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EHM September 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 @07:52 PM

Essential Healthcare Management Newsletter September 2012
The EHM Team: Jeff Hayes

Jeff Hayes

Essential Healthcare Management (EHM) is pleased to have industry healthcare veteran Jeff Hayes as a member of the EHM team. Hayes serves as Executive Vice President.

“We are extremely excited to have Jeff associated with our company.  His reputation, knowledge and success in helping companies grow and improve their national accounts presence and revenue will significantly help our clients to achieve their sales goals and expand market share dramatically,” EHM Managing Partner Stan Schroeder commented.

Hayes brings to EHM a combination of sales, sales management, national accounts and clinical experience to his portfolio of skill sets. His clinical training was accomplished at the University of Kansas Medical Center where he completed a course of study in Mobile Intensive Care Technology.  While working as a Mobile Intensive Care Technician he subsequently earned his BS and MBA from Avila University in Kansas City.

Utilizing both clinical and educational skills, he began working in hospital administration for Humana, Inc. This opportunity provided him with a solid grasp of the issues and concerns that surround the healthcare industry.  He later entered the medical sales arena and began his career in sales at Tri-anim Health Services Inc., the nation’s leading supplier of specialty products for respiratory, anesthesia, EMS, and critical care. Within the Tri-anim organization, he held several management positions, which include Regional Sales Manager, Director of Sales, and Director of National Accounts.  Within that position he created and developed their national accounts initiative.

After leaving Tri-anim, Hayes served as Vice President of National Accounts with Innovative Healthcare Corporation (IHC) – an industry leader in the medical and surgical glove market for both the acute care and alternate site arenas. During his tenure with that organization, IHC was awarded the first ever S2S Agreement by Premier, Inc.

Most recently Hayes held the position of Senior Vice President of National Accounts with StatLab Medical Corporation, a leading supplier of laboratory histology consumables in the acute and non-acute care marketplace. He provided leadership in the design and implementation of their National Accounts program, and continues to represent StatLab in his new role with EHM.

As Executive Vice President at EHM, Hayes is responsible for establishing and cultivating national accounts growth for EHM clients. His focus consists of select niche and specialty product suppliers seeking to become contracted with key GPO’s and IDN’s nationally.


By: Rob Bahna, Vice President of Sales, Resuscitation International

The end of summer is upon us, and that means high school football season is starting all over the US. Friday nights for the next several months will create memories and experiences on the gridiron that will never be forgotten. 

I was fortunate to play baseball, hockey and football in high school. I was also fortunate to walk away from my playing days with only minor injuries. I never had a concussion until later in college when a cable snapped on a lat pull-down machine in a gym. 

With all of the stories surrounding concussions, including the long-term damages and suicides of some NFL players, I thought it would be interesting to look at concussions statistics in high school. 

I found an interesting website, momsTEAM, The Trusted Source for Sports Parents that listed the following information: 

Concussion rates have doubled in the last decade - and account for 1 of every 10 sports injuries. 

There are between an estimated 1.6 and 3.8 million sports related concussions in the US every year leading the Center for Disease Control to conclude that sports concussions in the US have reached an "epidemic level." 

As you would expect, football players are the most at risk with at least one player sustaining a mild concussion in nearly every American football game. 

Girls soccer players are the second most at risk for concussions of all other high school sports. 

There are approximately 67,000 diagnosed concussions in high school football players every year. 

According to the New York Times, at least 50 youth football players (high school or younger) from 20 different states have died or sustained serious head injuries on the field since 1997. 

Once an athlete has suffered an initial concussion, his or her chances of a second one are 3 to 6 times greater than an athlete who has never sustained a concussion. 

Athletes keep getting bigger, stronger and faster. When I graduated from high school, it was rare for even an NFL player to be 300 pounds, and now high school lineman weigh that much. Our awareness and ability to detect these injuries much better obviously impacts the increase in numbers.

I am a firm believer that sports play an integral part in shaping lives. The teamwork, dedication, discipline, competition, hard work, time management, handling of pressure, learning to win and lose, self-confidence and relationships developed are skills that can last a lifetime. 

