheets into this first time WFM that was being provided by their CCaaS provider. It was, it was a bit, they were a finding a, a bit cumbersome and b, that in some ways it wasn’t even matching up or, you know, providing, and it could be degree of comfort with their spreadsheets cuz they used them for a long time, but it was falling short. And so as far as an opportunity that was coming to us, it was, it was uncovered and just said, Hey, I don’t, from a partner perspective said, I don’t know a lot about the dynamics of this, but what I do know is they’re not satisfied with this current solution.

Chuck Krogman (25:20):
And I, I’d love to help ’em out. And the partner knew absolutely nothing about Playvox. They said, been hearing a lot of good stuff about you guys. And so the approach that we took is, you know, one, why don’t we collectively just get on a call with your customer? Let’s, let’s see if we can find out. And so we did the discovery call and you know, interestingly enough is that they did not have a savvy team of workforce management folks. So as we asked, you know, more about the, the deeper dive questions, they were, you know, one, they were very pleased. They were like, yeah, this seems like now we understand why we’re not kind of able to do what we thought we were going to be able to do. And so we, I think you know, we proved to be a very strategic advisor during the sales process, but we also opened up and said, we’ve talked a lot about scheduling, how, what do you do from just the everyday agent experience?

Chuck Krogman (26:17):
Do you monitor 25% of your calls, like, you know, once a month or what’s the approach there? And the initial feedback on that was, well, that’s another group, but I also know they’re not real pleased with how things are going. It’s very manual and we have a hard time kind of tracking or making things come full circle. And, and so they introduced us to across the aisle and we set up a separate, separate conversation to talk through the quality management components. Meanwhile, you know, as that first discovery call ended, we, we did a one-off with the partner himself and just said, Hey, what’d you think of the discovery? We end up doing a one-to-one demo with him, so he knew what we were gonna be taking his customer through next. He said, this is great. And I, he goes, he goes, I’ve dealt with a lot of solutions in the marketplace, glad I was introduced to you guys.

Chuck Krogman (27:11):
And he said I’ll sit in on the demo, but you guys, you guys have got this, I’ll just kind of sit more in the back and learn just like, just like my customer will go through the journey I’m gonna go through in their shoes. And so ultimately we ended up selling a full workforce engagement management solution to what started is just simply, I need a tool that’s easier to use and can help me manage my workforce a little bit better. And you know, through the process it was you know, pretty sizable opportunity what, you know, might’ve looked like. It was I think for just under 300 agents, you know, I think the deal that we ended up doing with them was, you know, just under $200,000. Woo.

Josh Lupresto (27:58):
Nice. Good stuff. Yeah. Love a story that ends with that number. Good one. Yeah.

Chuck Krogman (28:03):
And a multi-year deal to boot.

Josh Lupresto (28:05):
Yeah. No, no, no. And, and, and it’s likely not gonna shrink either. That’s the beauty about these things.

Chuck Krogman (28:10):

Josh Lupresto (28:11):
Okay. So I, I think you, you brought this home in the beginning, but maybe just, let’s put a bow in this I, I, I’m about all right. Partners understand it, they’ve listened to this point. What do you want to tell a partner that’s listening? Maybe they’re not comfortable, maybe they’ve not, maybe they were like this last partner where they go, I don’t know a lot about this. Maybe I know a little bit about contact center, but what do you tell ’em? What are the questions that you give ’em? Maybe let’s put a bow on that.

Chuck Krogman (28:36):
Yeah, that’s a great question, Josh. And I’m a firm believer in when I’m speaking with partners and just keep it simple, is that I recognize in, because I’ve worked with partners for many, many years, and I know that, you know, if you’re gonna try to understand security solutions, UCaaS solutions, CCaaS solutions, bots, there’s, there’s a ton of technology out there. And at the end of the day, the, the thing that I like to, to share with workforce management and why it’s a, a value add component, and it doesn’t require, you know, we don’t need to have you be an expert, but just by asking a couple of simple questions, but before even getting to the question itself is it’s, I like to always say, you know, if you’re presenting and you’re working on an opportunity as acast solution, for instance, I always have always referenced this, even back to previous companies.

Chuck Krogman (29:34):
Do you want to get $1 out of the sale or do you want to get $4? Because if you’re selling a pretty large CCaaS solution, there’s a contact center somewhere in there. Now they might call it a help desk. They could, they could call it a support desk, they could call it inside sales, but there’s a contact center. And within that contact center is a very meaningful part of the business. It’s about customer retention, it’s about customer satisfaction. It, there’s all sorts of metrics that just show the health of the company. And that those contact center folks will have a loud voice as to who gets selected. And if you found the contact center, and you start to go through that, that piece, now you’ve just collected dollars, two and three. And you can also say, Hey, we’ve talked a lot about the contact center, your routing, you know, what kind of, you know, are you on, are you using digital channels voice?

