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The War on Talent in IT

Per the BLS, in the decade between years 2014 through 2024, the employment of computer and information technology occupations will grow 12% - from 3.9M to 4.4M jobs. Recruiting and hiring the right talent continues to be a challenging and daunting task.

According to an article written by Talent Management and HR Technology Brand Strategist, Meghan Biro, hiring IT personnel is a gamble.

“Hiring is a gamble. The cost of a bad hire is high — tens of thousands of dollars down the drain, from onboarding and training, not to mention re-recruiting, re-onboarding, etc. And the job market for tech talent is tighter than ever: if tech pros aren’t a needle in a haystack, they’re a very popular — and poachable — haystack.”

In Biro’s article published on Forbes titled 4 Tips for Finding and Retaining Tech Talent, there are four suggestions to stay ahead of the recruiting curve:

ONE. Hiring an Expert Recruiter, “A survey last year found that 67% of CIOs were well aware they were facing increasing challenges to find qualified IT talent. One solution: team up with a tech pro on recruiting — they have the skillset and knowledge base to accurately assess the tech skills of potential candidates, and help your company make smart hiring decisions.”

TWO. Work on Your Environment, “Millennials tend to prefer innovative workplaces and benefits they can actually use. They like flexible schedules, work-from-home options, and an employer culture that respects the fact that its employees have lives (and families). Rather than scrambling to layer a perks package like a veneer of sugar coating around a fat salary that still can’t match the offers of Silicon Valley giants (for instance), consider more enticing, millennial-relevant benefits. Align your employer brand and recruiting platforms to better speak to the most innovative workplace values.”

THREE. Push for Diversity, “Given the proven advantage diverse perspectives have in the workplace, and the fact that without a broader (and more secure) talent pipeline, the supply of tech talent is going to shrink even more. It’s a no-brainer to be recruiting with diversity in mind.”

FOUR. Promote Engagement, “The number of employers in IT planning to hire is above the national average, at 44 percent, and a recent study found that tech companies in the Fortune 500 have the highest turnover of any industry (including poaching). One way to keep your talent: keep the grass green.”

As technology becomes excruciatingly essential to getting work done, there will be no getting around the need for top IT talent, whether they are developers, network administrators or device experts. Given the strong job market for those with IT skills, the best candidates may not actively seek new employment opportunities, so the smartest companies will seek to integrate these successful techniques into their recruiting strategy.

In a similar article, filled with suggestions for recruiting the right IT talent, suggests the following in How to Win the War for IT Talent, to secure top talent:

Focus on Skills. “Finding IT talent with the right skills and the experience is one of the major problems IT companies face, not because there's a deficit of skilled programmers, but because companies are using archaic methods to source and screen talent. The traditional ways companies are looking for talent aren't good at finding who's going to be a good fit. Resumes, cover letters, even interviews are bad for the company and they're bad for developers because they aren't focusing on what skills someone has.”
Search Globally, Promote Internally, Leverage Mobility. “One of the biggest motivations for IT talent is being able to work on interesting projects that impact a lot of people's lives -- we try to constantly reinvent ourselves as a company so our talent is always working on interesting projects and they're making an impact on the people who use the products. Then, we offer leadership training and professional development so they're constantly engaged in growing themselves internally; we make it a point to fill at least one-third of our open roles from internal candidates,” explained William Taylor, Adobe’s Global Head of Mobility.
Be What Your Talent Wants. “The allure of companies that haven't yet 'made it' is strong, and it's a good thing to remember. For most IT people, it's not just a job. They want to have an impact on the world, to work on interesting problems from the ground up and help in driving a company's success. Sometimes, larger companies can seem too monolithic”

Valicom understands the difficulty in sourcing top, reliable talent in IT. That’s why Valicom is proud to deliver exceptional customer service and savings surrounding telecom and technology expense management (TEM). Valicom offers web-applications to track IT inventory and control costs along with a slew of supporting services to allow your business to pick from a la carte service options.

