Tuesday, August 30, 2011

IT Expo 2011 Austin, Texas


Why You Need To Be At ITEXPO
ITEXPO will travel to Austin for the next installment of ITEXPO West. With the latest tech developments, it will benefit both your knowledge and your wallet! Austin ranked #7 on the list of America’s Top Tech Centers, and is also a spot for the highest job growth!

•Austin ranks #7 on the list of America’s Top Tech Centers, according to American Cities Business Journals. (May 2009)
•Austin lands the number one spot as the top U.S. city for job growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
•TMC has arranged for all ITEXPO participants to enjoy free WiFi connections through the Austin Convention Center’s massive network—capable of serving 5,800 simultaneous users
•Convenient, non-stop flights from virtually every U.S. city on major U.S. carriers.
Get to ITEXPO and Take Charge of Your Future

Deploy New Communications Solutions
Deliver New Communications Services

Resell New Communications Solutions
Develop New Communications Applications

Network with Media and Analysts
Network with Your Peers

Form Valuable Partnerships
Explore Mobile Network Opportunities

Experience the Largest Communications & Technology Event of the Year.

•7 Conference Tracks
•6 Free Workshops & Training Sessions
•Free Keynotes from Siemens, IBM, Polycom & More
•2 Free Networking Receptions
•10 Collocated Tech Conferences
•1 Job Fair, Hosted by DICE
•1 Kickin' Party
Come join thousands of people from within the communications and technology communities who gather with enterprises, SMBs and other end users to build their businesses and gain knowledge for the future at ITEXPO.

At ITEXPO, the academic setting in conference sessions, benefit-driven presentations and demos on the expo floor, and informal collaboration and exchange of ideas during impromptu, one-on-one networking aids in you becoming better equipped in your career and for your company.

You'll experience a first-class conference education, unrivaled networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall filled with cutting-edge solutions.

Come explore all key issues, and debate many others with colleagues, competitors, and potential partners at the largest gathering of communications and technology professionals.
We are at a critical turning point in the growth of cloud-based solutions, mobile networks, UC applications, and so much more.

Topics Covered:
Understanding the Transformation to an all IP World: Interview with GENBAND

Extending Security to the Mobile Enterprise: Interview with Sipera Exec

TMC and Embrase Business Consulting Announce Exciting Program Updates for Cloud Communications Summit
DemandResults Partners with Twilio to Launch RingDNA

TelStar Hosted to Jointly Host a Booth at ITEXPO with VOCALCOM

HootSuite Goes 'Owl' the Way with Facebook Dashboard Enhancements
ITEXPO West Interview: The Potential in Mobile Apps
SugarCRM's Bucholtz to Discuss the Future of CRM at ITEXPO West 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

American Airlines Trials In-Plane Streaming

American Airlines Trials In-Plane Streaming

By Glenn Fleishman

Finally: I've been asking the question for several years: when will media servers on planes be used to provide in-flight entertainment over Wi-Fi? The answer is now. Aircell told me years ago that they had provisioned the ability to put media servers on planes, and were waiting for pieces to fall into place. Its public trial with American Airlines on a couple of 767-200s will start this summer.

It's a logical connection that when you have people on a local, high-speed wireless network that you could deliver content to them for free and for a fee. Given that the majority (sometimes entirety) of people on a flight have some kind of device with a screen, why build in miles of wire and clunky seatback entertainment systems?

One of the best, Virgin American's Red, is still slow, hard to navigate, and of poor quality relative to even the worst tablet or netbook. Alaska Airlines never installed such systems for reasons of cost, and rents its digEplayer instead—a portable tablet preloaded and precharged.

An airline that moves away from seatback systems and into passenger-provided hardware could also stock tablets for rental, now that there will be ready availability of a variety of sizes and capabilities that handle video playback well, and which cost relatively little compared to custom systems like the digEplayer.

This could also eliminate live satellite feeds by providing time-delayed playback on demand. Imagine that when a plane comes to a halt and the doors are opened that a system at each gate starts a high-speed 802.11n transfer of several hours of news and other recent sports, talk shows, and network programs. There's something nice about "live," but there's also the reality of operational cost and antenna drag.

