Level the Playing Field

By Wayne Scaggs

Sometimes we do not have a choice. No matter what we do, things happen and we don’t have any input – or we have minimal input at best. This time, however, we have to get involved; this is one of the times we must let our voice be heard.

Think about the way Obama Care, healthcare costs, and HIPAA have affected your business. Have you had to make time-consuming and costly changes in your business? These are real costs, and they are here now. If you could have had real, meaningful input, would you have taken advantage of the opportunity? What if you had a personal lobbyist fighting for you at every turn, looking out for your business interests?

The Legislative Affairs committee at ATSI is fighting for your interests. Because of our work and that of many industry leaders, we have had some measure of open access to the public switching telephone network. As technology has advanced for us, it has also advanced for the phone companies. We need to educate ourselves about the issues that affect our call centers and get more active. The collective power of us all will make a difference.

New legislation about access to the public switching telephone network is being proposed. Brian Gilmore sums up this issue nicely: We need to “defend our industry’s ability to seamlessly redirect clients’ telephone callers to members’ call centers and protect our ability to identify those calls economically via one number call-forwarding and DID numbers.” Brian continues by stating, “The now widely apparent reality is that both our ability to serve clients using the legacy PSTN (wireline telcos) and increasingly dominant wireless and interconnected VoIP service providers is imperiled and must be defended.”

The only way we will be able to keep what we have and not be left behind with the new technologies is for us to be at the table. We must make our voices heard. The Legislative Affairs committee is the vehicle to get us to the table, but everyone needs to get involved to make a difference.

Getting favorable legislation passed takes work; it takes a lot of work by professionals who know who to talk to and which doors to knock on. Support your industry; no business is too small. Get in on the opportunities this new technology will provide. If you are not a member of ATSI, join now. If you are a member, volunteer to serve on a committee, or contact ATSI and ask what you can do.

These are exciting times with terrific technologies available. Let’s make sure we are not pushed aside or left out. Take action today, inform yourself, and support ATSI.

Wayne Scaggs is president of Alston Tascom, Inc., which offers premised-based and hosted contact center solutions.

[From Connection Magazine Jul/Aug 2012]

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