By Paolo Del Nibletto

As the as-a-service model continues to be accepted through mainstream business, the next challenge becomes performance on a day-in, day-out basis.

Toronto-based hybrid aggregate service provider Jolera Inc. is bringing to light the importance of performance to the as-a-service world. The company produced a one-of-a-kind event called Jolera Ferrari world, in partnership with Ferrari of Ontario, to highlight the need for business to evolve into performance-driven organizations.

Ferrari has been producing high-performance sports cars since 1947 but traces its roots of innovation back to 1929 when company founder Enzo Ferrari designed and built the first race car. Since that time, Ferrari has captured an unprecedented 16 Formula 1 titles and developed legendary supercars such as the California, the Dino, the F50, the 250 GTO, the Berlinetta and the Testa Rossa. “Ferrari is one organization that has transcended time and modelled itself to be a performance-driven company. Jolera is taking the same journey and continuously strives to be a performance-driven organization,” said Jolera CEO Alex Shan.

The event took place at the Ferrari of Ontario dealership in downtown Toronto. Some of the top leaders of the Canadian IT industry such as Mary Ann Yule, president of HP Canada, Bill Brandel, president of Ingram Micro Canada, Phil Palmieri, CEO of the MicroAge Network, Ed Rodriguez, the GM of Citrix Canada and Bryan Rutledge, the president of McAfee Canada among other notables were in attendance. All the executives were given an opportunity to test drive one of the latest Ferrari sports cars as well as mix with a host of other mainstream business leaders such as Andrew McLeod, the CEO of Postmedia Group, Alexis DeCalonne of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, and former World Boxing Champion Lennox Lewis.

The attendees were then treated to an exclusive dinner engagement at the Estia restaurant, which featured special cognac tasting sessions hosted by DeCalonne. The highlight of this was the Hennessy Paradis Imperial cognac, which is made up of a blend of rare 19th- and 20th-century cognacs that was once served to Tsar Alexander I in 1818.

The second annual Jolera event focused on how brand, innovation, speed and quality can propel a company to be a high performance-driven organization.

BRAND

Joseph Khunaysir, the president of CTO of Jolera, performed the main presentation at the event pinpointing to the group all the aspects of a performance-driven organization. “We’re not just talking about your ability to hit targets and sales goals. We are talking about the pillars that emanate inside your organization’s DNA.  Pillars like brand, passion, power, excellence, speed and craftsmanship. When you look at Ferrari as a brand; Ferrari is not just a fancy sports car. When you mention Ferrari to anyone, it has a greater meaning to it and expectation along with it,” Khunaysir said.

Postmedia’s McLeod echoed Khunaysir’s comments by saying how Jolera and his company worked collaboratively to build a marketplace position and brand for Jolera.

“First its all about wireframing who Jolera is and wants to be. Then we develop collaborative strategies and timelines for sending those messages. Each month and quarter there is a mixed campaign of digital and print that get sent out.  We then do reviews of the impact of each campaign and learn/tweak the next ones. It’s a journey for any company and slowly we work on the imprinting of their brand into our minds,” McLeod said.

INNOVATION

One of the things that makes Ferrari an exciting brand and product is the supercar’s ability to turn on a dime. Khunaysir added that this is a key characteristic of a performance-based organization; the ability to innovate and change.

“Ferrari understands this and is having to introduce and innovate its fleet of cars to compete with ever-changing emission laws and customer demands.  An example of this recent innovation is the concept of hybrid drive, which is the electrical drive of a vehicle without the use of gasoline, whoever thought a Ferrari could do that?”

With Jolera, the company’s innovative pillars take on a similar form to Ferrari such as monthly subscription pricing, can be sold through the channel, are multi-customer capable, provide value statements through reporting and have full elasticity to scale up and down.  

An example of this is how Jolera met the challenges on WIFI and brought to market a new level of innovation in the Secure-IT WIFI solution in partnership with another innovative organization Cisco Systems Inc. 

“This takes a CAPEX challenge, a growth challenge, and marries it to a security challenge,” Khunaysir said.

SPEED

One thing Ferrari is best known for is speed. In 1964 the Ferrari 250 GTO (originally built in 1962) reached a top speed of 158 mph (254km/h) and became the world’s fastest production car.

Speed to market is another factor of a performance-driven organization. Chris Black, the new Chief Revenue Officer of Jolera, took the stage to say Ferrari may be all about speed, but as a manufacturer, the company has set a new pace for delivery of these incredible machines.

“The average build time of a Ferrari used to take up to one full month to complete. In today’s new economy that process has changed to about a week. A dramatic evolution considering certain elements are still hand-built,” he said.

Jolera has mirrored the Ferrari delivery approach by making significant strides to ensure that speed to market, speed to solution and speed to delivery are a persistent driving factor in value proposition to channel partners.  

MicroAge’s Palmieri said the way Jolera meets “need for speed” expectations are by creating sales through velocity.  MicroAge developed its offerings through velocity SKUs in collaboration with Jolera.

Ferrari delivers a unique experience to customers with each car being designed to the user’s specification. Black said that Ferrari realized by creating a made-to-measure experience would enable the carmaker to cater to many different tastes, while also making a lot of people’s dreams come true.

“Are you able to offer a customizable, unique, buying experience to your end customer? How are you giving them the power of choice, the flexibility of options and a way to ensure that what they are buying is exactly what they are demanding? Being able to fulfill this need is another important quality in a performance-driven organization,” Black said.

Jolera also realizes that one size does not fit all and have developed SKU-based offerings that can be customized to meet customer demand. Some of those customizations include unique reporting, different security levels or even different speeds of data storage for private cloud hosting. 

QUALITY

A customer expects quality when paying a high six-figure value for a Ferrari automobile. As a performance-driven manufacturer, Ferrari is synonymous with precision, superior materials and dominant elegance, said Jolera COO Manish Govindaraj.

At Jolera, the operations team that Govindaraj leads has produced a solid track record of responsiveness and consistent delivery that leaves an indelible impression on customers and channel partners. To continue on this constant improvement track, Jolera has invested in the latest artificial intelligence technology.

“As a services organization, Jolera had a problem to solve. We only found out about poor quality execution after it happened, giving us no opportunity to recover, and only the opportunity to fix going forward. Surveys yield a very small response rate, and while that is directional and important, it is not an absolute view of overall customer sentiment,” Govindaraj said.

Jolera began a quest to gain better customer visibility in real-time. By partnering with Summatti, a Waterloo, Ont.-based AI sentiment analysis developer, Jolera has been empowered with IBM Watson technology to analyze all calls and tickets with natural language processing.

According to Govindaraj, this new tool can help the Jolera staff intervene and rectify any problems early and avoid any type of serious escalation.

Khunaysir summed up the Jolera Ferrari World event by offering questions for striving to be a top performance-based organization.

  • What key factors drive your company’s success and the need of your customers to remain close and loyal to you?
  • What are you doing to increase purchasing power? 
  • How are you differentiating your offerings, and how are you offering a unique and outstanding experience to your consumers?