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Ahead of the Curve

Technology Podcasts

Whether it's CRM and ERP integration, smart factories, digital underwriting, or how small travel companies can rebound from the pandemic, Ahead of the Curve dives into the substance and surfaces with thorough discussions on how technology is shaping the Manufacturing, Insurance, Travel & Hospitality, Education, Healthcare, and Quality Management Industries.




Whether it's CRM and ERP integration, smart factories, digital underwriting, or how small travel companies can rebound from the pandemic, Ahead of the Curve dives into the substance and surfaces with thorough discussions on how technology is shaping the Manufacturing, Insurance, Travel & Hospitality, Education, Healthcare, and Quality Management Industries.



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Transformation @ Work Trailer

Transformation @ Work Trailer by Gerent


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AOTC EP 45 - Maintaining Compliance in a Digital-First World

The operational benefits Salesforce delivers are undeniable. But in the Financial Services sector, implementation also has its pitfalls — especially when it comes to compliance. Falling short can pose a catastrophic cost and even jeopardize a business’s long-term well-being. So, what’s a tech-minded team leader to do? The answer, as those of us at Gerent often say, is to think about how you’re managing your people. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we look at how team leaders can guide...


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AOTC EP 44 - Why the Banking Industry Needs Digital Transformation (And How Gerent Can Help)

In the face of changing customer expectations, rapidly evolving technology, and shifting compliance and regulatory standards, there’s no escaping the fact that the banking industry needs to embrace digital transformation. And with the rise of Fintech disruptors threatening to steal away unhappy customers, banks need to make the transition to digital solutions sooner than later. But while it’s easy to talk about the need for digital transformation in banking, making it a reality is a MUCH...


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AOTC EP 43 - Secrets to a Successful Salesforce Implementation

Businesses in virtually every industry are finding tremendous value in deploying Salesforce within their organization. But with any new platform, software, or toolset, comes one major question for managers and team leaders: “How do I get my team to actually USE it?” An effective implementation can be the difference between a widely adopted solution and one that goes largely unused and eventually gets quietly shuffled off. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we take a deep dive into Salesforce implementation, from planning to training to deployment, and look at how managers and directors can ensure a successful digital transformation from the ground up. Key Ideas 01:56 - What should team leaders have ready on “Day Zero” of a Salesforce implementation 05:08 - How the digital transformation process is different for experienced businesses vs. those adopting a digital solution for the first time 11:13 - How managers can ensure a successful deployment with real, meaningful adoption 14:47 - The value in approaching implementation in “bite-size chunks” 17:35 - Managing the learning curve of a new solution while balancing a team’s day-to-day responsibilities 24:08 - Potential stumbling blocks during an implementation and how to avoid them Guest Bio Ravi Muntha Gerent’s Senior Vice President of Delivery Ravi brings over 25 years of towering experience in cloud-enabled enterprise transformations to his current role at Gerent, including 16 years at IBM, and over 8 years at Oracle consulting. He specializes in orchestrating highly productive and cost-effective delivery models by combining organizational design, financial transformation, and process improvement with leading-edge technology, both in the CRM and ERP space.


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AOTC EP 42 - Top-Down Transformation - How Team Leaders Can Operationalize Big Change

In theory, embracing digital transformation is one of the biggest steps a business can take to differentiate itself and adapt to a rapidly changing world. But in practice, digital transformation can often be a daunting proposition; one that requires leaders to rework processes, get team members in alignment, and bring in new technologies that, without careful management, might not be adequately adopted long-term. That’s where effective team leadership comes in. On this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we take a look at how managers and directors can lead the charge, align their teams on goals, processes, and the benefits of digitalization, and drive real, boots-on-the-ground change. Key Ideas 01:57: The starting point for teams looking to kickstart the digital transformation process 04:57: Key areas managers should focus on while guiding teams through digital transformation 08:26: When does technology enter the digital transformation equation? 10:49: Important criteria for teams to keep in mind as they get ready to adopt a new technology 12:44: The question of scale – how SMBs and enterprises approach transformation differently 16:09: How to identify a project champion, and how to bring them onboard to a project 20:47: Common stumbling blocks in digital transformation and how leaders can overcome them 25:19: Closing thoughts for managers considering digital transformation Guest Bio Anandhi Narayanan Gerent’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Transformation in Manufacturing Anandhi brings over 17 years of experience in manufacturing, not just with technology, but with the people and processes that can lead to meaningful change. During her tenure in IT, she led digital transformations across finance, supply chain, operations and sales operations. For the past 4 years as a consultant, she has been leading cross cloud implementations, driving strategy and thought leadership for supply chain organizations in the Salesforce ecosystem.


