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Welcome to the CTA members' blog, we invite subscribing members to post interesting technology perspectives and information to the community. Please subscribe to the blog in order to see a link to "Add A New Post".

 

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Time is Money When Evaluating Phone/Data Services

Posted By Cottonwood Communications, Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I know that this saying is quite cliche, but it's been on my mind lately as I think of the amount of time and money that businesses spend to evaluate their telecom (voice) and data cost(s).

 
Today there are more businesses that want to charge you money to evaluate what you have than ever before. If you're a government entity there are companies that want to help you write your RFP, there are also many call accounting groups that want to audit your telecom and wireless expenses. They'll plug in all of your numbers to make sure that you're not paying too much and compare that against what the proper rate structure is. If you have an abundance of time and you want to talk things out with each of the carriers to see what their most current promotions are, you can contact each one individually and get quotes for each of your locations.

Below are links to some of the more well known carriers:
CenturyLink - AT&T - TW Telecom - Integra - Paetec - Level 3 - LightYear - XO Communications

 
Call accounting software, RFP audits and working with the carriers directly are all good things to consider depending upon your situation. My point in this posting is to let you know that there is an option to spending tons of upfront money and time in evaluating your current telecom and data costs, especially if you have a multi office environment. Work with a carrier agnostic agency that already has relationships with all of the carriers and access to many additional resources that you might be seeking to save yourself time. In most cases these individuals or agencies will charge you nothing upfront, they have extensive industry experience, and they make their money once they place you into a service or product that works best for your business. After many years inside the direct channel for a number of carriers and now 6 years with the indirect side of our business it's important to know that you will not pay more money when you buy through an agency vs. buying direct. The cost model is identical regardless of who you sign an agreement with.

 
Save time and money and seek these consultants out.

http://www.cottonwoodcomm.com/2011/08/time-is-money-when-evaluating-phonedata-services/

Tags:  AT&T  CenturyLink  Integra  Intgra  Level 3  Paetec  Phone Service Audit  Qwest  Telecom Audit  XO Communicaitons 

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Sustainability Spells Opportunity for IT

Posted By Kristen Feichtner, Green House Data, Monday, August 22, 2011
Updated: Monday, August 22, 2011
Join CORE and the Colorado Technology Association for breakfast and hear four experts on green IT topics ranging from virtualization and energy savings in data centers, sustainability management software to IT asset disposition and more.

Event Details:  Sustainability Spells Opportunity for IT
Date: September 21st, 2011
Time:  7:30 - 10:00
Location: 
Consulate General of Canada in Denver
1625 Broadway, Suite 2600
Denver CO 80202

For more details and to register for the event, visit http://www.coloradotechnology.org/events/event_details.asp?id=176569.

Hope to see you there! 


Tags:  Green IT 

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Technology’s Impact on Corporate Sustainability

Posted By Kristen Feichtner, Green House Data, Monday, August 22, 2011

More and more businesses are realizing that implementing a more sustainable business model is not only good for the environment, but it is now an essential part of smart business.  Going "green” also means saving green.  Companies are being challenged more than ever to find greener ways of operating. 
 
Turning off lights, using recycled paper products and green cleaning products are some of the ways business offices can start to meet these goals.  But, lurking in the background as the biggest challenge to achieving a sustainable business is actually IT Infrastructure and the energy demands it puts on both budgets and the environment.  In fact, more than 70 percent of electricity consumed in the United States is used in office buildings.  A significant portion of this amount comes from growing technology needs, especially server infrastructure.

As business leaders, it’s important to know that although servers are vital to our company, they are also huge energy consumers.  In order to keep just one server running, it takes 7000 kWh per year to power and cool.  That amount emits around 4 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment and costs approximately $700 each year.

What can you do?

Measure:  A good start to make a corporate change is to examine current IT business practices to see where you’re using the most energy now.  CORE offers assistance in this areas.  Check their Sustainability Resources page (in the Energy Efficiency section) and the CORE Catalyst project, a sustainability assessment of member companies.  Some utility companies offer this service, as well.  Measuring first not only helps you see where you could save, it lets you see bottom-line benefits when you start implementing green IT practices. 

