Gary D's Take

Business Exchange Speaking Engagement

Business Exchange Speaking Engagement

Dec 23, 2015

It was my pleasure to speak at the Business Exchange Chapter of All About Referrals this past Thursday.

The main topic was “Four basic communications points to review to be sure you are ready for business in 2013″. During the brief question and answer session following , I fielded several very good questions from the members. Thanks to everyone for allowing me to speak. For more information on the Business Exchange , visit the website http://aar-bx.com/.

AT&T Investing $14 billion in New Technology, As Long As It’s Not Copper

AT&T Investing $14 billion in New Technology, As Long As It’s Not Copper

Dec 23, 2015

From iphonehacks.com- November 2012-According to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, AT&T is going to invest $14B in its networks over the next three years. The investments are going to focus on wireless ($8B) and wireline ($6B), but in this case it isn’t copper wire that being invested in, but IP technologies over fiber. Is the POTS line entered a death spiral? The opening paragraph of the article by Stacey Higginbotham sets the tone for what is coming for AT&T and the network:
AT&T is done with its copper telephone network and copper DSL business, according to its CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson, who spoke Wednesday at an analyst conference in New York City. The company believes that an all-IP network is the path to more profitable future. Given the millions of subscribers that are dependent on the copper telephone lines and copper DSL products, AT&T has offered a $14 billion fringe benefit for those customers and the regulators who will likely balk at the idea of AT&T stopping its investment in copper.
Via: GigaOm

Read the whole article at http://www.iphonehacks.com/2012/11/att-investing-14-billion-in-new-technology-as-long-as-its-not-copper.html.

So where does that leave the millions of customers who depend on the existing copper infrastructure , from single analog lines to traditional T-1s? Let’s just say , they are in a funny place. And not funny like HaHa.

Great Article from Reuters-Apple: The slaying of a tech hero

Great Article from Reuters-Apple: The slaying of a tech hero

Dec 23, 2015

from http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2013/01/25/apple-the-slaying-of-a-tech-hero/

By Zachary Karabell

January 25, 2013

Apple’s quarterly results this week drew a flood of reactions – almost all negative. Given how well the company did under almost any absolute measure, this is odd, though, for Wall Street, not necessarily surprising.

But the arc of Apple’s rise and temporary fall tells a more troubling story about our current inability to maintain positive momentum about any aspect of our culture. We slay our heroes with casual abandon. Then we wring our hands about the absence of positive catalysts in our world today.

Apple’s stock, already in relative free fall from an all-time high of more than $700 a share, plunged nearly 12 percent on the news. The company has now lost 35 percent of its value in four months – which represents an astonishing $235 billion. This decline alone is larger than all but three companies in the S&P 500, and larger than the gross domestic product of more than 140 countries.

That equity collapse was echoed by deeply pessimistic analysis of the company in the financial and tech media. Jim Cramer of CNBC railed against the post-Steve Jobs management under chief executive officer Tim Cook for failing to communicate a compelling vision. Others were less kind, dismissing the company as having no pipeline, no vision and little growth. “I think this is a broken company,” said noted investor Jeffrey Gundlach.

Apple matters on multiple levels: it is still (barely) the world’s largest company by market cap; it has been cited as a beacon of American innovation, led by a rare visionary, Steve Jobs, who resurrected the company he’d founded in the decade before his death; its products have been more than just hardware devices – consumers view them as a talisman, defining identities and allowing people to manifest their personal and professional lives as they chose. In the past few years, its stock price has been a proxy for that enthusiasm.

So what happened? What’s most stunning about Apple’s stunning and sudden fall is that it is unfolding in the context of still stunning actual results. Not only has the company not ceased growing, it is expanding at an astonishing clip. Its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $54.5 billion compared to $46.33 billion a year ago – which is a rise of 18 percent. Eighteen percent in a world economy that is barely growing 3 percent. It sold 47 million iPhones in the quarter compared to 37 million a year ago, and 23 million iPads compared to 15 million a year ago.

Yes, Apple earnings were flat, and stock market mavens point ominously to declining margins and shrinking earnings as telltale signs of trouble. But that isn’t a sign of shrinking market share – which has been nearly fatal for former leaders such as Blackberry and Nokia. No, Apple increased its global share of smartphone sales in a market that is hardly robust – as Samsung, Apple’s main competitor revealed as well. And issues of tight margins and spending more money to produce and market the same products are hardly Apple-specific and often given a pass by investors for companies such as Amazon or LinkedIn.

Still, Apple is not just another story of the bizarre way that Wall Street can value a company. It is that, but it’s more as well. It seems like only yesterday that Apple was being hailed as the great company of our age, with its dying founder lionized in a best-selling biography as a genius not just of our time but of any time. It seems like only yesterday because it basically was only yesterday.