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AOTC EP 41 - MuleSoft – Pulling Data From Any Source and Making It Accessible To All

Companies, organizations, and industries are waking up to the critical value and importance of data. It drives everything today. But data comes from different sources which means that companies have to find a way to bring it all together. That’s what breaking down silos is about. However, data comes in different forms which can create roadblocks to bringing the data together in one “place”. Enter MuleSoft. In this edition of Ahead of the Curve, we discover the capabilities of this powerful platform from Salesforce and the roles it’s playing across numerous industries, through the eyes of Hari Shankar, MuleSoft’s Principal Client Solutions Engineer. Guest Bio In addition to his current role with Salesforce, Hari has held senior posts with Snaplogic, CA Technologies and IBM. He also holds an MBa from the University of North Carolina, an MSc from the University of Texas and a B.Eng from India. Key Ideas 03:18 – The roadblocks and issues that make data integration challenging for companies 06:11 – The power that comes to supply chains when data is visible to all suppliers in real time 11:09 – How MuleSoft is impacting Human Resource Information Systems in a major way 15:36 – Healthcare is screaming out for data integration. MuleSoft is there with the solution


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AOTC EP 40 - Gerent Digital – A Full-Service Digital Customer Experience Agency

It’s surprising to find a digital agency these days that was founded before the word ‘digital’ was in anyone’s vocabulary. Gerent Experience (formerly Gerent Digital) is just such an agency. The principals – Mike Simon and Gordon Forsyth – began their agency work 20 years ago. Not surprisingly, their company has evolved as technology has evolved to the point where, today, Mike and Gordon along with their 50 employees can offer Gerent customers a full-service agency built around customer DX. Gerent Experience is literally an all-inclusive digital agency with a single focus: provide blue-chip customer DX strategies, solutions, and products. In this episode, an interview with Mike Simon and Gordon Forsyth on the genesis of their agency and how it has evolved over the last two decades to maximize technology and push the boundaries of agency work. Key Ideas: 04:07 – Mike Simon on what digital agency work was like 20 years ago… 05:56 – …and what Gerent Experience does today with Salesforce products at the core 08:28 – Gordon Forsyth discusses how customer data now drives everything they do 12:25 – Gerent Experience’s unique selling proposition 16:53 – 3 case studies that illustrate Gerent Experience’s work for clients Episode Guests: ‍ Mike Simon Partner and Principal Consultant, Gerent Experience & DefinedLogic Mike Simon is a business and IT practice leader with over 35 years of experience in business and IT transformation, process excellence, managed business, and IT services. He previously served as the CIO of a global logistics firm and as the Global Solution Executive for IBM IT Outsourcing. In his current role as a partner and principal consultant, he strives to help clients realize the value of their digital investments through brand development, creative design, customer experience design, engineering, and analytics. Gordon Forsyth Senior Practice Lead, Gerent Experience With two and a half decades of experience in the digital marketing sector, Gordon is a seasoned marketing leader and strategist. In his current role as Senior Practice Lead, Gordon brings expertise in digital business strategy, product management, digital marketing, content management and analytics, with implementation experience across the Salesforce platform.


