Moving Beyond POTS

Our industry has been inundated with news about the demise of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines. Recently, the FCC issued a new order with the goal of abandoning the rapidly deteriorating copper wiring infrastructure throughout the US. Through this order, the FCC is allowing Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) to stop providing analog POTS services.

Carriers now have the option to stop providing these services while being allowed to increase the price those services. We’ve seen carriers announce “end of life” plans for their services in the next year and carriers raise the rate for a single analog phone line to quadruple the monthly rates as an enticement to move to IP-based communications using their fiber or cellular networks.

From a carrier perspective, there are many reasons to move customers away from the legacy copper services. The carrier equipment to support those services is old – difficult and expensive to maintain. The workforce that supports this equipment is retiring and not being replaced. In addition, it is expensive to put copper in the ground.

Services that you most likely are using POTS for include things like: fax machines, fire alarms, elevators, and security alarms. These services may not be at the top of your technical project list, but they are critically important to your organization. These services may not be forced to be replaced right away, but the cost will rise significantly, and you may not be able to get the services in the future from your provider.

Now is the time to plan. There are solutions that can be deployed to replace those lines – driven by your schedule and requirements.

For a guide to help you through the maze of issues and options – give us a call or reply back to this email.

admin@abilita.comMoving Beyond POTS
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Here is why you should review your wireless spend!

Many times, the work from home and work from anywhere approach to maintain business continuity has been a decision made in a crisis mode, not knowing if it would be permanent or a short-term strategy until things got back to normal.

During the pandemic many companies have experienced an increase in wireless telecom expenses. We have seen organization’s wireless costs increase by 30% or more as their employee’s data use skyrocketed.

Here are some tips to potentially reduce your wireless expenses:

                Review your wireless bill to potentially reduce expenses

                Review your plan’s usage behavior to identify high volume users

                Review your plans to make sure devices are on the most efficient plans available

                Leverage a 3rd party consultant to guide the review process

In 2020, Abilita consultants generated costs savings averaging 30% for our clients with wireless expense management being the highest share of this savings. Get control of your wireless costs with Abilita’ s unique A3 Program: Awareness – Analysis – Action.

Click here to download our whitepaper on the subject.

For a 10 minute no obligation conversation, please click here to schedule a meeting at your convenience.

admin@abilita.comHere is why you should review your wireless spend!
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Top 10 Times for a Communications Technology Review

It’s never a bad time to review your organization’s communications technology expenses, and never a better time to enlist the help of a specialist. That’s because there are certain milestones when not having a good handle on spending and inventory can result in the greatest financial risk.

Here are our top 10 scenarios for a communications technology expense review and inventory update:

  • Before a Move
  • After an acquisition or merger with another company
  • Upon Contract Renewal with Communications Service Providers (before and after)
  • After Closing a Site
  • When there are changes in Regulatory Charges
  • When moving from Premise to Cloud-Based Services
  • When Transforming Network Technology
  • When a New Person is taking over responsibility for Communications Technology Management
  • When changing to a new Data Center Provider
  • When Employees Work from Home

For more details and what you might want to consider: download our Top 10 Times whitepaper. To get started now, contact your Abilita Advisor to get started with a zero-risk review of your technology systems and services.

admin@abilita.comTop 10 Times for a Communications Technology Review
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The Sun is Setting on Older Phone Services

Are you aware?

  • old phone lines connecting legacy systems, fax machines, elevators, fire/security alarms are going away?
  • carriers may be gouging you for continuing to use the older technology such as PRI?
  • how this will impact your business ?

If you don’t know already, your plain old telephone service (POTS), copper lines and PRI circuits that plug into your phone system, facsimile machines, elevator lines, fire alarms and security systems are in the process of being phased out.

Instead of cutting services off immediately, your telephone provider may be substantially increasing their monthly rates, surcharges and other fees until you transition to other forms of technology. 

This means your telephone invoices may continue to rise, in some cases from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars.

We can help you tackle this: we will first assess the risks and timeline. Then we will identify possible alternative solutions that are more cost effective and provide additional technology benefits.

As the sun sets on this older technology, contact your Abilita Advisor to get started with a zero-risk review of your services to help you avoid costly surprises. 

admin@abilita.comThe Sun is Setting on Older Phone Services
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You WILL Profit from a Technology Audit

There isn’t any doubt that 2020 will be deemed “the year of the pandemic”. It doesn’t matter what line of business you are engaged in, or what your position in the organization is (was), your technology and telecom picture has changed. And, it may never be quite the same again.

Organization’s technology teams have been overwhelmed with the urgency of the crisis and have had to deploy new collaboration and connectivity solutions without a lot of thought for the long term. 2021 will be the year of preparing for the new reality in telecom and technology which may include:

  • more Work From Home challenges
  • more video, less telephony
  • more flexibility in services and connectivity

Let’s call 2021 the “Year of the Technology Audit”. Look at where you were, where you are, and where and how to move ahead.

​For some ideas on how to do this and what you might want to consider, read this article titled “2021 – The Year of the Audit. To get started now, contact us for a zero-risk review of your technology systems and services.

admin@abilita.comYou WILL Profit from a Technology Audit
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Enhanced 911 – Are You Ready?

Consider this: an employee at your office has a heart attack after normal working hours with nobody around. He or she dials 911 from a desk phone and the ambulance goes to the wrong location! Worse yet, the emergency responders are at the right location but don’t know where the caller is located in the building!

