As part of our continuing effort to bring industry expertise to our customers, Telapprise has joined forces with Triple Helix Technology. This merger brings additional resources to Telapprise’s technical and sales teams supporting it’s AT&T partnership and emerging IT transformation practice.
We sat down with Matthew McKee, Triple Helix’s Vice President and General Manager to discuss the role he’s taking on at Telapprise and what this means for Telapprise’s customers and partners.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up at Telapprise.
I have been in IT and telecom for almost 20 years now. For the past three years, I’ve been running Triple Helix Technology, focusing on our relationship with AT&T as an Alliance Partner and providing IT advisory and consulting services. Triple Helix started as a joint venture between myself and an existing AT&T Alliance partner, Nextlink Communications, who specialized in the wireless side of AT&T’s portfolio. I balanced that out with my expertise on the traditional IT stack and complimented it with my experience in the advanced mobility space – mobile security, IoT, etc. Recently, Nexlink Communications was acquired by a large global holding company, and their go-to-market strategy shifted to refocus on mobile handset and device distribution rather than telecom service sales and brokerage. As part of this go-to-market simplification, Nexlink Communications divested themselves of Triple Helix and we merged with Telapprise.
Before Triple Helix, I spent six years at AT&T in and around the sales organization. My time there was split between working in the product group serving in a pre-sales specialist role for the direct sales teams and later in a role supporting AT&T Alliance partners, like Telapprise, in selling AT&T’s Advanced Mobility and “over the top” applications.
Q: Sounds like you’re no stranger to the AT&T and mobility world! How do you feel this experience will benefit the Telapprise team?
Obviously, Telapprise has been hugely successful as a Telecom Expense Management firm at its core, and over the last several years as an AT&T Alliance Partner. With Telapprise, it’s all about the idea of a white-glove experience for the customer; we are putting the customer at the center, bringing the right information to them, and making their lives easier. What I bring to that model is a technical design component that can help customers make more informed decisions around new technology while cutting through some of the market noise that creates confusion. Today, we provide a white-glove experience in spend optimization, vendor coordination, and project management, but we are going to extend that experience deeper into our customer’s IT operations with regard to strategic business decisions and technology choices. The idea is that we are now able to provide advisory services that are best-of-breed and vendor-agnostic, specifically around cloud and “as-a-service” hybrid IT solutions.
Q: What are most excited about with this new position?
I’ve known Marko and Davin for about six years. I’ve seen the way they have treated and believed in their employees, so I knew this would be a great environment to join. More importantly, though, I knew the way they treated their customers and partners. When you join a company, people’s perception of them reflect onto you as an employee; I felt confident that the perception Telapprise’s name brings was a positive one. When you represent a company like Telapprise, your work brings with it a promise. They have always delivered on their promises to customers, and I admire that. In an industry that tends to have poor customer satisfaction when it comes to vendors, Telapprise works hard to shelter the customers from the frustrations of dealing with vendors to solve business problems. Some vendors just don’t put a lot of effort into customer care. Others tend to aim for being only marginally better than the other. Then you look at SaaS companies; many have great products, but scale without investing in labor including support. Customers have to search a knowledge base or a self-help site to solve issues. It’s exciting to me that we can mitigate these challenges and help customers resolve issues intelligently and quickly.
Q: What are the major initiatives or major goals for you over the next year? What are you hoping to accomplish?
From my perspective, my success over the next year will be driven by three larger initiatives.
- Bringing a hybrid IT solution set to the market. Today, we go to market with a lot of great services, but we want to get a more formalized structure that better serves the customer. We want to improve our ability to work with customers to get the big picture and build a plan for success around their business drivers.
- Transforming the way our customers interact with us. By modernizing the tools and processes we use to provide that white-glove, 360-degree customer experience, we can make the Telapprise-customer experience even better than it is today. We know we’re doing well there, but we want to look for new ways to keep getting better when it comes to customer engagement.
- Transforming the way we interact with our partners. In every project, there are three parties – the customer, the vendor, and Telapprise. In the best scenario, all three of us walk away extremely happy. If we can improve how we interact with both customers and partners, we will get more of those ‘perfect wins’ and fewer of the projects where one party walks away feeling anything less than fantastic.
Q: Anything else we should know about you?
One thing people quickly learn about me is that I have a real passion for learning. If I come across something in my professional life or personal life that I’m not familiar with, I will go out of my way to learn more about it. That has really helped me in my professional life to always be informed on the issues that are cutting edge for my customers. I also enjoy a good board game because it’s a great way to create a challenge for yourself and work through that challenge but not have it be ‘work’. Lastly, I have to say I have a real love of all things Chicago – experiencing and exploring the outdoor areas of the city, seeing the unique architecture, or leaning the city’s deep history; and with that I’m also an avid Chicago sports fan.
Q: And the most important question – Cubs or Sox?
Cubs over Sox for sure.