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AOTC EP 39 - CPQ: Streamline the Process of Configuring, Pricing and Quoting

Sales teams have been churning out customer quotes for as long as there have been salespeople in the field. Before the advent of quoting software, prices and quotes were generated manually on spreadsheets. As virtually all companies across all industries have come to realize, spreadsheets are slow, cumbersome, and prone to human error. In fact, the more complex the quote, the more the odds rise of errors creeping in to disrupt the selling process. And if a customer wants a quote immediately, well, forget it, it’ll take a few days. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we’ll hear from Gerent solution architect Lisa French on why Salesforce CPQ has been an absolute game-changer for sales teams around the world, allowing instant, accurate, and even complex quotes in the field while the sales rep is across from the customer. Guest Bio Lisa French openly admits to being a geek. She “speaks” a number of different computer languages, programs with them fluently and is one of Gerent’s top solution architects. Lisa specializes in Pardot and CPQ and is Salesforce-certified on both. She has nearly 20 years’ experience with Salesforce technology and programming, all of which she brings to Gerent every day. Key Ideas 01:57 – Why CPQ is a game changer for sales teams 04:08 – How CPQ allows sales teams to create complex quotes and pricing engines 06:28 – What happens when you can integrate CPQ with an ERP 10:43 – CPQ comes in two versions: Industries CPQ and Salesforce CPQ 13:11 – Is CPQ a user-friendly solution? 14:54 – Two case studies that prove CPQ’s worth


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AOTC EP 38 - Pardot: How It Generates Quality Leads For Marketing And Sales Teams

There is plenty of technology available for marketing teams that can help generate leads. But when you begin to examine which technology generates quality leads, scored on their likely convertibility, and powered by AI, the choices narrow down dramatically. Pardot is one such technology that is a standout, head and shoulders above the others. Pardot is no Marketing Cloud, which is the pinnacle in marketing technology for tracking the customer journey but it’s not trying to be. Pardot makes it easy for marketing teams to provide strong, convertible leads to sales teams. And by “easy”, we mean easy to use, easy to implement and easy to determine quality leads. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we dig into Pardot with Gerent’s top Pardot implementation specialist, Lisa French, and discover why Pardot makes so much sense from a cost, UX, and results basis. Guest Bio Lisa French openly admits to being a geek. She “speaks” a number of different computer languages, programs with them fluently and is one of Gerent’s top solution architects. Lisa specializes in Pardot and CPQ and is Salesforce-certified on both. She has nearly 20 years’ experience with Salesforce technology and programing, all of which she brings to Gerent every day. Key Ideas 00:19 – What it is that makes Pardot such a productive tool 04:45 – Pardot is of benefit for both B2B and B2C marketers 05:58 – This is how Pardot separates itself from Marketing Cloud 09:50 – Pardot with Einstein AI tracks behavior scoring, lead scoring and generates campaign insights 15:16 – Case studies that prove Pardot’s worth


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AOTC EP 37 - Marketing Cloud: Powerful But Complex. How Gerent’s Implementation Approach Works Best

There is likely no more all-encompassing and muscular marketing tool available to marketers than Marketing Cloud from Salesforce. More than a dozen fully integrated applications reside under the Marketing Cloud umbrella. Taken together, the combination can deliver expansive yet precise marketing campaigns, driven by AI and automation. But it takes a substantial learning curve in order to fully grasp its capabilities. That’s why Gerent takes a unique approach to designing implementations. In this episode, you’ll hear Gerent’s solution architect and Marketing Cloud specialist, Ryan Clayton explain Gerent’s approach and why it works so well for clients. Guest Bio Ryan Clayton has been with Gerent for several years. He currently focuses on Marketing Cloud but his implementations, too numerous to count, have seen him working as a cloud architect, technical architect, and a senior developer success agent at Salesforce specializing in Marketing Cloud. He brings all that experience to bear for Gerent’s clients on a daily basis. Key Ideas 02:03 – What separates Marketing Cloud from Salesforce CRM? 03:46 – How Ryan helps clients tackle the complexities of Marketing Cloud 4:56 – The starting point: the four key components that work for most clients 12:02 – Why the Gerent approach of “crawl, walk, run” makes so much sense with Marketing Cloud 12:59 – The proof that Gerent’s approach works: three case studies