Given the choice between two job candidates if all else were fairly equal, if one were an athlete in college, I know many hiring managers who would choose the athlete because of the experiences that person had. 

We should continue to look for ways to make athletics safer and increase our own knowledge about what can be done to prevent injuries. However, we need to be careful how far we go. 

"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. "

- Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Client News

New Clients
Essential Healthcare Management recently joined forced with eDocument Solutions, LLC (eDocs4MDs). Please check out eDocs4MDs website to learn more.  

MedAssets Technology Forum
Genadyne Biotechnologies, SunClean, and Cayenne Medical have been selected to participate in the MedAssets Technology & Innovation ForumSuppliers must be selected by MedAssets to receive an invitation based on quality and caliber of products and services, innovativeness of the product or service in the healthcare market, customer suggestions and other selection criteria

Please check out our clients' websites for more information on their product lines.

The Optime Group
Ed Hisscock, President of The Optime Group, moderates "How Supply Chain Impacts Patient Experience" at the Fall 2012 IDN Summit.

EHM News

Essential Healthcare Management Official Fall 2012 IDN Summit Sponsor!

EHM embraces the great privilege of participating in the upcoming Fall 2012 IDN Summit in Scottsdale, AZ as a Silver Sponsor. We feel motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic about the endless possibilities that lie ahead.  Please look for us and the following 22 of our client companies in Scottsdale!

Upcoming Conference Schedule

We hope to see you soon!

You can always find us at

Essential Healthcare Management
Dallas, TX
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Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Essential Healthcare, integrated delivery networks, Frank Ripullo, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

More Important to Be Kind Than Clever

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 @12:10 PM

One of the more heart-warming stories to zoom around the Internet lately involves a young man, his dying grandmother, and a bowl of clam chowder from Panera Bread. It's a little story that offers big lessons about service, brands, and the human side of business — a story that underscores why efficiency should never come at the expense of humanity.

The story, as told in AdWeek, goes like this: Brandon Cook, from Wilton, New Hampshire, was visiting his grandmother in the hospital. Terribly ill with cancer, she complained to her grandson that she desperately wanted a bowl of soup, and that the hospital's soup was inedible (she used saltier language). If only she could get a bowl of her favorite clam chowder from Panera Bread! Trouble was, Panera only sells clam chowder on Friday. So Brandon called the nearby Panera and talked to store manager Suzanne Fortier. Not only did Sue make clam chowder especially for Brandon's grandmother, she included a box of cookies as a gift from the staff.

It was a small act of kindness that would not normally make headlines. Except that Brandon told the story on his Facebook page, and Brandon's mother, Gail Cook, retold the story on Panera's fan page. The rest, as they say, is social-media history. Gail's post generated 500,000 (and counting) "likes" and more than 22,000 comments on Panera's Facebook page. Panera, meanwhile, got something that no amount of traditional advertising can buy — a genuine sense of affiliation and appreciation from customers around the world.

Marketing types have latched on to this story as an example of the power of social media and "virtual word-of-mouth" to boost a company's reputation. But I see the reaction to Sue Fortier's gesture as an example of something else — the hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with companies on more than just dollars-and-cents terms. In a world that is being reshaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that remind us what it means to be human.

As I read the story of Brandon and his grandmother, I thought back to a lecture delivered two years ago by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, to the graduating seniors of my alma mater, Princeton University. Bezos is nothing if not a master of technology — he has built his company, and his fortune, on the rise of the Internet and his own intellect. But he spoke that day not about computing power or brainpower, but about his grandmother — and what he learned when he made her cry.

Even as a 10-year-old boy, it turns out, Bezos had a steel-trap mind and a passion for crunching numbers. During a summer road trip with his grandparents, young Jeff got fed up with his grandmother's smoking in the car — and decided to do something about it. From the backseat, he calculated how many cigarettes per day his grandmother smoked, how many puffs she took per cigarette, the health risk of each puff, and announced to her with great fanfare, "You've taken nine years off your life!"

Bezos's calculations may have been accurate — but the reaction was not what he expected. His grandmother burst into tears. His grandfather pulled the car off to the side of the road and asked young Jeff to step out. And then his grandfather taught a lesson that this now-billionaire decided to share the with the Class of 2010: "My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, 'Jeff, one day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever.'"

