The Fallacy of “Do More With Less”

I often hear managers of teams or companies that are talking about profit recovery, turnaround, changing culture etc. talk about the ways that they are going to change. During these discussions in management meetings I almost invariably hear a manager say “we are going to do more with less.” This comment by its very nature is problematic. First, if our employees work hard, are skilled, and have proper instruction there is no way they can do more with less. Unless we are going to train them better, give them new systems or tools that make them more productive, or make
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Tips for Getting the Most from Your Call Accounting System

Dissatisfied with your call accounting system or procedures? You’re not alone. We hear that a lot from users looking to replace their system. We’ve analyzed a number of these cases, and we’re seeing some interesting trends. Here are some suggestions to make sure you’re getting the most from your call accounting system. Ask for Retraining Call your call accounting system vendor and ask for retraining. Upward promotion in the telecom administration track means people frequently “inherit” call accounting systems from the people they replace. Inheritors often haven’t benefited from vendor training, and end up using the system to perpetuate, rather
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How Does Checking Work Email Affect Your Business Efficiency?

During the Cisco Live Empowered Women’s Network session Sunday afternoon, we had a round table discussion about work/life balance—specifically, how often we check work email and how hard it is to unplug. It’s difficult to improve business efficiency when our focus is all over the place. Our session moderator and Cisco Executive, Kim Majerus, posed the question, “How do you unplug?” As we went around the table I was amazed at how many of the women I was seated with just don’t unplug from email. Ever. They check work email all the time. Taking a Break … to Improve Business
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Call Analytics for the Modern Era

Today I did a demo for a potential customer who is using a competitor’s product.  As we discussed their needs, it became easy to see they really knew what they were looking for in a new system; they need call analytics for the modern era. Out with the Old The folks I talked with were tired of antiquated call analytics systems. They were looking for new ways to complete tasks. The key features they wanted were: Directory They loved the idea of being able to put the company directory on the intranet so everyone could access it. Instant Access to
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I Bought a Truck and Learned a Lesson About Business Intelligence Analytics

Sometimes things happen in life that allow my business world and personal world to collide. Recently I was asked by my neighborhood Boy Scout Troop to be the Scoutmaster. I have been a lifelong supporter of the ideals and values that Scouting teaches boys and I am an Eagle Scout. I also have always wanted to get a big truck, and saw this as a perfect convergence of truck-justification and a chance to give something back to the community. The truck-buying journey drilled home a lesson in business intelligence analytics which was unexpected. Luckily my terrific wife also allowed the
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Dimension Data Takes Employee Training to a Whole NEW Dimension!

We are lucky enough to work with some amazing partners. Recently one of our partners, Dimension Data, invited us into their elite training facility to work with their sales and engineering staff. What an amazing experience. As if running a multi billion-dollar organization with locations and staff spread out world-wide isn’t stressful enough, imagine employee training for such a massive operation. Think about the trouble of trying to bring a group of internationally based consultants, architects and managers together. It’s no easy task! The employees we’re talking about are folks with major account and/or unique practice responsibilities ranging from hosted
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Fighting the Dangers of Sitting All Day

I am fortunate to have built a successful technology business in a home-office environment. It offers plenty of freedoms that not everyone can boast about—not the least of which is that my commute involves grabbing a cup of coffee in my own kitchen. No cars, no highways, no crazy drivers. But I’ve realized lately the dangers of sitting all day might counteract some of those great benefits. In truth, 30 years of sitting at my desk for several hours a day has taken its toll on my health. These days, with the Internet, email and telephone as our primary method
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Communications Monitoring, IT software, and the Question “What Do You Do?”

