CrossPoint Connect Newsletter

CEO Message

In the last 18 months we have seen some unrelenting challenges and I know this has been a difficult time for many of our staff and clients, so first and foremost I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who has worked incredibly hard to keep our business and our clients businesses going, often whilst juggling the additional duties of home schooling and lock down restrictions which have had a big impact on mental health and created a lot of extra stress on our people. Thank you to our team that reached out to colleagues and provided encouragement and support and to everyone, thank you all for your resilience and hard work over this time.

As a business we have managed to weather what we hope is the hardest period we will see for some time. We have certainly experienced substantial erosion in business activity and revenue during the last harsh lockdowns in our largest markets in Australia.

Fortunately, with Australian government financial support and additional bank loans, we have managed to underpin our financial stability throughout the worst of it, and early indications are that business will pick up again soon. 

So, it is with optimism and hope that we enter the second quarter of the financial year and the end of our calendar year. If we take the past lockdowns as insight into the road ahead, we are hoping to see some rapid pickup of activity and we know our teams’ contributions will be invaluable in restoring our business to pre-COVID conditions.

Many of you must be wondering how the work environment will look as we learn to live with COVID-19. The short answer is, we don’t exactly know yet.  As restrictions ease and work models evolve, we will see economies opening up and people returning to some sort of normality.

To ensure we support our greater team, we will continue to adopt a hybrid and flexible work environment, we hope this gives each of you the confidence that your health and safety are our top priority as we find a balance between in office and remote working and when we can, we hope to see each other face to face when it matters.

We are in the process of re-accommodating our various office environments across Sydney, Manila, and Singapore to enable a more flexible work model which will cater for various hybrid work arrangements. Our hybrid work model will enable people who will mostly work remotely and casually attend the office, others who will ‘hot-desk’ in a hybrid model and some who prefer to work permanently from the office. From now until the new year rolls-in we will work closely with our operations team and staff to develop a flexible work model that works best for our team and our business.

As the year comes to an end, we are looking forward to reconnecting in person at our Christmas parties which hopefully most of you can attend particularly to connect with new colleagues and continue to build our “One Team” culture. I am certainly looking forward to meeting many of the new people who have joined us and many of our Avante staff personally.

Stay safe and stay connected!
CEO – Carlos Palacio

INDUSTRY AND VENDOR AWARDS

We are pleased to share that CrossPoint has again made headlines being nominated as a finalist in the Australian based ARN – Innovation AwardsPartner Innovation – SMB category. The ARN Innovation Awards housed a record-breaking number of submissions in 2021 with over 95 organisations submitting a total of 470 nominations, which makes our achievement even more significant considering the competition.

Our finalist selection is a celebration of our abilities in delivering transformative solutions to our clients. The submission that made the finalists category showcased the solutions delivered at Scone Grammar School and we would like to thank our hard-working EDU team for making this achievement possible.

Award winners will be announced on Thursday 9th December at the ARN Innovation Awards Dinner. We look forward to coming together with the channel community and celebrating our achievements.

Our Sales and Marketing team have been working closely with our distributor Dicker Data to revitalise  our partnership and drive a mutually beneficial relationship. Our hard work in this area has now been recognised by the recent announcement that we have been awarded Dicker Data Telstra Services’ highest performing partner!

We are thrilled to be recognised as a leading partner in what has been a challenging and unpredictable year. This award is a win for everyone in our business and will strengthen our close working relationship with Dicker. We look forward to sending a lucky team member on the Tasman Escape Incentive weekend to rub shoulders with our channel community.

In addition to being recognised by Dicker Data, CrossPoint has also been awarded the Top performing Cisco Partner from Comstor. This award is reflection of our hard work in the areas of partnerships, marketing, sales and training. Thank you to the greater Sales, Service Delivery and Marketing team for driving forward our Cisco |Comstor relationship.

INTERNATIONAL TEAM UPDATE

Our International Team “The IT Crowd” continues to kick goals, driving client diversification, growing our largest client Nokia and working towards becoming a Tier One Managed Service provider in Asia Pacific.

In early 2021, CrossPoint was invited by Nokia to take part in an extensive RFP to secure more of their global business. After 7 long months of tireless work from the combined Nokia RFP Team including submission of over 1,000 pages of documentation and countless hours of work, we were thrilled to be awarded the contract in 2 out of the 4 Nokia Service Streams including the Telco Business and Global Call and Contact Center Business. A huge achievement for our team and business, especially considering the caliber of the competition which included multinational businesses such as Orange, Tata, Vodafone, and Microsoft. Not only were we in competition with some of the largest companies in the world, but these companies were also clients of Nokia which further highlights the magnitude of our success in this complex RFP. The successful appointment of CrossPoint is testament to our hard-working teams, our historic performance, extensive capabilities, global coverage, proven track record and commercial offering.

