x
Lite_Rider 12/4/2012 | 10:01:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom This is actually meant to be a serious post.

I think LightReading should sponsor a contest called: "Guess the number of Orange Jump Suits".

Here's how I see it playing out...

Play it like a horse race. Put the list of the 15 most critically watched companies:
* WorldCom
* Qwest
* Global Crossing
* etc.

Then, have readers guess how many employees/executives will be indicted by Christmas time (election day is a better bet).

Then, sort of like the Tri-fecta at a race track, you select winners for a prize of some sort.

It would be fun and illuminating. Who knows? Some of the posts might uncover some leads for the DOJ and SEC to pursue.

Fun with a public service...oh, and it would increase bandwidth demands...so, it is self-serving, too.

Lite_Rider
papabear 12/4/2012 | 10:04:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom See I told 400 was a small goal!
papabear 12/4/2012 | 10:04:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 400 is a small goal. Why not make it 500?
Fortunecookie 12/4/2012 | 10:04:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom before this thread completely dies? Don'tyou guys have any words to say?

Fortunecookie
fantomas 12/4/2012 | 10:05:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It's very easy to buy the IP of a pre-IPO dying start-up. Just make them an offer and the board will accept. Since the board is mostly investors, recovering even a percentage of their investment is usually what they are looking for.

The offer is for cents on the dollar of what was invested, the key employees are happy to have a job.

dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:06:05 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom that won't stop, or even slow down, american ceos exporting those jobs to india. They only care about making the next quarters numbers, even if they are destroying americans industrial base to do so.... It's looking like the gulf war will be the last war were americans have a technological edge....
lazydude 12/4/2012 | 10:06:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Yep :(((

-------
Jamesbond, things have changed a lot for better, since you left the shores.
--------

You mean worse for a real lazydude...:).

IL
inlight 12/4/2012 | 10:06:13 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Jamesbond, things have changed a lot for better, since you left the shores.
--------

You mean worse for a real lazydude...:).

IL
lazydude 12/4/2012 | 10:06:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom That's true. In most of the companies, only 9 or 10 days are off as national holidays. If the occasion for holiday falls on a week-end, the number could become lesser, unlike in US where most of the holidays are either on Monday or Friday.

Jamesbond, things have changed a lot for better, since you left the shores.
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:06:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom more typical in india is about 12-15 national
holidays and 3 weeks PTO. it has changed. 5 yrs
ago, 4-6 weeks PTO must have been common.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:06:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Please explain exactly how something can be "10 times lower" than something else.


(hand up, gesticulating wildly)
I know, I know, pick me: By being 1/10 the size of the other. (smiles broadly and stands up in class to take a bow). Seriously, I think the guy means 10 times smaller. Engineers are not known for their command of language even when it is their native language.

Any other questions Teach? ;-)
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:06:32 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
When you need ingenuity, creativity, individuality, I agree with the original poster.
Americans are culturally at an advantage.


I think it should be pointed out that the word "American" includes, and I think especially includes , those bold, bright, and ambitious folks who left India or China or Vietnam (or any one of 100 nations) to become Americans. It isn't race or even really culture, in the traditional sense of the word, that defines American creativity and economic resilience--it's an attitude. That attitude is present especially in the folks that have been coming here for generations to be successful and help build this country.

By the way, I have some personal experience looking at the work of some of these offshore engineering houses. There really is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter how much the bean counters want to make it happen. Even if the quality of the offshore product were comparable, one need only contemplate the kind of havoc the Kashmir near-blowup sowed in the offshore SW consulting world to know why penny-wise is often pound foolish.

Everyone who is advocating moving to offshore development of SW is ignoring the very real problems on the horizon in Asia. Kashmir has not gone away--and it won't. It is a festering sore that no one in the area seems to have the political courage to solve. Indonesia and Malaysia are very vulnerable to the spread of fundamentalist Islam and China may be an economic powerhouse but it has fundamental problems with the legitimacy of its political structure and the passage of the baton to the next generation. The gerontocracy there is riding a tiger and they are not quite sure how they will get off.
jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:06:33 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Are holidays/vacation in the UK as generous as in Spain? I seem to remember the Spanish receving 30 paid holidays a year.
Curious about these things.

-----------------

India has close to 30 paid public holidays.
Plus you can get upto 4 weeks of vacation.
mbledug 12/4/2012 | 10:06:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >Mbledug-
>Are holidays/vacation in the UK as generous as
>in Spain? I seem to remember the Spanish
>receving 30 paid holidays a year.
>Curious about these things.

I don't know about UK, I live and work in Germany.
We do have 30 paid holidays a year.Moreover, in
some companies, you could get additional holidays
money (Yup! The 30 holidays are counted as
working days, and you get additional money if you
do take your holidays. In one case I know, the
company pays the cost of your flight --in this
case the person flew from Germany to Indonesia,
and the company paid the roundtrip tickets).

Mbledug
fusionboy 12/4/2012 | 10:06:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Mbledug-
Are holidays/vacation in the UK as generous as in Spain? I seem to remember the Spanish receving 30 paid holidays a year.
Curious about these things.
mbledug 12/4/2012 | 10:06:55 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >Is continental Europe better in terms of >salaries? As a EU citizen I assume you can work
>anywhere in the EU.
>
>- SD

Nope! The salaries are lower than in the US, and
the taxes are also higher here. But, you have more
paid holidays and it's not so easy for a company
to lay people off. Moreover, if you are laid off,
you could still receive up to a certain percentage
of your last salary for a certain period of time
(you get the money usually from the govermental
office in charge of labor/employment).

Mbledug
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:06:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
This is one of the reasons behind the Internet/Telecon insanity of the late 90s: too may pinkos decided that they discovered the perfect (some call it third) way of becoming fabilously rich without actually doing anything.


Pinko? "fabilously"? Oh goody! Another true believer. Do you have an underground fortress in Montana or Wyoming that you will retreat to when the Black Helicopters come? Your note would be in crayon if the internet supported crayons wouldn't it? ;-) Sheesh.
sridude 12/4/2012 | 10:07:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >Here in the UK while working for a US firm I was >on less than -ķ30K as an engineer. The same firm >paid over -ķ45K equivalent to its associate >engineers - Technicians we'd call them in, the >US and -ķ60K to their engineers.

>There is no comparison. WE got expensive petrol, >expensive food, expensive taxes, expensive ?>cars....

~ 11 years ago I was looking for faculty positions in th UK. I was astounded to find that at top UK universities (Imperial and Cambridge to be specific) starting salaries were considerably lower than even post-doc salaries in the US (and continental Europe). No wonder top British talent ends up in the US.

Is continental Europe better in terms of salaries?
As a EU citizen I assume you can work anywhere in the EU.

- SD
yikes_stripes 12/4/2012 | 10:07:21 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Don't forget you've got the Queen too.
Titanic Optics 12/4/2012 | 10:07:22 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom erbiumfiber--good way to beat the doldrums in the job market as your experience in patents affords you flexibility that many engineers lack.

GEOGRAPHY:
"Since these can be done from any computer, geography is ot an issue."

NO "PIGEON-HOLING":
"I have had to jump industries many times (telecom, medical equipment, biotech, optics) but for some magical reason I cannot fathom, employers let me deal with all kinds of complex tech outside my area of expertise like having a law degree conferred all engineering knowledge upon me (or they think you don't need to know anything about the technology to write patents-big mistake)."

jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:07:26 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom fairport:

I admit, I made quite a bit of money in this industry

----------------

Some of the money you made belongs to me. I hope
I get it back.

erbiumfiber 12/4/2012 | 10:07:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Sorry to hear about your problems. Have you looked into the UK patent office? I know the European office is hiring (banner as on their website about needing 400 new examiners) as is the US (looking for about 1000 people). I have one former telecom co-worker already working there and several more former co-workers who have applied (we are lucky because I admit it is geographically convenient). Even if the government is not hiring, often law firms are looking for engineers to do patent searches, etc. Since these can be done from any computer, geography is ot an issue. As I said to my former co-workers, you don't have to stay in patents forever, just until the market picks up. And future employers will like the fact that you understand how patents work, can analyze competitors patents, etc.

Anyway, just a suggestion (as it is for any US people reading this who are willing to come to Virginia). I ended up at the Patent Office because no one in the semiconductor/electronics field was hiring when I graduated with a materials engineering degree. I found I liked the work and went to law school at night...I have had to jump industries many times (telecom, medical equipment, biotech, optics) but for some magical reason I cannot fathom, employers let me deal with all kinds of complex tech outside my area of expertise like having a law degree conferred all engineering knowledge upon me (or they think you don't need to know anything about the technology to write patents-big mistake).

Best of luck to you all-I also was laid off recently and am picking up consulting here and there...
finn mackewl 12/4/2012 | 10:07:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I can't get any relevent work with my Telco component experience. In the UK the happening industries are Defence (too far away), Medical(same), Automotive (trying) and Rail(trying).

The electronics industry is just above the waterline.

So I'm taking anything now just to pay the bills, even -ķ6 pr hr jobs.
finn mackewl 12/4/2012 | 10:07:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Here in the UK while working for a US firm I was on less than -ķ30K as an engineer. The same firm paid over -ķ45K equivalent to its associate engineers - Technicians we'd call them in, the US and -ķ60K to their engineers.

There is no comparison. WE got expensive petrol, expensive food, expensive taxes, expensive cars....
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:07:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom its simple. there cannot be a dollar to dollar
comparison of salary between two countries where
cost of goods and services is different.

40K is a poor wage in US , its a hi-end engineers
wage in india. 40k barely keeps one out of poverty
in US, but in india that can bring a lifestyle a
150-200k salary brings.
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:07:32 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It is very un-fair for some company such as AT&T to compete with the company using phony nubmers (such as WCOM) for so long (how many years?), and got beaten up in the number game. Is any remedy for all those companies fall victim of the WCOM, Enron, along with all their share holders and laid off employees.

st
knave 12/4/2012 | 10:07:33 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Hey Everybody,

talk about teamwork! I'd like to congratulate everyone - Bernie, the guys at Qwest, the good folks over in Bermuda, McLeod. You spanked those power puffs in Houston. Almost took the Dow and the global economy down in one fell swoop!

P.S. Gates and ol' Warren send love and kisses too!

willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:07:33 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I admit, I made quite a bit of money in this industry.

----------

Did any company you worked for survive, or were they all stock frauds?
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:07:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom So, please try to understand that cost of
living in India is ten times lower.

---------

Please explain exactly how something can be "10 times lower" than something else. That is an illiterate expression. I hope you are not masquerading as an engineer.
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:07:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom netskeptic said:
"it was rather opposite"!
-------------------
gee, it is very interesting to talk to you. Your answer just point out how different our thought process. We look things differently form different point of view. It like DWDM, two close together wavelength, in the same fiber, but transmit different signals (not sure if you are marketee or software or system engineer). If the wavelength interact, wow, "4 wave mixing" take place...problem occur. However, we can use the "4 wave mixing" as wavelength conversion (very useful thing), it sure take a lot of effort (on both sides).

Well, look like I may want to hop up other wavelength to take a look of different "school of thoughts". (I am a bit depressed to find out the truth that we are further apart than what I thought would be...even facing the same facts).

st
fairport 12/4/2012 | 10:07:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom So, you are a veteran of 20 years. I was too. I've invested most of my adult life in this industry. Then last year, I got caught in a downsizing AND a bankruptcy. I admit, I made quite a bit of money in this industry. I'm not biting the hand that fed me. The point is, it is no longer feeding a very large number of veterans such as myself.

You may wake up sometime in the near future to discover that the job you hold so dearly is gone. And even though you make finding a new position a full time job, there is nothing forthcoming. We don't sit around watching Oprah, we've got to work in another industry and start from scratch.

Yes the bubble has burst, but it has burst on all of us, veterans included
fairport 12/4/2012 | 10:07:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom So, you are a veteran of 20 years. I was too. I've invested most of my adult life in this industry. Then last year, I got caught in a downsizing AND a bankruptcy. I admit, I made quite a bit of money in this industry. I'm not biting the hand that fed me. The point is, it is no longer feeding a very large number of veterans such as myself.

You may wake up sometime in the near future to discover that the job you hold so dearly is gone. And even though you make finding a new position a full time job, there is nothing forthcoming. We don't sit around watching Oprah, we've got to work in another industry and start from scratch.

Yes the bubble has burst, but it has burst on all of us, veterann included
bitchesbrew 12/4/2012 | 10:07:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > Bet you aren't making a ton of money on their

Left Cisco 2 years ago. Had a fairly good ride down with puts also. Just watching the fun now.

> India are barely making minimum wage.

Cisco pays their employees extremely well by local standards. Nobody is forced to work for Cisco or other companies. Employees are free to leave wherever they want to. Slaves, by definition are forced to do things they do not want to. There is no abuse also. Cisco is just another company to work for to make a living.

calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:07:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "I dare to say your friends in India are barely making minimum wage"

IBM/TI/Motorola employees get as much
as $500-$2000 per month. This is too high
a salary by Indian standard where you
can get 1000 sqft apartment for anything between
$30 to $200 per month and food with a four people
ffamily will not cost you more than $60-$100
per month.

So, please try to understand that cost of
living in India is ten times lower. It is
the moral and environmental pollution
for which people leave India and come
to western countries. I don't think
my standard of living or quality of job
has increased here. But defnitely I am living
better because people in US on average
scale are more honest and the place is
much less polluted gifted by the nature.
new_light 12/4/2012 | 10:07:41 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom i made two tons of money with Cisco's options. Bet you aren't making a ton of money on their options now and I dare to say your friends in India are barely making minimum wage.
The point I'm trying to make is that as long you let people use and abuse you, you will not get ahead. I don't know why everyone here in Amrecia is worried about cheap Indian programmers. As soon as India and Pakistan go to war, watch the big companies come scurrying back home...
calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:07:41 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "As soon as India and Pakistan go to war, watch the big companies come scurrying back home..."

They will not go to war. People in neither
country want it. It's just like another
political game like cold war..
calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:07:41 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "assuming they teach you this much calculation in India"

Probably you must know that arithmatic
was invented in India.
new_light 12/4/2012 | 10:07:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom My friend,
Have you no shame. I for one would not be spouting off about my country if it were using me for slave labor. That is nothing to be proud of:
The Cisco's and IBM's are exploiting your people and you're proud of it!
bitchesbrew 12/4/2012 | 10:07:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom new_light:
The Cisco's and IBM's are exploiting your people and you're proud of it!

We are here on our own choice. We are free to go whenever we want to.

Cisco is exploiting? I made a ton of $ with CSCO options. I like being exploited.
CogswellCogs 12/4/2012 | 10:07:44 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Hey! I've had two Pontiacs, and they were both great cars! So were my Chevrolets while, on the other hand, my BMW was nothing but trouble. Go figure!

Hope this helps,

Cogs
melwrc 12/4/2012 | 10:07:44 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom theanswer said: How can a pre-IPO company's IP (intellectual property) be caculated? Is is easy to buy out the IP from a dying startup and how is it done?

What was done at my failed startup experience: Bank basically just auctioned it off to anyone who wanted to look at it. They bought the bits and pieces that they wanted to. The last 2 wks from when we were told about the 99% chance of closing to the official end, several "competitors" were invited in and toured what we had available for IP. Most would-be buyers wait for the bankruptcy since it is cheaper and less entangled than a dying startup.
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:07:45 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am certain cyber_techy is of pakistani origin.
his comment about 'arjun tank' seals the deal
plus his india baiting and derogatory religious
reference. a mundane pkt classification job...
...now here to punt this rogue pkt ?

americans need not feel embarrassed :)


melwrc 12/4/2012 | 10:07:45 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I knew what I was doing as a well-paid mechanical engineer in telecom was easy work. My salary was due to a shortage of people. I was there for the money. I'm glad I got in telecom at the end of the bubble so it wasn't too late for me to learn my lesson.
At some pt you have to be honest with yourselves and accept a paycut. Don't value your work based on what you were paid in 1999. Most people don't deserve that many dollars. So many people drew big salaries for limited experience just because there was a shortage of people. Now there is no shortage. So move on and quit being so bitter. Blaming the corp crooks, those "California VC's", Bush, and whomever else you choose is pointless.

Take a look at what you did and be honest with yourself about its value. How original were your thoughts? Were you there just because you had some technical certification that was in short supply at the time? Could a large part of the population do what you did?

Answer those questions and move on. I am now in a place where I have true value and am happy to be here.

And to all those who wish to flame me with stories of certain individuals that you know who don't fit my generalization, I don't care. A story of a single person with a dependable pontiac won't make me believe it's good car.
theanswer 12/4/2012 | 10:07:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom If you would come to the Dallas Telecom corridor now! Suck up the talent and form a killer telecom group you could do some great things for the economy! You could get your feet wet with some excellent telecom programmers and engineers needing work and develop next generation equipment ready to sale when the economy comes back. Don't let the chinese, korean, japanese companies get there first. This is a fontier ripe for your investvests. Spread the word engineers to Bill Gates.
inlight 12/4/2012 | 10:07:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Hmmm...
Didn't you see this today?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/ne...

IL
Titanic Optics 12/4/2012 | 10:07:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Relative to other professions, it is harder for a merely "good" engineer to change jobs than a merely "good" salesman, marketing person, financial professional, etc. Sure, there is a small (< 1 %) group of technical professionals that are so reknown that they will always be in demand, but the majority suffers in comparison to other professions when it comes time to leave a company. I've come up with three things (free time, networking, and specialization) that harm an engineer in a job search relative to other professions. Any other problems you can think of?

Consider:


"Free time" on the job--

An engineer is often in a cubicle, and cannot very effectively deal with situations requiring him/her to leave messages and get return calls from recruiters. This is a stark contrast to a salesman, who is out of the office and can take return calls at any time, make outbound calls at times other than lunch, and even set up interviews when everyone thinks he is visiting customers.


"Networking"

For the engineer, this amounts to former colleagues at conferences, or in some cases former classmates. For an older engineer, the former classmates are too scattered into other industries, and unless he has been a job-hopper, he won't have a lot of former colleagues. For a salesman, even a mediocre one, he will have a big Rolodex, and if he has done acceptable work, he has a ready-made list of people to help in a job search. The engineer is instead buried inside his company--and the more technology, the less chance he will have to network, lest he betray any company secrets.


"Specialization"

This also hurts the engineer. I used to be an engineer, but in my first job out of school, I became an expert at minutae involving a tiny niche of the aerospace industry. When things shrank in the early 1990s, nobody cared about that skill set. This contrasts with other professions such as finance, where the skill set is more transferable to other industries. Sure, a medical device firm might hire a laser engineer, but they are unlikely to pay a premium for one that can design 980nm pumps that don't require grating stabilization over a merely "good" laser engineer from the local State U.
theanswer 12/4/2012 | 10:07:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom How can a pre-IPO company's IP (intellectual property) be caculated? Is is easy to buy out the IP from a dying startup and how is it done?
calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:07:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "assuming they teach you this much calculation in India"

Probably you must know that arithmatic
was invented in India.
jim_smith 12/4/2012 | 10:07:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "ps: When did LightReading become an
advertising/publicity board for rat worshipping
programmers?"
_______________________________________

You better start worhipping too otherwise you are
gonna loose the rat race!
DarkWriting 12/4/2012 | 10:07:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >>>ps: When did LightReading become an advertising/publicity board for rat worshipping programmers?<<<

FYI, Lightreading is available on the Internet for users all over the world, not just the USA. Arrogant assholes like you are the reason foreigners fly jets into buildings. Please do not travel abroad and give the rest of us Americans a bad image.

For the original Indian poster, please understand that all Americans are not like this person.

DW
fantomas 12/4/2012 | 10:07:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom i heard most of the company is gone and only a few engineers are left so that they can sell the IP along with the engineers who developed.
cyber_techy 12/4/2012 | 10:07:57 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The final result:
AT&T, Lucent, Cisco, IBM , name it..
everybody is downsizing in US but
increasing their Indian operation..

This has more to do with cost cutting than with skills. This is in no way limited to India (so much for this cheap publicity of India). Every Asian country is seeing similar growith. Of course when start from zero, even a small gain in number seems big in percentage (assuming they teach you this much calculation in India).

ps: When did LightReading become an advertising/publicity board for rat worshipping programmers?
calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:08:00 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Surely Americans have ingenuity..
And I agree future inventions to come
will always be from US..

But, WDM has reached a stage where
to meet the next 10 years of bandwidth demand
we do not need any major optical innovation
except you keep reducing loss budget and
cost by going to china..

How much of innovation you need to
have reconfigurability in WDM?
It's a routine job now!!
Performance and fault management are still
difficult but does not require American
ingenuity..American salary is injustified
for any routine development..

Let us not talk about the scientific
achievment of India..The person who
wrote about Arjun tank left his country
for better future in US and now
he is complaining against his motherland!!!

How India can achieve anything??
From first to fourth category of Indian
students come to US and become the topper
in their respective US universities!!
In every reputed IT/Telecom
industry in US,
the students from Indian Institute of
Technologies are in lead role. But look
at their mother land!! It's the fifth category
of students who are employed in Indian defence
research.
Despite having world class facilities,
Indian research labs could not do anything because there is no one interested to stay back!!

But situation changed with Infosys and Wipro
culture and now even a sizable percentage of
second category students are staying back
in those IT industries where you get paid
in dollar in India. The final result:
AT&T, Lucent, Cisco, IBM , name it..
everybody is downsizing in US but
increasing their Indian operation..

My point is, race in telecom is over..
Carrying and distributing terabits
over thousands of kilometers do not require
"American ingenuity" but routine development from
South East Asian countries. With only
seven to ten major optical impairments and
good modeler in the market, optical telecom technology
is not that high-tech when compared to
the complexicity of building high performing
silicon technology.

So, better not talk about the necessity of "American ingenuity"
in telecom. Let reserve it for
NASA and American Navy.
mc_jaded 12/4/2012 | 10:08:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Any truth to the rumour of layoffs at Solidum? If so, how many?
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > Ha, finally, we can agree on something. you can
> not really modify a frog to be a prince. Fairy
> tale is far from reality (DNA still counts most
> of the time). Too many time, the architecture
> is not ready but got pushed forward due to "pre-
> annoucement (someone set up un-realistic
> date)", "competitive spirit", "market driving
> force", etc.etc.
> The un-willingness of admit one's (the
> designer) inadequacy become common when the
> layoff notice flying around.

Hey, I am talking about supposedly happy times of 1998-2000, the primary reason that some hardworking people were producing bastards was that business side of the house did not care about actually making money on the product - they were going to have an IPO no matter what and they did not care about anything else. So, it was not a consequence of too much market pressure, it was rather opposite.

Thanks,

Netskeptic

willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Bad example... GM didn't realize that mass production was mass production. Luxury or otherwise. Better example: Japan's Fifth Generation AI projects. Total and complete failure. When you need ingenuity, creativity, individuality, I agree with the original poster. Americans are culturally at an advantage.

---------

Which is why the U.S. imported all those Nazi scientists to design our missiles?
dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:08:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom well, I talked to the indian engineers today, and they agre with lazydude that:
Even a figure of USD 100,000 is exceptional. In an organization in India, those who make that much can be counted with fingers(See the disclosures of WIT or INFY). More realistic figures are something like USD 30-40K a year for people with 10-15 years experience
new_light 12/4/2012 | 10:08:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "The Japanese can make those cheap small cars, but they can't make luxury automobiles."

-----------------------------------------------
The only alleged luxury car from Japan that I know of is the Lexus. I'll take my Jaguar over the Lexus any day...
dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:08:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Is There Any Way Out Of the Telecom Mess?
WorldCom's fall is hardly the end of the debacle. Customers might not like what they find when it's over.
FORTUNE
Monday, July 22, 2002
By Stephanie N. Mehta

In the days after WorldCom's ignominious revelation that it had buried $3.9 billion in expenses, it's been instructive to watch rivals and suppliers backpedal from a company whose successes the entire industry once sought to emulate. "Qwest is a different company, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe that," said newly appointed Qwest CEO Richard Notebaert in a statement. "Nortel Networks has no material exposure to WorldCom," declared the Canadian telecom equipment maker.

Telecom executives have been rushing to convince investors--and maybe themselves--that everything is going to be all right. WorldCom's woes are confined to WorldCom, they seem to want to believe, and once the noxious cloud from the scandal clears, we'll all see that the only way for the industry to go is up. Says Gary Smith, CEO of optical-gear maker Ciena: "We've been very cautious not to call a bottom, but it is difficult to imagine things getting worse than they are."

Unfortunately for investors and telecom employees, such thinking may be supremely wishful. Sure, WorldCom's flagrant bookkeeping abuses may prove unique--it reported as capital spending a portion of the fees it pays the Baby Bells and others for network services, transforming a net loss in 2001 into a net profit. Nevertheless, Wall Street punished nearly all telecom stocks; as Fortune was going to press, many, including Qwest and Nortel, had yet to return to their pre-WorldCom-bombshell levels.

Investors' reaction was anything but uninformed. By coming clean with its accounting shenanigans, WorldCom--perhaps unintentionally--revealed just how hard it is for even large phone companies to make money amid a vast oversupply of network capacity and intense price competition. For a time WorldCom had seemed to have some kind of secret formula for producing decent margins where rivals couldn't. But those margins were deceptions, and the effect of WorldCom's bad math was to put additional pricing pressure on other carriers. "It has been destructive to the industry," says Bill Esrey, Sprint's CEO.

More broadly, the WorldCom debacle is ruining investors' and lenders' already diminished appetite for all things telecom, making it even more difficult for any but the strongest companies to raise capital or borrow money at favorable rates to deploy new products and services. "This is the era of telecom disinvestment," Scott Cleland, an independent telecom analyst, says glumly. "All of the phone companies are cannibalizing their capital expenditure budgets to remain profitable or simply stay solvent." The chill in spending will hurt major equipment makers such as Lucent and Nortel, which are already in bad shape, and they in turn will cut back orders to their suppliers, and so on along the food chain.

The bottom line? Far from having bottomed out, telecom still has a long way to fall in the coming months. Without access to capital, more companies will be forced to go bankrupt. Starved for new business, big equipment makers will have to retrench even further, shelving innovation while surviving largely on contracts to main-tain and upgrade the switches and soft-ware they have already installed. Many smal-ler telecom equipment companies will simply run out of cash. ''We're in crisis," says Gabriel Lowy, a telecom equipment analyst at Credit Lyonnais. ''We've just gone through the largest investment bubble in dollar terms in the history of the world. It is going to take years to unravel."

Just how telecom will unravel is a source of intense speculation and wildly divergent opinion. Pessimists fear that the industry is inalterably dysfunctional and will suck all participants into unhealthy behavior; in their view, failed phone companies emerging from Chapter 11 with little debt will have renewed license to fill their underused networks by offering deep discounts, goading the surviving big carriers to cut prices too and starting the whole miserable cycle all over again. Optimists believe that a healthy oligopoly of survivors with strong balance sheets will scoop up the assets of the losers for pennies on the dollar, restore order with sensible pricing, and have plenty of money to buy new gear so they can roll out all sorts of innovative services.

In reality the outcome will fall somewhere between these scenarios. Telecom isn't doomed to repeat all of its mistakes, but it's not going to get healthy any time soon. The coming months will bring wrenching changes--for telcos, their suppliers, their customers, and their investors--as companies try to grope their way out of the mess. Here's what to expect:

Consumers will pay more. After ravaging itself with price wars, the telecom industry is quietly looking for ways to raise prices--or at least keep them from falling further. That won't be easy. The Baby Bells, which are among the biggest players still standing, can't raise basic phone rates without permission from state regulators. And while the Bells have finally started winning regulators' approval to offer long-distance service, their entry means even more competition in that tapped-out segment. Same goes for the wireless sector, where in some markets as many as eight providers are duking it out for customers.

Nevertheless, phone companies are raising prices where they can, typically without drawing attention to it. WorldCom's MCI unit, for example, has doubled its basic Sunday long-distance rate to 20 cents a minute. Other long-distance carriers have added monthly fees or hiked the price of international calls. Local telcos, meanwhile, have edged up rates in their unregulated businesses, such as high-speed Internet access, where they happen to face relatively few competitors. Even in the long-distance market, the Bells tend to match, not undercut, the going rate. And wireless companies like Cingular and Verizon are starting to sign up credit-challenged prepaid customers, who usually pay slightly higher per-minute charges than their creditworthy counterparts.


Corporate customers will get red-carpet treatment. The good news for the telecom sector is that demand for data services is surging. While voice traffic is barely growing, Internet traffic will climb some 85% this year, according to RHK, a consulting firm in South San Francisco, and most of that traffic will be generated by corporations.

It's also the bad news. For all the decline in long-distance rates in recent years, prices for basic data services have fallen even more precipitously, raising serious questions about the profitability of the data business--as WorldCom, owner of the biggest Internet backbone, so vividly illustrated. Consider this: The price of frame-relay service, a decade-old technology for moving big data files around the country, has fallen nearly 50% in seven years. Yet many carriers haven't experienced a commensurate drop in their cost of providing the service--which means their margins are being squeezed. That is painful for companies like AT&T, which, after it spins off its cable-TV unit, will make most of its revenue from business services. In the quarter ended March 31, AT&T's profit margin in the corporate market was 13.5% before interest and taxes, down from 16.5% a year earlier, mainly because its fastest-growing businesses--notably data services--are less profitable than its old long-distance business, which is shrinking fast.

So where will future profits come from? The service providers will have to live up to their names by offering so-called value-added services--ones that corporations will pay premiums for. Yes, we've heard carriers blab for years about how they'll become "outsourcers" like IBM, winning big contracts to manage all of a corporate customer's internal and external telecom traffic just as IBM runs corporate computer systems. This time the carriers will really have to do it.

Some telcos have started to make the move. AT&T says its revenues from managing corporate telecom networks have increased 21% in the past year. The edge that AT&T and other telcos have over traditional outsourcing players like IBM and EDS, consultants say, is their reputation for running highly reliable telecom networks--quite appealing to customers that are fanatical about security and steady service.

Having huge outsourcing accounts can be risky; IBM and EDS took hits recently because of worries about the failing health of some of their customers. But the greatest obstacle for telcos wanting to make this transformation may be cultural, says Pascal Aguirre, a telecom specialist with Adventis, a consulting firm in Boston. Instead of thinking of themselves as pipes-and-plumbing companies, something they've been for 100 years, the big phone companies will have to focus on why businesses use their networks. If they don't, they could very easily end up getting their pipes cleaned.

Innovations will get slow-rolled. Waiting for video service over your telephone lines? Ready to surf the Web on your cellphone? You may need to hold your breath a while longer. Cost cutting at big equipment makers like Lucent and Nortel, coupled with the phone companies' renewed fiscal conservatism, means that consumers and businesses won't be seeing much cool stuff come their way. "It costs money to deploy equipment for new services," says Frank Dzubeck, a telecom-industry analyst with Communication Network Architects in Washington, D.C., "and since the [initial] profit is so low, you slow-roll a deployment."

A great example is broadband wireless data service, which cellular companies in Europe had hoped to start deploying last year. But phone companies there had to take on huge debt to acquire licenses for the service and ended up short of funds for capital expenditures. So the new wireless data services, or 3G, will arrive more slowly, with the first deployments in Europe later this year. A full-scale rollout of broadband wireless will take even longer in the U.S.

Slower progress isn't a wholly bad thing for the industry. Instead of introducing services to please Wall Street, phone companies will focus on what's best for their balance sheets. "New services are going to be rolled out as they are appropriate," says Lehman Brothers telecom-gear analyst Steve Levy. "It used to be carriers would roll out services for strategic reasons like 'We have to capture the broadband user or we'll get killed.' Now the feeling is 'If we do this and we don't get a good return on our investment, we're going to get killed.' "

Welcome to 1995. If there's one thing on which all the telcos agree--Bells and long-distance companies, big equipment players and upstarts alike--it's the inevitability of consolidation. Where they disagree is how the industry will shake out. Many upstarts that are now seeking protection from creditors count on becoming growth stories when they emerge from bankruptcy--maybe even buyers of fallen rivals' assets. "We can become the global leader providing networking services ... to global enterprises and carriers," Global Crossing CEO John Legere said the day the company filed for Chapter 11.

Some analysts argue, however, that most companies coming out of bankruptcy won't be able to raise capital to expand--and telecom is a very capital-intensive business. Even worse, some of the assets the losers want to sell may never find a buyer if, say, no major telco needs yet another transatlantic cable. So only the biggest companies with the best balance sheets are likely to survive; front-runners seem to be Verizon, SBC, and BellSouth, which all enjoy relatively robust free cash flows.

Don't look for the telco of the future to post huge annual double-digit revenue gains. The slowdown in innovation--and the likely post-WorldCom crackdown on accounting methods--means investors should expect top-line growth of, say, 5% to 7%. Profit growth will be modest and steady, and some of the big guys will even raise dividends. ''You will end up with a telecom market dominated by service providers and equipment companies that have been around for a long time," says Lehman's Levy. Choices will diminish, consumer prices will level off or start to rise, and stuff like caller ID will be what passes for innovation. In other words, the industry might look a lot like it did in 1995--back when telecom was considered a safe, if boring, investment, and almost no one had heard of a little company called WorldCom.
yesteryear 12/4/2012 | 10:08:05 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "The Japanese can make those cheap small cars, but they can't make
luxury automobiles."

- General Motors, 1977

---------

Bad example... GM didn't realize that mass production was mass production. Luxury or otherwise. Better example: Japan's Fifth Generation AI projects. Total and complete failure. When you need ingenuity, creativity, individuality, I agree with the original poster. Americans are culturally at an advantage.

-yesteryear
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:05 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Chinese or Indians replacing American ingenuity will not happen in my life time and I plan on living for a very long time...

----------

"The Japanese can make those cheap small cars, but they can't make luxury automobiles."

- General Motors, 1977
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > you mean SNMPv3?

To be precise I meant SNMPv2C.

Thanks,

Netskeptic
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:08:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom netskeptic:
"Look around, people are/were burning night oil on bastard systems that
never had a chance to work properly due to fundumental architecture
problems, "
----------
Ha, finally, we can agree on something. you can not really modify a frog to be a prince. Fairy tale is far from reality (DNA still counts most of the time). Too many time, the architecture is not ready but got pushed forward due to "pre-annoucement (someone set up un-realistic date)", "competitive spirit", "market driving force", etc.etc.
The un-willingness of admit one's (the designer) inadequacy become common when the layoff notice flying around.

You have to work with someone who is confident, not affraid to admit his/her limitation. on the other hand, the high up should not treat that as "defect", but as "virtue". Too many times, the admit of his/her's limitation was consider by high up as "weakness" (Heard someone said "you got hired to do the job, I don't want to know any problems"). Create an environment that you have to defend your idea no matter what....As we= engineer understood that: you either pay $ early, to do it right on drafting board (or architecture), or you pay $$$$ later, to fix the problems at grand scale (provide you are lucky enough so you actually CAN fix the problems). Most of the time, the project manager's tactic is just put more "make-up" on a "frog"....Hopefully, nobody would notice the difference (call him "prince" when he really is not, for example...very common in software industry, just look at the MS website, search for patches after the new product release...).

Bean counter and short term planer never understand the cheap paper (re-design just need trash can, and paper to start over), expensive product (re-qual, re-pair, field recall...etc.) theory.

st
jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom some pretty qualified hardworking people spent a lot of time in the lab doing rate-based flow control, SNMPv2, RSVP, VOIP, MPLS, COPS, RPR and other vapor, while another bunch of pretty qualified people were busy inventing new and new vapor schemes working at standard bodies. These are all excesses of BEYOND HORIZON ROI period.

----------------------------

you mean SNMPv3?
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:08:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom netskeptic said:
"I respectfully disagree, the primary reason of both .com and telecom
bubbles/busts was investor concentration on BEYOND THE HORIZON
ROI, where current revenues simply did not matter much
(e.g. Amazon)."
-------------
have to give you half credit for that. However, never understand patent for "idea" and "growth potential" ... However, that is most likely not come from "Engineering" (you not suggest Amazon engineer, do you?). What ever they can call themself as "re-engineering specialist", boiled down to it, many of them are not graduated from Rock Hard Engineering, but "Hotel Managers" and psycologist got executive MBA special courses.

Creat wealth via hard work in the lab and burn the mid night oil as book worms for technology are not the same as those number swooping, creative accounting. If you treat them as equal, I can see the down fall of US (or what ever the country you are in...sorry for the engineers)...It is sad that we even have to argue the difference at this point (here is the missing half of the credit).

Poor Engineers. God save few of creative souls in this dark age.

st
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > Creat wealth via hard work in the lab and burn
> the mid night oil as book worms for technology
> are not the same as those number swooping,
> creative accounting. If you treat them as
> equal, I can see the down fall of US (or what
> ever the country you are in...sorry for the
> engineers)...It is sad that we even have to
> argue the difference at this point (here is the
> missing half of the credit

Look around, people are/were burning night oil on bastard systems that never had a chance to work properly due to fundumental architecture problems, some pretty qualified hardworking people spent a lot of time in the lab doing rate-based flow control, SNMPv2, RSVP, VOIP, MPLS, COPS, RPR and other vapor, while another bunch of pretty qualified people were busy inventing new and new vapor schemes working at standard bodies. These are all excesses of BEYOND HORIZON ROI period.

Naturally, there should be a balance in the short vs long term goal/benefits/roi, and we are moving toward this balance, however, we are still far away in the vapor field.

Thanks,

Netskeptic



jim_smith 12/4/2012 | 10:08:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "You are grossly generalizing the situation. There
are several STAR programmers out of work right
now. Layoffs in networking/telecomm
**generally** don't affect programmers that much. With gazillion startups shutting
down, these guys are out of work and big guys
don't have that many openings."

