Episode 76: Preparing for the Increasing Demand of Remote Work, Tools to Grow  Employees’ Performance

Episode 76: Preparing for the Increasing Demand of Remote Work, Tools to Grow Employees’ Performance

August 18, 2020

Host: James Hilliard

Guest 1: Microsoft- Kyle Van Son, US Commercial Master Trainer

Guest 2: Intel- Rhett Livengood, Director, Digital Business Enabling Client Computing Group Intel® Corporation

Guest 3: Lenovo- Burton Kersey, Channel Account Manager


Description: Short- and long-term impact of a worldwide pandemic has companies reevaluating remote work strategies.  Minimum working arrangements, for the most part, have been met and now the challenge becomes improving and thriving during adverse conditions. Will employees return to the office?  At what capacity? How are companies boosting “digital dexterity”, keeping the company assets secure all while utilizing best practices and sticking to a continuity plan?  While financial departments evaluate cost-cutting measures during a lean economy, the need for a modern device, easy deployment, security, and compatibility may no longer be a luxury but a necessity.   Hear from our 3 subject experts how they have been more productive working from home thanks in no small part from modern devices. 


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Key takeaways:

[2:42] Kyle talks about the work from home situation for him.

[3:54] Burt shares the shifts in his work as a result of the pandemic.

[4:34] Rhett talks about his level of productivity working from home.

[6:30] Microsoft Teams has been a success to online workers and students.

[7:44] Burt talks about Microsoft Teams on Lenovo computers to make work from home more productive.

[9:28].How Intel experienced the transition during pandemic times.

[10:56] The benefits of Wi-Fi 6. 

[12:30] Kyle talks about how they have been encouraging people to move to the newest version of Windows.

[13:43] The benefits of acquiring modern devices.

[16:16] The challenges of transitioning to full work from home.

[17:03] Rhett shares what he does to stay productive

[19:20] Kyle talks about how they manage at his team to stay efficient and motivated at the same time.

[20:49] How can you keep your team engaged?

[22:57] Having great tools can help attract the right talent.

[24:33] Employees are going to start demanding the flexibility of working from home.

[26:10] The matter of safety and the devices that can provide it.

[27:10] Rhett, Burt, James, and Kyle share what they learned and implemented to enhance the working from home experience.


Learn more about our guests:

Kyle Van Son has been delivering training and evangelism with Microsoft in different capacities since the days of Windows 7, from humble beginnings showing of Windows Live Photo Gallery in Win 7 at a Sam’s Club to helping build Best Buy’s Microsoft Expert program, and more, before transitioning to the commercial space in January of 2019.

Rhett Livengood is Intel’s WW Director of Digital Business Enabling working with solution providers (system integrators, IT outsourcers, resellers, managed service providers) to integrate Intel technology into customer workplace transformation solutions.  He was most recently Intel’s WW B2B Customer Engagement Director managing lead generation activities, Intel’s Enterprise Board of Advisors and online sales development working targeting Global 5000 enterprises and SMB customers worldwide.

 During his career in the IT industry, Rhett has managed regional and worldwide sales and marketing for Intel’s Services group. He was Worldwide Marketing Manager for Intel’s Software group and Product Marketing Manager of Intel’s Mobile Computing Group and held marketing and engineering positions in Intel’s memory, processor, software, and platform divisions. He was the worldwide director of Marketing at Lam Research. Rhett began his career as a design engineer at Honeywell.

Rhett holds a BS degree in Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Iowa and an MS degree in Electronic Materials Process Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an Intel Achievement Award winner.

Burton Kersey is the Senior Channel Account Manager at Lenovo. His role involves managing  Mobile Workstation and Desktop Workstation sales for Connection and SHI, he  Developed and executed strategies to achieve Lenovo's Workstation growth targets. Burton administered on-site product, sales, and technical workstation training to Connection and SHI account managers, he also consulted daily as a technical workstation expert on end-user opportunities, calls, and visits. Burton works at Cargo where he is the Inside Channel, Account Manager. His responsibilities include building relationships with Lenovo's partners resulting in net new revenue, channel development and expansion, account acquisition, and SMB growth. Burton works with approximately 100+ certified partners currently and discuss Lenovo's brand and channel program operations.


Mentioned in this episode:

Learn more about Microsoft and Intel services

Visit Lenovo 

Microsoft sponsored AI talk with Jamal Khan parts I and II

Microsoft sponsored AI talk with Jamal Khan parts I and II

August 12, 2020

Microsoft Sponsored

 AI and Machine Learning - Impacts and Pitfalls with Jamal Khan Parts I and II


Sponsored by Microsoft

Host: Penny Conway

Guest: Jamal Khan, President of Global Digital and eCommerce Marketing for Connection.

Microsoft  sponsored  AI podcast parts I and II with Jamal Khan. Both episodes together together kicking off our AI series focussing on AI, Machine Learning and their effects on CySec, national infrastructure, the job market and much more.

