When you head up an IT department, most of your days are spent reacting to and trying to solve the issues and problems that arise on a daily basis. However, when the unicorn of a moment’s free time lands on your desk, there are a few strategic questions that every CIO should be asking.

#1: Is our IT department helping our business solve its major challenges?

This is actually a two-part question, the first is, “What are our business’s major challenges?” And the second should be, “What is our team doing to help solve them.” The answers to these questions will allow a CEO or CIO to determine the true competitive advantage the IT function creates for the business. If the answer suggests IT isn’t helping differentiate the company from competition, but rather is focused only on the back office, that is a red flag for leadership. It is the perfect opportunity to discover areas where IT could help drive innovation and new business by better serving customers. Which leads us to our next question…

#2: Is our IT department helping to support and drive innovation within our company?

What innovations are your department currently working on that will help the business communicate better with customers? What is your team developing that will help deliver products to your customers with a higher level of customer satisfaction? These are the types of questions that should be driving the projects your team is working on. Besides uptime and reliability, one of the returns IT can bring to an organization is innovation; whether it be through research and development or improving processes and efficiency, the leadership team should be confident IT is doing more than maintaining the network and infrastructure but also helping the company progress.

#3: What are we doing to help control risk for the company?

With information and data networking moving to the cloud, the openness of the Internet, and the surge in hacking — it is only fitting that you should be able to answer the question, “How is our team controlling risk?”  Your leadership team should be well aware of what IT is doing to protect the properties of the corporation. As the head of the department you should be able to answer what your team is doing to protect the physical and intellectual assets. You have a responsibility to the board, and, if the company is public, the shareholders, to explain the what, why, and how of your security plan.

#4: Are we managing budgets effectively? 

Projects and CapEx budgets in IT are expensive to operate. You have to maintain a working understanding of the costs and benefits these operations and projects are producing for the organization. As the head of your department you need to manage, or leverage partners, to help manage contracts and assist in making cost conscious decisions.

#5: Does the strategy of our IT department align with our corporate strategy?

Depending on where your corporation’s strategy falls, you need to make sure that your team is in alignment with it. Is your corporation in cost savings mode? Then you should be asking how are you cutting costs and improving the budget. Is the corporation’s focus on greater customer satisfaction? What changes is your team implementing that will help solidify those goals? Does innovation and new technology bring in new customers and increase overall customer loyalty? What will your team do in 2017 to help realize these new technologies in an ever changing environment?

With the competitive nature of Information Technology and how heavily reliant all businesses are on new technologies to bring in customers, build customer loyalty, protect the business and lower the bottom line, it is imperative for the IT department to be cognizant of the ever changing and the adaptive role it plays in the success of the overall business. Having the answers to questions like these will not only help the IT department survive in today’s environment, but go from a cost center to a revenue agent.

With over 17 years of Information Technology industry experience and an extensive background in Telecommunications, Mike Belmont is part of the Renodis Management Team and acts as Senior Enterprise Leader. As a seasoned professional with enterprise level corporations in telecommunications, Mike has extensive experience in senior sales, management, and indirect channel roles with Quest, Sprint, UCN, and for the last 11 years with Renodis. Mike has managed both fortune 1000 accounts as well as VAR partners.

For more information or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at mikeb@renodis.com.

This post is guest written by resident Genesys Works intern, Tiffany Thao…

Earning an internship is a big deal, AND it’s also important to prepare for adapting and learning in the workplace. This blog is about me, Tiffany Thao, currently an intern at Renodis through Genesys Works, a non-profit organization that gives students in High School, specifically seniors, a chance to become young professionals and receive college help. Here are my 5 best tips for Genesys Works interns in the upcoming years as they enter their internship either at Renodis or at another company.

From the beginning as I earned an internship through Genesys Works in order to work for Renodis I realized that receiving an internship was undoubtedly exciting yet peculiarly scary. This means that I would have to meet new people, experience a different environment, and take actions on what I’ve learned through my training at Genesys Works. Just the thought of it was terrifying since it was a different world that I wasn’t really familiar with, but that didn’t stop me from entering my first day at my internship.

