I recently spoke with Mario Seguin of Medwave Optique, a long-time valued Cisco partner, to gain a better understanding of how he counsels his customers in the mid-size business sector to purchase the right technology for their business. We also discussed some challenges around wireless and BYOD, that many mid-market businesses in Canada are dealing with and the role that Cisco technology can play in helping to grow successful businesses. Check out our conversation below and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Gary Isaacs: How has implementing the right type of technology helped your customers?
Mario Seguin: It’s helped by giving them a secure, reliable way to meet without having to travel long distances from office to office. For example, with the Telepresence technology that we have started using, we’ve found that it’s easy to set up, easy to present, has high level audio and resolution and works well. Our customers are excited that they no longer have to travel from office to office around Quebec. Through Cisco’s Telepresence, I can do business with my customers no matter where they are located. Before, some our customers were using Skype to conduct meetings which is hard because it can be jittery and lagging. With this technology you can see the body language of the other party and it is helping meet the needs of SMBs and SMEs in Quebec.
Gary: How do you help customers determine the proper networking technology for their business?
Mario: Many customers have different business requirements and it’s important to show them how this technology can help provide solutions for their individual needs. For example, I used WebEx last week during a meeting with potential customers in order show them the value in the solution. Once you can show them how this will improve the operational efficiency of their business and showcase all of the features that make this technology as unique as it is, the product tends to sell itself.
Gary: What do you think your customers see as the benefits of working with your company and Cisco together?
Mario: I think they see the benefit in our ability to help them add features and help support them when needed. Many of our customers are very small and sometimes they don’t have an IT person. So when they need support we can help them directly from the office. We are part of the company and they are part of us. I believe our customers find value in the Cisco name alone and realize that they are going to receive a strong product that works very well and has a recognizable name.
Gary: How do you approach your customers about upgrading to more current technology?
Mario: We have set-up a buy-back program where our customers can trade in older technology for the newer technology. By doing this, we are proposing an option that allows the customer to smoothly transition between technologies without changing everything at once. Also, we try and show our customers how affordable new technology is. There are great financing options available that make it very affordable to replace outdated technology with more current solutions.
Gary: Are you seeing a lot of interest from customers on BYOD and wireless in general?
Mario: To be honest, at this point there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest around BYOD yet, because for so long Unified Communication was a buzzword. I do not think there is much understanding around what BYOD really means; presently they talk more about Unified Communication. However, nearly 50 percent of everything we do requires wireless. We utilize wireless technology for phones, data and sometimes we do a wireless umbrella for devices able to connect to a wireless network. We test our wireless network to make sure there won’t be any dropped calls or an interrupted connection.
Gary: Mario, I really appreciate you speaking with us, thank you for your time with us today. It was a pleasure to speak with you.
Mario: Thank you very much for having me.
We want to know – what technology has been most beneficial for your small or mid-market business. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our next post, Mario will be sharing more information about the Cisco Telepresence technology – the applications, the benefits and whether it’s right for your business.
Mario Séguin is a Unified Communications and TelePresence specialist for SMBs. He has worked for several years with a large telecommunications company. In 2003, he founded Medwave Optique (MWO), a company active in the high technology field. In 2005, he was recipient of a Young Entrepreneurs Award in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit.