Head in the Cloud

August 19, 2015

I always remember

 

When I was young

 

People would say to me

 

 

Hey Hutchie…

 

 

Get your head out of the clouds

 

 

Now it seems

 

 

Everyone is asking about the cloud

 

 

 

Does this mean….

 

 

I was ahead of my time????

 

 

 

 

What is the cloud?

 

 

 

What are the advantages?

 

 

 

Would it work for our business?

 

 

 

Is it affordable?

 

 

 

 

Cloud technology is revolutionizing the

 

Voice and data industry

 

Learn how the cloud can revolutionize your business

 

 

 

 

Want learn more?

 

 

Give us a call

 

 

Send us an email

 

 

 

HBS represents all the major providers

 

 

Who are leading the cloud evolution

 

 

 

 

HBS

 

 

Providing Smart Solutions for Smart Business

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Data Up

May 29, 2014

I remember the good old days

Back in early 90’s

The internet was new

Everyone was trying to get online

And we were all using…..

Dial up

Honey…

I just dialed up the internet

I am going to run to the hardware store

We should be connected….

By the time I get back

Yawn…….

After tolerating the dial up

For several years

The phone company

Came up with a new way

Of delivering the internet over copper

Welcome to the world of DSL

A big small step forward

Is there anyone out there still using DSL?

As we continued to thirst for

Faster access to information

Fiber was introduced

While copper was like driving down

A one lane road

Fiber was like driving on

A 24 lane highway

However;

As access to information

Was getting faster and faster

The cost was getting

Higher and higher

Deregulation was introduced

To bring competition to the field

Competition was designed to control prices

For a time

This apparently was not happening

What should we be looking at…

When we are buying access to information

Do we look for the lowest price?

Do we pay the higher price?

Is more better?

Are all speeds the same?

Should I want a faster download speed?

Or

Faster upload speed?

These are all questions everyone should be asking

We find

That many people are not asking these questions

Advertising is designed to

Spark an interest

Make people call

Get customers in the door

But as we know

Cheaper is not always better

You have to understand

What are your needs

There is no one size fits all solution

At HBS we listen

We evaluate what you are currently doing

Determine how to deliver

What you want

Designed to meet your needs

Several years back

Businesses were paying over $1000 a month

For fast data access

Slowly the prices began to come down

As competition entered the field

But companies were still paying

$600 – $700 a month for fiber

Enter…..

Comcast and Fios

You say Tomatoe ….

I say Tamatoe….

Both are good companies

Making a push to

Saturate the commercial market

Looking to capitalize on price and speed

Comcast and Fios

Are both tripping over themselves

Offering high speed data access

At a fraction of the cost

There are currently big savings

To be found in the data delivery field

HBS represents both Comcast and Verizon

Our services extend to lighting up

A center city building

Bringing access to all the tenants

To bringing phone and data capabilities to your office

Many clients are beginning to use Comcast and Fios

For redundancy

(As a fail over should their T1s or PRI go down)

Some keep the voice on their T1s or PRIs

And move their data to Cable and Fios

Not only will we guide you to the best solution

We will manage the installation

Delivering the product to your location

Getting you up and running

Providing service support

As the need arises

HBS is here

To guide our clients thru the

Maze of information

Delivering smart solutions

To your business

10 Ways to Help VOIP Quality

December 10, 2012

The past three or four years have seen hosted VoIP application come of age. It is estimated that sometime in 2013 VoIP will outpace tradition voice services in call volume.

Choosing a VoIP provider requires a few considerations. Most important should be the quality of the service provider. You want to begin by looking at the service provider you choose today: do they know voice? Do they know data? How much experience do they have in delivering VoIP? Like choosing any vendor, if they don’t ask questions about your network be wary.

Here are the top ten problems to avoid to make your experience a better one.

1. YOUR INTERNAL NETWORK

Call quality can suffer if your network isn’t configured correctly; particularly if you’re routing both data and voice over the same internal network. The solution is to use a VLAN capable switch that is properly configured. In addition many of these VLAN capable switches also have POE (power over Ethernet) built in so each individual phones does not need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

2. LATENCY

In a network, latency equals delay. The delay is how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. It can also be the gap of time between when a call participant speaks and the time the other party hears. There are several types of latency that can affect voice quality. A high- quality VoIP router and prioritizing VoIP traffic over your network can address some latency. Many VOIP providers will also include and manage that equipment for optimum service. HBS highly recommends this practice.

3. BAD CUSTOMER EQUIPMENT

Sometimes equipment just goes bad. If your business uses its internet connection for both voice (VOIP) and data, you’ll need a router that prioritizes VoIP traffic. Without a VoIP-priority router, downloading a large file while you’re on a call can make call quality spotty. cory communications recommends this equipment be provided and managed by your VOIP provider..

4. JITTER

Jitter is the variations in the delay of packets that are received by the user. Packets are sent in a continuous stream, spaced evenly apart. Problems like network congestion, improper queuing, varied packet delays, or configuration errors, can make this steady stream choppy.

You can compensate for the jitter with a router or Edge devices that receive a Real-Time

5. FAULTY WIRING MAY NOT BE YOUR FAULT.

Your facility has a demarcation point where the public switched telephone network connects to on-premises wiring. Your demarcation point can usually be identified as a network interface box installed by the telephone network. Legacy telephone systems used a cabling that was called CAT 3. Most of today’s cabling uses CAT 5 or higher. Both computer networks and VOIP telephones operate using CAT 5. Using the correct equipment allows you to share one connection for each user. Proper wiring insures the best quality of service.

6. PROBLEMS WITH ETHERNET SWITCHES AND HUBS

Having a local area network which contains hubs could lead to bad call quality. It’s best if each phone has a straight home run connection to your 100 Base-T VLAN capable POE ( Power over Ethernet ) switch. If your facility has multiple Ethernet switches for sharing single wiring drops, call quality will suffer. These scenarios should be discussed as part of the discovery process when looking into Hosted VOIP. Hutchinson Business Solutions can help your organization access these potential hazards.

7. POOR QUALITY OR INADEQUATE INTERNET CONNECTION

Your internet service provider may be optimized for web surfing rather than VoIP phone service. The transportation of voice packets requires particular internet protocols that your internet service may not provide. For businesses that have up to 10 phones in use at any given time, cable high speed internet generally offer “business class” service that is configured for VoIP traffic. Please note the only true way to get guaranteed quality of service with a guarantee in writing from the service provider is to purchase your new Hosted VOIP service from a provider that can provide end to end connectivity using T-1 or higher.

8. ECHOES DURING CALLS

We’ve all had the notorious phone-echo. Believe it or not this is common. The guilty party is usually on the end of the person who does not hear the echo. In addition low-quality handsets can be the cause. The easy fix may be as easy as turning down your hand set volume.

9. CRACKLING SOUNDS DURING CALLS

Crackling is usually a wiring or hardware with either the handset or headset or the device’s cord. If this occurs see if it’s affecting all of the phones or just one. If it’s just one try the cord first. Your phone may simply not be connected properly. If not, there are more serious wiring issues at hand.

10. SILENCE AND ” ELECTRONIC ” SOUNDING VOICES

If a call participant experiences periods of silence or voices that sound “robotic,” the cause is generally packet loss. This is usually caused by insufficient internet bandwidth. You need around 100kbps in both directions to prevent packet loss and ensure good VoIP calls. Ensure that your internet connection has adequate bandwidth for your business’s calls and level of network usage. HBS highly recommends that, when you operate above 10 phones, a T-1 connection to the carrier will go a long way to insure Quality of Service.

 

For more information about Hosted VOIP or any other telecommunications and cloud services please contact us at           george@hbsadvantage.com

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

The Little Things

November 30, 2010

I was driving down the Garden State Parkway a couple of weeks ago and I was enjoying the full color spectrum of the fall trees. Some of the trees were beginning to lose leaves but looking on a mile or so ahead, it presented a beautiful view. 

I really love this time of year and how God uses the landscape to paint a perfect picture. 

Turning onto the Atlantic City Expressway, I started to notice that the picture was fading. No longer could I see the brilliant colors ahead, for the trees were almost bare once I got to mile marker 13.5. 

I was a little surprised, for you would think that the fall splendor is universal in the area? 