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AOTC EP 36 - Salesforce Commerce Cloud: One-Stop Shopping For Both B2B and B2C Companies

In 2020, consumers spent 375 billion dollars in the U.S. shopping online – give or take a few million. Much of that was driven by the pandemic and major online companies like Amazon and one or two others absolutely killed it. Because of the pandemic, more and more brick and mortar retailers were forced to the online marketplace – with great results. Today, ecommerce is so routine that the vast majority of consumers use it every day. There is now a shift into the business realm as companies are beginning to see how they can benefit from an online marketplace for their customers: distributors, wholesalers, and suppliers and how companies can find new outlets for their products or services in untapped markets around the world. In this episode, we’re going to look at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, a powerful product that has been designed to allow B2B as well as B2C commerce on the same platform and what’s involved in implementing it. Guest Bio Liam Huston wears two hats – as Gerent’s Practice Lead for Commerce Cloud and as a Solution Architect. Liam’s experience with online commerce stretches back more than 20 years. He has been a CTO, CEO, and company founder in the ecommerce field. He was a Demandware developer for Guthy-Renker, the global direct marketing giant and has also created the means for ecommerce platforms to integrate with beacons to create an enriched proximity-based consumer experience – what we now refer to as geo-fencing. Key Ideas 01:39 – Reasons why B2B companies benefit enormously from an online commerce presence 04:10 – What do businesses need to consider if they want to move to a B2B platform of operation? 06:43 – Why Salesforce Commerce Cloud eliminates the need for two different platforms: one for B2B and one for B2C 09:19 – The strengths that Salesforce Commerce Cloud brings to the table to drive revenues higher 17:35 – How an experienced implementation partner like Gerent can help guide and shape the client’s solution for optimal results


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AOTC EP 35 - Working With Salesforce Marketing Cloud – A Solution Architect’s Point Of View

In this episode, we’ll talk to one of Gerent’s solution architects to learn how he works with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, adapting it to create implementations that give our customers the solutions they’re looking for and, often, more than they’re looking for. Potential Salesforce customers will also gain a greater appreciation of why it’s so important to choose an experienced implementation partner – one that will take the time to fully understand how a client’s business works, be able to then envision a solution, and, finally, design and implement that solution so that the client’s goals are met. At the same time, getting the goods from a solution architect is one of the best ways to understand how flexible, adaptable, and “friendly” Salesforce products can be when married with legacy technology. Guest Bio Ryan Clayton has been with Gerent for several years. He currently focuses on Marketing Cloud but his implementations, too numerous to count, have seen him working as a cloud architect, technical architect, and a senior developer success agent at Salesforce specializing in Marketing Cloud. He brings all that experience to bear for Gerent’s clients on a daily basis. Key Ideas 01:24 – Why Gerent carefully chooses only those components of Marketing Cloud that will best serve the client 03:03 – Salesforce Marketing Cloud products are stand-alone. So how does the architect ensure they will work with existing technology? 05:08 – The strategies that can be used to meet client objectives while staying within the client’s budget 06:24 – Why CTOs don’t need to worry about Marketing Cloud failing to integrate with legacy software systems 07:28 – Migrating data is a big undertaking. Should ALL data be migrated to Marketing Cloud? Ryan has a strategy for that


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AOTC EP 34 - How Digital and Lean Combined Can Help Manufacturers Respond Fast To Changes In Demand