That's a lesson I wish more businesspeople understood — a lesson that is reinforced by the reaction to this simple act of kindness at Panera Bread. Indeed, I experienced something similar not so long ago, and found it striking enough to devote an HBR blog post to the experience. In my post, I told the story of my father, his search for a new car, a health emergency that took place in the middle of that search — and a couple of extraordinary (and truly human) gestures by an auto dealer that put him at ease and won his loyalty.

"What is it about business that makes it so hard to be kind?" I asked at the time. "And what kind of businesspeople have we become when small acts of kindness feel so rare?"

That's what's really striking about the Panera Bread story — not that Suzanne Fortier went out of her way to do something nice for a sick grandmother, but that her simple gesture attracted such global attention and acclaim.

So by all means, encourage your people to embrace technology, get great at business analytics, and otherwise ramp up the efficiency of everything they do. But just make sure all their efficiency doesn't come at the expense of their humanity. Small gestures can send big signals about who we are, what we care about, and why people should want to affiliate with us. It's harder (and more important) to be kind than clever.

Shared by Bill Taylor

Tags: leadership, marketing, teamwork, brand management, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

Are You Talking Too Much?

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @02:03 PM

Frank Ripullo was recently quoted in an ANAE "Sales Tips" for Reps Who Like to Win Issue
"Many Sales Representatives are talking too much. When you're talking, you're telling. When you ask questions to get clients talking about their needs, you're selling; you're finding out what they want to own. Only then can you guide them to the right product or service"

Frank Ripullo
Managing Partner/Founder
Essential Health Management

Tags: selling, Essential Healthcare Management, brand management, Frank Ripullo, business growth, strategic thinking

EHM April 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 @01:32 PM

Essential Healthcare Management Newsletter April  2012
The EHM Family: Espen Kateraas

Here at Essential Healthcare Management, we value relationships.  To EHM, trusted partners and productive partnerships are not just a priority – they are a privilege.  We would like you to meet one of our people who is a proven expert at building and maintaining those types of relationships in healthcare. Executive Director, Espen Kateraas.

Espen has a broad managerial and operational background in the pharmaceutical, medical technology, imaging, health and wellness spaces. He is a business administration graduate of both Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and Drottnignborg Videregående Skole in his native Norway. He also studied at the National University of Singapore and at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria. Espen is a veteran of the Norwegian Air Force and is multilingual – which is often helpful when working with companies based outside the U.S.

Recently, Espen has assisted European healthcare companies in their attempts to successfully enter the US market place. His current focus is on helping companies leverage more efficient and affordable healthcare solutions grounded in prevention and positive patient outcomes.

Mr. Kateraas is passionately engaged in leading and promoting a healthy life style through physical fitness, wellness and a healthy diet. He is also the holder of several issued and pending US/International patents in this area.

Espen’s areas of expertise include; Espen on Bike

* US & Int'l Business Relations
* Supply Chain Mgmt.
* Strategic Planning Processes
* Relentless Execution of Growth Initiatives 
* Global Market Leadership & Strategy Development
* Team Leadership 
* P&L Control
* Manufacturing & Operations Management
* Turnaround / Business Refocus
* New Business Development and Launch
* Due Diligence / M&A / Global Integrations
* Coaching and motivation      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Espen at his other office.

The Movie of Your LIfe - Uplifting or Sad?

By: Stan Schroeder, Managing Partner, EHM

What story do you tell yourself?  It has been said that “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself”.  How does this happen?  Sure, the huge broad strokes and grand events of a life add up and matter.  Big risks often dictate our direction and destination.  But what about the other 99.9% of the time?

The day-to-day life we live – the minute tasks, details, and movements – are when our internal dialogue takes over and effects us.  Sort of like the narrator of the movie version of our lives.  (I just had the thought that Morgan Freeman’s internal dialogue is probably fantastic!).

