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High Tech High Touch Solutions is a conference and expo producer and full-service Contact Center and Help Desk consulting firm whose goal is to revolutionize business by sharing industry best practices, advanced business processes, innovative technological solutions, and proven leadership techniques.

Early registration discounts available for the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference,

Call or email is you would like to be invoiced instead of registering on the website.

"There is limited seating so sign up early."

eSharings - January 2006

Insights, hints, tips, and resources for service and support professionals, given in the spirit of sharing information.

In this Issue:

-- Sharing - Your digital photos and system back-ups are at risk

-- Government Customer Support Conference and Expo (GCS 2006)

-- Explore Your Options: Awareness Bracelets in the help desk and contact center?

-- Resources: Leadership tele-seminar with Brad Worthley

-- Subscription Information

"Please visit our website for loads of useful information.  Drop in anytime. We love having you visit. "


Do you get lots of email and its hard to pick which ones to read?  If you're like me, you're torn by this decision because you get so many emails but know there is so much you might miss.  The newsletters that are the most likely to be read are those that will have an impact on you personally or professionally and contribute to the success in your life, or offer an entertaining and interesting story.  There are newsletters from specific writers you know will always give you a take-away so you probably always try to read or scan those.

Our goal is to deliver material in our newsletters that is enjoyable to read and useful in your personal and professional lives.  We want to be one of those emails you do read.  We use the same model in our conferences.  The two to three days you spend at our events, must be comprehensive and jam-packed with useful information that is highly applicable to your immediate needs. 

I'm sure you will agree that it is a useful investment of your time and money to attend our conference.  If for any reason you are unhappy after spending the two full days with us, we will give you back the full conference fee you paid.


So on with the Sharing.....

This issue's Sharings is a topic I feel is crucial to everyone in their personal and professional life.  It has to do with CDs.  Odd topic for call center and help desk readers, yes? Maybe. 

Our company makes videos of speeches, take a significant number of digital pictures and store all of the data on CD's and DVDs.  So this information hit home for me.  I suspect it will for most of you too.

Here's the deal....

CD's you make of your favorite pictures from your digital cameras or computer back-ups may be entirely destroyed or deemed useless in only a few years or even months.  Some may last up to 25 years or more but may be unreadable if you don't retain the necessary hardware to read the format you stored the data on.

This is frightening if you think about how important some of those treasured photos are to us.  In the past we had hardcopies of the pictures plus often we had the negatives too.  You might have stored the negatives in a fire-proof safe and put your photos in albums with protective covers using special clear pages to protect them.  Most good photo paper keeps for years.

Outside of the storage of your digital pictures.  The CD quality issue is also very concerning for those back-ups you have been making of your files when you work off-site or possibly that are even being made at your office.

Most companies have done their research, taken the worst-case scenarios into consideration and use the best quality CD's, DVDs, and proper storage considerations, with many companies storing critical data on digital tapes.

The virtual worker doesn't always have the proper storage areas, or the necessary hardware to make the longer lasting backup copies. You may want to do a little research to determine if the CD's you use for those treasured photos, music recordings, system backups, etc. will last before your data is gone.  I just found out from an employee at a very popular CD producing company that they know for a fact that their CDs last under two years at best - some less.  He had many of his own last only months.

The following are excerpts from the website http://www.cdrfaq.org/faq07.html.  There is much more information there to read if you are interested.

"CD-RWs are expected to last about 25 years under ideal conditions (i.e. you write it once and then leave it alone). Repeated rewrites will accelerate this. In general, CD-RW media isn't recommended for long-term backups or archives of valuable data.

The rest of this section applies to CD-R.

The manufacturers claim 75 years (cyanine dye, used in "green" discs), 100 years (phthalocyanine dye, used in "gold" discs), or even 200 years ("advanced" phthalocyanine dye, used in "platinum" discs) once the disc has been written. The shelf life of an unrecorded disc has been estimated at between 5 and 10 years. There is no standard agreed-upon way to test discs for lifetime viability. Accelerated aging tests have been done, but they may not provide a meaningful analogue to real-world aging.

Keep them in a cool, dark, dry place, and they will probably live longer than you do (emphasis on "probably"). Some newsgroup reports have complained of discs becoming unreadable in as little as three years, but without knowing how the discs were handled and stored such anecdotes are useless. Try to keep a little perspective on the situation: a disc that degrades very little over 100 years is useless if it can't be read in your CD-ROM drive today.

