A consultant has the right expertise. This is where it pays not only to be really good in your chosen field, but also to have a track record that speaks for itself. For example, Riddle says he knows that every client who hired him did so partly on the basis of his track record.
A consultant may be hired to identify problems. Sometimes employees are too close to a problem inside an organization to identify it. That's when a consultant rides in on his or her white horse to save the day.
A consultant can supplement the staff. Sometimes a business discovers it can save thousands of dollars a week by hiring consultants when they are needed rather than hiring full-time employees. They also can save additional money because they don't have to pay benefits to the consultants they hire. Even though a consultant's fees are generally higher than an employee's salary, over the long haul it makes good economic sense to hire a consultant.
A consultant can act as a catalyst for change. No one likes change, especially corporate America. But sometimes change is needed, and a consultant may be brought in to implement the changes. A benefit to the company is that the consultant can do things without worrying about the corporate culture, employee morale, or other issues that get in the way when an organization is trying to institute change.
A consultant provides much-needed objectivity. Who else is more qualified to identify a problem than a consultant? A good consultant provides an objective, fresh viewpoint without worrying about what people in the organization might think about the results and how they were achieved.
A consultant may be hired to teach. Consultants are called on to teach many skills. Of course, it's the consultant's task to keep up with developments in their field of expertise so they're always ready to teach new clients what they need to stay competitive.
A consultant by be hired to do the "dirty work." Let's face it: No one wants to be the person who has to make cuts in the staff or to eliminate an entire division. An impartial outside consultant is the perfect person to handle such unpleasant tasks.
A consultant can bring new life to an organization. If you're good at coming up with ideas that work, then you won't have any trouble finding clients. At one time or another, most businesses need someone to administer "first aid" to get things rolling again.
A consultant may be hired to create a new business. There are consultants who are experts in this discipline. But it does require special skill, so make sure you have it before you market yourself as a business development consultant.
A consultant may be hired to influence other people. Do you like to hang out with the rich and famous in your town? If so, you may be hired to do a consulting job based on whom you know.
Introduction to Passive Optical LAN
Over the past 20 years, the demand for higher data speeds, ubiquitous connectivity, and the need for increased security and reliability has put a stress on data networks all over the world. Over that same time span, data networks have been designed around the same few network building blocks; routers, campus aggregation switches, building aggregation switches, and end-user switches. As end-user demands have increased, demands on data network building blocks have also increased, and has resulted in far more complex networks that require increasingly higher regular maintenance.
Passive Optical LAN, or POL is a networking architecture that accommodates end-user demands, and changes and simplifies data network designs. The result is that Passive Optical LAN provides economic improvements, technical improvements, management improvements, and operational improvements compared to the traditional data networks that have been used for the past 20 years. As its name implies, Passive Optical LAN is based on fiber optic cables that connect all the way to a user workstation or other data endpoint. Because fiber optic cables can transport data at speeds far exceeding the copper cables, and at distances far exceeding copper cables, Passive Optical LAN is more flexible in design, and can support current and future end-used data demands. Later in this book it will be shown just how much more flexibility Passive Optical LAN brings because of this. With this added distance flexibility, the entire concept of the word “LOCAL” in a Local Area Network, or LAN is challenged.
When the networking gurus created data communication protocols like the well-known Internet Protocol, or IP they envisioned a means to communicate over vast distances to colleagues everywhere. How disappointed they must have been when they learned that the best that the network manufacturers could achieve was 100 meters (330 feet) at a time with the need to make successive hops to reach a destination. And, so the initial network 20 years ago was deemed “local” because that is all you could achieve with the distances. Now comes optical networking to break the shackles of what is called “local” and achieve extraordinary distances.
But distances are not the only improvement that Passive Optical LAN brings to the data networking game. Passive Optical LAN enables nearly limitless data rates, changes networking economics to favor the enterprise customer, creates a span of network control that enables network management of hundreds of thousands of users just as easily as a tiny network of a few users, and eliminates entire IT network equipment categories.
For a quick tutorial click on the picture below to see a 4-minute video on POL at Sandia National Laboratories.
CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS
Over the past 10 years I have worked with direct customers, indirect customers and channel partners to help each of them solve their business and networking problems and enable them to achieve their company goals.
Along the way, I have established many important executive relationships that will carry forward; and I look forward to working with these individuals and companies in the future.
Some of the customers and partners where I have developed personal relationships are shown below.
Sales & Marketing Strategy
Embarking into selling products and services is really about understanding the potential customer and how they accomplish their business objectives rather than simply creating an offering that explains how and why the offering is better than other offerings.
This applies to commodity products, simple services, complex technical products and embedded services alike.
Whether the channel is direct to the customer, or via a multi-tiered distribution that includes resellers across global geographies, a well-thought out sales & marketing strategy is critical for success.
I have spent most of my career helping organizations succeed in their sales and marketing strategy to enable customers to meet their goals and thereby establishing a need for the organization’s products and services.
One example structure involved a multi-level distribution channel with resellers into a global customer base. By understanding the business motivations of each part of the channel, segmenting the end customer market, and focusing on the sub segments with the highest perceived value I was able to bring the customers great value, and become the undisputed leader in the market.
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