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This week we continue to explore Telecom Expense Management, with special guest Jordan Philip, Sales Engineer at brightfin.
Josh Lupresto (00:02):
Welcome to the podcast that is designed to fuel your success in selling technology solutions. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, VP of Sales Engineering at Telarus, and this is Next Level Biztech. Hey everybody, welcome back. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP here at Telarus. And this is the Next Level Biztech podcast. So we’re getting towards the end of season one here on the podcast, and we’re kicking this final session off with telecom expense management. So today we’ve got on Jordan Philip of Brightfin, who’s got a cool engineering and, and partner success background. Jordan, appreciate you being on. Thanks for coming on, man.
Jordan Philip (00:55):
No, thanks for having me. Really appreciate it.
Josh Lupresto (00:57):
So, so Jordan, I I love to hear everybody’s background, where they started, how they got into this space. Why don’t you just kick us off. Have you always been in tech? Did you know you wanted to do tech? You know, what’s your path getting up to this point? And then go into a little bit about your role now.
Jordan Philip (01:11):
Sure, yeah. Okay. so no, I didn’t actually always know I wanted to be in tech. I was obsessed with airplanes, honestly, when I grew up and never really saw that as a, as a, a path forward. So, out of high school, I attended a University of Colorado with a concentration on pre-med. This is never my passion, but I couldn’t figure out what I, what I wanted to do when I grew up. So I had some doctors in my family, so I figured I’d just go for it. It, it wasn’t good and I was miserable. So I kind of moved over to my passion. I got through flight school between Emry Brittle and airs sorry, asu through all that huge expense and realized I didn’t wanna fly for a living. So it’s still a passion, but it’s not really something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Jordan Philip (01:56):
So I still fly general aviation from time to time, like little puddle jumpers just to kind of feed my inner child. So I left there and pursued one of my other passions. Cuz as a kid I was always taking apart computers and trying to figure out what was inside and what kind of made them tick, right? So moved into tech and specifically computer and home theater systems. So I started my own IT consulting business in 2006. I was 23 at the time. Shortly thereafter I moved back to Denver where I’d been since 96. And I kind of got hooked up with Mobile Solutions which you’ll find out later, was one of the feeder companies into Brightfin during the three-way merger that’s kind of existed over the last three years. So I, I was a sys admin for them from 2008 until 2015 through my consulting business.
Jordan Philip (02:45):
And at that time I never really understood why such a company existed, a telecom expense management company. I was just kind of awestruck at that, like that there’s actually a need for that type of service. So in 2014 the CEO kind of took me golfing and attempted to take me off the market and he offered me a job with their sales team. The sales team was growing over there and they wanted to kinda have somebody come in and normalize the sales process. They needed a technically minded person like me to deliver sales demonstration and overall offer presale support. I took the role in early 2015, kind of made ’em sweat a little bit but I still keep a couple of clients on the side even to this day. Then until 2022 or so, I filled roles like sys admin uem, mdm administrator, Director of Logistics solution architects. So there were a lot of hats on my desk, honestly which kept it really interesting cuz to be honest with you, te as a whole is, it’s a little dry. It’s not the most exciting sales demonst
Josh Lupresto (03:49):
You’re ever gonna no
Jordan Philip (03:51):
<Laugh>. It is like, oh, like te is like technology and telecom is fun when you’re selling the actual technology, but when you’re selling the software which handles the bills, yeah, it can get a little bit dry. So that was nice. It, it really kept things interesting and and fresh. And being a part of the mobile solutions group from the beginning and watching it grow from a 25 person company to over a hundred was just really awesome. Something I’m really proud of.
Josh Lupresto (04:17):
So, so, so talk to me, I mean, you talked about kind of the merging and the structure Yeah, I think you guys have done a good job, You know, obviously now under the Brightfin brand about really expanding what, what Tim can be and opening up some pretty crazy doors to technology and integration. So maybe talk to me about you know, let’s just talk who is Brightfin? How, how has that evolved over the last few years and what is it now?
