Stephanie Cantu

Recent Posts

Secrets of a Salesperson #4: Buying Direct is a Rip-Off

We won’t lose on price.

Who do I need to beat here?

How low do you want me to go on this quote?

We’ll do anything to win this.


These may sound like sleezy sales clichés from TV … but they are the lines I hear every day.  If you’re wondering what kind of back-alley bootlegging business I’m in to hear this kind of hustle-talk every day…. you may be surprised to know it’s information technology.  As a Solution Consultant, I shop for the technology and communication solutions that businesses depend on: internet, phone systems, carrier circuits, call center software, etc. 

There seems to be this ingrained misconception that ‘buying direct” is always a better deal.  Perhaps it’s all the commercials we’ve heard for years, where businesses claim to have “cut out the middle man” to bring you the “lowest price in town.”  And it makes sense.  It seems logical that if there is an intermediary, there has to be an increase in cost to pay that extra player, right?


I’m here to tell you what companies don’t want you to know: if you don’t have someone in the industry negotiating on your behalf, you are likely getting ripped-off.        

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5 Reasons Using Personal Cell Phones is Bad for Business


We all have cell phones, so who needs a business phone system anymore?

Most everyone is working remote these days. And we have become so accustomed to using our cell phone for everything... that most of us would need surgery to remove our permanently affixed mobile phones from our hands. So why not just use your cell phone for work calls, too? For 5 very good reasons. 

Don’t worry–  you can still use your beloved cell phone for business and personal calls….you just need to use it the RIGHT way. 

Here’s why you should think twice before using your cell phone for work calls,  and how to keep the convenience without the drawbacks:

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Stay home, stay productive- with the right technology.

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Virtual offices, remote workers, telecommuting....

Businesses of all sizes have been moving toward the virtual office model at an increasing rate lately, and for good reason.

Telecommuting is more efficient, more cost effective, and more productive

Perhaps your company has been considering this direction, or even experimenting with makeshift ways to facilitate remote work. With recent world events, however, remote work not only makes business sense, but has become necessary for business continuinity.Get a Custom Telecommuting  Solution

Allowing remote work is vital for the health and safety of everyone.  But where do you begin? 

And how do you create a productive remote work environment for employees?

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Share ideas, not germs. 5 reasons to telecommute (#1 is a doosey)

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Organizations everywhere are realizing the many benefits of remote work, or virtual offices.

Releasing the bonds of brick-and-mortar offices has 5 mammoth-sized benefits not to be ignored. (Pay attention to #1.... it's a biggie!)

Counting down from number 5, the reasons you should telecommute or get your organization set up as a virtual workplace are:

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A Cloud Phone System saves you 50% or more…and we can prove it!

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How much can you save with a cloud phone system?

Our study looked at 19 companies’ phone costs and the results may surprise you.

To see how businesses like yours save 50% or more every month, read on...

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4 Common Security Misconceptions That Could Cost You EVERYTHING

60% of businesses hacked over the last four years went out of business*.

This sobering fact is due to the extreme costs that result from an attack, and the misconceptions that led businesses to become vulnerable in the first place. 

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5 Steps Your Company Can Take Right Now to Prevent Costly Outages

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SD WHAT?? SD-WAN explained in plain English, and 4 reasons you'll soon be using it.

SD WHAT?? SD-WAN explained in plain English, and 4 reasons you'll soon be using it. (a worthwhile 5 min. read)

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Secrets of a Salesperson #3: Is your internet as fast you think?

While the saying "you get what you pay for" may be true sometimes... it's not always true when it comes to your internet or data service.  You may have signed up for the hare, but some days it performs more like a tortoise. 


Our 3rd Secrets of a Salesperson tip will demystify internet speed so that you will know what you're REALLY paying for.

There are many factors that effect how well your internet connection performs, such as your location, quality of the network equipment you’re using, and abilities of the end-user devices.  We are going to put those factors on hold, however, and focus on the real meaning of the numbers that the internet salesperson is selling to you, so that you will know exactly what you’re paying for.

Data delivery methods vary greatly– there are multiple circuit options for businesses to consider and should be reviewed with an experienced telecommunications adviser.   

Find out what circuit options are in your area

Most homes and businesses utilize some form of DSL (digital subscriber line) from a local internet service provider (ISP). DSL is a generic term for broadband, also a generic term that can be applied to any internet service of 25 mbps or more. What does 25 mbps really mean?