By the time digital technology ushered in Industry 4.0 at the start of the century, lean thinking was a highly mature and proven approach. But history has taught us over and over that when something new and game-changing meets the tried-and-true, there will be conflict. For proponents of lean methodologies, the arrival of digital technology was oftentimes dismissed as perhaps trendy, a flash-in-the-pan, a shortcut that wouldn’t work in the long run. And for the proponents of digital, lean was looked at as old-fashioned and way beyond its sell-by date. It was time to shuffle off to the old folks’ home. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, two highly experienced people, each a master of his own discipline, argue if and how digital technology and lean methodology can work together and what the combination could produce. Guest Bios Michael Bremer is a sought-after speaker and consultant and a best-selling author of four books on continuous improvement. He has worked at such companies as Boeing, Beatrice Foods and Motorola and is an active volunteer with the Association of Manufacturing Excellence. David Morley is currently Gerent’s VP of manufacturing. David has guided global manufacturing organizations in business practice improvement and has worked for such firms as Actuant Corporation, Elliott Manufacturing, Omega Pultrusions and others, growing EBITDA and sales revenues along the way. Key Ideas 0238: Question: can digital and lean can work together or not? Answer: They have to 0423: Digital meets customer needs today. Can lean practices do the same? 0519: How the benefits of lean translate into strengths for the digitalized sales team 1639: Why don’t more companies build digital investment into their business planning? 2138: Digital and lean together can help companies respond quickly to changes in demand


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AOTC EP 33 - How To Build The Best Quality-Driven Admissions Departments

Nearly 20 million American students were registered in college or university in the fall of 2020. All of them went through some sort of process to get there, meaning that the schools they applied to, guided each one through an admissions procedure. The admission process is a school’s chance to make a good first impression. After all, students represent revenue. So, the business case for having an efficient admissions department revolves around how students judge their admissions experience. Admissions departments need to take a page out of the manufacturing playbook where companies strive to make the best products possible by spending a lot of time and attention on quality: quality control and quality assurance. They evaluate their processes, pinpoint the weaknesses, and create methods to strengthen those weaknesses. Our Guests April Bollwage – April is an education veteran. She spent nearly 20 years at ELS Educational Services, an English language training organization, with 10 of those years as the Senior Director of Admissions, including university admissions services. She is now the Education Practice Lead at Gerent. Lance Johnson – Lance is the expert’s expert when it comes to quality management. He began his career in 2000 as a software quality assurance engineer for Coresoft, did a stint at Nelson Laboratories as a Quality Control Engineer before spending more than 15 years with MasterControl, finishing as the Director of Services Technology Solutions. Lance is now Gerent’s Senior Director of EQMS and EHS. Key Ideas 0224 – Why focus on Admissions issues rather than Enrollment issues? 0730 – Manufacturing uses quality principles to improve product. But admissions is not a product, so can quality principles be at all useful? 0950 – Are admissions issues the age-old problem of data silos plugging up processes? Yes! 2135 – ELS learned about their own data silos and compromised processes through the guidance of an objective outside agency 2308 – ELS now uses Salesforce technology in their Admissions department. Why Salesforce?


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AOTC EP 30 - Insurance Carriers: Here’s How To Successfully Implement A Digital Roadmap

What does customer service mean today? It means being proactive and reaching out to the customer. It means making it easy for the customer to do business with you. The insurance industry has not been a leader in adopting this kind of customer outreach platform. In fact, the industry has been a laggard. But that’s changing quickly, as more insurance-specific digital platforms become available and technology solutions providers guide insurance carriers along their digital pathway. In this episode, we examine both the theory and the application of a digital roadmap for insurance carriers so they can put their customers first. Our guests include Donn Vucovich, Gerent’s Insurance practice lead and Robert Rudy, an industry veteran with hands-on experience in digital implementation and founder of Paradox Advisors, a company that offers technology guidance to the insurance industry. Our Guests Donn Vucovich – Donn is Gerent’s Insurance Practice Lead, taking the message of digital transformation to the insurance industry. Donn has held senior management positions for more than 30 years in insurance, designing and guiding implementations to streamline operations within numerous insurance companies. Robert Rudy – Robert is the founder of Paradox Advisors, offering technology know-how and guidance for insurance firms. He has years of experience in creating new revenue streams by developing innovative products, services, and capabilities to grow customer and distribution channel relationships. Key Ideas 0220 – Digital Roadmap defined in simple terms 0603 – Why new insurance products are necessary for a digitalized insurer and for the customer 0934 – How one company set out alone on a digital roadmap…and got lost 1857 – The first benchmark of success on the roadmap: bringing in outside expertise


