CTS Team Feature: Robbin Metuh

Our team at Cactus Technology Solutions is nothing short of exceptional, and our Client Solutions Executive, Robbin Metuh is that and more! With over 20 years of working in the telecom/IT industry, Robbin has a long history of providing clients with excellent service and gives her all to each of her customers. “When I came to Cactus, I wanted to give my all which was 200%, not 100%. That included getting out there, getting into the field, making sure my customers were taken care of, and working my butt off.” Everyday Robbin is exploring new vendors and products along with a multitude of various industry customers, and discovering technology solutions to help their business succeed.

“When it comes to a company that I am passionate about working for, it’s going to be Cactus Technology Solutions. They’ve helped me grow professionally, mentally and it’s given me another avenue to expand on the skills that I’ve already had in place but also to be able to share those skills with others.”

Robbin’s title at Cactus Technology Solutions is ‘Client Solutions Executive’ but Robbin states that she is a seller first, with a strong focus on working with other sellers to find the right technology solutions for their clients. Robbin’s everyday work life consists of having multiple in-depth calls with customers, uncovering the right solutions for those customers, and providing knowledge about the right technology solutions for that particular client. Robbin also values working alongside our CEO Amy Milam, and how she has impacted her. “She’s my mentor, she’s helped me to grow in a lot of aspects, and come into my own professionalism and self-discovery.”

Robbin also spoke about how 2020 has brought some changes to her day-to-day workday, and how she has overcome those obstacles. Robbin loved to travel to meet with clients face to face, but due to Covid-19 that has been unavailable. Robbin now has several virtual meetings a day to keep personal, with her video on, to ensure that she can discover the right technology solutions for each customer during these times.

When describing company culture at Cactus, Robbin states that the culture is most importantly fun, but it is also respectful, inclusive, and loving. Cactus Technology Solutions is a very family-oriented company, and that is something Robbin really admires. She has great pride and is honored to work for such an amazing company, and loves to support others in their success.

She has been working from home since 2018, and resides in Austin, Texas, and when asked what are two things she can’t live without she stated “my husband and coffee.” She loves to spend her free with her five children, husband, parents, and the rest of her extended family. She also loves to spend time with her family at sporting events, including rooting on her nephew who plays for Texas Tech, Tahj Brooks! While balancing work and family, she has an amazing willingness to help others, and that is prevalent in every way through her role at Cactus Technology Solutions.

CTS Client Feature: Shoppa’s, Material Handling

Jeremy Henrickson – IT Director at Shoppa’s, a material handling company – has essentially followed Cactus Technology Solutions’ Becky Anderson since her previous role/employer and now with her client solutions’ responsibilities with Cactus.  Understanding the value of a responsive solution provider is critical to Jeremy; and Becky embraces that role and her client focus is inevitable.

“When Becky called to alert me she was leaving her former employer at the time, I told her to make sure she called me when she made her transition – I didn’t want to lose her.  Becky always answers her phone and emails; and that’s not common in our industry,” states Jeremy.

A native of North Dakota, Jeremy was in the opposite role prior to joining Shoppa’s 19-plus years ago.  In a former job, Jimmy Shoppa – president and owner of Shoppa’s – was one of Jeremy’s clients.  Later, after a bit of time lapsed, Jimmy called and offered the position of IT director to Jeremy, and without hesitation, Jeremy accepted.

“It’s not a fun task to begin the process of identifying, calling and selecting the ideal vendor for any IT or telecom solution; Becky, via Cactus, steps in and handles it for us in a professional, proactive and timely manner.  I rely on Becky immensely,” says Jeremy.

Jeremy has worked with both Becky and Jake (Jake Godwin, sales engineer for Cactus) and places his complete trust in them – and Cactus – to make sure they have the best interest for Jeremy, and Shoppa’s.  From sending out request for proposals for a customized solution, to reviewing the options and narrowing the solutions that best fit all the needs of Shoppa’s, Becky has Jeremy’s back.

Becky believes its Jeremy’s experience and knowledge that makes it such a wonderful client/vendor partnership.  “Jeremy makes my job easier because of his extensive insight; that, coupled with his fun personality, just makes my role worthwhile,” explains Becky.

A recent example includes when Shoppa’s was needing to review and select an UCaaS (Hosted Voice) system.  Jeremy explains how Becky did all the leg work and brought solid solutions to meet his checklist of needs and assured the three options being presented to Jeremy and Shoppa’s met the organization’s demands.  After reviewing the proposals and respective product demonstrations, Jeremy was able to make a solid business decision for the best interest of his company.  Once the selection was made, Becky again was instrumental to begin that task of implementation, training and checking with Jeremy the solution continued to meet his expectations.

