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4 5 Ye ars of I nnovatio n



Introduction 2015 BUSINESS PLAN

“First and foremost, high employee and customer satisfaction will always be at the top of my list of priorities for as long as I’m involved with this company. We have proven it again and again. If we focus on taking care of our employees as best as we possibly can, then customer satisfaction will be a natural outcome of that. We stay focused on maintaining our core competencies and expanding our line of business methodically so as not to overextend ourselves. That means adding new solutions and services to complement our collaboration, mobility, and data center virtualization practices; and around that, building out hosted and managed services to take the business into the future.” —Ray Apy President & CEO


Annual Report 2015


With over $86M in revenue and $4.6M in profit, Annese & Associates, Inc. chalked up another win in 2015. We grew in capabilities and staff, and enhanced our emerging practice areas of cybersecurity and cloud to meet our clients’ evolving technology needs. Our continued focus and investment in quality deliverables and exceptional service led to strong profits and another year of an Annese profit share contribution to our employees. Despite revenue below our 2014 number and the ebb and flow of third party product sales, I could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our caring and talented team. Our Annese Branded Services have continued to prove valuable throughout our operating regions in each of the industries we serve. This brings our clients the level of support they need for technology assessments, consultation and planning, design and implementation, and ongoing support—both on-site and remote. Recruitment efforts ramped up in 2015 as we further developed our core practice areas with additional resources to support growth throughout New York State. As a result, we welcomed nearly 20 new members to Annese and expanded our Leadership Team with the hiring of Jeff Fasoldt as the Executive Vice President & CFO. Jeff is based in Rochester and brings over 25 years of financial management and technology industry experience to Annese, and we are thrilled to have him. In the technology industry, innovation and evolution breed success. I expect 2016 to be another transformative year at Annese. We will continue to reinvest in our business by building specialized teams, advancing our business management tools, and fine-tuning our processes.

Moreover, we plan to refresh our corporate identity through strategic office relocations and improvements that will foster regional growth for Annese, continued reinvestment into the surrounding communities, and greater visibility across the state. In an effort to continually promote our Annese brand, we will establish a unified interior design across each office environment. The new layouts will feature open “collaboration spaces” to better visually depict the company’s culture of communication and teamwork. As always, we’ve given ourselves aggressive goals for success in 2016 and an operating budget that corresponds—why aim low? This is attributed to the sweeping change toward cloud and hosted services, and away from on-premises systems and applications. We have positioned ourselves very well to help our clients pass through this transition securely, methodically, and reliably. Our founder Frank J. Annese once said, “Technology will come and go but people do business with people.” As we head into the next 45 years, we will continue to manage the business to this philosophy. My very best to all of our employees, clients, and partners!

Ray Apy

President & CEO Annese & Associates, Inc.

Annual Report 2015


“Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety nine percent perspiration.”

—Thomas A. Edison


Annual Report 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS 01 | Year in Review

Financial Overview

Awards & Recognition

Corporate Giving

02 | Customer Intimacy

Account Manager of the Year

St. John Fisher College Success Story

Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists Success Story

Customer Satisfaction

03 | Employee Satisfaction

Meet the New Family Members

Employer of Choice

Frank J. Annese Award Winner

04 | Practices & Partners

Practice Portfolios

Certifications & Specializations

Annual Report 2015


“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”

—Thomas A. Edison


Annual Report 2015


Financial Overview

Awards & Recognition

Corporate Giving

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW Financial Posture Remains Strong Jeff Fasoldt, Executive Vice President & CFO Although 2015 may not have been record breaking, like that of 2014, it was still a very successful year for Annese. We continue to execute on our strategy of shifting from solely product sales to a greater mix of private sector accounts and increased Annese Branded Services (ABS) revenue. ABS revenue was up 32% from 2014 and has increased by 50% since 2013. As a percentage of total revenue, ABS now comprises over 17% compared to just 12% in 2013. Total year end revenue (excluding the impact of a one-time data center project for a key customer) was flat compared to 2014, and up 2.5% from 2013 despite lower equipment sales. We made significant progress in 2015 positioning Annese for continued growth. One key accomplishment was upgrading our core information system. Although the system went live in March of 2016, most of the heavy lifting—selection, planning, data mapping, initial training, and testing— happened in 2015. Our new business management platform will allow us to manage our business in ways that would not have been possible before. Our financial position remains very strong with almost $4M (4.6% return on sales) in profit during 2015 and working capital in excess of $10M at year’s end. Overall, 2015 was a very successful year and one we can all be proud of.