Tip #1: Ask Questions
How I adapted and learned the first month of my internship of working for Renodis was by asking questions based on what I didn’t know or found interesting. Asking questions truly helped me because I gained more knowledge, benefiting me and the workforce. I was able to connect with the employees as well to which I became more comfortable when communication was involved. Therefore, I asked as many questions as I could.

Tip #2: Take Notes
Note taking was one of the tips that I followed because it really worked! I was allowed to look back on the notes taken and given when I came across tasks that I’ve already done before. Looking back at the notes helped me quickly retrieve information relevant to new tasks. Also I won’t always ask questions about the same thing when I have the notes.

Tip #3: Be Punctual
Being punctual is beneficial because there won’t be any rushing when you get to work on time. Getting to work on time also allows you to easily pick up on tasks that haven’t been finished or continue on with tasks from the day before. This increases the time you’ll have at the end of the day to either learn about other things you’re interested in or proactively work on projects assigned. This is why being punctual is important.

Tip #4: Be Honest, Respectful and Positive
Addressing everyone within the workplace with honesty, respect, positivity and friendliness showcases the value of who you are as a person. It’s like the saying of “treat others the way you want to be treated.” From that foundation I can build great connections with everyone whether if it’s getting to know who they are personally or professionally. It also aligns with the culture within the company, therefore it won’t be difficult to catch on because everyone is respectful and friendly.

Tip #5: Look the Part
Looking the part means that you are taking information and following the rules of the company. This means dressing professionally and according to the dress code given. Besides that, you also get a chance to see yourself in a different perspective as you proceed on with your internship.

Overall these are the tips that I followed on my journey while I entered the first month of my Renodis internship. Now that you know how I adapted and learned, YOU’RE ready to adapt and learn for your internship. I hope everything is going to be an awesome journey for you.

Good luck!
– Tiffany


Renodis was thrilled to be partnering with the Genesys Works organization for the first time by providing an internship for the 2016-17 school year — filled by Tiffany Thao. Interested in learning more about this great organization? We encourage you to check out all the details here: www.genesysworks.org

Software defined networking is a buzzword that is growing rapidly. There are a multitude of various Software Defined Network solution partners out there and consolidation will eventually make its way into the market.

With all of the buzz and so many providers out there, why would you possibly want to deploy a Software Defined Network and what are the benefits and reasons why this is such a game changer? Everything you do should be looked at from a service, economics, and technology perspective. These are three key components you should look at it when making any type of network decision.

Game Changer #1 of a Software Defined Network: SERVICE Benefits

Fast/zero Touch Deployment – Software Defined Networks are literally a plug and play set up. They can be deployed and configured in a manner of days, and set up by your network engineer within minutes. Once the device is shipped and you have it configured and policies set up, it is good to go. Some Software Defined Network platforms are easier to use and more user friendly, but all of them are able to deploy quickly.

Leverage Your Bandwidth, Bring Your Own – You literally get more bandwidth for your buck when using Software Defined Networks. Bandwidth aggregation between dual connections, packet remediation, and application control allow for greater and more efficient use of bandwidth and less packet loss.

Increased Network Control and Visibility – Cloud migrations, mobile users (BYOD), and application deployments can wreak havoc on networks. Software Defined Networks allow a full view of the applications being used over the network, web and internet traffic, and also allows you to enforce business policies and web content filtering to ban certain applications from being used on the network.

Game Changer #2 of a Software Defined Network: ECONOMIC Benefits

Lower ISP Costs – leveraging a hybrid approach with various connectivity options (broadband, FiOS, cable, DSL, 4G LTE, MPLS), you can significantly reduce network costs and get rid of the high costs of local access charges with MPLS services. Even though these types of connections do not have SLAs, a Software Defined Network provides QoS and the ability to remediate on its own between two connections which will result in immediate business continuity and redundancy.

Lower TCO – Lower CAPEX costs by eliminating equipment including firewalls (in some cases) and routers, a Software Defined Network replaces these devices in most scenarios. Also, since most Software Defined Network pricing models are based on OPEX, the overall cost of using a Software Defined Network is reduced through a hybrid network approach, less equipment, and better performance.

