Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alan Mackelworth on Networking

My friend Alan eloquently providing some great advice on practical business networking and making the most of events:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can a proposition be too good to be true?

You can slice a huge chunk off your phone bill, by cutting your landline to mobile call (L2M) costs by perhaps as much as 50%.

Typically you’ll pay between 6p and 20p per minute for a L2M call depending on your deal with your incumbent telephone service provider. For many businesses it’s around 10p/min.

Part of the reason for this is that there is flat charge of about 5.9p/min for transferring between the BT network and the mobile network, the rest is down to your usage level.

By installing a Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) hub to your telephone switch you can route calls to mobiles directly out onto the mobile network and avoid the BT network and the fixed 5.9p/min transfer charge.

The FMC hubs are basically a rack of mobile phones with smart software to handle the calls, monitoring and reporting. They are not cheap pieces of kit, and require a site survey and installation to ensure that there is good connectivity to the mobile network.

BUT you can get the kit installed FREE on a managed service basis if you sign up for a year with minimum commitment of 20k mobile mins/month. The price per minute depends on the monthly volume commitment and ranges from 3.5p/min to 5.5p/min, which is close to halving your cost. Even at 20k mins/month that could be worth over £12k per annum SAVED.

I’ve been looking for the “gotcha” …….

Maybe signing up for an annual commitment? But why wouldn’t you if you’re going to save over £10k in the year.

It only applies to businesses making a significant number of L2M calls per month? Well it’s not difficult to establish what your usage is – just take a look at your last quarters phone bill to see the L2M usage and the cost per minute.

What if it fails? or the connection to the mobile network is dropped? Well the system fails over back to routing via the PSTN, more expensive but no lost connectivity. It can even offer a backup for landline to landline calls if the PSTN network fails.

Is it legal? Yes, a FMC hub is even being used by the Ministry of Justice and a number of police forces!

Does it work with all mobile operators? The connection service is provided by Orange and works with all other networks.

With so much emphasis on cost savings why doesn’t everyone implement this?
Is it too good to be true?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Live Auction Software

Who knows about live on-line auctions - software that makes it possible for second by second interactive bidding - or sniping? Appropriate for a limited B2B environment of 100's rather than 1000's of bidders.
Does the software already exist? packaged off the shelf- if so who is publisher / how much?
Is there anything especially challenging with this type of live interactive functionality?
If not readily available is it difficult to develop from scratch and who could do it? again what sort of cost & development time?

Is there anything I should know about auction software? Any gotcha's and/or what functionality do the large well known on-line auction houses have?

Initial feedback suggests there is a serious gotcha called serialization - making sure bids occur in the order they actually happen and that everything is visible to all bidders at the same time. This is apparently a real challnge due to the way the web works.

Please answer by commenting or on my LinkedIn question

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Winning customers and loyalty the easy way

Getting your customers to shout good news about your business is absolutely the most efficient way of selling. Especially in todays market where everybody talks to everyone about everything (much of which is pretty unimportant) - it is wonderful to be able to scream about a great customer service story and marketing initiative I have just have had the pleasure of being a part of.

I needed to order a few business cards for Tuetalk and decided to use a very simple online tool that is very cost effective, namely . After placing the order on Thursday morning I set up a new email service on Friday and realised I should have used the new details on the cards so I contacted Streetcards to see if it was too late.

Check out their reply late Friday:

Hi Keith, sorry for the late response, we got your messages, it's been a busy day! We did in fact already print your cards but to celebrate that the sun actually was shining here in London this afternoon, we'll redo the order with the changes, as long as you spread the word of course, about Streetcards!

If you need anything else, we do offer a full design service and can print much more than just business cards, so do think of us if you want any other marketing materials.

Have a great weekend and thanks for your order!


Design Director
020 8876 5466

I expect to buy more cards in my career and it'll take a hell of sales pitch to tempt me away from using Streetcards in the future. I'd thoroughly recommend you try them too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Peter Cochrane on evolving networks and the future of machines

Peter subtitles this - when the machines cme to our rescue. He certainly provides us with an interesting view of the future relationship between man and machine.

Part 2

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tale of Two Brains

A very amusing and very popular video about the difference between mens' and womens' brains:

Monday, July 20, 2009


These guys have put together a great you tube video that spells out clearly the differences in bonding broadband and why Moreband (based on Sharedband technology) is the only real solution for bandwidth limitation in the access network.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marketing Art or Science

Seth Godin makes a good point again, about Marketing being an Art and a Science.

I did Physics at University - but also Art at School. I loved Art but thought science was a better career move. Funny that I landed up doing marketing, or maybe a good compromise.

Time to get going again

A few friends have suggested I should start posting again - especially as I am going to want to drive consulting business for TrueTalk.

So much has happened since my last post - I left Sharedband a year ago and have been working for Stone Computers until recently. (Note to myself to write a couple of posts on my time at Stone, and an update on where Sharedband is now).

Currently I am working on a number of new business ideas and looking around for consulting projects to keep the wolf from the door. I have been developing the proposition for TrueTalk consulting and believe that today there is real demand to understand the value marketing brings an organisation. Not just the tactical comms stuff (which is important) but the whole picture of the customer experience.

Without understanding of the true value of marketing the temptation in today's economic climate is for CEO's and CFO's to cut budgets and resources. Even if cuts are unavoidable it's extremely important to understand how to optimise what is available.

So I am going to pitch a service that gets a dialogue going with customers and partners first so that it's possible to paint that picture with the right perspective.