Introduction by Doug Green publisher of TelecomReseller:
Based upon the TelecomReseller Podcast
Steven Karachinsky, Stack8’s CEO, thinks that there are ways to manage your enterprises Cisco resources to gain more productivity and to trim costs. Stack8 offers an extensive line of managed services, professional services and software solutions for Cisco Unified Communications, including Stack8’s portfolio of UC Managed Services.
Stack8’s approach includes proactive support for an enterprise’s entire UC infrastructure and its integrated applications.
Stack8 Technologies views itself as “a new breed of Cisco Solutions Partner.” The company’s founding partners wanted to create a business that would customize services to the needs of each customer. The company’s name reflects the idea of people, the people of Stack8, being the 8th layer of the OSI stack.
In this two-part article, Doug Green publisher of TelecomReseller and Steven Karachinsky the CEO of Stack8 discuss the companies role in providing customized unified communication managed services for their Cisco customers.
DG: Steven thank you for joining me today
SK: My pleasure thanks for having me
DG: So, first of all, tell us a little about Stack8?
SK: Stack8 is pure play services organization. We consider ourselves a different type of Cisco partner, in fact, a new breed of Cisco partner, as we are focused exclusively on Cisco Unified Communications and Networking. That’s all we do, which is very different from the traditional service providers, integrators and VARS out there.
We are 100% focused on services. We offer a problem-solving approach through software automation, in fact, we do not sell any hardware. Our teams are always striving to do things better, smarter and faster. All of this to better serve our customers, to help them get better use out of the technology and to make sure they have an excellent experience with their Cisco Unified Communications.
DG: Well let’s talk a little more about it, I understand that Stack8 focuses on offering UC managed services, but in a different way than other Cisco service providers.
SK: True, we do have a unique focus with regards to UC managed services. Of course, we offer the traditional elements that are key to all good UC managed services: We have to keep the lights on for our clients, ensure their systems are up and running at peak efficiency. We offer a global reach, so no matter where in the world they are located, we have them covered 24/7. We will manage all of their UC applications, and oversee any updates and upgrades, all those good things that are necessary to make sure the system is operating properly.
Where we take it to the next level is by making sure that our customers are actually using their UC technologies efficiently and getting the most out of them. So, utilization for us is a critical factor.
Our clients have invested a lot of time and money in a UC solution. Our goal is to make sure that these systems are being used effectively by their teams. For example, with regards to the Cisco Jabber application, how many people are logging into it on a regular basis? If it is 30%, why? Is it too difficult? Do they need more training or do they require more awareness?
Our focus on utilization helps customers get the biggest ROI from the applications; it also helps to make sure that they are using these valuable tools to be more productive, offers better communications, and interact better with their customers and suppliers. The right utilization will help a client be able to take advantage of the whole UC experience.
For Stack8, it’s much more about using technology efficiently and getting the most out of it, as opposed to keeping the lights on type of approach.
DG: So it’s a lot more about maximizing the products that people have and so on. What about Spark?
SK: Spark is a terrific platform, there are a lot of exceptional opportunities for companies to improve processes through automation by using Spark. Unfortunately, today people look at Spark as a chat platform, but it is so much more powerful.
We are using Spark internally at Stack8, and it has been terrific. When we meet with customers and analyze the challenges, they are having. We use Spark to help us automate some processes and then to integrate them into our customer's environment. It makes a huge difference.
DG: In addition to maximizing resources how do you help your customers save money?
SK: We help our clients save money by analyzing all of the different activities being done, reviewing what is working and seeing if we can eliminate any through automation.
I will give you an example of where we do this very well: Changes to users have to be done all of the time, whether it’s adding users, deleting users, adding functionalities, you name it. Unfortunately for some of our clients, these moves, adds, and changes are being assigned level 2 and sometimes level 3 engineers. By doing this, you are taking key team members away from more strategic tasks.
To help our clients with this particular challenge, we designed SMACS which is our Stack8 Moves, Adds, and Changes solution. SMACS enables helpdesk staff to make multiple user provisioning changes within the system in a safe and secure way, even if they have little experience with Cisco.
Because the person required to do user provisioning can be moved from engineers to the helpdesk, and you can also now perform any moves, adds or changes in less than a minute versus over 15 manually. Customers can reduce costs dramatically for a MAC from over $50 to only a couple of dollars.
As a team, we are always looking at what our customers are going through on the operational side and see where we can help them reduce business costs. For us, it is not about resource replacement it is really about getting into the source of the problem and fixing it in the right way.
To read part two, please visit
The team at Stack8 are experts in Unified Communications managed services. For more information on Stack8 UC Managed Services, please visit
Download the E-book "Make Unified Communications Strategic for your Business Success" Learn what is involved in selecting a Unified Communications Managed Services Provider, what to look for, and what to avoid.
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