Greener Enterprise Solutions:  If you currently have an in-house data center or server room, consider purchasing certified green-e tags to offset the electricity used by technology.  Also, modern servers have a much wider operating temperature range than their predecessors and can run efficiently at higher temperatures.  Turning up the thermostat just one degree warmer can save 4-5% on overall energy consumption.  Lastly, on a larger scale, installing an energy efficient cooling system in the server room can be very beneficial.  This can save around 75 – 90% on the energy needed for cooling.  

Cloud Hosting:  The virtualization offered by cloud hosting has really opened the doors to truly greening a company’s IT because it allows for better utilization of servers.  On average, a dedicated server runs at only 8 - 15% utilized, however consumes almost 100% of the electricity that a fully utilized server requires.  With Cloud hosting, server usage is upped to around 80% capacity without sacrificing speed or performance, thus allowing business to do more with less servers.  For example, if a business utilizes 10 dedicated servers, they are going to pay approximately $7000 per year to power and cool those servers.  If utilizing a cloud platform, their energy cost decreases to $700, a significant cost savings to the bottom line.  Even better, this change would take away over 44 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from our environment each year. 

Outsource:    Use shared data centers, hosted phone systems or cloud computing services. There are service providers to choose from that offer greener options.  These data center providers spread energy usage and costs across multiple clients. 

Green Colocation:  If your company already owns server hardware, opt to colocate in a green data center.  Look for companies that are powered by renewable energy, offer energy efficient data center design and power management services.  If your current provider doesn’t offer a green solution, challenge them to make sustainability a priority or find another company that already does.  Take note that choosing a green data center for these services shouldn’t cost more money.  A solid data center focused on energy efficiency should pass on their energy savings down to their customers.

This post has spoken more about the bigger changes companies can make to impact their sustainability goals, but the smaller tasks can also bring change, even if on a smaller scale. 

Additional ideas to green your IT:

  • Recycle or donate  IT equipment
  • Set computers to go into a sleep mode after being idle for twenty minutes
  • Power down equipment when not in use
  • Keep your computer hardware longer, if possible
  • When buying new computer hardware, opt for Energy Star approved
  • Encourage telecommuting

There are many ways a business can green their technology, but it’s all about starting.  The use of the technology is exploding, but fortunately with these methods, the consumption of electricity doesn’t need to increase at the same pace.

Tags:  Green IT 

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Eloqua All About Revenue Success Tour: MCG’s Top Five Highlights

Posted By Virginia Roper, Market Creation Group, Friday, August 12, 2011

This past Wednesday (August 10th), Erin and myself had the chance to check out the Eloqua All About Revenue Success Tour up in Boulder, CO. The presenters gave a lot of great information, and it was useful to have Erin there absorbing information from an account perspective, as well as myself there to absorb information from a technical perspective. We gleaned some great tips, which we wanted to share with you here.

1.) Five Emails a Month is Just Right For Reaching Out to Your Lists
Trying to figure out how often to reach out to the members of your email lists? Five contacts a month is the recommended number if you are varying the contact types. For example, one can be a newsletter, and one can be an invitation to a webinar. Five (or thereabouts) is an ideal range – too many contacts and your prospects and customers might get sick of you and unsubscribe, but with too few, you run the risk of their forgetting about you.

2.) Short and Frequent Emails Always Beat Out Long and Occasional Emails
One presenter noticed that the click-through rates in his company’s newsletter had 80% of clicks coming from the first 3 articles listed in the newsletter. Rather than waste all of that content sitting lower in the email, his company’s solution was to make the newsletters shorter, and send them out more frequently.

3.) Marketing Automation is the BEST Way to Scale
No, really. If you’re not doing marketing automation yet, now is the time to get started!

4.) Content Personalization is the Future of Marketing
The key, of course, is how to make it personalized. Here’s an amazing scenario for how to get great data about your customers and prospects: So you’ve got campaigns, with forms, where users fill out those forms and submit them. You want as much information as you can get, but you also don’t want to overwhelm your users with a bajillion fields and inadvertently frustrate them. Or worse, scare them off. So, mix up the fields. Include fields for name and email in every form – these are expected and it would be confusing to not include them. Then, in one form a user might be presented with "Company name" and on another form they would be presented with "Which of our solutions are your most interested in?" What this also means is that the subscribers you end up with most information on are also the subscribers that are most interested in what you have offer – they’re the ones that keep coming back again and again and downloading your whitepapers and watching your webinars, and thus the ones that answer the most questions.

