Tag Archive for: Staff Augmentation

Nortel SL100 / CS2100

0- 704It’s 2015 and the Nortel SL100 / CS2100 continues to be a reliable telephony system at many Hospitals, Universities and Government facilities. But where do you find support for these old systems? Many business and government entities are finding that increasingly challenging. At First American Business Solutions we have been supporting the SL100/2100 for years and as a matter of fact, over the past year our practice in this space as even expanded! Here is what’s new: 24/7 Monitoring, On-site training and OEM (Genband) maintenance coverage.

First ABS can now provide full and complete coverage on the SL100/CS2100. Here is a run-down of the full service portfolio:

  • Monitoring – With VPN, a buffer box or SEB access we can monitor Critical and Major alarms around the clock. We can email or text messages to your phone automatically immediately upon receipt of an issue. We also provide reporting statistics on a quarterly and annual basis.
  • 3rd level Tech support – We have highly trained and skilled SL100/CS2100 3rd level technical engineers available 24/7 for remote resolution.
  • Feet on Street Repair – We cover most U.S. locations with our nationwide footprint of smart-hands technical labor that can be dispatched to site. Because of the limited number of qualified SL100 engineers in the market at First ABS we pair a qualified Nortel field engineer (“smart hands”) with a SL100 remote engineer to resolve issues physically at our customer’s locations.
  • Maintenance (7×24 on-call with SLA support) – We sell annual maintenance support agreements to our SL100/CS2100 customers that bundle several components together: block of engineering hours, feet on the street, inventory management, monitoring and a health check. Our SLA is a response time driven. We will have a qualified engineer working a problem within a committed time frame.
  • Training – Most of our customers want practical hands on training. Customer telecom engineers can shadow our trainer and learn by observing and doing. We also work in formal reviews while on site. Generally we sell a 3 day hands-on training module but can work with you on custom material.
  • Full Time – Staff Augmentation (M-F 8-5) – First ABS can provide a full time on-site SL100/CS2100 engineer. These agreements are as short as 3 months but generally done on an annual basis.
  • Genband support – We are a Bronze partner of GENBAND, which affords us the opportunity to leverage the company’s product enhancements and software updates. With this core level of OEM support, First ABS can provide our customers with GenbandCare offers including:
    • Support Plan – Tech support
    • Support Plan – Tech support with NBD Advance Parts
    • Support Plan – Tech support with 10 day parts
  • Software Upgrades – Need to upgrade from SE06 to SE09? We can purchase the upgrade from the OEM and perform the software upgrade with our qualified staff.
  • Parts – We have an extensive inventory of SL100/CS2100 parts. This is custom quoted depending on the exact part, line card, etc. needed. Many times we can ship it the next day.

In a nutshell, First ABS is able to provide any and all needed support for these carrier class platforms. Please give us a call and let us know how we can support you SL100/CS2100 legacy carrier grade platform!


Enterprise Connect

First American Business Solutions is starting the year out with a bang. We will soon be off to our first trade show of the year – Enterprise Connect!

Enterprise connect

Conference Overview (March 16-19, 2015)

Enterprise Connect’s expert led conference program will discuss the latest systems, software, services and applications for enterprise communications and collaboration. The 4-day conference is designed with one objective in mind: To help you maximize your investments in communications and collaboration systems, software and services.

First American has a booth:

Please stop by booth #2007 and see what we have to offer!”

Our First American resource pool and capabilities continue to grow as does our reputation of delivering quality service at a very competitive price point. Currently, we provide technicians, engineers, trainers and consultants covering all 50 states with high concentrations of technical staff in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Virginia with many certified technicians covering the whole U.S.

We have added a large number of customers both in the private and commercial sector, including the US Department of Defense. The primary IT value-add services we provide to our customers are broken down into the following categories:

  • Rapid Dispatch
  • Staff Augmentation (Resident Engineer)
  • Installation & Training
  • Maintenance
  • Managed Services

Initially we focused on the Nortel Voice portfolio but have grown our Avaya, Cisco, NEC and other product vendor support. We provide both on-site and remote support to our customers.