Revenue by Practice (% of Total Revenue) 0.58% 11.26% 48% 34.35%

3rd Party Maintenance | $20.8M 8.40% 9.04%

Managed Services | $7.2M Other | $0.5M

24.13% 12.24%

Professional Services | $7.8M

Revenue by Region (% of Total Revenue) 13.94% 48%



Albany | $27.4M Buffalo | $5.7M


Hudson Valley | $20.3M Rochester | $20.6M Syracuse | $12M

2015 Year End Revenue:


Annual Report 2015

Data Center | $9.7M Mobility | $29.6M




Collaboration | $10.5M

Annese Welcomes New EVP & CFO Jeff Fasoldt Joins the Annese Team Annese is pleased to announce that Jeff Fasoldt, CPA, CMA, CGMA, has joined the company in the role of Executive Vice President & CFO mapped to Rochester. Jeff sits on the Annese Leadership Team and reports directly to President & CEO, Ray Apy. Jeff is a graduate of SUNY College at Geneseo where he achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Jeff received his MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology and holds his Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Charted Global Management Accountant (CGMA) licenses. For the past 13 years, Jeff was the Executive Vice President & CFO at Toshiba Business Solutions for the North Central Region, and prior to that, Finance Manager at Sutherland Global Services and Corporate Controller at Element K.

In his new role at Annese, Jeff holds a fiduciary level of responsibility to the organization and oversees its operational departments including finance, information technology, and administration. In partnership with the President & CEO, Jeff will be the liaison between management, the Board of Directors, accountants, and legal counsel relative to developing, managing, and communicating the company’s operating goals and strategic financial objectives. “I am very excited to join Annese at such an important time in the company’s growth,” said Jeff. “As a member of the leadership team I will work to drive continuous financial and operational improvement and to ensure that Annese is well positioned to capture current market opportunities. In my brief time at Annese, I have been very impressed with my new colleagues and their commitment to the organization, and more importantly, to serving our clients.”

Rapid Fire Q&A with Jeff 1. What will your top priorities be as the new Executive VP & CFO at Annese? My priorities include identifying profit improvement and growth opportunities, further strengthening cash flow, expanding our use of data analytics to effectively steer our business, and improving the overall efficiency of our administrative processes.

2. What excites or intrigues you most about working in the technology industry? Technology continues to revolutionize the way companies conduct business. Most of my career has been spent in the technology industry. I actually began as a computer science major during my undergraduate at SUNY Geneseo but changed to accounting sophomore year, completing a minor in computer science instead.

3. What are your hobbies outside of work? As we rapidly approach the mid-century mark, my wife Doreen and I have both become exercise fanatics. We are avid runners and also participate in indoor cycling, fitness classes, and hit the gym as frequently as our schedules allow.

4. What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? Always be learning. Learning doesn’t end when you leave school. It continues throughout your entire career and life.

5. What are you most looking forward to about working at Annese? Aside from making new friends, I am most excited about joining Annese at such an important time in the company’s growth and look forward to helping transition Annese to the next level.

“I could not be happier that Jeff has decided to join our team and am highly confident in the immediate value he will bring to Annese.”

—Ray Apy President & CEO

Annual Report 2015


AWARDS & RECOGNITION “We take great pride in being a Women Owned Business as this distinction allows our customers to fulfill their procurement requirements while still obtaining the service and support they have come to expect from Annese; an organization that has built a reputation on customer satisfaction for more than four decades.”

—Yvonne Annese LoRe Chairwoman of the Board, Co-Owner/Principal


Annual Report 2015

#1 Women Owned Business Enterprise in Albany for 2nd Year in a Row In 2015, Annese was named as the largest Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) in the Capital Region, by the Albany Business Review. The organization, which is owned by Michelle Annese, Yvonne Annese LoRe, Andrea Annese Como, and Francine Annese Apy (pictured left to right, respectively), has been a certified WBE in the State of New York since 2010 with additional designations in New Jersey and Vermont.




Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, up from 4429 in 2014


CRN Solution Provider 500 List, up from 206 in 2014


Top Telecommunications Services in Buffalo, NY


Largest Privately Held Companies in Albany, NY


Top Telecommunications Companies in Buffalo, NY


Rochester’s Top Computer Companies


Albany’s Fastest Growing Companies List


Albany’s Top Companies Offering Internships


Top Telecommunications Equipment Providers in Rochester, NY


Albany’s Top Computer Companies


Women Owned Business Enterprise in the Capital Region

Tech Innovation Award Winner

Annese was the proud recipient of The Capital Region Center for Economic Growth’s (CEG) 19th Annual Technology Innovation Awards on June 25th in Albany, for its substantial and sustained growth, overall impact on the area’s economic development, and advancement of the community. The nomination read, “Over the past five years, Annese has added 50 new jobs across New York State and revenues have grown by more than 25%. In its 45th anniversary year, Annese is still known for the level of commitment to employee and customer satisfaction as it was at the company’s inception. Amidst steady growth and evolution over the years, the philosophy that people do business with people has never wavered.”