5.) Qualify Webinar Attendees with Concise Titles and Email Reminders
So you’ve got a webinar coming up and want to promote it. But when it comes to what emails to send out, you’re afraid of harassing users who sign up right away, yet don’t want those last-minute people to miss out. Eloqua partnered with ReadyTalk and now give you the ability to set up a decision tree that sends out emails based on how members of your email list have already responded. Those that sign up early can get an email with "Reminder! Awesome webinar impending!” in the subject line, but those who have yet to sign up can get "Hey! Don’t forget to sign up for this awesome webinar!” You can customize the heck out of your email reminder process this way!

Some other neat things that are upstream in the Eloqua world include:

  • The Eloqua Revenue Suite is launching this Sunday. You’ll be able to, among other things, compare your stats against others in your industry. And based on the sneak preview we saw, if you’ve a chart and graph fetish, you’ll definitely want to check this out!

  • Eloqua 10 is coming out soon as a tiered release depending on account type. Those of us that actually build the emails in Eloqua can look forward to a full html source editor! With a split screen, you’ll be able to write your code, and then preview it in the accompanying screen. And, as someone who’s built her fair share of emails in Eloqua, I’m definitely excited about this feature!

  • If you want to save yourself some work when integrating Eloqua with outside systems such as ReadyTalk (along with personalizing your process by setting up sweet custom rules) check out Eloqua Cloud Connectors.

The Colorado stop of the Eloqua All About Revenue Success Tour was one of the earlier ones, so be sure to check out their website to see if the tour is coming anywhere you.

Tags:  All About Revenue Success Tour  clickthrough rates  cloud connectors  content personalization  Eloqua  eloqua 10  eloqua revenue suite  marketing automation  Readytalk 

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OpenWorld Learning needs your vote to win $5k!

Posted By OpenWorld Learning (OWL), Wednesday, August 10, 2011

OpenWorld Learning needs your vote!

OpenWorld Learning has been chosen as 1 of the 9 charities to compete in 9News Charity Campaign for $5,000! 

 

Please help OWL win the $5,000 by liking 9News’ Facebook Page and voting for OWL!

How to vote:

1.) Go to https://www.facebook.com/ilike9news and "Like” 9News

2.) Click on "Charity Campaign” on the left side of the page

3.) Vote for OpenWorld Learning

The contest goes from August 9th at noon to September 9th at noon, so please tell all your friends and family members to vote for OpenWorld Learning. 

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OPENWORLD LEARNING!

OpenWorld Learning is a fun and challenging educational program centered on advanced computer technology. Since its inception, OpenWorld Learning has provided innovative educational opportunities for students, specifically addressing children’s school success through after-school and summer programs. As a nonprofit organization, OpenWorld Learning is designed to address the high rates of school failure, truancy, and dropout, especially among children from low-income and minority families. OpenWorld Learning has served students with over 500,000 contact hours to date, including 518 3rd-8th grade students who received approximately 55,000 hours of program contact during the 2010-2011 school year.  For more information, visit www.openworldlearning.org or call 303.832.0066.

Tags:  9News  contest  education  nonprofit  philanthropy  technology 

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Download the Colorado Technology Association Emblem!

Posted By Nikki Mill, Colorado Technology Association, Thursday, August 4, 2011
Are you proud to be a member of Colorado Technology Association?
Do you want to show your leadership and community involvement?
Do you want to help grow our community?

Then, you should download the new Colorado Technology Association Member Emblem and use it!

This emblem is great for your websites, social profiles, signature or other marketing material where you wish to show your community involvement, leadership, your network, etc. 


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Legislators Honored At Apex Awards

Posted By ORG Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Sunday, July 31, 2011

Over the years, the Colorado Technology Association has worked with legislators and government leaders to serve as advocates for the growth and success of software, hardware, IT services – and technology companies in general. It is critical that we maintain a healthy business environment for our technology companies, including both proactive and reactive work with regards to legislation, regulatory issues, or even other circles of influence on behalf of our industry.

Two years ago the state faced a difficult budget time, and we knew the software industry was being targeted as an additional source of revenue. So the Colorado Technology Association created a campaign with hundreds of technology professionals to protect the industry from unfair regulatory burdens, and although a new law was put into place, the association continued making sure legislators understood the impact of burdensome regulation. This past year, the organization, with dozens of key tech leaders, worked directly with the Speaker of the House, Frank McNulty; House Majority Leader Amy Stephens; Representative Carole Murray; Senator Cheri Jahn, and Senator Linda Newell to undue the damage and restore the state’s laws to encourage more growth in technology. 