-----------------------------------

I think what I said holds true across all
sectors. I know it holds true in the software
industry. I am pretty sure the same holds true in
Telecom. As far as the "STAR" software engineers
are concerned, they should have or will find jobs
in other industries, albeit at a more reasonable
pay/stock mix. Basically, all I am saying is that
there is no need to panic for such people. In
the long run, they will do well.

However, if your only skill set was writing
device drivers for a family of chipsets for a
particular RTOS, then you're in trouble my
friend!
jim_smith 12/4/2012 | 10:08:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom THIS POST IS RATED BT (BITTER TRUTH)! DON'T READ
BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

All those angry engineers that WSJ is talking
about should look in the mirror and ask
themselves: what is my real value? Be honest.

I think most of these engineers will find that
their value has not increased over the years. And
thats the real reason they got laid off.

I work in the software industry. I see the
following three basic skill sets in my industry.
(Of course there are many other skills, but you
get the picture.)

1. Programming Skills. Knowledge of one or more
programming languages.

2. HW+OS Skills. Good understanding of HW+OS
issues.

3. Compiler Skills. Thorough understanding of
how compilers work. Can implement a new language.

4. Software Engineering Skills. Understands the
lifecycle of large software projects. Can snuff
out problems before they get out of hand. Knows
how to prioritize the million or so bugs and
features every large software product has.

5. Management/People Skills. Can manage software
projects.

Based on these skill sets, I see the following
types of workers in this arena.

TYPE A. The Blind Programmer. This person just knows
how to program in one or more languages. Has no
clue what goes on inside the box. You can get
these a dime a dozen.

TYPE B. The 20/20 Programmer. This person of course
knows how to program in a couple of languages,
but more importantly, he/she also has a very good
understanding of HW+OS+Compiler issues. This
person obviously is much more valuable because
he/she sees the whole system. These are the
"star" programmers who work alone. If you are
willing to pay, you can get lots of these guys.

TYPE C. The Veteran. This person may not have 20/20
understanding of the HW/SW issues, but he/she sure
does understand the business aspects of software.
Rare species, but you just need one or two for
each project.

TYPE D. The GURU. This person used to be a "star"
and so programmers working for him respect him.
Although he has moved to a manegerial position,
he can still help in solving complex technical
issues. He delivers large complex software
projects more or less on time and without going
too much over budget. Very, very rare species
indeed!

If you are 40+ year old, you better be a TYPE
B, C, or D engineer. Otherwise you don't have a
job!

Can anyone please post a similar list for
Telecom?!

I believe that all the 40+ year old engineers
WSJ is talking about got complacent under the
protection of the Bell monopoly. Now they are
being asked to compete against engineers who are
always under pressure to re-invent themselves.
Its sounds like the same old IBM vs. Microsoft
story.
new_light 12/4/2012 | 10:08:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Wait for 5 more years and I know 90% of
you will switch the job and the best 10%
will still be employed in defence communication
or marketing the chinease companies in US
if you happen to know Mandarin!! Dollar is
just too string to keep you away from
this industry. You are paid 10 times higher
than an Indian or Chinease in their own land!!
Just imagine Indian software houses taking
projects and IT enabled jobs from US at $10-$5 per hour.

----------------------------------------------
$10 - $15 dollars an hour! Well, you get what you pay for. Chinese or Indians replacing American ingenuity will not happen in my life time and I plan on living for a very long time...
jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom You are grossly generalizing the situation. There
are several STAR programmers out of work right
now. Layoffs in networking/telecomm
**generally** don't affect programmers that much. With gazillion startups shutting
down, these guys are out of work and big guys
don't have that many openings.

netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > Concentrate on "SHORT TERM" is one of the
> problems led us into the abyss (do you need any
> examples?

I respectfully disagree, the primary reason of both .com and telecom bubbles/busts was investor concentration on BEYOND THE HORIZON ROI, where current revenues simply did not matter much
(e.g. Amazon).

> check congressional hearing and business news
> on TV everyday). Too many top level concentrate
> on maximize short term gain within his/her
> term. What you used to measure for
> the "performance", he/she will deliver, numbers
> in terms of both "real" or "imaginary" complex
> number coordinate..(mid-night truck loading?!
> just before the quarter ends? really short
> term).

It all happen mostly when reality started to settle down, before that companies could burn through $100m without showing anything for it and nobody would notice.

Thanks,

Netskeptic




cyber_techy 12/4/2012 | 10:08:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am sorry to see that some of the veterans
of the industry are not aware
that in future all telecom equipments
will be manufactured in China with the help
of Indian softwares.
===========================================

Considering that the famous (still under development after 10 years)Indian Arjun Tank still does not move at over 10 MPH, you will be roasted by then. Indian Technology threatning US telecom companies, what a joke.
calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:08:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am sorry to see that some of the veterans
of the industry are not aware
that in future all telecom equipments
will be manufactured in China with the help
of Indian softwares.

Wait for 5 more years and I know 90% of
you will switch the job and the best 10%
will still be employed in defence communication
or marketing the chinease companies in US
if you happen to know Mandarin!! Dollar is
just too string to keep you away from
this industry. You are paid 10 times higher
than an Indian or Chinease in their own land!!
Just imagine Indian software houses taking
projects and IT enabled jobs from US at $10-$5 per hour.

st0 12/4/2012 | 10:08:12 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom netskeptic said:
"99.9% of engineering work has nothing to do with inventing the next
big thing and the short term ROI is a pretty decent indicator of
success/failure in these conditions."
------------
respectably disagree:
(1) 99.9% of engineering work support the ground breaking inventions = such as high speed c.c.t using C4 chips. The chip is the brain, but need the body to perform the function of the task (sub-assembly, assembly, rack, central office, field engineer, etc). Fail to see the connection is short sighted (how many computer engineers now? If not because the invention of the transistor and VLSI?).

(2) As my early post indicated that ROI at current format is a good indicator for improvement type of engineering work (measurable in term of man-hours, productivity, etc.). But not very good for creative type of engineering work. Concentrate on "SHORT TERM" is one of the problems led us into the abyss (do you need any examples? check congressional hearing and business news on TV everyday). Too many top level concentrate on maximize short term gain within his/her term. What you used to measure for the "performance", he/she will deliver, numbers in terms of both "real" or "imaginary" complex number coordinate..(mid-night truck loading?! just before the quarter ends? really short term).

Thanks, but, No, thanks...not again.

st
jim_smith 12/4/2012 | 10:08:16 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I feel sorry for all those who are having a hard
time finding a job. Of course, we must put the
Enrons and the Worldcoms of this world in jail,
but at the same time, we must also plan our
careers as carefully as we plan our finances.
That means we must apply the same growth and risk
management strategies that we apply to our
finances.

Heres some advice along those lines.

1. Live within your means. In the context of this
post, time is money. We should be careful how we
spend our time. Also, don't try to do too many
things at once.

2. Invest. Make sure you keep improving yourself,
keep learning new skills, and keep up with
technology.

3. Diversify. Don't put all your eggs in one
basket. If you spent all your life becoming an
expert in making horse carriages, then you will
be out of a job when Ford model Ts take over
the world.

Unfortunately, I find that a lot of folks stop
learning new skills or become too specialized.
Both are recipes for doom.

Bottom line: The USA is still the best place for
smart, honest, and hard working folks to make a
very decent living. Although the Enrons,
Worldcoms, and Dubyas of this world are a
nuisance, they cannot stop us from living a very
decent life.
smoking_craters 12/4/2012 | 10:08:20 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BBBoa:

Keep the faith, brother!

Like you, I've been in this industry for 20+ years and I'm really tired of all the friggin' whining.

Hey guys, I'm truly sorry you're laid off. It's almost certainly not your fault. And I agree with Willy that we ought to hang the bastards who broke the law.

On the other hand, watching the spectacle in Congress last night just made me mad as a hornet. Did you watch it on CSPAN? God, Willy says George Bush is a chimpanzee. Well, if he's a chimp, our Congressmen are, well, what, weasels? Not a one of them knows a damn thing about this huge, complex industry. They best they can do is screw it up, like they have for the past decade and then look for someone to blame. They were rude, rude, rude, playing for the cameras. 90% of the comments and questions were meaningless. Come on, guys, get organized, ask real questions, follow the money, put some guys in jail. Your stupid, inane, pandering questions are part of the reason why everybody pleads the fifth. You just made Ebbers look like a victim, not a crook. How stupid was that? Shame on YOU, Mr. Congressman. You're just as greedy, self-absorbed, and corrupt as the guy you're trying to lynch. You didn't have any problems taking his money and looking the other way 2 years ago (Republicans and Democrats alike!). It was one of those times when I was truly embarassed to be an American. I wish we could recall you and throw Mr. Ebbers in jail and get on with our lives.

The telecom crash has been caused by a whole lot of things. A lot of it unethical. Some of it illegal.

But we're ALL to blame. People who lost everything should have had diversified portfolios (isn't that the very, very first thing they tell you when you start saving for your retirement?). We should have elected representatives who new what they were doing. Clinton was a scumbag who was so busy f***ing Lewinsky with a dirty cigar that he didn't have time to enforce the telecom act of 1996. And BBBoa is right. We DO have a ton of carpetbaggers in this industry. There WAS a gold rush and a lot of people came. Take responsibility for that decision and move on.

And where were all of the little people? There must be dozens of people at Worldcom and Enron who knew what was going on (not to mention the Boards and the outside auditors). Where were they? There's been talk of invoking the RICO statutes normally used against organized crime. Good. I've started and run lots of companies. If there weren't conspiracies of, at least, silence at Enron and Worldcom I'd be stunned. So much for all of us little guys as victims. Guess what? We're co-conspirators as well.

I'll spend the rest of my life in telecom. There's no need to insult us with this T1 DS3 crap. We've been there for SONET and routers and OSS and photonics as well. You build it up, somebody knocks it down, you build it up again. This industry is in its mid-life and WILL come roaring back. God, you think it's chaotic now? Hell, you should have been there when they broke up AT&T in '84. Now THAT was some serious chaos.
Harley 12/4/2012 | 10:08:22 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Bit,

You should be commended for your excellent post!

As one of the few non-engineers (I'm a Prod. Mgr.), I have a good feel for business issues.

Really, it comes down to what you said - top or bottom line growth.

It should also be said (as I did in an earlier post), that customers need only 2 things - make money or save money. That's it. They don't need marvels of engieering excellence or anything like that. The startup community for the most part missed this point. That's why when you look at companies, you should have an idea of what the management team's success and failures were FROMA BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE!

If they ramble about how they invented blah blah blah, run - don't walk -from the company.

Actually, we all probably agree that the telecom startup went by way of the dot-bomb. The old line companies will survive at 10% y-y revenue growth, and lumber along like they have for years.

y03858 12/4/2012 | 10:08:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom RJ-45 et al,

Sorry about this long post -- but with it I promise I'll stop.

It was way too easy to find work '97-'00. Now we're finding out who really wants to stay in tech, let alone telecom.

Agree about HR => NUL. Especially for resume submittal -- they mindlessly filter out any non-obvious-fit resumes anyway. Likewise, head hunters => NUL (paid by the employer -- and a lot of employers in these tuff times won't use them.)

The instance where "consultants need not apply" is worth delving into. Isn't it an example of a situation where the employer probably wants flexibility? In this case they want someone full time for indefinite duration. In such cases, oughtn't consultants consider the possibility that salary is just selling one's time by the year? Too often the term "consultant" gets abused by the hard core unemployed, and just as often, sweat shop employers hate paying engineers by the hour. Breaking into consulting is hard work, but once done one will have a network of past/present clients and friends working in their favor for as long as the run lasts. BTW, if one is trying to break out of telcom, even a sweatshop does them the priceless favor of giving them the chance in the first place.

When pursuing work, here are the rules:
1. Do whatever it takes to get the interview --
Call HR. Call the manager. Check out the company. Cruft your resume on a job-by-job basis to GET the interview. (NOTE lying not allowed, but artful rearrangement and soft word changes are OK.) Try and talk with the manager prior to submitting the resume.

2. See #1.


A long time engineer friend of mine (EE/MS from MIT and Tufts) told me that once upon a hard time he fixed electronic equipment on spec (no fix, no pay) basis in order to stay in tech. This generated lots of work and leads and friends. He really, really, really wanted to stay in tech.

Times like these are best used honing one's communication and selling skills. And the best teacher here is a combo of finding and developing trusted mentors/books and simultaneous trial and error.

Best of luck to all. You _are_ in the greatest country in the world.
Art Vandelay 12/4/2012 | 10:08:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The salary range listed for this position seemed
decent. From the posting:

Additional Information Salary: USD 100,000.00 to USD 120,000.00 per year
Position Type: Full Time, Employee
Ref Code: CC103059

Also, if you in telecom, does that mean you're
not flexible?
RJ-45 12/4/2012 | 10:08:26 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "IMO "NO TELECOM candidates" means:
1. The salary they are willing to pay is a lot lower than telecom industry salaries.
2. They want someone flexible enough to have worked in various industries.
....
How to change sectors? Live cheap. Consult or freelance."

Do you think those morons called recruiters know what they're talking about? A few months ago, on monster.com I saw job advertisements with the following disclaimer attached: "CONSULTANTS NEED NOT APPLY".

y03858 12/4/2012 | 10:08:26 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom IMO "NO TELECOM candidates" means:
1. The salary they are willing to pay is a lot lower than telecom industry salaries.
2. They want someone flexible enough to have worked in various industries.

I've been in tech for 25 yrs, but changed tech industries every 5-8 years therein! Some of you want to stay in telecom, which reminds me of the sad guys I ran into about ten years ago still pining for the days when printers were designed and made in the USA. Get over it. Telecom design and manufacture will move overseas, just like radio/TV, computers, printers, etc, did after their US boom days were toast.

How to change sectors? Live cheap. Consult or freelance. Demonstrate tenacity and flexibility.
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:27 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom (1) IBM's C4 flip chip attach technology ...
(2) 3M's sticky paper pad was invented when the researchers had some spare time...
...
(4) PARC lab got so many good inventions...

-----------------------------------------

The landscape is filled with dead bodies of companies which were run into the ground by creative people who simply could not deliver.

99.9% of engineering work has nothing to do with inventing the next big thing and the short term ROI is a pretty decent indicator of success/failure in these conditions.

Thanks,

Netskeptic


justaguy 12/4/2012 | 10:08:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BBBoa, I have been in telecom for over 15 years. I am currently unemployed and would like nothing better than to 'get off the bench'. The market is horrible and you should be thankful you have job. I, and many others, don't need a kick in the pants, we need a JOB.
Art Vandelay 12/4/2012 | 10:08:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Take a look at this recent job post from monster.com for a senior embedded software engineer. The "REQUIREMENTS" section specifically states: "NO TELCOM candidates.". What's up with that?


**************************************************
Project Lead Embedded S/W Engineer
- Senior Embedded Software Engineer. You will use your engineering talent and leadership skills to create and manage strategic engineering projects. You will work along side a highly motivated team of engineers with experience in protocol stacks, real time operating systems, and applications development.

-We are looking for someone with:
** Proven and successful project leadership experience
** Software architecture and design skills
** Knowledge of real time operating systems (RTOS)
** 7+ years of embedded programming experience
** Strong skills in Ethernet, TCP/IP programming and device driver development

You will employ deep technical knowledge of C, assembly language, operating systems, protocols, and hardware systems while developing innovative products. Familiarity with TCP/IP programming is a must. The candidate chosen will learn about, and make applications of a wide variety of exciting technologies. Our ideal candidate must have 7+ years of software engineering practice with demonstrated group leadership experience, taking projects to a successful conclusion. A BSCS or equivalent degree is required, MS desired.

REQUIREMENTS:
** S/W Embedded Engineering expertise (C,Assembly, O/S, H/W) on Medical, Wireless or Government Automation products. NO TELCOM candidates.
** Prefer Masters in Computer Science (not EE)
** Project Lead experience
** Hardware platform design onto S/W platforms
** Network protocols: Ethernet, TCP/IP

ALL APPLICANTS ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT THEIR RESUME IN WORD FORMAT ATTACHMENT.
BBBoa 12/4/2012 | 10:08:32 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Gee, all I said was quit the whining and move on. Life goes on and you're not doing yourselves any favors by sitting around and moping. Go back to what you know or get to work. Maybe someday, you'll thank me for this kick-in-the-pants.

By the way, I'm only 40, so retirement is a long way off. Sure, I remember M13 muxes and ISDN, but also have been with start-ups over the past 12 years and have since been on the cutting edge of technology.

As far as moving up the corporate ranks...let's just say I'm where I should be and have progressed as well as anyone in my peer group.

I love the telecom business. Unfortunately, like Major League Baseball, the talent level has been watered down over the years by a bunch of outsiders trying to break-in for a quick buck. It won't pain me to see these "wannabees" go back to their former line of business. Meanwhile, I'm maintaining my perspective and working my butt off to grow a small company into something special.

That's all I got to say about that.......

BBBoa
PresterJohn 12/4/2012 | 10:08:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "This has become one seriously depressing message board. If you're leaving or have left telecom - then leave already! That includes staying away from Lightreading message boards. "

This particular thread is ABOUT a seriously depressing topic - what the hell are you reading it for if it depresses you? Are you some kind of masochist? Switch channels, moron, or turn it off.

BTW pal, the lion's share of unemployment benefits are paid for by employers. Obviously you've never risen high enough in corporate management in your 20 year career to have learned that.


Signed:

A 32 year veteran of telecom development.

drewsmith 12/4/2012 | 10:08:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Would you retire already? I am tired of hearing about the good old days with ISDN and M13 Mux's.

jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BBBoa wrote:

Telecom industry veteran of 20+ years, still employed and still upbeat about the future of our business.

P.S. The best thing about the bubble bursting is getting these Telecom-wannabees out of the business the true veterans have been building for so long.
--------------------

Boa,

1. what will happen to your telecom after you
and those true veterans die of old age?

2. Oprah doesn't air all day.

I am also employed but I don't go around insulting
people who are trying to vent their frustrations
out.

deepciscothroat 12/4/2012 | 10:08:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It is PAINFULLY CLEAR all the disgruntled Telecom veterans are behind the LR tshirt thefts
abacus 12/4/2012 | 10:08:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Oh sure, so do you propose to pay to move me to India, and then expect me to be happy with those wages, health care, sanitation, and difference in access to services - economic and commercial?

I'll suffer the high cost of living in America, and expect to get paid in kind, thank you, very much.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom If it weren't for the high flying times of the past few years, chances are you'd still be flipping burgers or selling insurance or whatever it was you were doing before you joined the telecom industry with your severe, unreal expectations.

-------------

You're right. It's "severe and unreal" to expect that companies conduct their business in such a way as to build something that will last; or to actually imagine that a piece of hardware purchased from a company in Santa Clara County will work; or to think that the CEO of the second largest long-distance company wouldn't have to invoke the 5th amendment when asked whether or not he can sleep at night.

Tsk, tsk. How could we have been so godawful naive? This is the New Economy!!
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:08:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom bitdropper said:
"This is not an industry where the typical salesman is one who "can sell
dirt to farmers".
--------------------
Do you mean that typical saleman /= cisco saleman; farmers /= california gov?

just try to get the definition clear...

st
lazydude 12/4/2012 | 10:08:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Sigint,

Even a figure of USD 100,000 is exceptional. In an organization in India, those who make that much can be counted with fingers(See the disclosures of WIT or INFY). More realistic figures are something like USD 30-40K a year for people with 10-15 years experience.
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:08:37 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom netskeptic said:
"What is so wrong with ROI as a measure of effectiveness in engineering ?"
--------------
Nothing, except "WHO and HOW" is measured. For example:

(1) IBM's C4 flip chip attach technology benefit the company and industry more than 20 years and still is the best technology interm of high speed high I/O chips (just look at some of the >1000 BGA or CSP communication chips). How do you put ROI on it? ("we will never need that" = C4, someone said once. "TAB would be good enough"). Looking back, it is always easy to judge (where is TAB for the ultra-high speed, high heat stuff).

(2) 3M's sticky paper pad was invented when the researchers had some spare time in the down turn. It is said to be the most profitable product for the company. The researcher possibly would got a lay off notice if he is in the today's environment and got few bean counter after him for not concentrate on the "approved project", but "moonlighting" on personal interests...;-)..followed by investigation of where and how he charge his time of doing such a "non-core activity" ;-(.

(3) Let's look at the ground breaking tunneling diode. Try to put ROI on its handle:
http://www.eetimes.com/special...

(4) PARC lab got so many good inventions. ROI for Xerox is minimum. But for Apple and Bill Gate...wow, hopefully, you can count them with your fingers and toes all together. If the bean counter can not understand the invention and its impact, there would be no "return"=no ROI; but "Loss"=LOI (loss on investment)...So many of engineers were counted as "expanse" and treated as disposable "resources".

(5) Let's count all the CTO,CEO, how many can recognize the long term impact of the ground breaking technology for the current Telecom and Photonics? Anyone care to take a educated guess? It is way pass my capability (stupid me!).

0.00002 cents.

st
bitdropper 12/4/2012 | 10:08:37 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Lite_Rider wrote:
"Here is the deal with Telecom.

Telecom is its own worst enemy -- it is cannibalizing itself.

Here's how I see it (simplified, of course, for getting to the point in a pithy manner):"

--------------------------------------------------
That's a great post!!!

I've read 300 posts so far on this thread, and nothing comes close to articulating reality like this one. I was actually starting to believe that the blame for the industry's woes lay within a dark conspiracy amongst: engineers, sales-scum, marketeers, Californians, the railroads, Ike, VCs, Democrats, the founding fathers, Republicans, the entire population of Bangalore, and BobbyMax.

If you think it's hard being an engineer or a sales-weenie, think of the poor installers and customer service reps. They have to live with everyone else's shortcomings every day.

I remember a wise sales director, when challenged by engineers and marketeers about wanting the same money that salespeople got, walked over to the job posting board and threw several open req's for sales positions in front of them. The postings described the base salaries, plus the compensation arrangements, and a brief description about the amount of travel required. There were no takers! No one mentioned it again! [As a side note, this same sales director is the one who told me: "Before there's a bottom line, there's a top line!"]

Why do sales-weenies get paid what they do? It's called "market price based on supply and demand". If a company does not pay the going rate for sales, the ones producing the highest numbers quit, and go to someone who will. This is no different than any other profession [and yes...this includes engineers].

Why do companies pay those kinds of rates? Because, like it or not, in the annual report, there's an item called "Revenues". Not trying to be sarcastic here, but you've probably noticed that there *aren't* lines in the annual report for: "Engineering Ideas Conceived", "Marketing Brochures Published", or "Meetings Attended". The people within a company, that have the greatest impact on that companies fortunes, tend to take the biggest risks and make the most money. Sorry about that...I didn't invent it!

Why do research engineering PhDs get paid decent salaries to spend their entire careers in fully-equipped labs, without any obligation or urgency to turn out commercial inventions? Because the same people who pay the sales-weenies' salaries feel that it's worth the investment to have very bright people being as creative as possible, in the hopes that every so often, one of them will come up with a gem.

Why did Lucent/ATT/Western Electric single-handedly invent the industry defacto standard of "overhanging the market"? Because they had the size, credibility, relationships and reputation, that customers [read: RBOCs] would wait [sometimes years] for their solution, even though their competitors were way ahead of them.

How could LU afford to support all those research engineers? Because they knew they could count on the revenues coming in, and they didn't have to rush.

Times have changed, and LU can't do this anymore. Please remember, that having sales promise things before they were invented, was one of the ways that the largest employer of engineers, kept them employed.

This is not an industry where the typical salesman is one who "can sell dirt to farmers". Sales are typically conducted through long relationships. There is no point in selling a carrier a piece of junk, unless you're planning on being in the next county when he discovers he's been fleeced. About the only asset a salesperson has within their own control is their personal credibility. Years of hard-won trust can evaporate in a heartbeat when a company doesn't deliver what it told the customer it would. Professional salespeople tell the customer the truth as best they can, and are not immune to being fed mis-information by their sources. The difference for them though, is that the customer will never believe them again.

dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:08:37 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Thanks for the information. I'll have to pass it along to the indian engineers I've been working with who have been laid off. This should make them stop panicing....
putridrage2000 12/4/2012 | 10:08:38 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom No product getting out of the gates sells itself!!!! In the old days when there were only a few companies out selling products, that may have been the case. But in a highly competitive environment where a number of vendors are competing to win business and survive, and products are developed in a few years, the "right" product NEVER has the time to become fully "cooked". To be a successful company, you need to make money. To make money you need to win market space, to win the market space you need to get your product out there in the labs, testing, etc. Big companies will only test so many products (they dont have the time to test everyone's product), often to get to the "bakeoff", you need to enhance your products current capabilities(lie), else, you are not selected for the best and final, and ultimately, that great product, goes nowhere, it misses the market window opportunity, and it dies in development.

I have worked in SQA, customer service and sales engineering. All jobs have their benefits and pitfalls, and all can be painful in their own way, but ultimately if Sales does not sell, a company dies. And if you guys in the lab think good sales guys are a dime a dozen, I can certainly testify that that is not the case. A good sales guy is worth his weight in gold. Sure there were a number of less than golden guys making alot of money in the late 90s, but that was the case everywhere in the telecom industry.

Personally, I think the Marketing guys are the most important guys in the industry. A guy that does his homework, identifies a market ahead of others(as opposed to being a follower), identifies exactly what the majority of customers are looking for, who talks with sales guys to determine which features should be developed first and weighs that vs the time it takes engineering to develop the product, is worth his/her weight in gold. If these guys pick a bad market, or decide to develop the wrong features at the wrong time, it can mean life or death of a product, and company. The Marketing guy is the point between customers/sales guys, and engineering and development. The ones who know the market and can prioritize feature development are priceless. Unfortunately, there are far too few of these guys in the industry. There were definately too many "marketing" gurus in the late 90s who were somehow associated with a successful product in the early days of the telecom upswing and were somehow given expert status. Too many of these companies were chasing after a market that didn't exist based on these "gurus". many of these companies are now dead.

This in no way discredits engineering. Good engineers are priceless. But to think any product can sell based on its capabilities and engineering is ludicrous. Someone please show me the last product that won market share based on its great engineering. Most of the products now supporting the telecom industries networks were at some point in time broken pieces of junk that were pushed out the door ahead of engineering's suggested timeframe.

This is all just my opinion.
BBBoa 12/4/2012 | 10:08:39 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom This has become one seriously depressing message board. If you're leaving or have left telecom - then leave already! That includes staying away from Lightreading message boards.

Try to use your time constructively, like, finding a job! It's bad enough we taxpayers are footing the bill for you to sit around in your boxer-shorts and watch Oprah all day - much less have to read your mindless drivel when we're looking here for some content. Move on already.

Just because you're recently laid-off, you don't have to bite the industry that fed you for so long. If it weren't for the high flying times of the past few years, chances are you'd still be flipping burgers or selling insurance or whatever it was you were doing before you joined the telecom industry with your severe, unreal expectations. Please, just go away!


Signed,

Telecom industry veteran of 20+ years, still employed and still upbeat about the future of our business.

P.S. The best thing about the bubble bursting is getting these Telecom-wannabees out of the business the true veterans have been building for so long.
MajorPackets 12/4/2012 | 10:08:39 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom There exist additional exemptions depending on company size.
MajorPackets 12/4/2012 | 10:08:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Threaten a suit - they'll likely settle...I've witnessed this twice.

-----------
3 Employees terminated without notice.

Two of the 3 employees had worked very hard to deliver software that is being used for getting the product out. One was the over-worked sys-admin who handled all the infrastructure including tool management, etc. All 3 easily worked 80 hour weeks for almost a year.

3 employees were terminated 1 month before vesting of options.

VoidMpls 12/4/2012 | 10:08:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom That's what i know from my buddy....now there're only very few startup in core market...
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:08:41 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Willywilson said

G«£after having stolen the 2000 presidential election and, in the process, showing that a chimpanzee can, in fact, go through the motions of the presidency?G«•

Not to turn this into a political debate, but why do Liberals and the left in general resort to name calling and personal attacks when they disagree with people from the Right? IMHO, itG«÷s fine and proper to disagree with either party in power, however name calling and personal attacks is a tactic used when your positions are too weak to defend.

Bush's election was funded by corporate dollars, Clinton's election was funded by corporate dollars and Al Gore's campaign was funded by corporate dollars, that's the way the game is played.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1. The Democrats are going to stir this up into a firestorm over the next four months to try and garner votes. In the process, they're going to do serious damage to the economy (which, as everybody's pointed out, relies heavily on trust to operate). Then, of course, they'll turn around and blame the economy on Bush. Irresponsible and reckless behavior.

2. Money is corrosive. It corrupts. So, Republicans got more money from corrupt big companies. Big deal. It wasn't much more. The numbers I heard were something like 60/40 in the telecom sector.

3. Besides, if the real issue is that none of these crooks get sent to jail, then shouldn't we get mad at the corrupt legal system? Then blame the Democrats. They're in the pocket of the trial lawyers associtation. Last numbers I saw were that they give 10x as much to Democrats as they do to Republicans. Who gets these white collar criminals off, anyway? Follow the money!

4. Blindly voting for Democrats because they took 20% less money from the crooks than the Republicans did is dumb. Corrupt is corrupt.

---------

1. The "serious damage" has been done. Regardless of which party does it, a huge issue should be made out of the corruption. Unless the perpetrators are prosecuted and jailed and their money taken away, the damage will be even worse. Investors don't want to put their money into a corrupt country.

2. Both parties get money from big business. Looks like the Republicans get somewhere between three-fifths and two-thirds. The fact that both parties get the money does not somehow remove corruption as an issue; other way around, in fact.

3. Lawyers are in fact a reliable Democratic constituency. And everyone hates lawyers until they need one.

4. I basically agree, but I also think the Bush administration has been quite cozy with a bunch of bad actors and is tolerant of fraud. And why shouldn't they be, after having stolen the 2000 presidential election and, in the process, showing that a chimpanzee can, in fact, go through the motions of the presidency?
Lite_Rider 12/4/2012 | 10:08:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Folks:

Here is the deal with Telecom.

Telecom is its own worst enemy -- it is cannibalizing itself.

Here's how I see it (simplified, of course, for getting to the point in a pithy manner):

1)Every RBOCG«÷s stated growth market is long distance. They act like getting LD is doing a threesome with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears!!!
2)They used to get 100% profit (or close to it) on ~42% of the LD revenue in the form of access fees. (Which was say, for the sake of argument, 10 cents a minute. So, the RBOC would get 4.2 cents at nearly 100% profit.)
3)Now they want all the LD revenue, so they build a network or lease capacity on someone else's network. For argument, letG«÷s say that costs 2 cents/minute when fully utilized. However, if you have two competing networks, with the same rough level of traffic (or x+3% per year), the costs are now 4 cents per minute. (2 cents at 100% utilization, 4 cents at 50% utilization).
4)So, now you can charge 7 cents a minute, but due to utilization, the cost is now 4 cents per minute. After all, which long distance carrier would pay you to use your network, when that is supplying bullets to your enemy. (This is part of the reason Bob Allen divested Lucent from AT&T Long Lines in 1996.)
5)So, now you make 3 cents per minute at 42% profit (3 cents gross margin/7 cents revenue) = 42%.
6)LetG«÷s just say that there is a G«£washG«• between the depreciation (cash recapture) and the interest on the debt required to be incurred up front to build out the network G«Ű for argumentG«÷s sake.
7)Oh, did I mention my Wireless arm G«Ű free LD all weekend and capped price plans.
8)Oh, I need a whole administration to work between regulated and unregulated sides of the businessG«™or duplicate in house networks. Either way = cost. Did I mention I have only 3 cents per minute now to cover that instead of 4.2 cents?
9) Oh, and now I am encouraging competition in my own backyard (local) to create a diffusion of my resources to slow entry into LD. This = "mo' money, mo' money"...to quote "In Living Color".

Then, put the information in the LightReading article from this AM.

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

It refers to the customers they are picking up as being the financial equivalent of G«£slack-jawwed yocalsG«• -- the dregs nobody else wants.

All in all, the big problem is that the G«£visionariesG«• in this industry have never learned economic concepts like:
-+Cross-elasticity
-+Supply/Demand
-+The Laffer Curve G«Ű as it applies to commodity consumption

This industry will survive, but likely with about 40% ~ 50% less people than todayG«™and that is in the near term.

By means of analogy, let me revisit other bubbles and their consequences:
-+The Dutch Tulip Bubble - People still garden and plant tulips
-+The South Sea Bubble G«Ű People still option out rights for exclusive territories (this is likely the most analogous to the TABs and other shenanigans that are going on as we speak)
-+The Aerospace Bubble in the 60s and 70s G«Ű People still fly
-+The Oil Bubble in the 80s G«Ű Oil is still coming out the ground like prairie dogs in your garden
-+Real Estate/Savings and Loan Scandal G«Ű People still bank and save and houses are still bought
-+Telecom 2002 - ???

The point: All activities still go on after the bubbleG«™just with a lot less people. Sorry to drop the boom here G«Ű that includes you and me.


willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:43 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I do not think it is even remotely true - Repulicans rely on small donors and have no problem collecting 'hard money', Democrats rely on fat cats, hence their tilt toward 'soft money'

---------

Some facts:

Hard & soft money, 1990-2002.
Some breakouts provided for 2000 and 2002


Accounting: $57.4 million, 58% R

- Arthur Andersen, $5.2 million, 64%R
- PriceWaterhouseCoopers, $6.6 million, 63% R


Telephone services: $75.9 million, 56% R

- WorldCom, $7.5 million, 54% R

2002:

- SBC, $1.8 million, 55% R
- AT&T, $1.7 million, 56% R
- BellSouth, $1.6 million, 56% R
- Verizon, $1.3 million, 60% R
- WorldCom, $873 million, 48% R (uh-oh, Bernie)

2000:

- AT&T, $4 million, 60% R
- SBC, $3.7 million, 56% R
- Verizon, $3.5 million, 63% R
- BellSouth, $2.1 million, 57% R
- WorldCom, $1.5 million, 65% R
- Sprint, $910K, 54% R
- Allegiance Telecom, $254K, 57% R



Securities firms: $263.2 million, 53% R

2002:

- Goldman Sachs $1.5 million, 82% D
- Morgan Stanley $940K, 65% R
- NASDAQ stock market $516K, 57% R
- Merrill Lynch, $496K, 57% R
- Fidelity Investment $427K, 70% R
- CS First Boston, $447K, 59% R

2000:

- Goldman, $4.4 million, 65% D
- CS First Boston, $3.1 million, 61% R
- Morgan Stanley, $2.5 million, 59% R
- Merrill Lynch, $1.8 million, 66% R
- Paine Webber, $1.7 million, 66% R


Venture capital: $20.1 million, 52% D

2002:

- National Venture Capital Assn., $489K, 70% R
- Kleiner Perkins, $281K, 62% D

2000:

- Kleiner Perkins, $1 million, 62% D

Computers/Internet: $82.9 million, 49% D/49% R

Commercial banks: $106.4 million, 59% R

Drug companies: $85.4 million, 66% R

Energy/Natural Resources: $142.2 million, 73% R

- Enron, $6 million, 74% R

Insurance companies: $174.4 million, 64% R

Military contractors: $70.2 million, 59% R

Health care: $368 million, 58% R

Lawyers & Lobbyists: $475 million, 69% D

Unions: $372.8 million, 93% D

Agribusiness: $267.9 million, 69% R

Transportation: $215.9 million, 67% R

TV/Movies/Music: $124.7 million, 69% D


Conclusions:

- Republicans have the accountants, banks and all business except Hollywood and the fence sitters.

- Democrats have the unions, lawyers and Hollywood.

- Investment banking, VCs and high-tech play both sides of the fence equally.

- The evil Kleiner Perkins is pro-Democrat.
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Just a small note.


> So, Republicans got more money from corrupt big companies.

I do not think it is even remotely true - Repulicans rely on small donors and have no problem collecting 'hard money', Democrats rely on fat cats, hence their tilt toward 'soft money'
see:

http://www.fec.gov/press/05150...

E.g. 1999-2000 totals are Dems: $275m 'hard' and $245m 'soft', Reps $466m 'hard' and $250m 'soft'.

Thanks,

Netskeptic
smoking_craters 12/4/2012 | 10:08:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Willy:

Ralph Nader is right that the two parties are the same. As the famous Who song says, "Meet the new boss...same as the old boss."

Using this issue of corruption to determine who to vote for in the next election is stupid. The Democrats are going to stir this up into a firestorm over the next four months to try and garner votes. In the process, they're going to do serious damage to the economy (which, as everybody's pointed out, relies heavily on trust to operate). Then, of course, they'll turn around and blame the economy on Bush. Irresponsible and reckless behavior. But par for the course in a democracy.

I've said it many times before, but it bears repeating. Money is corrosive. It corrupts. So, Republicans got more money from corrupt big companies. Big deal. It wasn't much more. The numbers I heard were something like 60/40 in the telecom sector. Besides, if the real issue is that none of these crooks get sent to jail, then shouldn't we get mad at the corrupt legal system? Then blame the Democrats. They're in the pocket of the trial lawyers associtation. Last numbers I saw were that they give 10x as much to Democrats as they do to Republicans. Who gets these white collar criminals off, anyway? Follow the money!

Check out your candidate's background. Who got him or her elected the last time around? Vote for the candidate who promises to reform the system (and then hope to god he follows through). If your Democrat Congressman is in the pocket of the RBOC's (and many, many are) then vote for his Republican challenger (if he promises reform). Do the opposite as well.

