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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

NFV Vendor Challenges Part 2

How will the software in NFV networks interact? Via a Management and Orchestration (MANO) layer.

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Rapport Open APIs Increase Employee Productivity

By: Richard Hatheway, Director, Enterprise Communications Product Marketing, Rapport for Large Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent

What is one of the biggest factors affecting employee productivity today? Recent studiesby the National Business Research Institute and the Pew Research Center indicate that not having the right technology tools to do their jobs is one of the most critical. From something as simple as having a cell phone to as advanced as having a customized app, having the right tool provides employees with a productivity boost.

Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos. In addition, being locked in to one technology vendor often stymies the enterprise from being able to update the tools necessary to increase employee productivity.

For instance, something as simple as developing and deploying a new app is often a frustrating experience, as the enterprise must submit a request to the technology vendor for a new app to be developed, then wait until the vendor adds it to their development queue before finding out when to expect it. This often takes months, if not longer.

In the meantime, instead of waiting for the new app, many employees take the “shadow IT” route. They download rogue (i.e., non-IT-supported) apps that will allow them to move forward with at least some of the functionality they seek, even without IT support. While this work-around may provide some degree of productivity enhancement for the employee, wouldn’t it be better if the enterprise was able to either plug in existing best-of-breed third-party apps or develop and deploy its own apps without having to wait for a vendor to become involved?

Alcatel-Lucent thinks so, which is one of the reasons our new solution, Rapport™ for Large Enterprise, is generating so much interest. Rapport is a private cloud-based communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for the large enterprise.

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Versay Solutions Moves to Support the Omnichannel World

A company known for professional services in the contact center – Chicago-based Versay Solutions has more recently applied its skills in analytics...

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Splice Software Uses the Power of Analytics to Expand its Product Line

Big data and analytics have had a huge impact on numerous spaces and certainly marketing is one of these areas. Perhaps the...

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Jet.com The .Good the .Bad and the .Ugly

The .GoodI’ve been using Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of...

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VoicePIN Voice Biometrics Brings New Tech to Phone and Apps

The biometrics market has been around for decades but never achieved widespread acceptance until after Apple rolled out TouchID. Laptop makers...

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Lasers are the Future of Drone Fighting

I’ve been among the first people to realize how drones can be a major problem for security in the world. In February...

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How Much is Too Much?

June 21, 2010

I was invited into yet another LinkedIn group today. This time from Telarus. Why? There are groups from Phone+ (Channel Partner Network), ChannelVision Magazine, Independent Telecom Consultants, Peer-to-Peer, Telecom Business Daily, Telecom Executives Business Network, Telecom Sales Pros, Telecommunications Professionals Network, and the Technology Channel Association.

A couple of months ago, a TCA Board member started Channel Update, kind of in direct conflict with what we were doing at TCA.

50 Ideas in 50 Minutes

June 20, 2010

Friday a client told me that he wanted me to re-do my talk titled 50 Ideas in 50 Minutes. This is a session that Jack Brandt and I did for the now defunct ISPCON shows. It was not original ideas but a collection of nuggets that people forget and do not implement. I thought that I would share them with you:

  1. Plan- so you have a path
  2. Strategy- so you aren't putting out fires
  3. Call your best customers just to make sure everything okay, then ask for referrals.
  4. Focus on goals
  5. Remember that Marketing takes 6-9-12 months
  6. Become an information source- newsletter, podcast, blog, keep people thinking you know everything
  7. Think tank for your biz: attorney, CPA, 2 best customers, 2 non customers
  8. Hosted non portable services- hosted exchange-makes you sticky
  9. Get others organized
  10. Phase out projects so goals met, not just GOAL
  11. Have a vision statement - so all employees/literature say the same thing.
  12. Add a closing script to calls/meetings
  13. FAIL FAST
  14. Who's your competition?
  15. Bring your customers people who can be their customers, they will never leave you
  16. Differentiate- show EASY, ROI, EFFICIENT
  17. Make customers experience EASY (VOIP doesn't do this)
  18. Who is your target customer?
  19. Go vertical- find a niche
  20. Figure out how to steal competition from a competitor
  21. Sell more to your current customers
  22. Vertical markets are less price sensitive
  23. FASTER and BETTER, NOT cheaper
  24. Be able to TCO and ROI on product/service
  25. Sell Something/Cross Sell
  26. Address women - they make most of the decisions
  27. Hire WOMEN to sell
  28. Hire Attorney to Sell for you
  29. Give back to the community, then talk about it
  30. Get employees to give back, then talk about it
  31. Encourage employees to provide feedback to company about how to improve
  32. Outsource and partner - you can't do everything
  33. Start every day with 2 cold calls, the rest of the day will be easy
  34. Do not leave voice mail for someone you've never met
  35. Have a unique selling proposition
  36. Always ask for a follow-up appointment
  37. Teach a class or seminar
  38. Create podcast or youtube video
  39. Hire Slow, fire FAST
  40. Let your employees find other employees
  41. Hire your vendors' employees
  42. Have a process
  43. Have a script - this creates consistency and a process for up sell
  44. Rent a theater with new release for just customers - they will tell everyone, better than $5 pen
  45. Free lunch and learns via chamber
  46. Marketing on hold
  47. Everyone is stressed, be friendly
  48. Takes average of 7 touches to a customer to get them on board
  49. Use the power of a Thank You, hand written, especially to women
  50. Have a mystery shopper
  51. Follow up on service calls to make sure their happy
  52. Have tie in's
  53. Charities - Co-Market with them.
  54. Door Hangers.
  55. Surveys.
  56. Documentation management/storage, Make it EASY.
  57. Pizza Box Advertisement
  58. Coffee cups for local coffee shop with both logo's on it.
  59. If you are comfortable, you are not doing anything that will get you to the next level.
  60. Biz coaches- SCORE.org is free/retired biz people to help
  61. Use college business & marketing dept's.
  62. Hire an intern.
  63. Make them laugh- leave a joke as voice mail.


Marketing is Not Sales

June 20, 2010

Marketing is creating noise. Marketing is puking on Twitter and other social networks.

Sales is about relationships. Never forget: people do business with people. Sales is also about product knowledge.

7.5 Things to Consider about VoIP Providers

June 20, 2010

It's seems every day another provider of VoIP services pops up. There's at least 1100 of them. How does a small business decide what VoIP Provider to use?

My guess is that it's the first one to knock on his door that he trusts.

My Thoughts on the BSFT IPO

June 17, 2010

Disclaimer: I work with both Broadsoft and its customers.

I was shocked to learn that Broadsoft hasn't made money yet. Granted some of their clients came through acquisitions of Genband and Sylantro, but they have 400+ clients including many large ILEC's worldwide.

Broadsoft raised about $76M from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Grotrech Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Columbia Capital, RRE VEntures, Crescendo Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners.

HDTV Experience

June 16, 2010

I have Bright House Networks for my Internet access and TV. I have a Toshiba LCD HDTV. I have had problems with signal disappearing to the TV for a while. I have also been experiencing problems with Video-on-Demand not working and the Guide.

CommPartners BK

June 15, 2010

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that CommPartners has filed bankruptcy protection (against Ma Bell). "The filings were made in Nevada bankruptcy court by Las Vegas-based companies CommPartners Holding Corp., CommPartners Carrier Services Corp., CommPartners Network Services LLC and CommPartners LLC." (Doing business under the name CommPartners Connect.)

An inside source reminds me that, "It's a Chapter 11 re-organization, not liquidation. Caused by an FCC that has been afraid to tackle inter-carrier compensation reform and by greedy ILECs that act as if they are entitled to inflated access charges.

Is FiOS Crushing Verizon?

June 11, 2010

Is Verizon getting crushed by their FiOS project?

A source says that the labor force internally has shifted around so that the FiOS department is a separate stand-alone department without access from other departments. In other words, FiOS is a silo. That's not that unusual in big corporations, especially telcos.

Not the Way I Saw It

June 10, 2010

Speakeasy is merging with the merging Covad and Megapath in a menage of sorts, according to this press release from MegaPath.

I saw New Edge Networks, the EarthLink company, joining with the other DLEC's. Didn't see this one coming.

"Through a combination of direct sales and a national network of more than 8,000 IT consultant partners, Speakeasy has experienced significant customer growth, with more than 30,000 small business customers nationwide.

Verizon Starts Blocking

June 9, 2010

Comcast won in court over the FCC on the issue of traffic shaping, so Verizon started blocking ports this week.

First, VZ started blocking port 25 yesterday on their FiOS and DSL networks. Now VoIP Traffic is being blocked.

From an ITSP, "We started getting calls today, and it seems that Verizon has started blocking ports, traffic shaping, something, but it is interfering with voice service, email, and some web traffic.

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