“The technology awards luncheon by CEG was an uplifting experience. I was of course very happy to receive the award on behalf of Annese, albeit earned by the hard work and dedication of our great people.”

—Ray Apy President & CEO

Annual Report 2015 Annual Report 2015

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CORPORATE GIVING In August of 2015, Annese was pleased to support Building Minds in South Sudan, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to African villagers in the Republic of South Sudan. The organization seeks to restore hope by providing education to people adversely affected by conflict. Annese, together with Cisco, supported the non-profit’s vision of helping to provide the best possible education to girls and boys in South Sudan through technology. “Our partnership with Cisco goes beyond selling technology. When we combine forces for the greater good, we have the opportunity to truly make a difference in people’s lives. This kind of activity is the heart and soul of Annese,” said Ray Apy.

New York to South Sudan


In early 2015, Annese donated nine new computers, a new printer, server, network, and firewalls, valued at $26,000, to help the Adult & Senior Center of Saratoga stay current and improve their use of technology. Annese has continued to provide ongoing support and service for the new technology.

“As we try to focus our finances on programs and services for seniors, technology often takes a back seat. Annese just put us back in the game. Our technology is faster, safer, and our seniors are continuing to use our resources to stay connected to the things that matter to them. Since giving a tour to Annese’s CEO Ray Apy here at the Center, he instantly asked ‘How can we help?’ and has ever since.” —Lois Celeste Executive Director, Saratoga Senior Center


Annual Report 2015

“Working with the Saratoga Senior Center has been a joy for us. Technology is what we do, and connecting people to people is our mission and our passion. By providing the facility with new technology we helped make one of the many communities in which we live and work a better place. This kind of activity is the heart and soul of Annese.” —Ray Apy President & CEO

Making the World a Better Place to Work, Learn, and Live At Annese, we understand that it is not about what we have; rather, what we can give. We have a passion for giving back to the communities that have supported us from the beginning through charitable donations and support. We strive to bring about positive change for the future by creating partnerships that promise not only advances in technology but invoke a yearning for knowledge and a passion for the work we do. In 2015, here are just a few of the causes supported by Annese through gifts of time, talent, or treasure: American Cancer Society The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. The American Cancer Society’s international mission concentrates on capacity building in developing cancer societies and on collaboration with other cancer-related organizations throughout the world in carrying out shared strategic directions.

Elmcrest Children’s Center Elmcrest Children’s Center is a multi-service treatment and education center for children with emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric disturbances along with children with developmental disabilities and serious medical conditions. To best protect the promise of childhood, the mission of Elmcrest Children’s Center is to create and deliver residential and community-based services to children and families that meet their needs as well as the needs of the community.

Herkimer Area Resource Center The New York International Wine Auction benefits the Herkimer ARC, located in Herkimer, NY. The Herkimer ARC is a not-for-profit organization that serves and advocates for individuals with developmental and other disabilities. Daily, over 680 people and their families receive medical, residential, counseling, vocational, clinical, therapeutic, family, and transportation services. The Herkimer ARC’s voluntary board of directors is comprised of members of the local community and includes people with disabilities and family members of people with disabilities. The non profit’s mission is to enabled people with disabilities and others in the community to achieve full potential and to live enriched lives.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York is to create, identify, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and families in Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Families are stronger when they are together, and their presence helps a sick child heal faster and cope better. While we cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatments, we can help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to get and keep their child healthy and happy.

Annual Report 2015


“There’s a way to do it better—find it.”


Annual Report 2015

—Thomas A. Edison


Account Manager of the Year

St. John Fisher College Success Story

Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists Success Story

Customer Satisfaction


An Interview with Brent Jones, Senior Account Manager 1. What does Customer Intimacy mean to you? Treating people as I would want to be treated.

2. How do you create value for your customers? One of the things that I really love doing is marrying the technology to the problem it solves. I have a technical background which makes it easy for me verify and confirm that we have hit the nail on the head.

3. Which Annese Core Value do you most associate your strengths to and why? Integrity. I try to maintain the utmost integrity in what I say and how I conduct business. If a customer has an issue that needs to be resolved, everyone is willing to rally together to provide the best possible solution. To do business that way is honorable, professional, and recognizable to our customers; they choose us time and again because of it.

4. How do you partner with your customers to enable their business success? I put myself in their shoes. I understand that they are trying to take full advantage of all the benefits that technology can offer while often navigating around resource and financial constraints. I’m focused on ensuring that we implement the best solution for the customer that meets their needs today and as they evolve in the future. When I work alongside my customers, I am advocating for them and it is truly a professional friendship.