It is for this reason that new E911 legislation has been introduced: Kari’s Law went into effect February 2020 and the RAY BAUM’s Act begins a phased rollout beginning January 2021. For details, view the E911 page on our website.

We are recommending that all organizations become familiar with these new regulations, develop a checklist, test their compliance and create remediation plans to address those issues.

If your firm needs assistance with this work effort, please contact us for a no obligation review of our practice, services, and expertise.

admin@abilita.comEnhanced 911 – Are You Ready?
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Boost your Bottom Line and Productivity

How would a 25% reduction in telecom costs help your bottom line?

Covid-19 has caused many companies and organizations to adjust to a new work environment. 

Many rushed to adapt to decentralized communications and a work-from-home environment for their office and support staff. Meetings have become virtual; contact centers and support are remote; VoIP adoption has increasedrequirednetwork security upgrades were all rushed into place.

At the same time many organizations have put on hold their growth plans and are looking to reduce costs to improve their bottom line, in some cases reducing staff.

​Now that things have settled into place, this is a good time to review your communications services and infrastructure. 

  • Do you have the services you need?
  • Do you still need the services you are paying for?
  • Are your contracts and pricing correct for the services in use?

Contact us today for a brief no obligation discussion on how Abilita could improve your bottom line and solve productivity concerns.

admin@abilita.comBoost your Bottom Line and Productivity
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Your Phone Bill Increased, and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

  • Beginning July 1st, US telecommunication costs increased by almost 7%!
  • Universal Service Fund (USF) fees have increased to 26.5%, the highest it has ever been.
  • Abilita can help you navigate this increase and find ways to save other costs on your bill.

One of the largest and probably the most ignored line item on your telecommunications bill is something called the Universal Service Fund (USF). This is a fund established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The purpose is to support the funding of technology projects of schools, libraries, rural health care, etc. in areas that are determined to be “high cost”. 

The funding of the USF is paid by the providers and carriers, and the calculation for the contribution is done on a quarterly basis. And, of course, this is passed on to the users. Beginning July 1 that charge went up to 26.5% (up from 19.6% the previous quarter) and is the highest it has ever been. In addition, the FCC is considering adding additional services to the contribution base.

Your phone bill is going to increase! For more information on the USF Contribution Fee, read this article on NoJitter.com

Although the USF surcharge rate increased and will continue to be a large line item, there may be ways to lower the base line. Now may be the time to do a complete telecommunications review and audit to determine if there are ways to optimize services to lower costs and to review contracts.

We don’t sell you telecom or technical services or products: we offer truly independent and objective advice. Click here to schedule a no obligation 10-minute discussion to help you determine the right course for your organization or give me a call.

admin@abilita.comYour Phone Bill Increased, and there isn’t anything you can do about it.
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Technology Budget Survival in a New World

  • Up to 30% of workers will continue to use the Work From Home (WFH) model, at least part time, according to some analysts.
  • Many planned IT/Telecom projects have been cancelled – in many cases only mission-critical projects will be addressed.
  • Technology tools like video conferencing and collaboration are at workers fingertips. In the past, these applications were reserved for only very large companies and elaborate conference rooms.

IT staff have performed miracles – organizations were able to send home entire workforces and IT was able to spin up collaboration platforms and support remote workers literally overnight. Projects that might have taken years in the past have been completed in days. But these projects may have been undertaken in a quick and crisis driven manner. Cost considerations were left to be sorted out later.

Abilita has been involved in several telecom and technology industry discussions and panels over the past several weeks. We can help you assess your IT and Communications infrastructure to help determine whether:

– Services that were previously needed are still necessary?
– IT expenses are being duplicated or overbilled?
– Current vendor contracts need to be reviewed or modified?

We don’t sell you telecom or technical services or products: we offer truly independent and objective advice. Click here to schedule a no obligation 10-minute discussion to help you determine the right course for your organization or give me a call.

admin@abilita.comTechnology Budget Survival in a New World
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Moving Forward in the New Normal

It has been a trying time for everyone and every organization. Regardless of your business – things have changed. Employees have been told to stay away from their offices. But work still needs to be done. Customers/Clients still need to be contacted and relationships maintained.

What we have found is that most organizations have had to make these technical changes in a triage scenario. There wasn’t time to make these changes in a planned and controlled method. Instead, things had to be up and running over night. If not – business would be impacted, projects halted, revenue lost, employees frustrated.

Hopefully your organization has survived the triage time and you are moving to a longer-term strategy. Either thinking of returning to “normal”, or perhaps realizing that this may be a good time to re-evaluate your technical and communications infrastructure to support the “new normal”.

Here are a few things that we suggest you consider:

  • What are the security concerns to your data as a result of the work from home scenario?
  • Has your network been impacted due to an increase (or a decrease) in bandwidth usage?
  • Have you been assured that your remote workers can access E911 services if using the corporate infrastructure and resources?
  • Have there been new services added ad-hoc in order to support the transition?
  • Will these be short term or is it possible that this will become the new normal?
  • What are the technical and financial implications of these changes going forward?

Budgets may need to be re-evaluated and expenses reduced. This may be a good time to review existing contracts to determine if there are areas that can be modified to better reflect your situation going forward.

We at Abilita are professionals in these areas and are here to provide whatever assistance we can during these times. We don’t sell you telecom or technical services or products, but can listen to your concerns and help you determine the right course for your organization. 

Click here
 to schedule a no obligation 10-minute discussion to help the you determine the right course for your organization

admin@abilita.comMoving Forward in the New Normal
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