“Whenever our contracts are up for any of our IT infrastructure needs, Becky Anderson is my first call,” says Jeremy confidently. “Becky and Cactus are always on top of the latest technology and offerings.”

Raised in a small, farming town of only 150 residents, Jeremy believes his aptitude for IT is from his father.  Jeremy’s father played a strong role in Jeremy’s academic upbringing as his math and computer science teacher.  A small school, Jeremy’s father was also the superintendent, bus driver, and track coach in addition to the math and computer science teacher.  Jeremy also speaks fondly of being one of four in his high school graduation class.

When not assuring Shoppa’s IT infrastructure is up-to-date and running smoothing, Jeremy’s and his wife, Amy, enjoy their two full-bred Akitas and traveling.  Jeremy also considers his time in front of his ‘Green Egg’ and ‘Offset Smoker’ as a focus of his personal time, coupled with a round of golf or biking.

Dani and Doby

The answer was quick and concise when asked what impressed Jeremy most about Cactus Technology Solutions: “Between their personal, friendly service – even the president, Amy Milam, makes a point to come by when she’s in town – and the depth of solutions and resources they have for any need, Cactus is my first call!”, said Jeremy.

All in the Family – Cactus Technology Solutions’ Style

Cactus Technology Solutions could be the ideal business model for a company feeling more like a ‘family’ for its team members.  From births and deaths, to illness and recoveries, Amy Milam strives to make sure her team members have a work-family to rely on for support, comfort and a source of inspiration and prayer.

A recent illustration of the family mentality includes project manager, Daniel Ke.  Daniel and his wife, Lisa, are currently expecting their first child.  The recent rains in their community flooded a culvert behind their new home – a home they had not even moved into yet.  Amy developed an internal ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign unbeknownst to Daniel.  The dollars raised by the team members of Cactus were matched dollar for dollar via Cactus.  The monies were presented to Daniel and Lisa as a gift; more than just a gift of money, but a gift of love and support.

 

Cactus Technology Solutions experiences challenges just as every company does within their internal organization.  However, the ‘family’ environment is not felt by every company, and it’s the individual Cactus team members, coupled with Amy’s management style, that assures a strong, cohesive team – a family.

You’re on Your Way to 💵💰💵

The statistics speak from themselves.  Hosted voice – or Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a game changer to companies looking to reduce their operational expenses.  These systems place the business in the driver’s seat on how they connect with others – as well as assistance with their telecommunications’ budgets, not to mention the improved productivity.

  • By 2021 Gartner predicts off-premise unified communications (Hosted Voice) will be close to 90%
  • 84% of IT managers report mobility is very important. Thus, mobility is one of the factors for boosted PBX growth.
  • Market research* shows companies can save 50% to 75% on communication costs using a VoIP, or hosted phone system.
  • Small businesses using VoIP can decrease the cost of local calls by 40%, and international calls by 90%.
  • VoIP can trim down initial costs for startup business by roughly 90%.
  • Businesses utilizing Unified Communication solutions save an average of 191 hours daily and 49,660 hours yearly.
  • Having a Unified Communication or VoIP system can help employees save an average of 32 call minutes per day.
  • Manage your system via a computer with an internet connection or a smartphone.

Cactus Technology Solutions in collaboration with Avant, wants you to win – not only within your organization – but with a $50.00 gift card, too!  Click the link below, answer the questions and your name will go in a drawing for the gift card.  NOTE:  All questions with an asterisk * must be answered to be eligible.

CLICK HERE

Helping to Improve Businesses

With a strong aptitude for sales, Director of Technical Sales for Cactus Technology Solutions (CTS), Jake Godwin’s professional career began within the financial services.   Though he saw success within the industry, Jake transitioned to the telecom/IT arena over 23 years ago and hasn’t looked back.  His former managers saw strong potential in him and assured he had the best foundation for success with sales training via national programs, including Dale Carnegie and Brian Tracy.

“One thing I learned from my training early in my career was a self-assessment of my sales.        I realized I wasn’t spending enough time having thoughtful discussions with my customers.  When I made that change, I saw a difference.  That foundation (of spending time talking with my customers) is something I strive for every day, even more than 20 years later,” says Jake.

Jake’s role via CTS isn’t unique in the industry.  Many IT/Telecom organizations have a Director of Technical Sales or Sales Engineer to assure the customer has a clear understanding of the products and/or services they’re considering for their respective companies.