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AOTC EP 32 - Health Cloud Builds A New Patient Experience

Many industries have benefited from the rapidly growing movement to digitalize over the past half dozen years or so. Wherever you look, there is an ever increasing level of IT and operational technology at work behind the scenes, putting mountains of data to use. So, it may seem odd to realize that the healthcare industry, which has perhaps more potential data than any other industry, has not yet fully grasped how to gather it and how to put it to its best use. That has resulted in fragmented healthcare where the patient has no clear idea of their road to health and the system has no clear idea of the patient. In this episode, we examine how Health Cloud from Salesforce is bringing badly needed change to healthcare by gathering, analyzing, and leveraging health data from Electronic Health Records and many other sources in order that medical practitioners can create a complete picture of a patient and develop the optimal treatment and care plan. Guest Bio Dr. Jose Quesada – Dr. Quesada is a trained physician who has focused his career on healthcare administration in many areas, from Chief Medical Officer for Bupa Global and Cigna, to the Director of Finance and Operations at the University of Miami Health Care System. He is currently the Vice President of Global Healthcare at Salesforce. Key Ideas 02:02 – The healthcare industry has yet to adopt CRM technology but COVID has shown the need for digitalization 04:42 – Patients aren’t really patients; they’re CONSUMERS of healthcare and must be treated like consumers since they are the ones paying for the care 06:41 – Patient data is siloed with little to no interoperability which leads to redundancies in care or, worse, gaps in treatment plans. 11:39 – Would patient data be exposed to hacking in a platform like Health Cloud? No, says Dr. Quesada 16:34 – How Health Cloud helps the elderly and those with chronic care issues to remain in their own homes longer


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AOTC EP 27 - A Story Of Survival In The Travel Industry

On March 15th, 2020 – the Ides of March – the management team at Florida Tours.com, a large transportation company in Miami, began to shut down its operations in the early days of the global pandemic. Florida Tours plays a large role shuttling passengers and crew members from airports to cruise ships but when the ships stopped sailing, Florida Tours’ buses stopped as well. But, in the true spirit of entrepreneurship, the team buckled down, went into survival mode, and rode out the storm. Florida Tours’ story is a story of survival in the face of steep odds. We’d love to tell you that their survival was driven by CRM technology but it wasn’t. In fact, they didn’t have any such digital tools. However, both the CEO and the head of business development now realize how much a CRM system could have assisted in making their recovery even stronger and faster. In this episode, the CEO and head of business development tell the story of what they did to survive and how they could have done it so much more easily with a CRM system in place. Theirs is as much a cautionary tale as a success story. Guest Bios Crane Gladding - Crane has extensive experience in the cruise industry through years spent with Norwegian Cruise Line where he was the Senior V.P. of Revenue Management and Passenger Services. When he left, it was to create Florida Tours.com, a bus travel company that would work closely with cruise operators and others needing large capacity transportation vehicles. Aaron Florence – Aaron heads up business development at Florida Tours.com. He has spent 20 years in travel, at senior sales levels of travel and tour companies, including US Airtours, the cruise industry and now at Florida Tours.com where he’s responsible for generating new business and retaining existing customers. Key Ideas 02:03 – Aaron Florence describes the beginning of the long struggle to survive 06:16 – The survival plan and how it came about 13:01 – Implementing the plan was awkward. Why? No CRM technology 18:01 – – How a CRM would have accelerated Florida Tour’s survival


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AOTC EP 29 - Why Educational Companies Must Deliver On Their Brand Promise And How They Can Do It

