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How to move from top tech to top exec.

How To Move From Top Tech To top Exec From seminars to product intros, the 1990 Southeastern Telecommunications Association conference was geared to making better managers of SETA members.

"The telecommunications profesion has matured," observed 1990-91 SETA President J. Willard Gray of Mississippi. "Technical people have come up through the ranks. Now we serve two very complementary groups in the seminars we offer."

The emphasis was clear from the keynotes, when popular speaker and Communications News columnist Jim Jewett warned his audience that top executives see telecomm peoples as more interested in the industry than in their own companies.

"Your CEOs don't have any way to judge your technical competence," Jewett said. "Their belief in you comes from your willingness to be part of the team. We can bring our expertise into play and be seen as more than just a problem solver."

This is an age of "management revolution," Jewett stressed, with companies getting leaner and meaner. Unless telecomm managers see the "larger picture" beyond their own departments and technology, "we'll be part of the downsizing."

James W. Quick of Carrier Computer Services described the microwave installation at Carolina Freight Carriers. He said the company is saving $40,000 a month in data costs, after quadrupling network usage.

Microwave worked for his company because it is dependable, flexible, and unaffected by right-of-way problems. He said he had 99.75% uptime on the five-hop system, even through Hurricane Hugo and a couple of rough lightning storms.

Former FCC Commissioner Patricia Diaz Dennis, now practicing law in Washington, D.C., observed that "The current structure is based on regulation of AT&T until a competitive situation exists. The problem is, no one can agree on what a competitive situation is."

Like art, or obscenity, "they may have to know a competitive market when they see it."

The FCC is making a mistake, she said, when it relies on the market share of three or four companies to determine a competitive market.

Of three product introductions at the show, two dealt with network management.

BellSouth's Hybrid Network Management Service lets users manage the private and public elements of their network from a single workstation. The system is aimed at users who typically buy a large number of services from the telco, and who prefer one management system to several.

Duke Power in Charlotte, N.C., was one of the firts customers to sign up for the service.

Private line carrier Southwest Network Services has a three-level Pro-Watch management service from its Austin, Texas, network control center.

The offering, with either on-demand or automatic non-intrusive testing, is aimed at mid-sized companies that want round-the-clock network control without their own round-the-clock communications staff. More than 100 SNS customers have beta tested the service for six months.

Advanced Telecommunications Corp., a long-distance carriers, is marketing videoconferencing in an agreement with PictureTel. ATC supplies PictureTel equipment to customers who use the video service, typically at 112 kb/s. ATC is also a videocoferencing user, connecting sites in Atlanta, San Antonio, and Boca Raton, Fla., and noting savings in travel and training in its first three months of use.

SETA's 15th annual conference, at the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami Beach, drew 1500 attendees and 125 exhibitions in 200 booths.
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Title Annotation:1990 Southeastern Telecommunications Association
Author:Tanzillo, Kevin
Publication:Communications News
Date:Dec 1, 1990
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