ABX Swim Lanes


For the past 20 years, I have relied on Joe Kreuz for his uncanny knack of recognizing business talent, especially in WNY.  So, by his recommendation, I was recently on LinkedIn reading the profile of Erin O’Brien, Assistant Dean, Director of Graduate Programs at University at Buffalo School of Management, and I was enjoying her adroit ‘business speak’ as she detailed her career history.  She articulated her job chronicle in a vernacular that could serve as a building block for any corporate novitiate.  There were a couple of her job descriptions that I thought would play well in our c1 world, so I borrowed freely [I hope she sees that as a compliment].

Here’s what I came up with this afternoon [as I set out to further describe our nascent Advantage Business Exchange]:

The Advantage Business Exchange [ABX] is putting together a remarkable group of professionals, combining their unique and diverse expertise into an effective program dedicated to providing our clients with unique access to our spend reduction and category procurement and development solutions.  As business unit leaders artfully steer their organization through the demands of a dynamic global experience, we provide an appropriate focus on developing a clean architecture with embedded processes and governance to ensure continual complexity control.

Armed with our aptly named Savings & Solutions Program, ABX is prepared to help facilitate a sustainable growth and results agenda, providing a speed to benefit for our clients without the cumbersome introduction of a burdensome and invasive consulting engagement.  ABX provides an independent acceleration module that bypasses the complexities inherent in the very structure our clients created.

One of the key resources of ABX is the c1 Cloud Solutions Group [CSG].  The Cloud Solutions Group provides our clients with a full compliment of resources to build and support a flexible cloud matrix that enables, encourages, and ensures ongoing paradigm shifts through the simple restructuring of elements providing maximum speed to benefit and cross-platform recognition throughout their organization.

The Cloud Solutions Group provides cloud solutions to end-user companies that spend strategically — and want to save significantly — on the cost of cloud resources.  We provide consistent engagement with client management to align core strategies with appropriate investments in cloud technologies, achieving maximum effectiveness.  We also oversee successful cloud initiative implementation, in order to ensure achieving positive returns.

The Cloud Solutions Group helps local, national, and global enterprises recognize the benefits of an organized cloud service program including price, development, implementation, and provider consistencies.  This makes a standardized, centrally managed approach to cloud services possible, which is infinitely more efficient than fragmented in-house activities.

c1 also serves as the strategic IT interface with our clients’ business units and as a consultant to their management team.  Our main focus is to establish and maintain value-driven, strategic relationships with our clients’ business units and to proactively manage business demand for seamless and scalable cloud solutions.

We partner with our client’s Chief Information Officer in providing cloud resource vision and direction for assigned business units; as well as aligning cloud solutions with business strategies, making a vital contribution to the business units’ strategic-planning processes.


The Stereo Advantage Experience


Over the past thirty five years our Stereo Advantage retail and commercial customers have come to recognize us as their favorite resource for technology in WNY.  Nevertheless, our challenge has always been to stay relevant.  Since 2004, we have been aggressively restructuring and retooling the Stereo Advantage for life after the commoditizing of the consumer electronics business.  We’ve left the carcass of that world for Best Buy, WalMart, Costco, and the internet to fight over.  While they’re busy bloodying each other, we have been hard at work creating a more desirable and sustainable identity to build our future on.  We no longer have retail, wholesale, and commercial sales.  We have the Advantage Experience.  All of our customers, employees, families, suppliers, associates, and community are part of this unique and magical experience.

The old Stereo Advantage provided our retail customers access to entertainment through a well-developed and easily understood matrix of products; while our Commercial Division provided a concierge approach to selling the same entertainment product awkwardly positioned for business use.  Audio/Video provided a recognizable banner for product choices, and it led to a revolution in retail.  Big Box retailers effectively combined disparate categories into an effective sales environment: blending home appliances with audio/video, car audio, computers, and software.  Today, technology has rendered the old matrix unrecognizable, as it has blurred the lines that conveniently separated the categories that we once sold with simplicity.  Additionally, the mass merchants and internet have compromised the old, easily definable categories, by commoditizing them and eliminating their profitability [rendering retailers such as Circuit City and Best Buy insignificant… and we know what happened to Circuit City].

Just as we ushered in a new era in consumer electronics retail with our Home Theater and SmartLink mall concepts in the 90’s, we are now embarking on yet another game-changing venture.  The new Stereo Advantage provides our retail and commercial customers with the resources necessary for effective technology integration by developing system architecture specific to their needs.  We now provide our customers the components, installation, programming, ongoing support, and service required to maximize the potential and effectiveness of their fully integrated system.

Since 1978, the Stereo Advantage’s challenge has always been to provide the type of product and service that our customers need in an ever-changing world of technology.  Today, it is up to us to integrate computer technology with home entertainment for our customers.  Furthermore, we have to make it universally accessible.  Whether it’s in the living room, office, or online – it’s up to us to seamlessly integrate our customer’s access to all of their information and entertainment resources.  No one is better equipped to provide the myriad of expertise necessary to deliver the whole package.  The Stereo Advantage is indeed the Smart Center.

The new Stereo Advantage offers consumers, businesses, schools, institutions, and the government complete technology integration, security, and entertainment solutions, providing the finest brands, Lifetime Service, and system architecture professionally designed, programmed, and installed by The Smart Squad and Advantage TI.

Advantage TI also offers consumers, businesses, schools, institutions, and the government complete technology integration and video-conferencing solutions, and provides them with the professionally designed system architecture, solutions, programming, installation, and ongoing support, security, and service necessary for effective and extraordinary performance.

This revolution in our industry is just getting started, and the new Stereo Advantage has the opportunity to lead the way.  We are uniquely equipped to facilitate the Advantage Experience for everyone we come in contact with.   Eventually this enabling will go beyond the sales and integration staff at the Stereo Advantage to potentially include every Advantage employee, every former employee, and every jump-site associate.  It’s the Advantage Nation.