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Keep up with new strategies.


Let's face it. It's impossible to keep up with everything.

But you can stay abreast by following a few steps:

* Keep up a broad telecomm knowledge base at 50% or so, maintaining several specialties as supports.

* Use the traditional four-step problem-solving approach (I'll get to that), including scrambling to 100% when needed.

* Maintain good sources of information and industry contacts.

By 100% knowledge, I mean that which you need to properly complete your assignments. For users acquiring a new digital PABX for example, 100% knowledge is heavy on the PABX's practical application for day-to-day needs of various user departments, as well as vendor qualifications.

Broaden Your Horizons

You can no longer be an expert in voice PABX alone and be effective.

You must be acquainted with transmission media, including microwave radio, fiber optics, coax, twisted pair, T-carrier, infrared, and satellites; local area networks (LANs); time-division multiplexers (TDMs); network control centers (NCCs); wiring, networking, software, and numerous other areas that have risen in the past half-dozen years.

Your associates and vendors now require you to have a speaking knowledge of these areas. Know at least the concepts, potential uses and buzzwords.

In addition, you must now be knowledgeable about the various organizations that have entered the industry since divestiture.

Vendor evaluations, formerly mostly technical, are now at least 50% non-technical, with vendor financial stability, service record, upgrade track record, and other factors being weighed.

4-Step Approach

You must (1) define the real problem, (2) gather information, (3) list your options, with pros and cons, and (4) select the best option.

Too many telecommunications managers skip Step 1.

Too often the telecomm manager will take the simple request of his/her boss, say the vice president of administration, for a replacement PABX at face value.

In this day and age, the telecomm manager must stop and ask if the project definition should really be to replace the voice PABX with a broader-based system, one which switches information and maybe transmits it beyond the PABX's domain of one building.

Use It

It will not be unusual to go through the four-step procedure several times during a project.

For example, you will first determine the nature of your project, such as a simple PABX replacement option versus a complex PABX and transmission network option.

You will gather information, list pros and cons, and make your selection.

This will be followed by another sequence, which includes defining the vendor candidates, gathering information on them, and so on.

Finally, the time you spend scrambling to come back up to speed can be minimized by maintaining good files and industry contacts.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:staying informed about communications technology
Author:Morgan, James H.
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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