Is your narration: Positive or Negative? Guilty or Proud? Angry or Content?  This 99% of our time can control as much, or more, of our path in life as the big decisions do.  In fact, I would submit to you that without the right type of internal story guiding them, people who have reached high levels of success would not have possessed the confidence to take the big (and ultimately profitable) risks!

I myself have made a habit of making career decisions that are 180 Stan Schroeder degrees from conventional.  I know that deep down there is a storyteller laying down a positive soundtrack that gives me the boost required to do the scary things, and take big risks.

I always tell my sons that part of being a good person is doing the RIGHT thing even when it is the more difficult choice.  So….if you know what needs to be done – if you have an idea or dream or grand vision: 

First, take steps to ensure that your internal narration is positive and affirming.  (This may require some “re-writes”)

Remember to engage in positive “self-talk” when you start to hear internal negatives about yourself or your future. 

Create Positive Triggers and Anchors (reminders) such as music, pictures, or verses that snap you back to positive.

Create reminders of your past successes and keep them close by to re-affirm your capabilities when you feel down.

Share in positive communication with friends, associates, mentors and/or loved ones.  ( Frank usually cheers me up when I call him).  Increasing your positive/negative thought ratio will undoubtedly help you to feel happier and to enjoy more success.  It will also help you to GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to make the hard decisions required to reach more success (regardless of how you define it).

And don’t forget that no matter how positive you are there is still a high level of work required.  I don’t know anyone who ever lazied their way to the top.  To quote Tony Robbins, “No one every ambled their way to success.”  Success requires action – and action requires internal encouragement.

So go ahead!  Create a new screenplay for the movie of your life.  And this time play the HERO!

A Tribute

By: Rob Bahna, Vice President of Sales, Resuscitation International

The world lost a very good man yesterday. My uncle, Don Bahna, my father’s only sibling/older brother by 7 years or so passed away.
Don was one of the most well read, intelligent, and kindest men I have ever known. He was largely responsible for starting and then being the Principal at both high schools in Sylvania, Ohio and touched thousands of lives in his roles there.
To me he was the uncle who was the “CLAW”. I am sure you had one of those, who were seemingly always ready to play and have fun when you were little. He would be relentless in his pursuit of making us laugh and torturing us by tickling.

To my Uncle Don’s wife of 50+ years, my Aunt Kay and his 4 children and grandchildren, he was obviously much more, for many years. I could write a lot more about his accomplishments in many areas.
However, I want to focus on just one of the many ways he was so instrumental in my dad’s life, future, and inevitably that of my whole family. You see, my father grew up on the Hungarian side of Toledo, Ohio, not very far from the famous Tony Paco’s restaurant that the character Klinger made famous on M*A*S*H. There was a lot of love, hard work and happiness in this neighborhood. But, money was earned through long days of hard blue-collar work.
Since my father was so much younger than Don, when he used to tag along every day to the baseball field because Don had no choice, my father had to play against kids much older than he was. This forced him to develop much faster than the other kids his age or he would have to sit out – because they did not let him play until he was good enough. Inevitably, that and considerable talent lead him to be a great high school pitcher (he was just elected in his high school athletic hall of fame this fall) and earning the first full baseball scholarship to Bowling Green State University.
My father would not have been able to afford to go to college without that baseball scholarship. Without that scholarship and his ability to get a job that required a degree, who knows what would have happened. My Uncle Don went to school on academic scholarships.
You see in the sandlots of life, there were no rules saying everyone has to play a certain number of innings, or that we are not going to keep score, or that there are no winners and losers, and not everyone gets a trophy.
There are hundreds if not thousands of people:
-Competing for the top class ranks
-Taking college entrance exams
-Trying to get into the same schools and post-graduate schools
-Applying for the available jobs
-Working towards the available promotions
-Doing their best to hit their objectives and set themselves apart from the crowd
-Working on being the top performer at what they do
My dad also tells the story of how my Uncle Don through him out of the boat in the middle of the lake and told him to “sink or swim”. Although we know he would not have let him drown, we need to be careful how much we insulate and protect the people around us because that is not always what is best for them (even if it is what makes us the most comfortable).
God Speed Uncle Don. You made a lot of lives better by the man you were. And it is a great lesson for all of us. We usually don’t realize the full influence we have, or could possibly have on people.

