|By Joe Mechlinski||
|January 2, 2013 12:08 PM EST||
As we welcome a new year, we are equal parts grateful, humbled, and excited about what’s in store. In many ways, 2012 was a year of blessings. Our company is proud to have earned several honors, including our second annual “Best Places to Work” award from the Baltimore Business Journal. We saw many of our clients soar to new heights. A new consultant, Frank Belen, joined our team and the entreQuest family welcomed not just one, but four, new babies, including my son, James Joseph.
Despite these bright spots, 2012 had its challenges. As we prepare for the official launch of my book, Grow Regardless: Of Your Business’ Size, Your Industry or the Economy… and Despite the Government, on February 5, 2013, we find ourselves in the home stretch on a tough road to publication.
Getting here has been far from easy. Growing up, I never imagined I’d write a book. I was the guy with a 450 score on the Verbal SAT. But my roots had a profound effect on my decision to write this book; I can trace my philosophy about the right way to treat customers and employees back to my very first jobs as a teenager. We heard “no” from 27 literary agents and dozens of publishers. A process we expected to last six months ended up taking 16. But, along the way, we were fortunate enough to form strong relationships with publicists, PR folks, social media experts, and book designers. We ended up tripling our marketing budget once we realized we weren’t merely trying to publish a book—we want to create a movement that inspires ordinary companies to become mission-driven growth organizations.
Throughout this journey, we’ve experienced our share of hurdles, which means we’ll be even more thankful when we finally hold that first copy of Grow Regardless. Until then, we’re determined to learn what we can from these uphill battles, carry that wisdom forward, and share it with our clients.
There are five great lessons we’ve learned in 2012:
1. Perspective—Being grateful for what we have helps us focus on what matters. Given our company’s small size and the struggles of the publishing industry, the fact that we’ve made it this far is amazing.
2. Performance—Superior performance means asking yourself, “What am I focusing on and what’s the aim?” Our world is in constant flux and motion—the terms, timing, and thinking change almost daily; the fiscal cliff is just one example. The best way to ensure sustainable performance is to expect change and, within the storm, maintain focus on your end goal.
3. Persuasion—Constant flux creates indecision. Persuasion can be make-or-break, whether it’s convincing a publisher to take on our book or persuading clients to keep pace with changing times. It’s one thing to have perspective and focus, but we must be willing to make decisions and to make a compelling case for others and for ourselves. That case should clearly answer the question, “Why are we doing this?”
4. Priority—What’s most important? We’ve asked ourselves this question repeatedly in terms of my book: Is it selling 30,000 copies or getting the book in the hands of the right 500 people? Is it making money as an author or inspiring a movement of businesses growing regardless? The distillation effect of asking what’s most important is where everything comes to a head to make a decision and take action.
5. People—People matter. Ask yourself, “Who else cares about your business and your mission?” As we reached out to potential partners in our book project, we found ourselves in a community of people who gladly connected us with others. We knew we couldn’t get here alone, but it was a great eye-opener to learn just how many people out there truly care about our movement.
For me, 2012 was a year of learning these lessons to put in place for 2013. I encourage you to take these five questions—What really matters? What’s the aim? Why are we doing it? What’s most important? Who else cares? —and put them in action. One thing we’ve learned from our adventure in book publishing is that if you keep on plugging, you’ll eventually end up exactly where you need to be.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
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Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
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Sep. 28, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,555
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Sep. 27, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,928
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,843
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,306
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
Sep. 27, 2014 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,524
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
Sep. 27, 2014 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,398
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
Sep. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,064
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Sep. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,580
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
Sep. 26, 2014 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,513
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
Sep. 26, 2014 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,326
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
Sep. 26, 2014 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,694
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Sep. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,618
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
Sep. 26, 2014 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,616
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Sep. 26, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,102
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
Sep. 26, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,555
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
Sep. 26, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,464