I didn’t realize that there exist little pockets; that have their own hours to shine. 

We all must exist on our own timeline! 

What made mile marker 13.5 the breakpoint? 

That started me thinking. All the little things we just take for granted on a daily basis. 

What made me stop and take notice of the difference? 

Why? 

Because that is part of my character and that is what we do here at HBS. 

We look at the little things, the cost that most companies just take for granted. 

Most of our items are just budgeted for. 

What did we pay last year and how much do you think it may go up? 

     Electric…. Natural Gas…. Voice… Data…. Unemployment Taxes…. Sales Tax 

Need I say more? 

We call these costs the unsung heroes! 

These are daily cost of doing business that most companies tend to ignore. 

We find many people are resistant to change but: 

The only thing constant in life is change!  

Each client is unique. 

Each opportunity opens the door to defining what the client is currently doing; 

Exploring various options and 

Providing solutions, designed to increase efficiency and savings. 

We understand that the current economic climate has been difficult for many businesses. 

HBS provides: 

Smart Solutions for Smart Business

Many times, it is the little things that provide the best opportunities. 

Would you like to know more? Email george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230.

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Finding cost effective business telecoom service is a challenge that your business may not be able to undertake because it is not your core business. However, most business owner’s can save money with a little research into which business telecom services are best for their situation.

A competent and informed business telecommunications consultant is vital to assist your business make the right decision every time. Whether you are an existing business, a franchise, or a new business you need to ensure that your telecommunication needs are not only met, but met at a cost effective rate. There are many business telecommunications sales representatives out there who will only try to sell you the plan that gives them the highest commission. A wrong decision will see your business locked into expensive contracts for mobile, fixed line and data services that do not meet your needs.

Many businesses purchase telecommunications on the phone from an unknown sales person and are pressured to sign by way of a recorded verbal contract. Not surprisingly when this decision is pressured the end result is often less than ideal, it could be expensive, and it could cripple your business. The quality of the service provided and the quality of the telecommunications management team is imperative to your success.

Whilst many business decisions need to be made quickly, your telecommunications need to be right, they need to be suitable for your business now and throughout the consequential contracted period. You need to find a telecommunications consultant you can trust and ask them the following questions to ensure that they have the best interests of your organization at heart and are capable of supporting your telecommunications needs.

1. Can the business telecommunications consultant provide you with an independent analysis of your current bills against the plan they recommend, and other comparable plans in the marketplace?

Many times the customer has been “sold” a service which has not been quantified in an analytical manner. We know that communication costs are an ever increasing cost to doing business and we respect that it is difficult for any organisation to employ or train a staff member to work though this minefield.

The key to having complete understanding of your telephone bills and your telephone spending patterns is in the professional telephone bill analysis

2. Can the business telecommunications consultant provide you with testimonials from companies that are of comparable size to your organisation?

Testimonials are vital. You need to be sure that the business telecommunications consultant you are dealing with is from a reputable company with many happy clients.

3. Can the business telecommunications consultant arrange for the seamless transfer of your services should you need to change carriers?

Once your business telecommunications consultant has identified the business telecommunication rates and services that are best for you and these are accepted by your business can they arrange for the transfer of your telecommunication services to the contract selected by yourselves? Professional business telecommunications consultants should ensure that you are not inconvenienced.

4. What kind of ongoing support does your business telecommunications consultant provide?

A good business telecommunications consultant will not only sign you up to a long term contract, but will keep you advised of better deals available in the market place, and proactively and constantly negotiate better deals for you, the customer.

Finding cost effective business telecommunications services is a challenge that your business may not be able to undertake because it is not your core business. However, most business owner’s can save money with a little research into what business telecommunication services are on offer.

Our Perspective:

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS) is an independent voice and data consultant. We have strategic partnerships with over 50 of the major voice and data providers serving the commercial market. Our clients are finding savings from 10% to 50% by shopping their account.

We allow our clients to continue their core competancy of running their daily business.  Our expertise is found in our ability to validate the existing configuration and define which providers will not only bring savings but also enhance the capabilities of the system thru servicing the account.

Should you like to know more about opportunities to save money on your business voice and data accounts, email george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230.

