ZLH Enterprises

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July 1, 2019 Issue



ZLH Enterprises provides solution evaluation, development, and implementation for a diverse portfolio of VoIP, Connectivity, Cloud Computing, Data Center, and AI products for SMBs and Enterprise Customers



Zina L. Hassel, CEO

ZLH Enterprises


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – July 1, 2019


CEOCFO: Ms. Hassel, what is the focus and vision at ZLH Enterprises today? 

Ms. Hassel: Our primary focus is to work with the SMB marketplace besides the enterprise marketplace and to provide the white glove concierge service they know us for in the technology industry. Fortune 100, 500 companies are the principal focus of the major carriers. Typically, products and services developed and launched in this elite segment represent large corporate requirements from Security services, to UCaaS and Artificial Intelligence. Unfortunately, the SMB marketplace or even smaller enterprise accounts don’t have the same luxury of receiving the “walk me through it—let me know what else is out there” treatment they need and usually reserved for super, large, global enterprises. So, we use our engineering, customer service, and analytical tools to bridge that knowledge gap. And, based on the longevity of our client relationships…. we know we’re doing a great job!


CEOCFO: Are many businesses looking for that level of service or do they even realize that it might exist?

Ms. Hassle: That is a very interesting question, because it has two answers. Many companies do not know that it exists. What used to be the norm in our industry 20 years ago has disappeared. But, I built my company on customer service, not sales quotas and that remains our continuing mission. We educate our clients and potential clients about what technology is available, how it might work to improve the performance of their company, and how we provide customer support on everything from solution development, project management, trouble resolution, and even managing billing disputes. Most times, our reputation precedes us and then there are other companies who find us (mostly through referral) and receive attention and support that delights them. 

We have discovered that with the integration between voice and data there are a lot of IT companies and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) trying to meet every need a client may have from networking, to hardware, and cloud computing not to mention all the IoT applications flooding the market. Fortunately, we are now seeing more technology companies recognizing they can best serve their clients by focusing on the expertise they have in their “wheelhouse” and partner or venture with a company such as mine to provide best in class service and integrated solutions to the end user.


CEOCFO: When might a client turn to you? Is it project by project or on an ongoing basis? What is the relationship with your clients?

Ms. Hassel: All the above. If there is an impending event at a client location, like a contract renewal, or a new office opening, an office move, or even a downsizing… that would be a major event for a client. Many times, the right level of support depends on the size, expertise or technical competence of the internal staff in the technology department. Sometimes, it may be the office manager who recognizes the need to bring in an advisor to evaluate the business requirement, or design a solution and manage the process.  In many cases, we become an extension of a company’s IT team so they can continue the business of running the company while we manage the project.


CEOCFO: Would you walk us through one somewhat typical engagement and one that is a little more out of the box - what you were asked to do or look at and what you did above and beyond to get a solution that was correct or the best one for your client? 

Ms. Hassel: One non-profit client comes to mind in New York City. The client desperately needed high availability bandwidth and were having issues with their voice services. The actual network infrastructure coming into the building caused the poor quality of service. For many years they had petitioned Verizon, the incumbent carrier in the area, but the build for Verizon exceeded one hundred thousand dollars to upgrade the infrastructure. We were very tenacious and for two years we escalated, and brow beat every decision-maker and influencer. Ultimately, we were successful. Verizon delivered the new network infrastructure just a few months ago and, at no cost to the client! That’s what we do… find and solve problems no matter how many times the answer is “No”!

I love what I do! One mantra we live by, and what makes me happy and keeps me excited about coming to work every day, is to never take “no” for an answer or to “beat it to death” until a “no” really is the final answer. I always put myself in the client’s position. When I was a client, many years ago, I was fortunate to have carriers available to explain the project, educate me, and make sure I was happy with the outcome. So now, I still ask “How would I need to be treated?” That simple question establishes the game plan for all of our clients. They all have different definitions, some want an ongoing relationship for all projects, some want us to maintain their inventory, others want us to manage their trouble tickets and payment status. We become an outsourced Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) to the client. We understand the client’s business, the urgent need for continuity of services at all locations, regardless if it’s a two (2) person, twenty (20) or a two hundred (200) person office.


CEOCFO: What has changed in your approach over time? What have you learned as you are working with more and more clients in more and more situations?

Ms. Hassel: One thing I have learned from this male-dominated industry is you need a thick skin and a strong constitution. The industry itself is tough but the playing field has always been rough. This is a tough industry and I have not allowed our core values to change. We always provide high standards of customer care after the sale, maintain the professional services for our clients and do so with unrivaled integrity.  


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your recognition as a Woman of the Year in Business Services by the Stevie Award?

