My views on life, love , career and…well just about everything.

Six Common Telecom BOOBOOS

In thirty plus years, I have seen lots of things when it comes to how telecom services get handled. These are the six things that seem to be repeated over and over on thousands of  plans.

1. Buying the inside wiring coverage
The inside wiring plan sounds like something that should be very beneficial to the consumer. IT’s NOT! If you read the fine print there are additional charges that will  be incurred for just about everything they might do INSIDE. Basically you are paying for nothing.This is true for telcos and cable companies.

2. Unlimited Long Distance
If you use 1000 plus minutes of long distance every month, this is a fairly good deal. Let’s face it, most folks don’t use that much. I recently told a client, "you  paid thirty five cents per minute for your long distance last month." The client replied . "No we have UNLIMITED long distance!" "Right", I said, "which costs ten ninety five a month and you used 31 minutes last month." I have also seen people put unlimited long distance on all lines, also not good.

3. Buying domains , email and web hosting from your service provider                                                                                       If you were never ever, ever going to change providers this would be ok, but the reality of today’s environment says that at some point you will want to change. Moving these services away from your provider is painful and time consuming. It’s designed to be that way. How can I say that? For example,AT&T uses a domain registrar in Melbourne Australia called Melbourne IT. The only way to communicate with Melbourne IT is via FAX to their local number in Australia. Could they make it any more difficult? Coming soon…… AT&T’s new domain registrar, LUNAR IT!!!

4. Having more than six analog lines.
This is another one of those basic math story problems from grade school. Six  business lines cost $50 each or $300 per month. The average T-1 now costs about $300 per month and can handle up to 23 voice channels. How many lines past six does it take to make a T-1 the better deal? This will be on the test later….:)

5. Packaging feature deals on all your lines.                    Packaging features is a great idea for businesses with one  or two lines and regular phones. It’s a terrible idea for anyone with a phone system and three or more lines. I have seen bills with six line plans that have features on all six lines. Do you really want three way calling and voice mail on your third rollover line?

6. Assuming that “customer service”doesn’t mean SALES.
Customer service calls are answered in the sales department. I am not saying that the people you talk to aren’t nice people or that they are out to get you.They are sales people with quotas to make , families to feed and products to push. Never forget that. What is good for them may not always be what you need.

Will The Last IT Person Out The Door Please Turn Out The Lights…….

Will The Last IT Person Out The Door Please Turn Out The Lights…….

Mar 26, 2012

This may only be a reflection of the vacuum I have been living in for the last year , but I just became aware of something really disturbing. A new IT company came on my radar screen called 323  Technology Solutions.  They whimsically characterize themselves as “the best technology company you never heard of.” I thought , “Yeah Right!” since they had not appeared to me previously. As I perused the company profile I noticed a common denominator in the employees, they all used to work in IT at Ready Mix USA. ALL TEN OF THEM! WOW….so the IT department at Ready Mix just emptied out in 2011. Which coincides with the buyout of Ready Mix by CEMEX, a Mexican company that says it is the largest concrete maker in the world, in 2011. Once again , some may say DUH where have you been, but I was shocked. Over the years, I have had some dealings with Ready Mix and I had no idea.

The formation of 323 Technology also makes me think of another thing, none of these folks has been able to find suitable employment here in Birmingham so they started a company of their own. Being somewhat familiar , that really resonates with me.
So what does the future of IT in Birmingham look like? With the number of large corporation headquarters in Alabama shrinking and Regions as the only Fortune 500 company in the state , will we see the kind of corporate IT jobs represented by Ready Mix USA continue to go away?
On the bright side, the other thing that this kind of shift does is make IT talent available to more small companies. The expertise formerly contained in Ready Mix’s IT department is now available to many smaller companies.
Best of luck 323!

What will 2012 bring us? Its really up to you!

What will 2012 bring us? Its really up to you!

Jan 2, 2012

“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”

-Warren Buffett



There are people who are waiting for the stock market to come back or the results of the election.

They are waiting to see what somebody else is going to do!

I heard somebody the other day say,” I am waiting to see what the big boys do. Small business is driven by what big business does.”

What drives big business? Consumers and demand drive big business. Do big businesses “wait” to see what consumers are going to do? Of course not , they do things to create demand and drive business. Notice what I said “do things”.

A friend of mine was lamenting the sorry condition of sales at his company. His comment was . “Nobody is doing anything right now.” Once again , that “doing” word. So if somebody was doing would be better…right?

We had lots of changes in 2011in technology and in the business climate. Most would say that the  business changes were not for the good. Companies that historically did business a certain way found that things just didn’t work the way they used to. Markets like housing changed forever….they will never be the same again.

There are three kinds of people:

Those who make it happen.

Those who watch what happens.

Those who wonder what happened.

Vast sweeping changes have ended civilizations and dynasties. They also create gigantic opportunities for the ones who can adapt and capitalize on them. Will you be one of the ones that embrace the changes and use them to create new opportunities or are you waiting?