Blindly voting for Democrats because they took 20% less money from the crooks than the Republicans did is dumb. Corrupt is corrupt. Not a whole lot of shades of gray there.
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > 1) loss of importance (at least from corp point
> of view) of engineer. What the corp believe is
> that what the things you can NOT measure (by $
> value ROI) is not important.
> Creative/innovation is normally hard to
> measure, particularly, at the beginning stage
> of the creative process (it normally can be
> produce revolutionary technology change
> (disruptive change). Normally, that is
> associated with "trouble" and not accepted very
> well in the business world. Improvement, on the
> other hand, is much easy to measure. (Normally,
> the excellent R&D guys get tired about the
> improvement type of work). Only few of the
> these engineers in each company were lucky
> enough to be recognized. As the time goes on,
> the glory of engineering is much less than pre-
> 90s.

What is so wrong with ROI as a measure of effectiveness in engineering ?


Thanks,

Netskeptic

jimbo59 12/4/2012 | 10:08:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom switchrus wrote:
1) Engineers who's skills are past the "use by date", and refuse to keep their skills up by reading, going to class etc etc.
.
.
.
3) Engineers who have 20+ years with a company and are riding it out to retirement, Retired In Place.

Instead of feeling slammed, maybe some engineers need to look at their plight and do something postive about why they are being slammed.
-----------------------------
Number 1 is all for naught from my perspective. Being a 40-something with 22 years in one place, I proactively obtained an MS-Telecommunications (1999) because I thought I recognized the need for ensuring that I was up-to-date on the latest technology, and that I'm only benefitting me.
Fortunately still employed, but expecting the hammer any day now. I do recognize what you state in #3 though, because some of LU's 40-something recent hires (like when telecom was TELECOM and any neanderthal could get hired) came here to do just that.

But it's really all about GREED. Just like sleazy corporate America scuttled my 401K and fudged its accounting with clueless CEO's and sleazy CFO's, it's all about saving a buck. How many manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to other countries where they can pay a dime on the dollar? Where is corporate America's allegiance to the Amrerican citizen?! If/when a recovery transpires, one BIG disadvantage I face is that I've been a manufacturing test engineer for the past 10 years....best I should start looking in Malaysia...

sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:08:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom dsb:
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR DATA???? I KNOW OF AT LEAST 3 INDIAN ENGINEERS WHO HAVE BEEN LAID OFF IN THE US WHO, EVEN WITH THEIR US EXPERIENCE, WILL BE MAKING 1/5 (THAT'S 20%) OF WHAT THEY WERE MAKING IN THE US!
__________________________________________________

I work in India, know a lot of consultant, and know what my erstwhile bosses where paid ! That's how I get my data.

You're right - a junior engineer can hope to earn
about 20% of what he'd make in the US. That too would give you a better lifestyle here. I know - because I've sailed both boats.

Salaries climb astronomically with seniority here - I'll give you an example from the services industry:

Age: 37
Qualifications: Masters' in Eelctroncis and Communication, 13 years in industry
Specialisation: Communciation systems and ASIC
Leads: 120 Persons
Average billing of surbordinates: USD 600,000 PM
His cut: @3% USD 18,000 PM
Base salary: USD 5,000 PM
Total monthly: USD 23,000 PM
Total annual: USD 276,000 PA

As you'd guess, this guy is an exception, and this is the best it gets in Engineering. I quoted a figure of USD100,000 (less that half of the above figure) for someone with nearly double of this individual's experience. Thus, for someone with 25 years, this would be the median to low-end of the range.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:08:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Will the WCOM bondholders get a debt-free annual revenue stream of $20B, trading in their debt for around one times sales? Do their competitors respond to this debt-free entity by taking the same path?


fusionboy 12/4/2012 | 10:08:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1) Engineers who's skills are past the "use by date", and refuse to keep their skills up by reading, going to class etc etc.
________________________________________________

Unfortunately in this market, and for most engineering(excluding the recent telcom bubble), passive experience counts for little, employers want practical experience, and concrete acheivements. So for those engineers most likely to be laid off (i.e. working for non cutting edge firms) there is little likelihood of gaining this experience.
________________________________________________

Instead of feeling slammed, maybe some engineers need to look at their plight and do something postive about why they are being slammed.
________________________________________________

Certainly those engineers should do something to control their situation. What your missing is the broader context of the column - it was in response to a column of several weeks before discussing why students (in particular women, women eng. grads as a % of total eng. grads peaked in the 1980's) no longer wish to be engineers.

It might be more accurate to say "Engineers need to look at their plight and do something postive about why they are being slammed." What should/can be done?

st0 12/4/2012 | 10:08:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom dsb,
thanks for the WSJ article. It is very interesting. I notice few fundamental changes during the 90s:

(1) loss of importance (at least from corp point of view) of engineer. What the corp believe is that what the things you can NOT measure (by $ value ROI) is not important. Creative/innovation is normally hard to measure, particularly, at the beginning stage of the creative process (it normally can be produce revolutionary technology change (disruptive change). Normally, that is associated with "trouble" and not accepted very well in the business world. Improvement, on the other hand, is much easy to measure. (Normally, the excellent R&D guys get tired about the improvement type of work). Only few of the these engineers in each company were lucky enough to be recognized. As the time goes on, the glory of engineering is much less than pre-90s.

(2) The change of university engineering program in 90s went into two extreme: (a) cutting funding of expensive experimental work and promote computer modeling work. That leads to much less willingness on the student to do hands on work when they step into the workforce. Hands dirty consider a "lower class" work. (b) corp. sponsored project, team building, communication and power point training, etc.etc. took away some of the basic training of the engineering essential course, for example, some of the school do not teach Laplase transformation at undergrad level (which usually taught at 2nd or 3rd year engineering school in the old days). Some of the engeering grad is stronger in "soft skills", but some of them are really lack of "hard skills" as engineer. That result some of Power point projection type of "Optical device" in our field.

(3) Change of leadership in corp in the 90s put power into consultants, accountants, analysts, and MBAs (don't mention many of them have psycology degrees). The result of that is the corp of today.

(4) Lower engineering pay attract lower grade student (let's not mention "mark inflation" in the school). The top 5 rank in the high school usually want to go to engineering in the past (60-80s). Now, the Medical, Law and Business school got their 1st pick.

Ran into a 5-6 year old kid on the train few years ago. I was asked what I did for living. I said that I am an engineer. I was shock to learn that I was "stupid". When he grow up he would want to be Bill Gate. Engineering was too hard and didn't earn enough $. Bill Gate play computer in the garage and become a millionaire (I guess millionaire and billionaire didn't make that much difference to a 5 year old). I totally admit my stupidity at that point. Never recover since the "fatal meeting with 5 years old". Multiple generation gap I guess.

(5) Lack of engineering is result of lack of commitment from the corp to its technical excellence. The short sight of reactive style of leadership to market demand. The easy fix is "contract work force" or "engineering on demand". The imported engineer provide low wage, short term contract (temp work) and meet all the requirements of the current leadership style (herd mentality). Gov. on the other hand, just reflect the corp demand. That is = policy.

st
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:08:51 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I agree with all your points, however what is reality?

In the industry today, it's a little of what I have pointed out and a little of what you suggest.

There you are, deal with it if you are a seasoned engineer, if you are just starting out, remember what the future bears when you have 15 to 20 years in the business.

Cheers !
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:51 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BTW, most of the "New Economy" thieves were/are leaning toward Democrats, the GlobalX is a pretty telling example

--------

Most of the thieves played both sides of the fence. Both parties were only too happy to take the money and do their bidding. In this regard, Ralph Nader was absolutely correct about there being relatively little difference between the two.

Among those who were partisan, I think the record will show a lot more Republicans than Democrats. GX was in hock to the Democrats, but then there was Enron and WorldCom, wasn't there? Of those, the biggest fraud (so far) was WorldCom, run by a born-again Christian Republican, Bernie Ebbers.

And if we look to the financiers, the Wall Street crowd was more Republican than Democrat. The most heavily Democratic firm, Goldman Sachs, had less fradulent involvement than most. Not because they're more honorable, but because they've always had higher standards on the deals than Merrill and Morgan Stanley. Of course, then there was Roberston Stephens ...
skeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:51 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1) Engineers who's skills are past the "use by date", and refuse to keep their skills up by reading, going to class etc etc.
-------------

This isn't the case most of the time. The most
skilled people make the most money and are
targets to be got rid of strictly based on
dollars.

There are many technology companies who could
care less about engineering skills or competence.
Engineers are just "bodies" to be hired. It
doesn't matter if they know anything or not.



-------------
2) Engineers who are in quasi management postions, when all that is needed on the new programs are engineering cannon fodder and foot soldiers.
------------

And they get into those pseudo-management
positions because they are forced or "guided"
into them. Plenty of senior engineers end up
in a position where they are "too expensive"
to be doing "ordinary work".



----------
3) Engineers who have 20+ years with a company and are riding it out to retirement, Retired In Place.
----------

That doesn't happen as much as it used to. Most
of those people are got rid of through buy-outs.

dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:08:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR DATA???? I KNOW OF AT LEAST 3 INDIAN ENGINEERS WHO HAVE BEEN LAID OFF IN THE US WHO, EVEN WITH THEIR US EXPERIENCE, WILL BE MAKING 1/5 (THAT'S 20%) OF WHAT THEY WERE MAKING IN THE US!
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:08:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > I am a Democrat

This is one of the reasons behind the Internet/Telecon insanity of the late 90s: too may pinkos decided that they discovered the perfect (some call it third) way of becoming fabilously rich without actually doing anything.

BTW, most of the "New Economy" thieves were/are leaning toward Democrats, the GlobalX is a pretty telling example.

Thanks,

Netskeptic
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:08:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >Anytime you have to deal with government >organization, get ready to deal with insulting >officers, and pay bribes.

well really how much does one need to deal with
Guvmint officials anywhere ? you buy car, its
from dealer, you buy house, its done by builder.
about the only guvmint service is basic telephony
and electricity and there are paid services who
do all the bill paying for a fee. alternate
providers of telephony are coming up. pay taxes
honestly and nobody bothers.

I am sure americans(native) would not tolerate the
way INS drags foreign people thru the fire for
years and years, its just that they dont have to
deal with it.

lightrain 12/4/2012 | 10:08:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom As far as I know TechNet is getting good traction with Washington and there maybe nothing anyone can do about it when so many big players are aligned.

-----------

Hey, can we do away with this VC-ese metaphor of 'getting traction.'

They are valley-speak weasel words. How much? Who? In return for what?
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:08:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I understand that you are trying to be helpful, but the reality of life in India for most westerners would be getting something that is quite a bit more than G«£adventurousG«•.

G«£Pakistan doesn't have missiles that can hit bangaloreG«•

Ever heard of a truck, or a car or motor scooter? Not to mention that North Korea will sell anyone anything, just pay in advance.

G«£Not if you have 25 years in the industry - you'd be too precious to let go. Age and seniority are respected, both by individuals and organizations.G«•

If engineers have learned nothing from this G«£Perfect StormG«• of Technology, itG«÷s there thre is no loyalty to staff in corporate America, G«£What have you done for meG«™latelyG«•, is the mantra. I doubt it would be different in India.

G«•If you're a native of the US, you'll likely not be in any of these camps, and hence you'd be safe. Bangalore has had some communal flare-ups, but is free from 'caste-tensions'.G«•

You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time in Bangalore, Cincinnati, Washington DC or Palo Alto, the odds are IMHO a little higher in countries such as India that have ethic and caste tensions.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:08:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom jamesbond:
1. Are you suggesting this for U.S native population?

2. Although life outside home and office totally sucks in india. Anytime you have to deal with government organization, get ready to deal with insulting officers, and pay bribes. You will get the taste of this the moment you land at an airport. Police officers are more corrupt and worst people to deal with.

3. What about pollution? Can you simply go for a jog or walk after work, especially if you are a female?

4. I grew up in India and my family had those "domestic servants". I felt really really bad for these folks. They get paid very little,live in slums and cannot afford to send their kids to schools.

5. Don't even get me started on the medical facilities. If you can live with these things sure go ahead, move to india.
_________________________________________________

1. why not ? Remeber the pre-independence British Sahibs ? They had a ball here, didn't they ? It took quite an effort to persuade them to go home !

2. Completely agree ! No arguments there !

3. Pollution in Bangalore is modest - it's not as bad as Delhi of Calcutta. In the upmarket areas of town, you could go out jogging, even if you were female (i presume crime is your concern here). I'll send you a photo of female joggers at Cubbon park if you want me to.

4. Things are obviously much better since you were here. At least in some parts of India (read Bangalore). Domestic help gets paid ok - kids are sent to school if the parents so chose. There still are slums of course, these are politially protected dens of crime. No person in his right senses would employ domestic help from there.

5. You are COMPLETELY WRONG on this count. If you can pay for it, you get access to world class medical facilities. Just as in the US, you need medical insurance for any major hospitalisation or surgery. Routine stuff is very inexpensive - no need to bother with insurance.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:08:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom switchrus:

1) PakistanG«™Nukes!
2) As an emigrant engineer in India, just like H1B visa holders in the US, when things turn bad in India, whoG«÷s first to go? I doubt the laws in India afford much protection for G«£guestG«• workers.
3) Cast tensions, ethnic tensions (Hindu/Moslem/etc) want to be in the middle of that?
4)Sorry, I donG«÷t think so.
__________________________________________________

1. Pakistan doesn't have missiles that can hit bangalore
2. Not if you have 25 years in the industry - you'd be too precious to let go. Age and seniority are respected, both by individuals and organizations.
3. If you're a native of the US, you'll likely not be in any of these camps, and hence you'd be safe. Bangalore has had some communal flare-ups, but is free from 'caste-tensions'.
4. No problems ! Just a thought. Anyways, I had suggested it only for the 'adventurous veterans'!
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:08:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom G«£If you've been in telecom 25 years, you'd likely earn up to USD 100,000 working in India. Not great by US standards - but you'll have a fabulous life style.G«•

Other points to consider:

1) PakistanG«™Nukes!
2) As an emigrant engineer in India, just like H1B visa holders in the US, when things turn bad in India, whoG«÷s first to go? I doubt the laws in India afford much protection for G«£guestG«• workers.
3) Cast tensions, ethnic tensions (Hindu/Moslem/etc) want to be in the middle of that?

Sorry, I donG«÷t think so.
jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Please take my next few words seriously, I'm not joking:

If you've been in telecom 25 years, you'd likely earn up to USD 100,000 working in India. Not great by US standards - but you'll have a fabulous life style. You can afford a chauffeur, and at a few full time domestic servants. Your younger colleagues will look upon you for advise, will respect you (there's a natural respect for age here), and you'd be valued for your US contacts. Life outside of office would suck, but you'll be happy at work.

Maybe some of the more adventurous of you telecom veterans can give it a try.


-----------------------

Are you suggesting this for U.S native population?
There's more to life than having a chauffer and
respect at work. What about friends and family?
I would maybe agree for indian born engineers.
Although life outside home and office totally
sucks in india. Anytime you have to deal with
government organization, get ready to deal with
insulting officers, and pay bribes. You will
get the taste of this the moment you land
at an airport. Police officers are more
corrupt and worst people to deal with.

What about pollution? Can you
simply go for a jog or walk after work, especially
if you are a female?

I grew up in India and my family had those
"domestic servants". I felt really really bad
for these folks. They get paid very little,
live in slums and cannot afford to send their
kids to schools.

Don't even get me started on the medical
facilities. If you can live with these things sure go ahead, move to india.


jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom sigint said:

why not ? Remeber the pre-independence British Sahibs ? They had a ball here, didn't they ? It took quite an effort to persuade them to go home !

-----------

That was different times, sigint. I think they
would like it for a short while but then you do
start missing your friends, family etc. I am
just quoting from my experience. Other than
work, there really is nothing to life here (in US).

Hospitals are way too expensive (atleast in
Bombay). Doctors charge whatever they feel
like (its like pre-HMO times in USA).

Also can you guarantee that Bangalore will not
become Bombay/Calcutta/Delhi in next 5 years?

To general LR population - I promise this is
the last post from me on this subject.

jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
As far as I know TechNet is getting good traction with Washington and there maybe nothing anyone can do about it when so many big players are aligned.

About the VC fraud: all you really need to do is to require startups to have many quarters of solid earnings (not revenue which can be faked) before IPO. Of course with believable audits :-)


------------------

Amen to that. As far as TechNet bullshit goes
we need a strong anti-lobbying bill.







sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:08:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Yeah, the article is good and makes a lot of sense.

Please take my next few words seriously, I'm not joking:

If you've been in telecom 25 years, you'd likely earn up to USD 100,000 working in India. Not great by US standards - but you'll have a fabulous life style. You can afford a chauffeur, and at a few full time domestic servants. Your younger colleagues will look upon you for advise, will respect you (there's a natural respect for age here), and you'd be valued for your US contacts. Life outside of office would suck, but you'll be happy at work.

Maybe some of the more adventurous of you telecom veterans can give it a try.

All the very best:
sincerely
sigint
jamesbond 12/4/2012 | 10:08:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am one of those foreign born (indian) software engineers. Here's my 2 cents on this -

1. I DO AGREE that U.S companies hire H1 engineers just so that they can pay them peanuts.
Two of my friends got jobs at Cisco last two
weeks (both of them H1 holders) and are getting
paid way less than their experience. One of the
friend was telling me that everybody (except one) he interviewed with at Cisco was an Indian.

2. H1 holders (especially Indians/Chinese) can
be easily exploited in terms of work hours. Managers, especially indian managers know this
and make them work real long hours. I don't know
why but they are such assholes to work for.

3. During my job hunt in the valley, I came
across atleast two startups that were fully
chinese/taiwanese (from secretary to CEO)

4. How come the article doesn't talk about huge
disparities in executive compensation and
engineers salary. If all the executives at
HP and Compaq took 25% pay cut, I am sure
they wouldn't need to cut this deep. This pay
cut wouldn't affect their living standards at
all versus a technician being able to feed
his/her kids.





switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:08:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Good article and much truth in it, but is there another side of the coin?

1) Engineers who's skills are past the "use by date", and refuse to keep their skills up by reading, going to class etc etc.

2) Engineers who are in quasi management postions, when all that is needed on the new programs are engineering cannon fodder and foot soldiers.

3) Engineers who have 20+ years with a company and are riding it out to retirement, Retired In Place.

Instead of feeling slammed, maybe some engineers need to look at their plight and do something postive about why they are being slammed.
dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:08:55 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom WSJ doesn't get it: CEOs are going to get engineers from India a 1/5 the price!!!



Angry Engineers Pin Shortage
On Low Pay, Layoffs, Age Bias

Hundreds of readers wrote to comment about my June 7 column on the projected
shortage of engineers -- most of them angry engineers.

While some lamented the uninspiring college curricula that turn off would-be
engineers, the majority echoed Andy Moore, 47, who got his B.S. in
mechanical engineering.

"I would not recommend the profession," he says. "Companies view engineers
as labor to be discarded when times are tough. Industries such as aerospace
want seasoned, innovative engineers during peak periods and then discard
them when the contracts end. I am surprised they get anyone at all."

Among the engineers I heard from, gripes focused on salary stagnation, age
discrimination and the infamous boom-and-bust cycle in the field.

Although I pointed to the high starting salary for engineers, few were
impressed.

"My salary was only $1,000 or $2,000 more than a new graduate with a
master's" after 11 years at IBM, one job-hunting engineer noted.

One civil engineer stuck with the field for only five years after graduate
school. Fed up with minuscule pay increases and hitting a salary plateau, he
now does equity research, a profession he says is full of engineering
refugees. He and others cite the influx of foreign-born engineers as a
reason for the stagnating salaries.

"If the captains of high tech are worried about the next generation of
engineers, they have only themselves to blame," agrees Mark Mendlovitz, who
taught engineering at Southern Methodist University. "They lobbied Congress
for an endless supply of H-1B visa holders to work long hours at
below-market wages, [with the result that] programmers and engineers saw
their wage growth suppressed and careers shortened. Potential engineers are
reading the writing on the wall and choosing more lucrative and stable
careers in business, medicine and law."

Many believe engineers are often victims of age discrimination. Steve
McMeekin, an electrical engineer who has done hardware and systems design
for 24 years, calls predictions of an engineer shortage "a crock," citing
his highly skilled, motivated engineer friends who can't find work. "Their
only problem is they are over 40," he says.

"When CEOs lament the decline in engineering enrollment," says Michael
Duffy, who has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and spent 16 years at it,
"I always think of the older talent they've tossed aside."

The message: Too many firms treat 40-something engineers as obsolete. The
smart engineers become patent lawyers. The periodic cry of "engineer
shortage!" is a ploy to obtain talent on the cheap and replace middle-aged
engineers with new grads trained in the latest techniques, hundreds of
readers claimed.

Anyone trying to gin up student interest in engineering through role models
should read my mail. Arnold Krell, a retired electrical engineer, says, "I
refused to allow my two children to become engineers," citing salary
ceilings and competition from younger, less-expensive workers.

James Jordan, a 20-year software vet, suspects that "today's youngsters have
seen how their parents have been treated by high-tech industries, as
disposable wage slaves who work long hours at high-stress jobs only to face
forced early retirement sans pension."

The periodic layoffs of engineers, with thousands dumped in the
aerospace-defense contraction of the late 1980s and now in the dot-com and
telecom meltdowns, have left a sea of bitterness. As Ed Boakes, who holds an
M.S. in electrical engineering and works at a telecom supplier, asks, "Why
bother to go into engineering at all? If you get a job, you'll soon be laid
off. I worry every day that today may be my last of work."

During his 25 years in engineering, Mark Miller saw 10 waves of layoffs. Now
a stock analyst, he compares engineers to migrant workers: "In aerospace,
defense and electronics, technical employment ebbs and flows with the
economy and defense contracts."

One Lucent engineer told me he and his colleagues "watch in envy as the
salesmen earn six-figure commissions and Hawaiian 'sales meetings' by taking
orders for systems we designed that they don't even understand."

Jack Cummins, an aerospace engineer for 15 years, puts it this way: "Why
design things when you can work fewer hours, make more money and have a
better life by being a sales weasel? The dark side pays better."

Maybe the drop-off in engineering grads reflects a big no-confidence vote in
large companies by some of our smartest students. All you CEOs worried about
where tomorrow's engineers will come from: Are you listening?

Write to me at [email protected]

willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1. Perhaps you didn't cook the books personally but ask yourself if you enabled it by buying into the mantra of the 80's and 90's? Did you perhaps vote for a "get the government off our backs" Newt Gingrich Republican? If so then you may have your own share of blame to carry.

2. Pay attention at the ballot box. Don't elect any foxes to watch the chicken coop. If they meet secretly with the crooks (say, like Cheney with Enron) then they might just not have your interests at heart. Don't complain, just get your pound of flesh in November.

--------

I am a Democrat and therefore didn't vote for Gingrich or either Bush. But I am intensely disappointed at the degree to which Democrats acquiesced and at times joined in the telecom/VC/Wall Street corruption. Even now, I see that the Democratic leadership in Congress has bought into the Cisco/Kleiner Perkins ("TechNet") monopoly restoration boondoggle.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom DSL and Cable MODEMS are NOT BROADBAND. These provide always-on connections at best. The last mile monopolists have hijacked the term broadband, commtting a fraud on the public for political reasons.

Real broadband will start at 100Mbs and go up from there.

------------

Patriotism is NOT the last refuge of a scoundrel. Semantics is.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1. Did you realize that at this moment, about 70% of Americans have broadband connectivity available to them (DSL and/or cable)

2. Americans, with the notable exception of the highly technical literate, have elected not to get broadband for some very good reasons - it's expensive, it doesn't noticeably improve the Internet experience for most users (because much of the world-wide-wait has to do overtaxed servers, not overloaded lines), and it's quite simply less reliable than dialup

3. If Americans have chosen not to buy broadband on the open market for some very good reasons, then why should they be forced to pay for it through taxes to fund a nationwide broadband effort?

--------

1. That's a load of horsehockey. You really need to do more than read telephone company press releases.

2. As much as I tend to demystify broadband, the idea that it's no better the dialup is willfully ignorant.

3. Agree completely. The answer is to have the RBOCs structurally separate and let private companies do the rest. Maybe the next wave of private companies won't be California VC-financed and will actually be interested in doing the job.
pro zack 12/4/2012 | 10:08:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am a Democrat and therefore didn't vote for Gingrich or either Bush. But I am intensely disappointed at the degree to which Democrats acquiesced and at times joined in the telecom/VC/Wall Street corruption. Even now, I see that the Democratic leadership in Congress has bought into the Cisco/Kleiner Perkins ("TechNet") monopoly restoration boondoggle.

---------------------

As far as I know TechNet is getting good traction with Washington and there maybe nothing anyone can do about it when so many big players are aligned.

About the VC fraud: all you really need to do is to require startups to have many quarters of solid earnings (not revenue which can be faked) before IPO. Of course with believable audits :-)






willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:08:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1. But that's OK - it's 'only' a Silicon Valley problem, right?

2. Even if California VC's were at the forefront, that may prove nothing other than the fact that there are a lot of VC's in California.

3. I see that Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney (with the infamous Frank Quattrone), and other Wall Street firms got investigated, but not Kleiner-Perkins, nor any other California VC. Is this just a coincidence?

4. You don't like financial scandals, period, no matter who is doing it, whether it's California VC's, or the boys in Wall Street, or MCIWorldcom, or Enron, or Global Crossing, or whoever.

--------

1. Never said that.

2. I already dealt with this objection in a prior posting.

3. The California VCs should be investigated because they were in the fraud up to their eyeballs.

4. That's true, I don't like the scandals at all, regardless of where they come from.
yomama 12/4/2012 | 10:08:57 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Hey evrybody how about a cup of shut the f*ck up?

And to all a goodnight, don't take life too seriously, no one get's out alive!!!

lightpimp 12/4/2012 | 10:08:57 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I can tell from the length of this thread that there is a boatload of laid-off telecom workers here. Case in point. The RailRoad analogy was not intended to match a perfect correlation with the current telecom meltdown. Simplicity in trends proves a general point, that CHEAP MONEY funded the blowup of the railroads as well as the telecom industry.

They both survived and always will. The growth in the railroad industry is next to nill while telecom will continuously slide in terms of growth. Way overbuilt with cheap paper, it will all end horribly for those that are deep in debt and are leveraged to the hilt...

On a personal note, best for all the telecom workers to pay off all debt, stay in cash and buy some gold. There is no recovery coming, its all a wall street ploy to keep YOUR money with THEM. After all, it is THEIR money isn't it???
rs50terra 12/4/2012 | 10:08:57 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Great post!
And now I would like to see the salesperson who goes to see a customer and tells him that he doesn't have a clue when the product will be ready because his Engineering team doesn't want to guess.
Bye, bye! Let's find a new customer.
rs50terra 12/4/2012 | 10:08:57 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Optical watcher,

I worked in Engineering for 15 years and then moved to marketing. The reason was that I was tired of being burried in my cubicle and have other people, i.e., marketing, tell me what to build. The sad fact is that many engineers I have seen have no clue what the real world is. They thing that if they only build a cool new gadget, everybody will apreciate how great it is and will run to buy it. You seem to think the same and that only shows your ignorance of the true world.
I suggest you either join the dark force (Marketing), or you stay in your cubicle and shut up.
Sorry! There is a third alternative. Start a new company. One that will not have any Sales or Marketing. I would agree to wait two years for you to tell us all how did it fare.
rs50terra 12/4/2012 | 10:08:58 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom but I gave little sympathy to Gill. He should not make $200,000 in the first place anyway. Market is just correcting itself.

--------------------------------Fortunecookie,

Do you kow Gill? How do you know what is he worth?After your message the only thing left is to wish you six months of job searching and to have to take a job that pays 30% of whatever you made before.

Good luck!
havethetshirt 12/4/2012 | 10:08:58 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Having lived through a start-up crash & burn as well as having worked for Verizon and WorldCom (where two years ago I realized they were not a viable company - cooking the books was just the icing on the cake)...here is what I would also look for:

1. Relevent telecom business experience of leaders. All telecom is not created equally. The actual business operations to support the last mile (especially voice) are tons more complex than those of a Long Distance, Data or ISP services. Between regulatory and ancillary services there is a lot of informaton that needs to be known and understood. An overall lack of understanding of the local industry is one factor that definitely impaired WorldCom as well as many others.

2. Look to see how much of their business is based on reselling services. There is little to no profit in resale, it actually tends to be an operational loss.

3. Look online and see what jobs are posted. If they are hiring mostly sales people, especially for multiple cities - run. This company is trying to get sales in order to book revenue - and as mentioned above, if most of these sales are based on reselling services (which most any local provider that is not the ILEC/RBOC is doing because it is very expensive and timely to actually build out facilities) they are on the way to financial ruin. In my experience at WCOM and a failed start-up I did not see the actual cost of sale taken into consideration.

4. Try to find out about their operational support systems. If they are using Metasolv run!! Actually the telecom boom led to the development of many very expensive but not operationally functional COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) systems that were sold to executives who did not have a clue of what the business requirements were to support Order Management, Customer Care and Billing. Many companies bought too many systems that are very expensive and almost possible to integrate and now are mired with manual processes, rekeying of data as well as just plain incorrect data.

For basic signs of life, if a company is a local provider - they really must own the majority of the facilities from which they provide services. This is why the ILECS are still alive and all of the new competitors that were going to put them under are all dying. It is VERY, VERY expensive to trench, run conduit, tear up streets, etc. in order to build out the last mile...and the return of investment will take years. So basically, Verizon and SBC are going to be the long term survivors. They both have strong local (already paid for guaranteed monthly revenue) and wireless presence. So as people begin to use wireless instead of land lines for their homes phones, they still have a market. Also - for data networks/ISP's you still need the local loop to access the network - this is for the most, resold through the a local carrier.

Long distance is a dying market...there is little profit margin. LD rates have gone done nearly 1000% during the past 10 years. When was the last time you got a discount on your local service. Plus many people (like me) make their long distance calls on their cell phones.

VoIP definitely will find a place - (like for international calls) however it is not quite ready and there are definitely reliability as well as industry standard issues. Unlike AT&T who built out their network on one uniform technology - VoIP networks are not and therefore until a standard is implemented (which means some manufacturers will go out of business)- there will be compatibility issues. Also - from a reliability standpoint, just think everytime your network hiccups or goes down you drop our call - this may not go over well in the business world. However, it will find a place, more than likely it will take off in the interactive gaming industry and the entertainment industry who are generally early adopters of new technology.

Wireless is definitely a growing market even though you still have your 911 and reliability issues.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:08:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
HiTekRedNeck wrote - "How would you like to be the Lucent and Nortel sales teams supporting Worldcom, Qwest, Global Crossing, etc. Good luck to everyone!!!"

and zweisel cluelessly replied:
Please. WorldCom is bankrupt and is buying nothing. Qwest is on the verge of bankruptcy with $32B in debt. Global Crossing is bankrupt. Are you for real?



Hello?!? Ever heard of irony or sarcasm zweisel? Sheesh! I've seen some pretty literal minded sorts running around uncaged in this business but you take the cake.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:08:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Oh really? So I cooked WorldCom's books and I rigged the electricity markets? Sounds like you made your money and got out early ...


Perhaps you didn't cook the books personally but ask yourself if you enabled it by buying into the mantra of the 80's and 90's? Did you perhaps vote for a "get the government off our backs" Newt Gingrich Republican? If so then you may have your own share of blame to carry. Many people who didn't pull the trigger chipped in to buy the gun. So what's to be done? Don't stew in your own juices, recognize what happened and don't be fooled again. Pay attention at the ballot box. Don't elect any foxes to watch the chicken coop. If they meet secretly with the crooks (say, like Cheney with Enron) then they might just not have your interests at heart. Don't complain, just get your pound of flesh in November.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:09:00 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Until the opposite transition becomes as widespread as this, I tend to say: engineers can do both, sales people cannot, which is sort of restating that the product will sell itself.


Correction: Some engineers can do both. Don't flatter yourself, it isn't universal among engineers. And there are a couple of reasons it doesn't happen both ways: 1) why would anyone take a pay cut to hang around with people who on the average aren't as fun (read: people oriented) and 2) because of the learning curve associated with hi-tech it requires considerable investment of time to get back up to speed in engineering. Why would anyone do this to take a pay cut and hang with nerds? ;-) Sheesh!!

I am an engineer and I have never been a sales person but I am amazed at how my fellow engineers can be so clueless about their own failings. On the average, engineers are not as socially adept as sales people. Many even suspect those who are more socially adept of being somehow "dishonest". Engineering culture disrespects social lubricants like paying people compliments as being false and even dishonest. This is the heart of the "nerd code". You are to judged solely on technical prowess, social skills are secondary if present at all. Sales people (not without some justification) see engineers as being totally clueless about other people's emotions and being blunt to the point of rudeness. What is the truth? Both sides have a kernel of truth to them but there are exaggerations and over simplified stereotypes on both sides. As an engineer I think my role is to keep my people honest. I will leave it to the sales guys to reign in theirs. ;-)
gardner 12/4/2012 | 10:09:00 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Her conclusion was that more layoffs were coming due to the World Com and other explosions and Bush and Co. had better start paying some attention to high technology segment of the economy.


I doubt that Bush wants to go there. Don't depend on the Republicans to clean this mess up. They caused it in the first place. And don't expect Bush to develop an independent mind anytime soon. He may not be the brightest president we ever had but he knows why he is where he is and who put him there. And besides, he is riding high in the polls now. And despite the fact that no one knows where Mullah Omar, Ossama bin Laden or Ayman AlZawahiri are now he seems to have kept his luster and managed to make it seem downright unpatriotic to criticize him (go figure). So far he has said he was outraged about Worldcom but his outrage sounds like Claude Rains in Casablance: "shocked, simply shocked". If anyone believes that he really cares as long as it doesn't hurt him politically they are naive. The ideological kleptocracy that he belongs to got the upper hand sometime in the 80s and have been pulling the wool over everyone's eyes ever since. I date the start of the downfall to when the Republicans came to power in the early 80s and started their orgy of deregulation of everything. This led us to the debacle we are in now by leaving the fox in charge of the chicken coop and telling the farmer to mind his own business. They managed to convince people that regulating and watching over industry to prevent shennanigans was some kind of moral failing and that market discipline was some sort of magic elixir of morality. They convinced people that government was inherently bad and the profit motive inherently good. (Neither, by the way is intrinsically good or bad--that is what checks and balances are about). Theirs was a bogus ideology but it worked to make people ignore the "man behind the curtain". People bought it and we Americans spread it all over the world. Now we are suffering the consequences of our naivete. I don't imagine that Bush will do anything except try to distract us with talk of the "axis of evil" and other foolishness. He just hopes it will go away.

I have no doubt that some of the true believers will come out swinging at me for denigrating the holy gospel according to Milton Friedman and Newt Gingrinch (that paragon of family values who divorced his wife while she was in the hospital for cancer so he could marry his mistress). Go ahead. Have your few moments in the sun before people catch on. The fact is that any ideology that convinced people to gut the SEC and let accounting firms sell business consulting services is an ideology that has outlived its usefulness. People are going to demand some prison sentences for these crooks but I predict that with the deregulatory orgy that the anti-government, pro-business ideologues brought us, we won't have the laws to do it. They might be able to put the handful that have committed blatant fraud (e.g. Worldcom's CFO) into a federal tennis camp for a couple of years but the vast majority will walk. Ashcroft is more worried about sexual obscenity than the obscenity of what has happened to our economy. He's more worried that some cancer patient might get some weed to ease his suffering then that the economy is in the weeds. In Ashcroft's quaint little world the seven deadly sins are not created equal: greed, pride, envy, gluttony and anger have been overshadowed by lust and sloth. Only lust and sloth seem to upset him. So, since few of the kleptocrats suffer from these two weaknesses I don't see them fitting into Ashcroft's demonology or indictments. Don't expect the Justice Dept to let itself be distracted from hunting down perveyors of "adult" pictures or medical marijuana so they can go after the people who are really wrecking our society. Why do you think our leaders distract us with such campaigns as the "war against drugs" or try to convince us of the harm done by internet pornographers? I'll tell you why: So we will be distracted from punishing the real evil: the guys who are wrecking our economy and hurting us all. Ken Lay did more damage in 5 years to capitalism than Lenin did in his whole lifetime but will he go to jail? Be vilified by the kleptocrat ideologues? Of course not. That would make it awkward at the club when he arrived to play a few holes with the guys. Let's face it folks. These guys are not going to be jailed in large numbers. The crime is too pervasive. There are too many to lock them all up. The only vengeance will have to be at the ballot box where we start paying attention and voting out the kleptocrat ideologues that brought us the deregulation orgy.
PresterJohn 12/4/2012 | 10:09:00 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1. "The fact is, a large number of great American companies needed financing of some sort to start out, whether that was VC money, or bank money, or whatever."

2. "Sure, it wasn't VC money back then, but the core premise was still true that few people had the financial means to start a business all by themselves. They needed to get that initial money from somewhere."

3. "I think you are espousing the idea that VC's were all a bunch of frauds. Yet even P.T. Barnum, who himself was largely a fraud, even admitted that "You can't fool all the people all the time". If VC's continue to produce shoddy companies that make nothing of value, then inevitably the market will correct itself to reflect that (like it's doing now) and those VC's will inevitably be forced to change their tune and go out of business. Sure, in the short term, fraud can take place. But in the long run, the market tends to root this kind of thing out."

1. Yes, of course you're right on this point. I don't feel it's necessary or in most cases possible to bootstrap all the way to IPO! This couldn't possibly work when the the target customer is an RBOC and the product is a class 5 switch replacement, for example. Start-up and follow-on financing could come from any number of sources including VCs. More to this next:

2. It may even have been VC money back then, but it usually came after there was some real commitment by the entrepreneur including self-financing, leaving work, renting the garage, building the prototype, etc. Merely writing the business plan with the VC's help, before leaving prior employment, doesn't count.

