ridetheRockies

Ride The Rockies 2013

My summer is finally in full swing thanks to the completion of the Ride the Rockies event last week. All in all it took 7 days, 546 miles, 33 more than originally planned because of the Royal Gorge Fire and about 19,000 calories burned, if you’re counting at home. This was my first RTR ride since I didn’t get enough from the Bicycle Tour of Colorado last year. Doing RTR this year was my way of kicking off my summer in Colorado. A lot of people think I’m on a 3 month vacation, but actually I’m working in between bike riding, motorcycle riding, camping and just plain being in the mountains for 3 months. I like what I do, so talking with vendors, current customers and potential clients during the day is a great way to break up being at the library, Starbucks, or on my bike.

I’ll be writing lots more throughout the summer and maybe some of the things I do can create a little inspiration on your side. If you haven’t read 4 Hour Work week then I highly recommend it. It’s interesting and provides plenty of ideas how to save time and not get too caught up in the rat race.

Image Source: www.PreRace.com

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Samsung and DiscountCall.com – A Winning Combination

We have been partnered with Samsung for over 10 years and of course there’s a story behind them. When DiscountCall first started in 1996, we only sold phone lines and Internet services mainly through T1’s through our Referral Partner Program. They always say your customers will tell you how to grow and that was the case. Numerous customers constantly asked me for a reference to someone who could sell them a phone system and I kept passing them out like a dealer in a poker room. Then the calls started coming in. “Randy, the reference was a nice guy and all but he’s always too busy to answer my questions”. “That guy forgot to tell me how to program my voicemail”. “Randy, do you have anyone else you can recommend?”. Needless to say, I was officially in the phone system business right then.  I first needed to pick a brand and decided it would only be one unlike most PBX Vendors, which carry at least two or more. I’ll give business reasons on another post, or email me.

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SlashGear

Does Your Current Carrier Limit a Move to More Services?

If you said yes, let me give you a few reasons why this doesn’t need to happen. If you said no, you still might enjoy the read and get the riddle right. A cowboy rides into town on Friday and stays 3 days and leaves on a Friday. How did he do it? Answer at end of #4. Continue reading

The Cloud

Why Is DiscountCall Selling The Cloud ?

Because everyone else is!  Just kidding.  Since we started in 1996, I’ve always stayed keenly aware of what my customers want and need. I like to keep the shelves stocked with high value services and vendors who I can trust and rely on being there if something goes wrong.

The evolution of DiscountCall started with me selling T-1 services through a bunch of carriers while everyone was on the DSL bandwagon.  I realized there wasn’t a difference between business class DSL and residential DSL other than maybe upload speed allowed.  Don’t get me wrong, DSL had its place, but not with me when I first started.  I wouldn’t be able to handle all of the ID-10-T (check below for definition) calls complaining and having to tell everyone to reboot the damn router every time.  Anyways, my happy T-1 customers started asking me about phone systems and off we went.  Samsung ended up being a great fit and our vendor of choice. They had a history of minimal issues with their equipment solidifying happy customers even if they paid slightly more in the beginning but always admitted they came out on top over the years.  Which brings us to the Cloud.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford

I realize a lot of people don’t wake up in the morning saying they need to get their stuff in the cloud.  There are many benefits in putting your applications up there and I won’t bore you with a list.  Maybe next time! Of course there are many benefits to the vendors including me who are offering cloud services. Owning real estate at a server hotel, rack space at a carrier’s facilities or offering a shared server with a specific app helping to increase profits are all ways for Cloud vendors to make a profit. And the beautiful thing for businesses is these services are sometimes better and more effective than traditional ways of onsite hosting.

Kaizen (改善?), Japanese for “improvement”, or “change for the better” refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management. We have posters of the five principles of the Toyota Production System (TPS) on our walls. I consider my job and livelihood to keep up with technology and make sure it’s a good fit for my customers.  Some have asked me for ideas with pricing, or IT contractors working on behalf of their clients have approached with specific needs while the rest are probably on autopilot with the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it mentality.”