EHM Client News

In the last six months EHM has helped the following clients to gain agreements with all the major GPO's and several IDN's and RPC's:

Compression Therapy Concepts
Statlab Medical
Advanced Circulatory Systems, Inc.
RF Technologies, Inc.
Uresil, LLC
U.S. Arthroplasty
Emerge Medical
DM Systems

Instant Recognition

Cynthia Baker, Accolades Public Relations

What does your corporate logo say about you? Does it clearly communicate your industry, product/service, and inherent value? Is it eye catching and memorable? Does it convey your corporate personality? Is it instantly recognizable? If you said ‘yes’ to all of the above, congratulations, you are on your way to making a good impression on prospective clients and customers. However, if you said ‘no’ – and realistically, you probably did – there’s work to be done.

That’s the position Essential Healthcare Management was in a few months ago when we began the process of developing a new corporate identity. The company name already said a lot – Essential Healthcare Management provides a variety of management services to healthcare companies. The challenge was to develop a graphic identity and tagline that tells even more.

The Accolades PR team learned that what sets EHM apart is its focus on business growth for its clients. That led us to the eventual tagline: “The catalyst for business growth.” Because of the high-stress nature of today’s healthcare industry, we chose a calming green and blue color palette to convey how EHM reduces clients’ anxiety level.  Finally, we selected a graphic element that combines the globe and healthcare crosses to reinforce EHM’s global experience and healthcare specialization. Check out the EHM website ( to see how effectively the logo communicates.

A great logo should reflect the ever-changing relationship between a company and its clients or customers. Does your logo accurately convey who your compaany is, what it does, and what sets it apart? Does it incorporate the right elements to appeal to your target audience? Is it used consistently across all communication platforms? Is it holding your brand back?

If you haven’t thoroughly evaluated your logo in the past two years, it’s time to take a closer look. The Accolades PR team can guide you through the process and show you how to make sure your logo is working hard for you every day.


EHM Upcoming Conference Schedule

We hope to see you soon!

You can always find us at

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Essential Healthcare, healthcare suppliers, Espen Kateraas, strategic thinking


Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @12:14 PM

I have been involved in hiring hundreds of sales people and managers in my career. Not once during the interviews for these jobs did any candidate say, "I want to lose" or "I don't care about winning".
Every one of us says we want to win - and I believe that is true. So why do we have people who continually succeed despite the challenges that are put in front of them and others who effectively give up the day the goal or quota is assigned?
In some ways I believe it is about really having the Will to win. Coach Bobby Knight once said that "the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win."
Let's use presentations as an example. When you give a presentation to a customer, your own team or even in public, you know going in how well prepared you are and how much work you have done to be ready. If you are completely confident because your preparation has been flawless, it is apparent to everyone who hears you.
We have all been on the other end of a presentation where someone was not prepared because they did not own the material. I certainly don't want someone reading slides to me instead of having an engaged conversation whenever possible.
When I started selling very few people had cell phones, email was just starting and people actually didn't answer their phones or text during the meetings. And unless it was a doctor, very rarely did anyone interrupt a meeting that was taking place.
But just as those thing change - so has our ability to prepare with the data and knowledge that is readily available on companies and people. Can you imagine asking the president of a company "what does your organization do"? Yet - many people are not prepared to ask intelligent questions and show that they have done their homework. Every person we deal with wants us to be prepared and show them that we value their time.
If you watch cooking shows, it is easy to see the finished meal and say - wow, that is great. But it doesn't happen without practice and repetition, preparation and hard work.
It's not what you want, but what you do that matters. Everyone wants to win. Some people choose to.

