In This Issue
Upcoming Trade Shows
Industry Insight
Chicago Telecom Professionals
Message from Richard McFarlane
Meet Our Staff
Quick Links

Upcoming Trade Shows 

Planning which trade shows to attend in 2012?  Take our survey and get a $5 Starbucks card.

Kick off the spring and reinvigorate your sales channels by attending Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, March 26-29, featuring tracks on cloud services, mobile wireless and other opportunities. Let us know if you're attending.
Industry Insight: 4G      
The ITU approved new 4G network standards, while nearly half of iPhone 4 users surveyed think they are using a 4G network.
Need a Laugh?  
Happy Groundhog Day! 

Q: What would you get if you crossed February 2 with a puppy?
A: Ground-dog Day! 
Check out additional Groundhog Day puns. 

Chicago Telecom Professionals 
Do you work in the Chicago metro area or have colleagues who do? Check out Chicago Telecom Professionals, and join us for our next meeting.  Email for more info.
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

Happy New Year and welcome to the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese New Year was celebrated January 23 this year.


I certainly felt last year was the Year of the Hare as it was difficult to determine what direction the business would move. From our perspective, our industry is in better shape than most. But will the economy move up with the election cycle as in the past, or will global events move us in another direction? As no one knows for sure, cautious optimism seems a reasonable response.


Alliance can provide a way for you to move forward with projects without committing to long-term hires. We can provide experienced telecom teams to complete projects and solve integration issues.  We believe consolidation will continue in 2012 and we welcome an opportunity to work with you in our specialty areas of Billing, Revenue Assurance, and Customer Experience.


On a lighter note, I believe many of you have heard of Polar Bear Swims. These are events in places such as Boston, Chicago, or Anchorage, involving people going for a swim in an ocean or Lake Michigan in January.


Recently our friends at Alaska Communications shared a video of them participating in a Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Visit our site to take a look at the video.


Welcome to the Year of the Dragon. We look forward to engaging you in discussion and working with you as clients in 2012.



 Meet Our Clients: Tony Zielinski
Featured Client: Tony Zielinski, Director of IT, Alaska Communications SystemsTonyZ

TT: How and when did you get involved in telecom?

TZ: I started back in 1983 as a teleco central office switching specialist when I was in the Air Force, assigned to Alaska.  After about four years I went back to my home state of Pennsylvania and worked as a customer premise equipment installer.  I worked in several other telecom jobs in Oklahoma and then took an IT job in Denver.  In 2006 I moved back to Alaska and sought out a job with Alaska Communications, where I am now the Director of Information Technology. 


TT: What areas do you oversee in your current role?

TZ: I am the IT director for our wireless, wireline and broadband businesses and have responsibility for 55 people who work on our billing systems, web front end, inter-office systems, and an upgrade to our ACD phone system that we are working on with Alliance. 

TT: What do you this is the most important issue our industry is facing?

TZ:  I really think it is twofold.  The first is how companies can stay competitive in a price war market, when we are all competing on price.  The second is converting from a wireline industry to a wireless / broadband industry without losing market share. 

What do you enjoy about living in Alaska?

TZ: I like having the ability to go north, south, east or west for an hour and still be completely isolated, plus the sheer magnitude of Alaska and all it has to offer.  It is really something you can't explain.  You either love living here or you hate it.  In the summer we have 20 hours of sunlight and you can play as hard as you have energy for.  There is so much opportunity outdoors: fishing, photography, mountain climbing.  This time of year you have to be OK with cold.  The high temperature today was negative 12 degrees and last night it hit negative twenty three with less than eight hours of daylight.   


TT: You recently completed the Polar Bear Plunge.  Tell us about the experience.  

TZ: It was a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  A team of us from Alaska Communications collected pledges to jump into the water in Seward.  It was the first time I did it and it was COLD!  The outside temperature was as low as negative six degrees and they had to break ice for us to jump in.  I was in the water for about 10 seconds and the hard part was getting back out of the water into the cold air.  I took a warm shower to get rid of the shakes and I was close to normal about an hour later.  Our team raised about $3300 and we were the #9 fundraising team out of 164 teams.    


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

TZ: I love Alaska and all it has to offer.  I spend my summers fishing and boating.  Last year I took a 1200-mile boat ride on the Yukon River to hunt for moose.  In the winter I snow shoe and support the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.   


TT: What do you like best about working with Alliance?

TZ: Working with Richard and the team has always been top notch. Alliance has a great ability to obtain A++ quality people in a short amount of time. Alliance also stands behind all they sell and support.