Visit First American Business Solutions at Enterprise Connect at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL March 16-19th in booth #2007!

Enterprise Connect is celebrating its 25th year as the industry’s premier event. Stop by booth 2007 to meet some of our valuable staff members and learn about the capabilities First American Business Solutions has to offer! To receive a FREE Expo Plus Pass click on the link below and use the code FABS!


In the IT services world you can do it in-house, you can augment your staff with sub-contractors, or you can “outsource”.

IT project outsourcing allows a company to outsource entire projects. In some cases this can also take the form of “out tasking”, where specific tasks of a project (but not the entire project) might be outsourced to a staffing firm or an outsourcer.


  • Reduce training costs: Training and skill development is the responsibility of the outsourcer and staff augmentation firm.
  • Best practices: Taking advantage of industry best practices can be accomplished simply by using an outsourcer who follows best practices. Outsourcers shoulder the responsibility of investing in the adoption, maintenance and improvement of best practices.
  • Scalability: Just as it is easy to add/subtract staff augmentation resources, it is also easy to ramp up and down with project outsourcing.
  • Economies of scale: There is significant leverage when negotiating large contracts with outsourcers.
  • Reduce management overhead: Management is the responsibility of the outsourcer.
  • Results centric model: The responsibility for delivering results lies with the outsourcer. Companies are buying agreed upon results.
  • Keeps the focus on the core business: Because the responsibility for delivering results lies with the outsourcer, companies can stay focused on the results and their core business.
  • Employee vs. Contractor: Project outsourcing avoids navigating the legal landscape of employee vs. contractor issues.
  • Overcomes a lack of internal capabilities: Companies who lack the internal capability to complete certain projects will typically find it more cost effective to outsource their project needs as opposed to developing those capabilities internally.
  • Variable cost structure: Shifts fixed costs (employees) to variable costs (project costs) which change in proportion to the current level of project activity. This improves operating leverage.
  • Legal commitment: When a project is performed internally, any project failures or liabilities which arise are the company’s responsibility. When a project is outsourced, contracts are typically structured such that the outsourcer takes on that as a contractual risk.


  • Lack of control: Control of everything from high level processes down to individual resources rests with the outsourcer.
  • Internal resistance: Some within a company may feel threatened by a project outsourcing model. Although most project outsourcing serves the purpose of overcoming a lack of internal capabilities, some internal employees may be concerned that this model will lead to cutting back internal staff in favor of project outsourcing.
  • Finding a quality outsourcer: When a company looks to meet a need which is beyond the scope of their core competencies, it may be difficult for them to assess the quality of potential outsourcing firms.
  • Smaller projects: Smaller projects may be less cost effective under a project outsourcing model than a staff augmentation model. Some outsourcers may be reluctant to take on small projects or may charge a premium to take on such work.
  • Integration with internal processes: Integration with complex and unique internal processes may be more difficult under project outsourcing model.

Some companies opt for a Hybrid Approach. 

For most companies there is no one size fits all approach. Some needs are best met through staff augmentation, others through project outsourcing, and sometimes these needs overlap.  For example, if you have two interdependent projects: the first project is within a company’s core competencies but additional experts are required to complete the project successfully, the second project is outside of the company’s core skillsets altogether. In this case a “hybrid” approach may work best, where staff augmentation is used to acquire the required specialists for the first project and project outsourcing is used to complete the second one.

Selecting the Appropriate Delivery Model 

deciding on the right delivery model can be a tough decision. Many times it boils down to the company direction.   If the mindset of the company is to NOT hire full time workers and to sub or outsource everything then that is what they do.  Some companies actually go through an ROI but that is rarer.  Usually it is a culture thing.   While some companies feel comfortable making this decision internally, others may find it helpful to seek out the advice of an IT consulting firm.   We are seeing a trend more and more towards the staff augmentation and outsourcing.   Companies are less likely today than they were 20 years ago to assume responsibility of full time staff.