Jordan Philip (04:40):
Yeah, so you know, we, over the last two years, it, it, it was a product, it’s a product of a three way merger. We moved what was Preproduced known as the mobi core platform that built on ServiceNow which is really the leading ITSM and its asset management platform in the Fortune 2000. I think it’s installed in over 50% of those, those companies. We also were the, you know, Vista is one of the companies that that was brought in. They were founded in 2002. They had a lot of automations mobile solutions of course since 2008, and then Mob Cord in 2014. That’s kind of what we’ve just been smashing together over the last two years. And we’ve decided to move forward with the mobi core platform. We now call it obviously the Brightfin platform, but they had a little bit more capabilities and they were built on that ServiceNow platform, which offers just a lot more automations and workflows to make things easier. That company also had international capabilities, whereas Vista and mobile solutions were really just North America. In addition, Vistas and mobile solutions, mobile solutions, no surprise there just focused on mobile, right? The mobile core platform also had tech telecom expense or fixed expenses that sort of capability. And it was international.
Josh Lupresto (06:02):
So, so well with what, with what you mentioned, right? You, you, you made a bold claim early on that that, that Tim make it dry. I, I would argue that you guys spice that up a little bit. Maybe talk to me a little about, you know, what, what you like in this and then, you know, how you guys have kind of innovated to put that spice on it.
Jordan Philip (06:22):
Yeah, so we have the international capabilities rate. We have other things that are making things easier and more consistent as well. So something called e bonding. This is something that not all of our competitors support, some of ’em do, I’m not gonna lie. But, you know,
Jordan Philip (06:42):
E bonding is actually really not kind of neat. It allows automation. So a lot of providers will take the the orders for procurement, right? And they will have that become a ticket, which will go to a fulfillment center you know, a bright and fulfillment center or whatever, and they then go into the carrier portals and order that. And it’s susceptible to human error. It takes time. Whereas, you know, with e bonding and end user can actually submit a ticket and that device has actually been ordered directly from the carrier, like within minutes, right? And it’s been perfectly correct. So that’s nice. That’s something that’s, it’s definitely pretty cool. The UEM side you know, we can resell MAs 360 42 gears. Sure. Mdm, and for those of you who don’t know what a UEM is, don’t worry. It, it’s basically another acronym, which means the same as mdm. So mobile device management. That has actually been a passion of mine. I helped kind of start that business back in 2016. And you know, just selling that technology solution and really kind of just implementing it and you know, consulting with that customer and then supporting it ongoing is another thing. Another way that we’ve kind of spiced things up the international capabilities, you know that’s also very interesting to me. We have sales reps in Germany and EMEA and we actually just had somebody move back from AsiaPac. So just expanding into the international community and learning what that’s like has also been very, very interesting to me.
Josh Lupresto (08:22):
Talk to me maybe a little bit, I, I, I think the, the piece that you guys have, where the technology sits on, and, and this goes into a little bit about, you know, innovation and r and d and how you guys are different. You know, when we first came across you guys understanding that, that the backend that you have sits on Service now and, and really yeah, realizing how important that was to some of these larger customers of where when they hear that and they understand that you guys are on this platform, it’s oh, cool, that that just can be a module. We have service now, right? That’s a done deal. So yeah, help me understand a little bit, you know, other, other Tim, other MDMs, things like that that are out there. How do you feel that you’re different and, you know, you talked about some of the OEMs, but how do you feel you’re different from those?
Jordan Philip (08:59):
Yeah, so a lot of our competition you know, I’m not gonna say any of the names of them, but the larger ones that everyone on this call has probably heard of starts with a t starts with a C. Those companies will generally say that, you know, they can handle cloud infrastructure management, build processing, invoice processing and all of that. They can handle tem and then they can handle mobile expense management. But the thing that’s different is, so those companies, and I understand that we’re also the the product of mergers and acquisitions, but they made a slightly different, you know, distinction. So they, they acquired a TEM company, they acquired a mobile company, or maybe they were to begin with, and then they, they bolted on some software, found some software that could handle cloud infrastructure. But the thing is, those are handled into disparate systems, right?
