Meet Jody Elkins
What do you do at Insentra?
I have overall responsibility for growing and managing the business in the Americas.
What is your background?
18 years on the client-side of the business beginning in technical roles with the last 10 years in senior IT management roles such as VP of IT and CIO. This was followed by 6 years of leading a channel partner and growing that business by 400%. Ultimately, I joined Insentra to help fill a gap in the industry that makes it challenging for partners to continually drive the value and success they desire.
What are your three biggest accomplishments?
- Surviving my college years.
- I was an integral part of driving the growth of a public company from $20M to $350M over a 5 year period.
- Understanding the importance of recognizing my weaknesses as a human being and committing to working hard to be better.
What does success look like to you? What is your finish line?
I’ve had quite a lot of what I consider success as I sometimes reflect on a 25 year career in the technology industry. I’ve always been driven to work hard to help others be successful and constantly improve myself as a person, a colleague, a partner, a leader and a husband. From a career perspective, that success has always been defined as merging all the conflicting needs of a business, my peers, staff, customers, partners, and users into a cohesive strategy that ultimately benefits all of them in both a professional and personal manner. I haven’t always successfully accomplished that but each time I’ve failed I have certainly learned a lot and been able to carry that knowledge to the next challenge. My finish line? I don’t think I have one – other than when friends and family stand around at my wake sharing stories about me. Sometimes I like to day dream about not having any responsibilities or obligations but my wife thinks I’d go crazy. I think she’s got a point.
What have you learned in the last year of establishing your business in the US that will benefit the Channel?
There is a common theme among channel partners in that most are struggling to identify the best way to add value to their clients, increase revenue, and deliver subscription based services all at the same time. They are not alone and Insentra has a meaningful way to address this challenge.
What do you want for the team that report to you? How do you inspire them to be their best?
I want my team feel fantastic about what they do and how they do it. I love them and the work they do, try to show up every day with positive energy, encourage them to be audacious and think outside the box when considering how to add more value to our partners and their clients, and I try to continually prove to them through my own actions that our values are the most important aspect of our business.
Why is Insentra an innovative company and how does the company demonstrate innovation?
We’re a blue ocean strategy organization meaning that we are constantly analyzing the industry, the Channel, and our offerings to determine new ways to add value to the Channel. The most recent example of this is being the first company globally to offer Office 365 migrations for free.
Insentra has a set of core values, which is the most important to you and why? How do you live up to these values?
I’ve thought about this quite a bit and I’m unable to separate our key values of Honesty, Integrity and Trust to identify the “most” important. They are interdependent and inseparable as far as I’m concerned. How can you have Integrity without being Honest. Without honesty and integrity how can you build Trust? Our other values of Accountability, Celebration, Efficiency, and Service Excellence are focused on the ‘how’ we run our business. From an operations perspective, I think Accountability is the most important. Without everyone in the organization being accountable to each other and owning their responsibilities and commitments to the business, peers, partners, and customers there isn’t any path to effective growth. Some businesses are able to grow quite quickly without accountability but they aren’t able to also continue to collectively operate with Honesty, Integrity and Trust.
What is the biggest challenge facing partners and why?
The industry is changing faster than it ever has before and that will only continue to accelerate. End user customers are demanding higher service levels and reduced Time to Market for new services. This is what’s driving the adoption of Cloud. But Cloud isn’t simply moving something outside the datacenter. It’s more of a state of mind that now exists among most users in that they simply expect that their internal systems are as available, as effective, as reliable, and as easily consumable as the apps they download on the smartphones. This requires partners to find ways to help their clients deliver on this expectation and that is often at odds with the traditional way a partner’s business remains profitable. The partners, therefore, must begin to transition their businesses and that often requires significant investments in people, processes, and technology. Without Insentra at their side, this is expensive, time consuming, and fraught with risk.
How do you see Insentra changing in the next two years and how do you see yourself creating that change?
I see us changing significantly from a revenue perspective as we continue to expand globally. We’ve identified a gap in the industry and, more importantly, figured out how to address that gap in a meaningful way for partners. For our existing partners around the world, this has fundamentally changed the way they think about their own businesses and how they approach delivering real value to their customers. The result is that our partner’s clients are able to get more of what they want out of their partners- value add that allows them to be a more responsive and effective provider to their users. As for my part, I’m strapped in with my seat belt tight and doing what I can to attract the right people, the right partners, and the right solutions to allow us to achieve our vision of being the largest 100% Channel only services company on the planet.
If you were to ‘pitch’ the value of Insentra, how would you do it? What would you say?
I like to talk about our value to a partner in a very simple manner by asking some key questions below. This isn’t a marketing shtick… it’s what we do.
What if I told you that you could accomplish any or all of the following by partnering with Insentra:
- You could take managed services to your customers with no investment?
- You could easily provide quality 24/7 support without impacting your team?
- You could know your customers compelling events for more purchases often before they do?
- You could build a recurring revenue stream at 20 points or better?
- You could achieve all of this without ANY investment?
What is one word that describes you the best?
Optimistically Transparent. I know, I cheated- that’s actually two words. But I think it describes me most accurately. I’m an extremely optimistic person in general- I always believe there is a way to ensure things work out favorably in any situation. And I’m transparent, sometimes to a fault I’m told. I believe that most people also want things to work out favorably in any situation but when you’re not in 100% control of the situation (is there anything that one person is in complete control of?) defining the common goal among all parties is the most critical first step. I don’t like playing games so I’m quite open about what I see as the reality of the situation and what I think we need to accomplish. I do this because I believe we can get there and get there faster… optimistically transparent.
Tell us a funny joke?
Horse walks into a bar. Bartender says “Why the long face?”