In This Issue
Wireless Symposium Coming Soon
Resource Corner
Message from Dick McFarlane
Meet Our Staff
Quick Links

Wireless Symposium
Coming Soon
NTCA's annual Wireless Symposium will be January 7-9 in Austin, TX. Our own Dick McFarlane will be speaking on WiMAX and LTE. Read more about his speaking session or register for the conference today
Resource Corner
Looking for a good book to read after the holidays?  Check out Encore Effect and learn how to inspire people to constantly demand more and more of whatever it is you do.
Please contact us any time with questions, feedback, or just to exchange ideas about telecom industry issues.  You can reach us at 847-782-1500 or  For the latest information, visit us at
Dick McFarlane
Alliance Telecom Solutions
Message from Dick McFarlane, President
As the economy declines, we will hear much discussion of defensive strategies, "hunkering down" and reducing new initiatives.  Much of this will occur regardless as resources become more constrained at every level.

As managers, the leadership provided over the next 24 months will determine our level of success and, for many organizations, survival.  In our desire to avoid mistakes, we may increase control and centralize or escalate more decisions.

In itself, not bad if carefully thought through, but it can be harmful if done in a knee-jerk response to the environment shift.

The Center for CIO Leadership recently released the results of its 2008 CIO Leadership Survey.  The survey focused on four key areas:  Leadership, Business Strategy and Process, Innovation and Growth, and Organization and Talent Management.

Four strong themes emerged: 
CIO's are leaders in their organizations and play an important role in leading change. 
CIO's have a seat at the executive table.
CIO's are leaders of innovation and idea creation, but nearly 40% are falling short in identifying technology-enabled business opportunities.
CIO's know where they need to lead their IT organizations, but continue to struggle with delegation and building the next generation team. 

Read the full study on-line or email me to request the full 28 page report.

My point is that during these times, we need full participation from all groups reporting to us.  Innovation, cost savings and business process improvement need to be key activities.  To do this, people at every level need to clearly understand their boundaries.  We all think we delegate well, but are surprised to find those reporting to us less sure.

We will have decisions we need to make at the top.  It is critical to have clarity on what can be handled at each level so you focus on the critical decisions.  Each year you probably make less than 10 really critical decisions.  The key is to know which ones will be critical.

If you are leading IT or other functional areas, and do not have a 3-5 year roadmap for your group, get one.  If you have one you should have metrics and scheduled review/update process.   

Alliance is a tactical consulting company.  We are very good at helping you execute on the core concepts and plans.  We can facilitate development of a road map with your team, and then work with you on the tactical steps to implement.  We can also provide input on the critical pieces that need to be in the roadmap.  Having clear lines of delegation at all levels drives innovation because decisions get made faster with fewer lapses of authority and judgment.  If you do not have a clear delegation process, we would welcome the opportunity to help you develop clear structure.  We will do an initial assessment at no cost to you.

I have a simple exercise you can do with your staff to help you see their perspective on their real scope of decision making.  If you'd like a copy, email me with a request for The Three Column exercise.

Happy holidays from all of us at Alliance!  Thank you for the opportunities you provided us in 2008.

Meet Our Staff
Featured Consultant: Angela Nelson, Senior Project Manager,

Angela has more than sixteen years of project management experience specifically related to call centers and CRM.

TT: How/when did you get into telecom?
AN: I began working with telecom products in 1994 while at a large student loan service provider.  I was the project manager responsible for replacing their switch and IVR to support customer service.
TT: What is your subject matter expertise?
AN: My expertise is in implementing solutions for telecom providers.  This includes both out of the box solutions like SAP, Microsoft CRM, various switches, IVR's and auto-dialers, as well as development of custom applications to support call center and collections for telecom providers. 

TT: What do you feel is the biggest contribution you've made to a client?
AN: Leading a team to develop a customized student loan system to support direct and state student Loans.  Student loans have very flexible options and it was imperative that the application provided the flexibility to be very customizable by the users.  The timeframe was short (6 months) and the team small (1 architect, 3 developers and 3 QA resources).  The application was ready on time.  Six years later is still the key application leveraged to support specialized student loans.
TT:  What is one of the most interesting projects you've worked on?
AN: In 2006 I led a project to upgrade equipment in theatres from the current configuration to digital, 1080p.  It was fascinating to learn about all that goes into actually running a film in a movie theatre.
TT: What is your favorite city/country to work in?
AN: In 2000 I worked in Belgium with a group of resources from seven countries and I enjoyed learning about the customs and cultures of other countries.   That said, New York City is still my favorite city and though I have not had the opportunity to work there yet, I hope to in the coming years.
TT: What do you like best about working with Alliance? 
AN: Over the years I've worked with many consulting companies both from the hiring and the being recruited perspective.  Alliance, being a boutique firm, really has the time to work with their customers to determine what needs to be done.  They are conscientious and supportive with their clients and recruits and incredibly responsive.  The Alliance support team is not only friendly and helpful but they manage administration duties and health care as though it's for themselves and not just a stranger
TT: What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
AN: Travelling and writing.  This year I had the good fortune of traveling to Greece, Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Italy on a fantastic, if incredibly fast paced, cruise.  I believe seeing so many cultures in the world helps us to understand that deep down we all want the same things: food for our families, a nice place to live, and a community for support.

To request Angela for your next project or to view her full profile, visit our web site.