Jordan Philip (09:49):
So they can do cloud, but it’s in one system. They can do cloud, which is, or mobile, which was in this system, and they can do 10, which is in this system, and they can technically do it and provide optimization. They provide savings, they provide a service desk. But when a, a customer is really looking to get everything in one place, which is core to what a service now customer is doing, right? They, somebody buys ServiceNow, and believe me, it’s not a cheap solution. They want to get the most out of it. So they bolt other things on, they empower self-service, but they’re looking for a view of everything in one place. And well, a lot of those other solutions can’t really do that. There’s other companies in in our space that, that have integrations with Service now, but it’s pretty light. Meaning that a ticket flows from their existing service now, and then it goes into their internal system, which is hosted, you know, maybe an AWS or something.
Jordan Philip (10:38):
But they’re two totally different systems. When we put everything in the customer service, now it’s loaded into their database, or that’s also known as a CMDB configuration management database. And that’s huge for them because they know that all of their data is abiding by their own security practices, right? So data handling addendums become so much more easy. And then they’re just like, like CEOs, CIOs are just like, Oh yeah, we already have bi HR data. We already have, you know our SAP bolted into service now, so I can just really automatically consume all of my invoices and then marry those up with the people who are already in there and just, you know, we can see just a complete view of everything. So that’s really huge when it comes to a Service now customer, But I don’t wanna lose Yeah. Here we also have OEM solutions, or a, a SAS model is, is also how it’s referred to.
Jordan Philip (11:36):
So for customers who don’t have Service now, or they’re looking at service now, we can spin up an instance for them and load everything in just all the same things I’ve been talking about. And then leverage ServiceNow’s workflow management or workflow technology so things can become automated. So imagine a customer or an end user is onboarded, we get that information from their hr, and then there’s our, you know, a catalog automatically built for that user. The end user can log into the system, order what they need, what they want, they can go through an automatic approval process and then maybe go off to the carrier via e bonding. So that sounds like a lot of the things that some of our competition actually can do. Obviously not quite the Service now aspect, but it’s, it’s all automated and it’s built on service now, which means we don’t put a ton of development time into that. We can just turn these things on because we’re built on that platform.
Josh Lupresto (12:33):
Yeah, makes sense. And, and, you know, seeing things at scale, I think some people don’t factor in how important little things like that are of the ability to onboard an employee. Because if you’re talking to a customer that’s hiring, you know, big growth mode, hyper growth, and they’re bringing on people left and right, little things like that can massively bo them down. And then you’re talking about a bad experience for a new hire that’s making them think, is this, you know, where I want to go? Is this the tech that the company, you know, do they have the things that I’m expecting them to have? So those are big deals.
Jordan Philip (13:02):
Is this a good first impression for our new hire? Right? Like we’re providing, you know, digital workforce enablement you know, just and shifting to the left, really. That’s one of the things that, you know, we’re looking to do so much is just enable technology automation with end user participation, right? Get them into the platform, get them ordering things, understanding, and then just have that, that order just go right through, not, you know, with a very little touch, if any.
Josh Lupresto (13:32):
So let’s, let’s get into the weeds a little bit here. Okay. You know, we always talk about sometimes when, when partners bring us opportunities and, and customers come to our partners, sometimes they look exactly like you know, what, what we were totally look like. Sometimes there’s all kinds of different moving parts that none of us knew about. It’s kind of everywhere in between. We just never know sometimes. And then we do the discovery and we kind of figure it out. So I’m, I’m curious I would love to get into an example. You know, we can leave, you know, if we can’t share names and stuff like that, we can leave it out, But gimme an example customer that you worked on. What were the problems? You know, what, what were they doing before? And then, you know, what, what kind of solution did you put in place and how did it, how did it fix? How did it help?
Jordan Philip (14:13):
Yeah, sure. So we have a long time customer. I, I will leave their name out. I haven’t run this idea by them, but they’ve actually done a lot of testimonials for us. And we’ve been able to use their name in the past. But this, this company, you know, they were, they were using us for expense management. They were very, very happy with what we’ve done, and they came to us and said, What else can you, can you do? Which is like a dream customer, right? Like, rather than being pitched, they come to you and ask you what, how else you can help ’em, you know, as they were going lean. So this customer, they had AirWatch, which is also kind of a Gardner Magic Quadrant leader. It’s also known as Workspace one at this point. So due to the pandemic, you know, cuts needed to be made.