  • Fact vs. Fiction and the data explosion. 
  •   Democratization of toolsets: Tremendous advantages for developers to streamline process and development time.
    • Microsoft AZURE ML Studio is an amazing working environment for developers.  What was historically a difficult undertaking now saves hours and produces more efficient results and reporting.  The studio leverages AI technology and simplifies the process.
  • Learn the pace at which the AI and machine learning are growing and how it will impact the job market.
  • How nations are building capabilities in this space.
Episode 75: Securing & Servicing Your New Normal, Thought Leadership in Pandemic Times

Episode 75: Securing & Servicing Your New Normal, Thought Leadership in Pandemic Times

August 11, 2020


Host: James Hilliard

Guest 1: Todd Gustafson, President of HP Federal 

Guest 2: Thomas Gardner Chief Technology Officer Directory Services Team 

Guest 3: Penny Conway


Description: Federal agencies are faced with increasing security challenges. Many agencies know the importance of securing endpoints like printers and computers, but what they may not know is that those devices could be subject to foreign threats due to risk factors in the supply chain itself before it ever connects to your network. 

The DoD recently put procurement regulations in place to ensure the security of your devices and information. Find out in today’s episode what you need to know to avoid the pitfalls that come from purchasing LPTA products with weak supply chains. 


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Key takeaways:

[2:36] Todd shares how he, as the President of HP Federal, and his team reacted to the COVID strike.

[4:15] Thomas talks about the shift COVID-19 has imposed in the way the work is done.

[6:10] Thomas talks about the preparedness of teams to work from home from a technological standpoint.

[7:35] Thomas shares the challenges they faced and how they dealt with them.

[11:00] Todd gives his point of view in regard to the questions the federal workers have to make themselves before purchasing a computer.

[11:41] Todd gives an update on the HP supply chain.

[14:28] Penny shares her experience with the “mad grab for products” as a result of the pandemic.

[16:28] Thomas talks about his involvement in the Department of Homeland Security as a  supply risk management task force.

[17:34] Top threats to businesses and agencies that could impact operations and missions.

[19:43] HP is building now 2 and a half PCs per second and 1 and a half printers per second every day.

[20:25] All of us have changed, our work styles and habits, and also the hackers have adapted to these changes.

[22:10] Every year, millions of dollars are invested in HP labs to make their products more secure.

[24:45] Penny talks about the trend in choices that people are making when purchasing computers and printers and assuring security.

[27:40] Thomas talks about the application of Augmented Intelligence into the security environment.

[30:42] What is next to keep working efficiently, effectively, and securely? 

[36:01] It is an exciting time for the services’ part of the world.

HP Helps You Manage Chrome in Education

HP Helps You Manage Chrome in Education

August 7, 2020

Host: Tyler Meckes

Guest: Amanda Cronin - HP Partner Business Manager


Tech 2 talks Chrome!     3 Steps to Manage a Chrome Shortage.  Spikes in Chrome demand due to Covid wreaking havoc on the supply chain.  Special pricing, discounts and alternatives to meet current challenges. Tyler and Amanda talk mobility, programs and how to address your current needs. 


  1. Communicate your timeline with Connection Account Manager
  2. Take advantage of, and ask, for any available pricing programs.
  3. Identify alternatives, like Windows, for immediate needs.


Episode 74:  Elevate Your Zoom Experience, Zoom Simplicity Created by Poly Power

Episode 74: Elevate Your Zoom Experience, Zoom Simplicity Created by Poly Power

August 4, 2020

Host: Penny Conway


Guest 1: Bill Miller – Zoom Channel Account Manager

Guest 2: Glen Bevcar – Poly National Channel Account Manager


Description: As we are approaching the change of the season both public and private sectors are looking to maximize the virtual experience. Remote work and learning are now inevitable, and better, easier, and more effective experiences are being created for learners and workers. Poly’s audio and video innovations make Zoom’s Voice and Video communications feel natural and work effortlessly. Poly provides a wide portfolio of Zoom Certified solutions, from room video to conference phones—for huddles spaces up to large rooms—and from headsets to desk phones. It is possible to make every experience a great one optimized for Zoom Meetings, Zoom Rooms, and Zoom Phone.


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Key takeaways:

[1:20] Glenn Bevcar introduces himself to the audience.

[1:45] Bill Miller presents himself.

[2:32] Glenn and Bill talk about the challenges while enabling the new virtual environment.

[5:47] Zoom is a simple application that people knew how to use even before the pandemic.

[6:31] The close relationship between Poly and Zoom is bringing many benefits to consumers.

[7:54] Tips to create a better virtual experience.

[10:35] Bill and Glenn talk about the hassle of working with multiple platforms.

[14:01] Glenn talks about the different kinds of users and what feels and works better for each of them.

[16:54] How we work vs where we work.

[18:07] Ubiquitous communication regardless of which device you are using.: “The Work-Anywhere Syndrom”.

[19:42] The importance of video calls: We communicate more with our body language than with do with the words that we use.

[20:47] Bill gives an example of the benefits from the Poly and Zoom connection.

[22:31] The value of video.

[23:06] Are we going to be able to make the virtual space more natural and engaging with the use of technology?

[29:28] Technology must be simple to use, deploy, and manage.

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