Have you considered attending the SCTC (Society of Communication Technology Consultants) conference? Unlike other professional organizations such as the AMA (American Medical Association), where you need to be a member to attend their conference, the SCTC is open to everyone, Non Member Consultants, End Users (CIO’s, Telecom Mangers, Procurement, etc), Vendors, Students, etc.
Even though the SCTC conference is open to everyone, why should you consider attending? Here are 7 reasons.
1) You are already a “Consultant”.
Within your company/organization, do you provide IT/Telecom support, advice and/or expertise? Is part of your responsibilities to understand and take advantage of opportunities (lower prices, better services) based on industry trends and changes? If so, you are an “Internal Consultant”. As an Internal Consultant how are you keeping up with the industry trends and opportunities, such as Cloud Computing, Web RTC, Wireless, Landlines, Regulatory issues, etc.?
2) I Don’t Know what I Don’t Know.
This is a common lament of many IT/Telecom professional. Ask yourself, how much of your time is spent on “internally focused problems/issues”? Is 90%, 95%, 99%, 99.9% of your time taken up with company related matters? How much time do you spend learning what is going on in the industry? How can you help your company/organization take advantage of changes – lower costs, improve productivity, marketing advantage, etc. if you are not keeping up. It is not surprising that many professionals feel that they are in danger of being “left behind”.
3) The CEO Blindside question.
Your CEO comes back from a conference. He/she mentions that they talked to one of their peers and learned how they were using the latest technology/product/imitative to save money, improve productivity/service and/or gain a competitive advantage. He/she turns to you and asks what are our plans in this area?
Which of the 2 following responses sounds better?
- “OK, we’ll look into this and get back to you”, or
- “I’ve recently talked to some of the leading consultants in this area. We are looking into some ideas that we can further develop and get back to you”
4) You will need eventually need a Consultant.
At some point in the past (in a simpler time and place), it may have been possible to be an “expert” on everything. You had the time to keep up with the latest industry changes. You had a robust staff who you could count on to get the job done. However, in today’s world of “lean and mean”, flattened staffing levels, and outsourcing, you are expected to keep only a core group and outsource for other needs and expertise. Thus, It is not a matter of If you will need a consultant. It is now a question of when you will need a consultant.
When the time arrives to look for outside expertise, is it better to have a list of consultants in mind, or to start from scratch?
5) SCTC Conference – an “Automall” of Consultants.
If you are in the market for a new car, where do you go? You go to the local Automall where you can test drive several makes and models from different vendors to find the best match for your needs (comfort, price, performance, etc.). If you are in the market for a IT/Telecom consultant, where do you go? The SCTC is an Automall of consultants. You can “test drive” a variety of consultants to find which consultant(s) are the best match for your company’s needs.
6) Get a Second (Third, Fourth) Opinion?
Perhaps you are comfortable/satisfied with your current internal initiatives. Nonetheless, it may be helpful to talk to some outside experts about your projects. This is an unique opportunity to “pick the brains” of some of the leading experts in the industry.
At the end of the day, there are 2 outcomes, both good.
- Outcome 1 you talk to consultants and are able to pick up some additional ideas. You can incorporate what you learned into your current projects/initiatives. This will allow you to avoid problems and/or improve performance/productivity.
- Outcome 2, you talk to consultants and find they essentially validated your work. This is something you can take back to your company executives and let them know that you “ran our project by some of the leading experts in the industry”. These experts essentially validated what we are doing (or planning to do).
7) You are a Professional.
Over the years you have taken the opportunity to learn and have worked very hard to get to your current position, an IT/Telecom professional. However, current work pressure and issues consume all of your time and you are unable to take time to attend a conference. You would like to go to a conference, but it isn’t a priority.
Analogy. You talk to your Tax Accountant (a Financial Professional). You casually ask him or her what conferences have they attended in the past year or so to keep up with the latest Tax changes. If they respond back they have been too busy to attend any conferences in the past couple of years, what is your reaction? Do you admire their dedication and work ethic? Or wouldn’t you be surprised and a little bit taken aback? Isn’t part of their responsibility to keep up with the latest innovations/changes in their industry?
As in any profession, continuous education is a requirement if you are expected to provide the highest value to your organization/company. The IT/Telecom industry is especially challenging with numerous opportunities (productivity, cost savings) presenting themselves in a fast changing, dynamic environment.
The SCTC conference will be held at the Town and Country resort in San Diego, September 30 – October 2nd.
The following is a link to get further information.