Have a great week.
Rob Bahna

Vice President of Sales
Rescuscitation International

Tags: selling, leadership, determination, teamwork, leader, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

The Relationship Curve

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 @01:23 PM

Amy Hardin

SELLect Sales

Tags: selling, leadership, sales, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development

Follow Up Calls

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @03:45 PM

In my 20 years of medical sales experience, one of the most common mistakes I see sales professionals make is having follow-up calls that are not what they should be. If you are calling someone who has done business with your organization in the past but you don't know them well - or it is your first time personally calling them, make sure you are well prepared.
And do yourself a favor - put as much pre-call planning into your phone calls as you do your personal visits for the best results. There really should be no such thing as a "cold call" any more with key people in an organization since you can do so much research before you call. If they have any authority - they expect that you have done your homework.
Here is an outline I might use to call on someone I don't know well....
Good morning _____, this is Rob Bahna with Resuscitation International.
I have been working with other ________ departments (or title you are talking to), discussing some ideas that have helped them deal with some of the unique challenges they are facing today with SCA victims. We have seen some outstanding customer satisfaction and positively affected patient outcomes.
I would like to ask you a few questions to see if some of our solutions might make sense for your department.
I would like verify some of the information I have been able to learn about your facility and
make sure I understand them from your perspective as the ____________(title)?
Ask about them…..

I understand you have been a _________ for 5 years. What are the biggest changes you have seen in that time as it relates to how your responsibilities have evolved? Where do you find yourself spending a lot of time where you didn’t use to?
Besides yourself, who else do you involve in the important process of purchasing medical supplies and equipment?
Sell Your Company
Jane, we know it is important for you to know who you are doing business with. Resuscitation International has been servicing the emergency medical supply and equipment needs of pre-hospital professionals for 10 years. We have a proven track record of being an industry leader. We are proud to have more than 100,000 agencies and professionals rely on RI.

 ______, as you are well aware, over the last 10 years we have seen a shift in acuity levels. You are being asked to do higher levels of care in many situations with less resources, especially in today’s economy. RI has been in business for over 10 years – and we can help you deal with these challenging times.
Determine Your Customer’s Objectives
Make them stop and think – ask high gain questions that differentiate you and are not only situational.
1) What Criteria do you use to evaluate your potential suppliers (business partners)?

2) How do you prefer to place your orders?
3) Which company do you currently order your supplies from today?

Do you order from more than one company?
4) Could you please share with me what your experience has been with Resuscitation International?
If they do not volunteer it – ask them
5) It looks like you have not ordered from us in the last ______, could you share with me some of the reasons?
Engineer Agreement to Demonstrate Product-Program
________, I appreciate you taking the time to share this information with me. Based on your feedback, and some recent changes we have made it (whatever areas kept them from ordering from us – or things they like about others) we believe we can make your job of ordering easier and be very competitive from a price perspective.

When do you normally place your supply orders? What do we need to do to earn a shot at your next order?
If my pricing is competitive, would there be any other reason that would prevent us from doing business together?
Best of Luck. Be proud to put your signature on everything you do. Or don't do it.
Rob Bahna
Vice President of Sales
Resuscitation International

Tags: selling, Essential Healthcare Management, hospitals, healthcare suppliers, teamwork, medical devices, brand management, market research, priorities, sales, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development

A Big Little Life

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 @01:02 PM

I am an avid reader. This weekend I read probably the only Dean Koontz book I have never read - "A Big Little Life".
For those of you who are not Dean Koontz fans (and don't say you are not if you have never read one of his books), this is a non-fiction book he wrote as a memoir about his golden retriever, Trixie.
Admittedly, I am a dog lover. I am fortunate to have a great dog, Jeffrey, that has given us more joy and happiness than we could have imagined. As you know, the books and movies about dogs have been very popular in the past few years. I don't think that is coincidental with the down economy and other pressures we all face in our world today.
This book is worth the $15 price tag and I found several different parts in the book that really made me think about our relationships with dogs, and how we view the world if we stop and analyze it from the perspective of why dogs are our "best friends".
Trixie was adopted at the age of 3 and for the next 9 years impacted Dean and his wife Gerda with her " intelligence, her innate joy and her uncanny knack for living in the moment."
A few passages from the book:
"In this big world, she (Trixie) was a little thing, but in all the ways that mattered, including the effect she had on those who loved her, she lived a big life."
"Dog's joy is directly related to the fact that they do not deceive, do not betray, and do not covet. Innocence is neither naive nor unhip; innocence is the condition of deepest bliss."
"Loyalty, unfailing love, instant forgiveness, a humble sense of his place in the scheme of things, a sense of wonder - these and other virtues of a dog arise from his innocence. The first step toward greater joy is to stop fleeing from innocence, begin retreating from cynicism and nihilism, and embrace once more the truth that life is mysterious and that it daily offers meaningful wonders for our consideration."
'When we have the deepest affection for a dog, we do not possess that love but are possessed by it, and sometimes takes us by surprise, overwhelms us. When we take a dog into our lives, we ask for it trust, and the trust is freely given. We promise, I will always love you and bring you through troubled times. The promise is sincerely, solemnly made. But in a dog's life as in our own, there come those moments when we are not in control, when we are forced to acknowledge our essential helplessness. Looking into the trusting eyes of the dog, which feels safe in our care, and knowing that we not deserve the totality of its faith in us, we are shaken and humbled."
T.S Eliot: The only wisdom we can hope to acquire / Is the wisdom of humility.
"Dog's lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of accepting that and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because off those illusions."
Dogs live most of life
in Quiet Heart.
Humans live mostly next door
in Desperate Heart.
Now and then will do you good
to live in our zip code.
- Trixie Koontz, Bliss to You
Have a fantastic Holiday season and New Year. And may all of us live A Big Little Life..