Jordan Philip (14:54):
And, and one of the team that really understood mdm and administered the system they were kind of cut. So the, the customer was really kind of lost and they needed some help. So it also wasn’t really built correctly. And that’s something that’s very, very common. Generally, a a customer will throw their MDM solution on a seasoned systems administrator. And one of the things about asis admin, generally speaking, they’re good at cloud, they’re good at managing servers and workstations and updates and all of that. But when it comes to iOS and Android, maybe lacking in, in understanding. So they kind of hodge hod throw a, a UEM solution together, not really knowing the best practices. So they threw their hands up and said, How, how can you help us? Mobile solutions, Right, Finn? So I flew out I pitched them I put together a working proof of concept, which actually eventually became their production instance.
Jordan Philip (15:50):
So I basically spun up a demo of the Mass 360 solution, understood what they wanted. They threw a list of applications, they let me into their AirWatch so I could, you know, build out all their, their stuff and provide some best practices along the way. And we put together a plan to migrate through over a thousand devices to the next platform to Mass 360. We also leveraged our logistics offering, So logistics being both staging and kidding, and also device reclamation. Okay? So these are things that once was in our Denver location, but we’ve since moved it to Nashville. Okay. So we stage and kit these new devices. We included instructions for the remote users on how to like, remove their iCloud IDs and bring their iPads to their office locations on a certain day to receive their replacement device. So we worked you know, very integrated with their IT team took all their devices back to Denver and we monetized them.
Jordan Philip (16:46):
So we were able to put them up on the market after we cleared out all the data for them. And we got just over a hundred thousand dollars back just in selling off their old iPad stock, which was old stuff. It, it didn’t even support their workforce enablement app. This is a construction company, so that was critical for them. We negotiated a deal with at and t and Verizon on their behalf kind of getting $0 devices saving other $250,000 in CapEx. So over the next four months, our logistics and UEM teams, we manage the migration from AirWatch Ministry 60, and the it, it team there kind of barely had to lift a finger. We handled all the logistics. So between the operational time savings as well as the actual hard dollar measurable savings, we estimated start of this program to the end of the year, saving around 4,000, do $400,000 in that year alone.
Jordan Philip (17:45):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So that was really huge. They, you know, we’ve had a, a lot of testimonials from this company and, you know, they were just so happy that they could just throw it at us, and we took care of it end to end, like completely end to end. A lot of our customers will request access to the UEM platforms, but they’d rather work with our ticketing system and with our engineers, so they don’t have to go in, they just say in layman’s terms exactly what they need. And our engineers, you know, translate that to the nerdy stuff that we love to do every day.
Josh Lupresto (18:14):
So a quick, quick question then as we kind of wrap this up. In that, in that deal, I mean, a customer that knew you, a customer that knew the, you know, the AirWatch side of things, We talk a lot about, you know, when we talk about discover calls, we talk about the art of the possible. Did the customer really know for some of the other things they wanted to do that they know it was possible? Or this was a, was it more of a wishlist? Or was it just a replacement, do a better, you know, and we, we trust you guys to do it.
Jordan Philip (18:39):
Yeah, It, it was a wishlist. They, you know, they wanted a lot of things that we unfortunately had to say no to. You know, they wanted to, you know, track their employees, you know, every 10 minutes and things like that, that, you know, sometimes just isn’t possible. Or if it is, you have to go to a different UEM solution, which might sacrifice some other things that’s going on. But they knew it was gonna be a massive, a massive project, and they just said, Hey, make it work better and help us with this migration, right? So we, we just kind of handled that from both the carriers to the end users and the device standpoint.
Josh Lupresto (19:10):
Got it. So, so in thinking of who’s listening to this podcast, maybe this is a new partner that hasn’t sold any of these technologies. Maybe it’s somebody selling something adjacent, contact center, security, whatever. What what’s your advice to a partner to talk to the customers about this? You know, I, I’m a big fan of the, the power questions and those types of things, just to drum it up and get the conversation, you know, moving forward, what’s your advice? What’s that talk track?
