Michelle Accardi, President and CRO, explains why Star2Star’s industry-recognised communications solutions are so popular and why remote working is th...
With the new paradigm of remote working suddenly becoming a necessity for many businesses stemming from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, having a solid communications network with the latest technology has taken on global importance. It is arguable that few companies are poised to remedy the situation quite like Star2Star. Having recently enhanced their remote work solutions with extended features and capabilities, the company understands the current challenges that businesses face when transitioning to a remote environment. Star2Star’s bespoke communications solutions factor in the size, operational scope and technical requirements for businesses of various operational models and industry backgrounds.
Relatively unique in the industry, all of Star2Star’s enterprise solutions are developed in-house, meaning they are seamlessly compatible with each other and able to be scaled up or down depending on the customer’s requirement. It was this aspect of the company which attracted Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer, to join Star2Star in 2013. Having previously worked in a range of different roles at companies such as CA Technologies, Accardi states that these experiences have created her holistic approach to working at Star2Star. “I've been in all areas of the technology and communications business, whether that's development, operations, marketing or sales. I can relate to the challenges of my partners and my customers because I fully understand what they’re facing.”
This expertise also helps Accardi focus on how to direct Star2Star’s efforts in developing solutions that meet and answer a market need. When the subject of her being recognised by CRN as a Channel Chief - an endorsement of an individual’s effective management and high standing in the business community - for the sixth year consecutively is mentioned, Accardi is modest and states that she is simply happy to play a part in Star2Star’s mission. “It means a lot and to be recognised for building a business that enables other companies to be successful,” she explains. “Being recognised as a Channel Chief means that you're truly impacting a greater ecosystem of people and reaching more customers. So, I think it's quite an honour.”
The breadth of Star2Star’s expertise and the crafted integration of its platform are, for Accardi, vital. Its cloud-based business phone and communications facilities, including VoIP (voice over IP) services and its enterprise solutions platform deliver the reliability, flexibility and integrity required of a corporate communications system. Possessing a portfolio that includes solutions for voice, video, instant messaging, mobile, fax, collaboration, integration and communications management tools, Star2Star’s comprehensive solution set is designed to meet every business need.
When asked what trends she sees as important, Accardi has a simple and prescient answer: the cloud. “There are still some companies that aren’t in the cloud and that is something which will either drive transformation, or, if they don’t adapt, could result in them going out of business.” She went on to address Star2Star’s new positioning, saying, “We're changing how we talk about our platform. We previously called it a full spectrum solution because it offers end-to-end applications, but now I’m envisioning it as more of a ‘complete cloud communications’ platform.” The importance of the cloud for Star2Star cannot be overemphasised, as it is the environment from which the company’s vision of a complete integrated platform sprang; it was by leveraging the inherent potential of the cloud that the company is able to offer its scalable and seamlessly interwoven solutions.
For Accardi, it is the company’s in-house development capabilities which distinguish it from its competitors. “The technology we’ve built ourselves enables really great call quality and capabilities for a good price, whereas other companies, because they're dependent on third-party products, whether it's video or contact centre, it drives their costs up,” she states. “Because our competitors only have the ability to work with third-party products, they don't have something that's built specifically for their network to ensure call quality.” This end-to-end development forms the crux of what makes Star2Star so valuable in today’s market: it’s a company that wants to provide great value to its customers by bundling services together and scaling the product to suit their business needs. And its approach seems to be working: Star2Star has an impressive 99.4% customer retention rate amongst its thousands of clients, a sure indicator of the perceived quality of its services.
With the need for reliable communication networks growing rapidly as more workforces settle into working from home, Accardi views remote working and business continuity as paramount to the company’s vision for the rest of 2020. “Thankfully, Star2Star is a very financially healthy organisation. Our mission this year is to help other companies that are going to struggle,” she says. Identifying the assistance of other businesses and organisations is characteristic of Accardi’s approach and representative of Star2Star overall. Its flexibility, diversity and tech expertise packaged with a highly customer-oriented approach has already earned it acclaim and is sure to build a strong reputation in the North American communications sector. “We have solutions for every business, big and small,” Accardi concludes. “We believe what we offer is far better than what customers could get piecemeal or even in bundles from other competitors. We're focused on doing everything we can to help companies as they deal with the new challenges of remote working.”