Annual Report 2015

5. What do you consider to be Annese’s strongest asset in meeting customer needs? Our commitment to taking care of our customer, period. That is our greatest asset as a company. When the customer has a problem, everyone will do whatever it takes to fix it.

6. What is an example of a customer relationship you are most proud of? I work with so many people in the K-12 space who really care about their jobs and it is a privilege to work alongside them in partnership. Many of our customers have similar needs and challenges. I pride myself most on taking care of each of my customers with integrity and honor, and building that level of trust and friendship.

7. How do you feel our Customer Intimacy model makes us different from our competitors? At Annese, it isn’t about numbers and profit as much as it is about taking care of our customers. At the end of the day what sets us apart is the Annese culture of practicing a personal approach to business and treating others as we would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. We have an amazing team where employees feel like part of the family, and our customers are an extension of that. It is a fabulous culture and one that I have not seen anywhere else.

Brent Jones is a Senior Account Manager based in Clifton Park. Brent has been with Annese since 2000 and began his career in an engineering role. His background, knowledge, and commitment to Annese’s Customer Intimacy model has enabled his success and positioned him as a trusted advisor to both customers and peers.

Brent Jones

Senior Account Manager Albany, NY

CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY Annese measures our success, in part, by the relationships we have built. This mentality is reflected in our Customer Service Policy:





We respect our customers’ questions, comments, and concerns. We work to answer and provide explanations on any matter which we feel our customer is unsure of.

We honor and value the customer-partner relationship we have built.

We engage our customer and their employees in situations where the requirements or specifications of a project have changed, adjusted, or realigned.

We guide our customers in all steps, phases, and processes where we believe our customer will benefit from our service experience and product knowledge.

“I have worked with Annese for over three years and I have never worked with a company that is so professional and knowledgeable. Brent Jones is by far the best asset a company could have.”

—Jared Heiner, Enlarged CSD of Troy, NY Annual Report 2015


“We strive to provide many different ways for students to learn and many different ways for the faculty to present material. Technology provides that foundation which will allow students to gain the caliber of education that they came here for.” —Dan Kinsman Director of Network Services St. John Fisher College

Data Center Virtualization

St. John Fisher College Builds World-Class Data Center to Provide High Quality Academics Annese helped SJFC migrate to a new state-of-theart data center and upgrade its phone system, with the lowest possible user impact, to provide a stable foundation upon which mobile devices, wireless technologies, and unified communications can be layered onto the network.

St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, is home to more than 4,000 students and offers 33 undergraduate majors, nine master’s programs, and three doctoral programs through five schools. If you ask Dan Kinsman, Director of Network Services, what today’s prospective student is looking for in a higher learning environment, he would point to technology as a key driver in their selection. Students depend on technology to learn and want to use their devices on campus as seamlessly as they would at home. This makes a reliable network foundation imperative to a college’s ability to deliver on that expectation. With enrollment up year over year, Fisher knew an investment in its core network was well founded. “We try to be very forward-thinking,” said Dan. “As the College grows and students do more through the Internet, we need to have reliable systems. Everyone is working 24 hours a day. If students are doing their homework at three o’clock in the morning, then they need to be able to get online and have access to their resources.” The use of technology as both a teaching and learning practice is widely embraced at Fisher in a number of distinct ways. Educators can record lessons and capture classroom content for students to access on-demand, strengthening the connection between on and off campus learning. Additionally, the College promotes a Nursing Simulation Center which offers a unique


Annual Report 2015

experiential learning component to the nursing curriculum, mirroring a real life hospital wing with medical equipment and high fidelity mannequins. Another campus focal point: The Salerno Center for American Enterprise. This facility, newly constructed in 2013, mimics a stock exchange floor, with digital signage, multiple SMART board projection screens, and an LED ticker streaming financial data. Annese consulted on a new data center core build. Once Annese understood the College’s long-term strategic vision, the company brought in key players from both its Collaboration and Data Center Virtualization practice teams in order to plan holistically to avoid independent technology silos. The new data center project parlayed into a Cisco Call Manager upgrade which took the College from V. 6 to the most recent update, V.10, which boasts session and call control management, enabling video, voice, messaging, mobility, and presence. “From a technology standpoint, I think we’ve positioned ourselves very strongly by giving our students many different opportunities to learn through reliable network services and technologies within the classroom,” said Dan. “We work hard to make sure everybody has what they need, when they need it.”