Aircell and American haven't announced which programs and movies will be available nor the cost or other particulars.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Top Ten Cleantech Real Estate Projects in the United States

Top Ten Cleantech Real Estate Projects in the United States
by Shawn Lesser

It is not enough just to talk about clean technologies, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, but they must be promoted and utilized in businesses, arenas, and homes as well. Currently, there are a number of real estate projects that assist in making the United States much more energy efficient and greener, reducing the need for fossil fuels and shrinking the greenhouse gas effect.

1) Arkansas Home Energy Consultants. In an effort to increase energy efficiency within existing as well as new residential structures, Home Energy Consultants in Arkansas are providing their assistance. In all new homes, they created an Energy Star Qualified Homes Program as well as technical assistance and training for all construction companies. Existing homes are provided with a Diagnostic Energy Audit to find areas where electricity is being overused, and then provide an inexpensive energy saving improvement program.

2) Promotion of City Green Building in Seattle, Washington. Seattle, Washington has often been seen as a leader in cleantech real estate projects in an effort to make their city more “green.” For example, the Green Building Sustainable Communities Program, created by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, aims to provide the necessary support in ensuring that future city projects utilize renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

3) State of New Jersey Green Homes Office. New Jersey supports a large number of programs to assist with the creation of buildings and homes that are energy efficient and use renewable energy. The State of New Jersey Green Homes Office is an organization heavily devoted to assisting with the development of buildings that will ensure a sustainable New Jersey. This program offers financial and technical assistance to building developers to guarantee that they not only incorporate, but also standardize the utilization of efficient and sustainable design practices that do not harm the environment.

4) Florida Babcock Ranch. Started in 2009, Babcock Ranch, a project created by real estate company Kitson and Partners, aims to become one of the first sustainable cities in the United States. With more than 17,000 acres at their disposal, the plan is to erect a number of office buildings, retail centers, light industrial spaces, and 20,000 residences all in line with Florida Green Building Council standards and will be powered using a solar PV energy facility.

5) Michigan Renewable Schools Program. 2011 saw the expansion of the Michigan Renewable Schools Program by Energy Works Michigan. With a contract from the Michigan Public Service Commission for $4.4 million, this project creates the ability to provide 90 K-12 private and public school in the state with solar and wind power generation systems by 2014. By the close of 2010, the project was already able to provide these systems to 30 schools. The project also provides energy audits as well as technical assistance to schools to aid in reducing total electricity costs and increasing energy efficiency.

6) North Carolina Farm Energy Efficiency Project. While most programs focus on businesses and homes, a number of real estate projects, especially in the south, focus on farms. For example, there is the Farm Energy Efficiency Project in North Carolina. This project was created by a partnership between the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to assist in creating more energy efficient farms. The Projects instructs farm owners on how to become energy efficient and provides the resources to make necessary improvements. The project offers a number of financial assistance programs to offset costs incurred by farmers in implementing energy efficient measures and renewable energy technologies.

7) Renewable Energy Project at the Philadelphia Eagles Stadium. Going down the list of renewable energy projects, one cannot forget the strides many sporting arenas are taking to become more energy efficient and use renewable energy. Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home to the Eagles, is set to become the first major sports arena to be powered fully by renewable energy through the use of solar and wind technologies. The project is supported by a number of renewable energy companies, including SolarBlue. Completed by the end of 2011, the project will save the stadium more than $60 million in total energy costs.

8 ) Philips Arena goes LEED in Atlanta, Georgia. The home of the NHL Thrashers, Philips Arena in Atlanta in 2009 received LEED for Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance certification. This marked the first time an existing arena obtained LEED status. Working with a national leader in sustainable building promotion, Southface, the company provided technical assistance when it came to upgrading the energy performance of the arena, as well as water consumption, indoor air quality, and total waste management. This project aims to start a domino effect in the United States for other venues to become more energy efficient.

9) Seattle Energy Efficient Real Estate Fund. GSB Ventures, a Seattle0based real estate company, created the Seattle Energy Efficient Real Estate Fund in 2009 to promote energy efficiency. Starting with $50 million in funding money, the project aims to rebuild distressed homes currently on the market and utilize energy efficient measures, afterward, putting them back on the market for rent or buy. The first real estate fund of its kind, the project aims to increase and get federal debt funding and take advantage of tax credits and rebates for energy efficiency in the homes.