Chuck Krogman (30:33):
What are your, what’s your reporting look like? How many sites do you have? Do you use BPOs? And now let me ask one more question. How do you, how do you schedule, how do you keep the agents in the right place at the right time? And by asking that single question, you’ve just added another dollar or two into that $4 equation. But so yeah, I encourage you know, from a partner perspective, it’s just, you know, ask, you could really just ask a couple of questions because we’re all surrounded by experts that if, if my main goal is to walk, because this is where I see the fear factor, is I’ve sold a lot of , so I’m comfortable with that. I’m just saying from a partner. So maybe just say, do you have a contact center? Yep. Another group of folks, what does that look like?

Chuck Krogman (31:19):
And if they say, yeah, most of the, the, the UCaaS decision makers will say, separate group, but I’d love to introduce you to Amy mm-hmm. , and then you bring in JLo or whomever, and you start to have a little bit more discussion there. And as you’re having that discussion, what about the agents and how do you schedule those? And so it’s it’s, you know, you, I always like to say in the partner community, use, leverage the village. You got a lot of resources, you always do. We will plug in and put whatever shirt on that we need to wear to support every partner in any transaction, including the discovery, the demo, soup to nuts, as they say. But it’s just really about keeping it simple. I wouldn’t go into the, all the dynamics and the technical pieces of the solution. I would, I always tell the partners, you got a lot on your plate. Just a couple of questions on that line, will, will get us in the door, and then let’s go win some business. Good,

Josh Lupresto (32:17):
Good. Great stuff. All right. Final thoughts here. As Chuck looks into his crystal ball and says, I’m looking out the next one to two years, do we just double down on everything that you just mentioned? Do you want the partners to pay attention for anything that you see in the market changing customer needs, tech stack, take this anywhere you want it in, in, in Chuck’s opinion, what do you think?

Chuck Krogman (32:42):
Well, there’s, there’s so many things that and I know you, you said I couldn’t go for three and a half hours, so I’m just gonna give you the three and a half minute version. But there’s, there’s a couple of things, Josh, that I think are important is one in today, in this kind of short-term window that we talk about in the next couple of years, is that there’s a strong desire from customers to do more with a single vendor. And so as you’re out speaking and you have the ability to be able to have a wider portfolio, so rather than just go with a single standalone solution, offer somebody that full suite, you have that much more that you get to sell that customer over a period of time. I do see that there’s also plenty, plenty, plenty of runway of people moving from, believe it or not, legacy solutions to cloud.

Chuck Krogman (33:33):
You know, we just saw an announcement the other day about the condition of Avaya, and Avaya has a ton of legacy on-premise solutions. Mm-Hmm. . And so we, you, you don’t wanna overlook and just kind of jump ahead to all the really cool technology that I’ll try to summarize in a, in 60 seconds, but I think there’s customers demand of wanting to do more with a full suite. I think there’s the, the general migration of spreadsheets or legacy equipment into the cloud. And then also we’ll see more and more you know, AI advancements coming into everybody’s product. We’ll see that from auto scorecarding to just, you know, being able to, you know, schedule people into learning sessions, performance metrics that are gonna be driven. AI and machine learning is going to, you know, be a key component, but there’s, there’s just so much business that I see in the next 24 months, if not greater, that sure, there’s gonna be some really kind of what I, I always say RCT and other a acronym, real really cool technology. But in the meantime, the technology that’s here and now, there’s just such a high volume and energy enthusiasm on it. I think it, it, it represents pretty exciting times for all of us.

Josh Lupresto (34:50):
Good stuff. Okay. You’re right. We could go on and talk for everybody, AI, and it’ll be all robots next time we get on and talk. Maybe, maybe I’m not even real right now. Maybe I just, I’m here from Lensa, you know, who knows ? Good stuff, man. Chuck, appreciate you coming on and doing this with me, man. We covered some great stuff.

Chuck Krogman (35:06):
All right, well thanks Joshua. It was truly my pleasure. I appreciate the time. Spend some time with you and look forward to celebrating a lot of success this year.

Josh Lupresto (35:14):
Okay, everybody that wraps us up, I’m your host Josh Lupresto, SVP of sales engineering. Chuck Krogman, SVP of Global Sales of Playvox. Until next time.