Ms. Hassel: Other than being thrilled to receive the Stevie Award? The award is an excellent representation and recognition for someone who has grown up in this male-dominated industry. When I went to college, both undergraduate and graduate, I was in the minority of gender representation.  I was one of two or three women who enrolled in the school of management undergraduate and learned early on the road would be challenging. I was always on a treadmill, going twice as fast as anybody else, because I had to prove that I would accomplish what I set out to do. I think the recognition of the Stevie Award is good, not only for me, but it’s also good for other women, either starting out or already in the industry, to understand that you can achieve your goals.

I’ve learned you need to set realistic goals and always pay it forward. If you can mentor or coach people in the industry, that is terrific! This is something I enjoy doing and in fact, I am proud to say; I coached my daughter, and she has joined me in the business. Even now, as we look around the room at industry meetings, women’s representation is still limited. But, I am committed to pressing forward to change those statistics and the recognition of Woman of the Year is just the pinnacle of where I have been for the last twenty/thirty years.


CEOCFO: Are there services you offer that do not get the traction you would like or expect?

Ms. Hassel: We offer our services to both national and global markets. I’m expanding my market to other industry segments but I would love to be able to offer our services to more up-market, multi located accounts. Unless you educate your target market on new and expanding technologies, they don’t have time to evaluate the value of a change or an upgrade. So, that’s my job! Making sense of all the chaos in the market, stripping away the noise and the hype, and translating it into business profitability.


CEOCFO: How would you do that? Do you have plans on making more of an effort?

Ms. Hassel: We’ve embarked on an extensive marketing, education, and information program. We have an incredible staff compiling the data about new services and applications and new suppliers who enter the market every day. We’ve built analytical tools to synthesize the data and provide logical business solutions to our clients and the market. And, there are services that perform better than others based on whether it’s a mainstream service or a niche application. Regardless, as long as we work with our client’s business objectives in mind, the right solution… will always be the right answer.

We have retained the services of Pati Ross-Concepcion , a very knowledgeable consultant who has been working with me through the last year and a half. She’s got great industry and marketing experience and we share the same marketing ideas and strategies. So, not only have we expanded our education and communications platforms, but we’re actively growing our own channel of subagents. We know that we can work with MSP/ IT companies or individuals and coach them into opening doors and offering our services to their existing clients or new clients. So far this program is progressing well and we see it as a major growth opportunity.


CEOCFO: ZLH Enterprises is carrier agnostic. You work with many different companies. How do you stay on top? A company may be very good today and then all of a sudden they are not. How are you able, with so many different companies and so many different services, to really keep on top of what is happening?

Ms. Hassel: It is difficult. We have experts continually scouring the industries digitally and attending very specific conferences. Most of the companies we represent, provide in-depth technical training and comparisons which we attend weekly. There are also several analytical tools we have available to us through some of our partners, which are helpful in providing product and vendor comparisons to narrow the field. However, training and reading is the key.

One thing I should stress is that carrier agnostic means we will never go into a customer location to sell something. We will go to a customer location to see how we can help them achieve their business goals best served and accelerated by various technologies. We will never go to a client and focus on the carrier’s “push” products. We do not work from quotas. If anyone asks me if this is a sales organization the answer to that is emphatically “no”.


CEOCFO: What are you surprised we can do with technology today and what are you surprised we cannot do yet?

Ms. Hassel: I’m actually not surprised! We can do almost anything with technology and software application these days. However, because there is so much information being disseminated every day about new software, new hardware, new applications, we need to be more vigilant that ever before. The number of new applications that will collect useable data analyzed by Artificial Intelligence are exploding. With no end in sight, disruption and chaos will continue to be pervasive across the marketplace and the workplace. That said, common sense and information will drive our behavior and support of our clients.


CEOCFO: Why choose ZLH Enterprises?

Ms. Hassel: Foremost, we treat our customers and the requirements of our customers as though they are our own. We see our role as an extension of the customer team, and we listen carefully to what they need us to do for them pre and post installation. We will handle needs analysis, solution development, vendor and pricing evaluations and recommendation, project management, and white glove, concierge customer service. We will do any of these based on our client’s wishes.


About ZLH Enterprises

Founded by Zina Hassel, ZLH Enterprises began as a telecommunications business solutions provider two decades ago. Since then the business has transformed into a technology consultancy dedicated to assisting small, medium and enterprise customers in navigating the continuous disruption in the technology industries. ZLH Enterprises provides solution evaluation, development, and implementation for a diverse portfolio of VoIP, Connectivity, Cloud Computing, Data Center, and AI products. Customer Service is the number one priority of the entire team resulting in a white glove, concierge service to our clients and earning the role of Trusted Advisor.


Contact: Pati Ross-Concepcion

Phone: 732-845-5288





“I endeavor to be the warrior that my clients want in the trenches with them during the quiet—but also during disruptive times. That’s when it really counts.”- Zina L. Hassel


ZLH Enterprises



Pati Ross-Concepcion








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