“Technology is changing every single day.  Even though I’m an expert in the field, I still continue learning in order to provide the correct solutions to match the needs and expectations of our customers,” describes Jake.

Jake and CTS’s CEO, Amy Milam, work collaboratively with several customers to assure they understand the complexities or the functional aspects of the technology they have in place or are reviewing to add.  “I sell to help people and change their infrastructure for the better.  Our task –at Cactus – is to help businesses improve.  That role is something I have great passion in,” Jakes boasts.

Jake and Amy have worked together for many years – going back to their respective times at AT&T.  Jake’s admiration for Amy is apparent when describing what he has enjoyed the most about being an integral part of the CTS team.  Jake is impressed with the strengths and advantages Amy brings to the team and the CTS company.

With hundreds of products in the portfolio of CTS’ offerings, Jake is quick to answer when asked his current favorite product to sell.  “UCaaS, without a doubt.  It’s a game changer!  There’s a multitude of reasons – what it brings to the table, the additional functionality and, what can be the most enlightening aspect for me, it’s a product that enables everyone within a company to see a difference in their daily tasks,” states Jake.

Jake refers back to his need to have healthy discussions with his customers as his best way to stay productive, stating he and the customer typically learn something from each other.  However, he finds his motivation in the recognition and appreciation he receives from, not just his customers, but Amy too.  “Success breeds success and when everyone is doing well it’s recognized by Amy.  When that happens, I find such a strength of inspiration that it just seems logical to pick up the phone and talk with a customer,” Jake explains.

A native of Oklahoma, Jake says his wife of 14 years, Annalisa, is what brought him to Texas.  When asked their favorite way to spend a weekend, the answer was simple – “it’s spending time outdoors, regardless if it’s fishing, cycling or grilling…just being active.”

Jake and Annalisa

It’s a solid, undeniable statement when one asks Jake about his role at Cactus Technology Solutions, “I’ve enjoyed this more than any other place I’ve been before!” Jake replies.

 

The Momentum is Building!

Recognized as one of North America’s top providers of Unified Communications, Momentum Telecom has been a trusted provider for Cactus Technology Solutions for several years.

“Our clients rely on us to bring simple, painless solutions to them.  It is critical we choose partners, such as Momentum who value the golden rule when building relationships with our clients.  Honesty, integrity, and understanding are of the utmost important qualities we look for.  The rest is easy,” explains Amy Milam, CEO of Cactus Technology Solutions.

Founded in 2001 as Momentum Business Solution, it began as an internet and business phone provider, but modern-day businesses quickly changed the IT/telecom landscape and Momentum quickly adapted to meet the demands of the marketplace.

With an estimated 30 Channel Managers, Momentum’s channel team is robust.  With over 40 years of experience, dedicated Channel Manager Kerri Lytle, and Solution Design Engineer, Russell Smith bring the depth of industry experience and knowledge required to bring solid solutions and support to Cactus’ clients.

Momentum’s culture is far reaching, including assuring their partners and processes are part of the culture; and, for Kerri makes the difference.  “Our mentality of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners, like Cactus, combined with our focused collaborative approach from pre-sale all the way to post-sale with our white glove installation is our formula for differentiating ourselves from the competition,” states Kerri.

Both Kerri and Russ enjoy being in front of partners and clients and enjoy having the opportunity to watch the customer discover a new facet of their business.  Momentum’s sales process challenges the customer to look at their current telecom infrastructure differently and then identify an area or two for potential added monies to the bottom line.  Often, Momentum can uncover an opportunity that will increase efficiencies and bring a premium solution to the client.

For Amy, Momentum’s sales approach has been readily apparent each time she brings a Momentum in to a client.  “In sitting on the same side of the desk with the customer, it’s imperative our partners take time to understand the client’s business and goals to customize a solution that will improve the way they do business; not just to sell them something.  Each time we bring Kerri and Russ to a presentation, I am confident we have presented a solution that has our customer’s best interest at heart.  I can’t stress the peace of mind it brings to our team” says Amy.

Working with the team from Cactus has been mutually beneficial in several aspects for everyone.  Often times the members of Cactus and Momentum begin with an early day of appointments and continue till the close of business, and according to Russ, “we are having a blast doing it, too!”

Identifying a partner and developing strong relationships with providers is critical for Cactus Technology Solutions.  Those partnerships are the foundation for the success of the clients, Cactus and ultimately the provider.  Kerri echoed the sentiments when asked what was paramount for him when working with Cactus and its customer-focused approach.  Kerri explains, “Cactus is willing to engage us early in the process and therefore it leads to a true collaborative trust.  They are always involving us at the right time and right level.  Everything we do together is united, that’s what makes it effective.  We win together, and sometimes we lose together.”