3. I hope you're right about the correction part. I don't think that all VCs are frauds, and I have to think that most of them actually believe that in addition to making money for themselves (which includes their investors, pals, etc.) they really are helping the economy and the country in some fashion by producing jobs, generating wealth, etc. The problem as I see it is that the whole entrepreneurial endeavor has been turned around where the cart is now leading the horse. VCs are today in essence saying (to presumed qualified entrants) "take some money and think of something to do - please!" The integrity of the exercise has been tainted by devaluing the most important part of the equation - the intellect and integrity of the entrepreneur in the single-minded pursuit of his dream. The only dream most of these "entrepreneurs" had was to get rich. I don't think that your average dot.com or telecom/optical entrepreneur was the one in the driver's seat, and even if he was, living the good life with no financial worries enroute to the dream produced a "softness" that lead to risk aversion (in a start-up no less!) and failure. This is the real problem I see with VCs; they have facilitated a scenario where wannabe entrepreneurs, who never would have made the cut in earlier times due to lack of the qualities I mentioned before, get the same financing and attention as their truly good, commited peers. Wall St. and incumbents (RBOCs, in this case) couldn't pierce the veil of BS and FUD thrown up by VC friends, i.e. industry analysts, and before you know it we have a giant bubble that shouldn't have existed in the first place. Of course the government "half-opening" the door with the '96 telecom act actually empowered the whole thing...no, don't get me started.

Maybe I'm a hopeless Ayn Rand romantic, but I bristle when I read about some people referring to the debaucle we've just witnessed as "the way capitalism works".

sgan201 12/4/2012 | 10:09:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Hi,
Isn't it obvious to anyone that consumer is only spend atmost $100 - $150 for their total bills (Internet + Telephone + Cable TV). You can give them 10Mbps or 100Mbps or so on.. They still can only pay $100 to $150 per month.. Video on demand existed for a long time (DVD, VCR rental, Cable TV pay per view) and it still not have a great demand..

You are looking at the wrong place for greater revenue. You need to look at business market. Telecom can be used to generate more business and create greater productivity. Historically, business subsidies the telecom infrastructure before it is cheap enough for consumer mass market (POTS, cell phone, air flight)..
If you can find a cheaper way to deliver data comm service than existing method at a reasonable price, you can address the huge market of 7.5 million SME in USA that can pay a lot more than $150 per month...
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:09:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom the paradigm has changed. the trend is more into
outsourcing abroad as trust and a record of past
projects build up. the "threat" is not from h1s
working in america but job migration.

ultimately money and work will flow where it can
find comparable quality at a cheaper rate. globalization cuts everyone without remorse. if
a american worker does the same work as a guy
who does it for less $$ elsewhere , companies
will not subsidize his higher salary just for
nothing.

I suspect the prospect for pure software jobs in
america is bleak going forward. hardware will
be around for a few decades until rest of world
catches up. a layer of SW work close to the HW can
also feed off this, though this too can be easily
developed abroad with final integration done
jointly.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom In fact, consider this. Did you realize that at this moment, about 70% of Americans have broadband connectivity available to them (DSL and/or cable), but still only about 10-15% of those Americans have actually chosen to subscribe? This means that the vast majority of Americans have elected not to get broadband.
__________________

DSL and Cable MODEMS are NOT BROADBAND. These provide always-on connections at best. The last mile monopolists have hijacked the term broadband, commtting a fraud on the public for political reasons.

Real broadband will start at 100Mbs and go up from there.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The more 'public' ownership you inject, the more inefficient things tend to be.

The more private competition there is, the generally better off consumers are.
_____________

This didn't seem to work for our roads. Do you suggest we transfer all of our roads into the hands of private companies?

Public infrastructures which enable open markets and educate citizens build an economy and support a democracy, respectively.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Citizens that choose to fund real broadband will provide a knowledge infrastructure their community will become dependent upon to grow and participate

________________________________________________

Well, then the real trick is to show them why they should choose to fund real broadband then. The simple fact of the matter is that, despite all these news stories of exploding broadband demand, most Americans do not care about broadband.

In fact, consider this. Did you realize that at this moment, about 70% of Americans have broadband connectivity available to them (DSL and/or cable), but still only about 10-15% of those Americans have actually chosen to subscribe? This means that the vast majority of Americans have elected not to get broadband. And it's not that Americans are all ignorant (some are, but not most). I think there are actually some very good reasons why most Americans have elected not to subscribe to broadband.

Consider the following snippets from the very enlightening Hart/Winston study:

""The bottom line is that among people who are most likely to subscribe to high-speed Internet access, the obstacles are price and lack of appeal," said Hart, CEO of Hart Research. "Forty-eight percent have no interest regardless of price and another 21 percent are willing to pay at most $20 per month. If you cannot win over the people who are currently using the Internet, consumer acceptance of high-speed access will be slow and limited"

"Findings about consumer interest in subscribing to high-speed service also apply to those who use it at work, the poll found, indicating that even those exposed to the service find little reason to subscribe at home"

"In sum, we've discovered that availability of high-speed access isn't the issue for most Americans," said Winston, "it's a lack of perceived value. That's why they're staying away from the service."
http://www.comptel.org/press/n...

Paul Coe Clark of The Net Economy is even more pessimistic:

"...In the earlier column, I pointed out that broadband-specific services aren't compelling, that Web browsing isn't much faster over broadband, since overloaded servers are the bottleneck, and that content plays (excepting Napster, which is being slowly and painfully executed under color of law), have been largely stillborn. Mostly, I argued that the price at which service providers can now make a profit is more than most people are willing to pay G«Ų especially given the fact that DSL is less stable than dial-up access."

http://www.theneteconomy.com/p...

"But look at the list of variables again. Once you subtract for CO distance, flaky lines, rustproofing, dealer, tax and title, who knows what speeds you will see?. And Verizon warns me up front that the service may be interrupted (because it's "technologically advanced," oddly enough) G«Ų a sure deal breaker for business. Maybe I would be happy with the service, and maybe not G«Ų but I wouldn't bet my business on it. And few non-business customers will pony up the $70 bucks a months for SDSL.

A new technology that decreases reliability and uptime isn't "technologically advanced" G«Ų it's buggy. Outside of early adopters and speed freaks, I don't see a sizeable percentage of the population paying two and a half times as much for flakier Internet access"

http://www.theneteconomy.com/a...




So to sum it up, most Americans, with the notable exception of the highly technical literate, have elected not to get broadband for some very good reasons - it's expensive, it doesn't noticeably improve the Internet experience for most users (because much of the world-wide-wait has to do overtaxed servers, not overloaded lines), and it's quite simply less reliable than dialup (surely we all have our horror stories about how our cable/DSL service has been unavailable for days, or even weeks at at time, something that just doesn't happen with dial).

So the point is, if Americans have chosen not to buy broadband on the open market for some very good reasons, then why should they be forced to pay for it through taxes to fund a nationwide broadband effort?

nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom This didn't seem to work for our roads. Do you suggest we transfer all of our roads into the hands of private companies...

_________________________________________________

Well, actually, yeah.

The fallacy of the Interstate Highway System is not that it had to be built. Rather, it had to do with the fact that most of it was not open to competitive private bidding. However, I could have envisioned a scenario back in the 1950;s where the government (as a customer) engaged one or most likely several road-building companies to build and maintain the nation's highways. In fact, I can envision such a scenario today, where government puts up road-building maintainance contracts up for competitive bidding every x number of years. Companies would be contractually obligated to maintain the roads at a designated level of quality and congestion, but could use any and all methods available to it to achieve such goals. Therefore if a company discovers an unusually efficient method of road-maintainance, then they would reap high profits, and it would be well-deserved.

rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I believe that, as a central tenet, consumers have the right to do whatever they want to do with their money. Maybe they should value education more, maybe they should value broadband more. But if they choose to spend their money on apparel or on stadiums instead, then so be it. That's a choice that only they have the right to make, and nobody else. Who am I to tell them how to spend their own money?
_______________

Violently agreed that consumers must choose for themselves on what to spend their money, though I don't agree that only advertisers can suggest the priorities ;-)

Sports Illustrated published an interesting public service announcement many years ago. It went something like this:

"The probability for a child in America to grow up and become an NBA player is 1 in a million; a doctor, lawyer or engineer about 1 in 100; illiterate around 1 in 10."

Consumers that prioritize education over apparel and sports will be building strong citizens our society depends upon. Citizens that choose to fund real broadband will provide a knowledge infrastructure their community will become dependent upon to grow and participate.

Those that speak out and "tell them" are leaders in my eyes.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom There really aren't hundreds of them, or even tens that I can think of. All of the examples you mention were founded by risk-taking entrepreneurs with real ideas of their own, who put up their own money to start out

_________________________________________________

I know where you're going, but you also see the problem of going too far the other way.

The fact is, a large number of great American companies needed financing of some sort to start out, whether that was VC money, or bank money, or whatever.

For example, Henry Ford was never rich (he was born on a poor farm in Michigan). He got his funding from others to start his company. William Durant required funding to start GM. Thomas Edison required funding before he started patenting anything - and we wouldn't have General Electric if that never happened. Alexander Graham Bell required moderate funding for his experiments with Watson.

Sure, it wasn't VC money back then, but the core premise was still true that few people had the financial means to start a business all by themselves. They needed to get that initial money from somewhere.


I think you are espousing the idea that VC's were all a bunch of frauds. Yet even P.T. Barnum, who himself was largely a fraud, even admitted that "You can't fool all the people all the time". If VC's continue to produce shoddy companies that make nothing of value, then inevitably the market will correct itself to reflect that (like it's doing now) and those VC's will inevitably be forced to change their tune and go out of business. Sure, in the short term, fraud can take place. But in the long run, the market tends to root this kind of thing out.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "As one airline exec put it, "we're all forced to go along with the stupidest competitor." It's just about impossible for them to raise air fares unless everyone goes along, because price is the only differentiator consumers really care about. There's very little product differentiation and the cost to switch to a competitor is nonexistent. Anyone else see a similarity to telco companies? Most of us get 5 calls a week offering us a better deal to switch to Ameritech, AT&T, MCI, Sprint, etc.

The combination of the overbuild and the inability to raise prices to absorb the costs of it = BK"


...you say this like it's such a bad thing. ;-)

My take is this. What has been bad (very bad) for investors and for telco employees has been unbelievably good for the consumer. Just like what's bad for the airlines had also been good for the consumer.

The fact is, while companies in both of these industries are suffering from their respective death matches, consumers have been hugely benefitting from low prices. Capitalism and the market play no favorites, and in fact bankruptcy is inherent to the way capitalism works (if no companies ever died, then that wouldn't be capitalism).

I know this is going to be hugely controversial, but I have to go with the consumer on this one. The welfare of consumers at large is more important than the welfare of an individual company or even an industry. It's like when the power loom was invented, and people started wringing their hands over all the former hand-looming companies that were going bankrupt and all the hand-loomers who couldn't find work, but neglect to mention that the consumers of the world now benefitted from supremely affordable clothing (a gigantic boon especially in the Third World, where lots of people used to die during cold winter snaps because they quite frankly couldn't afford enough clothing).
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "Water systems, sewer infrastructure, wastewater treatment, refuse, public schools, mass transit systems, airports, seaports, local roads, convention centers, traffic light networks, street lamp networks, police, fire, and emergency service infrastructures, as well as electric and gas utilities in some cases...these are all successfully operated by local governments"

I would strike the word 'successfully' from that sentence.

The fact of the matter is that government operations tend to be less efficient than private operations. The reason is simple - government operations are not disciplined by the market. They simply can't go bankrupt. So if there are changes that need to be made - particularly if there are inefficiencies that need to be rooted out - this happens a whole lot slower in the public sector. Case in point - look at your local DMV. Don't you just hate going there? Don't you just wish that there was some other competing company that also could provide you with car-registration/ticket-paying/whatever services? The DMV can make you wait in line for hours, give you crappy customer service, lose your paperwork, and they don't have to get better because, well, honestly, why should they - it's not like you can do your car paperwork somewhere else.


And you are correct to say that a locally owned infrastructure does not change my response either. This is essentially something like the RBOC scheme of today, where they own the last-mile infrastructure, and are overseen by a governmental board. Surely you would agree that RBOC's are not exactly the model of efficiency and customer service.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "Public ownership of last mile connectivity would be on a *regional* level"

Your proposal is not significantly different from what we have today, where the RBOC's are basically quasi-governmental monopolies (controlled by their local utility boards). Yet we all know how inefficient the RBOC's are and how poor their customer service is.

See - that's just the thing. The more 'public' ownership you inject, the more inefficient things tend to be, at least in the American economy. I don't know about Europe, but it seems to apply there as well - the most extreme example being the Soviet Union, where all industries were publicly owned and their inefficiency was extreme.

The more private competition there is, the generally better off consumers are. Maybe not every single time, but usually when consumers are given choice, the industry is forced to get better. While as an investor and a telco engineer, I am saddened by the hellspawn that is the long-distance and backbone market, as a consumer I couldn't be happier - because it has resulted in dramatically lower prices for me.

You may remember in the old days of Ma Bell just how expensive long-distance calls are. Now, because of the cutthroat competition, long-distance is very cheap. As a consumer, I really couldn't care less if AT&T or MCIWorldcom or anybody else goes bankrupt. As a consumer, all I really care about is low prices. Publicly owned companies generally are not able to offer the lowest possible prices, because public companies tend to not be as efficient (when you're a government monopoly, then who cares if you're inefficient, because you can't go bankrupt anyway). They may offer me as a consumer low prices, but on the back end will require my tax dollars, so that at the end of the day, the total cost to me (as a consumer and a taxpayer) is higher.



"Convincing the public to fund their own last mile is no easy task. And unfortunately in too many areas upgrading gyms and stadiums seems to take priority over connecting real broadband to our schools :-(

Consumers one day may realize that per capita spending on education should at least equal that spent on their apparel"

I am extremely uncomfortable with where you're going with this. I believe that, as a central tenet, consumers have the right to do whatever they want to do with their money. Maybe they should value education more, maybe they should value broadband more. But if they choose to spend their money on apparel or on stadiums instead, then so be it. That's a choice that only they have the right to make, and nobody else. Who am I to tell them how to spend their own money?

hemmingway1 12/4/2012 | 10:09:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom rjm:"Public ownership of our infrastructure is the only honorable way forward."

nrf: Holy cow - a return to nationalization. Yes, we all know how responsive, consumer-oriented, and cheap the old Bell/AT&T nationwide phone system was before its breakup.
=======
nrf, I believe rjm is referring to local governments, but that probably does not influence your response. Bashing government at all levels, and calling them incompetent, is the fashionable thing to do, and I do my share.

But if you think about it, most infrastructure and widespread services are a local government responsibility already.

Telecom is actually the anomaly in that regard.

Water systems, sewer infrastructure, wastewater treatment, refuse, public schools, mass transit systems, airports, seaports, local roads, convention centers, traffic light networks, street lamp networks, police, fire, and emergency service infrastructures, as well as electric and gas utilities in some cases...these are all successfully operated by local governments.

Are they perfect? Nope, nothing is. But the fact that we seldom think about these things and who operates them shows how stable and transparent they are in our lives. If they went away we'd sure notice though.

Most municipalities already operate private data networks between municipal buildings, schools, libraries, police, fire, and emergency services. They are operated as cost centers, not profit centers. The same model as corporate networks. It is an essential infrastructure, not a profit center.

Again in this case, telecom in the anomaly, being a profit center. That has many significant negative implications to the way the network is operated, from the end-user perspective.

Many municipalities even own their network infrastructure, since it is nearly always more economical for them to do this than lease telecom services from a carrier at hugely marked-up rates.

So the concept of a municipality operating the first mile infrastructure as a cost center or essential utility--available to all citizens--is not at all a stretch or foreign concept.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "Public ownership of our infrastructure is the only honorable way forward."

Holy cow - a return to nationalization. Yes, we all know how responsive, consumer-oriented, and cheap the old Bell/AT&T nationwide phone system was before its breakup. I seem to remember Lily Tomlin's famous comedy bit that included the lines: "We don't care, we don't have to, we're the phone company!".



nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "We don't have any numbers here, but I'd lay odds that California VCs were at the forefront of the financing of telecom equipment and services companies"

See - there it is again, your weird California fixation. Let's ignore the fact that the biggest frauds lately have occurred at, once again, MCIWorldcom,Enron, and WallStreet (i.e. Merrill Lynch), which are not from California. But apparently that doesn't matter. Oh, and Global Crossing, which is sort of from California, but the wrong part (HQ in Beverly Hills). But that's OK - it's 'only' a Silicon Valley problem, right?

Even if California VC's were at the forefront, that may prove nothing other than the fact that there are a lot of VC's in California. It's like saying China is at the forefront of food consumption just because there happen to be a lot of people in China. You have not proved that California VC's are disproportionately more irresponsible than the financial community at large. Since you're the one making the claims, the onus is really on you to provide evidence of such a thing. Once again, the big financial scandals are happening elsewhere. Why is that?

"I've spent all kinds of time there, and I've never met such a group of of people who managed to combine idiocy, lack of ethics or principles and arrogance all in a single package. I do think it's emblematic of California. It's the ultimate "me" state, where people truly don't give a shit about each other."

Oh, and other places where the financial community hangs out are not "all about me"? Yeah, when I think about people with compassion and playing nice, the first thing that pops into my mind is downtown Manhattan. Or Lombard Street in London, where all the British banks are. Or the financial sector of Tokyo. Ok, maybe not.

So, once again, if you got a beef with the world financial and investing community, then say it. But why do you pick on only certain parts of the financial community, and in fact at this time, one of the least scandal-ridden parts? I see that Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney (with the infamous Frank Quattrone), and other Wall Street firms got investigated, but not Kleiner-Perkins, nor any other California VC. Is this just a coincidence? Or perhaps you ar saying that California VC's are just more political adept than the Wall Street banks such that they can stave off an investigation (a hard claim to make - Wall Street banks are among the most politically adept organizations in the world).


"I think one thing we can say about Canada is that for whatever their other faults it is not a country run be greed and corruption where everyone is out to screw each other and everyone else, as in Sili-scam Valley."

On the other hand, it is precisely Canada's caution that has made it lag behind the United States economically. And I say that as a Canadian. It's painful for me to admit, but it's true. The Canadian economy has historically not been as vibrant as the American economy. Many more Canadians immigrate to the United States to find work than vice versa, including many of the most gifted and talented Canadians, and the reason why is that the United States simply has a stronger economy, even these days.

And speaking of Canada, yes, they are absolutely immune to greed and corruption. Because when I think of Nortel, there is absolutely no greed and corruption there. Hmmm."We don't have any numbers here, but I'd lay odds that California VCs were at the forefront of the financing of telecom equipment and services companies"

See - there it is again, your weird California fixation. Let's ignore the fact that the biggest frauds lately have occurred at, once again, MCIWorldcom,Enron, and WallStreet (i.e. Merrill Lynch), which are not from California. But apparently that doesn't matter. Oh, and Global Crossing, which is sort of from California, but the wrong part (HQ in Beverly Hills). But that's OK - it's 'only' a Silicon Valley problem, right?

Even if California VC's were at the forefront, that may prove nothing other than the fact that there are a lot of VC's in California. It's like saying China is at the forefront of food consumption just because there happen to be a lot of people in China. You have not proved that California VC's are disproportionately more irresponsible than the financial community at large. Since you're the one making the claims, the onus is really on you to provide evidence of such a thing. Once again, the big financial scandals are happening elsewhere. Why is that?

"I've spent all kinds of time there, and I've never met such a group of of people who managed to combine idiocy, lack of ethics or principles and arrogance all in a single package. I do think it's emblematic of California. It's the ultimate "me" state, where people truly don't give a shit about each other."

Oh, and other places where the financial community hangs out are not "all about me"? Yeah, when I think about people with compassion and playing nice, the first thing that pops into my mind is downtown Manhattan. Or Lombard Street in London, where all the British banks are. Or the financial sector of Tokyo. Ok, maybe not.

So, once again, if you got a beef with the world financial and investing community, then say it. But why do you pick on only certain parts of the financial community, and in fact at this time, one of the least scandal-ridden parts? I see that Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney (with the infamous Frank Quattrone), and other Wall Street firms got investigated, but not Kleiner-Perkins, nor any other California VC. Is this just a coincidence? Or perhaps you ar saying that California VC's are just more political adept than the Wall Street banks such that they can stave off an investigation (a hard claim to make - Wall Street banks are among the most politically adept organizations in the world).


"I think one thing we can say about Canada is that for whatever their other faults it is not a country run be greed and corruption where everyone is out to screw each other and everyone else, as in Sili-scam Valley."

On the other hand, it is precisely Canada's caution that has made it lag behind the United States economically. And I say that as a Canadian. It's painful for me to admit, but it's true. The Canadian economy has historically not been as vibrant as the American economy. Many more Canadians immigrate to the United States to find work than vice versa, including many of the most gifted and talented Canadians, and the reason why is that the United States simply has a stronger economy, even these days.

And speaking of Canada, yes, they are absolutely immune to greed and corruption. Because when I think of Nortel, there is absolutely no greed and corruption there. Hmmm."We don't have any numbers here, but I'd lay odds that California VCs were at the forefront of the financing of telecom equipment and services companies"

See - there it is again, your weird California fixation. Let's ignore the fact that the biggest frauds lately have occurred at, once again, MCIWorldcom,Enron, and WallStreet (i.e. Merrill Lynch), which are not from California. But apparently that doesn't matter. Oh, and Global Crossing, which is sort of from California, but the wrong part (HQ in Beverly Hills). But that's OK - it's 'only' a Silicon Valley problem, right?

Even if California VC's were at the forefront, that may prove nothing other than the fact that there are a lot of VC's in California. It's like saying China is at the forefront of food consumption just because there happen to be a lot of people in China. You have not proved that California VC's are disproportionately more irresponsible than the financial community at large. Since you're the one making the claims, the onus is really on you to provide evidence of such a thing. Once again, the big financial scandals are happening elsewhere. Why is that?

"I've spent all kinds of time there, and I've never met such a group of of people who managed to combine idiocy, lack of ethics or principles and arrogance all in a single package. I do think it's emblematic of California. It's the ultimate "me" state, where people truly don't give a shit about each other."

Oh, and other places where the financial community hangs out are not "all about me"? Yeah, when I think about people with compassion and playing nice, the first thing that pops into my mind is downtown Manhattan. Or Lombard Street in London, where all the British banks are. Or the financial sector of Tokyo. Ok, maybe not.

So, once again, if you got a beef with the world financial and investing community, then say it. But why do you pick on only certain parts of the financial community, and in fact at this time, one of the least scandal-ridden parts? I see that Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney (with the infamous Frank Quattrone), and other Wall Street firms got investigated, but not Kleiner-Perkins, nor any other California VC. Is this just a coincidence? Or perhaps you ar saying that California VC's are just more political adept than the Wall Street banks such that they can stave off an investigation (a hard claim to make - Wall Street banks are among the most politically adept organizations in the world).


"I think one thing we can say about Canada is that for whatever their other faults it is not a country run be greed and corruption where everyone is out to screw each other and everyone else, as in Sili-scam Valley."

On the other hand, it is precisely Canada's caution that has made it lag behind the United States economically. And I say that as a Canadian. It's painful for me to admit, but it's true. The Canadian economy has historically not been as vibrant as the American economy. Many more Canadians immigrate to the United States to find work than vice versa, including many of the most gifted and talented Canadians, and the reason why is that the United States simply has a stronger economy, even these days.

And speaking of Canada, yes, they are absolutely immune to greed and corruption. Because when I think of Nortel, there is absolutely no greed and corruption there. Hmmm."We don't have any numbers here, but I'd lay odds that California VCs were at the forefront of the financing of telecom equipment and services companies"

See - there it is again, your weird California fixation. Let's ignore the fact that the biggest frauds lately have occurred at, once again, MCIWorldcom,Enron, and WallStreet (i.e. Merrill Lynch), which are not from California. But apparently that doesn't matter. Oh, and Global Crossing, which is sort of from California, but the wrong part (HQ in Beverly Hills). But that's OK - it's 'only' a Silicon Valley problem, right?

Even if California VC's were at the forefront, that may prove nothing other than the fact that there are a lot of VC's in California. It's like saying China is at the forefront of food consumption just because there happen to be a lot of people in China. You have not proved that California VC's are disproportionately more irresponsible than the financial community at large. Since you're the one making the claims, the onus is really on you to provide evidence of such a thing. Once again, the big financial scandals are happening elsewhere. Why is that?

"I've spent all kinds of time there, and I've never met such a group of of people who managed to combine idiocy, lack of ethics or principles and arrogance all in a single package. I do think it's emblematic of California. It's the ultimate "me" state, where people truly don't give a shit about each other."

Oh, and other places where the financial community hangs out are not "all about me"? Yeah, when I think about people with compassion and playing nice, the first thing that pops into my mind is downtown Manhattan. Or Lombard Street in London, where all the British banks are. Or the financial sector of Tokyo. Ok, maybe not.

So, once again, if you got a beef with the world financial and investing community, then say it. But why do you pick on only certain parts of the financial community, and in fact at this time, one of the least scandal-ridden parts? I see that Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney (with the infamous Frank Quattrone), and other Wall Street firms got investigated, but not Kleiner-Perkins, nor any other California VC. Is this just a coincidence? Or perhaps you ar saying that California VC's are just more political adept than the Wall Street banks such that they can stave off an investigation (a hard claim to make - Wall Street banks are among the most politically adept organizations in the world).


"I think one thing we can say about Canada is that for whatever their other faults it is not a country run be greed and corruption where everyone is out to screw each other and everyone else, as in Sili-scam Valley."

On the other hand, it is precisely Canada's caution that has made it lag behind the United States economically. And I say that as a Canadian. It's painful for me to admit, but it's true. The Canadian economy has historically not been as vibrant as the American economy. Many more Canadians immigrate to the United States to find work than vice versa, including many of the most gifted and talented Canadians, and the reason why is that the United States simply has a stronger economy, even these days.

And speaking of Canada, yes, they are absolutely immune to greed and corruption. Because when I think of Nortel, there is absolutely no greed and corruption there. Hmmm."We don't have any numbers here, but I'd lay odds that California VCs were at the forefront of the financing of telecom equipment and services companies"

See - there it is again, your weird California fixation. Let's ignore the fact that the biggest frauds lately have occurred at, once again, MCIWorldcom,Enron, and WallStreet (i.e. Merrill Lynch), which are not from California. But apparently that doesn't matter. Oh, and Global Crossing, which is sort of from California, but the wrong part (HQ in Beverly Hills). But that's OK - it's 'only' a Silicon Valley problem, right?

Even if California VC's were at the forefront, that may prove nothing other than the fact that there are a lot of VC's in California. It's like saying China is at the forefront of food consumption just because there happen to be a lot of people in China. You have not proved that California VC's are disproportionately more irresponsible than the financial community at large. Since you're the one making the claims, the onus is really on you to provide evidence of such a thing. Once again, the big financial scandals are happening elsewhere. Why is that?

"I've spent all kinds of time there, and I've never met such a group of of people who managed to combine idiocy, lack of ethics or principles and arrogance all in a single package. I do think it's emblematic of California. It's the ultimate "me" state, where people truly don't give a shit about each other."

Oh, and other places where the financial community hangs out are not "all about me"? Yeah, when I think about people with compassion and playing nice, the first thing that pops into my mind is downtown Manhattan. Or Lombard Street in London, where all the British banks are. Or the financial sector of Tokyo. Ok, maybe not.

So, once again, if you got a beef with the world financial and investing community, then say it. But why do you pick on only certain parts of the financial community, and in fact at this time, one of the least scandal-ridden parts? I see that Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney (with the infamous Frank Quattrone), and other Wall Street firms got investigated, but not Kleiner-Perkins, nor any other California VC. Is this just a coincidence? Or perhaps you ar saying that California VC's are just more political adept than the Wall Street banks such that they can stave off an investigation (a hard claim to make - Wall Street banks are among the most politically adept organizations in the world).


"I think one thing we can say about Canada is that for whatever their other faults it is not a country run be greed and corruption where everyone is out to screw each other and everyone else, as in Sili-scam Valley."

On the other hand, it is precisely Canada's caution that has made it lag behind the United States economically. And I say that as a Canadian. It's painful for me to admit, but it's true. The Canadian economy has historically not been as vibrant as the American economy. Many more Canadians immigrate to the United States to find work than vice versa, including many of the most gifted and talented Canadians, and the reason why is that the United States simply has a stronger economy, even these days.

And speaking of Canada, yes, they are absolutely immune to greed and corruption. Because when I think of Nortel, there is absolutely no greed and corruption there. Hmmm.


Instead of fixating so much on Northern California, why don't you just get to the root cause of the problem? You don't like financial scandals, period, no matter who is doing it, whether it's California VC's, or the boys in Wall Street, or MCIWorldcom, or Enron, or Global Crossing, or whoever.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Holy cow - a return to nationalization.
____________________

Nationalization is the wrong approach. The upcoming "private interest" consolidation phase should provide a quasi competitive backbone. Who knows how long this will take and if the RBOCs will be able to get into the game. I suspect they probably will.

Public ownership of last mile connectivity would be on a *regional* level, similar to water infrastructure, sidewalks, and storm drains (and the direction school facilities upgrades have been going in CA).

Convincing the public to fund their own last mile is no easy task. And unfortunately in too many areas upgrading gyms and stadiums seems to take priority over connecting real broadband to our schools :-(

Consumers one day may realize that per capita spending on education should at least equal that spent on their apparel. And increasing it to car payment levels would be sufficient to connect real broadband from Mars ;-)
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom He does this in the name of preserving the 1996 Telco Act, not to favor ILECs, but rather for cable interests. If unbundling requirements were removed then the cable cos could possibly lose their monopoly of video distribution via competition with the ILECS.

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One more thing: You see, I don't kow-tow to ANY of the interests. All I care about is real technology, real services, real value, real competition and real ethics. And I'm foolish enough to believe that it's possible in a private enterprise system. It's never going to be perfect, but it sure as hell doesn't have to be as corrupt as the California shysters made it in the late 1990s.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Willy's interest is distraction. He does this in the name of preserving the 1996 Telco Act, not to favor ILECs, but rather for cable interests. If unbundling requirements were removed then the cable cos could possibly lose their monopoly of video distribution via competition with the ILECS.

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You think I'm shilling for the CABLE COMPANIES? Oh Lord !!!!!!!! ROTFL !!!!! Oh my God.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I don't kow-tow to ANY of the interests. All I care about is real technology, real services, real value, real competition and real ethics. And I'm foolish enough to believe that it's possible in a private enterprise system.
_______________

Fair enough, though there is no such thing as "no interests" nor pure private enterprise. And things "real" seem to be out of favor.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1. Silicon Valley does have a disproportionate amount of the nation's tech and telecom industry. So if tech/telecom has problems, then Silicon Valley will probably be involved.

2. It's just that there are a lot of VC's that happen to be from California. But it's really a VC problem in general, not specific to California.

3. Otherwise, it's like saying that if there's a pineapple scandal, then Hawaii is to blame. Or if there's a hockey scandal, then Canada is to blame (Blame Canada!).

-------

1. Yup.

2. We don't have any numbers here, but I'd lay odds that California VCs were at the forefront of the financing of telecom equipment and services companies. If Silicon Valley weren't so devoid of ethics, things would have gone differently. I've spent all kinds of time there, and I've never met such a group of of people who managed to combine idiocy, lack of ethics or principles and arrogance all in a single package. I do think it's emblematic of California. It's the ultimate "me" state, where people truly don't give a shit about each other.

3. Yes, if there's a pineapple scandal and the rest of the country pours billions in pineapples and it turns out to be mainly fraudulent, I think it's very fair game -- obligatory, really -- to ask what the hell is the matter in Hawaii. As for Canadian hockey scandals, well, I think one thing we can say about Canada is that for whatever their other faults it is not a country run be greed and corruption where everyone is out to screw each other and everyone else, as in Sili-scam Valley.

You can say I'm unfair, but the reality is that the level of unprosecuted fraud in northern California's technology corridor has given a different twist to the idea of "new economy." Future investors will demand a risk premium to invest in a place with the ethics of Indonesia and the law enforcement of mainland China.

theanswer 12/4/2012 | 10:09:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Some startups that are in free-fall were badly managed by people wanting to show off their MBAs. They over hired to make the company look big and viable. They didn't listen to their employees because they were to dumb to understand business. Because of the management errors, a desire to have a big company under their belt, before the products were mature and ready for prime time, hard working people that should not be cut are being driven out to salvage what i don't know. Can anyone talk about the death signs of a private telco startup.
I've seen the COO (which never impressed me much), VPs (including the VP of sales and VP of product strategy), managers and some of the better workers killed off lately, just to save some mickey mouse people who are cheaper, less technical, and would do less to beat the bugs out of the software and hardware, which is killing the product. There have been two layoffs in the last 95 days with more to come I suspect. The layoffs seem to be personal in nature in many cases rather than sound reasoning.
Can anyone tell me what else to look for so I don't buy junk options?
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Willy's interest is distraction. He does this in the name of preserving the 1996 Telco Act, not to favor ILECs, but rather for cable interests. If unbundling requirements were removed then the cable cos could possibly lose their monopoly of video distribution via competition with the ILECS. There are only 10 revenue generating titles at blockbuster, 6M rentals per day. The MSOs are trying to offer DVD controls to keep the advantage over this "popular" freight. Cable co sell hundreds of channels of junk, and without this loss leader content they would have no customers.

Personally, I don't think the ILECs are capable of providing VDSL so I don't see the removal of the Telco Act as real threat. I think this whole thing is a big con game because nobody can afford to pay for the last mile. Everybody wants to control it and is trying to figure out how to make somebody else pay for it.

The whole thing is a disgrace to our industry in my opinion. Public ownership of our infrastructure is the only honorable way forward.
PresterJohn 12/4/2012 | 10:09:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom <you 99%="" apple,="" are="" be="" biotech="" dell,="" etc="" etc.="" firms,="" hundreds="" kidding.="" must="" of="" sun,="" them.="" there="">

godelescherbach:

There really aren't hundreds of them, or even tens that I can think of. All of the examples you mention were founded by risk-taking entrepreneurs with real ideas of their own, who put up their own money to start out. You mention biotech firms too -they have yet to prove themselves to be more than flashes in the pan, hence don't satisfy my "viability" requirement. These companies may have taken VC money after the fact, but they weren't STARTED by VCs looking to make a fast buck, and they weren't controlled by VCs from day 1 as virtually all of the bubble companies were/are.

I think capitalism is fine, I just wish we'd see more of it. VCs "procurring" an engineering team to cobble together "visonary" products of dubious need and utility is not well-practiced capitalism in my book.

If you look at all the facts and figures of the past 5 years with regard to telecom/optical start-up companies, you can't help but see that it all amounted to a massive transfer of wealth FROM unsophisticated investors not wanting to be left behind, TO near predatory VCs and their collaborators. The alliance of VCs and their sycophant "entrepreneurs" managed to stampede not only the stock market into coughing up tens of billions, but also the established companies like Lucent and Nortel, fearing to be left behind in a 'disruptive technology' warp field. Shame on the management of these incumbents for buying the 'Emperor's New Clothes" line and paying billions for chaff. It was a "gimme it all NOW" play that had no regard for building companies that would employ us and our children in the future. If any real useful technology happened to be developed in the process, it was a coincidence.</you>
lastmile 12/4/2012 | 10:09:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom JHMO
The crashing telecom industry is in chaos now and I am convinced that 802.11/Wi-Fi will leap to prominence and pose a serious threat to the established telecom carriers.

May be we (The Consumer) do not need the big guys anymore.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "That said, I think a true reckoning of the bubble would show a "Made in California" stamp on it. The big-name CLECs, which were linchpins of the "new" communications system, were financed and in several cases headquartered in California, as were most of the equipment vendors to the "new carriers."

There are so many ironies and paradoxes, one of which is that, for all the zillions of bucks stolen out there, Santa Clara County's rich electronic bastards are known far and wide for being some of the leading misers when it comes to charity for the poor."


See, once again, I think you are being unusually harsh towards California. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that Silicon Valley-ites were all a bunch of angels, because clearly that is false.

Consider the case of the new 'communications systems'. While obviously some were headquartered in Silicon Valley, most were not. In fact, if you really want to talk about preponderance, then you're really talking about Northern Virginia (Herndon, Vienna, Tyson's Corner, etc.) around MAE-East. They don't call that place ISP Heaven for nothing. That's where all the new-age ISP's and telcos were really located.

Again I think you're unfairly maligning California, especially Silicon Valley. The fact is, Silicon Valley does have a disproportionate amount of the nation's tech and telecom industry. So if tech/telecom has problems, then Silicon Valley will probably be involved.

But it is unclear that Silicon Valley has created a greater number of problems that is out of proportion to its weighting in the tech industry. I don't know that California VC's are any more greedier than VC's from, say, Boston, or New York. It's just that there are a lot of VC's that happen to be from California. But it's really a VC problem in general, not specific to California.

Otherwise, it's like saying that if there's a pineapple scandal, then Hawaii is to blame. Or if there's a hockey scandal, then Canada is to blame (Blame Canada!).
dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:09:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom My spin is that there is a shortage of workers willing to work @ $8 an hour in the us, but NOT in india... The ITAA wants to justify allowing more H1Bs into this country so that it can get more cheap IT workers...
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I would argue that it's the motor vehicle industry that really killed the trains, although the airlines obviously didn't do the rail industry any favors.