Read the full article here >> #ITRecruiting #ITTalent #ITManager #ITAnalyst #Architecht #InfoTech #InformationTechnology #TelecomAnalyst #ITRecruiter
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IT Management Tips & Tricks

As the person who makes major decisions for your IT department, you need to keep a big-picture mentality to hit 2018 with full force. Some of these trends are dwindling, and others are just getting started, but these are the four most important to consider and prepare in the coming weeks...

If you don’t have active and holistic cloud integration by now, you are late to the party. It’s ok to be late as long as you stop procrastinating. Cloud services secure data, improve efficiency and empower staff to work the way that suits them best. It’s evolved far beyond a simple gimmick or luxury for your business. Cloud access is vital to modern applications in every single industry. Your entire staff needs to have consistent, reliable access to their electronic tools no matter where they are, and cloud access is the most effective way to provide it.

You may have heard mention of the IT talent gap by now. If it’s still a hazy concept, here it is in simple terms. IT grows exponentially more complicated every year. The talent required to stay ahead of trends grows alongside that technology. Every company is forced to fight harder and harder to recruit the right people because for now, the IT talent needs are growing faster than the workforce. In 2018, you need to fight with competitors for new hires.

The demand is higher than the supply right now. If you’ve seen even the slightest trouble with talent acquisition and retention, you need to audit the entire process. What perks can you afford to add? Are you really in touch with what new IT professionals want and need? There are abundant resources to help you streamline your process and packages, so don’t hold back. Talent is harder to find and more expensive to maintain than hardware; make sure your IT budget is structured accordingly.

AI is fast developing from infancy to adolescence. It isn’t completely ready for every business or every industry, but it will be soon. You need to keep a sharp, talented eye on what artificial intelligence can do for your business. You might be able to jump on a development bandwagon, but you might need to be leading the charge. It depends on the scope of your business, but sooner or later you’ll be making a move. If you aren’t going to contribute to AI development, you at least need to prepare by looking over your infrastructure, hardware and labor assets. Do you have enough bandwidth and processing power to implement AI as soon as it’s ready? Is your team primed to make such demanding changes? By the end of 2018, you’ll probably need both of these questions to be yes’s.

Are you starting to believe the importance of acquiring talent yet? AI is no small challenge that will inevitably (and sooner than you think) face your business. Cybersecurity is already past that point. If you stop to think, you can probably name direct competitors who have suffered a large data breach. You might even be among those names. Even if you’ve survived so far, staying ahead of security risks is a tireless pursuit. The game changes on a near daily basis, and if you want to avoid the often revenue tanking embarrassment of a data leak, you can’t ease up for a moment. In fact, you probably need to expand your security team and see if you have any extra room in the budget for their efforts. It’s an expensive venture, but failure will always cost more.



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#IT #ITManager #Technology #IThacks #ITTips #ITManagement #CTO #InfoTech #Telecom #TelecomSpend #TelecomExpenseManagement #TelecomLifecycleManagement
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2020: What do the next two years of IT spend look like?

Enterprise IT technology is anticipated to grow $100 Billion by the year 2020. While the year 2020 may seem like it is in the distant future, the reality is 2020 is only two years away. The future is here and the need for innovative technology is only going to increase. This means the need for cost management and IT service, software and device control is at an all-time high.

For 2017, IT spending grew 3.3%, resulting in $3.5 Trillion in the United States. This past year has been the strongest year of IT growth since 2009. Based on the research conducted by Gartner, the following represent the areas of increased IT spend... Communications Services: 0.8%, Data Center Systems: 1.8%, IT Services: 4.3%, Devices: 5.4%, Software: 8.5%

New sectors of IT are continuing to develop due to these increasing needs. The mid-sized market is driving the software growth, the small market is growing the IT services growth.

