Industry experts offer advice, strategy in this month’s Insights

Saving money on 2013 taxes, health care reform and hiring best practices are among the topics featured in November’s Insights articles

Kevin Franczkowski, Client advisor, SeibertKeck Insurance Agency, Inc.Akron/Canton
Business Insurance
SeibertKeck: How the wealthy can prevent coverage gaps in their personal insurance
Kevin Franczkowski, Client advisor

Accounting & Consulting
SS&G: How wealthy families can centrally manage assets through family offices
Floyd Trouten, Director, Tax

Banking & Finance
FirstMerit Bank: How business owners can profit from expanded, enhanced SBA lending
Tim Dixon, SBA program manager, senior vice president

Legal Affairs
Brouse McDowell: How to vet a job candidate and reduce legal risk
Karen C. Lefton, Partner, Labor & Employment practice group

William-F-Hutter-CEO-SequentAkron/Canton/Columbus/Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky/Indianapolis
HR Outsourcing
Sequent: How dropping health insurance benefits may not save you money
William F. Hutter, CEO

Mike Spickard, CEO, Chief Actuary, Tegrit GroupAkron/Canton/Columbus
Retirement Planning Services
Tegrit Group: How to prepare for, survive and thrive after a retirement audit
Mike Spickard, CEO, Chief Actuary

Cendrowski Corporate Advisors: How an operational assessment can help an organization identify risk
James P. Martin, CMA, CIA, CFE, Managing director

Eric N. Macey, Partner, Novack and MaceyChicago

Legal Affairs
Novack and Macey: How understanding damages is critical in commercial litigation
Eric N. Macey, Partner

Employee Benefits
Benefitdecisions: How the DOMA ruling has changed benefit plans
Stephanie Martinez, PHR, Director, HR Services

Mark-Haegele-Director-sales-and-account-management-HealthLinkChicago/St. Louis
Health Care
HealthLink: How to fulfill your Affordable Care Act responsibilities
Mark Haegele, Director, sales and account management

Randy Jones, Senior vice president, TPA Operations, CompManagementCincinnati/Northern Kentucky/Cleveland/Columbus
Workers’ Compensation
CompManagement: How to get workers’ compensation discounts for things you already do
Randy Jones, Senior vice president, TPA Operations

Jayce-Stewart-MBA-Commercial-Risk-Consultant-RiskSOURCE-Clark-ThedersCincinnati/Northern Kentucky
Business Insurance
RiskSOURCE Clark-Theders: How to protect your company against cyberthreats
Jayce Stewart, MBA, Commercial Risk Consultant

Amit Mathur, CPA Director WTP AdvisorsCleveland
Tax Incentives
WTP Advisors: Distributors, software firms, architects, others missing tax savings
Amit Mathur, CPA, Director

John S. Zanghi, Partner, Fay Sharpe LLPCleveland
Legal Affairs
Fay Sharpe LLP: Why your U.S. patent won’t help you overseas
John S. Zanghi, Partner

Steve Gross, CPA Partner Skoda MinottiCleveland
Accounting & Consulting
Skoda Minotti: Moves you can make now to save money on your 2013 tax return
Steve Gross, CPA, Partner

Mariah Webinger, Ph.D., Assistant professor of accountancy, John Carroll UniversityCleveland
Executive Education
John Carroll University: How to react when you suspect an employee of fraud
Mariah Webinger, Ph.D., Assistant professor of accountancy

Derek M. Hoch President  Leverity Insurance GroupCleveland
Business Insurance
Leverity Insurance Group: How to rebuild your business in the event of a catastrophe
Derek M. Hoch, President

Eliot Kijewski, SIOR, Senior vice president, CRESCOJudy L. Simon, CPM, Assistant vice president, Continental RealtyCleveland
Real Estate:
CRESCO: How to get the most from your property management services
Eliot Kijewski, SIOR, Senior vice president, CRESCO
Judy L. Simon, CPM, Assistant vice president, Continental Realty

Christopher E. Axene, CPA, Principal, Tax Services, Rea & AssociatesColumbus
Rea & Associates: How your business can get tax benefits from research activities
Christopher E. Axene, CPA, Principal, Tax Services

Jeff Nein, Associate, Kegler, Brown, Hill & RitterColumbus
Legal Affairs
Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter: How to deal with cybersquatters and other domain name issues
Jeff Nein, Associate

Alex Desberg, Sales and marketing director, Ohio.netColumbus/Cleveland
Telecommunications How to implement cutting-edge VoIP technologies with a dash of caution
Alex Desberg, Sales and marketing director

Marc McTeague, President, SeibertKeck, BestHoovler McTeagueColumbus
Business Insurance
SeibertKeck: How the wealthy can prevent coverage gaps in their personal insurance
Marc McTeague, President