Game Changer #3 of a Software Defined Network: TECHNOLOGY Benefits

Cloud Based – Software Defined Networks entail more than deploying a piece of hardware at your remote sites, datacenters, and HQ locations. Software Defined Networks use both gateways at each site as well as an Orchestrator at the head end. Even though hardware is deployed, Software Defined Networks works as a cloud based platform and is managed using cloud based protocols. As an added benefit, you can connect directly to cloud providers and deploy cloud based applications using a Software Defined Network, as well as business policies through the cloud.

Utilize Internet Broadband – As mentioned above, using a hybrid approach allows you to bring your own bandwidth to support a Software Defined Network. Either through Ethernet over copper/fiber/coax, DSL, FiOS, 4G LTE Wireless, or cable are all great options you can use. MPLS services are also supported.

Business Continuity/Instant DR – Software Defined Networks use dual broadband connections including wireless to aggregate bandwidth and remediate packet loss. For example, if you have a DSL connection that is experiencing latency, the 2nd connection will remediate the packet loss from the DSL connection, resulting in immediate fail over and improves network performance through multi-path optimization. Cable and DSL can be very unreliable, so it is imperative to have two connections, including fail over to a wireless device.

Security and PCI Compliance – Software Defined Networks offer comprehensive security including PCI 3.0 compliance through end-to-end security and firewall protocols. Some of these features include: segregating networks, WPA2, WPA2-PSK encryption, access restriction based on user preferences, regular security patches, penetration checks, and web content filtering.

The benefits of a Software Defined Network far outweigh the risks entailed with legacy network designs. With a Software Defined Network you can enjoy all of the technical, economic, and service benefits as you continue to evolve your network and improve optimal performance.

Ryan Carter specializes in working with thought-leading, strategically-targeted IT executives to help them achieve an increased focus on business-impacting technology, business transformation, reduced operating costs, and IT productivity. Ryan provides thought leadership and various areas of expertise for Communications Managed Services including telecommunications expense management, mobility managed services, technology road-mapping, network design, business continuity, vendor management, and user support.

For more information on driving IT performance and improving business outcomes, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at rcarter@renodis.com.

It’s getting to be that time of year again. Maybe you’re just starting to get settled into fall, back-to-school, or football season… It’s also a time of year we start to think, plan, and budget for the upcoming holiday season and corporate holiday gifts. It’s a great time, as a company, to step back and recognize clients and business partners that have contributed to your success throughout the year.

However too often, a well-intentioned gesture can come off lacking impact – or worse – give a negative impact.  If you are starting to look into corporate holiday gifts for your clients, partners, or colleagues this holiday season, don’t make these 3 mistakes with YOUR corporate holiday gifts.

Mistake #1 – Not Prioritizing Your Corporate Holiday Gift Budget

It doesn’t make sense to gift all your contacts in the exact same way. Firstly, you probably have clients your company invests more time/resources in than others. Secondly, you may want to recognize other types of contacts (partners, vendors, colleagues) in a different way.

TIP: Spread your holiday budget by dividing your list into 3 categories. This way, more budget can be spent on A contacts, less on B contacts, and least on C contacts. Each contact will receive a nice holiday recognition, and the big impact will go to your highest priority contacts.

Mistake #2 – Choosing the Gifts YOU Want vs What Your CLIENTS Want

Alright, now you have a budget and your lists together. You’re ready to select the PERFECT, most impressive, star-studded gift ever…something you would LOVE to have, right?

WRONG.

Only too often do companies gift items the recipient has no interest in. Not only could your gift have little or no effect, but it may come across in a negative way.

TIP: In a perfect world, holiday gifts would be customized for each and every client, but not many organizations can accommodate this. If you haven’t already completed a Persona Profile, a composite sketch of a key segment of your intended audience or client base, this would be a great exercise to truly understand your contacts/clients. Use your Persona Profile (or multiple if you have them) to select the perfect gift for your audience. Don’t forget to consider if the gift is intended for a department vs one single person. Still having trouble finding the perfect gift? There are many firms out there like Ruhlin Group that specialize in gift strategy (selecting the perfect gift) and ultimately, helping you stand out.

Mistake #3 – Forgetting About Timing

If the end goal of corporate gift giving is to recognize and make an impact, we must realize that breaking through the clutter is a serious issue. The last thing you want to do is wait until the last minute, rush through the motions just to “check the box” of corporate holiday gifts — and “uh oh” your recipient hardly notices your gift.