“St. John Fisher College was interested in becoming a world-class higher education institution, and in order to do that, they needed to invest in technology. The College has a very stable and reliable network and, more importantly, they can layer applications onto this network to offer more value to their students and staff.” —Pat Goessling Senior Account Manager Annese

“Nowadays if you don’t have a world-class data center to build off of, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If the applications, the devices, and infrastructure aren’t there, students will look elsewhere. They need an environment where they can use technology seamlessly. If you’re not using technology in college, you’re going to struggle when you get out into the workforce.” —Jason Beiter Enterprise Solutions Architect Annese

Annual Report 2015


“SOS’ reputation speaks for itself. The quality of service the organization provides to its patients pervades throughout, and is echoed and supported by the IT team.” —Tom Gdula Director of Data Center Virtualization, Annese

Infrastructure Assessment

Technology as the Backbone of Patient Care Delivery at SOS Annese provided a comprehensive infrastructure assessment of Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists’ environment, identifying areas to remediate and enhance.

As the healthcare industry continues to tighten regulations around electronic health records and the integration of technology into the patient care continuum, COO/CIO of SOS, Michael Cobb, decided it was time to zoom in on how the organization’s network environment was performing and enlisted the expertise of its current IT partner, Annese. Like other healthcare organizations, SOS leverages its technology investments on a 24x7 basis. One application that the organization routinely uses in its practice is remote log-in which allows clinicians to access patient records from anywhere—within hospitals, across its own facilities, from home, or even on the road. The reliability and the security of the network along with its overall performance is therefore critical to upholding the standard of care that SOS patients have come to expect. “With an assessment, Annese is able to show a customer where they are versus where they want to be, and how to develop a path to get back there,” explains Annese Systems Engineer, Mark Amyot, who worked on this project. “We started off by talking with SOS’ engineering and management teams to get an understanding of the environment, what systems they used, how they used them, what their shortcomings and pain points were, and then, what their goals were. After we mapped that out, we toured the data center; we looked at everything from the ground up.”


Annual Report 2015

“The Annese approach is very detailed,” echoes Kelly Johst, an Annese Account Manager who worked on this project.“ Michael confirms that the assessment helped make him aware of the real issues that existed within SOS’ technical environment, and prioritize them accordingly. Instead of sacrificing the time and effort of his internal IT staff, Michael was confidently able to lean on the insights of outside experts. “The approach that I’ve found with Annese is very structured, very methodical, and the project management component has been a significant contributor to the success,” He notes. “Prior to Annese, I had never found another consulting group to focus on the actual application delivery. (In the past) I could get an assessment done and have all of the remediation items reviewed, but (other consulting groups) would never focus on the delivery to the physician, to the patient, or to the nurse, to be sure that the application would successfully meet their needs. With Annese and the methodical approach that they follow, they have helped us do that.”

“The advances that SOS has made in its infrastructure from the desktop all the way back to the data center has improved reliability of their workflow which is critical in a patient care environment.” —Kelly Johst Account Manager Annese

“When we got to the end of the assessment, Annese had delivered far more than I expected.”

—Michael Cobb COO/CIO SOS

“We engaged Annese because our growing practice was in need of taking our network and remote connectivity to a higher level and we have benefited greatly from the technological innovations and capabilities of Annese. Working with Annese as a business partner has allowed our IT staff to emphasize and focus on testing, deployment, and application integration with our end-users.” —Michael Cobb COO/CIO SOS

Annual Report 2015


Understanding the

Net Promoter Score Metrics NPS® is a straightforward metric that holds companies and employees accountable for how they treat customers. Each year, Annese asks customers to rate how likely they are to recommend our services to a colleague using a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high). Customers then select a reason for their rating: Timeliness, Professionalism, Expertise, Quality of Work, Billing, Cost/Price, Other.

How is NPS Calculated?

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 to a high of 100.

Likeliness to Recommend to Others

NPS Score = % of PROMOTERS — % of DETRACTORS Extremely Likely



Promoters (score 9-10) Promoters are loyal customers who keep buying from you and tell their colleagues to as well.

8 7 6 5

Passives (score 7-8) These customers are satisfied, but not overly excited about the relationship and are a “flight risk.”

4 3 2 Not at all Likely



Annual Report 2015

1 0

Detractors (score 0-6) Some companies call them “Haters.” These these folks can seriously hurt your business.

We are proud to announce our 2015 NPS Score of

Compared to 83 in 2014

“Products will come and go, but people will continue to do business with people. We trust that we never lose sight of the fact that our most important asset as a company is our customer.”

—Frank J. Annese, Founder

In the words of our valued customers:

“Annese always delivers. Very professional with a high level of expertise.”

—Jedd Jacke Sullivan County BOCES

“I don’t look at Annese as a vendor but really as a partner to my business.”

—Eric Brosius Hudson River HealthCare, Inc.

“They are a great partner and I would have selected all of the NPS reasons if I could.”

—Brian Merchant Ballston Spa CSD

50% 40% 30%

In this recent round of surveys, the chart to the left shows the top three reasons why our promoters chose their ratings.

20% Expertise


Quality of Work

Annual Report 2015


“I have not failed. I’ve just found10,000 ways that won’t work.”