One user reported that very inexpensive CD-Rs deteriorated in a mere six weeks, despite careful storage. Some discs are better than others.

By some estimates, pressed CD-ROMs may only last for 10 to 25 years, because the aluminum reflective layer starts to corrode after a while."

There is lots of information on data storage available.  The primary goal of this "sharing" is to bring to your attention that those treasured digital photos and important files are at risk for loss if you aren't careful in your back-up and storage efforts.  Make sure you keep the hardware that can read those disks for as long as you hope to be able to get the data off of them in 50 years or more.

Bottom line: Do your research to ensure those priceless pictures and backups are safe and stored for as long as possible.



Ivy Meadors

High Tech High Touch Solutions

P.S. If you work in the public sector, please plan to join us at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference in Arlington, VA.  We have innumerable educational things prepared to share with you.

We are the only event and first ever service and support conference to deliver everything on a Flash Drive - no big binders to pack home and sit on a shelf, never to be opened again.  You have all the tools on your Flash Drive and a wonderful piece of hardware to store all your other great ideas on.  Hey, you can store your digital pictures here too!

-->> Speakers, Vendors, Board Members, Volunteers <<--
We are now accepting requests for those who would like to be a sponsor of the 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo, as well as speaker proposals and board member applications.   Email HDP@hthts.com now.

Government customer support conference and expo (top)

The 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo 2006 (GCS)
June 14-15, 2006
Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, VA


Just give us two days and we'll give you comprehensive educational information in the major areas of service and support, with the primary emphasis on leadership and best practices in help desks, contact centers and web service portals.

If you are not 100% satisfied after the full two days, I will give you back all the money paid for the conference.  It's risk free so why not give it a try.  You have nothing to lose and everything to win.  I guarantee it. 

-- Ivy Meadors, CEO, High Tech High Touch Solutions


The Government Customer Support Conference and Expo is the only one of its kind in the United States. It is focused exclusively on local and federal call/contact centers, help desks, and web service portals. The bottom line is finding ways to serve your consumers in the most reasonable, cost effective manner and deliver the most value and best results.

You will benefit from hearing these topics and many more at GCS 2006.

  • Keynote on Outstanding Leadership in a Service Culture

  • Case Study: City of Hampton

  • Case Study: VoIP Telephony - what works and doesn't work

  • Case Study: Utah.gov " LiveHelp" - 2005 Excellence Award Winner

  • Panel: Best of Breed Government Support Desks

  • The Essential Guide to Providing Citizen Centric Service

  • A Step by Step Process to Build Your ITIL Initiative

  • Ready, Set, Measure! Metrics that Will Put Your Organization in the Drivers Seat

  • The Technology Behind the Business

  • Raising the Bar: Achieving Advanced Strategic Leadership Thinking

  • Phishing, Pharming & Worms; Security Issues Faced by Today’s Help Desk Professional

  • Outsourcing – A Roadmap to ensure complete success

  • What’s Your Score? How to Measure Your Contact Center Performance Using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)

  • Beyond Borders: A Hands-On Approach to Deliver Successful Multi-Media Communications

  • How to Consolidate Government Contact Centers: Benefits, Risks, ROI

  • Top 10 Steps for Constructing a Successful Self-Service System Design

And our exclusive....

Mastermind Sessions: You won't want to miss out on our Mastermind Sessions - 10 unique and intimate discussions will be held each day on the topics most applicable to your immediate needs with an expert leading the discussion ready to take your questions and get you the answers.

All this and more will be provided on practical, actionable information on strategy, vision, and execution from industry experts and peers.  Our speakers are delivering information on ways to move to the next more advanced levels of service and support.  Lisa Prendergast, our Director is managing our comprehensive program that will far exceed previous year's events.  There will be take-aways, templates, hints, tips, resources, and more in every session.

Program details are posted on our website at www.governmentconference.com.

Daryl Covey, our returning event Chair and co-creator of GCS, will be running the Excellence Awards program, now in its 5th year, for Customer Support organizations in the public sector.  There are 30 candidates being considered for this year's prestigious awards program.