------------

It would be interesting to know. Seems to me the real bucks are in business travel. Business people didn't substitute cars for trains, they substituted planes for trains. That's how I recall it working for my father, anyway. By the mid-1960s, we stopped picking him up at the train station and started picking him up at the airport.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom willy; I think we are pretty much in agreement with a couple of exceptions.

o People and governmnet were both anti-rail. I know you don't believe in an affirmative government, but it really can work. So let's not assume separation ;-)

Why were they anti-rail (or pro-car)? Many argue because of the automobile but yet passenger revenue did not pay the bills. Freight made the profit. Who benefits from freight using a competitive vs a monopoly distribution system? (For a hint look at today's trucking revenues. 88% of all freight is carried on trucks and 20% of all "value add" of raw materials is actualy shipping costs.) Don't get me wrong, the auto lobby was significant but the truckers got a nice deal on the backs of the tax payers when our interstates were built. And our commerce engine thrived once a competitive and democractic infrastructure was deployed.

o Rail consolidation began when capital markets crashed in 1893. The last spike, at Stevens pass, went into a switchback that should have been a tunnel through the Cascades. The consolidation phase and so called government regulation of the rail industry occurred about the same time. Who was behind that?

o The ICC was setup in 1887 aspiring to set reasonable equitable access for *shippers* (similar to our 1996 Telco Act). The law had loopholes and it was the Hepburn Act in 1910 that gave the ICC power to set shipping rates. A mistake made in the long run for the rail industry. This all occurred during the consolidation phase of their industry and had nothing to do with the automobile.

So the first seed to the rail falure was set long before the auto ever was significant.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "...massive fraud over the past severals years, namely the California VCs"

You do of course realize that not all VC's are in California. While California has a disproportionate amount of VC money, there is actually more total VC money spend outside California than within. Are you saying that California VC's are more prone to fraud than VC's from outside California? I have never seen any evidence of this.
dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:09:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Workers Blast ITAA Study Claims
By MELISSA SOLOMON
JUN 03, 2002

With 35 years of IT experience and expertise in C++, Java and other technical skills in high demand, Warren MacQueen thinks he should have no problem landing a job.
But the Kansas City-area IT veteran said that after falling victim to mass layoffs at Sprint Corp. in November, he sent out 100 resumes and heard back from only a handful of companies. "I don't think that my skill set is inadequate," he said.

MacQueen is one of scores of IT workers who were angered by last month's Information Technology Association of America report, which claimed there's a shortage of U.S. workers with the right IT skills [QuickLink: 29607].

The study projected that despite a 5% dip in the IT job market last year, upward of 1.1 million jobs will be created this year. However, it continued, less than half of those will be filled because workers don't have the right skills. Critics claim that there aren't any jobs in sight and that the supposed IT skills shortage is a myth perpetuated by big business and lobbyists trying to preserve the current employers' market.

"[The study] doesn't seem to jibe with the facts, so you question if there's a hidden agenda or just a lack of judgment," said Ray Hooker, a networking consulting engineer at Cisco Systems Inc.

However, ITAA spokesman Bob Cohen said the report is a forecast rather than an indicator of current conditions. A telephone-based survey of 532 managers across a variety of industries found that companies are struggling to find workers with technical expertise, domain knowledge and project experience, he said.

"People's frustration is understandable, because times have changed and it's more difficult to drive your career than it was in 1999 and 2000," said Cohen. "But you can't overlook what the requirements are or what the hiring companies' views are."

One factor fueling the uproar over the study is that the Arlington, Va.-based ITAA is one of the nation's biggest supporters of the H-1B temporary foreign visa program.

Some critics charged that the skills shortage study was just an attempt to persuade Congress to raise the H-1B cap and flood the IT job market with lower-paid foreigners in order to drive down salaries.

Hooker said he's not opposed to the H-1B program and added that many foreign workers are better educated and more up to date on IT skills than their U.S. counterparts. But, he said, American workers with significant job experience who are equally or more qualified are being shut out by an oversaturated job market.

"We wouldn't want to allow undercutting of existing [U.S.] workers," said Hooker. "I respect [foreign workers'] skills, but a 25-year-old with two years' experience is still a 25-year-old with two years' experience."

Tom Scott, president of the San Diego Oracle Users Group, is one of many skeptics of the skills shortage who said he often sees phony job listings likely geared toward hiding the job shortage. Scott and others say they can tell the ads are phony because the job listings typically ask for an impossible combination of skills and certifications. "They want every acronym under the sun for $30 [an hour]," Scott said.

Another issue is an age-old problem: human resources professionals who lack IT skills but are responsible for filling highly technical posts.

But that argument is always used when the market is down, countered the ITAA's Cohen.

"In good times, [recruiters are] brilliant, and in bad times, they don't know what they're doing," he said.

Different Perspectives

Indeed, the ITAA's contention that companies are having trouble filling jobs does have some backing. Hiring managers are split on the job-shortage/skills-shortage debate, with some supporting the findings that were detailed in the ITAA's report.

At Delaware Investments in Philadelphia, IT jobs are scarceG«Ųas are jobs across the companyG«Ųbecause they're being filled only if they're deemed critical, said company spokesman Tom Gariepy.

IT job openings at Lockheed Martin Corp. are also down, though not as drastically as at other companies, said Don Peterman, director of employment for the company's Delaware Valley Regional Recruiting Center.

Last year, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed filled about 700 IT jobs, and it expects to fill about half that number this year, said Peterman. Since the middle of last year, every job opening at the company has generated a flood of resumes, with more than enough qualified candidates, he added.

Still, finding qualified IT candidates to fill open positions is a big challenge, said Nicole Tucker, a recruiter at Philadelphia-based Peco Energy Co., a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corp.

"It's really tough for us to find very specialized people," she said, adding that applicants for the eight to 10 high-level IT jobs that open each year lack either degrees or business knowledge and project management expertise. The company often decides to hire its contractors for full-time jobs because they have developed the right skill sets while at Peco, Tucker added.

Kathy Walters, vice president of IT at Exelon's energy division in Philadelphia, said her unit is fully staffed now. But when positions do open up in the division, Walters said, she gets many resumes but few from qualified candidates.

"Finding the right match for what you have to spend is tough," Walters said.


Factors Driving IT Job Shortage

Corporate consolidation resulting in job cuts
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Former dot-com employees flooding the corporate IT market
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Slashed IT budgets that fund only mission-critical projects
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Employers cutting experienced, high-paid workers, and replacing them with younger, lower-paid workers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IT departments pushing employees to work longer and harder
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Companies hiring temporary contractors and pushing work overseas



Source: Computerworld










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dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:09:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It Job Market Dips; No Upswing in Sight


By JULIA KING
MAY 13, 2002





Arlington, Va.
The good news is that U.S. companies hired 2.1 million IT workers last year.

The bad news is that they fired 2.6 million, reducing the overall IT workforce by about 5%, from 10.4 million to 9.9 million workers, according to a national IT workforce study released here last week by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).

At the top of companies' 2001 layoff lists were technical support workers, whose ranks were reduced by more than 911,000 positions. Other losing job categories included software programmers/engineers and database developers, which lost 487,000 and 445,000 jobs, respectively.

The groups that lost the fewest jobs were digital media specialists, technical writers and enterprise systems support workers.

Results of the ITAA study were based on interviews conducted in February and March with 532 hiring managers at companies with more than 50 employees.

According to ITAA President Harris Miller, hiring managers rated specific industry and technical experience as the top factors they considered when interviewing IT job candidates. Less important were technical certifications and general work experience.

This doesn't bode well for the millions of graduates from colleges and technical study and certification programs who are entering the job market. Adding to their struggle is the ITAA's finding that companies are targeting traditional entry-level IT departments like the help desk and customer service for reductions.

"Entry-level positions have been reduced significantly" since early 2001, said Scott Melland, president of Dice Inc., a New York-based online job posting service.

Despite the grim numbers, hiring managers in the ITAA's survey said they expect to create about 1.1 million IT jobs within the next year. But due to a so-called skills imbalance, they expect about 600,000 of those jobs to remain unfilled.

Ron Fijalkowski, CIO at Strategic Distribution Inc., a $300 million supplier of manufacturing maintenance and repair parts in Feasterville, Pa., questioned the ITAA's report.

"I don't think those numbers are at all realistic," said Fijalkowski, noting that his company has no plans to hire new IT employees. "We have not let the water start flowing to go after projects on hold."

Fijalkowski is also skeptical about a skills imbalance.

"There are Java developers and skilled Microsoft individuals available for hire," he said. "I'm also getting numerous calls from [outsourcing firms] seeking workG«Ųand that includes offshore firms seeking work. I absolutely don't see an uptick in demand going on."

There are signs that IT jobs are returning, said Joanne Peterson, president of Abator Information Service Inc., an IT recruiting firm in Pittsburgh. But Peterson also said she doubts the ITAA's arithmetic, specifically its claim that as many as 600,000 jobs will go unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates.

"I think we could staff every real job that is open with people who are not working," Peterson said. "I don't think we need to go to India to get a job filled."

Reporter Brian Sullivan contributed to this story.

Key Findings From The ITAAG«÷s Survey
HOW THE AX FELL:
IT companies cut 15% of their IT workers, while non-IT companies laid off only 4% of IT workers.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WHERE THE JOBS ARE:
IT work appears to be migrating south. Demand for IT workers in the Midwest and West has fallen since 2000. HereG«÷s a breakdown of where the IT jobs are:





Source: Computerworld










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willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom See, there you go again with your anti-California thing.

Yet you have admitted yourself that the biggest frauds of all were perpetrated by MCIWorldcom and Enron, which, last time I checked, were not from California.

I think you may want to adjust your stance to say that you oppose ALL lying and corruption, no matter who is doing it.

-----------

So far as we know thus far, the biggest individual corportae frauds were as you describe them. And yes, I am very down on ALL fraud. I find it especially interesting that Bernie Ebbers had presented himself as a pious, born-again Christian. What, of the Jimmy Swaggart wing?

That said, I think a true reckoning of the bubble would show a "Made in California" stamp on it. The big-name CLECs, which were linchpins of the "new" communications system, were financed and in several cases headquartered in California, as were most of the equipment vendors to the "new carriers."

There are so many ironies and paradoxes, one of which is that, for all the zillions of bucks stolen out there, Santa Clara County's rich electronic bastards are known far and wide for being some of the leading misers when it comes to charity for the poor.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:12 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "...that there is one possible "Social" choice that may give consumers a better service, which would be to have a state-owned and state-operated broadband network (state meaning any level of government). "

Uh, better service?

There aren't exactly too many government bureaucracies I can think of that I would equate with good service. I'm sure if I sit down and really think about it, I'll come up with a few. But they are in the distinct minority. But every time I go to the local DMV, it's an absolute nightmare.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:12 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1) I do not believe in any novel killer application. I simply pragmatically think that bandwidth consumption will rise as a result of more popular use of existing applications. A steady growth, not explosive growth.

2) I think that the price that we currently pay for telecom services is probably fair. I could not imagine people paying more than what they currently do. There is evidently as in the rest of the IT industry a downward trend in price meaning that capacity will increase while the bills to the final user will remain largely unchanged.

3) There is therefore no other future possible than a drastic cost reduction in the deployment and operation of the telecom infrastructure. I can not forecast how this will happen, but since there is no other alternative, it will happen.

----------

This is how telecom will go if the FCC gives the whole thing back to the RBOCs as they and the Cisco/Kleiner Perkins crew ("TechNet") want. We'll see a halt to growth and innovation, and continued price inflation for existing services.

The blame for this state of affairs can be laid squarely at the feet of those who committed massive fraud over the past severals years, namely the California VCs, corrupt vendors and CLECs, and corrupt investment banks and investment managers.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:12 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "...nor did they fall for the outrageous lies told by California vendors"

See, there you go again with your anti-California thing.

Yet you have admitted yourself that the biggest frauds of all were perpetrated by MCIWorldcom and Enron, which, last time I checked, were not from California.

I think you may want to adjust your stance to say that you oppose ALL lying and corruption, no matter who is doing it.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:12 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "As for passengers, it was air travel that killed the trains"

I would argue that it's the motor vehicle industry that really killed the trains, although the airlines obviously didn't do the rail industry any favors.

willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:13 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am still of the opinion that telephone companies have had a monopoly for so long that they have forgotten how to build and run a business efficiently. Every time I say this I get outcries, most probably from engineers or mid-level managers in the industry, who accuse me of complete ignorance. True: I am completely ignorant of how to build and operate a phone system. I do have an idea, however, of how to run a business and how to make money from technological innovation. It just amazes me how telephone companies fail so miserably at that.

----------

The astonishing thing to me is how we had such huge funding of competitive alternatives, yet they were dominated by stupidity, fraud and short-term greed. Until the California VC-funded CLECs came along, I didn't think it was possible to manage a communications enterprise any worse than the RBOCs' managed one. The saving graces of the RBOCs (except for what US West became) were that they were not undermined by massive fraud, nor did they fall for the outrageous lies told by California vendors. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:13 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom So the question remains, why was the US government so anti-rail in its policies? I'll suggest their early monopoly practices that setup government regulation of their affairs didn't help their long term viability. It was this regulation, the motor lobby (for highways), and loss of freight revenue (to the trucking industry), that set the stage for their ultimate demise.

-----------

Rail is still going strong today, as long as you're talking freight. As for passengers, it was air travel that killed the trains. And the air travel system was justas regulated (at least through the 1970s) as trains were. In a country the size of the U.S., air travel makes a lot more sense than rail except in a few cases, such as the Northeast and the greater Chicago area. Comparisons to Europe omit the shorter distances between major cities there.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:13 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "The US interstates didn't get going until the mid 50s where the US government began paying $62 for road programs for every $1 on rail."

Ah, but why did they do this? Car ownership had already reached about 20-25 million by the time of Ike's Highway program. Before that, road-building was mostly a local affair and the roads consequently were horrible (Ike's famous cross-country trip by jeep in 1919 that took him 2 months impressed on him just how bad the nation's roads were).

If anything, that demonstrates my point even more. I think you had misunderstood cause and effect. The subsidies were not really a cause of people wanting more of a particular kind of transporation, but were more of an effect. For example, railroad construction started in the US during the 1820's. A public outcry for more railroads caused the government to start seriously subsidizing rail construction in the 1860's. But it was not that the rail subsidies really stoked demand - the demand for rail from the public was already there, and in fact it was the demand for rail that caused the American politicians to enact rail-subsidy programs in the first place.

Similarly, by 1920, 8 million Americans already owned cars, despite the fact that the government subsidies for road-construction at that time were modest at best. Public outcries for more road-construction, especially due to the exploding popularity of cars after WW2 created the political climate for Washington to truly subsidize roads. Once again, subsidies were not a cause for demand for cars, but were an effect.



"The ICC forced railroads to carry passenger traffic even though freight provided the profits. These poor US polices placed rail at an extreme disadvantage to the trucking industry"

Yeah, well, you neglect to mention that the ICC started regulating interstate trucking beginning with the passing by Congress of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935, in direct response to the outcry from the rail industry.



"The effects from WW2 actually strengthened the RRs and they were at peak period"

If you mean to say that this was the high-water point of the rail industry, without looking at its competitors, then I would have to agree.

However, I am looking at things in terms of relative strength. The high-water mark of the rail industry, relative to its competitors, was probably during the 1880's. At that time, they were on top of the transportation world, with no competitor even close. Yes, advances continued to be made afterwards. But competitors made advances faster, such that by WW2, it was the motor vehicle that was king. Yes, the railroads of WW2 were better than the railroads of the 1880's. But the motor vehicles of the 1940's were stupendously better than the motor vehicles of the 1880's.

WW2 in fact highlighted this change. Many of military strategies ofthe European wars starting in the 1850's and beyond, i.e. the Franco-Prussian War, and continuing up until WW1, revolved around mobilization vis-a-vis rail. However, WW2 demonstrated in no uncertain terms the key military importance of the motor vehicle. The Germans defeated France not because they had better rail technology, but because they had superior doctrine for armored vehicle warfare. Eastern front battles revolved not around German and Soviet rolling stock, but around German and Soviet tank armies.



"So the question remains, why was the US government so anti-rail in its policies? "

Again, I don't think it's that the American government is so anti-rail, but rather that the American people are anti-rail. Once again, the cause and effect thing I stated above - the evidence suggests that it was the government following the people's will, not the other way around.

And it's not completely accurate to say that the American people are anti-rail. The American people were clearly not very anti-rail at all during the mid 1800's. It's probably more accurate to say that the American people are pro-car. Like I said, by the early 1950's, 25 million Americans already had cars, and this was before the government decided to seriously subsidize road construction. The roads were small and poorly maintained, and still an exploding number of people were buying cars anyway? Why did all those Americans buy cars and put up with crappy roads if they didn't really like their cars?


willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:14 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom We simply have too much wireless carriers. For each area, the subscribers are divided by 6-7 carriers. Any one carrier does not have the density/rev to justify coverage improvement.

Suppose that we cut the number of carriers by half (i.e., merge them), the coverage will improve by a factor 2, and operational cost will be down, and we still have the competition to keep the price low.

---------

The FCC lifted the spectrum caps last year. All the changes go into effect in January 2003. I think we'll see consolidation from 6-7 carriers to 3 or 4 fairly soon.
dave77777 12/4/2012 | 10:09:15 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Well, two things, imho. They could have survived either one alone prettily handily, but the two together have turned out to be fatal for some carriers.

1) Overestimation of bandwidth growth - everyone knows this happened, and the results.

2) The "airline dilemma": I'm seeing a lot of parallels between the the classic airline dilemma and what's happening in telco. As one airline exec put it, "we're all forced to go along with the stupidest competitor." It's just about impossible for them to raise air fares unless everyone goes along, because price is the only differentiator consumers really care about. There's very little product differentiation and the cost to switch to a competitor is nonexistent. Anyone else see a similarity to telco companies? Most of us get 5 calls a week offering us a better deal to switch to Ameritech, AT&T, MCI, Sprint, etc.

The combination of the overbuild and the inability to raise prices to absorb the costs of it = BK.

Just my thoughts...

LightBeating 12/4/2012 | 10:09:16 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom GEB, and diag_eng,

I never said RR was NOT subsidized, and I agree with you that it was a social choice to have it state-owned. I was just comparing two models of ownership and two industries.

As for the comparison between RR and telecom, I would say to diag-eng that you're just strenghtening my point: until recently, the only "viable" way to communicate was through my telephone connection. Now, I have other alternatives: mobile, cable modem, etc. But still, the access to the network is highly regulated, and it is still, in effect, a monopoly. I think the incumbent phone companies face the challenge that RR had when the automobile gained popularity. I also believe (influenced by rjmacmahon, I must admit) that there is one possible "Social" choice that may give consumers a better service, which would be to have a state-owned and state-operated broadband network (state meaning any level of government).

LB
let-there-be-light 12/4/2012 | 10:09:16 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom As far as I know, this is the current list from August 2001). AT the time I asked whether you guys were being serious, to which I was told "yes, of course!"

Still sticking to your picks, or is it time to revise? ;-)

New Top Ten Optical Stocks
COMPANY PRICE 8/8/01
1.Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) 15.85
2.Digital Lightwave Inc. (Nasdaq: DIGL) 17.3
3. Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) 23.47
4. Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) 22
5. EXFO (Nasdaq: EXFO) 14.2
6. Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) 30.88
7. Riverstone Networks (Nasdaq: RSTN) 14.84
8. ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS) 21.65
9. Extreme Networks (Nasdaq: EXTR) 27.3
10. Qwest (NYSE: Q) 24.2

rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom In a sense, the whole computer industry has been in a desperate struggle with itself for 30+ years -- racing to stay ahead of Moore's Law.
_______________

Agreed. Technology and innovation has no choice but to find business models which rely more heavily on consumables. Adventure capital used the company itself as the consumable and the IPO as the mechanism. That mechannism will be closed for awhile.

It's going to be a long, long, road for anybody needing to raise significant capital, in my opinion.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I think STORAGE is a business that will continue to grow faster than telecomm -- which is transportation and access for that which is stored. STORAGE can grow much, much faster than traffic, almost indefinitely.
_______________

Don't say this too loudly or you'll trigger another bubble ;-)
godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >> Yes, telecom may get worse before better, but the fact remains the world still needs to communicate via voice, video, and data. <<

In case you hadn't noticed, the world is ALREADY communicating all that stuff. The question has already been asked, but not answered: can growth exceed the rate of cost reduction through technological evolution (e.g. Moore's Law).

I don't think so. Telecomm industry will shrink as a percent of GDP from now on, indefinitely. That is the lesson offered by the RR analogy. RR's are still with us, and are still very important to the economy -- but they are a very small part of GDP.
wavelength_switch 12/4/2012 | 10:09:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom This is my personal opinion about the future of our industry.

1) I do not believe in any novel killer application. I simply pragmatically think that bandwidth consumption will rise as a result of more popular use of existing applications. A steady growth, not explosive growth.

2) I think that the price that we currently pay for telecom services is probably fair. I could not imagine people paying more than what they currently do. There is evidently as in the rest of the IT industry a downward trend in price meaning that capacity will increase while the bills to the final user will remain largely unchanged.

3) There is therefore no other future possible than a drastic cost reduction in the deployment and operation of the telecom infrastructure. I can not forecast how this will happen, but since there is no other alternative, it will happen.

Foods for thougths anyway. I hope that it will spark some debate.

Regards.
DoTheMath 12/4/2012 | 10:09:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom 1) I do not believe in any novel killer application. I simply pragmatically think that bandwidth consumption will rise as a result of more popular use of existing applications. A steady growth, not explosive growth.

2) I think that the price that we currently pay for telecom services is probably fair. I could not imagine people paying more than what they currently do. There is evidently as in the rest of the IT industry a downward trend in price meaning that capacity will increase while the bills to the final user will remain largely unchanged.

3) There is therefore no other future possible than a drastic cost reduction in the deployment and operation of the telecom infrastructure. I can not forecast how this will happen, but since there is no other alternative, it will happen.

Foods for thougths anyway. I hope that it will spark some debate.

----------------------------------------------------
Excellent points. Many people on this thread post that somehow prices have to become more "rational" (i.e they have to go up). I strongly disagree. Thinking as an end user, I think I am already paying enough for my communications needs. I pay $40/month wireline, $50/month wireless, $50/month DSL, and $40/month Direct TV. I am looking for prices going DOWN not UP from these levels, or atleast getting more for my money. I am sure most end customers feel the same way.

As for your point (3), I feel substantial cost reductions in the way this industry conducts business is possible. Unfortunately, there are numerous cultural and political issues (entrenched unions in service providers, time and money wasting projects at suppliers, this-is-the-way-things-have-always-been mindset among many industry participants, especially among those who hold the power ...) that makes change very hard. It probably won't happen voluntarily, and Chapter 11 processes may be the only way out.

It may be easier to create brand new companies not beholden to the past than rescue old line companies. The first attempt at these failed due to greed and misbegotten business plans. I believe it will be tried again, by wiser, long-term oriented entreprenuers.

Unfortunately, looking at their track record VCs are poorly equipped to aid this transition. They have demonstrated that they get too greedy too quickly, and this industry needs long term vision.
godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:18 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >> RR in Europe was state-owned, and typically provideed provided excellent and flexible service. That's not to say that cars are not popular, as anyone who was ever caught up in traffic jams in Paris or London can attest. RR, however, provided a cheaper or convenient alternative to cars. <<

There has been a lot of misinformation being spread in this thread on RR economics. Choices about transportation and communications are largely SOCIAL issues, not economic. In Europe and Asia, railroads are supported by ENORMOUS subsidies (Ever buy gasoline for your car in Europe? Did you notice the $3 per gallon tax?) but they are supported by the public. In the U.S. the public has supported TRILLIONS of dollars that have been invested in automobiles and airplanes. Now that 9/11 has underscored the weakness of this approach, America may finally change public policy to support high speed ground transport as well.
godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:18 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >> Besides Cisco, name two other relevant, viable companies which were venture capital founded. <<

You must be kidding. There are hundreds of them. Apple, Sun, Dell, 99% of biotech firms, etc etc.

Don't throw out capitalism because of the insanity of the last 5 years. The BUBBLE was just that -- and now that it has popped everyone is acting amazed. Everyone but Warren Buffet that is.
diag_eng 12/4/2012 | 10:09:18 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom You cannot compare the RR industry with Telecom. They are apples and oranges.

The RR industry relied on the fact that train was the only viable means of traveling distances over the land. The RR industry died because of propogation of the automobile and airplane.

Yes, telecom may get worse before better, but the fact remains the world still needs to communicate via voice, video, and data.
LightBeating 12/4/2012 | 10:09:22 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom rj,

I guess there are interesting analogies between the RR vs road system and the current telecom infrastructure. What I see is how a regulated monopoly fails as opposed to a state-owned and state-maintained system that provides easy and flexible access, but otherwise lets free enterprise make the best use of it.

The regulated monopoly, probably by nature, fails to provide flexible access, and innovative services. Consumers chose cars and trucks because they had a much greater control over the services that they got. They also could vote for the government that promised the better road system.

BTW, the internet, as all should remember, was NOT a creation of phone companies. Its (almost) immediate popularity stems from the fact that it gave power to the users, which they had never had before. Of course, now, people (both consumers and content providers) are more and more disenchanted because the speed of access limits what they can do with the network. The regulated monopoly is still blocking progress.

RR in Europe was state-owned, and typically provided excellent and flexible service. That's not to say that cars are not popular, as anyone who was ever caught up in traffic jams in Paris or London can attest. RR, however, provided a cheaper or convenient alternative to cars.

For all those who claim that it is "impossible" to make money with data or broadband, I am still of the opinion that telephone companies have had a monopoly for so long that they have forgotten how to build and run a business efficiently. Every time I say this I get outcries, most probably from engineers or mid-level managers in the industry, who accuse me of complete ignorance. True: I am completely ignorant of how to build and operate a phone system. I do have an idea, however, of how to run a business and how to make money from technological innovation. It just amazes me how telephone companies fail so miserably at that.

LB

brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:09:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom for networking co's, even a fresh grad from
good college gets atleast $500, upto $800 isnt
uncommon. thats enough to rent , take a car on
loan and have something left over. but stuff like
lunch and bus transport is usually part of the
gross package.
PresterJohn 12/4/2012 | 10:09:24 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom leer, put a sock in it.

The last decade or so of VC/entrepreneur duplicity that we have witnessed had far more to do with organized crime than it did with the capitalist underpinnings of our nation ("the fabric of our nation..." give me a f%&#*!% break). The 'entrepreneurs' you refer to were more often than not VC sycophants with no vision at all but only a burning desire to get rich as quickly as possible in the developing casino game that was telecom. They risked NOTHING in the process, and were quite well compensated even if the end result of their efforts were crap! Adam Smith is spinning in his grave to hear people like you describe the follies we have witnessed as evidence of capitalism at work.

Besides Cisco, name two other relevant, viable companies which were venture capital founded.

Also, what great new technologies were developed by these nascent captains of industry that anybody really cares about? HINT: great new technologies come from R&D companies, not development companies thrown together to produce a boxes in 18 months, consisting of purchased software and of-the-shelf components.

Which VC cabal do you work for, or, which VC are you sucking up to to start your next company?
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The railroads in th US were already a spent force by the 20's. WW2 had nothing to do with their decline within the US
__________________

Rails went way beyond 1920, though 1920 was a weak point due to the transition back from public to private ownership. (The government took ownership during WW1 and returned a rundown system back to private hands)

The effects from WW2 actually strengthened the RRs and they were at peak period. The US interstates didn't get going until the mid 50s where the US government began paying $62 for road programs for every $1 on rail. Also at this time the government set rail rates while a trucker could negotiate freely with the farmers and other producers. The ICC forced railroads to carry passenger traffic even though freight provided the profits. These poor US polices placed rail at an extreme disadvantage to the trucking industry.

So the question remains, why was the US government so anti-rail in its policies? I'll suggest their early monopoly practices that setup government regulation of their affairs didn't help their long term viability. It was this regulation, the motor lobby (for highways), and loss of freight revenue (to the trucking industry), that set the stage for their ultimate demise.

PS. Europe rebuilt its rail after WW2. The Marshall plan helped pay for that. Many say Europe planned things better during this rebuild opportunity.

Also for an interesting map of a possible reintroduction of high speed rail in the US checkout

http://www.narprail.org/hsr.ht...

Finally, a stat to counter your AMTRAK comment.

"The federal government provides a tiny (and diminishing) proportion of its transportation funding to rail -- in 2002, $33 billion to highways (doubled in 20 years, accounting for inflation), $17 billion for aviation (tripled in 20 years), and barely a half-billion for Amtrak (cut more than half in 20 years)."
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:09:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The old say for fix the problem in a company is "balenced layoff":

(1) rank the "real payoff" of the problem company by $ and responsibility (you identify the cause of the problem, normally, the pay is high, the responsiblity is low...like CEO in some cases).

(2) add all the layoff workers salary, e.g. 50K x number of workers in the closed div.

(3) layoff one, or two of the top dog with equivalent to all the layoff worker's salary...(make sure no $$$ package goes with it...justify by saying "it is difficult time, everybody have to chip in"..etc.etc. They should get what the worker's package, nothing more)

I am sure the problem will be fixed very fast. We will all live happily ever after...

just kidding. (dreaming)..

st
optodunce 12/4/2012 | 10:09:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Killer App: Full Motion Video Phones!!!

1. How many of you are still using a 56 k connection and access a web site with a multi media presentation only to sit and wait!

2. When you talk to your friend or family in person to you stand back to back or facing each other...

3. Remote work...is increasing and will increase at exponetial rates in the not to distant future...why because technically we can!



myresearch 12/4/2012 | 10:09:26 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I think we need consolidation in the industry.

Take wireless for example, if you travel around the world, you will find that the coverage of wireless networks in the US is very poor compared to other countries. We simply have too much wireless carriers. For each area, the subscribers are divided by 6-7 carriers. Any one carrier does not have the density/rev to justify coverage improvement.

Suppose that we cut the number of carriers by half (i.e., merge them), the coverage will improve by a factor 2, and operational cost will be down, and we still have the competition to keep the price low.

nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:27 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "You know, build it and they will come type of service. Take for example cell phones. When they first came out, they were for the business people only. Now everyone has one, since the prices dropped. "

...which unfortunately has the very nasty side effect of making it very difficult for wireless carriers to generate sustainable profit.

Consider the 6 nationwide (as opposed to regional) providers. Sprint PCS is not profitable, neither is Nextel. AT&T Wireless is only barely profitable. Financial information on just the wireless businesses of Cingular, Verizon, and Voicestream are difficult to get, but they are probably not very profitable.

So it's dangerous to say that all you need to do is drop prices to create a good business. In fact, much of the telco mess of today has to do with prices that are so low as to be unsustainable (which is an outgrowth of overinvestment and overbuilding). While competition is generally good, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "Simple - consumer demand.
____________

Consumer demand for what? What did RR profiteering in WWII have to do with the interstate build out timing?"

I wasn't talking about RR profiteering in WW2. I am talking about American consumer demand for the car that already started during WW1, and continued through the Depression, was stopped somewhat for WW2 (rationing), and then picked right back up where it started when the war ended.

The railroads in th US were already a spent force by the 20's. WW2 had nothing to do with their decline within the US.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "You are incorrect to say the American government does not subsidize rail.
___________

The subsidy program switched from rail to roads. That doesn't mean rail doesn't get anything, it means it has been starved off in favor of road programs. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but if you calculate total cost of ownership my guess it the governmnet kicks in 5x or more for roads vs. rail."


True. True.

But the real question is - why? Again, I believe the answer is that Americans just like cars. I don't believe it is accurate to say that the US government subsidized roads, and then Americans bought cars. Rather it was the other way around - Americans bought cars, and then Americans put pressure on their politicians to build out a nationwide road system. The American love affair with the car was already well-established before Ike's highway system was enacted.

nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "European rail seems to have taken its rightful place in the face of automobiles so one must ask the question, why has rail failed in the USA? Anybody that argues socialism is fooling themselves. Our interstates are socialized. Why did the government change its subsidy program from rail to roads?"


You are incorrect to say the American government does not subsidize rail. One word - Amtrak.


dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:09:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom you mean like with the Bell System?
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Simple - consumer demand.
____________

Consumer demand for what? What did RR profiteering in WWII have to do with the interstate build out timing?

Look to the trucking industry to find the answers.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom You are incorrect to say the American government does not subsidize rail.
___________

The subsidy program switched from rail to roads. That doesn't mean rail doesn't get anything, it means it has been starved off in favor of road programs. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but if you calculate total cost of ownership my guess it the governmnet kicks in 5x or more for roads vs. rail.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The decline of the railroad industry was not caused by a financial crisis but by a change in technology - namely the automobile.
________________

European rail seems to have taken its rightful place in the face of automobiles so one must ask the question, why has rail failed in the USA? Anybody that argues socialism is fooling themselves. Our interstates are socialized. Why did the government change its subsidy program from rail to roads?

I'll suggest it was the RRs monpolistic behaviors, which began after a mass consolidation around the end of the 19th century, that were the primary cause of their failure.

Railroads seeds of failure occurred long before the automobile ever existed. The first signs of their weakness was revealed when Rockefeller took the advantage over the RRs using his oil revenues. This also marks the beginning of Rockefeller's oil monopoly. Pennsylvania crude oil in the late 1800s was refined into Kerosene which consumers used to for evening illumination. Gasoline was a nasty byproduct that nobody wanted.

Pipelines replaced the RRs in distribution because other oil producers needed to break Rockefeller's distribution monopoly. The oil revenues began leaving the RRs late 19th century and early 20th century.

(My guess is that the ILECs believe they can be the pipelines to replace the cable monopolies, particularly if they are able to kill the 1996 Telco Act. To do this, they'll have to lay off many more employees)

About the same time frame, local "good" roads were driven by the need to deliver our mail. The model T was used for that but so were horses and carriages before the Model T. It was mail, not the automobile, that drove the need for good roads.

Its interesting that it was the US Post Master that exercised authority to remove many illegal bottlenecks placed by too many on our roads. Too bad for us the FCC doesn't understand their role should be similar.

The following site talks about how interstates evolved. Interstates were the death nail in the RRs coffin. Why were they necessary? What did RRs do that caused our government to switch alliances? What did WWII have to do with it?
Answering these questions will reveal why the RRs lost their rightful place as a complimentary transportation system and were replaced by a trucking industry.

http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/su...

A 1955 Eisenhower quote worth remembrance on this day.

"Our unity as a nation is sustained by free communication of thought and by easy transportation of people and goods. The ceaseless flow of information throughout the republic is matched by individual and commercial movement over a vast system of interconnected highways crisscrossing the country and joining at our national borders with friendly neighbors to the north and south.

Together, the united forces of our communication and transportation systems are dynamic elements in the very name we bear - United States. Without them, we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts."
godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom One more thing about the railroad analogy: In the 1880's, railroads represented about 20% of total U.S. GDP and had (non inflation adjusted) revenues of somewhere around 5 BILLION dollars. Today, 120 years later, railroad revenues represent 0.25% of U.S. GDP -- and yet they carry probably 20x as much traffic as they did 120 years ago! And total rail industry employment has fallen 90% in the same time period.

There is a lesson here for Telecomm: the Internet was a HUGE technological event. But now the shock of the new has passed -- and we will settle into a long period of refinement, improvement, and cost reduction! Traffic will grow, but revenues may not, and employment will decline.
godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom In a sense, the whole computer industry has been in a desperate struggle with itself for 30+ years -- racing to stay ahead of Moore's Law. So while I don't think there is likely to be any technology that will displace the Internet (like cars & trucks displaced railroads), the fact is that if Internet use grows more slowly than 100% every 18 months, then total TELECOMM REVENUES will decline. During the bubble days, everyone hoped someone would come up with a "killer app" that would consume terabits of bandwidth. Instead, we have lots of fairly low bandwidth client-server stuff, email, and low resolution pictures and sounds.
There is no "killer app" on the horizon.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "The decline of the railroad industry was not caused by a financial crisis but by a change in technology - namely the automobile.
________________

European rail seems to have taken its rightful place in the face of automobiles so one must ask the question, why has rail failed in the USA? Anybody that argues socialism is fooling themselves. Our interstates are socialized. Why did the government change its subsidy program from rail to roads?"



Simple - consumer demand. The motor vehicle proved to be unusually popular among American consumers. At one year before WW2, it was estimated that something like 95% of all passenger cars in the world were in the United States, and during WW2, the vast majority of all the trucks used in the war by the Allied Powers were actually manufactured in the United States (I'm not at home right now, so I don't have the book in front of me otherwise I'd give you the reference). Obviously that percentage is much lower now, but the point is that Americans have historically always had an unusual love affair with the car.

And, in case you were wondering, this was not a case of 'government-push'. The American love affair with the car was already established well before the building of the Interstate Highway System. Despite crappy roads and other infrastructure, cars were still selling like hotcakes. This was a clear case of 'consumer-pull'. Americans simply preferred the car over its alternatives.


Your question of why rail is unpopular in the US but remains popular in Europe and other countries actually is part of a much larger issue - namely why is mass-transit in general so unpopular in the US? American mass-transit is available only in localized areas around older cities. Newer cities (where most of the growth happened after WW2) like Los Angeles and San Jose have miniscule mass-transit systems and no serious political desire to build them.