10) Going Green in Greensburg, Kansas. In 2007 an F5 tornado hit the town of Greensburg, Kansas, wiping much of the city out. When discussing the rebuilding of the city, Greensburg decided to live up to its name and rebuild its entire city “Green.” This rural city declared that it would become the national model of environmentally conscious living. Although the rebuild would cost more than average, the energy savings would make up for the cost. Greensburg is set to become a “living lab.” All buildings more than 4,000 square feet will get the USGBC LEED Platinum rating, including City Hall, which will be installed with solar panels and be constructed from recycled bricks. All electricity in the city will be from renewable sources. Numerous research institutes, cleantech companies, and universities are aiding in the effort.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

6 Lessons for Sales Success, From Telecom Prospecting to Tech Cold Calling

6 Lessons for Sales Successby Tony Cole Article Link
I did something today that I haven't done in 16 years. Early on in our business, I established rules for our sales success. One of my rules was No Cold Calling. Even though there is a lot of information on effective cold calling, by having that rule, I was forced to get introductions and network with centers of influence. This has worked well over the years. But, that was 16 years ago and a lot has changed since then. Occasionally, you need to change your approach to maintain your success.

Yesterday, I grabbed a business card from a prospect that attended a Cincinnati Chamber session that I delivered in February. I decided to just stop by his office, hand the receptionist his card and my card and ask "Is this guy in?" I was going to be in the area so I decided today would be a good day to drop in.

Lesson 1 - Have a plan, think through the plan, practice the plan.
I went to his place of business this morning after my coffee appointment, walked up to the receptionist, handed her three cards - two of which belonged to people at the company and one of mine - and asked the question, "Any of these guys here?"

She left with my card in hand and then came back out saying, "Rich will be with you in a minute." Rich came out with a big smile on his face, greeted me and said that it was great that I would stop in. I told him that if I didn't have the guts to stop in and see him, then he shouldn't hire me to begin with.

You see, I'm a bulldog when it comes to prospecting. Once I get a sense that there is something we should be talking about, I just keep calling, writing, and in this case, really get outside of my normal box and drop in. I didn't have on a suit or blazer with a tie. My first meeting was very informal; I was clad in blue jeans, cowboy boots and polo shirt. I was, as Seth Godin would put it, a Purple Cow.

Lesson 2 - Be unique. It is what clients are looking for today.
We spent an hour together and I learned a great deal about their business- what is working and not working, how the business has changed and what is keeping them from performing at a higher level. No sales pitch, no sales talk, just asking questions. I asked them questions that went well beyond areas that I specifically could help them with, because I am interested. And the best way to help anyone is to be sincerely engaged in their business and courageous enough to ask sometimes tough and unusual questions.

Lesson 3 - Have courage. What is the worse that could happen?
He took me on a tour and we just happened to go by the VP of sales office where he introduced me to Jim. He told Jim about our history, our conversation that morning and that Anthony Cole Training Group had some really "good stuff" for sales and sales management. Additionally, he suggested that we have a meeting to discuss what they do, what they need to do, and how "maybe" we might be of help. Jim said yes.

Lesson 4 - If you ask enough times and are persistent, sooner or later someone will say yes.
Additionally, given the nature of their business - B2B with lots of dropping in and cold calling - the VP was very impressed that the "president" of the company would be out on the road dropping in on prospects.

Lesson 5 - You never know what will impress your prospect.
For additional prospecting help, go here and pull down Questions for Drilling Down, the 8 Step Compelling Phone Approach, and Qualify Your Prospects.

Lesson 6 - Go back to Lesson 1 and Go Prospect.