TIP: Just because many corporate holiday gifts are sent during December, doesn’t mean you should succumb to the temptation. Think about capturing the limelight of “first holiday gift” in October or November? Or even better yet – think outside the box and do your own strategy for year-long client recognition. 

Put it All Together Now

Now you are armed and ready with the knowledge to rock your next corporate holiday gift campaign and ensure you stand out with your clients!

Step-by-step for Organizing Your Next Corporate Holiday Gifts

  1. Determine the best timing for your client appreciation and corporate holiday gifts
  2. Gather your list of intended recipients and group them by contact type (client, business partner, vendor, etc.)
  3. Prioritize your list (As, Bs, Cs) and finalize your budget
  4. Select the perfect gift for each group (keeping client in mind, one person vs entire department)
  5. Pull the trigger on your well laid plans!
  6. Follow-up: make sure it was received, capture any feedback for next time


As Director of Marketing, Colleen Kranz is responsible for the Renodis corporate brand and identity, corporate communications and integrated marketing efforts company-wide. For more information on driving client relations, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact Colleen at ckranz@renodis.com.

Many IT organizations have developed a Project Management Office (PMO).  They are usually staffed with competent project managers who have good project management tools and who understand how to get their project across the finish line in a predictable manner (cost and quality).  However, there are unique characteristics of Communications / Telecom projects that demand a hybrid approach, with simple and flexible tools, and staffed by PMs with unique skills.  Yes, this premise is counter-intuitive for anyone who thinks of themselves as a progressive IT leader (me included).  But reality can’t be denied.

First let’s describe how telecom projects are unique, and it all starts with the carriers.  They are the central part of the project, we are trying to implement THEIR services.  Hard to pin down on dates, constantly changing resources, no firm commitments on anything, seemingly no one who can make a decision, “escalation” as a standard operational term, email driven processes, he-said-she-said mistakes … on and on.  Then add a complexity like last-mile services delivered by a completely different LEC than the one holding the contract, and the resulting tiered service model.  And add to all that the environmental component: the services are delivered outside in mother-nature’s domain, where weather can trigger delays, and streets and buildings and parking lots hold secrets until the digging starts.

How does a telecom PM manage through all of that?  First, they need to have a personal skill set that is a match for the chaos:

  • Masters of context switching, as some days are only about nudging a project forward.  They have to be able to manage multiple initiatives, just to stay busy
  • Broad telecom knowledge, the technologies, yes, but equally what can go wrong, and how to get it back on track
  • Expert communicators
  • Skilled at getting things done via influence.  Knowing the art of escalation
  • Managers of project risk and predictors of impact to schedules
  • Effective meeting leaders, covering status and to-dos with clarity and conciseness
  • Unflappable and dogged.

Then their execution model has to simplify the project for everyone involved, right to its essence.  Their PM processes should boil down to:

  • Create and keep a basic project plan
    • What are we trying to accomplish
    • What are the key milestones
    • What help do I need and what resources do I have
    • What are the constraints (time, budget, etc.)
  • Maintain an issues log and decision tracker
  • Effectively build and leverage a stakeholder-based communications matrix.

Trying to model out and maintain a beautiful Work-Breakdown-Structure with task dependencies, resource allocations, activity-level dates and a critical path is ultimately counter-productive.  It will be out-of-date and incorrect almost immediately on project commencement, and take a ton of time to maintain.

And finally, their tools need to be aligned with the execution model.  Flexible, simple to use, easy to understand.  The tools just help track activities, keep project participants on the same page (status)  and allow for issue tracking.   Most projects can be run most effectively with a relatively simple spreadsheet.  Put your energy into staff development and coaching, not tool deployments.

If you apply that lens to your telecom PMO projects it will pay huge dividends for your organization.  The work will get effectively completed, the costs of Project Management will be optimized, and your PMO staff will take great pride in their results and productivity.

About the Author

As Vice President of Client Solutions, Paul Cashin is responsible for leading the services organization at Renodis.

With over 25 years in business/IT consulting, Paul brings strong leadership experience in developing strategy, service offerings, sales/marketing programs, team development, partnership management, and implementation management of projects.