And before its recent image travails, Apple’s sharp ascent was equally stunning – written off as dead by the late 1990s, it emerged as the tech innovator par excellence by the mid-2000s, invested with every virtue. Now, it is regarded as a has-been, hocking commoditized phones that any Chinese manufacturer can produce and tablets that every company in the world seems to be making, led by a CEO whose expertise is rationalizing the supply-chain. Hardly the stuff of dreams.

It’s fair to say that Apple was never as transformative a social and technological force as myth would have it. And the slaying of heroes is hardly unique to our era. But the speed of lionizing and then annihilating is enough to take your breath away. It’s the cultural equivalent of creative destruction. But unlike the economic version, it’s hard to see where the creative element creeps in.

It is true that Apple functions in a ruthlessly competitive industry that is both fickle and short-term. Phones and tablets are ever-more essential but command about the same consumer loyalty as fashion: Cool one day, tired the next – even if you are a juggernaut like Apple.

Perhaps the market and the media are simply accelerating an inevitable process. You only get to be on top for a while, before the buzz and the business move elsewhere. In that sense, Apple is just an oversized corporate ingénue, with its brief moment fading and someone else soon to take its place, before the cycle begins again.

But the cultural message embedded in tearing Apple down is more pernicious than doing the same to a fading starlet. Beneath the furor, Apple continues to do its business exceedingly well and continues to give people what they need and want. For now, it is largely media and Wall Street that are writing Apple’s obituary – not customers.

The message may prove to be correct, or it may not, but the complete lack of perspective about how hard it is to create something of worth compared to how easy it is to tear something down does not send a constructive signal or engender the better angels of our nature.

Apple was always likely to decline from its heights. But not because it failed, simply because others succeeded. In the story of Apple, and how we tell it, we have a metaphor for the story of the United States in recent years: a tendency to see the end, and then hasten it. Apple’s success was an example of what the United States can do brilliantly. The recent reaction to it shows that we can also excel at self-immolation.

Better to nurture the former instincts. The other will lead nowhere, and fast.

PHOTO: A customer is helped by an Apple employee while looking over the iPad mini after the device went on sale at Apple’s retail store in Palo Alto, California November 2, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Your Legacy Phone System

Your Legacy Phone System

Dec 23, 2015

Abandoning a legacy system altogether simply isn’t feasible for some businesses.

After investing thousands of dollars into equipment,from handsets to the system itself, retiring the system might be out of the question. If you are reading this , however, it has become evident that your business has outgrown its current system, your legacy system is lacking modern features that could help you gain competitive advantage, and/or your business is expanding rapidly. Obviously, simply retaining your legacy system and hoping that it will continue to meet future demand is much like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand.

Businesses that are well-served by their existing system and looking to avoid the cost of new equipment may opt for legacy system integration. Integration solutions allow an enterprise to keep its existing system and free up the capital expense for other expanding business needs. According to PC World’s Zack Stern, “Your biggest savings could come from cutting your current Analog/ISDN PRI/BRI cord—the phone ‘trunk’ into your business,” Stern says. With IP trunking in its place, you instead connect through the internet, sharing phone traffic with your Internet service. “The switch can streamline your monthly fees. But you’ll have to add hardware to make this transition. Many  systems can work with your currently installed system hardware. You’ll connect from the  phone system into  controller hardware, which in turn connects to your Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP). The ITSP finally taps into the public phone network, reaching anyone on any phone.”

However, integration is a poor choice for enterprises where:
*Business growth has exceeded system limits
*The business requires remote office integration
*The business requires telephony features not supported by existing system

According to TechDay, the rising costs of keeping a legacy system reliable under increasing demand—not to mention a more competitive business environment—is simply not viable for some modern businesses.

As Jon Arnold, principal at J Arnold & Associates explains it: “Businesses have never had so much choice … when making decisions around telephone systems.”

 

Welcome to my new pet peeve.

Welcome to my new pet peeve.

Dec 23, 2015

When I write , I try to deliver content that is useful and entertaining. I am also a business person who has a product to sell. All the “smart” marketing folks say that if you deliver useful content in your blog , it will help your business. The one thing you shouldn’t do is make your blog a sales pitch because people will get real tired of it REAL FAST.

Here is a new spin on that concept. When you comment on a post in someone else’s blog , DON’T MAKE IT A COMMERCIAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS! Especially if your comment has little or no connection to the post you are attaching it to. Here’s an example. I was reading a post on INC entitled 3 Big Ideas to Steal From Netflix . This was a great article about employee retention and talent acquisition. I scrolled down to the comments and here is what I saw:

O really? So, should we start with choosing a hosting service provider that doesn’t even spare NetFlix on Christmas Eve?
Source: NetFlix Service Outage on AWS (Amazon Web Services)
http://www.dincloud.com/blog/NetFlix-service-outage-on-AWS-Amazon-Web-Services
What the H*** is this nut bucket thinking? The only connection his comment had with the post was that it was about Netflix and its employee policies…NOT about where Netflix is hosted. OK this is obviously an entrepreneur who is passionate about his business. I also understand that when you are a hammer , everything looks like a nail but for pity’s sake , have a little sense.