So the next logical question would be why have Americans always historically had a love affair with the car? That's an interesting sociological question with no clear answer. Surely part of it has to do with the fact that the US is simply less densely populated than Europe, which makes nationwide mass-transit systems less economically viable. I suspect part of the answer also can be found in the cowboy, lone-wolf streak of the American psyche where Americans just seem to like the freedom of the open road.



godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The economic models are obvious: service providers will make money by charging for access to the network and access to mailing lists, etc. Content providers (including real brick & mortar businesses) will make money by selling stuff via the internet. The question for telecomm is simply, what will the traffic look like and how much will there be?

I think the answer is that the traffic will end up growing more slowly than what was hoped. However, the real IP-centric Internet will become more and more indispensible for people, businesses and government.

I think STORAGE is a business that will continue to grow faster than telecomm -- which is transportation and access for that which is stored. STORAGE can grow much, much faster than traffic, almost indefinitely.

Traffic will grow only if all of those low-income groups also embrace the Internet as part of their daily lives. You seem to imply that's not very likely; and I agree with you there.

nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "Your 1929 railroad industry analogy is imperfect"

I was just about to say the same thing.

But I was going to attack it from a different angle. There were actually several bust periods during the railroad era of the US, most notably the panic of 1873 that absolutely crushed the industry. In fact, the history of the railroad industry in the United States is characterized by periods of overinvestment, followed by a nasty bust, followed by another period of overinvestment (railroad construction was once again proceeding in earnest during the 1880's once things had recovered from 1873). The decline of the railroad industry was not caused by a financial crisis but by a change in technology - namely the automobile.
godelescherbach 12/4/2012 | 10:09:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Your 1929 railroad industry analogy is imperfect. The railroad capital investment frenzy petered out before the start of the first World War in 1914. There is a case for analogy if you look at the level of OVERINVESTMENT and TOO MUCH COMPETITION.

However, you may not like the solution that the railroads sought (and later deeply regretted): extremely strong government regulation in the form of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

I predict that the FCC will be forced to support a higher degree of local & regional monopolization again (in order to minimize duplicate capital investments) in return for stronger regulation of prices and services (but also guaranteed rates of return), i.e. we'll go back to the old regulated utility model.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >The other side of the coin, is to reduce costs >so that current prices result in a profit. >Surely, that must be possible... I don't see why >not

So, what do you mean when you say 'reducing costs'? You mean layoffs? Well, if that's what you mean, then you're getting your wish in spades.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom

I don't really disagree with you. Rate hikes are probably inevitable.

But not every service in life gets more expensive. For the topic at hand (telecom), there is one extremely relevant counterexample - namely computers and semiconductors. Computing power not only does not get more expensive, it is in fact one of the most 'deflationary' industries in economic history, if not the most. How many other industries in history have been able to consistently drop their prices by 50% every 18 months for the same level of performance?

Couple that with the fact that computing and telecom are intertwined (they are not equivalent, but they are intertwined), because much of telecom is basically just computers, and I think you can see why telecom is also confronted with a strong deflationary headwind.

Having said that, let me say this. I do believe that telecom rates right now are too low, particular consumer broadband (sorry, I know that we all love it, but you know it's true). Rates will have to increase for providers to remain viable.
nrf 12/4/2012 | 10:09:32 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom

While I sympathize with what you're saying, you have just contradicted yourself.

Your original contention was that it was the managers and VC's of California startups that were the thieves - under the notion that they somehow stole millions from established companies. Your detractor then stated correctly that it is really the acquirer's responsibility to make sure they aren't getting ripped off, and if they don't do their due diligence, that's their own stupid fault. Caveat Emptor.

The only time that caveat emptor doesn't hold if when one company is deliberately engaging in fraud. So I see that you are invoking the examples of Enron and MCIWorldcom.

But, there lies the rub. Last time I checked, both MCIWorldcom and Enron were (a) not startups and (b) not from California. Another major fraud of the the day - Global Crossing - is, in a sense, a startup, but isn't really from California (they have corporate offices in Beverly Hills, but most of their operations are not in California and their main HQ is actually in Bermuda). Another gigantic fraud - Tyco - is also not a startup and also not from California.

So does that mean that there was no fraud among Silicon Valley startups? Of course there was. But there's fraud everywhere. What I'm saying is that if you want to condemn fraud and corruption (and who doesn't?), then you should condemn ALL fraud and corruption, not just certain kinds.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:33 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The solution is equally simple.
________________

You didn't identify the problem nor offer a solution.

The problem is the last mile bottlneck. Any solution will address three issues.

1) Politicians will need to see how they obtain the votes they desire by supporting real broadband.

2) Content rights holders and service providers will need be paid when distributing their goods and services over modern communication networks.

3) Consumers will need status items for their purchases. Digital consumer electronics and things like smart cards with authorization keys should do the trick.
lightpimp 12/4/2012 | 10:09:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom For Telecom, its going to get much worse before it gets better unfortunately. For those that think that WCOM was the final nail in the coffin for this industry, that was only the beginning for much worse to come. This industry was so inflated for years that it was only a matter of time before that air needed to be deflated from the bubble. Now that the MAJOR IXCs are going BK, there are very few customers to chase and they are consistantly chopping CAPEX budgets as each quarter passes on by.

Folks, we are back in 1929 just as the great railroad industry rose to the heathen and collaped under the pressure of easy monetary policy in a deflationary environment. The majority of those railroad companies died and withered away into the abyss. The workers found something else to do for survival, same is happening for the telecom industry.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:09:34 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The history of the Empire State Building may give some insights into the future of bandwidth businesses. This great building, completed under budget (due to the Great Depression) and in record time of 18 mos, only had 20% occupancy on its opening in 1931. It took many, many years to fill the building which never secured large anchor tenants but rather lots of smaller tenants generate the revenue.

Bandwidth businesses that transition to a service industry and enable these "smaller tenants" will be positioning themselves for long term viability. They'll need to learn how to support IT outsourcing amongst many other value added services. It's not about raising prices but rather about enabling productivity.

PS. The Technet "moon shot" promoters may do well to ask themselves the question, not who was first to step on the moon, but rather, who was last to leave it? Listen to his words from 1972.

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/...

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/...

Let us hope our communicatios industry doesn't take a multi-generation hiatus but rather can transition to its real purpose of enabling our participation and the knowledge diffusion our societies depend upon.
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:09:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > The other side of the coin, is to reduce costs
> so that current prices result in a profit.
> Surely, that must be possible... I don't see
> why not.

Sure, if you can offer something which reduces expenses, say by 10x then even bancrupt carrier will try to get some money and buy it from you.
The problem is I did not see anything like that being offered or even hyped.

Thanks,

Netskeptic
Fiber Lord 12/4/2012 | 10:09:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Thank you for the compliment.

I must point out that 25% of the population of the US lives in towns less than 10,000 people. 4,000,000 businesses are in those towns. Small businesses are the high margin telco customer.

And, those small towns elect the representatives with the most seniority and those representatives dominate the state and federal legislatures. You will never get a government concensus on broadband until the industry addresses the small town fear that the Internet will wipe out main street. It may only be a fear, but the fear of radiation poisoning wiped out the nuclear power industry twenty years ago, and the fear of biotechnology is dogging the genetically altered seed business. That fear must be addressed for there to be progress or the industry could go the way of the nuclear industry.
secretIdentity 12/4/2012 | 10:09:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The other side of the coin, is to reduce costs so that current prices result in a profit. Surely, that must be possible... I don't see why not.
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:09:37 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > Seriously, I would agree with the assessment
> that we need to invent a service that most of
> the average people would use,

Average people read news on the net, send e-mails, shop, listen to music etc. The problem is that most of these services are provided below the cost.

So, the solution is simple and it will happen without divine intervention of any kind, providers which will be still standing when the dust settles (when all borrowed money will be burnt out in bancrupcies) will be able to raise prices above the costs. Naturally, with rising prices demand will shrink, but this is life, it is time to get use to it.

Thanks,

Netskeptic

optblues 12/4/2012 | 10:09:38 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Excellent post. I'm going to work on my beer dispensing hat with built in cell phone immediately. :)
Seriously, I would agree with the assessment that we need to invent a service that most of the average people would use, but I donG«÷t think it is necessarily tied to the small town Joe. Most of the people live in the city- but I do get your point. I think we can afford to take a leap of faith with technology, though. You know, build it and they will come type of service. Take for example cell phones. When they first came out, they were for the business people only. Now everyone has one, since the prices dropped. Why couldnG«÷t the same be true for the PDA? I think it will happen where the PDA, or some morph of it, will be just as ubiquitous as the cell phone.
Well, lets here it people. What are some applications that everyday people can use that will drive revenue and traffic?
=================
Fiber Lord wrote:
The solution is equally simple. You must understand what drives the industry and stimulate it. It is not VCs, not CEOs, not government regulators and certainly not technology. It is everyday " Joe Six-packs" living in small town America- the type of person who is not at all like the average high tech worker. We have to go to those small towns; we have to think like those people. And no, they do not make $200,000 a year, fly on business trips all the time, and own PDAs.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:09:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom In Bangalore, software engineers can be hired for about $200 per month, nearly one-tenth of what it costs in the United States. The city of about 5.5 million people is home to over 120,000 IT workers.
__________________________________________________

I don't think it would be possible to get a well-qualified and experienced software engineer for $200 PM, just as it won't be possible to get a similarly qualified engineer in the US for $2000. It would cost more like $1200 to get an engineer from a good college with about 4 years experience.
OpticalZoo 12/4/2012 | 10:09:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

It requires a 60 day notice to layoffs.

The real question is employment loss:
The term "employment loss" means:


(1) An employment termination, other than a discharge for cause, voluntary departure, or retirement;

(2) a layoff exceeding 6 months; or

(3) a reduction in an employee's hours of work of more than 50% in each month of any 6-month period.

There are some exemptions though.

The exceptions to 60-day notice are:
(1) Faltering company. This exception, to be narrowly construed, covers situations where a company has sought new capital or business in order to stay open and where giving notice would ruin the opportunity to get the new capital or business, and applies only to plant closings;


(2) unforeseeable business circumstances. This exception applies to closings and layoffs that are caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required; and


(3) Natural disaster. This applies where a closing or layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, drought or storm.


If an employer provides less than 60 days advance notice of a closing or layoff and relies on one of these three exceptions, the employer bears the burden of proof that the conditions for the exception have been met. The employer also must give as much notice as is practicable. When the notices are given, they must include a brief statement of the reason for reducing the notice period in addition to the items required in notices.

http://www.doleta.gov/programs...
dsb 12/4/2012 | 10:09:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Wednesday July 3, 4:53 am Eastern Time
Reuters Company News
INTERVIEW-India's tech capital sees 60 pct export growth

By Anshuman Daga

BANGALORE, July 3 (Reuters) - India's computer industry is booming despite a slowdown in IT sales worldwide, and its technology capital Bangalore is leading the charge.

The southern state of Karnataka, whose capital is Bangalore, aims to boost exports of software and allied services by 60 percent this fiscal year, twice the expected Indian growth rate of 30 percent.
ADVERTISEMENT



Vivek Kulkarni, information technology secretary in the Karnataka state government, told Reuters that most of the fresh impetus to growth was coming from U.S. technology firms, which are rapidly moving back-office functions to India amid a sectoral slowdown overseas.

These are companies which have tested the Indian waters as customers of software provided by armies of relatively low-paid programmers. Now, they are beginning to outsource activities like accounting and bill processing.

"While the traditional software exports continues to grow, we are seeing big investments coming into IT-enabled services," Kulkarni said in an interview late on Tuesday.

Bangalore, India's "Silicon Valley," houses software centres for more than 1,000 high-tech companies including computer giant IBM (NYSE:IBM - News), chip maker Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN - News) and top Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei Technologies.

These have been joined lately by companies from other sectors including media titan AOL Time-Warner Inc (NYSE:AOL - News), the world's second-largest reinsurer Swiss Re and banking group HSBC (London:HSBA.L - News).

Bangalore reported exports of about $2.0 billion in the year to March, up 33 percent from the previous year, accounting for more than 95 percent of the state's IT exports.

Kulkarni said AOL Time-Warner recently leased six floors of office space for back-office work at International Tech Park, Bangalore's nifty showcase for the tech sector.

DOMESTIC GIANTS DIVERSIFY

Kulkarni said Bangalore continues to attract one new foreign technology firm every week, a trend seen over the last two years.

At the same time, domestic software giants such as Wipro (Bombay:WIPR.BO - News) and Infosys Technologies (Bombay:INFY.BO - News) have added back-office work, leveraging their existing sales engine and contacts.

Business process outsourcing (BPO), an omnibus expression for an array of back-office services, is delivered remotely through high-speed telecoms links, which are increasingly cheaper.

Building on India's proven software skills, foreign firms are also flocking to set up centres to process financial claims, payroll data and build customer support desks. Commerce and English language graduates are in great demand.

While the technology sector has been hit worldwide, accompanying cost-cuttting measures are a boon for Bangalore.

"The majority of the companies in U.S. are under cost pressure and that's why we expect them to continue to move into India, which offers them a ready-made talent pool," Kulkarni said.

"Cost obviously is the driving force but that doesn't mean that quality is being compromised," he said.

In Bangalore, software engineers can be hired for about $200 per month, nearly one-tenth of what it costs in the United States. The city of about 5.5 million people is home to over 120,000 IT workers.

Bangalore, named by the United Nations last year among a handful of world-class technology hubs, accounted for a fourth of India's $7.5 billion IT exports in the year to March.
Fiber Lord 12/4/2012 | 10:09:44 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The problem is very obvious. One individual earlier on this board said that we have to figure out an economic model for data that makes money. Everything else flows from there.

A set of data about 4 years ago showed that 50% of the traffic on the "low fidelity audio" network better known as the PSTN was data. The growth rate differential between data and "low fidelity audio" was enormous, "Low fidelity audio" was growing at something like 3% per year and data was growing at 100% per year. However, the kicker was that "low fidelity audio" made up 80% of the revenue. 15% of the revenue was carrying SNA traffic. Less than 1% was carrying Internet traffic.

This was ignored by almost everyone in the industry. Everyone said somebody will figure out how to make money on the Internet, and the result was that no one did it.

Tom Nolle of Cimi corp in NJ was most enlightened. When he was asked about this dilemma he opined that if the telephone companies can make more money buying bonds than buying equipment that is exactly what they will do.

The solution is equally simple. You must understand what drives the industry and stimulate it. It is not VCs, not CEOs, not government regulators and certainly not technology. It is everyday " Joe Six-packs" living in small town America- the type of person who is not at all like the average high tech worker. We have to go to those small towns; we have to think like those people. And no, they do not make $200,000 a year, fly on business trips all the time, and own PDAs.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:09:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Have we forgotten that our very country was founded on the efforts of a few people with a vision, who were willing to take a risk. The very fabric of our nations industrial lead has been founded on the willingness of a few who risk capitol or their livelihoods on the success of a better way. ...

-------

Yeah, but at least they actually invented something. The only fraud artist who contributed to America was P.T. Barnum.
mc_jaded 12/4/2012 | 10:09:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom http://www.ottawabusinessjourn...

"Of the company's approximate 4,000 staff, 3,000 are at based out of the national headquarters located in Ottawa on March Road. Spokesman Ed Goffin said 300 of the cuts will occur there, thereby reducing the local workforce by about 10 per cent. "

As bad as the telecom job market is in Ottawa, it's only getting worse...
datacom 12/4/2012 | 10:09:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom TruthWillInfect,

You have a good reason to be pissed of. The problem is not with the middle level managers, but with the scheming duo of so called founder cum-know-mr-all and his buddy CEO sitting in Milpitas. They allow no voice to anyone and run the company as their personal property (of course supported by an impotent board). You don't need to lay off the people with management title since most of them don't last there over a year any way. Any voice of sanity or reality is immediately silenced. Ask suresh, chelum, raghu, ning, krishna kumar, alex, suresh, jim hora etc who were forced out in the last few months from the company. I have dealt with each one of them, and they were all very decent and knowledgeable folks.

I don't know any one in the management team who is older than a year in the company - ask local employees. Some software engineers have had 7 managers/ directors in the last 2 years. With this kind of revolving engineering management team you can't build a real product of this complexity, or can you? But these guys have convinced themselves that they have a real product. You don't need them to lay off management title holders - they leave themselves.

But Mr-know-it-all and his buddy CEO ( let us call them tweeldum and tweeduldee) are and were the one lying and telling every one that the product is ready. None of them has ever seen a working system from the distance of fifty feet. They are continuously fooling investors, fooling board and fooling employees by false promises. They are the one who didn't allow any one of the director to build the system completely. As far the product is concerned, they were almost there last year, but they screwed then onwards.

You want to check other threads.

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...


TruthWillInfect 12/4/2012 | 10:09:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom With a layoff on July 2cd of approximately 50% of it's work force, the decimation of it's Cary "R&D" facility and only a few million in the bank, it won't be long now before Corona's demise.

The layoffs were a disgace. As little as two weeks ago, top management was still assuring the team at the group social that they had sufficient resources until the end of the year, and that there would be no layoffs. Looks like their assurances are made of the same substance as their vaporware product.

With the HR manager in tears, security guards on site, the computer and security systems disabled,employees were told to get a box from the lobby and leave immediately. Those laid off were disgusted with the total lack of professionalism in how the layoff was conducted.

Everyone without a management title is now gone. All the little guys, and new hires had to go. Of course the website still lists open positions. And they were still orienting new hires as of last week, while they were preparing final checks for the layoffs.

As to the severance package - they were assured that they'd be mailed a check in two weeks. Why not now? Could this be another "the checks in the mail" dodge?

The assurance that their Cobra would be paid for three months doesn't carry much weight when there's no guarantee that they will be able to keep their doors open that long.

The CFO was overheard stating that recent potential customers were unimpressed. Corona still has not booked a single sale. When are the VC's going to wake up to the fact that there is no product, no market and no possibility of sales and pull the plug? NEA is going to bite the big one on this ...
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:09:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Unemployment benefits are at the discretion of the employer unless the employee is laid off. If the employee is terminated for any other reason (and California it is an employment at will state), the employer can deny the claim.
let-there-be-light 12/4/2012 | 10:09:51 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom They are still advertising a number of openings.

Oh Boy!

I guess your advice is, "Don't go anywhere near that company!"
leer 12/4/2012 | 10:09:51 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Noteworthy that so much of the telecom bust is blamed on the self-indulgence of VCG«÷s and serial entrapreauners. Have we forgotten that our very country was founded on the efforts of a few people with a vision, who were willing to take a risk. The very fabric of our nations industrial lead has been founded on the willingness of a few who risk capitol or their livelihoods on the success of a better way. Significantly most of the great advancements in transportation, communications and telecommunications were the end result of a few key people who took the risk and in the end generated wealth that improved the lives of millions. Cisco was once a start-up, funded by VCG«÷s and has to the betterment impacted the lives of millions. The current telecom economy has greatly buffered the capabilities of tier one players to develop the next generation of technology. When the lights come back up bright, it will be start-ups and risk takers that will be there to deliver the next generation of technology.




let-there-be-light 12/4/2012 | 10:09:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom When you see the cost of COBRA, you'll know why it has that name. That bite is extremely painful, and often deadly.

It's all 100% legal, though..
ohboy 12/4/2012 | 10:09:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom co is:
PetaSwitch
pro zack 12/4/2012 | 10:09:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It gets worse. Wait until they deny Unemployment benefits and you see the cost of COBRA.
___________________________________

Terminated employees are entitled to (18 mo ?)
COBRA - that's the law, you do have to pay COBRA at the group rate though. They should also get an exit interview and reason for termination which they can use for getting unemployement benefits.
leer 12/4/2012 | 10:09:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Start-ups and worms have a lot in common these days. The future looked cheery when they launched in the cool early dawn. Unexpected early sun and high temperatures as they cross the dry pavement have brought them to an agonizing halt. Slowing down their pace to reduce the moisture loss may get them across the pavement in time to survive the heat but also leave many of them too weak to flourish after the crossing. But you know I still prefer the journey across the pavement with a start-up.
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:09:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom which co ?
stuartb 12/4/2012 | 10:09:55 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I just heard that Appian laid off 60 people last week. Can anyone confirm this? They must be down to about 50 people or so I guess? Are they having trouble getting their systems to work or just slow demand for Ethernet?

-Stu
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:09:58 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom ohboy said .........
Termination with no severance, no vacation, no options, no notice whatsoever.

To the best of my knowledge (and this may vary state to state):

Back Pay for unused vacation time is legally required.
Severance is not legally required.
Accelerated vesting is not legally required.
Notice is not required.

That said, we've been through this discussion on the board before. It ain't right and it is prevalent. Been through it myself.

It gets worse. Wait until they deny Unemployment benefits and you see the cost of COBRA.

Best of luck to all of those effected. A brighter future is waiting for you.
Twistall 12/4/2012 | 10:09:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom MP_UK: BobbyMax. The common theme of your posts tend to be...Congratulations on becomming the sole inhabitant of my 'ignore author' list.

Honestly, MP, you've got to admit that you can't buy comedy like Bobby's for any price. Why not enjoy the show?
ohboy 12/4/2012 | 10:09:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
3 Employees terminated without notice.

Two of the 3 employees had worked very hard to deliver software that is being used for getting the product out. One was the over-worked sys-admin who handled all the infrastructure including tool management, etc. All 3 easily worked 80 hour weeks for almost a year.

3 employees were terminated 1 month before vesting of options.

All 3 employees were to take vacation within week.

Termination with no severance, no vacation, no options, no notice whatsoever.

Company founders are the biggest liars ever seen. Seems incredible that such scum can actually start companies and get funded.
The web-site of the company is full of lies about the founder's background.

Founders have 0 management skills.
One of the founders has his wife and brother employed at the company. The wife supposedly works from home. Wife never ever seen her at work. The brother does nothing.

All the funding being drained into the founder's personal bank-accounts.

Terminations supposedly for the lack of funds. Convenient bunch-of-crap ..

trixie 12/4/2012 | 10:10:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Let-there-be-light illuminated:

I know this is not going to be popular, but I am going to defend BobbyMax.

His postings generate more discussion than almost anyone else. Surely, he must be hitting some points.
================================================

I gotta agree on this one, too-

Bobby Max, or Harvey Mudd, or whatever the next nom de plume may be, certainly provokes (or should I say, incites?) conversation.

It is almost too formulistic- as if someone from say, LR,was doing this in a sort of Andy Kauffman attempt at provocative "reality" humor.

The comments are always very predictable in that they are intended to incite the strongest possible reaction on the subject matter at hand. The consistency of these comments are such that they almost *have* to be contrived for this purpose.

Post on, Bobby- free speech and all that.
zhadum 12/4/2012 | 10:10:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom lr:

is there a way to -

1) rate a post a 0 ?
2) automatically rate every bobbymax post a "0" ?
3) automatically ignore all posts rated a "0" (instead of picking authors - which i have already done for bobbymax)?

thanks.

z.
let-there-be-light 12/4/2012 | 10:10:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I know this is not going to be popular, but I am going to defend BobbyMax.

His postings generate more discussion than almost anyone else. Surely, he must be hitting some points.

In his defense, he doesn't use offensive language, although his style might be considered offensive. He clearly has some kind of experience in this industry, and he speaks his mind. That alone is of value.

Admittedly, he should PLEASE use the spellchecker more often, attend English classes perhaps, or even go see a psychiatrist / get a life companion / improve his fundamental outlook on life,

but those are all pretty judgmental statements from my point-of-view.

I think without him, it would less interesting.

Anyway, I suspect he doesn't really exist, he was created by LR to stimulate discussion.

WHAT HAPPENED TO FREE SPEECH, ANYWAY?
HiTekRedNeck 12/4/2012 | 10:10:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BlueWater66:

You hit the nail on the head. Problem is, the experienced are also looking for employment and it will take at least 18 months to weed out the gold rush folks - so in the meantime, even the experienced who are unemployed have to consider jobs outside of telecom until things open back up. For those who wish to stick around... Stay plugged in to your networking circles.. It will get better in the next 1-2 years, however, it may never be like the big bubble on the mid-late 90's to 2000.

I wish everyone well.

-HTRN
MP_UK 12/4/2012 | 10:10:08 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >lightdimming
With all the CLECs bankrupted, Baby Bells will not lower the DSL charge, so don't expect a huge increase of DSL subscribers.<

I don't think pricing is decided only by the presence of competition, it's a question of opex vs revenue. If by dropping the price the incumbents can pick up five times more subscribers without increasing opex by five times, they'll do it - more profit. So DSL prices may drop just to attact more sub's. I do agree however, that in the absence of competition prices will not be driven to the lowest possible rates.
MP_UK 12/4/2012 | 10:10:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BobbyMax. The common theme of your posts tend to be characterised by:
1. A tenuous grasp of what you're talking about.
2. A very tenuous grasp of the English language.
3. Xenophobia.

Are you more commonly known as George W Bush?

Congratulations on becomming the sole inhabitant of my 'ignore author' list.
lrdr 12/4/2012 | 10:10:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom true. for monday canada day too. heard they lost the lead engineer on the MALC, too.
pro zack 12/4/2012 | 10:10:13 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Every other service in life is getting more expensive: movies, food, travel, lodge, sex, medical, utilities, you name it. Telecom services should keep pace. Why shouldnG«÷t T1/T3 get a 10% rate hike every year??? After all new technologies affect other services equally.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:10:14 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom With all the CLECs bankrupted

--------

You don't have a clue as to what you're talking about.
Happy_Daze 12/4/2012 | 10:10:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Not quite a story, but Lightreading needs to start maintaining "The Forked List" summarizing all the optical and networking startups that have been shut down. I don't think the average reader appreciates the magnitude of what is going on. Isn't it about one a day closing down right now? If you could list how many employees were let go from peak employment, that would lend a human element to it. Not just how many dollars the VCs and investors lost.

This list fits in right along with the other lists you keep: Top 10 Movers and Shakers, Top 10 Optical Stocks, and 50 Worst Company Names.

Happy_Daze
DanJones 12/4/2012 | 10:10:18 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Tahoe has just confirmed rumours of cutbacks as well...

http://www.unstrung.com/docume...

Wonder if any of these companies will survive?

Dan
Senior Editor, Unstrung
calpole 12/4/2012 | 10:10:19 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Mr X used to spend $y for his telecom bill
10 years ago. Now he pays only $y/3. We have
created technology so that voice revenue can
shrink because we thought data will make it up.
So far, there no revenue model for data
that can compensate the loss in voice revenue.

So, it is absolutely clear that by 2005,
only 1/4 th of the technical workeforce
in telecom will survive. There is no scope for any worker once he is fired. Don't think
that by doing other job in the next two years
a laid off worker will be able to come back
in telecom.H1-B workers will not exist anymore
except for research type of jobs, a situation
of 60's-70's may be. L1 type will exist though.
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 10:10:20 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom A number of things have brought down the telecom industry. Recovery and normalcy would never return to the telecom industry. Here is a partial list of the activities that brought down the companies.

1. Relax standard of governance by the US Government. No standards for etical and moral standards. No enforcement of laws, if theu exist.

2. A large number of start-ups created by the VCs
because of their greed and lack of understanding of the industry. For example, there were close 680 optical network start-ups. No more than 10 companies were needed to meet the demand. Similarly thousands of networking start-ups caused the problems to magnify. Again the VCs and serial enterpreauners ( like serial rapists) caused a lot of hardships. This also promoted influx of ill trained engineers from the third world companies.

3. Merger and acquistions of undesirable staert-up companies.

4. Excessive salaries, unfair stock options, hiring of friends and acquaintances.

5. Lack of proper education and experience.
lightdimming 12/4/2012 | 10:10:21 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom With all the CLECs bankrupted, Baby Bells will not lower the DSL charge, so don't expect a hugh increase of DSL subscribers. A bad news for tele.com companies building router, VPN, MPLS, Sonet, DWDM boxes to anticipate the bandwidth demands which did not come.

In addition, there is no need to hurry for Baby Bells to use the latest technology. Just keep maintianing/using the existing and legacy equipment. Another bad news for tele.com, especially start-ups(called shut-downs nowadays).

tele.com is in really bad shape now.

-lightdimming
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:10:21 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom the countries with the education systems that
produced the most h1 engineers india & china are
rapidly developing and for the well educated,
quality of life,wages,work complexity is inevitably going up. plus the financial loss and
family trauma of getting layed off with no support
social or monetary. america has no need for new
h1s, and none have come for past 18 months except
those on short term work for parent cos. the cap
is unused mostly and even approved visas were
never used as parent cos went bankrupt.

the long term threat isnt h1s or martians :) but
migration of work and underperformance in economy.
tgdn 12/4/2012 | 10:10:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I guess there is good chance for growth in telecom if consumers can afford broadband access at reasonable price. Right now, verizon is sucking $50 a month on top of $30 for phone. At this rate, most of us would not need it unless employer pays for it.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:10:24 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom switchrus:
Despite the recent turmoil in the industry, and the number of H1B visa engineers who have been forced to return to their countries of origin, America is still a land of opportunity to much of the world, and a country of political stability and freedom to practice oneG«÷s beliefs without fear. In short, when the call goes out in 2005 for a new crop of itinerate engineers; there will be no shortage of takers.
_________________________________________________

The actual 'hit-rate' of lay-offs this time was amazingly high. I can speak for India - losing your job is still considered an extreme emberrassment. Layoffs aren't treated as dispassionately as in the US - in fact, layoffs can't happen in the country - legally at least.

I have friends who have come back from the US - laid off and traumatised to the core. Most wouldn't admit and quietly live through their trauma.

Yes, the American dream, especially for a tech worker is no longer as attractive. I don't think there would be a great clamour for the H1Bs in any future upturn, unless H1Bs are required for taxi drivers.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:10:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Vendors which are still standing are mostly
service and marketing orgnization with all production and sustained engineering moved to China/India/Russia.
__________________________________________________

Oh you don't have to worry about ANY competition in manufacturing from India. The Indian government has ensured that.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:10:27 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Target_easy said

G«£I am currently well down the road toward getting my green card and hope to become a U.S. citizen, just like you or your parents or grand-parents or great-grand-parents did before me.G«•

Good for you, and I applaud your efforts towards gaining citizenship, and you are quite right, this is a country of immigrants.

G«£I am not asking for special consideration, nor am I excusing companies that take advantage of the visa process to underpay their foreign workersG«™And when conditions do improve, it will be much harder for companies to bring back workers from China, India or where-everG«•

I applaud your views of how the G«£gameG«• should be played, urban myth or not, there is a great suspicion that companies have used the H1B process to keep engineering salaries in check. If the playing field is level, and H1B visa engineers are not used as a means of wage control, then I doubt anyone but the most jingoistic of Americans could or should complain.

On your comment about difficulty in attracting engineers to the US when conditions improve, I think you are wrong. Despite the recent turmoil in the industry, and the number of H1B visa engineers who have been forced to return to their countries of origin, America is still a land of opportunity to much of the world, and a country of political stability and freedom to practice oneG«÷s beliefs without fear. In short, when the call goes out in 2005 for a new crop of itinerate engineers; there will be no shortage of takers.
totum 12/4/2012 | 10:10:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom HiTekRedNeck wrote:
... if a sales guy brings in, say, $30M in revenue to the company, would he justify a $200K compensation package?... Sure would!

I write:
You would be right if the salesman had created that value. But in most cases he had not.
Attributing the 30M to the salesman is a joke.
You could say that without him there would be no 30M revenue. I say, withouth the rest of the company there wouldn't it either.


target_easy 12/4/2012 | 10:10:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom new_light writes: "You sound like an "H1B worker"..."

You are absolutely right. I am a foreign national legally working in the Bay area as an engineer in the telecom industry. I have paid U.S. taxes for the past 5 years and have used my 20+ years experience in the telecom industry to contribute to the success of several U.S. companies. I am currently well down the road toward getting my green card and hope to become a U.S. citizen, just like you or your parents or grand-parents or great-grand-parents did before me.

When the layoffs reach me, I won't be getting a job selling Snap-On tools, working in defense, teaching, driving a truck or flipping hamburgers at McDonald's. I'll be selling my house, and uprooting my family because I can't stay in the U.S. without a telecom related engineering job.

I am not asking for special consideration, nor am I excusing companies that take advantage of the visa process to underpay their foreign workers. All I'm saying is that, in most cases, these visa workers are likely to suffer far more in the current environment of layoffs than those engineers who are citizens or already have green cards. And when conditions do improve, it will be much harder for companies to bring back workers from China, India or where-ever than to get the local Snap-On tool vendor to return to engineering.

EZ


Fortunecookie 12/4/2012 | 10:10:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I think in 2005 telecom will be in much healthier condition.

1. The demand of telecom is there, although not as big as it was hyped during thebubble time.

2. The telecom market was hyped too much during the bubble time. The market is correcting itself. Becuase of the bubble, we have fiber glut, bandwidth glut, even maybe engineer glut. (oh yeah, definitely, CEO glut and banker/sucker glut)
Rule in thumb, no correction is perfect, we usually have over-correction. That's why we ar ehaving a severe winter time. However, I believe things will get better in 2005.

3. Market is correcting itself by swinging around the ideal situation, i.e. today is ove-correction, tomorow might be overshooting a little bit, but it will get closer and closer to its fair position. (i.e. assuming no other hypes during the corrections, or nobody will buy those hypes anymore).

4. I think Chambers at Cisco, as well as Ruth at Nortel and Mcginn at Lucent, and most of financial institutes, are responsible for these telecom hype which caused this disaster. They lied at the first place. They clearly knew the demand was not there and would not be as much as they declared. Even a no brainer would know that. It is impossible for those that are well informed to make mistakes like that without evil intentions. Why did they do that? I have a theory, it is all related to pump-and-dump. Wall street suckers know this trick and use it frequently to steal the wealth from small investors. I think the same idea applies here. Those guys make a hype (pump) and took the profit (the CEOs of telecom and bankers), and then market crashes (dump) and they (usually bankers this time) take the profit again. Who lost? small investors and hard workers.

5. I hope SEC will play more actively to regulate those wall street guys and the federal also should get involved.

6. Myself is an H1-B holder from China. Personally I do not think there is a need to increase the H1-B cap. I think the U.S. should reduce the cap somehow, given the fact that there are so many qualified American worker are unemployeed.
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:10:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom its more likely the "big-name" cos will move
more work into developing countries where
engg is still a honourable job, univs are
improving and people are available.
netskeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:10:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The year is 2005, MPLS had flopped, ATM rules the carrier side despite all the problems it has, nobody does any new development outside network managent, DWDM, last mile and wirelss because there are no customers willing to pay for it. Equipment is dirt cheap, simple and reliable providing the most basic transport services only, all intellect is moved to the app level. Vendors which are still standing are mostly service and marketing orgnization with all production and sustained engineering moved to China/India/Russia.


Thanks,

Netskeptic

zoinks! 12/4/2012 | 10:10:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I believe that the European and Asian companies will be much stronger by that time. Software houses in the UK and Ireland will begin to dominate and innovate. Major companies in the US will take a long time to rebound, but smaller more innovative companies will grow (but not large), potentially being absorbed by foreign companies.

China, as mentioned in another thread, is a major threat to the equipment business.

Not sure what will happen in India...maybe Lucent will have completely moved all development there.

If my kids want to be engineers, then I'll push them into civil engineering ... we always need more roads.

Thus, I don't think the H1 crush will be an issue in 2005.

Zoinks!
erbiumfiber 12/4/2012 | 10:10:32 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >>Just for fun, imagine an engineer getting commissions for filing patents...<<

I have worked as in-house patent counsel and my efforts to create patent incentives (they have/had them at IBM and NIH-where government scientists can actually earn part of the royalties their patents bring in...). I met with lukewarm to hostile repsonses (and this at start-ups...). Not even a lousy gift certificate to a restaurant and a plaque...and don't even get me started on the comparison between engineering and sales stock option packages...

I did buy a cake (with my own money) and have a reception at one company when our first patent issued (unfortunately, the next two issued on September 11th and the cake was canceled).
wavelength_switch 12/4/2012 | 10:10:32 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "I always had a problem with the sales guys justifying their commission pay scale... It was not unlikely for a sales guy to pull down $300k or so, and these sales guys would always justify their obscene salary buy saying, G«£I brought in $100M in sales.G«• Well, to an engineer, this sounds an awful lot like, G«£I did my job and brought in sales.G«• "

Just for fun, imagine an engineer getting commissions for filing patents...
Ringed? 12/4/2012 | 10:10:33 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Marguerite,

My contacts at Zhone indicate they are have a forced holiday this week.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:10:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Well said, switchrus.

There has to be SOME WAY that this industry can be made a little more stable. At the moment, I do not think there's any incentive for anyone to go to engineering school.

And BTW, there have been a large number of H1Bs laid off too - I think US companies will have trouble attracting the best talent from overseas in the future. IMHO, working in US is no longer as attractive as it used to be. All the personal sacrifice (living away from family, postponed marriages) to what avail - a pink slip ?

switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:10:38 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom To start off, for any holders of H1B visas, or those who hold strong views on the topic, this is not a comment on the whole issue of H1B visas. IG«÷m not sure I have an opinion on the other rightness or wrongness of the whole H1B visa issue, the following comments are not meant to inflame that debate again. Others may choose to pontificate one way or the other that is their right.

A prediction of the future in this industry

Flash forward three years from now to 2005, there is no G«£killer applicationG«• increasing bandwidth demand, itG«÷s just been a steady growth of demand at 10 to 15 percent rate over the last three years. The major telecommunications provider companies are again beginning to spend money for network build out, light fibers in the ground and generally start spending. ItG«÷s time again to build up networks and deploy the next generation of equipment and service platforms.

Equipment providers are starting to ramp up the design process and new startups begin to emerge to serve the demand. There is again a shortage of trained engineers, why?