Save Money through Staff Augmentation

Let’s say you have a typical IT department where you have a lot of good people supporting your existing business systems.   Will those systems, and the people supporting those systems, stay in place with no change in the future?  Will your environment stay constant?  Hardly!   Your business, along with everyone else’s, is changing because the market is always changing and your completion is not standing still.  Your business leaders aren’t going to let your IT department stand still either.  Your CEO, CIO and others will need new systems to drive a reduction in costs and improve operational efficiencies through technological innovation.  That’s just the way it is.

This translates into a constant number of new IT projects.  While trying to complete these projects you may have unplanned staff turnover along the way but make sure you complete these projects on time, within budget, and to specification!

When companies look for outside help in completing IT projects, they generally turn to Staff Augmentation.

What is IT staff augmentation?  A way to easily and quickly add trained IT and telecom staff (resources) as needed. Resources are employed by the staff augmentation firm. A company may easily ramp up and down to meet changing demand without shouldering the cost and liabilities of full time employees.

Business usually look at two variations of the Staff Augmentation delivery model. One,  you can bring in resources with certifications and skills in the new system or new project or two, you can bring in Staff Augmentation resources to “backfill” your existing staff to free up your existing team to work on an exciting new project.  In either case, the Staff Augmentation allows you to fill the gap.

Here are the pros and cons of Staff Augmentation.


  • Speed:  Very quickly you can bring in an expert resource from a staff augmentation firm.   It is not unheard of to put out a request on a Monday and have an expert on-site (or remote) in less than 7 days (by the following Monday).
  • Control:  This new Resource works for you – you can direct them the way you want.
  • Specialist:  A Staff Augmentation resource brings a specific skill that fills a gap in your team.
  • Alignment:  Adding and subtracting Staff Augmentation resources allows your company to directly align the costs of a project equally with the duration of the project.  If you have a 6 month project the Staff Augmentation resource is there exactly 6 months.   No more.
  • Synergy:  By adding a new skillset to the team in the form of a staff augmentation resource, a company can take advantage to new knowledge inserted into the existing IT team.
  • Cost Savings:  There are no HR hiring costs with Staff Augmentation.  Such as:  Long interview process, job postings, on-boarding, annual training, or unfortunately in the business world these days – staff layoff costs.    You simply avoid the cost of investing and caring for an internal skill set.
  • Reduced burdens:  Liabilities of full time direct employees.
  • Improved Internal Employee Acceptance:  Existing employees are less threatened by staff augmentation because if there is downsizing, the contract labor is generally the first to go.


  • Training:  While you don’t have to train the resource on the technical skill they bring to the table there may still be training involved in bringing them up to speed with company processes and tools
  • Overhead:  Even though you cut out the hiring and firing part of the HR process there is still a need to supervise the staff augmentation resource.  They are an extension of your staff.
  • Results:  Unlike the outsource model, with Staff Augmentation the responsibility of the results stays with you (the company).  You are purchasing a resource … not a specific result.   The company remains responsible for the overall project deliverables.
  • Knowledge Departure:  When the Staff Augmentation resource leaves the company, the knowledge he/she brought leaves too.

Selecting a Vendor

When selecting a vendor, consider working with one that has your same geographical reach (is in all the locations your company is) and a broad set of skills – not just one function.  This will allow you to develop a long and trusted relationship as your business needs change.   Find a vendor you can trust to take the time to understand your business and deliver the desired results.


While there are pros and cons to Staff Augmentation the net benefits can be tremendous.  In today’s world of always changing business demands there is no way for an IT/ Telecom department to keep up with all the demands for new systems.  Staff Augmentation is a great way to cut costs by easily and quickly bringing on-board the right skilled resource to align exactly with the duration of the project.