Tags: selling, teamwork, Quality, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

In a fog about cloud computing?

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 @11:49 AM

What cloud computing really means: The next big trend sounds nebulous, but it’s not so fuzzy when you view the value proposition from the perspective of IT professionals.

This article was published with permission from InfoWorld. Article by Eric Knorr, editor in chief, InfoWorld and Galen Gruman, executive editor

Cloud computing is all the rage. “It’s become the phrase du jour,” says Gartner senior analyst Ben Pring, echoing many of his peers. The problem is that (as with Web 2.0) everyone seems to have a different definition.

As a metaphor for the Internet, “the cloud” is a familiar cliché, but when combined with “computing,” the meaning gets bigger and fuzzier. Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing: basically virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go very broad, arguing anything you consume outside the firewall is “in the cloud,” including conventional outsourcing.

Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities.

Cloud computing is at an early stage, with a motley crew of providers large and small delivering a slew of cloud-based services, from full-blown applications to storage services to spam filtering. Yes, utility-style infrastructure providers are part of the mix, but so are SaaS (software as a service) providers such as Today, for the most part, IT must plug into cloud-based services individually, but cloud computing aggregators and integrators are already emerging.

InfoWorld talked to dozens of vendors, analysts, and IT customers to tease out the various components of cloud computing. Based on those discussions, here’s a rough breakdown of what cloud computing is all about:

1. SaaS
This type of cloud computing delivers a single application through the browser to thousands of customers using a multitenant architecture. On the customer side, it means no upfront investment in servers or software licensing; on the provider side, with just one app to maintain, costs are low compared to conventional hosting. is by far the best-known example among enterprise applications, but SaaS is also common for HR apps and has even worked its way up the food chain to ERP, with players such as Workday. And who could have predicted the sudden rise of SaaS “desktop” applications, such as Google Apps and Zoho Office?

2. Utility computing
The idea is not new, but this form of cloud computing is getting new life from, Sun, IBM, and others who now offer storage and virtual servers that IT can access on demand. Early enterprise adopters mainly use utility computing for supplemental, non-mission-critical needs, but one day, they may replace parts of the datacenter. Other providers offer solutions that help IT create virtual datacenters from commodity servers, such as 3Tera’s AppLogic and Cohesive Flexible Technologies’ Elastic Server on Demand. Liquid Computing’s LiquidQ offers similar capabilities, enabling IT to stitch together memory, I/O, storage, and computational capacity as a virtualized resource pool available over the network.

3. Web services in the cloud
Closely related to SaaS, Web service providers offer APIs that enable developers to exploit functionality over the Internet, rather than delivering full-blown applications. They range from providers offering discrete business services — such as Strike Iron and Xignite — to the full range of APIs offered by Google Maps, ADP payroll processing, the U.S. Postal Service, Bloomberg, and even conventional credit card processing services.