The Nokia contract appointment has enhanced Crosspoint’s Global Nokia Partner Status, with CrossPoint now qualifying as an Ecosystem Partner, one of only three globally. As an Ecosystem Partner, we have new benchmark expectations for business frameworks around security, service delivery and compliance, these new frameworks will be beneficial for our Nokia partnership and to be used across our entire business. We have now kicked off the 5-stage Nokia project with stage 1 signed off already. Our team will deliver SIP Voice in 69 countries and porting for 49 countries, our solution uses a Global SBC as a service platform to launch MS Teams and includes a billing platform across those 69 countries that will drive enhanced security and documentation practices and can be sold to clients worldwide. We would like to thank the hardworking Nokia RFP team of Amanda O’Keefe, Lee Whitbread, Mathew Arentz, Amila Kitulagodage, David Reid, Mal Forrester, Greg Lowe, Mazen Abed, Mark Mantakoul, Carlos Palacio, Milla Palacio, Steve Angelov, Katherine Sydney and Jeffrey Bustamante for their hard work and diligence. for their hard work and diligence.

The International Team continues to build momentum as we head into Q2. We are pleased to have re-signed several existing clients including Affinity Equity Partners and Eco-Investments, as well as onboarding several new clients, setting us up for a strong second quarter. We have welcomed our team to a new office space having recently moved into a centrally located, modern co-working space which will support our team in our hybrid return to work model.

At the end of the year two key team members – Mathew Arentz and Mary Mabini will leave the International Team to relocate to Australia. Mathew and Mary have been a vital part of our International Team and will be sorely missed but we will see Mat join the CrossPoint Team in Sydney. We would like to thank Mathew and Mary for their dedication and hard work and wish them all the best in settling into Australia.

NEW AND GROWING CLIENTS

Our Sales Team have continued to drive a culture of determination and commitment throughout the quarter, with COVID-19 restrictions throwing many obstacles in their path. Managing stock issues, product shortages and expected projects being put on hold have added complexity to the sales and delivery teams processes. Nevertheless, our team have done a tremendous job in supporting and remaining connected to our clients through this uncertain time. Thank you to the greater sales team for your reliable and client-centric approach. Here are just a few examples of recent success stories as we showcase the hard work from our Sales.

We continue to grow our AWS Cloud Services client base, welcoming Saksoft to our client netwok in Singapore. Saksoft offers digital transformation solutions and will use CrossPoint for their cloud computing solutions. Thank you to Steve Angelov and the International Team for growing our client base.

We are pleased to welcome IFIS Technology (Institute of Food Technologies) as a new client to our business. CrossPoint will support IFIS Technology with Microsoft Office 365 licensing for their 25 users.

We are pleased to be appointed by Central Coast Council in the recent tender request for professional services to drive Central Coast Councils migration from Cisco Unified Call Manager to Microsoft Teams Enterprise Voice Communications. The project will involve the migration of CC users and will kick off in October 2021. Special mention to Greg Lowe for the design & presales.

We are eager to assist the Department of Regional NSW – Primary Industries with their upcoming State Control Centre network implementation in Orange and Meraki wireless rollout in Tamworth, Armidale and Dubbo having worked closely with the DPI for several years, we are eager to take their department to the next level with our solutions.  Thank you to Alex Stuart

Congratulations Paul Carnemolla and the EDU team on growing our brand and business in the Education vertical. We are pleased to see our long-standing client St Dominic’s College renew their 3 year MSA agreement. Well done to the whole St Dominic’s college team including Jonathan Fox, Niyati Shah, Tully Clark, Jonathan Trott and Mitch Richters.

St Rita’s College has engaged CrossPoint to drive an Intune implementation within their school in addition to a Fortigate Firewall project and ongoing professional services. Thank you to Adrian Simpson who has continued to impress the School Executive with his quality of work and strategic advice.

We are excited to share we have expanded our EDU reach into Victoria securing our first Independent School based in Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar. Ivanhoe has engaged CrossPoint to undertake a full ICT Strategic Review and ICT Infrastructure and Network Review. Additionally, Ivanhoe have engaged CrossPoint Managed Services to assist with their ongoing ICT leadership and management including an onsite and remote services team. Thank you to Paul Carnemolla, James Hanover and our EDU Team for their efforts in securing this client.