Overpaying Telecom

April 9, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Andrew Backover

For 6 months, Nelson Human Resource Solutions paid $1,000 a

month for 80 phone lines that weren’t being used.

The staffing company also paid $600 a month for empty voice-mail

boxes.

Workers would switch offices and order new service. But they would

not disconnect the old service, Nelson says. The Sonoma, Calif. firm

only discovered the problem after hiring a consulting firm to check its

telecommunications expenses.

Many companies like Nelson are throwing money away as bills

skyrocket for telephone service, cellphones, wireless handhelds,

Internet accounts and laptops connected to networks.

The cost of telecommunications now ranks in the top five expenses

for most companies, up from about No. 10 a decade ago, companies

and consultants say. Companies spend 5% to 35% more than they

need to, experts say, because they pay for services they don’t use. Or

they fail to find the cheapest calling plans. They miss billing mistakes.

And employees make calls they’re not supposed to. As telecom costs

rise, so does the potential for excessive expense.

“The waste is enormous,” says Scott Schaefer, CEO of QuantumShift,

which helps companies manage communication services. “Every

single company that has over 100 employees is waking up to the fact

that (communications) is one of their largest expenses . . . and the least

understood.”

The expense isn’t minor. This year, U.S. businesses will spend an

estimated $403 billion on local and long-distance telephone service

and equipment. That is up from $274 billion in 1998, says the

Telecommunications Industry Association. In 2004, the total will

approach $600 billion, or nearly twice the Pentagon’s annual budget.

Financial services firms, where fast communication is key, spend an

average of $3,000 per year per employee — about five times the

amount of 15 years ago, says Bill Moore of consulting firm

PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In a time of layoffs and belt tightening, more companies are eyeing

telecom budgets, says analyst Maribel Dolinov of Forrester Research.

And no item is too small. Investment banking firm Salomon Smith

Barney recently suggested that its employees stop dialing 411, which

costs about $1, to get phone numbers. A handful of branch offices

have banned it. Consultants who help companies rein in telecom

expenses say most businesses waste money because of:

* Billing mistakes.

 

 

Last year, refrigeration equipment and laundryservices firm Mac-Gray upgraded its telecom network linking

regional offices in 11 cities with its Cambridge, Mass., headquarters.

But when AT&T upgraded the service, it continued to bill Mac-Gray

for the old service as well. Mac-Gray, with 500 employees and $150

million in annual revenue, failed to catch the mistake for several

months because the bill was so complicated, it says. The overcharge:

$75,000.

AT&T reimbursed Mac-Gray — but only after Mac-Gray hired a consulting

firm to handle its telecom services and to help with the dispute.

AT&T won’t comment on customers. But even it says billing disputes

are more common as customers buy more services.

Businesses aren’t the only losers. A billing error caused the county

government of Lee County, Fla. to pay $13,000 too much for longdistance

service over 4 months this year, says telecom management

firm Stonehouse Technologies. The money was refunded after the

problem was found.

How often errors occur is disputed. Consulting firm Rand Associates

says its business clients see billing mistakes on phone bills about 80%

of the time.

Often, tax-exempt organizations, such as municipal agencies, are

wrongly charged state or federal taxes, says Rand President Rudy

Richardson.

Also, computer systems that turn telecom services on and off aren’t

always in sync with billing systems. So customers might get billed for

several extra days of service, says John Gonsalves, vice president at

technology consulting firm Adventis.

Phone companies dispute that billing mistakes occur so often. The

Federal Communications Commission doesn’t track billing errors.

BellSouth, for one, says its bills contain mistakes less than 2% of the

time.

Regardless, it is up to customers to catch billing errors. And few businesses

go through bills line by line. The monthly stack of bills for

Nelson Human Resource Solutions stood 8 inches high. “There was

no one to analyze the paper,” says Chief Financial Officer Deborah

Mings. It now has QuantumShift handle its telecom operations.

* Carelessness.

 

 

Companies and organizations cannot always blamephone companies. Pricewater-houseCoopers had one client that paid

 

 

 

$80,000 in monthly service charges over 18 months for 36 cellphones

sitting in a crate in a warehouse. “It’s not that clients are lazy,” says

PWC’s Moore. “It’s simply impossible to stay on top of it.”

