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  • support 10:18 pm on July 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , TL 9000, , TL Alert 14-003A   

    TL 9000 Informational Alert: TL14-003A 

    Back in June, QuEST Forum issued an informational alert regarding the clarification of requirements to maintain TL 9000 Certification in a product category.  This was a small information alert, which was immediately posted to our Knowledge Base.  If this was not made clear in the recent Q2 edition of THE STANDARD, we apologize.  Our editorial team felt it did not warrant a podcast episode, but we wanted to make sure that our readers could access the alert here.

    The reason for TL 9000 Informational Alert: TL14-003A was clarification regarding product category status.  One of the foundational elements of the TL 9000 Quality Management System is the use of a common set of measures to drive continual improvement.  This is why there are requirements to submit data monthly to the TL 9000 Measurements Repository and to use the resulting industry statistics.

    If an organization no longer produces or supports any products in a hardware/software product category or no longer provides the services for a service product category, then that product category must be removed from the organization’s certification, since the requirement to submit data cannot be fulfilled.  If this is the only product category on the organization’s TL 9000 Certification, then the certification itself must be suspended or cancelled until the organization again has an active product.

    Please click on the PDF image below or here to obtain the complete alert:

    Alert 14-003A From QuEST Forum

    TL Alert 14-003A From QuEST Forum

     

    If you require more information, please contact info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 2:55 am on April 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Data Privacy, data security, , Heartbleed, , , , R2/RIOS, TL 9000   

    Data Privacy, Heartbleed and A Growing Energy Footprint: 2014 May Be A Bit Challenging For ICT Quality 

    As our readers know, we certify clients in the telecommunications and ICT industry to quality standards such as TL 9000, ISO 90001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001.  We also help many of these clients solve their recycling and e-waste objectives by helping them obtain R2/RIOS certifications.

    Much has happened in first quarter of 2014 that impacts the ICT industry in the areas of network quality, data security, environmental sustainability and recycling.  Each of these business practices are subject to constant transformation and in some instances, are under assault.  The reality is the environment is at stake, electronics waste is piling up, spying is the “new norm” and foreign hackers are chipping away at our US data fortresses.  What is an ICT supplier to do in 2014?  Implement quality standards to mitigate these risks.

    What makes our work in ICT so interesting is that these areas often intersect, requiring more complex and thoughtful quality frameworks to be implemented within organizations.  For example, as everything moves to the cloud, not only is data security an issue (ISO 27001), there have been serious discussions about the increasing energy footprint of the digital economy and ICT in general.  This presents a bit of a quandary for suppliers who are also committed to energy reduction and sustainability practices through their EMS (ISO 14001) while shifting more of their services to the cloud.  Can you effectively balance the goals and objectives of an ISMS and an EMS simultaneously?  We believe that you can.

    If you’re sitting on the fence with regard to implementing any of these standards or if you’re considering whether it’s time to add an additional quality framework in your organization, here are some factors to consider and a Q1 update on what’s in play for these quality standards.

     

    ISO 27001:  Could the Hearbleed bug be good for Internet security?

    Q1 2014 has been plagued with numerous data hacks involving retailers like Target, Michael’s and a host of other vendors whose POS systems were compromised with very sophisticated malware.  Verizon just published a study regarding the increase in espionage hacking from Eastern Europe.  The continued revelations of Edward Snowden are the gift that keeps on giving and have forced many in ICT to examine the true value of privacy as practice of “data security”.

    These headaches have been compounded by the recent Heartbleed Bug (a flaw in OpenSSL).  It’s a bit unnerving to learn that the trusted “padlock of https” was been left essentially unlocked for quite some time.   Many articles in the past few weeks illustrate how the NSA likely knew for at least two years about this massive flaw.  The agency’s reported decision to keep the bug secret may have renewed the heated debate over the security of the Internet in general, which certainly impacts the entire ICT industry.  This recent article by re/code demonstrates how Heartbleed’s worst-case scenario has already been proven possible.  And what about the cloud?  As providers utilize or shift to IaaS, PaaS, SasS and SECasS, what are the known and unknown risks?  Is any data communication or transaction really secure?

    Some IT experts have illustrated how the Heartbleed bug may have been a real wake-up call for information and Internet security.  The breach could be viewed as a great test of vulnerability management and incident response.  What have you done in your organization to protect your company and your customers against this type of threat?  At a bare minimum, establish rules for what is allowed and not allowed on your network.  Here is a great link to an ISO 27001 Google Group thread discussing responses to Heartbleed utilizing this ISMS.