We are pleased to see the Office365 migration and refresh of the Windows Server infrastructure for Café Sydney which was requested way back in 2019 is now finally underway and almost complete. The project was pushed out due to two lockdowns but is now finally underway.

The project will see us migrate all Café Sydney users from unsupported 2008 servers with on-premise Microsoft Exchange, to Office365 cloud email with Small Business Premium and ATP Plan 2 licenses with CrossPoint.

This process starts the journey for Café Sydney to move the majority of their on-premises systems to the Cloud, including the next exciting project to scope, being CrossPoint Teams Calling. Thank you to Robert Coorey, Michael Heynes, and Socrates Hatzipavlidis for your hard work for this project.

We have another new client joining our business, Lincoln Place, a property investment firm based in the Sydney CBD. During the recent Sydney lockdown, they secured new office space to move their staff and also kicked off their Office365 journey with CrossPoint over a TPG Fibre 1000 internet connection.

This has commenced with a new Dell laptop fleet for staff, Office365 SharePoint consulting with Paul Carnemolla and Jenny Windeyer, and a pending CrossPoint Teams Calling discussion.

Thank you to Ken Davies, Paul Carnemolla, Jenny Windeyer, and Socrates Hatzipavlidis for your ongoing work for this new and exciting customer.

OPERATIONS UPDATE

We are pleased to report our newly announced Operations Team have hit the ground running and are driving best practice process improvements across the business, from integration of our systems to the coming together of our offices, our Operations Team are stepping into key initiatives to enable our teams, maximise productivity and create a better client engagement experience.

As we finalise our restructure around industry verticals and continue to integrate the Avante teams and business, we are now launching our Global Support Service (GSS) as a whole of business initiative. We are excited to see Chad Crawford step into the role of Head of Global Support Services who will be joined by Daniel Fisher – Service Delivery Manager (GSS), and our new Global Service Desk Manager – Jed Alvaran (further information about Jed below).

Chad will work with his leadership team to continue to build our Global Support Services function and team with a focus on delivering quality customer service and support. We have already seen strong investment in new team members and with the combined strength of CrossPoint with Avante, we look forward to improving our capacity, capability, and coverage.   

Significant work is already underway to integrate the Service Desk functions of CrossPoint and Avante and to adopt a common platform across our systems, processes & toolsets. This is due for completion prior to Christmas with final build, training and communication during November; cutover on 1 December; and final clean up and support prior to the new year. There will be further improvements throughout 2022 but this major first step is delivering on our commitment to the business to strengthen our service delivery and global support service. Thank you to Chad Crawford, Paul Dunstan, and Amanda O’Keefe, and the broader Operations teams for the great work thus far. 

Jed Alvaran – CrossPoint is excited to welcome our new Global Service Desk Manager – Jed Alvaran to the business. Jed brings a wealth of experience in operational management of service desks, team management and is very experienced in best practice for service management. We wish Jed all the best in his new role, and we look forward to seeing our Global Support Service Team evolve and grow. 

Productisation

In October we launched our first end-to-end productised solution – MS Teams Voice across our business. Our Productisation Team worked closely with various departments across our organisation to undertake a gap analysis in our solution set and develop a standardised end-to-end solution. Our MS Teams productisation saw the introduction of new sales collateral, pricing calculators, service delivery processes and training.  Thank you to all the key stakeholders who invested time and energy into the process. We are pleased to enable our teams in service delivery, sales and finance to be better able to service inbound opportunities and existing clients with MS Teams Voice Solutions.

Our Productisation initiative will continue to focus on services in demand across our target markets, all solutions will be packaged in a recurring revenue model to fit our business focus on creating long term ongoing relationships with our client base. The solutions currently in progress are Managed Helpdesk and Managed IT, which we hope to launch in the coming weeks. Thank you to our Productisation Team of MJ Gutierrez, Katherine Sydney, Matthew Cross, Wayne Simmonds and Mark  Mantakoul for driving this key initiative in our business.

Office Opening

As many of you are aware, our Mascot office is now open, anyone who is fully vaccinated (or has a medical exemption for not getting vaccinated) and would like to work from the office can do so.

Please review to our updated Covid-Safe Business Plan for Mascot office, which will be sent out this week.

Over the coming months CrossPoint will assess the working-from-home/office balance (in line with the changing Covid rules and guidelines) and will communicate plans for the new year.