2018 is expected to grow 4.3% to a total of $3.7 trillion in the United States followed by a steady, smaller growth of 2.9% for 2019 and 2020. Globally, India, the United States and China are forecasted to grow the most. This guarantees that there is no escaping the economics.

Now, how would you define a top market? Gartner assumes that one factor is a little too simple in the definition of a top market. A combination of the following qualities generates a top market: Largest Growth Rate in 2019, Largest 5 Year CAGR, Largest, Market Size, Highest Profit Margin, Largest Total Profit...

Most organizations who participated in the Gartner poll suggested that they want to be in the top market as quickly as possible with the fastest growth in the near future. Although short-term growth is important, steady future growth is equally critical.

To learn more about the top 20 global IT markets in 2018, watch the Gartner webinar, IT Spending 3Q17 Update: Top 10 IT Markets Strategic Planners Must Track in 2018.

“Sharpen your strategic planning for 2018 with the latest Global IT Spend numbers and insights. Expect many markets to shift dramatically in 2018. This has shaped up as a good growth year for Global IT Spending. Some markets that have done better than others and communications spending continue to mediate growth. But, there are 10 markets that every strategic planner should have on their radar in 2018. We will help you determine how to enter new and growing markets and show you the 10 markets you need to watch most closely in 2018.”

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OVERVIEW: Partners, consultants, and master agents regularly look to grow their existing book of business. If you currently provide IT consulting services including IT assessments, IT leadership development, strategic initiatives, IT project planning, or other IT-focused support, you may be researching to see if TEM is right for you. This blog highlights the qualifications, fears, preparation, and expectations involved in expanding services to include TEM.

QUALIFICATIONS: The most important piece in TEM discovery is making sure that your firm is qualified to offer TEM services. Some TEM providers offer basic TEM services to partners and consultants. This is the ideal solution for TEM providers looking to expand their services as a “hobby” or sample option for current customers. However, if you are serious about adding revenue to your firm and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and sell, you will want a TEM provider that offers a buffet of solutions to its partners.

To be qualified to offer TEM, you will need to evaluate your current contact database and estimate the following about your prospective TEM buyers: Are they US-based? Are they a small-medium sized business? ($2M - $15M in annual telecom spend)
Do they have several locations? (particularly helpful in healthcare, retail, and financial verticals) Do they have understaffed or overwhelmed AP/IT teams? Do they already provide TEM in a manual fashion, seeking a more automated solution such as a web-based application?


REFERRAL PROGRAM: Does your organization come across new TEM opportunities every now and then? This opportunity is for consultants that are simply looking for referral income. Pass through interested clients to Valicom’s sales team and earn healthy recurring commissions on a per-client basis.

STRATEGIC PARTNER: Are you moving away from a TEM partnership, seeking better service, software and support? Are you looking to add to your TEM portfolio and add recurring revenue? Valicom’s strategic partnerships include three options:
White Label: Let Valicom brand Clearview with your logo and name to make our tool yours. Valicom will brand software demonstrations, sales sheets and marketing tools with your new, white labeled software logo and design.
“Back-Office”: Make our team yours by tapping into Valicom’s team for managed services that enhance and expand your current TEM offering. This makes you a stickier, more valuable, and a more comprehensive expert in the eyes of your clients.
*Full Outsource: Connect your clients with our full suite of telecom expense management (TEM) services and push off the heavy lifting tasks like invoice auditing and the loading of invoice data to our team.

“Partnership options as unique as your consulting firm.”

FEAR OF ISOLATION: One of the biggest fears holding partners back from contracting with a TEM provider is the fear of isolation. Some TEM providers ramp up a partnership, set the consultants to go with the solution and service outline, then send them on their way. Pinning down the onboarding and nurture strategy is critical to finding a successful TEM provider. Some questions to ask in your search for a TEM provider include: What is your training process? Will we meet on a regular basis to touch base and receive updates? How many contacts at your company will I be able to approach with questions? Do you provide supporting documentation to help with the sales cycle? What sales support do you offer? Asking these questions will help you discover how partner-focused the TEM provider is and just how much (or how little) they will coach you to make your new service as successful as possible.