Communications Monitoring, IT software, and the Question “What Do You Do?” Recently I attended a rock climbing competition for my son, and as you do at these events, I met family members of the kids on his team. In these conversations, it invariably comes to the, “What do you do for a living?” question. Sometimes I answer with the easy out, “I sell IT software.” I might go out on a limb and mention “communications monitoring.” But it’s really more than that. I am the Vice President of Marketing for LVM, Inc. While I am not one for fancy job
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What is VXDash? Business Analytics Software That Works for You

VXDash was created because our operations team was fielding requests from partners who wanted to massage data in unique ways. The resulting business analytics software brings the ability to include any data we are collecting and build an operational view that works for the individual user. In our individual applications we have siloed information, and building custom reports can be time-consuming. By introducing VXDash, we have eliminated the need for our technical resources to build custom reports. We can teach an analyst level position how to use our business analytics software to create the reports they will find most useful
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ShoreTel Bets the Farm on Cloud UC but Will Fail Without This Key Component

As a unified communications wonk, I recently attended the ShoreTel conference excited to glean some intel about trends in UC, and especially cloud UC. As the ShoreTel conference was reconvening for the first time in almost 30 months, I was also expecting some huge announcements or product unveiling. Unfortunately, from that perspective the conference was underwhelming. That said, I was particularly interested in the comments by ShoreTel President and CEO Don Joos, who clearly stated in his keynote that the target market for ShoreTel is the SMB market—specifically 5,000 seat deployments and below. But the other clear message from the
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ShoreTel Partner Conference 2015

Partner shows are a great way for us to gain exposure to the partner channel and the ShoreTel Partner show of 2015 was no exception. After a two year hiatus, the ShoreTel partner conference made a triumphant return by hosting about 1100 attendees at the Gaylord Palms Resorts in Orlando, Florida. This week Doug Tolley and Roger Blohm give us their show recaps. LVM participated as a sponsor, and as usual were impressed with the overall quality of the partners that attend this event. And best of all, our Managed Services for Unified Communications message was well received as we
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Technology Upgrade – a Necessity of Life

It all started with the Domino’s 30 minutes or less or it’s free guarantee, dry shampoo, instant coffee, and virtual thank you cards. Today we even have tiny buttons we place around the house and tap when we run out of a certain product and, voila! The product is delivered to our doorsteps. We live in an instant gratification, fast-moving world. Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, we run to our wireless carrier to get an upgrade. A new fad diet is released and we all jump to try and lose 30 pounds overnight. We all want to get
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Life Without Lync

My morning was crazy. I had backed up plumbing in the house and the dog threw up on the carpet—all before 6 a.m.! Then when I finally make it to my desk for my morning conference call, Lync wasn’t working. I recently upgraded from a MacBook Pro to an iMac with a 1 TB flash hard drive. Ahh, life is good. Except when it’s not. Like today when no one in my company could get on our call. Was it my new computer?  I had to start from scratch and download every program, add-on and plug-in one at a time.
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Autism

Living with a  child with Autism is hard. But the support we receive from our friends, family, colleagues, and sometimes even complete strangers makes it much easier. My 6 year-old son Max has Autism Living with a child with Autism is full of ups and downs. My wife and I basically had to restructure our whole lives to adapt to what is required to help Max learn and grow. He has had therapy since he was 18 months old and didn’t start saying three word sentences until he was five. He wasn’t even potty trained until January of this year.
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CONNECTIONS Awarded VXSuite Partner of the Year 2014

  The outstanding growth of CONNECTIONS leads to recognition at annual VXSuite Partner Conference   LAS VEGAS (March 19, 2015) — VXSuite is proud to announce that CONNECTIONS has earned the 2014 VXSuite Partner of the Year Award, the prestigious technology award recognizing outstanding year-over-year growth. The winners were announced on March 18, at the Annual VXSuite VXMadness 2.0 Partner Conference at the Aston MonteLago Resort in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada. CONNECTIONS posts growth year after year by focusing on complete customer satisfaction. Click To Tweet The VXSuite Partner Awards express well-deserved recognition for the numerous technology company success stories produced
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Harbor Networks Awarded VXSuite Growth Partner of the Year