Christmas Leave

Due to the prolonged downturn in many areas of the business, we will be taking a Christmas Shutdown period of 3 weeks.  In all our locations in Australia, our Christmas Shutdown will be Monday 20th December to Friday 7th January inclusive.  For our teams overseas, Christmas Shutdown for Singapore will be Monday 20th December to Friday 7th January inclusive. In Manila our Christmas Shutdown will run from Monday 20th December to 2nd January inclusive.

As with previous years, unless you have pressing client or operational matters to attend to, we will be scheduling leave for this three-week period.

We encourage all our staff to take this opportunity for a well-earned break and to refresh and rejuvenate for the year ahead.

Please work with your line manager to begin planning any additional leave requests or work requirements over the Christmas period. Obviously skeleton staffing and any new projects or work secured between now and Christmas will require ongoing planning and coordination. This will continue to be managed through the line managers and our resource planning process.

SERVICE DELIVERY UPDATE

Our Service Delivery Team continue to drive a culture of resilience and commitment. Over recent months COVID lockdowns and restrictions worldwide have seen a lot of stop and start activity with our clients. We understand these are trying times and we appreciate the support and commitment our team have shown over this period, that being said, we are excited to see a return of normality in October so our Sales and Service Delivery teams can press forward on projects and deployments with obstacles such as access, and delivery delays removed. We are already starting to see an uptick in demand for clients due to the pent-up demand for services over lockdown and we  should generate a lot of client work as we lead into Christmas.

We would like to recognise our team and the following projects successfully delivered over the past 3 months:

Our team materially completed a large Local Land Services Meraki Rollout across 14 Sites in NSW giving our client a network refresh to phase out their aging legacy architecture. Thank you to Allan Cortes , Alex Stuart, Fergus Watson and Mal Forester for your hard work on this project.

CrossPoint steered a wireless refresh for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) at all 10 sites across their organisation, this was in addition to a UC/VC upgrade for the ODPP Justice network. Thank you to Alex Stuart, Allen Cortes, Mazen Abed and Amila Kitulagodage. 

We want to call out the Nokia Global SBCaaS and LeadDesk Build /Design / Transition and transformation Project Team for their huge effort and great work on the project to date, we look forward to finalising the planning and design stages this quarter. Thank you Paul Dunstan, Lee Whitbread, Michael De Leon, Amila Kitulagodage, Jedric Farcon and Mat Arentz for going above and beyond on this project. We also cannot speak of the Nokia project without sending a big thank you to the Global Support Services Team (Jayson Baniqued / Earl Togonon /Lloyd Tadena) as well as the rest of Service Desk Team who have been working exceptionally hard to ramp up their skills to support this project.

Service Delivery Team – Showcasing the CrossPoint Values

Thank you to Derek Vuong for displaying a Can Do attitude, we received positive feedback from our client Centuria praising Derek for his efforts and professionalism around delivering end user support at their office at the Exchange Towers.

Special mention to Amila Kitulagodage who is such a great team player spreading himself thin to help MJ and the MS Productisation Team launch our MS Teams Voice solution, this is in addition to working on the Nokia project and providing support to the Enterprise and Government team.  Amila, you are always positive, helpful and always ready to go the extra mile. Thanks again!

In 2021 it is rare to receive a written letter of appreciation from a client, but we are extremely proud to share we received just that from Bruce Green from Lachlan Macquarie Chambers who took the time to pen a letter thanking Robert Coorey and Derek Vuong for their patience and assistance in going above and beyond to fix internet issues they were experiencing. Rob and Derek, you have done an excellent job in enabling our client’s business.

As mentioned above, COVID cause a huge imposition to our Service Delivery and Projects Team with delays  but a key team member didn’t let the frustration sink in, thank you Alex Stuart for displaying a Can Do Attitude for overcoming the many obstacles due to COVID reschedules and for keeping our key customers happy during trying times.

Fiona Glenton, Legal Aid Manager of Admin and Transformation has praised Mazen Abed for his agility and responsiveness when responding to urgent and high stress work demands at the Parramatta Justice Precinct (PJP). Great work!

Thank you to Liam Mai for stepping into Sandeep’s role and providing support to our existing clients and staff during the handover from Sandeep. Your support efforts and attention to detail continue to keep our clients and team happy. Thank you for going above and beyond.

