Is Your Business Ready For The Next Five Years?
Join us on Wednesday October 7th, 5:30pm at the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, New Jersey for the Executive Business Solutions Conference. You will hear from a variety of business experts that can help your company prevent cyber-crime, lower overhead, reduce risk, and stay as efficient as possible. You’ll learn about the following topics:
- • Cyber-crime and security and how it can impact your business
– Keynote Speaker Philip Frigm is a Supervisory Special Agent within the FBI’s Newark Division. Prior to working for the FBI, he worked in varying IT administration and management positions and obtained a Master’s of Science in Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology focusing on telecommunications policy and multimedia development. SSA Frigm joined the FBI in 2005, and was assigned to the Newark division after completing initial training at the FBI’s academy in Quantico, VA. Read more by clicking here.
- • Advantages to moving your phone systems, servers, and desktops to the Cloud
- • How to create a 5 year IT strategy
- • Ways to recover money from your utility companies and wireless expenses
- • How to reduce , and recover overall business expenses, including health insurance, payroll and worker comp
- • How to audit your insurance program and uncover obstacles and hidden dangers
- • And much more! See The Conference Agenda Here for More Details.
In addition to our informative and pertinent program, we are pleased to also have Paul Ursich the director of CFO services at Wiss and Co. to briefly speak on his views regarding the financial challenges facing today’s business owners and executives.He has helped many clients streamline operations by helping them migrate to the Cloud as well as offering his accounting processes and procedures experience. Read more by clicking here.
This exclusive, invitation only event will be held at the exceptional Highlawn Pavilion, located in Eagle Rock Reservation and co-located with the 9/11 Memorial. Enjoy open bar, hot appetizers, carving stations and a raw bar while learning from business solution experts that will help your business succeed in this ever changing market. Click Here to Learn More About Our Sponsors.
Please RSVP at your earliest convenience as we are limited to 50 guests
Are you over your head in overhead? Applied Utility Auditors has numerous solutions.
We consult on a range of issues important to you such as utility bill auditing, energy consulting, telecom solutions,internet access, and telephone systems. We deal with issues such as water/sewer rates, and refunds, electric rates, natural gas, solar power solutions, and financing of same; regional mall, and strip mall management review and needs assessment. We also are expert in discovering water leaks and repairing same. Whether your supplier is United Water, Newark Water, the Jersey City Water Dept., or you have issues from Maine to Florida and points west, we can help. We work to insure that our clients receive appropriate credits and or refunds from the responsible utility. With over 30 years of experience our goal is to meet or exceed our clients’ expectations.
We can work with you staff and enhance your current efforts related to energy issues or we can take over the entire utility audit/cost process. It should be noted that utility rates are open to interpretation. We explore the gray areas as well as determine if you are in the correct rate group. Utility rates change often, and your utility/ telecom provider is under no obligation to provide you with a newer, lower rate. As part of our review we ask you to provide us with a letter of authorization so we may review your usage and or billing history.This helps us examine
for errors and refunds. Just as important, we can determine if you are eligible for a rate group
change, a rider, or discount that you have not been made aware of. We provide the options
available to you in writing, and we will provide an estimate of future savings. Any changes in rate group etc.,
will of course require your approval.
To conclude, we do not sell any product related to utility use so we can look at solutions based on the
best fit for you, our client. Any invoice from our company will be based on actual refunds, savings, or
credits, and not on projected or nebulous savings.
We are only paid if you receive refunds, credits, or lower rates. So what are you waiting for? Call us at 877-209-0021 or Email Paul Steberger of AUA
REPRINTED FROM CIO BLOG
Unified communications, UC, “bridging the gap,” communications and collaboration, integrated communications … it’s being talked about everywhere – magazine articles, news snippets, tradeshows, software manufacturers and hardware manufacturers, among others. If you are in the phone, e-mail, chat, mobile or any other communications-related business, you’re being barraged by the term “unified communications.”
There is a wide disparity in perceptions in the marketplace as to what unified communications (UC) really is. The big picture is that UC is bringing in voice, video, workflow applications, social networking, etc. – all different forms of communications – to mediate one solution or interface. This is not an easy task, as it takes a lot of time, and companies need to chip away at each of these, working to get each one under their wings.
As the hosted IP communications market continues to grow, service providers are integrating more and more capabilities with traditional hosted telecom solutions. This includes UC integration with the full suite of Microsoft products allowing for a truly hosted UC environment where an IP phone system will fully integrate with your e-mail, voicemail and OCS – all in one model. UC takes your basic business-based technology like your voice communications and combines that with office communications (instant messenger, video conferencing, desktop sharing, telepresence, etc.). This will inevitably change the landscape of your business and it’s important to try to really understand the benefits of what UC means to you.
As a consumer you should be wary of the term unified communications. If you are buying a solution and being told that you’re being presented with a unified communications solution, make sure you know what it is and – more important – what it is not. At the very least you should expect some integration between your phone system and your messaging (e-mail) platform. Expect that your provider can offer the ability to provide voicemail, fax, e-mail, text messaging, voice communications and calendaring in one synchronized platform.
Companies that want this technology and try to do it themselves will see a significant cost capital expenditure to do it, as well as a tremendous investment of resources – mainly money to pay for a consultant’s time and time to get the implementation completed. The bigger opportunity in the marketplace is with other hosted Microsoft Partners and hosted VoIP providers. These companies will already have a back end in place for someone else already providing some of these solutions. This makes it easy to get a robust system without having to invest in that technology.
