In This Issue
Industry Insight
Chicago Telecom Professionals
Need a Laugh?
Message from Richard McFarlane
Meet Our Staff
Quick Links

Industry Insight: Forgot Your Wallet? Use your phone!
Starbucks recently announced they will begin accepting payments using mobile phones, as Orange UK rolls out large-scale NFC payments with Barclays.  A majority of iPhone users are interested in using Visa's NFC technology, now in trials.

Spring Trade Shows

It's time to make your travel plans for the spring trade shows, including

Revenue Assurance & Management

and CTIA Wireles.


Take our trade show survey and get a free Starbucks card!

Chicago Telecom Professionals
Do you work in the Chicago metro area or have colleagues who do? Check out Chicago Telecom Professionals, an industry education and networking group that formed this year.  Email us with questions or for more info.
Need a Laugh?
wired cartoon
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


Richard McFarlane
Alliance Telecom Solutions
Message from Richard McFarlane, President

Over the past year, we have sponsored several webinars on various aspects of Project Management.  We have taken a practical approach using panels of experienced Project Managers who manage groups of Project and Program managers.Over half of the attendees from our most recent webinar have active PMO's in their organization.  Managing a successful PMO is a difficult.  In the coming months, we will be exploring the day-to-day tactical issues of running a successful PMO organization.  We want to look at structure, process and tools.  That's a lot of landscape, so we will try to focus on areas we believe you as managers are working to improve in your organization.  Some areas being considered for examination include:


  Project Prioritization - Developing a consistent process to evaluate projects and decide which get done next and which get pushed out.

  Project Methodology - traditional project management, Agile, Waterfall?  Are you consistent, or using both, or a combination?

  Accountability - What are the lines of demarcation between the PMO and other parts of the organization?  Who is accountable to the business stakeholder to deliver a project; IT, PMO, or a Project Management group within the function (Care, Product, Engineering for example)?

  Communication - Even when final delivery accountability is clear, communication over the life of any project often determines how satisfied the stakeholders are at the end.  What is their customer experience?

  Tools - What role do BPM, Project Portfolio and other tools play in your process?

  Governance - Does traditional governance conflict with Agile projects?  Do Agile tools make older governance tools obsolete?


What are your ideas?  Do you disagree with this list, and are you passionate about the role of the PMO?  Then we would like to hear from you.  Give us your input to improve our session, or better, participate as a panel member.  Do it now.


If you've missed participating in our webinars, download one today and let us know what you think. 


If you would like to discuss how we can help establish or further develop your PMO or would like to talk about your future business plans and the impact of those plans on your current supporting infrastructure, contact Harry Beane, our Vice President, Solutions.

 Meet Our Staff: David Rizzo
Featured Consultant: David Rizzo, Senior Consultant

David has worked in telecom for nearly 40 years, specializing in billing and revenue assurance.

TT: How did you get into telecom?

DR:I started my Telephone career as a Central Office Equipment Installer for New England Telephone in 1967 right out of high school in Boston.  I was with them for about a year when Uncle Sam called, and I did a 4-year stint in the Army.  I returned to NET in 1972, as an Equipment Installer and became interested in telco switch timing and CDR generation in the mechanical switching systems. I earned several test ratings in the early switching systems and installed and tested switches from all of the major switching vendors, AT&T (Lucent), NTI (Nortel) and Siemens.


TT: What is your subject matter expertise and how did you develop your knowledge?

DR: My expertise is in CABS and it evolved over many years.  In the late 1970s I became involved in a project with AT&T engineers attaching an IBM computer to a mechanical switch to generate error code on tape rather than punched cards.  This evolved further in using a similar system to collect CDR (AMA) data from the switch in lieu of the paper tape. First trials of the system were successful and became known as AMA Teleprocessing (AMATPS).  With all of the methods for recording CDRs in the switching network AT&T developed method and procedures for an organization with the responsibility of sitting between the network and the financial arms of the company.  This group, the AMA Control Center was responsible for the analysis and correction of all billing errors in the system.  This was, in essence, the first Revenue Assurance organization and in New England I was manager. This responsibility expanded with the coming of Divestiture in 1984.  I received a request to work with AT&T in NJ to work on documentation that would explain how CDRs would be generated by the networks and be used to identify and bill the new Interexchange Carriers (IXCs).  It was here I developed an expertise in CABS.

TT: What do you feel is the biggest contribution you've made to a client?
DR: The biggest contribution I made to a telco client was helping them realize an immediate saving of over $700,000 and realize a continuing expense saving of greater than 80% on their cost of access.  The company was receiving Access and Recip Comp Invoices, hadn't paid the invoices, but was holding the monies in escrow.  The companies that sent the invoices were threatening legal action unless something was done. Using some tried and true validation methods I've learned over the years, I was able to show that the company owed less than 35% of the claimed usage invoiced.  This coupled with working with the client's legal department led to some agreements between the companies that secured ongoing cost savings.

TT: What is the most interesting project you've worked on?
The most interesting project I worked on was putting together a Revenue Assurance Organization for Teleport Communications Group (later AT&T Local).

TT: What is your favorite city/country to work in?
I'm somewhat of a homebody, and although I've no problem going on the road I'm always glad to go home.  I think the nicest city I've worked in is San Diego, but my favorite city is Boston.  I'm a history buff and Boston has history.

TT: What do you like best about working with Alliance? 
Alliance gives me the flexibility to use my experience and skills for companies that I never would be able to contact on my own.

TT: What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?

DR: I enjoy fishing and golfing.  Neither of which I'm very good at, but it does help me to relax.

To request David for your next project or to view his full profile, please visit our web site.