I started this site to help others with tips in Sales, Telecom-Renewable Energy awareness. Contact me Tradd Duggan , LinkedIn profile. To Network, possible Sales openings your company may have or more information.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Best Ethernet-Fiber Carrier Co-Location, Cheapest Prices Peering Networks, DIA Dedicated Internet IP,Private Lines or Point to Point Int'l

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WAN using IP VPN over Internet versus MPLS – Pros and ConsPosted by Steve Garson Published in Get MPLS Price Quote, International Networks

WAN using IP VPN over Internet versus MPLS – Pros and ConsPosted by Steve Garson Published in Get MPLS Price Quote, International Networks, Network FAQs, New MPLS Implementations, Notes About Implementations, Quotation ThoughtsThere’s a price for everything in this world, and Internet based IP VPNs are no exception. While IP VPNs are a cheaper alternative to any MPLS network, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re for everyone, as customer requirements always vary. In this posting, I will explain both the Internet IP VPN advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s take a look at a few IP VPN advantages over most MPLS circuits:

•Cheaper rates. Internet service providers provide a simple NxT1, Ethernet or Cable connection to the Internet, using the highest possible speed with. The price for internet connectivityis considerably cheaper than almost any WAN MPLS service, making it extremely attractive for companies seeking to cut telecom costs.
•Fully configurable. WAN engineers have total control over the VPN tunnel created between sites. They are able to perform on-the-fly configuration changes to compensate for any network problems or help rectify any problem that might arise. With full access to the VPN, terminating equipment like routers and firewalls, engineers have the ability to see the condition of the internet circuit and take any action(s) deemed necessary…provided they have the staff resources and skills.
•VPN backup included. For mission-critical sites, backup via another internet circuit is possible if your primary connection fails. Time response for the backup line to come online is configurable by the network engineer, and there is no need to wait for the ISP to fix a line so your company can continue working.
•Two-in-one. When configuring the site-to-site VPN, engineers can also configure remote VPN access for users traveling around the country or world, a feature most companies would have to pay additional money for to receive from their service providers.
•Upgradable features. Perhaps one of the strongest advantages is the fact that your site-to-site VPN characteristics are strictly dependant on those that your VPN routers/firewall support. This means that as new features are introduced with the newer router operating systems (i.e., Cisco IOS), they will be available to your engineers to implement. For example, QoS pre-classification was a feature Cisco introduced in its IOS that fixed a number of QoS features for different services running over VPN tunnels. Dynamic Multiple VPN (DMVPN) was another great feature allowing scalable IPsec VPN tunnels between multiple sites. DMVPN allows every endpoint to dynamically build a VPN tunnel with any of its other peers, providing a low-cost mesh VPN solution.

Article Link Via MPLS Tier 1 Experts Blog

Contact me at tradd.duggan@gt-t.net at GTT Global Telecom & Technology for more Info: Whether you need Wide Area Network Services, price shopping, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), High Speed Ethernet/BGB or better Peering -we have over 600 and 96 On Net POP's in 46 markets! GTT has a suite of offerings that nobody else has. We can help you choose the best of breed technologies and services from hundreds of telecom carriers - globally in 80 countries - as well as from a suite of our own modular technology and managed services options.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Carrier Relationship Selling to Telecommunication Vendors Master Agents,Sub Agent,VAR's & Industry Experts,How Each Play a Vital Role in The Industry

Top 10 Agent Take-a-Ways from MicroCorp's Private One-on-One Event
Posted 11/3/10 By Dan Baldwin
Thanks to the Selling Telecom Blog for putting out great post week after week

Going to the big national agents shows are good for master agents and carriers needing to meet with one another but often "run of the mill" sub-agents like myself wander from seminar to seminar feeling "second best". Not so at the private annual events put on by the individual master agents like MicroCorp's "One-on-One".

At these invitation only shows, the agents that help the master agents put up the big numbers with the carriers get their own time to mix with their peers and meet "One-on-One" with the big carriers. As I indicated in my initial review of MicroCorp's "One-on-One" event last month, over 110 agents attended to learn from each other and the 24 vendors that came to help put the party on as well as MicroCorp's two dozen staff members. Following is what I learned, as an agent, talking to MicroCorp's agents at this year's event.

Top 10 Agent Take-a-Ways from MicroCorp's One-on-One

1. The carrier path to the VAR volume goes through master agents - Whenever agents feel comfortable among their peers, as they do at these private master agent shows, they naturally seem to start talking about the big deals they've recently won or lost. My constant question in these conversations is, "How'd you get that lead?" (I'm always trying to learn if anyone's actually doing any marketing any more.) Invariably the answer is, "My VAR subs." When I ask what percentage of a productive sub-agent's lead come from VARs, many look at me kind of funny and say, "All of them."