True unified communications is an amazing concept. Imagine having only one device or software application to manage and integrate all of your voicemails, e-mails, Twitters, Facebook friends and updates, texts and any other inbound or outbound communication. Pretty powerful. The challenge here is that everyone is using the concept and more specifically the term unified communications or UC way too loosely. I have seen many companies advertising simple functions that lead us to believe that almost every phone system is a unified communications solution. For example, voicemail to e-mail. Just about every phone system implemented after 2005 can convert a voicemail to an audio file and send it to an e-mail address. Is this unified communications? I guess to a certain degree it is, but it is certainly not in the spirit of the innovative concept of the word. An e-mail in an inbox with an audio file attached is very basic. What makes the distinction here is that it is not truly integrated. For example, if you play this audio file on your PC, the voicemail on your PBX still shows as being new. This can create a confusing and un-integrated situation. Now when you go back through your voicemail on your phone, you have to listen to all of the voicemails that you already listened to on your PC. UC is supposed to create efficiency, not duplicate work.
Unified communications will change the way you communicate, making you and your employees more productive and efficient in your day-to-day business activities. Easily start a video conference call with a co-worker and have a question asked and answered in seconds rather than minutes by not having to walk over to their desk or another floor, exchange the usual hellos and short talk and then get to the task at hand. By using these robust communications all of that fluff is no longer needed and it creates more efficiency in how people work. Get it done quickly and see the savings in quality of communications – things that would’ve been more difficult to explain over the phone are much easier to share face-to-face with video conferencing, sharing boards, etc. UC offers efficient use of employee time and less distractions outside of the traditional business requirements. It’s amazing how people don’t realize how inefficient they can be when they are relying on just voice alone.
-William Bumbernick, CEO, Alteva
Reprinted from http://www.njbiz.com/
Are billable hours going away? Experts differ, but all agree: How we pay for legal services is undergoing a big change
By Daria Meoli
, August 14, 2015 at 9:35 AM – Last modified: August 14, 2015 at 9:36 AM
The recession hit the legal industry hard.
Corporations were forced to find ways to cut back on their spending – and weren’t afraid to ask to renegotiate payment structures for the services they used.
Law firms, needing to maintain their client base, were forced to change. What they didn’t realize, industry experts say, is that they were creating a new norm.
And this new norm has many firms and clients playing by a new rule: No more billable hours.
Patrick C. Dunican Jr., chairman and managing director of Gibbons PC, said firms have had to learn to adjust.
“We are seeing things in the private practice of law we have never seen before and all signs point to the fact that it may not go back to the way it was,” he said.
“Companies are buying legal services through procurement means as if we were selling a widget.”
Michael X. McBride, managing partner of Roseland-based Connell Foley, certainly feels that way.
“A lot of companies are looking for innovative ways to budget legal costs,” he said. “Clients are looking at legal services in a more task-oriented way. They call with specific legal issues and want to budget on a transaction-basis.
“More and more clients are looking for alternative fee structures, which may include discounts on standard billing rates or bonuses based on performance.”
Dunican, who is the sitting chair of the board of visitors at Seton Hall University School of Law, said how quickly a client pays also is up for discussion, noting it’s not uncommon for clients to ask firms to accommodate alternative fee structures, including extending payment terms as far out as 120 days.
The trend is everywhere.
According to a recent study by Altman Weil, a national legal management consultancy, 80 percent of lawyers believe non-hourly billing is a permanent trend within the profession.
That’s not surprising to Mark A. Robertson, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division, a current a delegate to ABA congress and the author of “Alternative Fees for Business Lawyers and Their Clients.”
He said the ability to adapt to the new pay structure will help determine winners and losers going forward.
“The firms who have been having the most success are breaking litigation into bite-sized pieces and determining the costs involved,” he said.
The trend is not only changing the way firms do business with clients but how they do business with their own associates, as many firms are changing the way they determine salaries and bonuses.
Labor and employment firm Jackson Lewis P.C., which has two offices in the state, eliminated the billable hour metric in January.
Why bill by the hour?
Perhaps the biggest reason the billable hour has lasted this long: It is an extremely profitable model for firms.
According to the National Association for Law Placement, on average, firms require associates to bill a minimum of between 1,900 and 2,500 hours per year. At midsized firms, clients are charged an average of between $300 and $400 per hour.
If you split the difference and charge $350 per hour for 2,200 hours of work, that’s $770,000 in annual revenue. If you use an average annual salary of $250,000, you quickly see how profitable such a setup can be for the firm.
Company officials said they will now evaluate their associates based on several factors, including the ability to work with a team, efficiency, responsiveness to clients, pro bono work and more.
“Paying our people to bill more time does not align with our clients’ interest,” said Vincent A. Cino, chairman of Jackson Lewis. “We want our associates to work more effectively and work as a team, and so do our clients.”
The payoff can be a healthier work environment, as tying compensation to billable hours can lead to burnout – and create temptation for fraudulent billing, especially when firms were using the number of hours an associate bills as the basis for his or her bonus.
But don’t be confused: The death of the billable hour is not easy.
And it is not certain.
The move toward alternative fees has gained momentum, but there are corporate clients who still prefer traditional hourly billing.
Cino, in fact, said that when he was considering eliminating all billable hours – whether requested or not – the idea was met with stiff resistance from some corporate clients, which still use billable hours as a means for auditing their legal services.
Bill Ferreira, principal of Morristown-based Ferreira Law, wasn’t surprised.
Ferreira said the success of an alternative fee or billable hour for both the firm and the client is largely dependent on the practice area or type of service being provided.
With some clients, Ferreira has served as an outsourced general counsel and had success with a monthly retainer fee.
“In some cases, it is so important that we are the first call our clients make that we don’t want them to hesitate because they are concerned the clock is running,” he said.
But, he said, that doesn’t always work.
“For certain types of cases, there is no more accurate way to assess costs related to a person’s time,” he said.
He feels the billable hour will live on.
“To say the billable hour is dead would be a gross overstatement,” he said.