For more information on driving Telecom PMO and improving business outcomes, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at pcashin@renodis.com.

Communications (historically referred to as telecommunications) is a term that has taken a new spin as it now refers to converged voice and data networks as well as mobility. For IT leaders, it is a layer of IT that is critical to the business, much like keeping the lights on, but very difficult and time consuming to manage. Not to mention, expensive.

Many IT leaders are using a managed services approach for different areas of IT. Strategic IT leaders use third party providers for various commodity-based work including help desk support, collocation/hosting, data center, and network support. Communications is another area of IT that is considered commodity-based. Why should you use a managed services approach to communications? Here are three strategic reasons why.

Strategic Reason #1: Don’t be an empire builder!

Yes, you need internal resources to manage certain aspects of IT. But building an IT team to focus on commodity based, tactical areas of the business is a waste of talent and money. Many leaders redeploy highly skilled network staff on critical competencies (engaging with business leaders, learning about solving business challenges, business architecture, security, and customers).

Managed services for communications eliminates the need to use highly skilled and expensive staff to manage a tactical layer of IT. And the best managed service firms leverage built-for-purpose systems to manage their cost of services, systems that a normal IT shop can’t hope to fund. That means those firms can run your environment with a solid ROI back to you.

Strategic Reason #2: Managing communications is not strategic

Communications is a necessary aspect of your business, critical to daily function. However, the daily management of voice networks, data networks, and mobility is not a core part of your business. Do you really want highly skilled network engineers and administrators negotiating with carriers, handling repair issues and network outages, managing vendor relationships, handling basic Move / Add / Change / Disconnect work, procuring voice and data network services, taking mobility repair calls, and looking at invoices every month? The answer should be NO.

Strategic Reason #3: So many other great things to focus on…cloud, security, app dev

The truth is — IT organizations are ridiculously busy and have far too many important initiatives to focus on. Today’s top CIOs focus on identifying how enterprise technology can enhance the business from a strategic perspective. Technology brings exciting changes to the IT world. The emergence of cloud, IoT, mobility, applications, and security challenges far outweigh managing tactical and commodity based work like communications.

By working with business leaders and customers to identify their challenges and provide technology solutions, CIOs are now taking an active part in moving their business forward – often in ways they have never have been able to do before!

Ryan Carter specializes in working with thought-leading, strategically-targeted IT executives to help them achieve an increased focus on business-impacting technology, business transformation, reduced operating costs, and IT productivity. Ryan provides thought leadership and various areas of expertise for Communications Managed Services including telecommunications expense management, mobility managed services, technology road-mapping, network design, business continuity, vendor management, and user support.

For more information on driving IT performance and improving business outcomes, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at rcarter@renodis.com.

Before I dive into escalations, let me give you a little background. As a contact center manager, I am a wearer of many hats.  There is just no way around it, the expectation of those of us running day-to-day operations is that we are the glue that binds everything together.  As a manager of a contact center for a small business, my time is even more critical.  From staffing, to policy, to future-state planning, my hands are in everything.  With our business growing and a commitment to great outcomes for our clients, I have found myself spending more time on client escalations recently.  While I could spend time explaining all the techniques I use to fix those hectic situations, let’s instead spend some time talking about how to avoid those escalations in the first place.

#1 Touch it Once

The biggest driver of escalations in my world, stems from aging tickets.  My team is great at multi-tasking and working multiple client requests at the same time.  This is a good thing!  However, at times, it comes with a price.  When my agents break the Touch It Once rule, things run the risk of breaking down.  We have all been there.  A ticket is opened, and for a myriad of reasons, is left open.  The Touch It Once rule is simple: If you can close out the request now, DO IT!  By leaving it open, regardless of the reason, it runs the risk of slipping through the cracks.  What’s worse, is when a client ends up working with multiple agents.  If one did not close the case, but could have, it will create a ripple effect, which is a perfect segue to my next point.