“If you build the processes the money will come.”  TPS basic outline

Since we are set up with those principles, selling Cloud services is not a paradigm shift for us. Our carriers offer basic co-location services with some value added services while we are continuing to build relationships with other co-location owners, migration experts and Disaster Recovery vendors.  In fact, if the whole communication industry went bust, we would be able to stay alive by selling and servicing other things but hopefully that’ll go untested!  One of the biggest eBay sellers in the world Adam Ginsberg wrote about selling pool tables raking in over $800,000 per month back in the early 2000’s.  He was quick to point out that he wasn’t a pool table seller but more of an online business who happened to sell pool tables at the time. He wrote that he was ready and willing to change the product at any time if need be since all of his processes were in place.  I later found out that he started selling other things since he mastered the art of an online business.

The opposite is of that is chasing what’s hot and the first thing to come to mind is the real estate market. When the market was hot, tons of investors and flippers flooded the market but most didn’t have a core process to survive the times, unlike my real estate broker and good friend Dan Mason who gets plenty of listings and sales in a good market while being a buyer’s broker whose gathered a bunch of mortgage companies who can meet the stricter requirements in the bad times.  Buyers, Sellers, and Mortgage Brokers consistently knock on his door knowing he can bring the goods together with a good deal for all.

There are lots of factors that are unique to every business and my job is to introduce things if I think it may help.  If not, there’s a comfort knowing certain things were investigated and ruled out.  I can’t tell you how healthy both are for a business.  An ID-10-T’er spells IDIOT and can sometimes be seen on many trouble ticket white boards across the U.S. Randy out.

 

Image Source : ICT Community

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Cloud Disaster Recovery Infographic by eVault

Disaster recovery is a hot topic for businesses, especially in hurricane prone areas of the country. eVault put together an informative infographic that walks us through a case study on how one NYC company sidestepped revenue losses during Hurricane Sandy. Kleinfield Bridal survived a perfect storm thanks to Cloud Disaster Recovery services. Continue reading

Cloud Keyboard

Are You Transforming the Infrastructure or Is The Infrastructure Transforming You?

I’ve worked with numerous people who have complained they’ve inherited the infrastructure of their organization here or I wouldn’t have done it that way over there or the always popular ‘no one listened to me when we set this up.’ With a Smart Cloud, here is your chance to shine! Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a quick way to get it done your way. Or the way that is best for your company. I wonder when we will only be using IaaS forgoing what it stands for. Quick, do you know what MCI stands for? Answer at the end of this article.

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The Pre VoIP Tale

Once you decide to move your business into the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) world, many networking and infrastructure factors must be considered for a smooth transition from traditional telephone to VoIP.

The pre-engineering meeting is the key moment when everyone involved in the process must participate to discuss the existing or brand new office infrastructure. Typically, VoIP technology must reside on CAT5e wiring or higher to eliminate endless troubleshooting based on poor audio quality, proper connection to the phone system IP processor, or in most cases the phone system simply won’t operate on older CAT3 technology. Consider how your office wiring terminates in the Telco closet since traditional 66 or 110 blocks are not players that should be part of the VoIP equation. Wiring termination on a patch panel and properly tagging every voice location throughout the office will make your job easy in every aspect after the job has been completed.

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Three Myths of the Cloud

The Ole 100% Uptime Myth

Anytime someone promises anything more than death and taxes, I always take note! It’s a known fact that service providers offer 100% uptime guarantees. We coach our clients this cannot be the case and is a way of receiving some sort of compensation when there is downtime. Think : act of God. Nothing can be guaranteed and able to deliver without some sort of risk, whether it’s in the cloud, or on premise. I’ve never heard of a service provider that has actually been able to deliver on this 100% uptime promise for all customers, so this is simply a sales tactic that works more often than not. Some of you guys have CYA’ed and understandably so. As I’ve said before, your cloud servers will eventually suffer downtime, and you should be ready for it.

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In-Memory Computing Is Racing Towards Mainstream Adoption

The rapid maturation of application infrastructure technologies and a continued dramatic decline in the cost of semiconductor technologies are paving the way for mainstream use of in-memory computing (IMC). Gartner, Inc. said that although the in-memory data grid (IMDG) market, a key IMC segment, is small, it is likely to grow fast and to reach $1 billion by 2016.

Full Story at biztech2.in.com:
http://biztech2.in.com/news/business-intelligence/inmemory-computing-is-racing-towards-mainstream-adoption-gartner/156342/0