FEAR OF COMMITMENT: On the opposite side of the spectrum is the fear of commitment. Not that you won’t get the service and support you deserve, but that you are falling short on the TEM provider’s expectations. When engaging in a partnership, it’s important to set expectations and align with a representative to train and coach you to pull in the most business possible.

FEAR OF INADEQUATE VALUE: Another fear most first-time TEM partners address is the fear that TEM will provide little to no value for their customers. This is a common fear in any busy, getting the new service off the ground and delivering ROI in a timely manner. With a carefully constructed pricing structure, customers are guaranteed an ROI. Upon opportunity discovery, your TEM expert should be able to analyze the prospect’s TEM environment and quote a price while determining projected savings in order to maximize the value of your TEM offering for both you and your customer.

FEAR OF PAINFUL SETUP: As stated above, there is a fine line between the fears of commitment and isolation. Following these fears is the potential complication of a painful setup. Painful setup can occur for many reasons, including: Lack of communication, absence of quality support, little outside project management, to avoid potential complications during setup, make sure to outline all details of business and the onboarding procedure as well as stay as communicative as possible with your TEM vendor. Careful planning and communication will ensure a seamless setup process.

PREPARE TO MOVE FORWARD: Adding a new service requires hours of planning, communication, and preparation. To get the most out of your new partnership, it’s critical to prepare clear expectations. Here are some common questions to ask to get started in your search, canvassing for the perfect TEM provider: How many partners do you have today? What does your Partner Program include? Are you aligned with any specific carriers? How do we get paid? How long does it take to get data loaded at the start of an engagement? Can you white label the TEM software with our brand? What do you need to get started today?

SET EXPECTATIONS: If you determine TEM is an excellent fit for your firm, you will want to have a clear understanding of what to expect by adding TEM into the mix. Aside from adding ongoing revenue, your current and future customers will be delighted to find every IT solution at one firm. Expectations include:
*Enhanced Recurring Revenue: Improve profitability through additional consulting opportunities, white-label software options, revenue markup and/or commission-based sales.
*Optimal Value: Adding TEM to your mix of managed services makes you a one-stop-shop for your clients. Layering value-added managed services builds trust and makes you the trusted advisor to your clients.
*Expanded Services: Add to your service offering, making you a more versatile asset for your clients.
*Streamlined Processes: Shorten the time to deliver results by connecting with expertise and tools.
*TEM Software Access: Leverage Clearview, Valicom’s TEM software, to promote efficiency without building new solutions for each client.
*Savings Advantages: Take advantage of savings and invest into equipment and other services that you provide, further increasing your profitability.

VALICOM PARTNERSHIPS: Valicom is a values-centered boutique TEM firm, focused on “whatever it takes” partner support, putting your interests first and foremost. Valicom pairs the elite partner program’s high expectations with quality training and hands-on services. Partners are a part of the family and are treated as such with ongoing communication, check-ins and updates. Success begins with mutual understanding and open communication. If you are interested to take the next step in growing your business, contact Valicom today to learn more and demo the industry-leading TEM software that could become yours.

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On-Demand Webinar - IT COST CONTROL: 5 Warning Signs Your Company is Overwhelmed

It's easy to lose control of IT costs when companies grow quickly. In this webinar, you'll explore 5 big warning signs your IT spend is out of control and how to fix these issues via a software, back office support, or managed services solution.

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The Pros & Cons of Bill Payment Service

Organizations receive a wide variety of bills each month from a number of different service providers. It's important for businesses to not only pay on time, but to also actively monitor their available resources accurately. Bill payment solutions have emerged as a possible answer to these issues. Let's take a quick look at the pros and cons of bill payment solutions:

Bill payment solutions are particularly beneficial for their automation capabilities and time savings. However, there might not be a safeguard to prevent overdrafts or ensure that your bills are correct. Telecom expense management solutions prevent these problems by carefully monitoring bills from each provider down to individual employee usage. These programs find any mistakes within your bills or services that aren't valuable anymore and will make suggestions to lower overall costs. Many bill payment systems also have alert systems to let you know when a bill is due or when your balance is running low.