Eisai Research Institute, a drug research firm in Andover, Mass.,

thought it was on top of it when it banned employees from calling 900

numbers frequently used as sex, astrology and gambling hotlines. But

Eisai forgot to put the same block on its fax lines.

This year, in 1 month, an employee ran up a $1,300 hotline tab. The

company will say only that the worker wasn’t calling a sex line.

“That’s a perfect example of . . . (what) can slip through the cracks,”

says Eisai Treasurer Paul Drahnak. He expects Eisai to save $100,000

a year by turning its telecom operations over to a management firm.

* Inefficient contracts.

 

 

Because of an outdated long-distance contract,law firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker wasted $300,000 last year.

The Los Angeles-based firm was in the middle of a 5-year contract

that charged 7.8 cents a minute. When the contract was signed, the

firm saw it as a good deal. But long-distance prices have plummeted.

Businesses now often get volume discounts in the 3-cent to 4-cent

range. Finding the best deal, and anticipating market trends was

beyond the 800-lawyer firm.

“We just don’t have that capability,” says Chief Information Officer

Mary Odson.

Likewise, hotel operator Windsor Capital Group estimates it was

paying $100,000 too much each year on maintenance contracts for

telecom and other technology equipment in its 24 hotels.

One California hotel, for instance, paid 40% more than a Colorado

hotel did for a maintenance contract on telephone switch equipment,

which allows guests to use the phones. The contract was negotiated by

hotel managers, who aren’t telecom experts.

“They are in the guest-services business,” says Windsor Capital Vice

President Sam Sansone. It has since hired outsourcing firm United

Asset Coverage to handle its maintenance contracts.

Complicated contracts

Buying telephone service used to be simple. Before the breakup of

AT&T in 1984, customers essentially bought local and long-distance

service from one company.

But the splintering of AT&T led to hundreds of long-distance

competitors, each clamoring for business customers with slightly

different deals.

In 1996, when Congress mandated more competition in the local

phone business, hundreds of tiny competitors started offering service.

And wireless service, once a luxury, is now a staple. In fact, 51% of

workers with cellphones say their companies pay at least part of the

monthly tab, says research firm Telephia. Also, companies are paying

to connect more employees to the Internet.

As telecom expenses have grown, companies have struggled to

respond.

Most large firms have designated employees watching over telecom

and computer systems. But in small firms, the chore often falls to

chief financial officers, who lack expertise. “Every company in the

world can’t afford to have an expert in house,” says Eisai Research’s

Drahnak.

Also, telecom expenses can be hard to track. For example, Internet

access charges might fall under the budget of a company’s information

technology department. But cellphones, often purchased by employees

and then expensed, might fall under travel budgets.

Consolidating bills can be hard, too. Law firm Paul Hastings has

seven U.S. offices. It buys telecom services from 24 companies. The

bills came in so often, at different times of the month, that they sometimes

got lost or sat on desks until they were late, Odson says.

Getting help

Last year, Odson handed management of the $1.8 million domestic

telecom budget to QuantumShift. Odson expects to save $700,000

this year. One big help? QuantumShift found it a better long-distance

contract.

QuantumShift’s software also searches for billing errors and unused

lines. It consolidates bills, which saves time, and lets Odson more

easily order new services. And it lets her analyze expenses to a single

phone number.

Even after paying for QuantumShift’s services, Odson expects

telecom costs to be about 26% less this year.

Companies that help others cut telecom costs are doing a brisk

business. Privately held QuantumShift had 116 customers as of June,

up from 45 the year before. It posted a 300% year-over-year revenue

gain in its first fiscal quarter. Stonehouse Technologies recently added

20 employees, bringing its total to 60. Veramark Technologies says its

outsourcing revenue has grown 30% in the past 10 months.

Phone firms, too, are trying to cash in. AT&T’s consulting arm

recently redesigned a customer-service system for First Union. It will

save the bank $38 million over 5 years, says AT&T executive Randy

Johnston. That’s because First Union’s customer service agents will

have faster access to more information, which means it’ll take less

time to handle customer calls.

