Archive for June, 2014

The Open Internet- what is it? Why is it important?

Let’s start from the very beginning. The Internet that we know and love today is an open channel that uses free standards for communication. It is an equal-opportunity channel when it comes to traffic/content creation and delivery. The bottleneck is primarily the bandwidth that each individual user has available.

Now let’s say there are two companies providing media sharing capabilities using the SaaS model. Today traffic to and from Company A (mega establishment) and Company B (fledgling start-up) are treated equally by the broadband service provider. Today it is illegal for the broadband provider to treat the traffic from the two companies differently (assuming similar and legal content from both companies).

Now imagine if the broadband company could tell these companies- hey if you pay me an additional fee- your traffic will get higher priority on my network! It’s easy to see how Company A could easily edge out any competition from a startup like Company B based purely on its financial advantage. Bigger and better funded companies can bury competition by simply buying out the bandwidth from the Internet providers.

This essentially can kill technological innovation.

The Openness of the Internet is not a privilege we enjoy- it is and must be a fundamental right. We have a chance now to go and tell the FCC that we want the Internet to remain a free, fair and equal-opportunity channel. The FCC is taking comments from the public on this proceeding (also referred to as preserving Net Neutrality).

The site will remain open for 120 days (starting May 15 2014).. so the clock is ticking!

File your comment here. Proceeding number is 14-28

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/hotdocket/list

Net Neutrality is important- or else all the content, access and service we get over the Internet will be based on the highest bidder for bandwidth usage.

Take action. Do it now! #NetNeutrality

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Making a Sales call- the importance of research, common sense and story telling

Have you been on the receiving end of a Sales call where you know that the rep is from a company that plays in the same market space as yours? This has quickly become one of my biggest pet peeves. Here are a three important things that every sales person must do before making that call to a prospect, lead or contact:

1. Research: Visit the company website. Arm yourself with basic information about the company- what do they do, how big are they, how long have they been around, who are their immediate competitors, has there been any interesting news about them in recent times? Look up the contact on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

2. Common Sense: I was tempted to couple this with research but I do believe this deserves to be mentioned separately. While researching the company and the contact- stop and think. Are you following up to a specific conversation or is this a cold call? If it is the latter- then consider if this company is a potential competitor, potential partner or potential customer.¬†What is the purpose of your call to this contact? Why would they be interested in talking to you? If you’re just going through a list of leads with the same script- then you’re most likely wasting your time and theirs.

3. Story Telling: It is completely okay to call me even if you play in the big data analytics or the BI space. However I am not and cannot be a regular sales call. If there is a specific reason I should take the time to talk to you- then be prepared with a compelling story ahead of time. If you are calling a more promising prospect- then of course- the importance of your story cannot be over emphasized. Remember that you story must be malleable to fit their needs. Don’t forget to listen for the needs before starting the pitching. Nobody likes a pushy sales person.

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