In a world where the customer is more important than ever and competition is greater than ever, a company’s brand promise is everything. It goes to reputation, customer retention, product value and, ultimately, corporate growth. So, if that brand promise is broken in any way, a company could be in peril. After all, they are offering a product and a service and they’re promising satisfaction at the end of the day. Perhaps nowhere else will a customer turn away faster than from a company offering training or education that fails to measure up. That customer will never return and will likely let a whole lot of other people know about it, too, via something called…social media. In this episode, we’ll examine the brand promise in education through the thoughts and words of two experts in the education field. Episode Highlights Include: 02:12 – What is a ‘brand promise’ in education? Think ‘people, process, and product’ 04:23 – How that brand promise is relying on CRM, CMS, and other digital tools 11:04 – First impressions are lasting. So they’d better be good 13:42 – Why ELS uses Salesforce to help deliver on its brand promise 21:27 – Exactly what and how digital technology is being deployed in educational companies Episode Guests: Mackenzie Kerby Director of Global Higher Education Recruitment at ELS, a large English language training organization, and a member of the board of English USA, an organization dedicated to supporting quality English language programs in the US. Mackenzie holds a Master’s degree in English linguistics. Gordon Forsyth Senior Practice Lead in Digital Experience Innovation with Gerent Experience (formerly Gerent Digital), Gerent’s digital marketing arm and someone who has worked extensively on digital solutions for education and training organizations. He is the founding partner of a global marketing and branding agency in New York City.


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AOTC EP 31 - The Silver Tsunami: Manufacturing Is At A Labor Crossroads

The manufacturing industry in the US is in the midst of a silver tsunami: aging workers who are retiring at the rate of 10 thousand a DAY, a rate projected to continue until 2030. The industry employs nearly 9 percent of the American workforce, so such a loss of talent, knowledge and experience will have a severe impact on the economy unless something is done. Raising wages in the short term may help but it can trigger its own negative consequences like inflation. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we’ll examine the impact and cost of a retiring workforce and some possible solutions that will help sustain overall economic growth. Some of the solutions can be implemented quickly, but others will take years to bear fruit. Our guests include David Morley, Gerent’s VP of Manufacturing Practice and Charlie Commisso, VP of Human Resources for Niacet Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture of specialty chemicals. Key Ideas 2:31 – The silver tsunami is quickly becoming the biggest problem in manufacturing today 6:39 – Skilled manufacturing roles will be hit the hardest by retiring workers 09:28 – To attract new workers, manufacturers must fight the bias that a manufacturing job is a lousy job 13:47 – A real-life story that demonstrates how education and manufacturing can solve the issue of finding and keeping new workers 16:33 – It’s imperative to create roles that young employees will embrace and grow with


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AOTC EP 24 - How Technology Powers The Hotel Industry Back To Health

The hotel and lodging industry suffered enormously last year as a result of the pandemic. For the first time ever, over a billion room nights went unsold. Revenue per available room was just 48% and the industry barely turned a profit. For all intents and purposes, hotels were just as badly off as the financially crushed cruise lines. But whereas cruise ships spent all of 2020 in port, where many are still stuck, the hotel industry in the US began to recover in the summer of 2020 as Covid restrictions eased – prematurely, as it turned out – in state after state and people jumped at the chance to get away. In this episode, Ketta Riley, Gerent’s Senior VP of Travel and Hospitality Practice, joins us to provide her take on the hotel industry and what the future might look like. We’ll also talk with Michael Blake, Chief Technology Officer for the American Hotel and Lodging Association on the value of and the role that technology plays in the hotel industry today. Key Ideas 04:52 – How the vaccination program has aided the hotel industry 08:24 – Can small hotels afford to take advantage of available technology or is it too expensive 09:51 – How Salesforce solutions can play a role in restoring health to the hotel industry 11:38 – The biggest challenge for hotels right now? Bringing back the business traveler 18:17 – DeepQuest: Gerent-designed expressly for small hotels to compete with global chains Ketta Riley is Gerent’s Senior V.P. of Travel and Hospitality Practice with more than 30 years of travel and cruise-related experience at the C-suite level in IT. Michael Blake is the CTO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and someone with 20 years in the hotel industry in the United States in various senior roles that include a number of global hotel chains.