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ITA Showcase Northwest Invitation


You are cordially invited to come visit us
at our booth at ITA Showcase Northwest,
which will be held on March 6 and 7
at the Holiday Inn/Portland Airport Hotel.

The ITA Showcase is a two-day show which offers over 100 exhibits and 13 seminars from vendors to the Washington and Oregon telecommunications industry. You will find us there in booth number 56. We hope you will be able to come to see us and all the other vendors who will be at this telecom trade show.

As a valued customer of ours, you would not be asked to pay a registration fee to attend this show. However, we suggest that you pre-register in order to save yourself some time (and save show management some stress!) when you arrive at the show.

If you wish to attend ITA Showcase Northwest, you can register online at their website, which is itashowcase.org.

Or you can call the Showcase office at 360-352-8334.

If you have any questions about this show, please feel free to call Bill McAuliffe at 585-746-6383, or e-mail him at bmcauliffe@picstelecom.com – he’ll fill you in on any missing details. Hope to see you at the show!

Telecom cables: Proprietary or not Proprietary…That is the question.

Telecom cables: Proprietary or not Proprietary…That is the question.

There are so many different “telecom cables” out there, so which ones are we talking about?  SC/SC jumper fibers or large 150ft power runs within your CO?  It all depends on the information your company has on file about the OEM and platform of cables in question.  Proprietary or not Proprietary….That is the question.

Things you should consider:

Look back at your original purchase of equipment with the OEM. Did they provide you information about the cables? If not, will the OEM release drawings of the cables?  If you can obtain the specs and drawings of cables then you are about 99% in the clear. Providing these specs to a company that builds cables will put you on the fast track to eliminating lead-times, and it will certainly be more cost-effective.

Have you done your homework to find your 3rd party cable manufactures?  Your secondary market vendors most likely have relationships with these 3rd party cable manufactures, or they can build the cables in house already.  You may also be able to bypass checking with your OEM as a lot of the specs and drawings of cables are already on file.

In summary, if you or someone within your company regularly purchases cable when they are ordering equipment, then the question of whether or not the cable is proprietary or non-proprietary should always be asked. It’s a strategy that comes with advantages.  When cable is non-proprietary, you will see cost-savings and eliminated lead-times. Another thing to keep in mind is the quality of the cable. Nowadays the twists and ends of non-proprietary cable have equal integrity to that of OEM cable.  And finally, you should consider your vendors that carry a life-time warranty for 3rd party cables.  How many times have you had a cable fail post-installation? It is difficult to justify purchasing cable from a vendor that doesn’t offer a lifetime warranty.

Not to limit the manufactures and/or platforms that cables can be built.  Here are some common cables that we build for our customers:

Alcatel/Lucent, Cisco, Adtran, Carrier Access, Nortel/Ericsson, Tellabs, Fujitsu, All Power Cables.

Cisco memory should be maxed out on each router

If you are someone who deals in any way with the engineering or the procurement of Cisco Routers, you should be familiar with the benefits of maximizing memory on the front-end.  How many times have you found yourself consulting the Cisco configuration guide, simply copying and pasting their laid out recommendations, and forwarding that as a request to perspective vendors?  If you have done this or still do, you are certainly not alone. However, you should reconsider how you approach your memory prior to purchase.

Cisco is known for selling equipment today that will require an upgrade tomorrow. These regular upgrades are the result of both technological advancements as well as an effective business model. There is a reason why Cisco has $44 Billion in the bank; their capability improves daily, and it costs their customers to stay abreast of those improvements.  The life of the router that you’ve already invested in can and usually does need upgrades on memory based on the application you are using it for. This makes sense. Fortunately, it is easy to stay ahead of the game, at least by a step or two.

Purchasing the maximum amount of memory for your router gives you a cushion of time and money to absorb some of Cisco’s upgrades. This is why buying the max is a regular practice of engineers throughout the industry.  Josh McDonald, an engineer at Excella Communications, states “you don’t always know the requirements for IOS tomorrow or what Cisco will decide to upgrade next week. If you have the max, then you don’t have to worry. Code does change, and having maxed out memory protects you from that change.”  Josh finds it practical and preemptive to purchase the max. It works for him and many other engineers that I work with on a daily basis. Of course practicality is important, but cost is a variable of this practicality. Price is often the initial reason why perhaps many shy away from the max upgrade.  It can prove to drive a wedge into the budget strings of CapEx, especially for those companies that buy hundreds of Cisco routers a year or even in a single quarter. It depends on the company and their unique needs to decide exactly how effective the maximum memory approach can be for them.

If you are in procurement, an engineer or a manager that currently uses a Cisco configuration guide to dictate your memory purchases, now would be a good time to reevaluate your methodology. Cisco list price on memory can blow you away. Do your homework and look into other cost-effective methods of buying your memory. If you are buying your routers from someone other than Cisco or one of their authorized resellers, then you should be applying this theory every time.  You can have your vendor install the upgraded and maxed-out memory right at their location before it ships.  In most cases you can expect to see 70-95% off list price when buying Cisco approved or 3rd party memory.  Otherwise, ask your engineers to take a hard look at the memory you have in place now.  Perhaps adding maximum memory to your current routers could be a quick and easy fix for avoiding the hassles of tomorrow’s upgrades. It could also save you some calls into TAC support through Cisco. Either way, maximum memory is definitely worth the consideration.

Get LinkedIn!

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and opinions on this blog.  My intentions are to provide information that relates to telecom hardware. I feel that it is important to have as many outlets as possible, and letting everyone know about my LinkedIN profile is a good start. I will be posting information as I see fit that engages:

-Telecom Engineers
-Sales Engineers
-Procurement managers and buyers
-Field Technicians
-Outside Plant Engineers
-Telecom Advisors

LinkedIn is a great tool for networking.  In my business I deal with many aspects of telecom gear both new and refurbished; from new technology to equipment that is 20 years old.  Starting a LinkedIN group (telecomcauliffe) that helps the above mentioned provide information relating to telecom hardware.  Generating profit and productivity will be the focus of how I can help you and your company.

Get LinkedIn with me.