4. Platform as a service
Another SaaS variation, this form of cloud computing delivers development environments as a service. You build your own applications that run on the provider’s infrastructure and are delivered to your users via the Internet from the provider’s servers. Like Legos, these services are constrained by the vendor’s design and capabilities, so you don’t get complete freedom, but you do get predictability and pre-integration. Prime examples include’s, Coghead and the new Google App Engine. For extremely lightweight development, cloud-based mashup platforms abound, such as Yahoo Pipes or

5. MSP (managed service providers)
One of the oldest forms of cloud computing, a managed service is basically an application exposed to IT rather than to end-users, such as a virus scanning service for e-mail or an application monitoring service (which Mercury, among others, provides). Managed security services delivered by SecureWorks, IBM, and Verizon fall into this category, as do such cloud-based anti-spam services as Postini, recently acquired by Google. Other offerings include desktop management services, such as those offered by CenterBeam or Everdream.

6. Service commerce platforms
A hybrid of SaaS and MSP, this cloud computing service offers a service hub that users interact with. They’re most common in trading environments, such as expense management systems that allow users to order travel or secretarial services from a common platform that then coordinates the service delivery and pricing within the specifications set by the user. Think of it as an automated service bureau. Well-known examples include Rearden Commerce and Ariba.

7. Internet integration
The integration of cloud-based services is in its early days. OpSource, which mainly concerns itself with serving SaaS providers, recently introduced the OpSource Services Bus, which employs in-the-cloud integration technology from a little startup called Boomi. SaaS provider Workday recently acquired another player in this space, CapeClear, an ESB (enterprise service bus) provider that was edging toward b-to-b integration. Way ahead of its time, Grand Central — which wanted to be a universal “bus in the cloud” to connect SaaS providers and provide integrated solutions to customers — flamed out in 2005.

Today, with such cloud-based interconnection seldom in evidence, cloud computing might be more accurately described as “sky computing,” with many isolated clouds of services which IT customers must plug into individually. On the other hand, as virtualization and SOA permeate the enterprise, the idea of loosely coupled services running on an agile, scalable infrastructure should eventually make every enterprise a node in the cloud. It’s a long-running trend with a far-out horizon. But among big metatrends, cloud computing is the hardest one to argue with in the long term.


From Strategic Systems International

Tags: SSI, Strategic Systems International, Cloud computing, Saas, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

Quality vs Quantity

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Wed, Dec 07, 2011 @09:08 AM

There are a couple of axioms that are often used by sales managers. Sales is about quality not quantity. Sales is a numbers game. Which of these age old statements is true?

Of course, they are both true.
If you and I have roughly the same playing field, and roughly the same selling ability, and you put forth the effort to make 25% more sales calls then I do - you should outsell me by at least 25%.
Of course you have to have quality - that goes without saying in professional sales. If you don't have quality - get out of the business. But don't ever forget that quantity matters - and it does not take away from the professional quality that is needed.
If we are really honest with ourselves (and your manager is not listening) we know that many of the big sales we have achieved have been because we were in the right place at the right time. That is a result of hard work and effort. If you want to call it luck - go ahead. Create your own luck.
I laugh at sales people who get offended at discussions of quantity. How many customer calls do you make in a day (either in person or on the phone - or if you are really smart in managing your time - both)? You should always have a goal in this area.
And then. at some point it becomes simple math. If you average 5 calls per day - you average 25 per week. 100 in a month. 300 in a quarter. 1200 in a year.
Set your goal to average 1 more than that. 6 calls per day is 30 per week. 120 in a month. 360 per quarter. 1440 per year.
That is 240 more calls annually by doing one more call per day. That is like having 2 extra months of selling time by making one more call per day. How would you like to earn 2 extra months pay?
No matter what you do - even if it is not sales, set your goal to average one more than you do today. One more workout per week is 52 per year. Asking for one more refferal per week is doing it 52 times per year.

Always look to improve your quality. Work hard on your sales/product/clinical knowledge so you can make the most of each opportunity. But never forget that you can't win if you are not in the game or if you quit before the next guy does.
"Success is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable." John Wooden.

Rob Bahna

Tags: selling, Schroeder, marketing, determination, hard work, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development