Hallo, yes, I’m Dutch, not a typo!  It’s been a while since I have posted literally anything of my own accord so I’d like to start this, my first personal blog since 2002, with a simple greeting.  This is definitely something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now in an effort to offer non-biased analysis and comment via a forum that is entirely my own production and would have published this earlier, but due to a very chaotic 2011, it was not possible.

Regardless, I’m quite grateful for the experience 2011 brought me, however unpleasant it was at times.  With having to make some very difficult financial decisions, removing myself from my startup company’s payroll to help the organization develop a new version of products that our hundreds of pilot customers were begging for in a goal to transition those customers into production sales, to a very unfortunate year of health issues spending 8 months in and out of hospitals, specialists offices, medical centers, and lab facilities, with dozens of tests, procedures, cultures, and surgeries, 2011 presented many issues where I had to take some time away from what I love the most, writing and speaking.

I also lost a mentor and fierce friend in my grandfather, George Rankin Schurman (the original Joe), who passed this November.  Joe was an icon in the energy industry and offered a lot of advice and counsel to me and many others including his investments into my start-up company, Evangelyze Communications.

Although through much difficulty and sorrow, happiness also came with my wife giving birth to our new baby boy, Hudson Pace.  He’s been a blessing to us and has brought us much joy, especially dealing with the health situation.  It’s amazing what a smile from someone so little can do!

Fortunately, 2012 has started out quite well.  Today, for the first time in 2 years, I will be able to visit with specialists at the Baylor Medical Center here in Houston, the best in the country, to finally go over options that I have for a full recovery!  For any of you following me on Facebook this year, you know how profound that actually is.  Secondly, I was recently elected Vice Chairman for CompTIA to assist in the leadership of both Cloud and Unified Communications communities, which has been an organization I spoke for throughout 2011 in educating the UC channel on how to transform their organizations to focus on solution-based selling, creating new Cloud and UC business practices, and now assisting the pioneering team consisting of Pam Avila and Jim Hamilton with what will become the leading center for Cloud and UC information, events, and strategy for IT pros, sales professionals, and executives on a global scale, with a very cool kickoff in February at the UC3 Summit, continuing to carry the torch held graciously by Tim Byrnes!

I have also continued to connect with my friends at UC Strategies, headed by Jim Burton, to continue to offer advice, market commentary, and thought leadership to enterprise vendors and customers alike with great anticipation for the upcoming annual UC Summit in beautiful La Jolla, California this May.  Through extremely focused development, and budgeting :), my start-up, Evangelyze Communications, plans to release a next generation version of SmartChat (product name is subject to change), offering enterprise and small/medium businesses the absolute best online live chat solution for both on-premise and cloud unified communications environments, powered by Microsoft Lync Server and Microsoft Lync Online through Office 365, enabling live, presence-based Chat and Contact Center solutions through the Microsoft Lync client, with customer access from any operating system and device through a new HTML 5 interface accessible from iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows as well as CRM integration with Dynamics CRM On-premise and CRM Online, Agent/Web Visitor Co-browsing (finally), Alerts, Reports, you name it, all the bells and whistles.

Finally, I have created a new consulting offering for enterprise customers, vendors, systems integrators (SIs), and resellers, leveraging a wealth of knowledge obtained working with the largest and most complex Cloud, UC, Conferencing, Telepresence, Collaboration, UC Applications and CEBP (Communications Enabled Business Process) solutions in the industry as well as leveraging valuable strategic experience working with enterprise customers in their decisions around coexistence and future roadmap concerning communications and collaboration technologies.  My experience working with Cloud and UC product manufacturers and service providers will assist in offering strategic advice as a customer advocate to enterprise businesses in choosing a Cloud and UC platform and technology roadmap that will ensure that their end-users are offered a flexible platform of communication and collaboration, while keeping administrative costs and complex administrative tasks low.  I will also offer consulting to vendors in providing though leadership in new product and services creation with ideas and concepts for Next Generation Cloud & Communications technologies that I will outline in this blog in future postings.  Lastly, I will offer consultation to SIs (Systems Integrators) and resellers in the Cloud and UC channel in practice creation, education on solution-based selling, and how to offer similar strategic consulting services to customers in the Enterprise and SME (Small/Medium Enterprise) market.  For more information or to book time, feel free to contact me directly or my assistant, Paige Lorin at paige.lorin@evangelyze.net

I’m very excited about this and with my health back in full order, I’m ready to move forward with several enterprise organizations, vendors, and resellers booking time since December 2011.  I’ve also been grateful for the experience 2011 provided in having the opportunity to truly understand the Cloud and UC community, working with leading enterprise customers in the financial services, healthcare, media & entertainment, manufacturing, and government verticals as well as stepping outside of my comfort zone in exploring a plethora of new and existing communications and collaboration technologies as well as watching upcoming providers in the market and witnessing their success.  More on this with a 2011 in review blog post.

So that’s it for now, stay tuned for more as this blog develops further!

Dank u wel!

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