The Brookside Group, LLC
The Telecom Consultant Bulletin

Insights, Viewpoints & Facts

from Telecom's Influencer Community

  September 2011  
This Month's Topic:
The Society of Telecommunications Consultants

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We are back!


Hi everyone. After taking a summer break, The Telecom Consultant Bulletin is back in circulation. Hope you had a fun and productive summer. Moving forward, we plan to make this bulletin more targeted and more interactive, as opposed to another of the many scrolling newsletters you receive. I plan to reach out to you for your comments and suggestions to help make this bulletin a high-value read.  


This month, we are focusing on The Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC). In our annual Telecom Consulting Market Study (click HERE for a copy of the 2010 study report), we ask consultants which trade sources (associations, conferences, journals, web sites, etc.) they access/use most for market intelligence, insights, and networking. A wide range of sources are identified, with very few rising to the top as clear preferences among consultants. Vendor sources (Consultant Program conferences, portals, web sites, newsletters) are mentioned most, followed by sources like InterOp, No Jitter,


The one source that should be recognized, based on survey mentions, membership (both consultant and vendor members), and longevity is the STC. To the best of my knowledge, the STC is the only or the most long-standing trade association dedicated to independent telecom consultants, i.e., "independent information and communication technology (ICT) professionals."  STC Consultants represent a wide breadth of objective, vendor-neutral knowledge and experience "in all areas of voice, data, video, wireless/mobile, unified communications, contact center, and networking technologies."


I have been a member for more than 20 years. The quality of STC information sources, conferences and networking forums have consistently improved over the years. On the basis of both my experiences and what I hear from other members, the key benefits gained from STC membership include:

  • Networking among both consultants' peers and industry vendors;
  • New business opportunities through teaming with other members, the STC consultant finder service, and referrals from both consultant and vendor members;
  • Sharing of market insights and client experiences for both educational purposes and helping with client engagements;
  • Access to vendor and market education through conferences, webinars and a newsletter;
  • Access to key vendor contacts (consultant liaison programs) to provide support and help with client escalation/resolution needs;
  • New business and personal friendships. 

For those of you who are not STC members, it is worth your time to take a few minutes to review and consider membership ( or attending the upcoming Fall conference (see below) for a birds-eye view of the STC in action.



Mick Sawka

The Brookside Group 

STC Fall Conference 2011         

STC pic

An Invitation from the STC President 


IT'S OUR 35th


I would like to invite you to The Society of Telecommunications Consultants' 35th Anniversary Conference this October 25th to 28th at the beautiful Omni ChampionsGate Resort in Orlando, Florida. There is no better way to find out more about the STC then to attend one of our annual conferences and meet other members as well as vendors that attend the conference.


Founded in 1976, the STC is the only non-profit professional association of independent information and communication technology professionals in the world. STC membership includes consultants with diverse skills from all areas of information and communication technology. STC Consultants are committed to being independent advisors to their clients with no conflicts of interest and adhere to the Society's strict written Code of Ethics.


Today the STC is comprised of a very select group of roughly 150 consultants from around the world that assist clients in all areas of telecommunications across the complete spectrum of commercial and governmental organizations. Collectively, STC consultants directly impact more than one billion dollars worth of client telecommunications and information technology expenditures each year. Approximately 60 vendor organizations, through their membership in the Vendor Advisory Council (VAC), bring value to STC consultants and their clients by providing access to senior vendor management and the opportunity to influence products development and vendor policy.


We invite you to find out more about STC membership and, if possible, come join us in Orlando for this year's conference. Our conference committee has assembled a great program of real-world case studies, practice management, technology and market updates; along with plenty of time to network, including golf and tennis on the last day.   


Key note speakers include Phil Edholm, of Avaya, and Fred Knight, the GM and Program Chair of Enterprise Connect.  To keep up-to-date with the latest vendor offerings we've split 11 sessions over two days for 'no-holds-barred' vendor update sessions. With travel budgets under attack for vendors and consultant alike, the quantity and diversity of product and market updates packed into this format provide unbeatable value.  


Remember, there is NO OTHER professional independent non-profit telecom organization that actively shares information, experiences and teaming opportunities as freely and openly as the STC. To view the complete agenda and register for the conference, go to, where you can also find more details on association benefits and membership. 


Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!


James T. O'Gorman

President, Society of Telecommunications Consultants, Inc.

A STC Testimonial    

STC Membership - More Than Just Paying Dues, by Byron Battles, STC Member     

As my colleague, Rick Hathaway (STC Past President), once said, "Being independent does not mean you're alone." When it comes to my membership in the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (, this neatly sums up how I, and my practice, benefit. As in any organization, many members just pay dues and go about their business...and if it works for them, that's fine.


Although I have been a member since 1990 and consulting since 1985, the true value of my STC membership has emerged since I hung out my shingle in 2000. That is when I committed to be actively involved. My involvement eventually led to serving on the STC Board of Directors, being elected to several officer positions, and culminating as the President, a fact of which I am very proud.


The benefits have manifested themselves in several ways. First, the STC's networking and educational culture and the 29 conferences I attended have helped me establish personal friendships and business relationships as well as keep up on industry events. Those relationships have led to joint ventures for larger projects I could not have pursued alone.


Second, STC's collegial culture has provided access to the deep, varied, and unique experiences from fellow members. The consultants-only list serve is a tremendous asset through which I can tap into the STC "collective."


Third, the STC emphasizes independence and ethics. The Code of Ethics that every member signs annually is an imprimatur of independence and business ethics that has been important to my clients (every new client asks if I am independent). It assures that any STC member with whom I team subscribes to the same baseline values that I do.


Fourth, the STC Vendor Advisory Council (VAC), affiliated manufacturers and service providers that support the ideals of independent consulting, has provided invaluable contacts. Consultant liaison programs provide a portal into the corporate "maze" and can identify local contacts, facilitate access to executives and product managers, provide updated information, and are a resource to "disagreement" resolution situations that sometimes arise.


For me the STC is an organization from which I have received benefits exceeding what I contributed, and that includes my dues.


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