1)Those laid off during the Telcomm G«£Perfect StormG«• of 2000 to 2002 have moved on, selling snap on tools, working in defense, teaching, driving a truck, you name it. The best and the brightest have moved on.
2)New Graduates from engineering schools are reduced in numbers and quantities, a resumption of the long term trend of students to shun engineering in favor of more stable carriers and less rigorous course of study.
3)Baby boomers reaching retirement age, sail off to retirement, burned out by the turmoil and general stress of working in engineering.

The big name companies, the same ones laying off talent today start lobby Congress for an increase in H1B visas to deal with the terrible labor shortage.

The seeds of tomorrow are being sown today!
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:10:39 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom San Jose in August I think, or Dallas in September.

Cheers
blakkkat21 12/4/2012 | 10:10:39 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom i'm buying the next round for all...switch that was all time do you have a late night talk show
i could watch with my marketing girlfriend...
blakkkat21 12/4/2012 | 10:10:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom opticalwatcher sorry the sales guys get the marketing girls...i can see why you are lonely and bitter in the lab...maybe a visit to local strip club can cheer you up...that way you can help an out of work marketing girl...and its the closest you will get to seeing her naked...
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:10:40 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom LaserZelig said:
"As a journalist, aren't you supposed to be providing unbiased
information to your readers"

Unbiased journalism isnt as interesting to readers. However, it is often
damaging to its subjects.

Is journalism an "amoral" profession?
-----------------------
My dear sir,
where did you see the un-biased journalism? by someone born yesterday?

st ;-)
LaserZelig 12/4/2012 | 10:10:41 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
"As a journalist, aren't you supposed to be providing unbiased information to your readers"

Unbiased journalism isnt as interesting to readers. However, it is often damaging to its subjects.

Is journalism an "amoral" profession?
LaserZelig 12/4/2012 | 10:10:42 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom BobbyMax wrote: The Board of Directors of Companies cannot be trusted. Theyare there for the money. To convince yourself look at the Board Members of AT&T, Lucent and Motorola.In fact you can look at the composition of board members, you would be totally disappointed.


BobbyMax: I ask you.... is there another reason that board members should be there other than for money?

What will I see if I "look at the board members" of AT&T et al? That they are there for money? How will I see that? I do not need to see that. That's obvious.

Board's are vested with fiduciary responsibility. They are rewarded for their effort and risk.
They mostly represent outside shareholders. Their purposes are co-alligned with shareholders in general. The CEO and other officers, on the other hand, may not have the best interest of their shareholders in mind.
deepciscothroat 12/4/2012 | 10:10:43 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Wile,
I think you antenna is working pretty well. Both of these companies built appliances for the GSM/Europe market and nothing is doing.
Megisto has a lot more dough, so that means they die slower

dct
literight 12/4/2012 | 10:10:44 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "These industry conditions, while not good for most, cannot be ignored."

Come on, just humour them will ya? LR, you can do it, just get the folks to talk on what's ailing them to get more biz to revive us all and back into that protcetive bubble :)

Photonboat 12/4/2012 | 10:10:45 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >>I bet Gill puts ten happy years back onto his life expectancy...<<

He was making $200k/year--in a city like St. Louis that goes a very, very long way. Very nice homes (unless you want to live in the absolute best neighborhoods) go for $400k or thereabouts, and good homes in good school districts can be had for easily half that. Most engineers in St. Louis that work at places like Boeing don't even make half what Gill made.

In Boston or especially Silicon Valley you would need to get a new job more quickly--there is a lot more pressure to come up with a big new job. Unless you want to live in a studio apartment forever.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:10:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Get in high-profile interviews with the tech decision makers from PTTs/RBOCs/Carriers/[MSOs], draw out controversies, get them to give a fair assessment of what they want.
___________________

They want to make money. The problem is their profit centers are turning into cost centers. All prudent businessmen will cut costs during such a period. Fast depreciating technology, large telco staffs, and popular content all represent expenses that need to be reduced.

These industry conditions, while not good for most, cannot be ignored.
new_light 12/4/2012 | 10:10:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom You sound like an "H1B worker"...
target_easy 12/4/2012 | 10:10:46 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Marguerite Reardon writes:

"1. I've heard a lot of scuttlebutt lately over American workers
feeling discriminated against in some of these layoffs. They claim
that companies are choosing to keep H-1B workers over
American workers, because they can pay them less. I believe
one lawsuit has already been filed against Sun Microsystems. If
you know of other law suits or feel you have been discriminated
against, I'd like to hear from you. Please email me at
[email protected]"

As a journalist, aren't you supposed to be providing unbiased information to your readers. Don't you feel it would be useful and even prudent to solicit feedback from both sides of this issue?
broadbandboy 12/4/2012 | 10:10:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Hi Guys, I agree in general with what you (MaxQoS & Dreamer101) have been saying. The problem is, your voices are too few, while the more numerous, VC backed "IP Rules" (I have a long memory, Mr. Benchmark) crowd has been shouting down anyone who points out the obvious.

But money talks, and we all know where most of what profits remain in telecom are coming from.

As for the 4th Estate, Max is generally correct in his assesement, but a few people did get it right. A trade newsletter interviewed network guys at most of the large IXCs and RBOCs last Fall. The conclusion was that MPLS deployment in large incumbent carrier networks (not including ISPs) would be years off - anywhere from 2-3 years in most cases, up to five years off for the most conservative carrier.

The mainstream press is just beginning to realize this, as in Jim Duffy's recent Network World article I cited in another post.

The problem is, all this misinformation has driven a lot of mis-investment that is now going down the drain!

BBboy
wilecoyote 12/4/2012 | 10:10:47 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I heard Megisto was having trouble too.

Deepcisco, anything specific?

I thought both of these companies had some early customers, were well financed, had good teams, hot space, etc. What went wrong?
optblues 12/4/2012 | 10:10:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I did say in my post that the base salary that the sales guys and the engineers were the same or comparable. My point is that the sales guys is going to get paid no matter what happens. If his sales are large or unexpected, then the sales guy is going to get cash dumped on him. The engineer does not get the same treatment. IMHO, most of the engineers with important tasks have tougher deadlines to meet. If they miss the deadline, you can bet that they may not get another important project to run (still performance pressures). Are the pressures more for engineers or sales guys?

My final comment:
I think the majority of sales guys get too much credit for their work effort (especiallyif they are selling a superior product). I believe that most of the best sales teams I have worked with are those trying to get new products into an tough account with little hope of reaching their quotas. Of course if they do, they get paid, but they don't expect it and work a little smarter because of it.

I am kind of a middle man- not a sales guy and not an engineer.

Comments welcome.

GlassyEyed wrote:
Do you suppose those Engineers would accept a pay-for-performance plan? They get a lower base salary, but they get bonuses, which equal twice as much, if they meet their goals ON TIME. And they get fired if they miss their targets twice in a row.

literight 12/4/2012 | 10:10:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom So you want story ideas right, let me sort you out.

Talk, talk, talk to the carriers. What we really want to know is not the rantings/ravings of tech geeks/salescum/wannabees selling equipment but what do the guys that have the moolah (a.k.a carriers) want from...us?:)

Get in high-profile interviews with the tech decision makers from PTTs/RBOCs/Carriers, draw out controversies, get them to give a fair assessment of what they want-- filtering out supplier politics, and you will not only make the day but shape the industry (OB: think you're the folks that are best suited).

Just get on it.
Marguerite Reardon 12/4/2012 | 10:10:48 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am amazed at the response to this story! I had no idea that people would be talking about this story so much.

At any rate, I am planning to do some more employment stories and would like to get some help/feedback from readers.

Here are the two stories that I am currently beginning work on:

1. I've heard a lot of scuttlebutt lately over American workers feeling discriminated against in some of these layoffs. They claim that companies are choosing to keep H-1B workers over American workers, because they can pay them less. I believe one lawsuit has already been filed against Sun Microsystems. If you know of other law suits or feel you have been discriminated against, I'd like to hear from you. Please email me at [email protected]

2. The other story has to do with companies that have shut down production for the week of July 4th and have asked workers to take unpaid vacation time in order to save costs. I'm specifically looking for companies in the optical/telecom space that have done this and also for employees of those companies who can tell me what they think about this practice. Again if you have information to share please contact me at [email protected]

Thanks,
Marguerite
lvezz 12/4/2012 | 10:10:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom >>If you are highly educated, there no chances of getting a job with the RBOCs.

No worry BMax; if you are correct you're employment at any RBOC is long secure.
deepciscothroat 12/4/2012 | 10:10:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom dying
optodunce 12/4/2012 | 10:10:49 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I dropped into this post just a few minutes ago and am amazed at the number of long timers bugging out because of employment woos and burn out! I had read somewhere about two years ago that telecom was going to face a consolidation but am surprised that so many will call it quits for telecom!

Quite frankly, once this turns around driven by the need for more bandwidth at the access level the need for gear is going to mushroom exponentially!

If anything this is the time to find a company that has solid technology, wise business teams (in other words those use to bootstraped budgets looking to gooble up all that liguidated equipment and wait...this is the first time that patience is actually a virture!

I predict that in 3 years there will be a great push for full motion video-phones, propping up bandwidth need at both the access and metro arenas, and the growth will be an ebb and flo vertical growth for the next 25 years...and it will begin in 9 months!

see ya on the flip side!

rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:10:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It is very hard for an individual who is over 45 years old to find job in the telecom industry regardless of one's qualifications, education and accomplishments.
_________________

Many other industries and other individuals have survived similar massive transitions. From aerospace to mainframes or farming to manufacturing, these transitions have occurred and will continue to occur. Progress requires creation, and most of the time, creation requires destruction.

Just as builders cut down trees to build our homes, builders will be cutting down these telco staffs to build a new industry. These builders will be creating a better infrastructure for our society.

Our individual adaption requires not only keeping our heads up and believing in ourselves but also requires helping others through this difficult transition.
knave 12/4/2012 | 10:10:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom
Amen, RJ. Ever since I have been out of work, and ask about a job in any other business, the first thing everyone says is " it's hard or it's tough to do x or y or z ". Everyone has this opinion of their own business. Bottom line is : work is hard or difficult but then again, anything worthwhile doesn't come easy.

Fortunecookie 12/4/2012 | 10:10:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom HTRN:
>Who are you to decide who should make $200K and >who shouldn't?...

It was my opinion. Can't I voice out my own opinion?

>Obvious you never made that kind of money.

Tell me how it is "obvious" to you?

>So if a sales guy brings in, say, $30M in >revenue to the company, would he justify a $200K >compensation package?... Sure would!

Do not throw out those cheap numbers? Where did you get that $30 M revenue? Is that number even remotely indicated in the article? I could ask the same kind of question, what if the guy only bring $200 K revenue? Do you know this kind of "what if" question is pointless in your argument. Support your points by data and logic, not assumptions and illusuions!

I would guess that Gill probably didn't pull in $30M revenue to the company. If he had, he proabably would saved his job. Don't you think so?

>What you also forget to measure is that Gill >probably paid $50K-70K

Have you ever paid tax? I am sure a $200K income will pay more than $50K to $70K tax. Get your numbers right first!

In my orignal post, I gave Gill little sympathy was mainly because 1) Sales person's compensation was overpaid during the bubble time, and 2) He had a hefty income but didn't save for the rain days.

Sorry, no further replies for no0brainer's post.

opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:10:50 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Ringed says
"You have an incredibly narrow-minded view of this industry. The same narrow-minded views you write about could be(are)true if Engineering ran the show...........

See how absurd this arguement is. Reality is this. It takes a team effort of Eng, PLM and Sales to define, build and sell a product."

Response:
y'know, here's my little view on the word "teamwork".

Teamwork is a term used by managers and salesman during life when the product cycle is just initiated. We all sit around, discuss how to move forward and we're all a team. Then, the managers and salespeople make promises. That's where teamwork turns into finger-pointing. It doesnt matter that my group pointed out major issues for months to no avail. It only matters that the higher managers look good and the sales team makes their commissions. Then, when it all falls apart, you "teamwork" oriented people "tell" the developers its our fault.

And, you wonderfully moronic individual, it isnt the saleperson that demo's the product to the client. It isnt the salepersons that's up all hours of the night troubleshooting the issues with the clients' engineers. We dont interact with the clients and know what their needs are? I should say not. We know their needs more than you realize. Salespeople are merely gateways from the real world to the world of high tech. During demo's, us moron's actually do speak with the clients, hear what they need and want, and try to respond. However, at this point, and I'm talking from years of bad experiences on this one, you wonderful sales people step in and start making promises and rediculous schedules. Once again, more of that wonderful "teamwork" you mention. And, of course, its our fault when we can't meet your schedules, as if you had any idea what your talking about.

I'll call you the next time I'm troubleshooting an issue over the phone at 2 am. Maybe you can provide more than a mere "blink, blink, blink........"
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:10:51 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Why should the sales guys get this obscene commission?

---------

Two reasons:

1. Whoever is closest to the cash register takes the first and largest cut.

2. Without lying sales people, your customers might have actually been able to figure out that the shit didn't work BEFORE they bought it.
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:10:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom zweisel said - Please. WorldCom is bankrupt and is buying nothing. Qwest is on the verge of bankruptcy with $32B in debt. Global Crossing is bankrupt. Are you for real? How many people does it take to support two bankrupt companies and one teetering on the verge? The telecom industry has enough overhead and does not require more "account" teams.

On the other hand, some of these guys will work their way out of Chapter 11 and make another run. The vendors that stick with them through the tough times may well be rewarded. Case in point - ICG who are very close to emerging from bankruptcy and will do most of their business with those vendors who didn't just walk away when they were in trouble.
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:10:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Here, here !!!!

Easier said than done if you don't have the $200K that it takes to get started though.

The risk/reward equation in the industry is skewed right now. The reward simply does not justify the risk. It was a complete mirror a few years ago and hopefully will return in the years to come. But for right now, Snap On Tools and AAMCO Transmissions may be a safer place to invest your time and effort.
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:10:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom optblues,

Do you suppose those Engineers would accept a pay-for-performance plan? They get a lower base salary, but they get bonuses, which equal twice as much, if they meet their goals ON TIME. And they get fired if they miss their targets twice in a row.

Probably not, because it takes a certain type of individual to take the risk that goes along with that type of situation. Just as the individual Engineer can only get his job done if the rest of his team performs, the Sales Rep. only gets paid if the Engineering, Legal and Manufacturing teams perform.

IMHO a plan like that for Engineering VP's and Directors should exist in all technology companies. How far it should filter down is worthy of discussion.
zweisel 12/4/2012 | 10:10:52 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom HiTekRedNeck wrote - "How would you like to be the Lucent and Nortel sales teams supporting Worldcom, Qwest, Global Crossing, etc.
Good luck to everyone!!!"

Please. WorldCom is bankrupt and is buying nothing. Qwest is on the verge of bankruptcy with $32B in debt. Global Crossing is bankrupt. Are you for real? How many people does it take to support two bankrupt companies and one teetering on the verge? The telecom industry has enough overhead and does not require more "account" teams.
optblues 12/4/2012 | 10:10:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom HiTekRedNeck:

I always had a problem with the sales guys justifying their commission pay scale. Actually, I might rephrase that to just address the boom times. It was not unlikely for a sales guy to pull down $300k or so, and these sales guys would always justify their obscene salary buy saying, G«£I brought in $100M in sales.G«• Well, to an engineer, this sounds an awful lot like, G«£I did my job and brought in sales.G«• Why should the sales guys get this obscene commission? There are engineers who work twice as hard and get the same base pay and no commission, and this does not change during the boom times or the low times. The sales guys are still receiving the same base pay.
Twistall 12/4/2012 | 10:10:53 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom SnapOn Tools, eh? Hmmm... Big shiny bread truck... Racks of shiny tools (grunt grunt)... Shakin' greasy hands and seeing the stars in their eyes as they fondle your wares... Flirtin' with the waitresses at all the greasy spoons in your area... All at a pretty good salary for middle PA, if you ask me!

Compare that with those uncomfortable business suits... tear-jerking mind-numbing power point presentations... Taking pompous blowhards out to lousy fancy-schmancy luncheons... Picky network engineers trying to justify their existence... Getting lied to by engineering managers who don't know or have forgotten what it really takes to do a good and thorough job...

I bet Gill puts ten happy years back onto his life expectancy...
HiTekRedNeck 12/4/2012 | 10:10:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom jgh said:
Not that anyone should be surprised, but Nortel is cutting its field SE force by 50%. By end of July, there will be approximately 40,000 employess left. that means over 60,000 gone since 2001 looking for jobs. How would you like to be the Lucent and Nortel sales teams supporting Worldcom, Qwest, Global Crossing, etc.
Good luck to everyone!!!

No doubt... Most of those teams are already gone!
HiTekRedNeck 12/4/2012 | 10:10:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Fortuniecookie:

Who are you to decide who should make $200K and who shouldn't?... Obvious you never made that kind of money. As most sales guys would tell you, even in the telecom sector... companies only pay for performance - what revenue you bring into a company. So if a sales guy brings in, say, $30M in revenue to the company, would he justify a $200K compensation package?... Sure would! What you also forget to measure is that Gill probably paid $50K-70K in taxes! Government is glad to take, but when chips are down, you get $200/week in return?... What a joke!

I hope you remember that when you're unemployed.

-HTRN
Ringed? 12/4/2012 | 10:10:54 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom opticalwatcher,

You have an incredibly narrow-minded view of this industry. The same narrow-minded views you write about could be(are)true if Engineering ran the show.

So lets look closer at this issue. You have a crack development team. These guys are good! Standford and MIT MSEE's and a couple PhD's because those guys are good too. To be clear these guys and girls are grizzled vets. Seasoned
telecom designers.

With all this aptitude you go off and develop a product. The product has some really cool features, enough for the "sales puke" to play with Power Point and keep him/her busy for the afternoon and out of your hair.

But let me get this straight. You and your ACE development team work typically in labs and cubes. So how many times have you asked a RBOC, Service Provider, Carriers Carrier, IOC, what they need you to build them so they can be successful? Hmmm. Blink. Blink. Blink.

See how absurd this arguement is. Reality is this. It takes a team effort of Eng, PLM and Sales to define, build and sell a product.



st0 12/4/2012 | 10:10:56 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Does anyone know how many head count gained between 1996-2000 in Telecom? >167,000? Are we back to pre 1996 number or less? Thanks.

st
p.s. was wondering few years ago why someone would pay top $ for the guys just complete 2 days training of splicing at OFC...
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:10:57 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom However, in order to find the guilty party you only need to look in a mirror.

---------

Oh really? So I cooked WorldCom's books and I rigged the electricity markets? Sounds like you made your money and got out early ...
ohbyteme 12/4/2012 | 10:10:58 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The CEO is a nice guy, but clueless. The CTO has an ego the size of Rhode Island and manages by intimidation. They are running out of money & have yet to announce a sale. They may sell come gear to Orange Networks, but then what? The carriers aren't buying new gear, so they are screwed. The engineers are just waiting for the next layoff. IMHO stick a fork in 'em - they're done.
diag_eng 12/4/2012 | 10:10:58 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom no rif at riverola. at least not this quarter.
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:10:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom switchrus:
Ask a software developer a strait question: G«£When will the code be done, when will you freeze the baseline and quit G«£tweakingG«•? Why bother, you wonG«÷t get a strait answer in most cases.

Ask a hardware developer when the engineering model will be done and ready for show and tell, hard to get a strait answer there either.
__________________________________________________

Well, when we Engineers ask a sales person when the payment is going to come in for a shipment, they don't usually answer straight either.

You have to understand that just likes Sales, engineering has to deal with uncertainty too. The HW guy could be gated by a long lead time component procurement issues. The SW guy could be held up by a phantom defect which is very hard to reproduce and hence debug.

Let's understand the lack of certainty, and learn to live with it. That'll make all our lives simpler.
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 10:10:59 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It is very hard for an individual who is over 45 years old to find job in the telecom industry regardless of one's qualifications, education and accomplishments. If you are highly educated, there no chances of getting a job with the RBOCs. These RBOCs generate over $16 Billion in revenue every year.

What happened or is happening at QWEST is really shocking. The thieves invaded the company and looted the company.

The Board of Directors of Companies cannot be trusted. Theyare there for the money. To convince yourself look at the Board Members of AT&T, Lucent and Motorola.In fact you can look at the composition of board members, you would be totally disappointed.

If you want to look at how the promotions take place, look at the recent reorganization. This was not even reported. Will some one throw light at the recent organization at Cisco\. This should give you some idea about the functioning of the companies.
seeallwan 12/4/2012 | 10:11:00 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom (would like any update on the ex-ascend unit.
did anything bad happen there recently ?)

...The only thing happening these days out of Westford are quarterly layoffs and no new products for quite some time?. My guess is lucent wants to get out of data (eventually) since they don't have "data type vision" and will probably see Westford closed within a year or so? I could be wrong, just what I hear these days. Everything will probably transfer to NJ or another legacy lucent site?.

(do they plan on just maintaining the ascend
products or work the nexabit box ?)

...From what my buddies are saying, it's "tmx-or-bust" for westford. The legacy cascade products are being shipped to India and going into a gradual end of life/maint cycle. A few new line cards and software releases, but that's it from what I hear?


switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom MaxQoS said

G«£ I don't recall anyone mentioning the culpability of those in the "Fourth Estate" for their part in this problem. One of the major issues with "feature creep" is caused by so called "experts" and the mediaG«™
the "experts" and the media are all touting MPLS as the next big thing in core backbones. I, G«™ unrealistic requirements for MPLS including support for the IETF draft du jour in my RFP.G«•

True, but how did this situation come about.

1) Carriers are looking for that G«£competitive edgeG«•, if MPLS gives them better ROI, then thatG«÷s what they want. Remember customer-engineering staff also has to sell the expenditure for new equipment to the G«£Green Eye ShadeG«• corps inside the company, and Green Eye Shade MBAG«÷s do know how to run the numbers.

2)Network demand for the most part has not been growing over the last two years, hate to use the word but G«£glutG«• is in fact a reality right now. Carriers have a disincentive to pull the trigger right now on any new equipment purchases, let alone technology which may be on the wrong path for the future, depends a whole bunch on FUD factor in the media and on the show floors.


Lastly, thereG«÷s one other really scary thing going on, fear of buying gear from a company that wonG«÷t be around in another year. You can have G«£shit hotG«• stuff, but look like youG«÷re shaky from a funding and long term stability standpoint and youG«÷re toast. No major carrier wants to buy equipment that will be orphaned and will become unsupported. My guess is that LU and NT will come out of this mess in pretty good shape because of the perception that they will be around for the long haul.
sgan201 12/4/2012 | 10:11:01 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Hi MaxQos,
I agreed with everything that you said..
I just would like to add soemthing to what you are saying. I would not mind if the RBOC bean counter is running show. Somebody has to put some sanity into all this things.
For example like what you have just said, you have a Core ATM switch that just working fine supporting X number of connections. Just because some person claim that draft-Martini is the latest and greatest thing, you are going to do that for FR and ATM..
This hype thing that you just said will not pass a RBOC bean counter..
MaxQoS 12/4/2012 | 10:11:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Opticalwatcher said:

"our statements are black and white, but the reality is much more gray. Developers are focused on their own world, salespeople are under direct and specific pressure to produce results. Its tough.

Salespeople shouldnt be running the show. Period. They shouldnt be managing people, timelines, budgets. They should be selling.

You say my argument is inconsistent, but thats probably because we havent spoken enough about an enormous problem."

I agree, in fact, we probably agree on much more than we disagree. But we must remember that the customer is running the show. I also agree that this issue is much larger in scope than we have discussed. I don't recall anyone mentioning the culpability of those in the "Fourth Estate" for their part in this problem. One of the major issues with "feature creep" is caused by so called "experts" and the media.

For example, I hypothetically might want to upgrade my core ATM switches due largely to capacity capacity issues. But the "experts" and the media are all touting MPLS as the next big thing in core backbones. I, not wanting to miss the next big thing, include all sorts of unrealistic requirements for MPLS including support for the IETF draft du jour in my RFP. The Sales Weasels, now under the gun, have to start hammering on the developers to deliver on some draft that is no more than an idea some person drew on a cocktail napkin at the last IETF meeting. Managers are pressured to add support for the "idea I had while drinking a Martini draft." And the whole thing starts to spiral out of control.

Yes, it would be good if more things were controlled by pragmatic engineers who based their decisions on empirical facts derived from thorough analysis of the system's requirements. Unfortunately, that is seldom the case.

Meanwhile the development engineers are continuing to draw their regular salary. The Sales Weasels, however, have as much as 60-70% of their target income dependent on actually selling something. So, inevitably, the weaseling and FUD games begin lest they be left feeding their kids on a steady diet of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Oh yeah, the fun is most assuredly gone. The Elder Days have ended and the age of dominion of the RBOC Bean Counters has begun anew. Because while the cowboys were trying to change the world, the evil empires were retrenching and consolodating vast empires built under monopoly control. A long darkness is likely to follow.

salute to you Opticalwatcher.
greybeard 12/4/2012 | 10:11:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > So ... what about the huge amounts of money
> stolen by corrupt VCs, company managers and
> Wall Street people? And what about the thieves
> themselves? Do they get off scot-free because
> they are white and well-spoken?

If you are willing to pay big bucks to purchase crap, then there will *always* be people who are willing to sell it to you.

If you are one of the people who made the decision to buy Nexabit or Netcore, or who decided to structure the Fore and Cascade purchases in such a way that most of the best engineers left, then I understand why you are angry. However, in order to find the guilty party you only need to look in a mirror.

In the mean time there are companies building good products, and companies deploying these products to provide good services. This entire sub-sector of the economy will be better off when the shake-out ends, and the "thieves" and their customers go away.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:11:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It took months of constant rejection and dealing with hiring companies that didn't care enough to return calls before landing at SBC. I had to make a slight career change but now I'm at one of the most stable companies in the country.

=========

I can't blame you a bit. You've got to feed your family, and God knows the start-ups of Silicon Valley, their executives and their financial backers didn't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves and how much they could steal right away. SBC's no day at the beach, but at least they have a longer time horizon.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:02 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom st

Well said, and spot on all points.
Jimi 12/4/2012 | 10:11:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It's disheartening to watch us all tumble out of the industry we've worked in for years. Many of us even loved what we did. It took months of constant rejection and dealing with hiring companies that didn't care enough to return calls before landing at SBC. I had to make a slight career change but now I'm at one of the most stable companies in the country. When a company can literally pay off all debt in 13 months if it needed to it's doing something right. Maybe it's because SBC is regulated by the FCC and CPUC. De-regulation allowed the competition to play by different rules and we all suffered for it.
st0 12/4/2012 | 10:11:03 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The bitter fight between the eng/sales are just one of the sad factor of fast growing sector of Telecom. It is the product of lack of mentor system in the field. Coming from backgroud of early 90 electronic field, there are few difference based on my observation now and "good old days":
(1) I was delight to work with Sr. sales/marketing manager who had 25-30 years of experience in the same company working through the rank of engineering/program managerment/standard setting committee/marketing. He was a history book of the company, and fully aware of the capability wihtin the company, from engineering through the roadmap/platform setting. Knew the compatitor by location, product matrix, turn around time, price structure too. Facing customer request, he was not affraid to say: "I have to check with our R&D and get back to you within 3 days". His estimate was ROM (rough order magnitude), but only +/-10% off. The delivery date and price were all within the range with enough as reserve for margin and R&D recovery cost. Working with these guys is a great learning experience. From floor automation upgrade requirements to the volume/price required for low, medium and high demand are all in place. It is almost a lost art in the Telecom field. I blame the fast moving field and un-stable workforce. It was doom that the managerment adopt "trade in for 2 young one for one old "wife"" in the mid-90s. The downfall of the knowledgable sales force.
(2) Aggressive Sales and adopt "car sale" mind set increased during mid 90s. What I mean "car sale" is that many fail to recognize that telecom is networking. Many of us sale a product used in part of large communication sturcture. it is not like car is a final individual product. The compatibility of telecom gear in the network, required much more technical consideration than a car compatitility to the road. The "mordern sales force" without good tech training is really cost today's deep devide between the engineering and sales. I have to admit, the technology used in the field is fast evolution one, which made an engineer even feel difficult. It is very hard for sales to catch up (if he/she is willing to learn). However, I hardly met a sales guy nowadays openly admit his/her lack of knowledge on the gears they sale. Over promissing is an open game. Someone even told me: if you don't play, you loss!
(3) The award system for the sales got part of the blame. Commission system will cause some greedy type sale everything for the buck (same can be said for some head hunter, they sale all type of superman who can fit every position you on the list). The justfication of the agreesive sales normally are: for the "company sake", you got to...
(4) Not all engineer can be a good program manager and sales/marketing. Some of new product must have engineering support on the sales stand due to the state-of-the-art nature of the product (ex. tunable laser with lock up mechanism of MEMS). Some of them are ... what should we say, too "negative". As part of profession training, we (engineer) normally focus on what need to be improved. That is what made us learn and progress. However, it is deadly in the trade show (depend upon who you talk to). "oh, man, you don't know what the hell we have to go through for this junk. We have to enhance the cooling, patch the EMI ...etc.etc." What he really say is that "he/engineer" did wonderful job to get "junk=his baby" out on time to meet the spec. The buyer would never understand the mindset of him, and will treat him as poison to stay far away from his product. The glory of engineering should be recognized by company, but it is much less so in today.
(5) Due to the environment of down turn, finger pointing took more energy than working together and get next product out. The old days, few of key personnel (engineer/research) were transfered to marketing for (a) kept the key personnel knowledge in marketing if R&D can not support them, (b) prevent competitor gaining advantage by "head hunt" them. It normally can not work in this time. Due to the deep devide, many of sales dept consider them "dead beat", fail to recognize their value (lack of eduation again). Lack of respect for someone who did company great service is very sad to watch. However, some of political fight is more bloody (or more important for someone) within the company than the competitor. I am blame the "greed for power" established through the late 90s.
(6)..sure have more to say, but I guess I got killed by both side right now...bye...

st
fusionboy 12/4/2012 | 10:11:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom There is an interesting article in this Sunday's New York Times (6/29/2002) on leaving telcom. Perhaps most interesting, they peg US telcom job losses at 167,000 (through April)

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06...
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 10:11:04 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom switchrus:
Link to what is supposed to be a email sent by someone inside of Lucent to the troops.

http://www.fuckedcompany.com/e...


Its from Pat Russo to the masses. Someone sent it to the Ragin Bull/Lycos board as well...

Salute,
Manoflalambda
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:05 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom optowatcher said:

G«£However, from my experience the sales people have been intensly uninterested in truth about product capabilities and timelines.G«•

Probably true, it is better to remain ignorant of the truth on development progress for fear of saying the wrong thing and letting the truth slip out. Most Sales Weasels are honest people, and getting caught in a bald face lie to a customer is a kiss of death to sealing a deal, better to remain in the dark, and yes this can result in over promising. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and show everyone the fool you are.

G«£Asking a developer "when will it be ready" is like asking a fisherman "exactly how many fish will you catch next tues".G«•

I have to say thatG«÷s weak. Lots of very talented engineers and coders suffer from the syndrome of itG«÷s done when I say itG«÷s done and IG«÷ve achieved perfection, lots of time G«£good enoughG«•, is good enough to go to market. Weak engineering managers usually buy the argument you make, good ones smell trouble and the G«£turd polishingG«• before it happens and put more talent on the trouble spots or starts G«£helping youG«•G«™LOL.

G«£We can estimate, but its probably not accurate. Anytime your developing a new product (whatever the product) you will have unforeseen issues that need to be resolved.G«•

Most of the projects I have been on have had a schedule, sometimes put together by management smoking dope, sometimes realistic, a good schedule always has a pad in it for G«£woopsiesG«•.

Maybe some Sales Weasels have G«£been there done that.G«•
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:05 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I agree with your assessment as you've written it. However, from my experience the sales people have been intensly uninterested in truth about product capabilities and timelines. Asking a developer "when will it be ready" is like asking a fisherman "exactly how many fish will you catch next tues". We can estimate, but its probably not accurate. Anytime your developing a new product (whatever the product) you will have unforeseen issues that need to be resolved. Ideas will be generated during the process, changes will be made. But somewhere along the line people have it in their minds that if we dont have that product today, we've missed the boat. I can still remember everyone saying lu was dead because nortel rolled out 10G products to market quicker than lu did. Lu was really behind they said. Well, the fact is it was all a lie and lu is hardly behind.

Your statements are black and white, but the reality is much more gray. Developers are focused on their own world, salespeople are under direct and specific pressure to produce results. Its tough.

Salepeople shouldnt be running the show. Period. They shouldnt be managing people, timelines, budgets. They should be selling.

You say my argument is inconsistent, but thats probably because we havent spoken enough about an enormous problem.

salute
MaxQoS 12/4/2012 | 10:11:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Opticalwatcher said:

"dont be silly. Jealous of what, that I still have a job and that salesman doesnt? And, the work I do in the lab creates the product you sales jerks lie about. Without the product, there is no YOU. And, just like car salespeople, your all a dime a dozen.

Skills, what skills? Learning how to BS and play a game of smoke and mirrors? Pls, take your bull and sell it somewhere else (hehe)."

I just thought I'd point out a few inconsistencies in your argument:

If the product worked, the Sales Weasels wouldn't have to lie about it. Furthermore, even if what you're shipping today works, the customer wants what's in the next version. This, by the way, is the one immutable truth of technical sales. The customer always wants what you don't yet have. Managing the discrepancy between what you've got and what the customer wants, when he wants it and what he's willing to pay for it is where the Sales Weasels earn their pay. So, we have a circle of life. Because without Sales, there is no YOU. The company dies for want of revenue while waiting for whe software to stabilize on a hardware platform that itself has only stabilized weeks before. Everyone needs to remember that everyone has a role to play for the company to be successful. If the company is a body, the engineers may very well be the brains while sales are the feet, but good luck dragging your butt over to the fridge for a beer without them. In fact, to extend this tortured analogy one more step, sales people are paid well in the same way that the body likes to buy nice shoes for itself. ;-)

Finally, I think that your comment regarding BS and mirrors reflects badly on you as well. Again, if the product worked and had the correct features, there would be nothing to BS about, would there? After all, they're not selling their BS, but that which you've created in that much vaunted lab.

switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:06 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Opticalwatcher said G«£Which brings me back to development. If the damn sales force would sit, shutup, and listen, then maybe they would learn something. But no, they know it all. They have a real beat on the pulse of the world. Well, I guess your selling tools now, or cars, or whatever else. Meanwhile, I continue to create and develop.

If my point of view offends you, then accept my apology for I dont intend on inflicting pain. Its a matter of opinion and experience, at least from my very little corner of the world.G«•

First, your views do not offend me, your views are well understood and agreed with to a certain point.

But on the other side of the coin, thereG«÷s the arrogance of engineering and software types to contend with as a Sales Weasel.

Ask a software developer a strait question: G«£When will the code be done, when will you freeze the baseline and quit G«£tweakingG«•? Why bother, you wonG«÷t get a strait answer in most cases.

Ask a hardware developer when the engineering model will be done and ready for show and tell, hard to get a strait answer there either.

Both of the above along with the allowing the Sales Weasels to drive the boat are examples of lack of leadership seen today in the industry. Show me a SOB director of engineering or a SOB CEO who will not stand for control of the company by Sales, Engineering or Software development and IG«÷ll show you a successful company.

By SOB, I mean leaders that ask the hard questions and not worry about offending highly paid egos. IG«÷ve worked for a few SOBs who chew you up one side and down the other when youG«÷re wrong, but are your best friend when youG«÷re right, IG«÷ll take one any day.
stawdema 12/4/2012 | 10:11:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Anybody has any insight on how they are
faring?

Thanx,
Scott
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I'm not really bitter toward sales personnel. I am frustrated and was extremely frustrated at the frenzy over the last years. Sales types making huge promises and then coming back to us saying "deliver". Sales people were almost running the ship, and we all see where that ship ended up. Sales people are skilled at one thing - telling the customer what they want to hear. Interpersonal skills has nothing to do with sales. People can relate to each other just fine, right up until you try and get someone to part with their money. Then its a game, promises, dreams, etc.....Its all about getting someone to believe that you and yours is the best. That, my friend, has nothing to do with "interpersonal skills". And the "best" is in the product, not the sales force. Which brings me back to development. If the damn sales force would sit, shutup, and listen, then maybe they would learn something. But no, they know it all. They have a real beat on the pulse of the world. Well, I guess your selling tools now, or cars, or whatever else. Meanwhile, I continue to create and develop.

If my point of view offends you, then accept my apology for I dont intend on inflicting pain. Its a matter of opinion and experience, at least from my very little corner of the world.

Good luck all.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Totum said G«£As a previous contributor mentioned, he switched from engineering to sales/marketing. From personal experience I know this is being done quite frequently, mostly for the money. Until the opposite transition becomes as widespread as this, I tend to say: engineers can do both, sales people cannot, which is sort of restating that the product will sell itself.G«•

You sort of miss the point about the difference between G«£SalesG«• and G«£EngineeringG«•. Sales is about possibilities, engineering is about reality. Engineers by nature deal with facts, figures, calculations and measurements, sales deals with facts (sometimes), figures (cost always), and personalities of your customer and your own companyG«÷s engineering staff. Sad to say over my long carrier, I have met engineers who were brilliant in a theoretical sense, often youngish PhDG«÷s who burned through high school, on to college and more brilliance, in the process they never learned how to relate to people. Relating to people is to a large degree what sales is mostly about, a skill often time lacking in engineers, think Dilbert. Now Wally on the other hand, he could go over to the dark side of the force in an instant.

