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Silver Lining Telecom

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WHY SEE A DOCTOR?  ANNUAL PHYSICALS ARE A WASTE!
  • Why see a doctor when you’re feeling OK?
  • As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
  • You already have the best diagnostician “in-house” , after all, who knows your body and how you’re doing and feeling better than you? You’re the best “expert” and don’t need anyone poking, prodding, running tests and taking vital signs to tell you what you already know - that you’re OK!

If you agree with the above statements then stop reading right now.

However, if you think these statements are wrong and its best to recognize and treat health problems before they get worse, then my question for you is – “Why not apply the same approach to your business and, specifically, to the “health” of your company’s Telecom spending?” My firm, Silver Lining Telecom will perform a free, no obligation, detailed benchmarking analysis (i.e. a “health check”) of your Telecom (Wireless, Voice/Data Network, Conferencing etc.) activities, contracts and spending. We’ll share the results with you and either give you a “clean bill of health” or suggest areas that could be improved to generate cost savings, recover billing errors and optimize services. Again, at no cost or obligation.

Remember, virtually every client we have also has in-house people managing their Telecom activities. But relying solely on them to spot problems and achieve optimal results is like doing a self-diagnosis instead of seeing a doctor because we have real-time market knowledge and experience that they do not, and cannot have.

Why? The genesis of this article came from a newspaper article I read about why men avoid health care services like going to the doctor or getting health check-ups and it occurred to me that many of the same issues could be applied to why so many of us are reluctant to get help in our business lives.

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The article stated that " Sometimes men avoid getting checkups, an annual physical or recommended screeining tests for other reasons.  They fear finding out something is wrong.  they think admitting illness or discomfort makes them weak.  They worry that a problem may cause them to be passed over for job performance."

By the same token, how many of us have avoided asking for help with a problem in our jobs or refused to get outside help for the very same reasons i.e. we fear that admitting there might be something wrong may make us look weak, less knoweledgeable or less competent?  If my own experience is any indication, the answer is that a lot of us (me included) have been in this exact situation.

The article featured a 37 year old man who, despite various persistent symptoms, put off getting a check-up for several years. When he finally did go to the doctor he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and faced long, painful, expensive and life-threatening treatment. Of course, the irony is that had he gone for a checkup a few years earlier the doctors would have likely found a small benign growth (polyp), removed it and sent him on his way with a clean bill of health.

Think about it - how many problems in our businesses go undetected because we take that same "fear of looking or finding out something bad" approach? Keep in mind, I'm not just talking about negative or crisis situations but also those things that could be made better i.e. process improvements, cost reductions and quality of product or service improvements that could be implemented if they were viewed with an unflinching eye or, better yet, several sets of eyes!

 

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The solution?  Stop trying to "tough it out" and don't be afraid to get a check-up now and then for both yourself and your business.  This could be through the use of independent 3rd party consultants like us  that have expertise and intellectual property that you don't have or it could be as simple as asking a colleague or co-worker for their input and "another set of eyes" on some aspect of your work.

The reward?  Much like medical problems, I've never seen a real business problem or opportunity that gets better by being ignored. So, the payoff for seeking help is a far less painful "treatment" and typically a better overall solution. In the case of our Telecom services, the results not only generate significant savings for our clients but also tend to make “heroes” of our contacts within those clients.  In the end, you'll be viewed not as weak or less competent but as a smart, pro-active problem solver who knows how to ensure a "clean bill of health" for your business.  Why not make an appointment with us for a check-up – what have you got to lose?

 

 

 

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Real Men Tough It Out

I just read a newspaper article about why men avoid health care services like going to the doctor or getting health check ups and it occurred to me that many of the same issues could be appled to why so many of us are reluctant to get help in our business lives.

The article stated that "Sometimes men avoid getting checkups, an annual physical or recommended screening tests for other reasons.  They fear finding out something is wrong.  They think admitting, illness or discomfort makes them appear weak.  They worry that a problem may cause them to be passed over for a job or promotion" 

By the same token, how many of us have avoided asking for help with a problem in our jobs or refused to get outside help for the very same reasons i.e. fear that admitting there might be something wrong may make us look weak or less competent?  If my own experience is any indicator, the answer is that a lot of us (me included) have been in this exact situation.