    If you don’t think ISO 27001 matters, here’s one company’s attempt at going on the offensive with positive public relations regarding their ISMS.  Snap Survey explains how client data has been unaffected by the Heartbleed bug, due to their ISO 27001 certification.  Consider implementing ISO 27001 today.

     

    ISO 14001:  Preventing pollution, eco-efficiency and life cycle thinking in the next revision?

    We can attest to the value of ISO 14001 from the clients we’ve led to certification.  Sustainability and environmental stewardship are no longer buzzwords.  All reputable brands and corporations (not just ICT organizations) are implementing environmental benchmarks and reporting processes.

    ISO recently conducted a survey of the environmental management system standard ISO 14001.  The survey was designed in part to get a better idea of what organizations see as the main benefits of ISO 14001 and what could be improved, as the standard is currently being revised.  According to the survey results, the most important issues that required more attention were:

    • reducing and controlling pollution

    • strategies for efficient use of resources and reducing waste and pollution

    • evaluating the environmental aspects related to the life cycle of products and services

    You can obtain a copy of all survey data and reports at ISO.  The standard revision is currently at draft phase and the goal is to “future proof” ISO 14001 to address all elements of environmental management, including energy efficiency and energy reduction.  Energy reduction has been the subject many technical articles with regard to the ICT industry, with some pointing out the Internet is far from green.

    The energy requirement of a growing “digital” economy (telecom, data centers) appears to be placing an increased demand on the power grid at a time where energy reduction is the preferred trend.  Potential conflict?  Perhaps.  That’s why it is very important for ICT companies to examine energy reduction and implement an EMS like ISO 14001 to set goals and objectives for environmental management.  Want some ICT best practices guidance?  AT&T and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are releasing their best practices and a toolkit that other companies can use to assess performance at their own facilities.

     

    R2/RIOS:  How are you dealing with e-waste?

    This leads to the subject of e-waste and recycling. Environmental management has many tentacles.  Specific to the ICT supply chain, many of our clients who are certified to the TL 9000 (the telecommunications quality standard) are now required to address electronic waste and recycling, either in their own organizations or as a requirement of doing business as a Tier 1 supplier.  There are multiple ways to meet this objective and we’ve been writing about this on our blog since 2011.

    The two prevailing approaches are R2/RIOS and e-Stewards.  In our industry, we are assisting more clients with R2/RIOS certifications and you will soon see this as a new practice area on our website.

    In fact, a recent article from GreenBiz addresses how e-waste is now a serious problem in the developing world and another provides a quick breakdown on the current rules of recycling electronic waste.  We see this trend continuing and we know that most of our ICT clients will be forced to address this issue internally and with corporate customers in 2014 and beyond.  Consider obtaining a R2/RIOS certification as a potential solution.

    As you can see, ICT quality has many layers outside of general quality and network quality (which is well managed through TL 9000 and ISO 9001 certification).  TL 9000 is expanding to deal with network security and next generation technologies.  However, ICT quality intersects with other important business quality challenges.

    How will you deal with data security, energy management and e-waste?  Consider the additional standards we’ve outlined!

    For more information on ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and R2/RIOS ertification please contact us at info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 6:49 pm on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 340 Club, , , , , , , , TL 9000, , TL 9000 Requirements R5.5   

    Update From The QuEST Forum Leadership Summit 2014: Driving Sustainability in ICT 

    The QuEST Forum Leadership Summit took place in Dallas a few weeks ago and the summit officially kicks off the new year for TL 9000 and QuEST Forum business.  A great deal was discussed and the networking at this year’s summit was very productive.

    Reports were provided by each of the working committee chairs, Executive Board initiative(s) chairs, regional chairs and QuEST Forum CEO, Fraser Pajak.  BIZPHYX Senior Vice President Bob Clancy taught new Board members during the Executive Board Training session.

    Great progress was made in 2013 and the Board is looking for even greater accomplishments in 2014, especially in different industry sectors by bringing in new members, addressing regional needs and broadening the scope of influence of both TL 9000 and QuEST Forum in the global ICT domain.

     

    New Initiatives

    Two new initiatives that were discussed at the Leadership Summit were Sustainability and Cell Tower Safety.  QuEST Forum is looking at its role in driving sustainability in the ICT supply chain.   Also discussed was how QuEST Forum can work with cell tower companies to improve performance and safety.  In light of recent cell tower accidents (employees), safety has become a critical topic on the wireless side of our industry.

    These are two pressing topics for discussion in ICT and we’re encouraged to see how QuEST Forum will address both sustainability and cell tower safety going forward in 2014 and in the years to come.

