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

Upcoming Trade Shows 

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

The telecom industry trade show landscape is continuing to evolve.  Some old standbys are gone this year, others are merging, and new shows are cropping up to address evolving business and technology needs.  Email us if you'd like a list of trade shows coming up this year.
Here are a few:

Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on March 26-29 features tracks on cloud services, mobile wireless and other opportunities. 

in Indianapolis on April 10-12 offers rural carriers information about growth opportunities.

in San Francisco on April 15-18 provides networking and educational business, technology & regulatory tracks for communication providers.
Industry Insight: More on Patents       
Intellectual property continues to feature prominently in telecom industry news, as the Department of Justice approved the sale of 4,000 Nortel patents for $4.5 billion to Rockstar, a consortium including Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Ericsson & Sony. Meanwhile, an EU document revealed that rivals Apple & Google held discussions on a possible cross-licensing settlement.

Need a Laugh?  
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!  Amuse the leprechauns in your life with a few St. Patrick's Day jokes & riddles. 

Erin Go Bragh! 

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

Customer Experience is definitely getting the buzz this year and I feel it will be the differentiating investment over the next 5 years. Everyone will be on LTE by that time. New users, apps and M2M products will create an expanded and more complex customer.


Our ability to understand these customers, and how they interact with you as a service provider, and the content providers you offer, will determine winners. And the customer's experience will define where they take their business.


So, do you have a clear understanding of your own end-to-end process from inquiry to cash? Can you monitor an order (fixed or mobile) all the way through? Most providers seem to have a series of process silos with no view of the process from the customer's vantage. Failures owing to the transition of an order from one silo to the other may not be seen until the customer calls. Too late, it's already a bad customer experience.


Do you have a roadmap for your Customer Experience program? This needs to be an effort akin to product improvement research and testing in a manufacturing company.


Alliance can help you build the knowledge base and your on-going business process. This is work you can do yourself, but you can't afford to wait until you have an extra resource, who may or may not have the experience to look hard at the overall experience. We can bring people with knowledge of the various functional areas, and the focus to see the end-to-end process.


You don't need to go on Undercover Boss to find holes in your process or organization. You know the profile of your most valuable customers. If you are a senior manager, take five of these customers that you have lost last month, and call them personally. Have a well thought out set of questions to determine why they left. Make sure they understand you are a leader actually in the company looking for ways to improve.


Some of the calls will yield nothing. But, if you do this for 6 months, I bet you will find actionable information. If you are lucky, your call will be discussed on social media, multiplying the impact.


If you are a small organization and CE is an idea you like but you are unsure of how to create a plan, Alliance will do an assessment and develop a high level road map for $30,000. We will help you break the process into manageable chunks and prioritize the process.


We remain a tactical company. If you know what your goals are, we can help you create action plans to analyze your customer relationship and implement process improvement. Until you have a solid understanding of your process, and a culture of constant examination and improvement, you won't get a payoff from investing millions in data analytics.


I welcome your thoughts, critique, or questions. Share your thoughts with me any time.




 Meet Our Consultants: Sandy Lott
Featured Consultant: Sandy Lott, Senior Project Managersandy

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

SL:  My first association with telecom was when I was assigned to the MCI account as a system engineer in 1999 to support their mainframe applications. .Since then, I've also worked at DexKnows and Level 3 Communications as a project manager on a number of different applications including web and voice.


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

SL: My area of expertise has evolved into project management over a span of about 15 years. During that time, I have successfully managed application development, new software implementations, conversions from legacy software to new applications and databases, and upgrades of existing hardware and software platforms for a variety of business applications including retail (POS), utility companies (primarily gas and electric), state governments, banking and financial institutions , ERP solutions (JD Edwards, SAP, and Oracle) and telecom (web commerce applications). My latest long-term project was successfully managing the migration and conversion from a "home-grown" legacy system into cloud computing managed by a third party vendor as well as scheduling hardware and software installations at a variety of diverse locations across the country.

TT:What do you feel is the biggest contribution you've made to a client?

SL:  Because of my experiences in a number of environments, I have the ability to quickly understand the business environment and the problems that are being solved by the application being developed.

What is one of the most interesting projects you've worked on?  

SL: Taking a number of legacy billing applications and merging them into a customized billing system for a utility company. There were a number of inputs and merge points that needed to be addressed as well as incorporating federal and state regulations. This particular project gave me the chance to travel to New Zealand to work with the software development team.         


TT: What is your favorite city/country to work in?

SL: I started out in the northeast, migrated south to North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Idaho and worked assignments in Europe and New Zealand; my favorite place is near Denver, CO. The mountains, climate and wide open spaces are appealing to me since I spend as much of my free time outdoors as possible.


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

SL: I have a number of interests which allow me time to recharge my batteries. I am an avid gardener and I take advantage of the Rocky Mountains for camping, hiking and river rafting with my family. My third son and wife recently expanded their family with twin boys! I am also an active equestrian and compete in a number of events when I'm not out trail riding.


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

SL: This company takes care of its consultants through frequent communication and socialization. The support Alliance gives its consultants makes me feel as though I am a valued member of the team.