The article featured a 37 year old man who, despite various persistent sypmtoms, put off getting a check up for several years.  When he finally did go to the doctor he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and faced long, painful, expensive and life-threatening treatment.  Of course, the irony is that had he gone for a checkup a few years earlier the doctors would have lkely found a small benign growth (polyp), reomoved it and sent him on his way with a clean bill of health.

Think about it - how many problems in our businesses go undetected because we take that same "fear of looking or finding out something bad" approach?  Keep in mind, I'm not just talking about negative or crisis situations but also those things that could be made better i.e. process improvements, cost reductions and quality of product or service improvements that could be implemented if they were viewed with an unflinching eye or, better yet, several sets of eyes!

The solution?  Stop trying to "tough it out" and don't be afraid to get a check-up now and then.  This could be through the use of independent 3rd party consultants that have expertise or intellectual property that you don't have or it could be as simple as asking a colleague or co-worker for their input and "another set of eyes" on some aspect of your work.

The reward?  Much like medical problems, I've never seen a real business problem or opportunity that gets better by being ignored. So, the payoff for seeking help is a far less painful "treatment" and typically a better overall solution.  In the end, you'll be viewed not as weak or less competent but as a smart, pro-active problem solver who knows how to ensure a "clean bill of health" for your business.

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Good summary of some of the things we run into. Why Some Companies Are Reluctant to Embrace Consultants

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SeriousFun Network

Proud to be a contributor  - great people doing great work!

CLICK HERE to view.

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Wireless Taxes - Hidden Dangers & Hidden Costs

We have found that over half of the companies we talk to are in violation of the Federal Sourcing Act’s PPU (Place of Primary Use) requirements and don’t even realize it!

In addition, with wireless tax rates ranging as high as 26.29% the amount of spending related to wireless taxes is significant. 

We've found that by using the Wireless Tax Optimizer tool we can cut spending on wireless taxes by 20%-30%.

To get more in-depth details, download the White Paper from our website but here are some key features of the unique and exclusive tool we utilize to address these concerns:

  1. No other TEM provider has this Wireless Tax Optimizer tool – it is a unique, proprietary and patented capability.
  2. We can audit and address tax compliance issues with this tool – again nobody else can do this.
  3. Using this tool’s unique chargeback features, we can provide financial management/ chargeback ability that nobody else can offer.

We are advising companies to get out in front of this issue before it’s too late. 

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The developing role of the CIO as viewed by other top CIO's.  Interesting article about how successful CIO's will help to create value and manage their business by being pro-active, visionary and creative.

 http://www.cio.com/article/704050/Top_CIOs_Predict_the_Five_Year_Future_of_the_CIO?page=1&taxonomyId=3174

 

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Posted by on in Silver Lining Telecom

Believe it or not, we've actually come to sometimes sympathize with the plight of many of the carrier account teams.  More and more we are hearing account reps complain about the lack of resources and support from within their own organizations.  Headcount reductions, removal of field service roles and centralization of billing, ordering and implementation functions have all contributed to making it harder for the account reps to get things done and get issues resolved.

So, the reps are between the proverbial "rock and a hard place" because they either spend a lot of extra time resolving customer problems and chasing down answers internally or they get complaints from customers about lack of responsiveness.  Meanwhile their management wants them spending their time growing accounts and getting new business - which they could do if they didn't have to spend so much time putting out fires!

Unfortunately, this will not change unless or until the carriers start losing significant customers due to service and support issues.  As long as the carriers are growing and recording record profits there's really no reason for them to change.

What does this mean for customers?  It does not mean that you should accept or resign yourself to the situation. It means that it is more critical than ever to pay attention to your contract terms and conditions and to negotiate specific performance clauses around things like billing, implementation, account team support and other SLA's.  The key to addressing these issues is to make sure there are specific parameters in place and specific remedies with "teeth". Even if you are in the middle of a current contract it is still possible to amend and add terms to help address these issues. 

Also, we frequently find that communication channels have been pushed down to the lowest level and customers don't really know who to talk to beyond their direct account team.  We recommend, as a best practice, that clients establish (or re-establish) and maintain direct lines of communication with the Regional and Area carrier executives that oversee their account team.  Talk to them on a regular basis - not just when there's a problem.

So, next time you have an issue, do be a little sypathetic to your account rep - it's not always all their fault but don't fail to the address the underlying contractual and communication causes of the problem.

 

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We are not an agent for any carriers and get no fees from any vendors. While we develop custom tailored solutions by working closely with clients as an extension of their team, all final decisions are at the sole discretion of our clients.

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