Crowe Horwath: How to apply accounting rules for related-party transactions
Wayne Williams, Partner


Banking & Finance
First State Bank: How local banks offer better service and drive your hometown economy
Eugene Lovell, President and CEO

Weaver: How forensic accountants and the public sector combat fraud
Trish Fritsche, CPA, CFF, CITP, CGMA, Senior manager, Forensics and Litigation Services

Kimaili-Ken-Davis-Momentous-Insurance-BrokerageLos Angeles
Business Insurance
Momentous Insurance Brokerage: How to achieve cost savings by managing workers’ comp claims
Kimaili “Ken” Davis, ARM, Assistant vice president

Kenneth-Jones-Vice-presiden-for-finance-and-administration-CFO-Woodbury-UniversityLos Angeles/Orange County
Executive Education
Woodbury University: How non-profit financial practices can boost for-profit businesses
Kenneth Jones, Vice president for finance and administration, CFO

Jan-Mitrovich-Manager-Treasury-Management-Merchant-Services-California-Bank-TrustLos Angeles/Orange County/Northern California
Banking & Finance
California Bank & Trust: How to enhance sales with merchant services
Jan Mitrovich, Manager, Treasury Management, Merchant Services

Michael-T-Ohira-Partner-Ropers-Majeski-Kohn-&-Bentley-PCLos Angeles
Legal Affairs
Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC: How to weigh the pros and cons of SIRs vs. deductibles
Michael T. Ohira, Partner

Tobias Kennedy, Executive vice president, Montage Insurance SolutionsLos Angeles
Business Insurance
Montage Insurance: Unlocking health care reform: A look at the individual mandate
Tobias Kennedy, Executive vice president

Mary-Oslin-Manager-Talent-Acquisition-TriNet-Inc.Northern California
Human Resources Outsourcing
TriNet: How the process of attracting and hiring employees has changed
Mary Oslin, Manager, Talent Acquisition

Bryan Cartwright, Financial services assurance partner, Moss Adams LLPNorthern California
Accounting & Consulting
Moss Adams LLP: How fair value reporting is hitting your company’s books
Bryan Cartwright, Financial services assurance partner

Sinan Goktan-Ph.D.-Assistant-professor-of-finance-College-of-Business-and-Economics-California-State-University-East-BayNorthern California
Executive Education
California State University, East Bay: How more market oversight delivers better investment in private equity
Sinan Goktan, Ph.D., Assistant professor of finance, College of Business and Economics

Bill-Norwalk-Tax-partner-in-charge-Sensiba-San-Filippo LLPNorthern California
Sensiba San Filippo: How health care reform demands a strategic approach from businesses
Bill Norwalk, Tax partner-in-charge

Ricci-M-Victorio-Managing-partner-Mosaic-Family-Business-CenterNorthern California
Wealth Management & Finance
Mosaic Financial Partners: How personality styles affect performance and team synergy
Ricci M. Victorio, CSP, CPCC, ACC, Managing partner

Brock-R-Lyle-Partner-Ropers-Majeski-Kohn-&-Bentley-PCNorthern California
Legal Affairs
Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC: How civil cases can be settled with alternative dispute resolution
Brock R. Lyle, Partner

Gloria-Ferguson-Senior-vice-president-market-manager-Corporate-Banking-Division-Bridge-BankNorthern California
Banking & Finance
Bridge Bank: How to discover resources available to California businesses
Gloria Ferguson, Senior vice president, market manager, Corporate Banking Division

Mark-L.-Skaist-Shareholder-co-chair-Corporate-and-Securities-Stradling-Yocca-Carlson-RauthOrange County
Legal Affairs
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth: How the JOBS Act makes it easier for companies to raise money
Mark L. Skaist, Shareholder, co-chair, Corporate and Securities

Risk Management
ECBM: Transparency in purchasing benefits, the time has come
Matthew R. Huttlin, Vice president, Employee Benefits Division

Comcast Business: How Ethernet helps businesses realize cloud computing potential
Kevin Conmy, Regional vice president, Business Services

Legal Affairs
Semanoff Ormsby Greenberg & Torchia: How letters of intent provide a road map for business transactions
Peter J. Smith, Member

Tyler A. Ridgeway, Director, Human Capital ResourcesPhiladelphia
Accounting & Consulting
Kreischer Miller: How business owners are paying key employees for performance
Tyler A. Ridgeway, Director, Human Capital Resources

Wealth Management
First Commonwealth Bank: Business development in a male dominated energy industry
Megan A. White, Vice President, Regional Manager

SMC Consulting: How design firms add certainty, cost efficiency to office furniture selection
Kelly Colamarino, Interior designer

Ron Carmassi-Sales executive-JRG-Advisors-the-management-arm-of-ChamberChoicePittsburgh
Employee Benefits
ChamberChoice: How to create flexible, employee-centric benefits that reduce overhead
Ron Carmassi, Sales executive

