Michael Bremmer is the CEO of Telecomquotes.com and has specialized in telecommunications for 23 years. Telecomquotes.com is an independent telecommunications brokerage that specializes in helping clients find the most appropriate telecommunications products for their businesses.
1. You’ve been working in the telecommunications space for the better part of a quarter century. What are some of the major trends in the industry now compared to the status quo when you first got started?
The internet and mobility have changed the world. The ability to affordably do business from ANYWHERE is a permanent shift and people will NEVER go back to being tied down.
Disruptive technology cycles are almost daily now and it’s forcing a hyper-competiveness that I think will have long term effects on society and human health. It’s not all good.
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2.What does your role as CEO at TelecomQuotes entail?
My job is customer relationships more than CEO. Thankfully I’ve two great business partners that take on the day-to-day stuff so I can focus my energy on helping our customers grow which grows us.
It’s nice to be able to focus on the fun stuff.
3. In your LinkedIn profile, you mention that you have a proven track record of helping businesses to lessen their operating costs and improve their operational efficiency. What are some of the common mistakes businesses make that result in them experiencing operating cost and operational efficiency problems in the first place?
The #1 mistake is buying the “price” rather than the solution. Often the “lowest” price is the most expensive…because you’re giving up something.
We’ve all been fooled by slick marketing and while Google has saved me a many times, it’s fooled me into thinking I can do stuff that turned out to be a disaster also.
For example, I can watch a Youtube about a heart surgery…but it doesn’t mean I could pull it off.
The #2 mistake is customers don’t have an actual technology plan. This results in overspending, lowered productivity and frustration. No plan is perfect, tech changes quickly, but something is better than nothing.
4. What specific hard and soft skills do you need to succeed as a consultant in the telecommunications space?
- Proficiency with technology
- Ongoing education
- Listening—If you don’t understand the customers desired outcome…how will you create it?
- Patience (not everyone understands technology)
- Persuasion (you’ve got to be able to sell)
5. Why should a prospective client choose your company over another service provider?
The #1 reason people choose us…we’re willing to get into the trenches, literally sometimes spending days in the customer’s business, working like an employee if necessary to understand what needs to happen.
That’s not always a fit so we turn down lots of opportunities because that type of effort isn’t free but I’ve found when people pay…they pay attention.
6. Can you provide a brief rundown of specific services your company provides?
- Voice/internet/private network services, for landline and mobile.
- Phone systems with CRM integration
- Mobile device expense management
- Strategic technology consulting
7. How do you convince would-be clients that they can trust TelecomQuotes.com to look after such a critical component of their operations?
Our most powerful tool, besides asking lots of questions and LISTENING to the answers, our customer testimonials.
If I say it, then it is suspect, but a customer says something nice, it’s gospel.
8. You provide services for non-profits and government agencies. What are some of the differences in terms of the types of services that private and public entities require?
Private companies are much more agile and want to hear new ideas that improve efficiency/profitability. They expect us to solve the problems they don’t know they have.
Nonprofits want the latest, but typically don’t have the budget so you have to get VERY creative with their usually older technology. They also tend to make decisions much more slowly. For them, it’s all about turning the results back into servicing their clients.
Government clients move GLACIALLY slow, but when they decide to move, it’s usually a large purchasing cycle that will last for years. They want efficiency but are more focused on process because the new solution has to fit the culture for much longer than business which has to be much more agile.
9. Can you provide services to organizations of all sizes, or do you cater to a specific size?
Organizations with at least 50 technology users are the minimum for our company.
10. Are there emerging trends that you figure will be on the radar in a big way, say, five years from now? If so, please explain.
The speed at which we can collect and process data now is truly frightening. We are beginning to live the stories like “Minority Report”, “The World Is Not Enough” and “1984”. (Personally, I’d rather live with the Jetsons.)
“When you look into an abyss, the abyss looks back into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Makes you think a little bit differently about your iPhone…doesn’t it?
The laws concerning privacy and big data are going to clog our courts for years and the argument will be…”you never said we couldn’t do it” or “you clicked I agree for the T&C’s”.
Google’s “don’t be evil” mantra was cute…but is evil is a relative term, as even the Golden Rule says “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” and unfortunately everyone’s moral compass is quite different.
Good things do come from technology, for example, 200 years ago you were “crazy” if you believed in germs, flight was just a “fancy” 100 years ago and Los Angeles where I live wouldn’t exist without water management (or air conditioning).
How many of us have used YouTube to fix something around the house or taken a class online we’d never been able to do without the internet.
The internet is just an extension of the library of Alexandria…sharing information for the greater good isn’t a new concept, thankfully.
The biggest, most frightening trend though?
The loss of ability to think and problem solve without a device. I fear for the generation raised with an iPhone in hand if the lights ever go out.
Candidly, I believe my parents belong to the last generation of modern countries that could easily survive without electricity.