#2 If it isn’t in the Ticket, it Didn’t Happen

When working an escalation, this is a KILLER.  There is nothing worse than trying to piece together the history of a ticket, and only being armed with a portion of the story.  If the agent who did not notate something is sick/out of the office/on break/at lunch?  All bets are off.  You have to have accurate and complete details in order to be effective at resolving a client’s issue.  Most of the time, this is not due to negligence, it is due to agents spread too thin or high volume through the various contact streams.  Another driver is when one agent touches a ticket started by another.  Even in our tightly knit team, the chances of knowing exactly what your neighbor did without notations are slim.  When an agent has no clue what has been done, things will go wrong or will be missed.  It doesn’t take many of these situations before the dreaded, “I’d like to speak to a supervisor” is uttered.  However, it’s perfectly avoidable.  Remember, if it isn’t in the ticket…it didn’t happen.  There is no worse feeling than the client knowing more about a situation than you do!  When this happens, and it will, you must stress the importance of noting EVERYTHING with your team.

#3 Let Me Know When Things Go Wrong

The last piece of advice might be the most logical of them all for your agents.  Let me know when things go wrong.  It does not matter how experienced or inexperienced your individual team members are, working in a contact center is challenging. Products and services are ever-changing.  On top of that, staffing levels are tight and demand is high.  Things can and will go wrong.  Your agents have to trust you, and know when to come to you.  If they do not, you simply cannot help them with the right answer or resources to be successful.  It is human nature not to want to tell someone when you need help.  That’s why you must stress to them to “Let me know when things go wrong.”  In turn, your job is to be supportive, even if they have made mistakes along the way.  That is the biggest key to building continued trust long-term, and in turn, making sure they bring their issues to you in real time.

There you have it:

  1. Touch it once
  2. If it isn’t in the ticket, it didn’t happen
  3. Let me know when things go wrong

If you can get your team on-board with those three things, I promise you will dramatically reduce the number of escalations that come your way, freeing you up to continue your evolution as a dynamic, innovative leader in your business!

Jesse Ray is an experienced contact center manager, with a background in delivery of customer service, technical support, and order processing to internal and external clients.  With experience managing domestic and global teams, Jesse utilizes an Inside-Out coaching methodology along with a focus on logically sound process design to ensure long-lasting customer satisfaction.  Jesse strives to bring the voice of the customer to every interaction his teams handle.

For more information or questions related to this post, please contact Jesse at jray@renodis.com.

Draft. Day.

You may think of the NFL when you hear these words, however they mean so much more to a select group of students today who participated in Genesys Works’ Draft Day 2016.

The mission of Genesys Works is to “enable economically disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing them the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals.”

And DRAFT DAY is Genesys Works’ signature fall event where young professionals who successfully complete the eight-week summer training program discover their internship placement.

We are thrilled to be partnering with the Genesys Works organization by providing an internship for the upcoming school year. Interested in learning more about this great organization? We encourage you to check out all the details here: http://www.genesysworks.org

IMG_8551 IMG_8547

Retail IT leaders are under constant pressure to provide innovation to their customers and end users while at the same time “keeping the lights on”. To make matters worse, the growing risk of security breaches is a constant threat.

With the growth of cloud applications, security, mobility, and the Internet of Things, these all impact your network and bring urgency to ensuring your network will support these growing areas.

Here are the top 5 trends impacting retail networks and IT organizations.

#5 Trend Impacting Retail Networks: Cloud & Hybrid Networking

#5

In order to provide a reliable and solid customer experience, you need a WAN that will support your cloud applications 24x7x365. Cloud & Hybrid networking provide access to cloud providers, offer a hybrid WAN with a multitude of various connectivity options (broadband, ethernet, FiOS, 4G LTE, etc) to improve performance and efficiency, and reduce overall operating costs.

#4 Trend Impacting Retail Networks: Security & Compliance

#4

Security is an ongoing threat, and your customer data is even more important. Whether you are engaging customers online and through eCommerce, or you have customers accessing applications through mobile devices, it is critical you have a secure network without reducing the customer experience. Managed firewall, PCI Compliance, threat monitoring, secure WiFi, and mobile device management are all viable solutions to meeting these threats.

