Connecting With Growth

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“I have been unemployed since 9/11 and wonder if there is any point to continuing my desire to return to the field. … I don’t want to give up on my dream, yet reality does hit you in the face.”

I’ll be stating the obvious when I say we’ve all lived through some trying times recently. But I think it’s equally obvious that I’m not the only one who’ll find the above excerpt from a 25-year IT veteran’s letter a bit depressing.

The letter came with a plea for advice on where and how to find work in our changing industry. I’m sad to say I don’t think I was very much help, not for lack of desire, but an unfortunate lack of options. You all know this better than I do.

Still more excerpts from the un- or under-employed:



  • “I am speaking for a group of guys with a collective 30 years of experience in IT. We started when they were phasing out punch cards and paper tape, adapting through every phase change. It’s just kind of hard to adapt to where you’re no longer wanted.”
  • “I’m sure I speak for a lot of senior-level guys who are now cab drivers and cooks.”
  • “I get to hear a lot of despair from my colleagues who are out of work and from those still working. … I know a lot of angry IT professionals.”


I was hoping inspiration would strike, and I’d come up with a magic-bullet answer to the ongoing issue. That hasn’t happened, but the cupboard isn’t completely bare. As you turn the pages of this issue, you’ll see a fair amount of coverage of IP telephony, which is addressed in a feature article (see page 40) and in the Security column (see page 34).

Granted, not everyone wants to or can be a telephony professional, but it is a growth area, and it might be worth exploring for those so inclined. According to a recent study from The Phillips Group, more than half of U.S. companies are converting data, voice and video traffic onto converged networks. The study predicts 81 percent of sites using the converged networks will connect through managed services from various providers, as opposed to private networks. Currently, only 28 percent of company locations utilize managed services. Clearly, there’s a growth spurt that’s still expanding.

That’s certainly not the only opportunity, and it may be one you already are preparing for. The point is, even in the darkest times, there are silver linings to seek out, and even when hope wears thin, it’s still better than nothing.

What solutions are you finding? What markets are you investigating? How are you preparing in uncertain times for an uncertain future?

Tim Sosbe
Editorial Director


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