You do make a very good point however, personality of Sales Weasels may get them in the door, if the Engineering team does not have the G«£goodsG«•, no amount of selling will work, so yes the product will sell itself.
totum 12/4/2012 | 10:11:07 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Thurston Howell III wrote:
... we need YOUR products to sell - but you need US to sell it... it doesn't sell itself

I write:
As a previous contributor mentioned, he switched from engineering to sales/marketing. From personal experience I know this is being done quite frequently, mostly for the money. Until the opposite transition becomes as widespread as this, I tend to say: engineers can do both, sales people cannot, which is sort of restating that the product will sell itself.
totum 12/4/2012 | 10:11:08 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom net_exprt wrote:
The marketing folks get their information from engineering. When marketing can't get straight answers out of engineering, you then have the possiblity of bad information given to the field.

I write:
When marketing doesn't get the data from engineering they want to hear, they just make up their own.
I have gone through that a few times.
totum 12/4/2012 | 10:11:08 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Ringed wrote:
We are in the fight of our lives.

And I write:
Yes, you may be in the fight of your lives, but definitely not for your lives. If someone made 200K p.a. and didn't save for a rainy day, too bad. I am making way less as a senior hardware designer, but I for sure could manage a year of unemployment with my non-earning wife and three small children. Sales engineers having made that kind of dough and complaining about not being able to do it any longer just boils my blood. Well, the proverbial chicken came to roost.
fusionboy 12/4/2012 | 10:11:08 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom but none of the thrill of working in Telecom.
____________________________________________

The thrill is gone baby, the thrill is gone.

And it should be gone, and must go for telcom to turn into a respectable industry. The Wild West had to go. Don't worry - there is some other Frontier industry out there that will pop up soon.

switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:08 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom On F***'d Comany, not always a good site for information, sometimes you get nuggets.

Link to what is supposed to be a email sent by someone inside of Lucent to the troops.

http://www.fuckedcompany.com/e...
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Mainstream media, well sort of if you count PBS, mentioned Telecommunications industry lay-offs last night on one segment of Washington Week Report.

One commentator, missed her name, commented on the state of the economy and talked about there has been 500,000 job losses in the industry and how precarious the economy may be getting. Her conclusion was that more layoffs were coming due to the World Com and other explosions and Bush and Co. had better start paying some attention to high technology segment of the economy.

When Dan Rather and Tom Brocaw start covering this story, maybe something will be done.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:11:09 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The shakeout is painful, but (i) is an inevitable response to the bubble; and (ii) is the only way that I can think of for the economy as a whole to clean up many of the excesses, including startups founded on hype, VCs who fund companies based on hype, and larger companies who purchase the hype without bothering to find out whether they are getting anything useful. I think that the latter at least is pretty much cleaned up by now.

---------

This is like arguing that, once the blood has been cleaned off the floor at the 7-Eleven, the robbery has been pretty much cleaned up by now. But when poorer and blacker violent criminals steal money, the police pursue them and jail them. You seem to have neglected this side of it.

So ... what about the huge amounts of money stolen by corrupt VCs, company managers and Wall Street people? And what about the thieves themselves? Do they get off scot-free because they are white and well-spoken?
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:11:10 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom would like any update on the ex-ascend unit.
did anything bad happen there recently ?

do they plan on just maintaining the ascend
products or work the nexabit box ?
sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:11:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom No post has actually discussed the subject which the article raised.

I was in telecom, I now work in networking. Which is an allied industry, but I miss telecom terribly. My current job at a blue-chip gives me stability, pays better, but none of the thrill of working in Telecom.

From carrier class to enterprise class was a painful transition for me. A large part of my engineering expertise, i.e., designing a high rel, fully compliant box, is redundant here.

If any of you have had similar experiences, please share your thoughts. And tell me how you cope, cause I'm having a hard timing coping with the new reality !

sigint 12/4/2012 | 10:11:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Quite amusing, the battle between egineers and sales-persons !

To Engineers:

1. Listen to the sales guy - his feedback often spells more development hours, but embrace the trouble.

2. Do not belittle the work of the sales guy. I've known sales people who have spent the better part of a year in an aircraft selling gear I designed. I considered it my moral duty to help in whatever way I could.

3. I have accompanied sales people on calls and can vouch for the fact that the job is VERY stressful. The potential customer is hell bent getting a fantastic deal, and the sales guy is the first to take the stick.

4. Remember, if you screw-up, it's the sales guy who's your first line of defense. It's he or she that covers your ar**. They are the "infantry" of our industry, let's not treat them as dispensable.

To sales people:

1. Try to understand the product better. The more you know about the product, the better your chances of selling it.

2. Do not hype, do not lie. You put your entire company's reputation on the firing line. (including that of hapless engineers).

3. Engineers are a harassed lot, engineering managers are slave drivers, in case you haven't noticed.

4. Do not grudge someone the right to buy time, we all need to do it once in a while.

5. You aren't perfect, neither are the engineers. Why expect a perfect product, ready on the first try ? Won't happen !

I hope my attemps at brokering peace are not taken amiss by anyone.

Sincerely,

Thurston Howell III 12/4/2012 | 10:11:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Boy is that the truth - we must have worked together somewhere...
Thurston Howell III 12/4/2012 | 10:11:11 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Your an idiot. Without good business people (i.e. sales people) you engineering types would be left playing with yourselves.

You sound like a typical engineering puke - no interpersonal skills whatsoever.

Yes we need YOUR products to sell - but you need US to sell it... it doesn't sell itself you moron.
drewsmith 12/4/2012 | 10:11:14 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom There's nothing wrong with over selling. It just means you sell to enterprises and get kicked out of carriers labs (example Crisco).

Unfortunately, the term carrier grade means nothing anymore thanks to Crisco calling all of its crap carrier grade. 2 power supplies and 2 fans is not carrier grade. IP is not carrier grade. The answer to all networking questions is not "Let's route it, to solve that problem" i.e. Crisco.

Startups exist because everyone has witnessed Crisco turn crap into gold.

I am enjoying the collapse of the industry it will remove the week and useless companies and leave the strong. The herd has needed a good culling!!!

Andrew
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:14 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Is it that we lie, or you make promises without thorough consultation. MOre times than not YOU come back to our table and say "hey, its do or die", or "hey, get with the program, this is what the client wants", or blah, blah, blah.......Point is, you have your goals and try and set everyone else to it. Fact is, developments takes time multiplied by a factor of 10. Listen to your people first and maybe you would fare better at your position. Good luck, believe me when I say NO ill feelings!
greybeard 12/4/2012 | 10:11:14 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom > ..They created Merger and Acquisition hypes and
> sold these useles companies to larger companies
> thereby incresing their debt burden with
> swelling third class workers they inherited
> from the acquired companies.

A lot of VCs and entrepreneurs sold useless companies to larger companies. But who is to be blamed for this?

> A lot junky companies in California victimized
> larger telecom companies.Many dishonest VCs,
> employees, and company management became
> millionnaire overnight.

I agree with most of what you said. However, I have to take fault with your blaming of the startups that got bought.

If you are going to spend a billion dollars to buy a company (or even a few hundred million), then you have a moral and fiduciary responsibility to hire or otherwise locate someone who has a clue regarding whether you are spending the money wisely. If you spend a billion dollars and don't bother to check to see whether you are spending it on hype, then you deserve what you get.

There are very few secrets in this industry (too many people move from company to company, or have friends at other companies). If people only kick the tires, and don't bother to check the engine and transmission, then they are going to buy a lemon.

The shakeout is painful, but (i) is an inevitable response to the bubble; and (ii) is the only way that I can think of for the economy as a whole to clean up many of the excesses, including startups founded on hype, VCs who fund companies based on hype, and larger companies who purchase the hype without bothering to find out whether they are getting anything useful. I think that the latter at least is pretty much cleaned up by now.
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:15 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom H
actually, your thoughts are more in line with my point. I may not have expressed my point very clearly, but that was intentional. Funny how people tend toward a conflicting point of view prior to exploring the original idea in more depth, prior to trying to understand. Nope, thats not the culture in this business. Kill first and never ask questions later. kudos to you and thx for the post.
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:15 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Well, I see. Thx for clearing that up. In fact, I would say that everyone has a clearer vision of what's really going on than I do. Everyone is so smart, knows more than the next guy, has a real beat on things. Sure you do. Why dont you tell me how you have everything under control. Haha, your just more of the pack. Keep singing little bird, keep singing.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:15 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom You forgot the classic.

I also left out the really famous game of "Engineering Chicken".

The old "Hope someone's problem surfaces and delays shipment before I have to fess up".

Meetings where everyone knows that the sofware code is nowhere near ready, and neither is the hardware, but everyone is waiting for the other guy to blink and cover their ass, great fun to watch if you know the code words.

Sales Pukes get it from both sides! Customer and internal design team.
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:11:16 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom So hang in there!
nuf said..

-------

So ... do the criminals get off scot-free in your happy little world?
willywilson 12/4/2012 | 10:11:16 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Every industry that has been hyper inflated attracts lots of new people to work in it. And when is declines, lots of folks leave the industry. That's capitalism 101. It happened to the computer business. It happened in healthcare. It happened in the oil business. Unfortunately, now it's happening in telecom. These times separate those with tenacity and highly honed skills from those that are opportunists and not that good. On the other side of this is a better workforce, better run companies, real earnings, and realistic returns for all stakeholders. We are all challenged in getting through to the other side.

-----------

Agreed. But in most of the other cases, the fraud artists were prosecuted and at least some were jailed. The telecom fraud of 1997-2002 was far more pervasive and larger than the others. Will justice be done?
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 10:11:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom There are so many thieves still robing and depriving the telecom workers of their livelihood. I would list the following points that led to disaster in the telecom industry.

1. There are over 10,000 VCs (Venture Capitalists)functioning on the US soil. There are also a large nuber of angel investors who help create shaky and useless companies with no real value. They created false evaluations of the companies. They engaged in false propoganda and lies. They created companies that stole product design and technologies from other companies. There were over 700 companies in the optical networking industry making similar products.

None of the companies created by the VCs would have survived on their own. They created Merger and Acquisition hypes and sold these useles companies to larger companies thereby incresing their debt burden with swelling third class workers they inherited from the acquired companies.

A lot junky companies in California victimized larger telecom companies.Many dishonest VCs, employees, and company management became millionnaire overnight.

Many companies were emulating the Cisco model of doing business. This was apparently very defective model and apparently did not work. Many fine and illustrious companies became debt ridden in addition to being burdened with junky and ill educated employees.

Companies such as Cisco with no experience in the telecom industry declared them as carier class network equipment suppliers eclipsing the real telecom companies. In those days the Cisco stock was spilling and going at a rocket speed.

After watching Cisco, many VCs became very embodened and funding companies left and right with no expertise and education in the telecom industry. All these spurious products and technologies caused the telecom bubble to burst.

These newly started junky companies had even courage to approach the public carriers with their fake products and listed some of the RBOCs as their customers just to gain prestige and inflating the evaluation. Some start-ups also used dirty tricks to raise addional funding for their companies.

A thesis can be written on these scandals and how it hurt the common people and benefited crooks.

2. Stock options,very high salaries, and lying about their products and technologies have caused many telecom companies and service providers are experiencing tremendous troubles in the market place.

3. Giving loans to company executives and execusing the loans is also a corrupt activity and SEC have failed to punish the companies involved.

4. There are No laws governing raising millions of dollars and misusing these funds. They prolong the life of a start-up as long as possible so they can live off the VC funds.

5. Hiring junky workers in order to increse the company evaluation. It is not uncommon about these start-ups to lie about their customer base.

6. Many of these enterpreauners are serial investors (like serial rapists)
who are prepared to strike over and over.

7. Many VCs ahe become filthy rich and they do not see their activities detrimental to the nation.


obkenobi 12/4/2012 | 10:11:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "dont be silly. Jealous of what, that I still have a job and that salesman doesnt? And, the work I do in the lab creates the product you sales jerks lie about. Without the product, there is no YOU. And, just like car salespeople, your all a dime a dozen."

____

We are forced to lie when your crap doesn't work or does the one or two things wrong that the customer hates.

When you go to sales from engineering you will learn to hate people like you once were.

The amount of work it takes to get a piece of gear to the testing labs in an RBOC is staggering.
More often than not I've gotten it to the gate only to find that your type has lied to us about the products viability.
obkenobi 12/4/2012 | 10:11:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Switchrus-

You forgot the classic.

"Let's ship the hardware chassis and the parts that work into their labs and make a big show of setting it up. That'll give us time to fix the code"



obkenobi 12/4/2012 | 10:11:17 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom "You are misinformed about the sales/marketing organization.

Lucent lost the war, because they had quite a few bellheads who lost touch with reality. Sitting in the lab, working on their Ph.D thesis, not having a clue on what the market is asking for, were the reasons for their downfall."

Agreed. I have a name I call these people - Dr. Stupid. I've sat on calls with these guys, staring, mouth agape, at the powerpoint of their "solutions". They have no idea that it can't be sold like they think.
h 12/4/2012 | 10:11:18 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom While I do believe that sales is an extremely important part of any industry and so is engineering, the offset of the boom was that the smuck selling the toyota thought that selling telco gear was the same as selling a toyota or writing spagetti code was as easy and the result was lot of less qualified folks being hired by huge corporation like LU in so called product mgmt groups or any group for that matter - why ? lack of smart people who fled to startups and big corporations had to hire less efficient people, give them out of order promotions, unthinkable salaries as these companies tried to pace themselves with the market boom sentiment. A few non enterprising ones, including myself, who think of ourselves as the "educated" ones who ended up in big corporations sometimes do get frustrated when u see incompetent people being paid heavily.
We'll, if we are smarter and are of any value more than the smuck who entered telecom, we will survive longer than others and the durnturn will ensure the survival of the fittest or atleast will be the last one to stand....and sanity will prevail wrt to salaries too....There is no place for incompetant people be it sales or engg as they are two sides of the same coin...perhaps an obvious statement....maybe not so obvious after all these postings in this thread...
obkenobi 12/4/2012 | 10:11:18 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom regarding salary and options and where it went -
It went to a too big house, or flash car.

Many of the SEs I've worked with from Lucent aquired companies screwed themselves on options. I know of only one or two that sold at the right time and made the money work for them.

As for the rest, it was greed. They thought the market price was still gonna go over $70, and when it sank, were in denial.

They had inside information and shouldl have acted.

Along those same lines are the recent grads, twenty somethings, that hopped along to an inflated worth.

Hardest thing for those folks is accepting what their true market work is.
Broadband_Surfer 12/4/2012 | 10:11:19 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom To opticalwatcher:

Listen skeelo - I am an engineer who actually understands the overall picture better than you. I'm telling you that even with your education and development skills that you are not secure in this environment. I'm just saying do not get the warm and fuzzies just because you are a developer.

You apparently have no appreciation for others in your organization - you give the sales force a hard time but ultimately they are bringing you your paycheck. You have to face that fact. Don't forget also that sales gets burned when engineers half-ass features on the product and have to face the customer post-deployment. I have developed a great appreciation over the past 12 years of just how important sales is. You can code or design the best box in the world but it doesn't make a difference unless it is sold, deployed and proven.

Broadband_surfer
Pearl 12/4/2012 | 10:11:20 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I may be simple, but it's from the school of been there done that, in other industries before telecom. One could invest the time to wax on eloquently on the topic, but fortunately I still have a job and am too busy to do so. Don't get paid to post messages on LR you know.
MajorPackets 12/4/2012 | 10:11:20 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I am simply amazed by this post.

Whoever thinks selling telecom gear is ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING like selling a Toyota truck is incredibly ignorant!!!

Telco gear has to be just about the most complex sale going. It's not just a sweaty hardshake, test ride, and pricing negotiaions combined with crappy smalltalk and good-guy/bad guy salesmanship.

It's a lot of work, with sales cycles measured in years. Account strategy is incredibly important. Developing relationships within multiple organization while carefully navigating internal politics can be very tricky. Say the wrong word to the wrong guy and you have a few more months of work to do.

Mining clear requirements from contradictory statements from three different groups (each with their own tunnel vision of the business) in a large carrier, a single contract from whom can make or break a company, is a high stakes game that few people have the stomach for. When they excel, you should bow in reverence to a job well done.

Tech Sales in general has it's boom and bust times. In boon times, sales people are grossly overpaid because they are blowing the doors off of forecasts - wish more companies had THAT problem of overpaid sales teams today.

I understand how it is hard to feel sorry for someone who was making $200k/year and is now earning less than half of that....but to say that a "sales force is not really neccessary if the product is done right" is just plain ignorant.

DCM 12/4/2012 | 10:11:20 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom If you really believe this is due to sales people over selling then you do not understand the market

Absolutely the sale people oversell. (Some more then others, but of them do). Please give credit to the engineers buying. They filter out what it could do and know what it can do. This is why the carrier does trials; this is why the service providers have labs to verify. They bought because what was being delivered does at a minimum what they need. Would they like to have all the other hype that the sales guys were selling you bet, were they counting on it any time soonG«™G«™.
photon_mon 12/4/2012 | 10:11:20 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I appreciate your response. And the one from
yesterday too. Not if we could only get all
parties to follow your script! Rgds.

Pearl, your response comes off as too canned and
simplistic --- which text book did it come from?
;-)
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:21 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom G«£dont be silly. Jealous of what, that I still have a job and that salesman doesnt? And, the work I do in the lab creates the product you sales jerks lie about. Without the product, there is no YOU. And, just like car salespeople, your all a dime a dozen.G«•

G«•Skills, what skills? Learning how to BS and play a game of smoke and mirrors? Pls, take your bull and sell it somewhere else (hehe)G«•

Now, now letG«÷s all play nice in the sand box.

Darth Sales Weasel meets with the engineering team, with apologies to any engineering/software folks this may resemble.

Darth SW:

G«£Good Morning, design team, IG«÷ve got good news! I just got back from the coast and Mega Tel Co wants to trial one of our Light Whacker 487 boxes next month at their Compton test facilityG«•

VPish Engineering Clueless Leader

G«£OhG«™great news SW, but do the really need it next month? My ace software team leader, Spaghetti Code, says thereG«÷s a few G«£featuresG«• yet to be hammered out in the executive code, and my hardware team leader What Requirements, just sent me a memo about a slight thermal issue with the design. LetG«÷s hear from them for a minute, SC?G«•

SC

G«£Right, CL, there are a few minor issues with the executive code right now, it keeps falling over every hour. WeG«÷re right on top of a patch to fix it, but having some problems with figuring out the code, seems the documentation written by lead developer, Flaky Programmer, does not match the design laid out by our software Architect God, something about a new form of Object oriented code development that FP wanted to try out went wrong. Give us two months and weG«÷ll convert every thing over to OO and it will be wonderfullG«•.

CL

G«£Well SC thatG«÷s OK, IG«÷m sure SW can buy us some more time, whatG«÷s all this thermal stuff about WRG«•

WR

G«£Well SC, we had a slight miss-calculation with thermal load of all the lasers in the Light Whacker series. When we loaded up a full chassis we started to have some G«£woopsiesG«• out in the lab. Nothing we werenG«÷t able to fix by cranking down the air conditioner a bit, well quite a bit to 40 degrees. Why itG«÷s nothing that we canG«÷t take care of by adding a few heat sinks and such, and while the patches SC is working on get taken care of we be right on top of this piddly thermal problem.

CL

G«£Well there you have it Darth SW, my crack team is right on top of things. Why donG«÷t you just jump on the plane back out to the coast and tell them folks at Mega Tel Co that weG«÷ll have that box ready for them in two monthsG«•.

Darth SW

I need a drink.

Humor for a Friday
Pearl 12/4/2012 | 10:11:21 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Every industry that has been hyper inflated attracts lots of new people to work in it. And when is declines, lots of folks leave the industry. That's capitalism 101. It happened to the computer business. It happened in healthcare. It happened in the oil business. Unfortunately, now it's happening in telecom. These times separate those with tenacity and highly honed skills from those that are opportunists and not that good. On the other side of this is a better workforce, better run companies, real earnings, and realistic returns for all stakeholders. We are all challenged in getting through to the other side.
LightSwitch 12/4/2012 | 10:11:22 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom We all know these are tough times but we must look ahead to the benefits that these market corrections will provide.

Using the premise that demand for bandwidth will continue to grow at some reasonable rate, the supply will have to provide some balance at some point and there are long-term benefits not just to telecom.

For the individual; if you've lost your job, you will find another at some point. Your experience will now add value to some other industry and you will grow personally as well.

For the company; if you've gone out of business then you've been thinned from the pack...but unlike in the animal world, you're not dead, there's a chance for a new beginning...perhaps in a market that needs you.

For society; The few surviving companies will be leaner, meaner, and more suited to serve customers. They'll have greater market share and ultimately a better and more standardized product with increased growth to boot. That means that those companies will add more value to society. Ultimately more jobs will be created (not that you'll want to come back to telecom) and all of those benefits will trickle-down.

So hang in there!
nuf said..

net_exprt 12/4/2012 | 10:11:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom You are misinformed about the sales/marketing organization.

Lucent lost the war, because they had quite a few bellheads who lost touch with reality. Sitting in the lab, working on their Ph.D thesis, not having a clue on what the market is asking for, were the reasons for their downfall.

You claim that the salepeople destroyed Lucent because they overcommitted???? HA! you are funny.. SEs or account managers only relay information given to them by marketing and product managers. The marketing folks get their information from engineering. When marketing can't get straight answers out of engineering, you then have the possiblity of bad information given to the field.

furthermore, if you compare selling a toyota truck to selling a network solution to a fortune 500, then I think bigger issues to discuss
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Sure, your the only one with friends who lost their job. Like I dont have friends in tough spots and like I dont understand that I may be there next week. Thx for telling me. Apparently I dont live in the same world. You must be one of those middle managers who never listens and always see's and hears what they want to. Good luck to you.

And, regarding the "knock it off" comment, if you cant handle hearing the truth, then go watch some TV.
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom dont be silly. Jealous of what, that I still have a job and that salesman doesnt? And, the work I do in the lab creates the product you sales jerks lie about. Without the product, there is no YOU. And, just like car salespeople, your all a dime a dozen.

Skills, what skills? Learning how to BS and play a game of smoke and mirrors? Pls, take your bull and sell it somewhere else (hehe).
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:23 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom G«£I am an electrical engineer that left engineering and joined marketing about 5 years ago. I, like yourself, had no clue what marketing and sales did.G«•

In defense of Sales Weasels, being one myself, you have to imagine the training that goes into making a good one.

Recently overheard at a training conference:

Dark Lord VPish Sales:

G«£Use the Darkside of the Force young Sales Weasel, tell the customer what he wants to hear, the product is ready to shipG«•

SW

G«£But Lord VPish, the software staff says that the code keeps crashing, the engineering team says that in just a few more weeks the design will be G«£much better, the box might actually workG«•.

Lord VPish

G«£Do the front panel lights come on?, is the box G«£prettyG«• young Seth Sales Weasel, go forth and sellG«™.sellG«™sell, my bonus depends on itG«•

Join Sales, come to the Dark Side of the Engineering Force!

Humor for a Friday
Broadband_Surfer 12/4/2012 | 10:11:24 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom opticalwatcher:

Listen - regardless of your education you may find yourself unemployed in the near future. What is happening in telecom right now is unprecedented, huge and is only getting worse. It's not a laughing matter or something to make light of right now. So, knock it off.

I recently was laid off but managed to secure another job in telecom fairly quickly. But this has not been the case for many former co-workers.
A ton of people in telecom are going to have a hard time making ends meet really soon.

Broadband_Surfer
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:11:24 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Where is the revenue to be had, and how does the food chain go about scooping it in?
_____________

In a perfect world, bit distribution expenses would drop by a few orders of magnitude. Consumers would pay direct for content -- mostly entertainment. Businesses would pay for applications and services which helped them become more productive and more efficient.

Education would be free (or extremely inexpensive). Politcal vads would be banned from broadcast television and replaced by vmail ads delivered over our new bi-directional, unicast networks at no cost to anyone running for election.

Nobody would ever watch broadcast TV again (except for live sports and slow speed chases in LA.)
Cypher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:24 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Except that some of the more experienced workers in Telecom were stuck on a Regulated mindset. They were unable/unwilling to adapt to the change. It was necessary to replace some of the experienced workers who were just to comfortable, with some younger, more aggressive employees.
photon_mon 12/4/2012 | 10:11:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Good posts so far. I especially agree with you:
GlassyEyed, opticalwatcher, Ringed, BW66 and
Harley.

The money was great while it lasted, but only a
greedy fool would blindly expect it to go on
forever. I at least had enough forsight to sock
away a good bit of it for a rainy day (more like
a couple of years of steady monsoons). And of
course work hard/smart in attempting to justify
it!

Good points were also made regarding the salary
risk that was involved, since only a portion was
usually guaranteed as base pay. However, in a lot
of cases (certainly in mine, with 2 different
startups), full draw was paid --- and
subsequently forgiven. These generous salaries
and terms of compensation, viewed now as both
exorbitant and foolhardy (which I somewhat agree
with), were par for the course due to heated
demand at the time. Easy (and understandable)
that some look back and key on this bubble
aspect with so much bitterness.

I too (after ~20 years in telecom) am working
on my next career move. Self-employment as a
non-telecom contractor (may need some Snap-On
tools even! That would be cool!).

Loved the experience and the life it afforded me,
but I also feel a sense of burnout and
(presently) don't have the passion I once had. Maybe that makes me a gold-digger.

Aside from the hard times that have befallen our
industry, the double-whammy for me is the overall
lack of direction.


(Warning: naive soapboxing and mixed analogies
ahead!)

Telecom has temporarily lost its rudder. Where
is the revenue to be had, and how does the food
chain go about scooping it in? Is it simply now a
game of attrition, with the RBOCs waiting to see
who is the last one standing, while the rest of
the industry slowly dies on the vine? Too painful
for me to watch from the sideline, so I think
I'll grab a beer and head for the stands (for
the time being at least).






lr_fan 12/4/2012 | 10:11:25 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom OK Optical Watcher. I am pretty sure that you have never been in marketing or sales, by your classic engineer comment "The product will sell itself"

I am an electrical engineer that left engineering and joined marketing about 5 years ago. I, like yourself, had no clue what marketing and sales did.

Well, I can tell you it is difficult work and requires an entirely different set of skills than we have in engineering. It has taken me 5 years just to begin to accumulate some of these skills. And, the product does NOT sell itself. If it did, we would not have ANY marketing and sales people, would we. So, obviously they are needed - don't know how many.

Now, to the level by which they are paid. This is market based and has nothing to do with the person. Gill is paid based on where the market set his salary. He is not to blame.

You act as if you are quite jealous and you should not be. You should either join marketing/sales, if you can, and make the same money (market based salary) or shut-up, quit complaining, and stay in your lab.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:11:26 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I didnt need somebody holding my hand to part with my money.
______________

How is CarsDirect doing? http://www.carsdirect.com

Anyway, the finance manager/salesman extract money from your transaction without you knowing it.

It works like this. Many (most?) consumers finance cars at excessive APRs. The majority make decisions based on monthly payments (and the most status they cannot afford).

The finance manager splits with the bank agent any points over the "best rate" the customer could have gotten. Customer only has to make three payments and everybody will get paid this kickback on the entire note. "Insurance" covers any nonpayments while dealer only eats it in the case nonpayment occurs before the fourth payment. Every consumer who finances their auto pays a higher interest to fund this "model".

So even if you didn't finance through the dealer, you paid into the system if you financed at all.

The best price is achieved by convincing the finance manager you are only concerned about the monthly payment and you will trust his abilities to obtain the best financing. During the discussions make sure the car price is negotiated down to the lowest possible value. The finance manager will believe he is making his money on the "finance package". Following the Eifel Tower example, ask the finance manager to embellish a little on your salary and assets in your credit application. He'll realize your two peas in a pod and work the deal to maximize his kickback.

The next day come in with a check and pay off your car. Call your insurance company and tell them you only want liability insurance. It's much a better deal anyway. Body/repair shops will only charge you 30-40% if they know you are paying cash rather than using insurance (you do have to go at a time that their insurance business has slow). Goto the nearest confessional and say, "Forgive me father for I have sinned -- though I did get a good deal on a new car."

Or better yet, take a train ;-)
fusionboy 12/4/2012 | 10:11:27 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Look, everyone in the sector is paid enough to be classified as a top 5% American wage earner ($100K plus) and many are in the top 2%. Should people have prepared for this? Of course. And some did. Others are struggling with how to make the same kind of money. Welcome to the real world where people would do just about anything to earn $100K
_______________________________________

What freaking startup planet do you live on Glassyeyed? I can think of a number of startups (components, systems & the like) where the percentage of people making >100k was less than %25(not including options - for many these were never worth anything). And this isn't counting technicians.

As you said "Welcome to the real world" Many of us didn't make >100k. Many of us didn't have the spare income to save for a rainy day (student loans, etc.) We're not complaining - but please, buy a freaking clue, and look outside your Sr. Eng. Cube, or the Management Wing.
alexsav 12/4/2012 | 10:11:27 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Gotham had significant layoffs a few weeks back and has officially pulled the plug today. Amazing. Another Boston area startup with big hopes that never came to be reality.
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:11:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Look, everyone in the sector is paid enough to be classified as a top 5% American wage earner ($100K plus) and many are in the top 2%. Should people have prepared for this? Of course. And some did. Others are struggling with how to make the same kind of money. Welcome to the real world where people would do just about anything to earn $100K

Best of luck to everyone who is facing this challenge. Hopefully you've put enough away to invest in your own business or carry you to the next bubble (whatever that is).
GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:11:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom The actual number is somewhat higher. Take into consideration the Start Ups that have laid off numbers under the radar (you don't have to report lay offs until they account for a certain percentage of employees) and those smaller companies that have shut down completely and are not listed here.
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 10:11:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I agree with Blue water. I'm in the telecom sector (still employed, for now). Highly educated (that is bach and masters in comp science). I was making same amount with 10 yrs experience as newbies with just bach degrees (not in every case, but we all know that salaries were wacked out). Now, I understand it was just a fact of the day, but hey, its over. And guess who the first people are out the door? That's right, the newbies without the experience and higher education. Sales people losing their jobs? So what?! People need to remember that although sales is obviously necessary, it was the sales force that screwed companies like lucent (or at least really contributed). Why? A little known (or at least little discussed) fact of life during the late 90's is that sales people promised things that didnt exists or were completely "far-fetched". Lu sales people were selling all kinds of promises and delivery dates that weren't even close to reality. Anyone else out there know what I'm talking about?

I dont feel bad that some overpaid, overbloated sales force is being shown the door. The fact is, the sales force isnt really necessary if the product is right. Ex. I bought a car last month. A real nice toyota truck. I've had toyota before, I know it works, good track record, has some new features. Awesome! Didnt need some smuck selling me the truck. I knew quality before I walked in the door. I didnt need somebody holding my hand to part with my money.

Oh, and dont go telling me that the telecom customer needs the "educated salesperson" to explain the product to the customer. Thats just a bunch of bull. Anyone who believes that is out of touch with the telecom customer.

And 200k a year? oh, boo hoo, you lost your job. boo hoo, boo hoo. Now you have to sell tools and apparently your making 120k per year. Wow, do I feel bad for you. How can you possibly make ends meet on that pitiful salary?

Good luck all and hang in there!
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:11:28 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom am certain of riverdeltas rif. friend there.
must be part of the 7K in this round.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Interesting numbers, I wonder what the break down of engineering types to ordnary workers is?

Still, that's 500,000 jobs lost!
_________ 12/4/2012 | 10:11:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom That's a 10-4 on Gotham....

http://www.nwfusion.com/edge/n...

Don't know about river delta
light-headed 12/4/2012 | 10:11:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I don't know Rex but if he was at Cascade then Ascend then Lucent, he made his 200k salary for many years... probably he made at least 120-200k for 5-6 years... then throw in that his stock options would have split many times and been worth millions. I really don't have too much sympathy for this guy.

Rex, where did it all go??? Did he build a mansion in St. Louis? Did he not sell enough? Did he blow it in the market? Does he just want to be semi-retired and live off his big windfall. This is the real interesting story here...

Hard for anyone to have too much sympathy for the guys who rode the full bubble and now have to sell snap-on tools. Most people who had that ride don't have to work at all anymore.
fiber_diet 12/4/2012 | 10:11:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom We all bought into the hype and were blind for not seeing what came at us. To think that only 3% will survive and 1% will stand on their own in the next 5 years, I think Las Vegas has better odds.

People need to accept the reality of the markets and say "it was nice while the party lasted but its time to move on". THE DREAM IS GONE!

The landscape will definetly look much different in 3 years than it does today.

Move on folks.

Good luck.
BlueWater66 12/4/2012 | 10:11:29 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom It is sad to see examples like those above. One question I have ... during the peak years, lots of people with no experience in this industry suddenly becamse "experts". I'd expect most of those to pack-up and leave. From my first have knowledge, most of the truly experience Telecom engineers, marketing staff and sales are remaining in the segment. I'm not too sad to see many of the "gold rush prospectors" get the hell out of Dodge. It is sad to see really experienced people be forced into Snap-on Tools sales.
trixie 12/4/2012 | 10:11:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I saw a stat today indicating the total was 318,000 jobs, with a possiblity of 100,000 additional

=================================================

Much bigger than that:

<url>http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/f...</url>

And this does not include the likes of Gotham, Sycamore, and of course Worldcom's new contribution.....
Harley 12/4/2012 | 10:11:30 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom If you look at a breakdown of Rex's salary, a portion of it was commission.

Being a Product Manager, I have a keen idea of business and how it runs. Trust me, Rex's commission was disproportionate to what Ascend/Lucent's revenue from the sale was. people who work on commission also put some of their salary "at risk" or on the table. That is, they are paid LESS than every one else until they meet their quotas.

The quotas may be BS, but not everyone is cut out for that kind of work.

Just an FYI, I was interviewed for this article, and some of the facts were incorrect. In any event, I thought I was paid a lot, but not nearly as much as I could have been. With the market as bad as it is, take it for all its got and run. Good for Rex!
Ringed? 12/4/2012 | 10:11:31 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Fourtunecookie,

You can't just look at salary amounts and make blind assumptions. I worked with Rex at Ascend. He came over from the Cascade acquisition. Ascend had plenty of sales and thus revenue. It was in the right spot at the right time. Ascend went from $149 million in sales to over $1.2 billion in the 4 years I worked there. There wasn't a Sr. SE I knew that didn't make $200K a year with salary and commission in 1999 depending on the territory.

Then came the Lucent acquisition, which over paid badly for Ascend. A record setting $24 billion for 3K people. Nearly all are of these folks are gone, a ton laid off.

The problem isn't salary paid to individuals. It is simply Vendor Financing coupled with M&A that has led to this ultimate collapse.

If you will look at all Service Providers and established equipment vendors who are failing or have failed you will see the same set of traits that have led to their demise. Vendor Financing, Over payment and the constant M&A's racked up a pile of debt so large a company (even in a good year) could not make enough revenue to repay the interest on their debt. For the Service providers it was the rush into 200 markets before you made money in a handful on Tier 1 cities.

AT&T, WCOM, Qwest, JDSU, The whole 3G wireless sector, LU, NT, Marconi, Ciena, RBAK, Global Crossing, XO, Covad, Rhythms, North Point, McCloud the list goes on and on. It would be nice to see the M&A total from these few. For example, AT&T paid $100 billion acquiring cable plants only to sell the lot for $60 billion to Comcast.

Ascend at least did three things right. They never over paid on any acquisition, they paid the employees extremely well (noted several times in the Wall St. Journal) with salary and stock, and Sr. Management knew when to sell out.

BTW, LU troubles we're already in motion as they acquired and overpaid for nearly 30 companies. Ascend just happened to be the biggest. Last but not least Cisco had their part to play in all this to.

I wish the best to all Telecom workers. We are in the fight of our lives.


Harley 12/4/2012 | 10:11:33 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom I saw a stat today indicating the total was 318,000 jobs, with a possiblity of 100,000 additional.
jgh 12/4/2012 | 10:11:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Not that anyone should be surprised, but Nortel is cutting its field SE force by 50%. By end of July, there will be approximately 40,000 employess left. that means over 60,000 gone since 2001 looking for jobs. How would you like to be the Lucent and Nortel sales teams supporting Worldcom, Qwest, Global Crossing, etc.
Good luck to everyone!!!
flashhog 12/4/2012 | 10:11:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Yes. Gotham is gone. Rumor mill has it that Appian had layoff yesterday. And i heard Lucent laid off another 5K with the Westford site hit hard.
Who is next? I know QB it bearly treading water.
whats the story with Coriolis, Photonex, Quarry, Integral Access???? Anybody know when/if these guys will kick the bucket?
Fortunecookie 12/4/2012 | 10:11:35 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom but I gave little sympathy to Gill. He should not make $200,000 in the first place anyway. Market is just correcting itself.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 10:11:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom G«£Gill, who had earned as much as $200,000 a year in salary and commission, was forced to support his wife and two children on a $200 weekly unemployment check.G«•

With all due respect to Gill who lost his job, itG«÷s very hard to garner much sympathy with Joe Six Pack about job losses in an industry that paid so few people so well.

If someone has an account on one of the big research sites, it would be really interesting to see Labor department statistics on what the total hit to employment in the industry has been. From well paid folks like Gil to technicians and production staff making more modest salaries.
brahmos 12/4/2012 | 10:11:36 PM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom is it true

gotham is all closed now ?

riverdelta (tewksbury,MA) which was acquired by
motorola had a big rif?
colin.evans 12/5/2012 | 12:18:49 AM
re: Laid Off, and Leaving Telecom Please note that "Rich DeSabritus" has never been an employee of Native Networks, nor does he have any association with our company.
_____________________________________
Colin Evans
Director - Marketing & Business Development
Native Networks
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