Just as regular consumers can save money on phone costs by shopping

for calling plans that fit their needs and checking bills for errors,

companies can save money by taking simple steps:

* When billing errors occur, report them to the phone companies’

customer service team — not the sales team, says AT&T.

* Make sure disputes are noted in computer systems. That way, a

response is likely to be faster. Also, customers won’t have their service

turned off because they didn’t pay disputed bills.

* After ordering new service, ask for a detailed explanation of the bill.

Companies that don’t pay attention could find themselves in the same

place as Mac-Gray Chief Financial Officer Michael Shea.

“You wake up some morning and say, ’Holy cow. How am I spending

$1 million on communications,’ . . . and no one knows.”

Our Perspective:

This is an old article that appeared in 2001. As the old saying go, “The more things change, the more they stay the same. We see instances like this happening constantly.

How much are you paying for Telecom or voice and data services. I thinks this presents a strong case on why you should be looking at this now!

For more information email george@hbsadvantage.com  or call 856-857-1230

Learn more by visiting us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

 

 

Verizon is up to their same old tricks …

We have been getting feedback from our clients that they have been receiving telephone calls recently from Verizon representatives asking to review their bill and promising savings.

 First, they will ask for a copy of your bill so they can provide you with a comparison of your charges.  Here is the old “bait and switch”, the comparison is incomplete. The base line charge ($15.00 per line) is listed but what they don’t show you are more important — all the fees and taxes associated with those charges. All carriers must charge these fees and taxes. What initially looks like a savings is nothing but deception. To do an apples to apples comparison ask them to give you all the fees and taxes, as they would appear on your bill.

 Buyers beware …

They are also pushing an offer of unlimited calling. This is the hook. You need to drill down and look at each individual line and examine the calling patterns for each phone number you have and all past invoices. Most likely, some of these lines have minimal usage and you will end up paying more for this feature.

 We have seen several examples of inaccurate phone line count.  Verizon’s proposal only indicated 6 lines when in actuality the client had 10 lines. Obviously, the bottom line of the Verizon proposal was going to look much better to the client, until he receives his first bill.

 More than you expect …

If you receive a call promising savings from Verizon, don’t be fooled! Please give us a call and let HBS review the proposal for you. Otherwise, you may end up paying much more for your basic services based on a false proposal.

 Hutchinson Business Solutions is an independent voice and data solutions consultant. Thru our strategic partnership, we represent over 50 of the major providers currently providing these services for business. We provide a free review of your current services and will shop your account to our providers, presenting an overview of the current market opportunities available for your business.

 To learn more about finding savings in the deregulated voice and data market, contact george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230.

Find out more information by visiting our website www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Tame Your Telecom Spending

November 2, 2009

As Reported by National Business Association

Copyright (c) 2009 Nermine Shaker
The Sygnal Group

Telecom spending can be a very large part of a company’s operating costs. Companies are always looking to keep their costs under control and telecom spending is one of the more difficult areas to manage.

Even with the increase in value and flexibility from new technology, companies have also seen an increase in their telecom costs. Mobile phones, remote network access and broadband solutions have simplified our workspaces, but have complicated the telecom accounting procedures.

Although you can’t just forgo your telecom services to cut your budget, you can curb and control them. Here are a few ways to tame your telecom budget.

Assess Your Inventory

What do you have? What do you use? Sometimes you don’t use what you have. Take an inventory of all your lines, services, hardware, mobile devices, and contracts. As you do this you may find that employees have left but you are still paying for their cell phones, or departments have closed and you are still paying for their phone lines.

Wireless devices can be a huge drain on your company pocketbook. Sometimes employees are given mobile devices that the company pays for and sometimes they use their own and are reimbursed. Organizing and setting up a company policy for wireless devices takes time but can save you money in the end.

Audit Your Bills

Check your contracts and see if the pricing in the contract matches the pricing on your bill. If not, you’ll need to apply for a credit for those overcharges. If you were promised a refund or rebate in your contract, make sure you received those. If you’ve done a complete inventory, matching bills to the inventory is a great way to identify problems.