#3 Trend Impacting Retail Networks: Business Continuity

#3

When it comes to voice and data network communications, there is always a high chance of service outage. Whether it is an equipment failure, a copper issue, fiber cut, or a major carrier outage, these all impact your network and can interfere with customer wait times, transaction delays, and customer frustration. Whether you are using dual broadband – FiOS, DSL, cable, 4G LTE –  any of these will provide redundancy you need to support business continuity. If your Point of Sale provides offline transactions, that helps too. Using a combo of DSL and/or 4G Wireless or Cable are great solutions.

#2 Trend Impacting Retail Networks: SD-WAN

#2

Software Defined Networking (SD-WAN or SDN) is a hot buzzword right now. Investment and private equity firms are pumping millions of dollars into SD-WAN companies to spark innovation and growth in this sector. There are a multitude of options for SD-WAN. The benefits of this solution includes bandwidth aggregation, packet remediation, application visibility, cloud deployment, and improved network visibility and management. More importantly, it provides ease of use and fast deployment. Finally, SDWAN provides reduced risk of downtime, firewall security, PCI compliance, and lower OPEX costs by leveraging hybrid network solutions.

#1 Trend Impacting Retail Networks: Communications Managed Services

#1

Retail IT organizations should be focused on delivering innovation to their business and improving the customer and end user experience. Although keeping the lights on is important, telecommunications (or communications with the convergence of mobility, WAN, voice, cloud, and other technologies) is a critical part of the business but tactical and time consuming to manage. Leveraging a third party to manage this type of commodity work provides more efficiency in IT and less time spent on managing multiple vendors, handling repair issues, managing hundreds or thousands of network invoices, and less time dealing with a dysfunctional industry in general. Your skilled IT staff should not be managing this area of IT.

 

Technology and networks are constantly changing. By leveraging industry best practices based on these trends,  your network will be more efficient, higher performing, and offer less risk to your customers and business.


Ryan Carter
specializes in working with thought-leading, strategically-targeted IT executives to help them achieve an increased focus on business-impacting technology, business transformation, reduced operating costs, and IT productivity. 
Ryan provides thought leadership and various areas of expertise for Communications Managed Services including telecommunications expense management, mobility managed services, technology road-mapping, network design, business continuity, vendor management, and user support.

For more information on driving IT performance and improving business outcomes, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at rcarter@renodis.com.

Sr Mobility Business Analyst and all around well loved Renodis employee, Phil Kline, recently won the prestigious Renodis Employee of the Year award. We decided to sit down with our buddy Phil to understand “the man behind the dance”….

giphyPhil Kline – always the coolest kid on the dance floor…

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a Professional Basketball player (I have been tall all my life and makes the game easier for me :), but never had Air Jordans), then astronaut (but too tall to fit in a rocket ship/space station), then lawyer (I can be argumentative at times, but I am a bad liar).

Q: What do you think is the most important quality you need to have for success? The most important quality to obtaining success is to show up and play the game.  Success to me, is obtaining the company’s goals while achieving my own personal goals simultaneously.  Performing the daily tasks of my role is the easy part of my job, while playing the game is the hard part.  Knowing and understanding people’s behavior, winning people to understand my way of thinking, being a leader, being a good listener and letting others do a great deal of the talking are a few functions of me playing the game.

Q: What do you value most in a job? What I value most in a job is having as close to a 1:1 ratio on challenge/reward.  What I mean by that is, being fairly compensated (ie. salary, PTO, benefits, rewards, activities)  for the challenges or roles assigned and completed.  I see an employer/employee relationship as a longstanding sales process.  Initially we come together and I answer the company’s request to accomplish a select set of services for compensation, then over time more services are asked for and compensation/pricing will change on the package you originally purchased with me.  I want to be in a WIN/WIN relationship with my employer (i.e. as close to a 1:1 ratio on challenge/reward).  I like to be challenged at my work, it drives me to become a better person and employee.

Q: What is your most treasured possession? My most treasured possession is my Bernese Mountain Dog named Mister.  He is an awesome dog!! #nuffsaid #wuffsaid

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement is knowing through my life choices I have made my parents proud.

Q: Have any “hidden talents” ? I am unaware, as they are hidden.

Q: If Renodis were a TV show, which character – from any sitcom, drama or reality show (of any time period) – would represent you? Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld “Giddy up”. Kramer is straightforward and honest, goofy, quirky, and caring.

Congratulations Phil! Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Keep on dancin’!

phill and craig1