The outstanding growth of Harbor Networks leads to recognition at the annual VXSuite Partner Conference   LAS VEGAS (March 19, 2015) — The prestigious technology award that recognizes outstanding year-over-year growth was given to Harbor Networks at the Annual VXSuite VXMadness 2.0 Partner Conference in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada.  The 2014 VXSuite Growth Partner of the Year Award was given based on the largest revenue increase in the last calendar year. The VXSuite Partner Awards express well-deserved recognition for the numerous technology company success stories produced in the cloud-based analytic software business. “During the past year, Harbor Networks has grown its
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Top Ten Favorite Moments at VXMadness

VXMadness , Business Lessons Learned from The Princess Bride, was a huge success! We invited VXSuite partners from around the country – and the world – to join us in Lake Las Vegas for three days of thought-provoking discussions, VXSuite education, lively panels and viewing of the NCAA March Madness opening games. As I reflect on a fabulous three days, I can’t help but smile as I think of my top ten favorite moments. Avaya con Dios – aka – the debut of Princess Buttercup. Pam, Ron and Kurt did an amazing job busting into Roger’s Grow Your Sandbox presentation. The
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TRCA Awarded VXSuite 2014 Deal of the Year

TRCA Awarded 2014 Deal of the Year at the Annual VXSuite Partner Conference LAS VEGAS (March 25, 2015) — When an organization has a big win, it affects more than the bottom line and employee morale. In the case of Technology Resource Center of America (TRCA), it also earned them the VXSuite 2014 Deal of the Year Award, the prestigious technology award recognizing the largest VXSuite sale in 2014. The winners were announced on March 18, at the Annual VXSuite VXMadness 2.0 Partner Conference at the Aston MonteLago Resort in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada. The VXSuite Partner Awards express well-deserved
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Continuant Awarded VXSuite Recurring Revenue Partner of the Year

The outstanding work and dedication in technology leads to recognition of Continuant at the annual VXSuite Partner Conference   LAS VEGAS (March 19, 2015) — The prestigious technology award that recognizes a commitment to managed services has been granted to Continuant, a reseller of UC and VoIP services. The 2014 VXSuite Recurring Revenue Partner of the Year Award was given on March 18, at the Annual VXSuite VXMadness 2.0 Partner Conference at the Aston MonteLago Resort in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada. The VXSuite Partner Awards have expressed well-deserved recognition for the numerous technology company success stories produced in the cloud-based analytic
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Is Telecom Your Old Man Justice?

In the 2011 hit movie, Moneyball, the general manager of the Oakland A’s decides he needs to take a different approach to building a competitive major league baseball team. Unlike many of their peers, the Oakland A’s were not able to offer massive salaries to attract and retain top talent. Of course the owners—and the team’s—fans, still wanted a winning product on the field. Without totally spoiling the movie, Billy Bean (yes ladies, played by Brad Pitt) feels the pressure to find a way to put Wins on their scorecard. When the A’s lost their best player, Jason Giambi, to
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Sales Success: Achieve Performance Results of the Top One Percent

The sales planets have aligned! Last year’s VXMadness theme was giving attendees more than they could have imagined. This year, we decided to top last year! We asked Dr. Scott Baird to present the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™ to this year’s VXMadness 2.0 attendees. As founding principal of Griffin Hill, Baird brings over 25 years of business performance research and consulting experience to the table. Naturally, we were thrilled when he agreed! Are You Unconsciously Competent? At first glance, the term “unconsciously competent” doesn’t sound like a compliment. But it is. While researching sales success, Baird uncovered an industry
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Strategic Partnerships – Grow your Sandbox

Strategic partnerships are just as important in real life as they are in business. Lets’s face it, our lives are busy, and getting busier, right? Getting more done every day comes down to time and energy. When juggling work life and ‘life life’, as more and more things pop up on our calendar we have to find ways to be more efficient with our time. This first time I realized this was when a bank popped up in my grocery store. Mind you, it wasn’t MY bank, but since I was already at the grocery store every week, I switched
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Grow Your Business with LinkedIn