     

    Small Business Membership Continues To Grow

    Sue Clancy presented a very encouraging update on Small Business to the QuEST Forum Executive Board.  Small business is now 33% of the membership of QuEST Forum, after adding 12 new members in 2013.

    How important is Small Business to QuEST Forum?  Small Business contributed $50,000 in sponsorships in 2013 and increased attendance to our monthly lecture series by 27%.  That’s how!

    Small Business is alive and well in QuEST Forum and Sue Clancy will continue to lead this effort in 2014.  For more information on small business membership or engagement, please contact sclancy@bizphyx.com.

     

    New Sector Engagement Through a New QuEST Forum Board

    QuEST Forum also welcomed new board member John Greene in 2014.   John Green is the Chief Engineer for Great Plains Communications.  Great Plains is Quest Forum’s first Tier 3 Service Provider to serve on the Executive Board, which begins a long overdue and critical dialogue with rural Telcos many of which, are members of the NTCA: The National Rural Broadband Association.  BIZPHYX has been a member of the NTCA for many years.

    John’s enthusiasm and insight into the Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers has already generated excitement with regard to this new sector.  He was instrumental in arranging Fraser Pajak’s speaking engagement at the NTCA’s October “Telco Vision” event, helping to formally introduce QuEST Forum and TL 9000 to a new audience.  John participated in two different panel discussions during this 3-day conference.

    As Chief Engineer with Great Plains Communications, John is highly respected by regional Telcos and is an incredible addition to the QuEST Forum Executive Board.  Great Plains Communications is a diversified telecommunications company providing local and nationwide long-distance telephone service to 77 Nebraska communities, and digital cable television service to 41 Nebraska communities.  Based in Blair, Nebraska, Great Plains is the largest Nebraska-owned telecommunications provider.

    We’re all looking forward to working with John Greene in bringing a knowledge of TL 9000 to rural telecom!  Please click on the blue links above for more information about John, Great Plains and the NTCA.

     

     New Revisions: TL 9000 Requirements Handbook R5.5

    As many of you are aware, new TL 9000 Requirements Handbook R5.5 is upon us.  As of Feb 10, 2014 it is available for use by organizations for audit purposes.  Organizations can still be audited to the 5.0 version of the Requirements Handbook until Jan 1, 2015.  On or after January 1, 2015, all audits must be conducted to the 5.5 version.  For information on the changes between the two revisions, please listen to a podcast tutorial here on our blog, on our website or in I-Tunes.

    This podcast is presented by BIZPHYX SVP, Bob Clancy. There is a new requirement called Product Security, so be sure to listen!

     

    BIZPHYX Makes The 340 Club

    BIZPHYX was also recognized for achieving participation in the QuEST Forum 340 Club.  The 340 Club is for those members of QuEST Forum that exhibit exceptional membership participation in forum activities through their employee’s investment of time and efforts in multiple work groups, sub teams and regions along with generous event sponsorships.  This is the third straight year BIZPHYX has been recognized for our contributions to QuEST Forum!

    BIZPHYX CEO, Sue Clancy was recognized for her role as an Executive Contributor to the Executive Board in 2013.  As an Executive Contributor, Sue has led the efforts of the Small Business Group and will continue in that role in 2014.   Sue was also reappointed to her role as Executive Contributor for the 2014 term.  Please visit our Flickr page for all photos and releases.

    The ICT landscape continues to evolve into the cloud, M2M and into public utility grids and so will TL 9000.  Data and network Security, as well as safety and sustainability will be front and center, so stay tuned, it’s going to be a very interesting year!

     
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  • support 4:35 am on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ISO, , Smart Cities, Smart Grid, TL 9000   

    Quality Management and Smart Community Infrastructures: Managing Environmental Impacts 

    Community services like energy, water supply, waste management and transport require large infrastructure systems which are important for economic and social development, but they can also have a heavy cost on the environment.

    ICT is the spoke in a large wheel that transcends pure telecommunications and includes transportation, smart grids, telehealth and more.  Telecom and technology providers not only have to navigate network security, driven by an increase in M2M and cloud applications  (ISO 27001 is an option), they must also implement sustainability and environmental objectives (ISO 14001 is an option).

    There are certainly multiple approaches to these very interconnected industries and services, of which ICT is the backbone.  ICT is critical in the function and management of smart cities and smart grids.

    ISO is always looking for new ways to provide guidance in these areas.  Another such approach is looking at Smart Community Infrastructures.  These infrastructures take into consideration environmental impact, economic efficiency and quality of life, in order to build prosperous and sustainable cities.

    The new ISO technical report, ISO/TR 37150:2014, Smart community infrastructures – Review of existing activities relevant to metrics, aims to do away with this confusion by reviewing relevant metrics and providing stakeholders with a better understanding of available solutions.