HB1293 was passed by both the House and Senate, and Governor John Hickenlooper signed it into law on June 7 of this year.

We were honored to present Speaker McNulty, House Majority Leader Stephens, Representative Murray, Senator Jahn and Senator Newell with the 2011 Advocates of the Year award at this year's Apex Awards.  They and their colleagues who supported HB1293 deserved to be thanked for their great leadership on behalf of our industry, and all those who use software in Colorado to increase productivity and effectiveness for industries across the spectrum.

As we continue our work to ensure a healthy business environment, including the legislative/regulatory environment, look for more initiatives from this association.  And, we invite you to participate so our voice is always heard.

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FREE Blogging Opportunity for Members

Posted By Wendy Nkomo, Colorado Technology Association, Friday, July 29, 2011
I believe we can all agree to the fact that we'd like more opportunities to share compelling information!

Did you know that all subscribing members can benefit from posting to the Colorado Technology Association member blog?  Your blog post will stay posted online, as well as be published out to our entire community mailing list of 5000+ contacts in the Monthly Digest.

Do you have new white papers? new products or services to introduce? new clients? new staff? new leadership? data, research, industry trends? or other interesting information that you want to share with the Colorado Technology community?  If yes, then we encourage you to get busy posting today and to post often in the future to drive visibility and branding for your organization!

It's this easy...
  • "Sign In" to your profile
  • Click here to Add New Blog Post
  • You will be prompted to sign in if you are not already signed in
  • Copy and paste your communication
  • Click "Submit”
At the Colorado Technology Association, we're all about community, insight, and connections and the Subscribing Member Blog offers a golden opportunity to drive all three.

P.S.  This is not a good place to post sales promotions or offers, the purpose of this community blog is to drive industry thought leadership.  Inappropriate postings will be removed.

P.S.S.  Forward this onto your marketing department.

Tags:  marketing  member benefit 

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What DEMOs do you want to see at this year’s DEMOgala?

Posted By Aimee Charlton, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Thursday, July 28, 2011
DEMOgala is just around the corner!  So, save the date – Friday, October 14, 2011.  

The 7th Annual DEMOgala Showcase and Innovation Conference is packed with industry leaders from across the nation sharing expert insight on "Disruptive Innovation” and how today’s forward-thinking organizations are reshaping our perspectives on business, science, entertainment and community.

One of the most popular, and longest standing aspects of DEMOgala, are the live demonstrations of technology from startups in Colorado.  
So, this year we’re doubling the DEMOs and have we’ll have 2 sessions!  

These DEMOs spaces are limited and invitation only.  However, we want to hear from you!
What cool-new technology to you want to see DEMOed?
Who are the new startups wowing you?  

Send me an email, and tell me who you want to see!  

Also, Sponsorships are NOW available! Contact Michelle Marek (303-592-4070) to ensure your company is included when the 2011 site goes live!

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HIT Conference is Next Week – Register Today, Space is Limited

Posted By Nikki Mill, Colorado Technology Association, Thursday, July 28, 2011
We’re honored to be hosting along with the State’s OIT department, a HIT conference next week at Avaya’s south campus.  Space is limited so make sure to register, even if you are a premium member!

This once-a-year conference will cover many topics from this fast-paced-growing industry and has national speakers.  
 
Agenda
7:30am – 8:00am Registration and Breakfast
8:00am – 8:15am Opening Remarks
8:15am – 9:00am Morning Keynote – A Look at the Colorado HIT Ecosystem
9:00am – 10:00am Federal and Local Trends and Issues in 2011 and Beyond
10:15am – 11:00am Insurance/Payer Perspectives
11:05am – 11:50am Innovative Strategy – A Kaiser Permanente Case Study
12:15pm – 1:00pm Lunch & Health Innovation Highlights
1:15pm – 2:00pm Chief Informati0n Officer Perspectives
2:15pm – 3:15pm Closing Keynote – Encouraging Innovation
                 Todd Park, CTO, US Department of Health and Human Services
3:15pm – 5:00pm Networking Reception

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