Speed = Bandwidth

Internet “speed” is really bandwidth, since it isn’t actual speed, but rather the volume of information per unit of time that an internet connection can handle.  Higher bandwidth simply means that large amounts of data can pass along the connection faster than a connection with a lower bandwidth.

Bandwidth is typically expressed in bits per second, such as 25 Mbps for example, which is an abbreviated way of indicating a data transfer rate of 25 million bits (megabits) of data transmitted every second.


To understand how internet “speed” works, (or doesn’t work as the case may be!) let’s all close our eyes and visualize a freeway.  A freeway with 5 lanes on both sides with only a few cars on it will flow nicely, right?   If your car represents 5 megabits of data, and the freeway can handle 25 megabits of data at given moment, then your car is going to move along just fine and arrive at the destination at the expected time. To be more realistic with this analogy, though, we need to change that freeway to 5 lanes on one side (upload)  and just one lane on the other (download) side.  When your bandwidth is 25/4, that means up to 25 mbps upload bandwidth and 4 mbps for downloading.

Now let’s say your car is traveling the same freeway at rush hour, or when there’s construction and the lanes merge into one, and we start to have some significant reductions in speed.  All it takes is for a few other people trying to be in the same spot at the same time…. and now no one’s making it home for dinner.

This is the same as your internet connection. 

Let’s say you signed up for an internet service speed of 25/4 mbps.  The salesperson tells you that means you will have highspeed abilities up to 25 megabits per second– many times faster than you need for downloading video or other data.

Here’s where we reveal the secret tip.

The important key phrase that provider said is “up to.” What that really means is: “in a perfect world where you are the only person using our internet service and the weather is perfect and your modem is brand new and you’re having a good hair day, well then you MIGHT have speeds reaching close to 25 megabits per second.”

But you aren’t their only customer. And the weather is rarely perfect.  And your modem is a few years old….

Suffice it to say, you’re not getting 25 mbps.

What are you getting?

Not 25 mb. You are sharing in a proverbial communal drinking trough with the rest of the businesses and residences in your area. 

This is perfectly legal– it’s called contention ratio, and it means that everyone in the area is sharing the same internet line.  The exact ratio isn’t publicized, unfortunately, but unless you pay for a dedicated line (more on that in an upcoming blog),  it is a good rule of thumb to assume that your bandwidth is approximately half of the speed that you signed up for.

So, if you have a 100 mb line, and a fairly low contention ratio, then you’ll likely get average speeds of 35-65 mbps. If you are using a line with a high contention ration, however, and you’re all utilizing the internet at the same time, your speed may drop to a delicate 2 mbps.  UGH.

If the ratio isn’t publicized, and the advertised speed isn’t realistic, how on earth do you know what your business needs?

Don’t despair.  There are several internet speed tests you should run from your location that will provide an evaluation of your connection. Here's one you can use right now:

Don’t stop with one test, though!

Run several tests at different times of day and different days of the week to see the fluctuation and range you can expect.  That will provide a good estimation of what you’re working with. 

Next,  if  considering any type of technology “as a service”, such as VoIP phones, contact center as a service, etc., then you should also run bandwidth tests from those providers as well, since the data transfer will be traveling over both your internet line AND theirs.

The best way to investigate these factors and others is to work with a vendor-neutral consultant.  A good consultant won’t charge for their assistance, and will be on your side to find the right service provider for YOUR needs.  A well-connected consultant will be able to provide the appropriate tests and details that should play a role in your company’s decision. Equipped with the knowledge of what will assist or hinder your business’ performance abilities, you will be able to determine with the right amount of bandwidth for your daily operations.

What if you don’t want to be at the mercy of contention ratios and variable performance factors? Well, there are other data service options you can utilize, which will be covered in the next Secrets of a Salesperson blog.

Out of time or patience? Get a free analysis of your best options now. Click to schedule

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Cut the Cord! 4 BIG Reasons to Consider Voice as a Service

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Forward-thinking companies are ditching their hardware, dropping their phone carrier lines, and moving communications to the cloud to utilize voice as a service (VaaS). What’s causing this mass migration?

Here are just a few reasons that companies of all sizes are making this strategic move, and why it might be beneficial for you, too:

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