If you want to be part of GCS 2006, email us at solutions4u@hthts.com right away.

Interested sponsors can email us directly at GCS@hthts.com.  There are a limited number of these exclusive sponsorship opportunities available.

Explore Your Options  (top)

What do Lance Armstrong and Ivy have in common?

Awareness Bracelets!

There is so much each one of us can do to contribute to the lives of others - human or animal.  Even the simplest effort can make a difference.  Lance is making a difference $1 at a time with his yellow awareness bracelets.

Most of our readers know I am an avid animal activist and do everything I can to contribute to conservation and protection of our endangered species.  My niece, Corissa, suggested we have awareness bracelets made that said, "Save the Tigers" and to sell them to collect money to give to a tiger protection agency.  It was a brilliant and simple idea.

We had orange "Save the Tiger" bracelets made and started selling them at our conferences, user group meetings, and to people we meet in passing (I always have one or two on or with me.)  We are asking for a $5 donation or whatever a person can give.  All of the proceedings are being given to the World Wild Life fund to contribute to Saving the Tigers.  We have already given hundreds of dollars to the fund.  Kids LOVE the bracelets as much as animal loving adults.

What can you do with this idea?  Loads!!  Explore your options of using awareness bracelets to recognize outstanding performers in your contact centers and help desks, or by sending a bracelet to someone to say thank you for being a very special customer.  The bracelet could have your phone number on one side and an inspiring message on the other plus your company name and web address.

What an awe-inspiring, simple way to "High Touch" people to recognize and honor others by saying, "thank you for letting us serve you and be your provider of choice".  Your contact info, website, help desk/contact center number, etc. emphasizes to your customers and end users that you are always there for them and the first point to contact in your organization.

Awareness bracelets are also a good way to collect funds for special projects at work, school, church, etc. You can use them to do collections for cancer, AIDS, Diabetes, Heart, someone at work in need of a medical treatment, and so many other things.

You can get your own unique awareness bracelets at http://www.sayitbands.com where I got mine.   Search on the Internet for the words "awareness bracelet" for other options.


P.S. If you would like a "Save the Tiger" bracelet, email me and let us know how many you want and what you would like to donate to the fund.  We will send them right out.  We will charge $2.00 to cover the postage for shipping. 

Saving one tiger at a time.  With only 200-300 Siberian Tigers left in the wild. We need to save every one of them before they are all gone. Learn more about the dilemma of the tiger at these educational websites


Live Telephone Seminar with Brad Worthley

Friday February 10th - 1:00 p.m. Pacific (4:00 Eastern)

 Do you have challenges getting your employees to do the things you would like them to do, or are you frustrated that your supervisor or peers do not value employees or demonstrate the behaviors required in a sales or service culture?

  Seminar Title: “How to Personally Coach Your Employees, Peers and Supervisor”

 Join Brad Worthley for his powerful one-hour live telephone seminar on how to communicate and motivate other people to change.  This is a chance to become more persuasive and have more influence in your organization, while at the same time gaining people’s respect. 

 $79 (U.S.) for one-hour of life changing information and all you need is a telephone (the same seminar in-person would cost you thousands).  You can call from anywhere in the world and have as many people on the line as you choose (speaker phone).  There will be a question and answer period at the end of the call.   

Sign up NOW: http://www.bradworthley.com/parts.asp?catid=41


Learn how we can work with you to turn your organization into a world-class service and support center.   Visit our website for lots of resources. 

Visit us now. www.hthts.com
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We hope you enjoyed this edition of eSharings.  We welcome your ideas and contributions to our newsletter, published worldwide.  Please email us future topics you want to know more about, ask questions or share resources and ideas. Feel free to reprint this newsletter in its entirety with our copyright information intact.

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The 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo

Visit our site now!

June 14-15, 2006

Sheraton Crystal City, Arlington, VA

The GCS program includes:

Certified Help Desk Manager Training

ITIL Foundations Training

Leadership Training

Excellence Awards program for Customer Support organizations in the public sector

“A live from the front-line” perspective and so much more.

Host: Ivy Meadors

Chair: Daryl Covey

Director: Lisa Prendergast

Stay informed and do what you can to save our world.  www.worldwildlife.org

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Reach us at solutions4U@hthts.com or call 425-398-9292.

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