There is no doubt the last decade has seen many changes to the way businesses attract and communicate with their customers. In today’s digital world having a LinkedIn profile and an online presence is not just a “nice to have,” but a necessary part of business development and even in some cases customer service. Luckily having an online presence doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere all the time. While social networking should be part of your outreach, it doesn’t need to monopolize your time. With the right shared media strategy and clear goals you can make sure the time
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Mobility on My Terms

Unified Communications means lots of different things to different people. Some think of it as getting their voice mails as text messages. Others think it’s dual ringing their desk and cell phone. For me this week it was taken to a new level. I was scheduled for a conference call and was told the agenda was to discuss our Partner Marketing Program. I figured this was easy enough. I do a couple of these a week, last typically 20 minutes, and consist of me walking the partner through the marketing guide and answering some questions. At the same time, we
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5 Reasons to attend VXMadness 2.0

At VXMadness 1.0 we listed the five reasons to attend as Learn, Collaborate, Network, Build and Celebrate. This year we have five new reasons to attend:   1.  This is the only conference where you don’t have to walk through an exhibit hall and waste your time with vendors trying to vie for your attention. While you can win prizes at our Wednesday night Casino Event, they won’t be those silly trade show tchotchkes—aka “trinkets and trash”—from the typical trade show. We’re talking Jabra accessories, binoculars, gift cards, and more. 2.  We listened to your suggestions in our post-conference survey
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Switching to VoIP is Not Easy on the Telecom Manager

Are you a conductor, an engineer, or a passenger on the fast-moving train called VoIP? Switching to VoIP is not easy. On a train, the conductor is responsible for operational and safety duties that do not involve actual operation of the train. Whereas an engineer is a person who operates the train. If we move this into the Communications world and you’re the Telecom Manager, you are like the conductor because you are responsible for the quality of the voice calls, but you don’t actually operate the network the calls traverse. This makes switching to VoIP even more challenging. The
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VXMadness 2.0: Business Lessons Learned from The Princess Bride

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.” The above quote is from one of all of here at LVM Inc.’s favorite movies of all time: The Princess Bride. Last year at the VXMadness 1.0 conference, we kept conference attendees on their toes by using movie quotes in the presentations and awarding a prize at the end to the person who could name the most. This year we decided to go all the way, and instead of quotes use our favorite movie of all time as a backdrop for our presentations. Laura Petrolino, of Arment Dietrich, will
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A New Phone System from Above can Bring Reliable Phone Service

Last week one of our customers called into the support number. He told us the C suite just purchased a new IP phone system, and he needed to make sure it meets business requirements and delivers promised cost savings. He was frustrated because while the dinosaur of a PBX he has now is old, it works. Both internal and external customers are happy because it provides consistent, reliable phone service. There aren’t any bells and whistles, but like the lights in the office, it comes on every day. So now he has to get all new vendors and figure out
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The Right Tools Make Switching to VoIP Easy!

You’re the IT Manager. It’s a big job. Servers, routers, and firewalls, budget cuts and smaller staff.  And then the CEO tells you they have just purchased a new IP phone system and you find yourself switching to VoIP. The sales manager is excited about the unified communications YOU will provide her team. Or maybe the CIO heard about Microsoft Lync and is thinking about using it for IM and presence. Where do you begin? Can your network handle the additional traffic? Is that traffic any different from the email, web and other application traffic that exists now? When it
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What Great Leaders Can Learn From Abraham Lincoln

Well, it’s the start of 2015. You’ve probably already had your fill of ‘predictions’ and ‘resolutions’ posts. Fear not, what I want to write about today, what I want to get everyone thinking about, is pretty basic. Aspiring to be great leaders. How is being a great leader basic, you might be saying? It’s basic, because it’s your launch point. It’s the foundation upon everything else you do for the next 365’ish days should be built. But don’t take my word for it. Take Abraham Lincoln’s. A Leadership History Lesson I should start with the fact that I am very
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