When I asked the carrier reps at the MicroCorp event if they were having any luck signing up computer equipment VAR's ("value added resellers") or network systems integrators as direct agents, many agreed that they were having some luck but that they weren't getting any kind of serious or consistent sales volume out of them. All the "VAR volume" was coming through the relationships the master agent's subs had with their VAR lead partners.

2. You don’t need to understand data to sell it but you can’t be scared of it - There were people at the event that insisted agents who did not become much more technically savvy were not going to make it over the next several years. I disagree. Agents who can't learn the tech sales lingo are certainly at a disadvantage against their sales engineering peers but all successful agents really need to learn is a little more than they know now when it comes to selling tech.

Adam Shapiro, the very well received CustomerCentric Selling guru that MicroCorp brought in for a 60-minute session titled, "Cross-Selling Conversations" really brought this home for the attendees. He quickly had all the attendees writing "plausible emergencies" and "conversational success stories" as a quick and easy way to screen almost any business client or prospect for almost any technical solution or service.

I quickly decided that for me to do a better job of selling technical solutions I barely understand, all I really need to do is get together with my vendors and memorize a "plausible emergency" and a "conversational success story" for each of the high-margin solutions they keep wishing I'd sell more of.

3. Competition from carrier direct sales people continue to be an agent's worst "sales killer" - As most agents will admit, getting leads from VARs is great but it's not perfect. The biggest obvious problem with VAR leads is the agent doesn't "own the sales relationship" which means the prospect often feels free to shop the agent's price out - even to the direct sales side of a carrier the agent's already proposed. Sure, most good agents can sell through this using "value" and "single point of contact" on bigger deals but this unpleasant customer practice still tends to compress profit margins.

Direct sales people are an even bigger threat when it comes to larger VARs with their own carrier sales divisions. The owner of the VAR can dictate that his or her VAR equipment salespeople screen every equipment deal through the VAR's own carrier sales division but this does not seem to be happening. VAR equipment sales people peddle their network service leads first to anyone that will feed them more equipment leads (like direct carrier sales people) no matter what their bosses say.

4. Agents look to focus 2011 sales efforts on conferencing, retention, colocation/hosting & TEM/WEM - The best part of any agent gathering is picking the brains of peers to find out what they're sales focus will be in the next 12 to 18 months. fFor the agents and subs I met at MicroCorp's "One-on-One" that seemed to be:

5. Hosted applications vendors and agents are specifically networking with Avaya & Cisco partners - Telecom equipment vendors do not seem too threatened by backup and disaster recovery ("B/DR") solutions in the cloud. Many agents see B/DR as a natural icebreaker to get them in with telecom equipment partners - and it's selling very well.

6. The only marketing many agents are doing is to all their local equipment VARs - While many VARs seem to bemoan the constant assault by telecom agents and vendor wanting to partner with them, most seem to be OK partnering with someone. As most telecom agents are fairly poor marketers, it seems to me that it would not take too strong an effort to displace a VAR's current telecom partner by simply being more professional and staying in better touch.

7. "Clouds" rule high-end conversations but SMBs are just buying "a phone system" - While the cloud vendors are right that the mid-level & enterprise decision makers all want to talk about their "cloud strategies", many end-users still are not totally sure what they even need to buy to “have the cloud”. Agents calling on larger accounts need to know what products in their bag represent the “cloud” and need to be able to describe affordable strategies their clients can use to "migrate to the cloud" over a reasonable time period.

SMB clients though still just need their office phones to work at the least possible cost. Cloud? Prem? Two cans and a string? They don't really care. SMB agents need to know what products in their bag comprise both inexpensive phone solutions their customers can use now AND migrate them to useful cloud applications now or later.

8. Cloud discussions need to be framed around the customer's critical applications and infrastructure - At some point in the airy fairy conversation about "taking your customers to the clouds" your customers they will notice the big price tag. They will immediately sober up and compare that price to whatever it costs them to run their apps and infrastructure now and in the near future without any change. Simply talking about "the cloud" for the sake of the cloud doesn't sell anything to anyone.