Organization leaders have a lot to think about when adopting new technology like bill payment systems, but with the right guidance, they will be able to use it to their advantage. For more information about staying on top of bill payments and expenses, contact Valicom today.

#BillPayment #BillPay #InvoiceManagement #Telecom #TEM #TelecomExpenseManagmeent #ExpenseManagement #InvoiceManagement #InvoiceServices #TEMServices #InvoicePayment

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Under traditional telecom setups, landlines cost a flat fee per user, and features were typically confined to options like caller ID and voicemail. Smartphones have significantly changed the landscape for telecom spending within a business. Whether organizations supply the hardware or have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, data usage can quickly get out of hand, piling up costs. Here are three tips you can follow to regain control over telecom usage and management.

When looking at usage, apps can require a lot of data to run. For example, video calling might take up 1GB per hour. In context, employees could view more than 2,500 web pages or 100,000 emails to use 1GB, profitability improvement expert Bob Pommer wrote for LinkedIn. Organizations must closely monitor apps for their usage behaviors. In 2015, people spent 83 percent of their time in data-hungry, nonbusiness-related apps like games, social media and entertainment. Employees should be educated on how to prevent these programs from using cellular data and to close apps when they're not in use.


Mobile devices present a grey area for businesses, but a policy can help establish ground rules for employees to follow. A written document should outline the percentage that is acceptable for business usage, Telecom Audit Guide suggested. This policy must also have provisions for steps to take if an employee transfers or leaves the company. Organizations should address how company data will be removed without harming personal apps and information. Benchmarks must be created to determine the average usage for each job title to provision them accordingly and better control overall usage requirements.


Telecom expenses become very complex very quickly, particularly in BYOD environments. Investing in a telecom expense management tool can be a major boost to keeping track of every bill, identifying errors and determining areas that need improvement. TEM solutions enable leaders to look at usage per provider and per user. This way, if anyone is using more than they should or the company is paying more than expected, managers can be notified. With information from TEM software, contracts can be negotiated more aggressively to get the best service at a lower price. Companies can not only better provision usage, but also take control of their costs as well.

Mobile usage can get out of hand quickly for businesses, particularly those without a system capable of tracking and managing information appropriately. Organizations must create a clear usage policy and enforce it. Leader must also monitor app behavior to identify better solutions and track bills to determine areas that can be improved. To learn more about how a TEM solution can help you take back control of usage costs, contact Valicom today.

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3 Ways to Regain Control Over Mobile Usage
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Clearview, Clear Choice: Why the Clearview TEM Platform is the best in the business

elecom is one of the best areas to target when looking to make cost cuts and generate savings. Organizations often have service overlaps or are paying too much for tools that are underutilized. However, legacy systems and spreadsheets cannot reveal the necessary insight and are highly prone to errors.

Companies can instead turn to telecom expense management software to handle these issues and provide benefits. There are a number of different options in the industry, so it can be difficult to know where to start. Clearview, Valicom's TEM software solution, is the best in the business and the clear choice for a few simple reasons:

Valicom has years of experience improving its TEM solution to fit evolving user needs. Valicom used the time to adapt with a shifting telecom environment and business expectations. The organization released its first generation of TEM database systems in 1993 in an effort to consult businesses with large telecom environments and expand its core offerings. Valicom used 20 years of insight to release Clearview as a Software-as-a-Service solution in 2010. The experiences gained over that time went into creating a cutting-edge tool that would solve business problems in a cost-effective way.