—Thomas A. Edison


Annual Report 2015


Meet the New Family Members

Employer of Choice

Frank J. Annese Award Winner


Meet the New Family Members

James Bakey Account Manager

Bill Clingan

Systems Engineer

Melissa Hall Financial Services Representative

Timothy O’Brien

Managed Services Engineer


Annual Report 2015

Orief Black

Systems Engineer

Eric Emmons

Managed Services Engineer

Mike Keller

Doug Brown

Regional Sales Manager

Diane Ennis

Svein Carlsen Solutions Architect

Ryan Gebauer

Account Sales Support Representative

Associate Solutions Architect

Solutions Architect

Senior Account Manager

James Kennedy

Chris Montgomery

Emily Shocklee

Danielle Taylor

Mike Thompson

Human Resources Recruiter

Account Manager

Account Manager

Systems Engineer

Envision Your Rewarding Career at Annese & Associates, Inc. As a growing technology solutions integrator, Annese has its sights set on continued evolution and innovation. Working at Annese enters you into a family as positive, thoughtful, and appreciative as your own. You have the opportunity to do what you do best, in a promising, engaging environment which cultivates and encourages personal growth and development.


Over the last five years, Annese has added nearly 50 new jobs across many departments throughout our seven offices in New York State. In 2016, we have plans to increase headcount by another 20 employees.


Annese is relocating several of our offices to larger spaces to accommodate growth and gain greater visibility in our communities. We have established a unified interior design across each workplace and collaboration spaces to reinforce our corporate culture.


Annese’s corporate strategy is focused on deepening our expertise around an evolving portfolio of today’s emerging technologies. “To go from a $100M to $200M takes additional investment in people and resources. That’s really where our focus is going to be.” —Jeff Fasoldt, EVP & CFO of Annese To view Annese’s open positions, visit

Headcount Growth at Annese over the Last Five Years 150 125 100 75 50 25






Annual Report 2015


RECOGNITION Company Accolades

Annese is proud to highlight three notable accolades received in 2015 that demonstrate our commitment to employee satisfaction and workplace culture:

Healthiest Employer of Central New York

National Best and Brightest in Wellness

Best Companies to Work for

Annese accepted the award for #1 Healthiest Employer in Central New York in the medium sized business category. Winning organizations were honored for their commitment to employee health, with exceptional corporate wellness programming.

The National Association for Business Resources named Annese among the Best and Brightest in Wellness companies in the nation for excellence in employee and worksite health.

At the end of 2015, Annese was thrilled to find out that we had made the Best Companies to Work for in NYS list for the fourth time! Final rankings will be announced in May of 2016.

“My father, Frank J. Annese, always led on the principle that the Annese & Associates team of employees was, and still is, the heart and soul of the company. To that end, Annese remains committed to creating an excellent work environment and culture of wellness, supporting all employees to reach their fullest potential. Being recognized on a national level for employee wellness is a tremendous honor for Annese and demonstrates the caliber of care and focus we put forth toward employee satisfaction.”

“Annese takes great pride in our unique corporate culture and each employee truly embraces and embodies the company’s core values.We continually look for formal and informal feedback to measure our employees’ satisfaction and uncover new ways to improve as an Employer of Choice. Participating in the Best Companies to Work for survey is a true test of Annese’s culture, benefits, and satisfaction metrics, combined with anonymous employee feedback to gauge how we live out our mission and values.”

“Annese is committed to creating a culture of wellness and empowering our employees to be their own health advocates, understanding that healthy employees are happier and more productive. We strive to be an Employer of Choice and go to great lengths to encourage healthy practices and work/ life balance through a series of corporate wellness programs and initiatives.” —Andrea Annese Como Board Treasurer, Co-Owner/ Principal


Annual Report 2015

—Andrea Annese Como Board Treasurer, Co-Owner/ Principal

—Merry Bhattacharjee Director of Human Resources

Peer to Peer Recognition Employee Nomination Call-Outs

Jason Gurnett

Steve Leeper

Peter Zalla

Account Manager

Systems Engineer

Renewal Specialist

“Jason has been fantastic to work with. He was involved, supportive, and creative during the assessment and planning phase of our VoIP project and I am not sure if the project would have happened if he was not involved.”