Assess Your Usage

Now that you know what inventory you have and that you are paying correctly for that inventory, you need to look at your services with an eye to how your company is using them. Is your company growing or downsizing? Don’t just cut back to cut back. Look at the value the services provide to your company.

Employee personal usage of business telecom services should be addressed as well. If you provide perks like home broadband, business mobile devices and WiFi access, boundaries should be addressed with employees in a telecom company policy. Managers must take responsibility to enforce whatever controls the company puts in place.

If your business has multiple locations or if many of your employees work from home, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) might be a cheaper option. VoIP can connect offices and remote workers and could offer big savings.

Renegotiate Your Contracts

After you have reviewed your contracts and current usage, it might be time to renegotiate your contracts. If it’s been a while, you might be able to get a better deal. Or, after looking at what you have, you may decide to consolidate or cancel some services. Carriers would like to have all of your business, so in consolidating with one, you may get a higher discount. Shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. Sometimes, it may be better for your business to use flat rates and per-user or per-month services. This will give you a predictable monthly payment.

If it is possible, you many want to consider adding a “business downturn” clause when you renegotiate your contracts. This clause will allow you to renegotiate your contract if there is a downturn in your business, such as having to close one of your multiple offices.

Automate Your Telecom Bill Paying Process

Many businesses use multiple carriers for all of their telecom services. These carriers each send a separate invoice and sometimes they charge extra for sending a paper invoice. Automating your telecom billing and payments can save you money, both in internal processing costs and in staffing resources.

When you automate your billing, you can still have the opportunity to review all your charges. You will have access a variety of reports that can break down the charges by service, circuit, department, location, or carrier.

Consider Hiring A Telecom Management Company

For smaller companies, the business owner is often in charge of telecom spending. As the size of the business increases, telecom responsibility moves from one person to a group or a department.

A telecom management company can help assess your spending and inventory, provide automated billing and can negotiate contracts for you. Since they are familiar with all the telecom carriers, they will be especially helpful in finding you a good rate and negotiating the contract. They can even apply for refunds on your behalf for services that were incorrectly billed.

Dealing with one telecom management person is always preferable than having to deal with 10 different service providers. And, when you work with a management professional, they will always be looking out for other ways to save money in your telecom spending, something you can’t always do.

It’s tough to tame your telecom spending. It takes time and effort. These days, cost cutting is a must and we are all trying to do more with less money. Getting organized, especially in the telecom area of your business will help you to see where you can cut costs and make sound telecom business decisions.

Our Perspective:

Telecom is a very important expense for any business. It represent the companies tie to the public, where service is king.  All things being equal, your ability to respond and meet your client’s needs ranks first. It all begins with communication.

How are decisions made to insure this success?

In speaking with many clients, there is intial hesitancy to examine this process. The fear of disruption lingers. What if we start having problems? Everything seems to work fine now?

But what is the real cost for the staus quo?

You might be surprised!

With recent advances in the telecom industry, savings and efficiencies can be found. We are working with a client right now that has 3 different providers in multiple locations. In reviewing their existing bills we have been able to consolidate these services to 1 provider and provide a savings of close to $50,000 per year.

Where was there existing provider? Why did they not reach out and reviw these options with their client?

Do not be complacient!

Your ability to be successful in today’s business climate relates directly to your abilty to be competitive, control cost and continue to service your clients.

Hutchinson Business Solutions has great success in this area. Contact us for a no cost review of your voice and data expenses. Email george@hbsadvantage.com

by Lora Bentley, IT Business Edge
Aug 3, 2009 9:58:56 AM

Lora Bentley spoke with Julie Dillenbeck, marketing VP at Global Capacity, a telecommunications information and logistics company that helps businesses increase efficiency with supply chain issues for access networks globally. She points out that a lot of money can be saved by optimizing one’s telecom network and pricing.

 

Bentley: Global Capacity deals with telecom logistics. Can you explain what that involves?
Dillenbeck: The telecom market is a very complex one, with thousands of suppliers around the world, and none of them have a footprint that covers the entire world. So when people are looking at telecommunications, oftentimes they have to piece things together. So if we were to do a connection from New York in the United States to London, or Italy, or France, you’d have to figure out which of the carriers can get between the countries and then who can get to “the last mile,” so to speak. Because we’ve been collecting that information from carriers for years, we already know where their networks are and who they interconnect with.