    While we feel strongly that implementing quality standards like ISO 14001 and TL 9000 are appropriate ways for individual organizations to tackle these issues, there are other approaches, techniques and “guides” that are constantly being floated. Sometimes, they impact ISO standard updates and methodologies.

    Remaining informed about emerging trends that could influence NGOs, that in turn can influence administrations, is very important.

    Here is a short video from ISO that was recently posted regarding ISO/TR 37150 regarding Smart Community Infrastructures:

     

    If you require more information on the implementation of ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 14001 or TL 9000, please contact us at info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 4:00 am on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , John Greene, , , Telco Vision, TL 9000   

    QuEST Forum, TL 9000 & The NTCA: Navigating Necessary Change 

    In late October 2013 (after the publication of our Q3 edition of The Standard), Fraser Pajak, CEO of QuEST Forum participated in a keynote panel discussion at Telco Vision, a signature event hosted by the NTCA (The Rural Broadband Association).  BIZPHYX has been a long-standing member of the NTCA.

    Approximately 1500 rural telecom executives and suppliers attend Telco Vision.  During the panel discussion, Fraser presented a short overview of QuEST Forum and TL 9000.  He and the other panelists also answered questions about the challenges rural service providers face in light of technology changes, increasing customer demand and the ever-changing landscape of regulations.  As rural telecom evolves in terms of services and technologies, embracing quality standards will become critical to the survival of these telcos.

    Fraser received positive feedback and numerous questions about QuEST Forum and the ability to set quality standards and benchmark results.  Fraser’s comments were also referenced in an article published in Light Reading, a web-based ICT technology blog.  We now have a link to that article: Rural Telcos Admit Major Changes Are Needed (click to view).

    It is important to note that one of QuEST Forum’s newest Board members, John Greene was instrumental in arranging Fraser Pajak’s speaking engagement at Telco Vision, helping to formally introduce QuEST Forum and TL 9000 to a new audience.  John is Chief Engineer of Great Plains Communications, based in Blair, Nebraska.  John participated in two different panel discussions during this 3-day conference as well.  You can read more about John in an upcoming article on the 2014 QuEST Forum Leadership Summit.

    If you require more information on QuEST Forum, the NTCA or the implementation of TL 9000, please contact us at info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 1:03 pm on October 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , TL 9000, TL 9000 Repair Service Trends, TL 9000 Reports   

    New TL 9000 Case Study: Repair Trends In Companies Using TL 9000 (Product Category 7.4) 

    In case you missed it, QuEST Forum has posted a great new TL 9000 case study.  The recently published “Repair Services Industry Report” covers Repair Services (or TL 9000 Product Category 7.4).  This paper is the seventh in a series using TL 9000 Performance Data Reports (PDRs) to illustrate industry performance.  The measurements examined in this study include: Number of Problem Reports, Problem Report Fix Response Time and On Time Delivery of Service.  The study examines the Industry Average for Repair Services for a two-year period from February 2011 to January 2013.

    The numbers don’t lie.  TL 9000 has a serious, positive impact on ICT quality.  Here’s a great example, the FRT4 Industry Average.  The FRT4 Industry Average trend line improved from a low of 89% to a high of 95% showing that customers of TL 9000 registered organizations can have confidence that their Problem Reports will be fixed on time.

    The Overdue Fix Response Time (OFR4) Industry Average improved from 83% to 92%.  The On Time Service Industry Average trend improved from 88% to 94%.  While the number of participants submitting data did not change from April 2012 through January 2013, the Problem Report Industry Average improved by 50%.  This ICT case study was covered by Reuters (here).

     

    Read the report on our knowledebase or download a copy here (click the image below).

    QuEST Forum: TL 9000 Repair Services Industry Report 2013

    QuEST Forum: TL 9000 Repair Services Industry Report 2013

     

    For more information on TL 9000 data, training or implementation, contact info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 6:12 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , TL 9000, , , TL 9000 R5.5, TL 9000 Requirements Handbook   

    New TL 9000 Requirements Handbook R5.5 

    Catch this YouTube video clip of BIZPHYX Senior Vice President, Bob Clancy as he briefly discusses the latest update to the TL 9000 Requirements Handbook R5.5.  In this video, Bob explains about implementation dates and what has changed with the latest revision.

     

     

    There are still 92 requirements although one was added, one was deleted and another, 7.2.3.C.1 has been split into two clauses.  BIZPHYX and QuEST Forum will be offering Delta Courses in the future to explain the changes from R5.0 to R5.5 in further detail.

    For more information, contact info@bizphyx.com.

     
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