Part two of a three part Q&A series
Bryan Cornette is a seventeen-plus year veteran of KiZAN Technologies, who works closely with CoreView to drive Microsoft Office 365-related managed services, including Cloud Voice, Office 365 Optimized Adoption Managed Services, Office 365 with Collaboration Services, and Office 365 Essentials, Plus and Cloud Identity.
We asked Cornette, Director of Communications and Collaboration, how CoreView helps drive KiZAN Office 365 services.
CoreView: In our earlier blog CoreView Sprinkles Office 365 Magic on KiZAN Managed Services – The Teams Story, we talked in depth about Teams Learning and Adoption managed services. What other KiZAN services leverage CoreView?
Cornette: We have done a few virtual tenant projects. This is more of a project offer, not really a service. We have an Office 365-based managed service offer. It is just Office 365. We have one with O365 and collaboration. All of our Office 365-based managed services have at least the reporting. We use reporting and leverage the license model — license usage, for our quarterly business reviews. It is key information. We can show that back to the executive sponsor on the client side.
For instance, we can show that there are many tickets in a specific area, so we should push through some campaigns, or push people with different CoreLearning, training, or new features that are coming out that will alleviate these issues. With our collaboration suite, we have managed services there as well.
CoreView: With the Teams adoption, KiZAN is really in the driver’s seat. On the customer side, they are not looking at the CoreView interface. They know that KiZAN is doing a great job of helping them manage their O365 environment. Is that the way it works?
Cornette: Yes and no. They know that we are driving everything, and we are using a partner tool. And they know it is CoreView.
One thing we always try to do — at least at the end when we do our final review, is show what we are doing, and ask what next steps they want to take. In addition, we talk to them about products.
That is where a few of them, like T. Marzetti, and others say, “We want to keep this thing. We want you guys to go away because I do not need you doing these sessions for us anymore, or have you doing things. We want to keep the reporting, CoreLearning, those aspects. We want to keep those around.” That is when it turns more from the managed services offer of CoreView, to us leaving it behind for them as an everyday tool.
CoreView: You are getting them up and running. Once they move to the actual product and run it themselves, you recruit more managed service customers to keep your staff busy that ultimately may turn into long-term annual contract customers where you’re still getting revenue.
Cornette: Right. We are getting into more and more the managed services, but are more of a niche player for managed services. We are not a tier one help desk. We do not want to manage Exchange or your collaboration world. We want to enable them with all the information CoreView has to help run and operate their business more efficiently without us involved.
CoreView: The managed services are a way to get the customer in as a long-term customer, to understand the issues, then set them free and still be their vendor.
Cornette: Keep that relationship up, keep that touch point. Our goal is to be the trusted advisor to help them in their business for everything going forward, even if it is not something we may necessarily do. We can advise them and point them in the right direction.
CoreView: How does KiZAN use CoreView’s license reporting?
Cornette: In each of our MSP Quarterly Business Reviews, we do a license report as well as a monthly active usage report. For a few of our Cloud Services Provider (CSP) customers we do this more often.
CoreView: What is in the quarterly business review and what parts are driven by CoreView?
Cornette: We review the uptime, patching and service health of the covered solutions, review all tickets (open and closed that quarter), review monthly usage of all workloads, converge all of the data to help drive adoption initiatives or identify the key users of a workload (such as OneDrive) to help drive organic growth, and discuss what the client would like to see over the next 3 – 6 months so we can focus our reports or propose projects.
CoreView: Talk about the Office 365 cloud voice managed service.
Cornette: All of the services that are Office 365-based use some level of the CoreView platform. One piece where CoreView made things easier with voice is determining the difference between who is using Skype still or Teams.
CoreView: How long have you been working with CoreView solutions?
Cornette: I am probably one of your oldest partners, and began eight, nine years ago, maybe longer. I have been around pretty much since the beginning.
CoreView: Any use of RBAC or virtual tenants for your services clients?
Cornette: Middleby Corp., a food services equipment company, uses virtual tenants and RBAC to keep the 20+ child companies separated from a security and management perspective, while still allowing them to fully collaborate on the Office 365 platform.
CoreView: What are the next moves you would like to make with CoreView in terms of building services or getting the solutions into the hands of more customers?
Cornette: I need to look more at the CoreView voice pieces. Virtual tenant is a big area. We just did a project with Middleby that was fully leveraged around the virtual administration model and the virtual tenants.
It really met one of their business needs. That is a key thing we try to notice with any project or any partner — if you are meeting a niche business need, or provide value that is not something that anybody could do — that is where we get excited.
Anybody can move mailboxes, right? But who can move mailboxes, identity, and control in the complex world of mergers and acquisitions? Or with everybody working remote – but everybody still working with everybody else around the world. A local company is not a local company anymore. We can help those people in those more complex situations. That is where we are the strongest and where we focus.
CoreView: What are the pain points that virtual tenants solve?
Cornette: This customer is a manufacturing facility with a holding company at the top. They have some 40 different individual organizations. They are completely autonomous. They had no connections at all. They did not trust each other from a domain trust permission level at all. There were truly 40 different islands, with over 20 different names — different actual controlling bodies and domains.
They made the decision to bring all these people together to collaborate. We will move other places later, but right now, they needed all these identities brought together into a single Microsoft tenant with all of the control, security, delegation still being handled individually by all of these different entities.
Because they said, “We’re just going to start over with cloud identities,” we were able to do it very quickly, and create a process that we could share with them and show them. So as they brought the other aspects and groups in, they could bring more in in the future. Phase one was corporate and a handful of the groups. However, they are slowly moving everyone in.
CoreView: What is unique about KiZAN from a cultural or technology standpoint? How would you describe the cool factor of KiZAN?
Cornette: What brings some people — but keeps everyone that stays — is our culture. We are truly a team-oriented group of people that not just care about the work — but care about each other and our customers. We will happily say we do not know how to do it, that we cannot do something, before committing to something that will put the customer at risk.
Our philosophies are what they are. We are going to do what is right for our teams, our people, and our customers. We are not just here to get that dollar. We have been on two interviews with the team in the last three weeks where the candidate asked us “Why you are there? I could go anywhere. I have all these offers. Why should I pick you?” Every person’s answer was, “I’ve never been anywhere where I felt my team cared about me.”
Our hiring process is very slow. The last stage of an interview process is the team interview. I do not care if you have only been on my team for three months — you get a bad vibe and you say no, it is a no. If it is not a unanimous yes, you are not added to the team.
CoreView: Where did the name KiZAN come from?
Cornette: We did a lot of work with Toyota back in the early ’90s. Plus, we have been a Microsoft partner for a long time. I want to say ’94, ’93, ’92, somewhere in that area. We were the first Global Partner of the Year back in the day when there was only one.
We had an employee from Kentucky who was doing a lot of work with Toyota. He said the Japanese word ‘kaizen’ all over the place — the whole continuous improvement through small changes. “I don’t like the way that sounds. I need to make it sound more Kentucky, so we’re going to make it KiZAN!” he said. “I got to put my Kentucky spin on the spelling of this term and make it mine,” and that is where the name was born.
Learn More About KiZAN and CoreView
Read Part one and three of our KiZAN Q&A series:
- Part one: CoreView Sprinkles Office 365 Magic on KiZAN Managed Services — The Teams Story
- Part three: How KiZAN Uses CoreView to Support M&A Services
Interested in Partnering with CoreView?
Grow your Microsoft MSP or Reseller business by sharing the award-winning CoreView SaaS Management Platform with your customers. Learn more on our CoreView partner page.
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.