 

Bentley: Saving money is important all the time, but I’m assuming it’s higher up the priority list in this economy. So how do you go about helping customers “optimize” their networks? What does that look like?
Dillenbeck: Well, the customer will come to us and say, “Ok, I have these networks I’ve built in these 32 countries. Tell me if there’s a better way to do it.” There are a lot of different ways to look at that.

 

The first one is to look at inventory and match it up with the invoices that come in from the different carriers. It’s similar to what telecom expense management companies do, but we take it a step further. We’ll say, “Why does your invoice say $120 when you’ve contracted for $100?” and we’ll investigate that. We also validate that they’re getting charged for the right mileage, and if they’re buying a tariff service, that they’re on the right tariff.

 

Bentley: OK, and others?
Dillenbeck: Then, there is what we call a financial grooming. Let’s say they have 100 circuits, and 50 of them are going between the same locations. At that point, we’re looking at aggregation. We can help the customer go back to the vendor and say, “We have these 50 circuits here. It makes a lot more sense to go with an OC3 instead of the T1s.” It saves money and it allows the customer to have spare capacity.

 

The last piece is physical grooming. We’ll take a look at their network and say, “This is great, but there are opportunities for aggregation, or there’s an opportunity to actually move to a new carrier and provide you savings.”

 

Bentley: So they have to physically move their networks.
Dillenbeck: Right. Obviously, not a lot of customers want to do that because they don’t want to disrupt their end users, but there are those who are anxious to do that just for the savings…. We worked with a customer who was spending $3 million to $4 million a month just because of the way they had built their networks. Now their spend is in the hundreds of thousands instead, so it’s a significant savings.

Our Perspective:

This is a great article. We find market opportunities for our clients daily.

Many companies are hesitant to look at there voice and data providers for they are afraid to cause any disruption. They wear their services like a security blanket. 

You hear them say, ” We’re with Verizon or ATT.”  Just think for a moment, what type of personal service do they offer. When is the last time you called Verizon or ATT and spoke to the same person two times in a row?

The market has evolved so much in the last few years. Personal service is important! Communication between provider and the client is essential!

We represent over 50 of the major providers in the voice and data market. This allows us to evaluate your needs. find the right providers that will provide savings and  service your needs.

Personal service is essential and can be found at Hutchinson Business Solutions.

Would you like to know more email george@hbsadvantage.com

You may visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Come to think of it

June 16, 2009

Has the recent turndown in the economy had an effect on your business?

What steps have you taken to tighten the belt?

Did you reduce the workforce? 

Did you reduce or drop employee benefits? 

In difficult times you may find you have to think outside the box. Reducing the workforce and employee benefits are obvious choices. 

There are diamonds in the rough out there! 

Where you ask? If you only knew!

 Most companies budget for expenses and never really drill down to see if there are opportunities for savings.

 Deregulated Energy: Natural Gas and Electric

 Is your company paying more than $5000 a month on natural gas or electric for your building! 

The deregulated Gas and electric market is the lowest it has been in the last 3 to 4 years. 

Our clients are saving from 15% to 30% on natural gas. 

 

Just in the last week, we saved a client over $45,000 by locking in their Natural gas for the next 12 months.

 

Our electric clients are saving from 6% to 15%

 

Just last week, a client saved over $94,000 by locking in their electric for the next 12 months.

 

How much do you think your company may qualify to save?

The local provider buys gas and electric in the wholesale marker and sells it to you retail.

We put our clients in the wholesale position.

 The savings is yours and falls to the bottom line!

 Voice and Data:

Here is the real sleeper. Many companies feel they wear a safety blanket for they have Verizon or ATT as their provider.

You are paying a premium for that blanket!

Deregulation allows third party providers to use the Verizon / ATT platform and deliver voice to their clients at a discount.

 Our clients are saving from 15% to 40% on their monthly Voice and Data Billing. 

What is 25% of your bill?

 Come to think of it, we haven’t looked at these costs recently?

 Call Hutchinson Business Solutions 856-857-1230. There is no fee for our services!

 Or you can email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Let the savings begin!!!!!