Service and Market Spotlight
Top 5 Energy Mistakes Companies Make #1: Signing a contract while in an existing contract
Low energy prices are tempting some companies to break their current contracts and switch energy suppliers. However, before moving forward, always be sure to review your current supply contract for language relating to terminating the contract early. There are substantial penalties for terminating a supply contract prior to expiration. The Public Utility Commission expects energy customers to understand and honor their contracts. These penalties can be thousands of dollars!#2: Not designating an Energy Decision Maker
Many companies stretch resources as thinly as possible in order to avoid unnecessary costs. This leads to staff “wearing a lot of different hats”. Be sure to designate one person as the Energy Decision Maker. If this area of responsibility is not clearly established, you may find your company overpaying for energy and/or paying penalties like the one described above.#3: Not funneling all solicitations to Energy Decision Maker
Many energy suppliers solicit over the phone and have the ability to take a verbal “yes” as contract acceptance. Companies are inundated with these calls and the staff answering the phone may unknowingly agree to a new energy contract. This cannot only lead to penalties if you have an existing contract, but also higher price locks. It is better to instruct all staff answering phones to transfer these solicitations to the designated Energy Decision Maker.#4: Second-guessing past energy decisions
Energy prices are volatile and move daily with the commodity markets. If today’s energy prices are lower than your active energy supply contract, it does not mean that the current contract was a bad deal. The current contract likely represents the best deal available when that contract was signed. The main point is to focus on the keys for the next contract. The keys to the best future deal are current markets conditions and your business outlook over the life of the new contract.
#5: Thinking the default rate is the best option
Default rates can vary greatly and change frequently. It is true that default rates can lag the market and therefore provide short term savings depending on market conditions. In order to see the benefit of savings from the default rate, companies must be monitoring the market on a daily basis. Sticking with the default rate can quickly lead to losing your savings in just one month of an energy market swing. If considering default rates because you want to pay a rate closer to that of the market, then you should consider an index product from a generation supplier.
Cloud Computing – What is it and should you be using it?Cloud computing, in its most basic form, means having your software applications, databases, and even telephone systems hosted by 3rd party service providers and accessing them via the internet. In this case the “cloud” refers to the internet. The hosting company can be across town, across the country or anywhere in the world.
Historically, organizations have maintained the IT systems and telephone systems on site at their own facilities. With the development of the internet, telecommunications, and computing in general, all these services can be hosted anywhere by outside organizations in a way that is completely transparent to your users.
Your organization can fulfill all of its IT and telephone needs without ever having to buy or maintain database servers, application servers, software, or telephone hardware. Using cloud based services your staff may never have to worry about upgrading a server, applying software updates, performing backups of your business critical data, and many other routine maintenance functions. It can all happen via services hosted in the cloud!
Additionally, these critical business services can be hosted by different vendors in the cloud. Your organization can choose the best service provider for each application and it will all be seamless to your users.What is needed to support Cloud Computing?
The most critical factor to success in Cloud Computing is selecting the proper vendor(s) to provide the services you define. Beyond that, the next most critical factor is having the proper telecommunication services to access the cloud.
The two primary factors in selecting the right telecommunications services are having sufficient bandwidth to ensure high performance and high availability, or redundancy, to ensure that your connection to the internet is never down.
The technology for telecommunication data services has been steadily evolving to provide higher speed, highly reliable services, at lower prices.What should you do to get started?
If you are considering a move to cloud computing, the telecom experts at Edge Insights can evaluate your current telecom services to benchmark bandwidth and costs. We can then work with your IT team to develop the requirements for increased bandwidth, redundancy, and then manage the competitive bidding process between qualified carriers. Once new contracts are awarded, the Edge Insights team will monitor the billing of old and new accounts to ensure accuracy.
Benefits of cloud computing
Cost reduction: Cloud computing reduces paperwork, lowers transaction costs, and minimizes the investment in hardware (and the resources to manage it). Moving your business to ‘the cloud’ also reduces the need for an IT staff. Are you out of space in your data closet/room? Have your applications outgrown the infrastructure? Cloud computing services allow a company to shift from capital to operational expenses.
Scalability: Delivery of IT services through the cloud can be easily, and quickly, increased or decreased as your business evolves. You pay only for what you need and when you need it. Cloud computing also eliminates the long lead times for the planning, acquisition and implementation of new technology.
Level the playing field: Cloud computing provider’s offers small and mid-size businesses access to more sophisticated technology at lower prices.
Easier collaboration: Accessibility and collaboration, since services in the cloud can be accessed anytime from any computer, it is easy to collaborate between employees who are not in the same geographical location and makes it easier to manage a global workforce.
Pro – IT Staff resources: There is no need for technological or security expertise in house. Users of cloud applications require no expertise behind the technology because the provider already takes care of the entire technical infrastructure.