Dr. Marc Manley, M.P.H. Vice president, Population Health Management, UPMC Insurance Services Division UPMC Health PlanPittsburgh
Health Care
UPMC Health Plan: How population health management delivers better, lower cost outcomes
Dr. Marc Manley, M.P.H., Vice president, Population Health Management, UPMC Insurance Services Division

Cathy Goldsticker, CPA Partner, Tax Services Brown Smith WallaceSt. Louis
Brown Smith Wallace: How the ACA and the end of Bush-era cuts affect tax strategy
Cathy Goldsticker, CPA, Partner, Tax Services



How upgrading to fiber can improve your company’s telecommunications

Doak Field, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales, Comcast Business Services

The use of fiber-optic technology in businesses has spread quickly as businesses look to fiber’s scalable bandwidth to keep up with exponential increases in the amount of data they need to transmit — something legacy copper networks cannot do. According to Doak Field, senior director of enterprise sales for Comcast Business Services, many companies who could benefit from fiber’s bandwidth often don’t realize that fiber is currently available in their area or why they should consider upgrading their network.

“In today’s competitive business environment, speed and scalability are essential to staying ahead of the game,” Field says. “Network connectivity speeds have increased substantially over the past five to 10 years and will continue to increase as more businesses rely on it to successfully run their businesses.”

Smart Business spoke with Field about what you need to know about fiber and how it can take your business to the next level in terms of connectivity.

What are the advantages of using fiber-optic for telecommunications?

There are a number of benefits for choosing fiber for business telecommunications, including:

  • For a cost-effective solution, fiber provides plenty of bandwidth.
  • The high capacity of fiber provides users with access to bandwidth levels that were only a dream a few years ago.
  • Fiber carries a digital signal (rather than analog signal) which is advantageous for almost all applications.
  • Its relatively small size makes fiber convenient to use because it takes up less space.
  • It allows for much longer distances between amplifiers because there’s no need for continual splicing, which allows for less signal degradation.
  • Fiber can be installed next to utility lines, power lines and other areas where interference or crosstalk might normally occur and there is minimal impact.
  • Because it is made from glass fiber is not corrosive or susceptible to any chemical breakdowns.
  • It delivers Internet, phone, TV, security monitoring and carrying of data traffic all over the same medium efficiently and securely.

How can mid-market companies determine whether a fiber network makes sense for them?

We live in a world where speed to market, speed to respond and quick scalability is the norm. Fiber provides businesses with the speed and the security that a few years ago were reserved only for the Fortune 500. Most businesses are in business to grow and prosper and fiber offers them the ability to grow exponentially without having to make drastic changes to their infrastructure.

Fast, scalable and reliable are three areas that cannot be compromised in the competitive business landscape. Fiber networks are inherently scalable, which allows for any size company to be nimble yet able to proactively upgrade its network as changes in respective markets demand quick action. Fiber is a fast, reliable and secure form of data delivery.

No matter how small a business is, it requires a fast, reliable and secure access to the Internet. As businesses continue to grow, they need subsequent offices and/or locations to have the same access as their headquarters. Fiber provides a cost-effective and virtually seamless way for businesses to connect to as many sites as needed.

What are the important questions for a mid-market company to ask when considering this upgrade?

  • Am I still locked into traditional TDM Private Lines, Frame Relay or ATM services?
  • How quickly does my network need to transmit, upload and download data?
  • Do my bandwidth needs change often or are they fairly static?
  • How secure does my data network need to be?
  • Do I want my provider to manage my network and support it accordingly?
  • Do I need symmetrical dedicated Internet connectivity?
  • Do I need redundant paths into or out of my location?
  • Do I need and expect 24/7/365 network monitoring and support?
  • Is the company I am considering a certified member of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)?
  • Can my data provider provide me with local support?
  • Can my data provider provide me with Online Reporting Tools?
  • Do I need to implement Border Gateway Protocol Routing (BGP)?
  • Can I get access to Class of Service (CoS) Options?
  • Is there a limit to the number of locations my provider can provide access to?

How difficult is it to integrate fiber into a company’s existing infrastructure?

Designing a fiber network and integrating it into the existing copper infrastructure of a business is essentially seamless as there is no ‘forklifting’ of equipment involved. It’s as simple as connecting into a customer’s location with a single pair of fiber cables, one for transmitting and one for receiving, and providing the equipment necessary to convert the fiber to standard Ethernet. Look for a provider that makes the transition from copper-based transmission facilities to fiber optic facilities as simple as plugging into an Ethernet jack on their Local Area Network (LAN).

Doak Field is senior director of enterprise sales for Comcast Business Services. Reach him at [email protected] or (770) 559-2156.