Connecting to the Fiber Optic Network
What Businesses Need to Know: Minimum Point of Entry Issues (MPOE)
Pleasanton, CA.—There is a tale going around in certain business circles. The story is about a man who owned a barbershop, ‘Cutting Edge’ and his was the only shop in town. Then, without warning, a competitor arrived down the street and opened another shop. This would be fine except this new competition, let’s call them ‘Shear Madness’, was charging 10 dollars for a haircut while Cutting Edge had been charging 16 dollars.
After a while, Cutting Edge found out that their profits were decreasing, and it appeared from the barber’s viewpoint that there was a steady stream of customers heading into Shear Madness. The barber was getting worried and losing customers that he had for years. Then, suddenly, the barber at Cutting Edge noticed that a few disgruntled customers that had been going to Shear Madness were coming back to his business, complaining about the quality of their haircuts at Shear Madness. He had an idea. He decided the solution would be to put up a sign out front of his barbershop. It read “We fix 10 dollar haircuts”. Business returned to normal.
So what does this have to do with Fiber Optics and Minimum Point of Entry for business customers?
The company Oil Changers, and their corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, California, wanted to get their IP Network current. The company was using an outmoded IP solution to handle their mission critical data applications. Access to a fiber optic network was not available. Then, with the current roll-outs by several companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly AT&T in their “Project Velocity IP” three-year plan, Oil Changers wanted to take advantage of the functionality for data applications that a fiber-based solution would provide.
This relates to the ‘Cutting Edge’ barbershop story. There was a business need of improving IP functionality at a cost-effective rate and connecting the solution to their office location. Luis Garcia, IT Manager for Oil Changers, had discovered that while a fiber optic solution was available, the cable was only routed as far as the minimum point of entry (MPOE or demarcation point) at a central location in their present office building—but not directly linked to their offices by AT&T.
He would have to research and outsource the work to a local vendor and ended up, as many businesses have lately, selecting an electrician to connect the fiber optic cable to their offices. Oil Changers believed that the electrician would have the correct knowledge to professionally connect their IP Network to a fiber optic connection at the minimum point of entry.
Oil Changers discovered a valuable lesson that sometimes a cost-effective solution is not the best course of action, which the electrician did provide. What the electrician did not provide is the actual solution.
While this decision might appear to be not thought out, it is common for IT Managers and executives to select electricians for this type of outsourced work instead of those who have had extensive experience in telecommunications and cabling. One cannot blame Oil Changers for making a decision that was placing the fiscal needs of the company first and following traditional practice.
It is critical to understand the difference between an electrician and cabling technician—make sure each vendor has references and experience to back up their service offering. One ‘barber’ down the street might be cheaper, but the established ‘barber’ who may charge more does the job right and consistently –the first time—just might be the safer and reliable option.
While some electric companies do have technicians available to connect fiber optic networks at the point of entry to your business, many do not.
Luckily, Garcia was able to locate a local Bay Area vendor who had been in business for over 20 years and had Cabling Technicians who could handle the work. Garcia explained that the “nightmare” associated with selecting an Electrical Company to do the work was quickly and professionally resolved by ACD Telecommunications.
Last month, ACD Telecom was contacted by Garcia, informed them of the issue of lost connectivity and unprofessional service they received from the Electrical Company. ACD had their technicians on the spot within hours and solved the problem quickly. They were able to complete the objective of Oil Changers. Now, their mission-critical data applications work better than ever before and are consistent.
This brought to mind the story of Cutting Edge, and the thought that while there might be a ’10-dollar haircut’ available, the best solution might be to first contact those companies who are proclaiming ‘We fix 10 dollar haircuts’ first, or at the least have them in your contacts if something goes wrong with the cost-effective solution. It could turn out to be sheer madness.
- Be sure to find a Telecom Vendor Partner that can provide a solution in connecting the fiber optic network to your MPOE. ACD Telecommunications is one that is available to service most locations in California and Western Nevada. See the link to their website for further details.
- Prime Buyer’s Report has a list of the Top 10 Bay Area Telco Vendors, check out the other companies that offer similar service and compare pricing and personnel by scheduling a free consultation with those companies that offer it as a value-added service.
- Make sure to meet with multiple vendors, ask for references and while comparing prices, make sure the references the vendors provide are current and trustworthy.
- ABOUT Oil Changers “have developed an automotive fast oil change concept based on convenience, quality, and service. Each of the company's no-appointment-necessary services is provided on a drive-through basis. The first Oil Changer facility was opened in Northern California in September 1986 and the organization currently consists of 34 facilities in the regions of San Francisco, San Diego, and Fresno…Californians enjoy a deserved reputation for car-consciousness and environmental awareness, and the Company's convenience and environmental sensitivity make it an ideal service provider.”
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