Nominated by Jim Austin, Webster Central School District

“Steve is great to work with. He is very dedicated to his work and (maintains) good communication with his customers. He is truly an asset to Annese.” Nominated by Pierre Val, Guilderland Central School District

“Pete invested quite a bit of time with an Annese client to assist them with their renewal. After everything was complete, the IT Manager sent Pete a note stating, ‘Believe it or not, this year’s renewal process was SO much easier for me! Thanks for all your help!’” Nominated by Healther Golden, Annese

Frank J. Annese Award Merry Bhattacharjee, 2015 Winner The Frank J. Annese Award, named after the company’s founder, was initiated in 2009 and is distributed at our annual employee event. Employees have an opportunity to nominate a co-worker who they feel most exemplifies the Annese Customer Service Policy and who demonstrates the corporate values of Integrity, Innovation, Excellence, Teamwork, and Leadership consistently in their dealings with customers and colleagues. The winner is voted on and selected by the Annese Leadership Team, and co-presented by Frank Annese and CEO, Ray Apy. Merry has been an HR professional for 15 years and has attained the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. As the Director of HR with Annese, Merry works to ensure that the company continues to provide a high

performance, employee-focused culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity, and high standards for a superior workforce. “I am truly humbled to have even been considered for the Frank J. Annese Award. Annese’s customer intimacy approach to business is second to none and HR upholds that same philosophy with our own employees, as they truly are our customers! The Annese team has set the bar high when it comes to professionalism, integrity, and innovation and they are always looking for ways to make Annese a stronger organization. I am honored to work with each and every one of our employees and support them with any HR related needs. I look forward to many more years of continued success at Annese & Associates, Inc.”

Annual Report 2015


“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

—Thomas A. Edison


Annual Report 2015


Practice Portfolios

Certifications & Specializations


An Update on Annese Core Practices in 2015 “Growth in services remains at the crux of the Annese Corporate Strategy. In 2015, Annese made major strides in attaining key partner certifications, enhancing our core solution and service offerings, and investing and expanding our emerging technology practice areas of cloud, security, and data center virtualization.” —Jamie Aiello VP of Services


Annual Report 2015

Professional Services


Professional Services growth continues to be a key investment area for Annese and that was certainly the case throughout 2015. This included placing a large focus on further developing our collective abilities to deliver the same high level of professional services capabilities across each core practice area, and throughout each region. Annese continues to increase pre-sales and post sales engineering capabilities to expand services and deliver high-end network consulting, implementation, design, and support to customers from one end of the state to the other.

In 2015, the Collaboration team grew from 11 to 15 people, with new pre-sales and post sales resources extending from Buffalo down into the Hudson Valley region. These important additions have helped us address our growing demand downstate, as well as the increased need for consulting personnel throughout each of our regions. The Collaboration Practice successfully achieved the Master Collaboration Specialization from Cisco, which was the culmination of over 1,000 hours of work and preparation by over a dozen Annese engineers and managers. This feat included the building out of a sophisticated, state-of-the-art collaboration demo environment giving us the ability to demonstrate the latest collaboration technologies to our customers and friends. This specialization significantly raises the bar for the collaboration technologies that Annese can now demonstrate and deliver to our customers. Moreover, 2015 saw an increased interest in Telepresence technologies across many markets, particularly within healthcare organizations.

Managed Services Managed Services encompass both Field Support Services and Annese Remote Managed Services (ARMS). In 2015, we strengthened the Field Support Team with key personnel fulfillment and continued technical training across the state. This investment has enhanced the level of technical support Annese can provide, while enabling new technologies and processes for increased efficiency, and an even better customer experience. We have also implemented key changes within ARMS to increase efficiencies and scale for recent and future growth. The NOC Help-Desk now functions in a traditional three tier model, which has significantly improved functions, communications, and customer satisfaction. Our ARMS offering still remains our flagship service, while our Networkingas-a-Service (NaaS) offering has seen significant growth, particularly within the Higher Education market.

Mobility There were a number of initiatives focused around the continued growth and success of Annese’s Infrastructure Practice in 2015, which has since evolved into the new Mobility Practice. Notably, Annese also renewed a key Cisco Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture Specialization. Mobility at Annese now encompasses our wireless and route switch technologies. Consistent growth in this practice has been achieved through traditional on-premises deployments, while we saw a spike in our cloud/hosted mobility solution, particularly across several college campuses.



Data Center Virtualization

Cloud computing continues to disrupt the traditional world of IT and transform the way companies in all markets and sizes are doing business. Cloud services are no longer a technology of the future; they are here. Moving to the cloud provides companies with more agility, elasticity, cost savings, and the ability to expand their business footprint and to develop a global reach to customers. Top level executives continue to recognize and accept the benefits of the cloud. In the report, “Taming the Digital Dragon: The 2014 CIO Agenda,” Gartner found that 75 percent of the organizations included in their analysis have invested in public cloud services. The conversation for CIOs, according to Gartner, has shifted from a skeptical discussion of “why the cloud?” to a pragmatic discussion of “when and how?” In 2015, Annese made a concerted effort to develop cloud solutions that align with our traditional on-premises (private cloud) offerings. At its simplest form, our business development methodology was to develop a “yin/yang” model for all services Annese provides to our customers. Through this model, Annese will have both traditional (private) and cloud (hybrid/public) deployment options for each solution that we offer.