A shout out to Hoa Truong for showcasing a Can Do Attitude, in managing the L1 Avante Team, no issue is ever too big, no problem too much. Your ability to keep a cool head and apply logic to find solutions is commendable. We appreciate your dedication to our business and continued follow through to assist our team and clients.

One of our largest clients Schenck recently utilised our Lead Intune (Microsoft Endpoint Manager) Engineer Mitch Richters to rollout a cloud-based unified management solution within their business. Alex Reischl, Head of IT and Business Process Transformation praised Mitch for his in-depth knowledge of Intune, his professionalism, support, and ability to explain the solution to key stakeholders in a language that resonated with the audience and was easy to digest.

We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to Mitch for his efforts on not only this project but all the project that he meticulously manages. Thank you, Mitch, for enabling our clients with best practice adoption across their businesses.

Recently many of our engineers have achieved certifications in Velocloud SD-WAN, Cisco UC and Audiocodes SBC. Thank you for showcasing our Keep Learning value and growing your skillset to better assist our clients.

COMPANY AND TEAM UPDATES

Our teams across the globe continue to be in various stages of lockdown but that has not stopped the fun and collaboration. In recent months we have been pleased to bring teams together virtually and host the following events:

Virtual Happy Hour

July saw us kick off the FY2022 with a bang, bringing our teams together to connect and play it out in a Virtual Game Show.  The tightly contested match put us through our paces on trivia, music and movies. Congratulations to Tom Dwyer for taking out the title of ultimate Game Show Champion, closely followed by David Reid. 

Virtual Magic Show

We wont let a pandemic stop us from having a good time. This time we tried something new and with a creative flare and enjoyed an intriguing and interactive virtual magic show performed by The BlackTies Magicians.

For those who missed the show, here are some screen grab of the mind-blowing magic trick that amazed us and seemed impossible to pull through. 

Upcoming Events

  • Manila Halloween Party – Friday, 29th October. Our Manila team will take part in a Netflix themed costume party and a virtual escape room. Watch this space for best dressed!

  • CrossPoint AU Christmas Party – Thursday 2nd December – Solera Bar Bar – Darling Harbour.

  • CrossPoint Manila Christmas Party – Friday 10th December – Virtual Event

  • CrossPoint Singapore Christmas Party – TBC

Can – Do Award Winner

Congratulations to our June – August Can Do Award Winner Amanda O’Keefe.

Amanda has been recognised by her colleagues as a true champion of the CrossPoint values. Amanda takes ownership of tasks within and outside of her daily responsibilities and goes out of her way to empower her colleagues and support our growing team.

Amanda has recently stepped into the role of Business Operations Associate and is currently spearheading our Best Practice Project in Operational Efficiency focused on process improvements across the business. We are grateful to have such a detailed team player in this role and we appreciate your dedication and commitment to your colleagues and our business. Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS from the entire team and keep an eye out for a goodie bag we are sending your way.

CrossPoint Q2 Challenge

We are into the first month of our Q2 challenge focused on increasing CrossPoint social media reach. Our goal between now and the end of December will be focused on increasing our LinkedIn following. Crosspoint’s LinkedIn platform currently has 1160 followers. Our goal is to increase this to 3,000 followers over the next two months.

 

To achieve this, we’ll do the following: 

    • We will post regular and engaging content on our LinkedIn Page.
    • We will add our social media links to our e-mail signature.
    • We will run content marketing campaigns to drive traffic to our website and encourage engagement on our social media channels.
    • We will encourage our Partners to engage with our social media posts and reshare these posts with their followers.

We also encourage everyone to be the Brand Ambassadors for CrossPoint. Here’s how to get started.

    • Follow – The CrossPoint LinkedIn Page 
    • Customise your Personal LinkedIn Profile with the CrossPoint LinkedIn header – Create greater brand consistency across our teams using the relevant Profile Header available  here
    • Engage – Share updates from our organisation with your LinkedIn Network. Don’t forget to ‘tag’ a colleague or associate to expose your content to a wider audience, simple add @ or + before the persons name and select from drop down.
    • Tag our Company Page – Did you know that by ‘tagging’ our company page, you will help expose our digital presence to a much larger audience, simply add @ or + before our company name and select from the drop down.
    • Use Hashtags – Using #hashtags in a post on LinkedIn will expose the post to a much larger audience. 
    • Join LinkedIn Groups – There are some great thought leaders in various LinkedIn Groups, check our groups that might be of interest to you at linkedin.com/groups

Everything is possible if we managed to meet our goal, we will be rewarded with amazing prizes. 

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