Jordan Philip (19:39):
Yeah, so I can, I can definitely give you a talk track here, but what I really want to focus on here is I think our partners should be talking about Brightfin as a partner to the customer rather than a vendor, right? And while we’re gonna deliver savings both operationally and hard dollars through our spend optimization, that’s core to what 10 does, right? That’s really not what we’re all about. So we’re not a quote shop like many of the partners or vendors in the channel, right? So we’re not going to, you know, some, some partners will bring us like, Hey, we’re just gonna send us some invoices, right? Hey, can you go through these and see what kinda savings? That’s really not what we’re about. So I just kind of want to touch on that really quick. But I do have a talk track, and I would also like to bring up that any Telarus subagent is welcome to join our Brightfin Sales Enablement Certification course. It’s learning management solution hosted certification course that takes about an hour to complete. And one of the things is, is putting together and uploading your elevator pitch. You can either do audio, you can type it out, you can do a video if you’re brave, right? But that’s gonna, its something that we’re gonna grade, right? And and that’ll be a part of the certification. We’ve actually had a few Telarus people go through that and become certified.
Josh Lupresto (20:59):
Jordan Philip (20:59):
Here’s kind of a sales pitch or an elevator pitch. So I’m assuming your current 10 provider is pulling all of your mobile invoices into their platform and optimizing them to save you money. You might even have a 10 provider for your fixed line invoices too. But here’s where Brightfin is unique. So for Service Now and non-Service now shops alike. First Brightfin is the only company to automate and import mobile fixed and cloud invoices into one single platform. It gives IT leaders one place a see basically all their IT spend, which is most of their IT budget, and allocate those charges to the right departments, locations, projects, you know, regions, whatever you want to call it. Those things are all customizable. Second Brightfin makes your team more efficient by using a workflow engine to automate your manual processes like ordering devices, staging, and kidding, and even the even dual pay, right?
Jordan Philip (21:53):
So in third, we’re entirely built on service now. So everyone has, everything happens right inside the platform you’re already using. It really improves time to value ratio and makes training a lot easier. So if you’re not using Service Now, it’s no problem. Brightenfin offers the SAS model where they will host it for you. So that might be one version of it, but you know, we’ve had so many people go through the training course and they just uncover different ways of pitching it. So that is something that I would encourage really all listeners to sign up for. You can request access at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your best shot. Perfect.
Josh Lupresto (22:26):
I love it. Awesome. alright, final, final thoughts from your perspective. You know, we always talk about how crazily fast this industry changes and technology changes. So, you know, from your, your seat, your perspective, where does this industry go? 12 months, 24 months, 36 months? Do you see current trajectories? Do you see different things, new things coming into this space? What should partners be on the lookout for?
Jordan Philip (22:50):
Oof. Okay. yeah, well, I, I guess that should be easy for me to answer. Given that I’ve been doing this since 2015 honestly, it just kind of hope for something we call Shift to the left, right? So it’s empowering both technology and automation in conjunction with end user empowerment, right? So that’s gonna drive a, a more positive user experience drastically reducing the time it takes users to become productive. So think about those new hires we were just talking about. You know, they go in, they order a device, it goes through e bonding, it goes through the staging and kidding department, it gets shipped automatically out to their, you know, their house or whatever. That can happen in like two days, right? It can even happen in less than two days if they get the order in, in time. It’s something we’re always working on improving, honestly, is the automation and the end user enablement because that’s gonna save it time. So I think that a lot of companies are working on that as well. I also see a continued consolidation of the 10 vendors through m and a. You know, there, there’s just been so many that have just been bought up and, and now they’re, now they’re just one company, you know, three or four companies become one very quickly.
Josh Lupresto (23:59):
Good stuff. Yay. I love it. Jordan, that wraps us up. I appreciate you coming on. Thanks, thanks so much for doing this, man.
Jordan Philip (24:06):
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate it.
Josh Lupresto (24:09):
All right, everybody. That wraps us up for today. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of Sales Engineering at Telarus. This concludes the telecom expense management side, and this is the Next Level BizTech podcast. Until next time, Thanks everybody.