Telecom environments can become complicated with the number of hardware, software and policies involved. It takes a capable tool to manage all of these assets and provide a quality user experience. Many legacy systems don't have the functionality or reporting capabilities that businesses require, leaving them to miss out on critical savings. At the same time, company users might be hesitant to switch from a system that they are familiar with.

Clearview provides a simple, yet powerful, low-cost option for TEM adopters. Anyone can easily use Clearview to master TEM processes. At the same time, Clearview users receive support from Valicom's wealth of knowledge and TEM experts. Users won't have to rely on telecom vendors and will learn how to use the tool effectively for themselves.

Clearview TEM solutions can be tailored to fit business needs and provisioned at scale as an organization grows. Clearview is designed to expand and offer new capabilities as needed. This will help businesses gradually work new features into internal TEM processes. Organizations can use these functions to customize reports and dashboards for better visibility. Clearview users are given the entire tool from the outset, but each solution is tailored to only what organizations can handle. They can then provision more capabilities later on and receive support from Valicom to master more detailed tasks.

TEM can be complex, but it doesn't have to be impossible. With a tool like Clearview, adopters will get the advantage of a solution that's built off of provider experience and tailored to individual business needs. Clearview is the clear choice for TEM process improvements and asset management. To find out more about Clearview, contact Valicom today.

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ills can uncover a lot about what services you use and how much each costs. Businesses often look to lower their overall payments, but as telecom setups become more complex, it can be difficult to accomplish. There are three IT expenses that are burning holes in your pockets which can impact organizations:

Many vendors have the option to design services to automatically renew and withdraw payments. This may come standard with a product or service, but businesses may not realize it until they get a better look at their bills. At times, organizations may even continually pay for a service they aren't using simply because it's a recurring payment. It will be important to understand the recurring costs of your particular setup. Wired telecom has fixed costs based on the number of users, while wireless expenses are based on network traffic. Telecom expense management can track recurring costs per vendor and identify what solutions aren't valuable.

Service contracts have strict payment cycles with stipulations on consequences for late payments. As No Jitter explained, many businesses get their invoices within 20-23 days of the due date, which might not be enough time to process the invoice payment for some organizations. Many contracts attach interest on past due amounts and stipulate service suspension for 5-10 days for failure to pay. These issues along with dispute negotiations and corrections can rack up expenses that could have easily been avoided.

Billing mistakes can be right in front of you and add up to be a major expense. Perhaps your organization obtained a trial of a service and the vendor continued the service for full price after the initial period was over. Also, there could be errors with discontinued solutions or lines that haven't been accurately reflected. It is important to not only identify these issues, but also get them addressed and resolved quickly.

TEM solutions provide reporting and auditing tools to quickly sort through invoices and detect any suspicious expenses. Organizations can use this information to eliminate additional hidden costs over time and reduce payments. With this type of solution, simple mistakes can be fixed and avoided entirely while determining areas where funding can be cut.

Telecom bills for an organization can be particularly challenging to navigate, as many businesses have different services from different vendors to analyze. Complexity of this nature can make it difficult to find costly telecom expenses that are hiding in plain sight like interest on late payments, recurring costs and simple billing errors. A TEM solution keeps accurate inventory of all telecom hardware, software and services across providers, ensuring that all costs are being monitored on a granular level.
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Voice, wireless and data solutions are integral to modern companies. However, this need can lead to overspending on services, often due to a lack of visibility and the means to acquire insight. As a way to gain those abilities, organizations of all types have turned to telecom and technology expense management (TEM) platforms.


Gartner recently released a 2017 guide to the market that shows gains in all corners of TEM, as companies are no doubt intrigued by the potential benefits possible through these platforms. Here are some of the most noteworthy insights from Gartner, as well as overall trends in TEM, that interested companies should be aware of when seeking a solution.


That’s over a $515 billion slice of the pie that Gartner said companies "are struggling to rein in…" This reality of soaring costs has led more companies to look at TEM solutions as a primary way to constrain expenses: Enterprise inquiries associated with TEM grew 45 percent year over year in 2016.

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