With the constant changes of how businesses are communicating, Momentum is staying ahead of the curve, even in light of the pandemic.  Companies must support their employees – even those working from home or off-site – and the support means solid voice, network, and security options.

The current ‘work from home’ initiatives have been interesting says Russ, “for voice, we have seen an influx of desire to incorporate the Microsoft Teams to its fullest potential for some clients.”   Russ also says the popularity of soft phones has increased, plus the adoption of video.   “I was somewhat surprised how popular video is now and people are becoming more comfortable with utilizing it.  But then I heard a client say, ‘how can I trust you if I can’t see you’ and it made complete sense.”

Partnerships like Cactus Technology Solutions and Momentum Telecom are the foundation for success – for the clients!

Viasat Grant Opportunty

Introducing the Viasat Small Grant Program

Our partner, Viasat, understands how you are faced with challenging times during this pandemic.  So much so, they’re offering five (5) $5,000 grants to help your business to stay connected.    Need new equipment?  Perhaps a website?  Or maybe you just need to help with operating costs…

Click here to learn more Viasat Grant Details

How Technology Can Streamline and Improve Temperature Screening

The statistics (source: Tech Connect) speak for themselves with regards to temperature screening in our current times:

  • 86% of employees feel more comfortable when entering workplace
  • 68% of customers are more likely to enter a business
  • 79% prefer a kiosk versus a human taking temperature
  • 76% of companies are currently offering temperature screenings

 

The question to ask yourself of your business…are you offering your employees and/or customers the confidence they need in protecting their overall physical health, as well as the health of the business and those involved?

With the start of school around the corner, administrations need to begin the work now to assure they have the temperature screening protocols in place when faculty, staff and students return to the classroom; technology can make all the difference.

District Administration, an in-depth print and digital media company, helps administrators make informed decisions about best practices and research-based approaches designed to help them improve teacher quality and increase student achievement across their districts.

They (District Administration) offers some great insight and recommendations in their article ‘How Technology Can Streamline and Improve Temperature Screening’, linked here.

Cactus Technology Solutions has several different providers offering thermal analytics.   Scheduling a few minutes of time with your client solutions executive is the step in the right direction for protecting those involved with your business, regardless of your industry.

WFM and Cybersecurity

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Work from Home (WFH) is on the rise exponentially.  With that rise, comes the possible implications of cybersecurity issues.

Yes, it’s a daunting issue to review and discuss.  But like COVID-19’s hand-washing, masks, etc., cybersecurity has several cautionary steps to instill to help protect your company, customers and employees.

Our partner via Edge Communications, Sloane Cassidy Cunningham, has developed a few quick questions to determine what the next steps you need to take to begin needed informative improvements.

  1. Do you have cybersecurity training in place for your employees?
  2. What security initiatives have you put in place of recent?
  3. Are your security initiatives focused on compliance or securing your infrastructure?
  4. Do you have any additional security goals?

Regardless if your role is training, or more involved like infrastructure protection, you can be confident Edge Communication’s security specialist Sloane Cassidy Cunningham, coupled with your Cactus Technology Solutions’ team member, can get you started with the right strides

Is Desktop-As-A-Service (DaaS) right for your business?

How does DaaS work?

DaaS is offered as a subscription service and is multitenant in nature. The backend virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) infrastructure, including the virtual machines that run desktop operating systems, is hosted by a third-party cloud provider. The DaaS provider then streams the virtual desktops to a customer’s end-user devices.

DaaS providers manage the VDI deployment, as well as the maintenance, security, upgrades, data backup, and storage. And the customer manages the applications and desktop images. DaaS is a good choice for organizations that don’t want to invest in and manage their own on-premises VDI.

What’s the difference between VDI and DaaS?

 

DaaS is VDI, but hosted in the cloud. With VDI, an organization deploys virtual desktops from its own on-premises data centers. In-house IT teams are responsible for deploying the virtual desktops as well as purchasing, managing, and upgrading the infrastructure.

DaaS is essentially the same thing but the infrastructure is cloud-based. Organizations that subscribe to a DaaS offering don’t need to manage their own hardware.

 

Interested in getting DaaS as a service for your business?  There’s never been a better time!  Our partner, can get you up and running in less than a week.  Best part?  They are offering 90 days free!

 

Your client solutions executive can provide more details.  Schedule time with them today