Within a minute of anyone saying the word "cloud", agents need to understand what are the mission critical applications (inventory, payroll, CRM, etc.) for the business and on what servers and infrastructure do these applications now depend? How much does it cost to maintain, grow, move all that IT infrastructure? What are all the "non-cloud" options the business is looking at to protect their apps? Knowing the "anti-cloud" options makes selling the cloud a lot easier.

9. Selling too much "cloud" puts VAR lead partners out of work - Agents need to understand that most VARs and integrators pay their mortgage by selling servers and software licenses and then maintaining both - on the customer's premises. Pushing the servers and the software into the cloud seems like a great idea to agents and a lousy idea to VARs.

Before trying to get VAR lead partners too excited about joint selling the cloud, agents need to really understand what the VARs are selling their customers and how cloud and SaaS ("software as a service") solutions threaten the way they're currently making money.

(To help agents better understand the VAR and integrator world, TA is attending VAR tradeshows and watching VAR webinars. Through 2011 it's TA's vision to know as much about the VAR world as we know the telecom world - and pass that information on to all of TA's members and vendors.)

10. Agents need turn key marketing - It really amazes me how little effective marketing telecom agents do. It's a good thing most agents are naturally fearless sales people. VARs on the other hand do much more marketing than most telecom agents and there's lots of marketing vendors like Robin Robins and Kutenda selling them "MSP marketing" to help them. (Which is a good thing because most VARs are not that great at sales.)

When I go to agent events like MicroCorp's and ask what kind of marketing successful agents are doing, the response is usually, "word of mouth". When I ask them what kind of marketing they want to do, it's everything from email marketing to search engine optimization to social media.

If TA had more time and resources I'd put together a Robin Robins or Kutenda program just for telecom agents. Add good marketing to naturally gifted salespeople? They sky's the limit.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Sales Tips..Cold Calling Tips Made Easy

Stop Breaking a Sweat During Your Cold Calling
Article Link

Use Prospecting to Target Your Cold Calls More Effectively
Let’s just face it. As a sales professional, cold calling probably isn’t your favorite thing to do. It’s something that you do because you absolutely need to in order to keep your business running smoothly. You probably run through your list of potential clients as quickly as possible and then call it a day with one adept wipe of your forearm across your brow to remove the accumulated sweat. Have you ever considered the possibility that that solitary generic sales pitch that you’ve been using just isn’t working?

You might earn a few sales in the short run by using a standard cold calling sales pitch, but this is definitely not the best long term sales plan. You can actually save yourself quite a bit of trouble and make a lot more money if you start using your cold calls like sniper bullets instead of shot gun rounds, making sure that each one is custom fired to hit it’s target and specifically address that unique customer’s concerns. First of all, this means educating yourself on a regular basis. You need to gain cold calling expertize from experts when ever you get a chance. Talking to the top sellers in your organization, visiting sales planning websites like SalesRoundup.com, and reading books about cold calling and complex sales, should all be on the top of your weekly list of things to do. However, for now, this article will serve as an introduction to this more effective type of cold calling and get you started in the right direction.

If you want to halt that forehead sweat before it even starts here are a couple of key pointers that can help you to work smarter instead of harder every time that you pick up that phone to make a cold call.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cost Performance Advantage of Ethernet over Copper, Price Shopping For Ethernet

Most businesses have some type of bandwidth connections for credit card verification, email, online searches, location to location data transfers, procurement, research and a host of other needs. These connections run the gamut from information services such as DSL, Cable, satellite and wireless, to telecom services like T1, DS3, OC3 and Ethernet over Fiber. The new player, with cost vs performance advantages you should consider, is Ethernet over Copper.

Why Ethernet over Copper? First of all, this is a protocol that most closely matches what is running on nearly all networks today. That is, Ethernet. Most other services were designed back in day when voice was king and the public switched telephone network dominated worldwide communications. That’s no longer the case. The world has not only transformed from analog to digital, but has also moved from telephone conversations to email, texting, video downloads and streaming, search and Websites.