In 2015, Annese reinvested in our security offerings to help customers prevent, identify, and recover from data breaches as increasing anxiety over cyberattack rattled the market. By enhancing our security solutions into its own core practice area, Annese is now able to provide a strategic, end-to-end security portfolio that balances the needs of our customers’ business functions with a strong set of infrastructure controls that minimize risk and protect mission critical assets. The Security Practice boasts advanced offerings in the areas of policy management, regulatory compliance management, security operations, mobile device management, and vulnerability management. Annese invested time, training, and resources to renew the Cisco Advanced Security Architecture Specialization and also achieved The Internet of Things Connected Safety and Security Specialization.

The Data Center Virtualization team continued to grow in depth and capacity throughout 2015, ending the year with two open positions among a total headcount of 12. In addition to initiating the development of hybrid cloud solution architecture capabilities, the team attained certifications enhancing their expertise in VMware, Citrix, NetApp, Cisco, Dell, and Microsoft. We tackled several full data center refresh/replacement projects throughout the year, initiated the pursuit of Microsoft Hyper-V opportunities, further honed our expertise in NetApp Clustered Data OnTAP conversions, and completed more than 40 formal projects throughout the year. The team also closed 2015 earning recognition as NetApp SLED Partner of the Year for the Northeast while also achieving the NetApp Professional Services Certification, a major differentiator for Annese throughout New York State.

Annual Report 2015


CERTIFICATIONS & SPECIALIZATIONS Annese Achieves Cisco Gold Partnership

“In 1998 Annese made a strategic decision to begin a partnership with Cisco, and we never looked back. Today, Annese is honored to be designated as a Cisco Gold Certified Partner in the United States; a true testament to the team, commitment, and expertise in place to drive success within our geographies, vertical markets, and technology focus areas. “ —Jamie Aiello VP of Services As a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, Annese has met the requirements for attaining the broadest range of expertise across multiple technologies by achieving Cisco advanced specializations in the four following areas: enterprise networks architecture, security architecture, collaboration architecture, data center architecture, and/or service provider architecture. Cisco Gold Certification provides Annese with access to comprehensive sales, technical, and lifecycle services training and support available from Cisco.

Annese Maintains the Following Cisco Specializations: ǚǚ Master Collaboration Specialization

ǚǚ Advanced Data Center Architecture Specialization ǚǚ Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture Specialization ǚǚ Advanced Security Architecture Specialization ǚǚ Advanced ISE ATP ǚǚ Advanced IoT Connected Safety and Security Specialization

NEW PARTNER UPDATES Annese welcomed two new partnerships to support emerging technology practices of cloud and security. Annese teamed up with the Troy-based security consulting firm to provide best-in-class services around information security, risk management, awareness, and operational security.


Annual Report 2015

Annese joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN)’s Government Partner Program and achieved AWS Channel Reseller authorization in 2015 to provide clients with the ability to run their applications on the AWS Cloud and leverage its shared security model.

Over 80% of the Annese Service Team has at least one industry certification.

Annese Honored with NetApp SLED Solutions Award at 2015 Insight Conference “Due to the strong working relationship we have built with the NetApp team, we have dramatically enhanced the solutions we are able to provide our customers. Having achieved the staffing, training, certification, and experience requirements to be named NetApp Professional Services Partner, we are now working so much more closely with our customers to improve the reliability and performance of their environments in order to help them meet their objectives. This has translated directly to the growth we are experiencing throughout New York State, and our partnership with the NetApp team is a significant contributor to that growth.” Pictured above is Tom Gdula accepting the award from Rob Stein, Vice President US Public Sector at NetApp.

—Tom Gdula Director of Data Center Virtualization

In 2015, Annese invested in significant personnel training to demonstrate its professional services capabilities around the Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT) solution set which provides highly available virtualized storage across single or multiple sites for data center workloads. NetApp awards the Professional Services Certification (PSC) to partners who have demonstrated expertise in implementing NetApp solutions to the same standards established by NetApp Professional Services. The certification lets technology customers know that their NetApp solutions provider has the capability to handle anything from designing and implementing the solution to transitioning to the cloud. Annual Report 2015



Annese & Associates, Inc., is a technology solutions integrator backed by four decades of expertise and relationships, with a continual focus on innovation. We have built our business on making connections and our reputation on customer excellence.

Guided by our services methodology, we provide an end-to-end IT experience, implementing the tools of today and designing for the emerging technologies of tomorrow. At Annese, our connections extend beyond devices and networks; we connect people to people, and bring ideas to action.

STAY CONNECTED (585) 286-2986 | |

2015 Annese Annual Report  
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