Telephone Diagnostic Services Inc. creates new brand of technology

Category: TDS NewsPublished on 2010 Oct, 28

In Jim Davis’s line of work, a familiar adage going around is “What’s new today is old.”

In the world of telecommunications, the supersonic jet is already on its way to becoming a horse-drawn carriage by the time the customer is geared up and ready for takeoff with his spiffy new contraption — be it a telephone or data and voice networking system.

“By the time you get new technology, it’s already old because they’re working on the next thing,” said Davis, whose company, Telephone Diagnostic Services Inc., has been on the cutting edge of communications since 1984.

TDS was launched in the aftermath of the breakup of the Bell System, but Davis had cut his teeth on the burgeoning telecommunications field in the late ‘70s as a cost accountant for construction engineering firm Henkels & McCoy and its subsequent offshoot, Star Datacom.

“That time I worked at Henkels & McCoy played a big part in the process of getting this company where it is today,” Davis recalled.

“With Star Datacom, we were able to sell phone systems to businesses. You didn’t have to rent your phone system from Bell anymore; you could buy your own. I got in right at the right time during that divesture period.”

Sitting in his office in the former Duca Studio, a building he bought and renovated in 1999, Davis smiled as he remembered the ingenuity it took to fire up a plexus of 12,000 phones for IBM, which was the largest privately owned phone system at the time back in the late ‘70s.

“We had two phones on each desk, the one we continued to use and the new ones, and when we flipped the switch, everything came up and worked,” he said. “It was a very good learning experience for me.”

That innovation may seem downright Victorian to Davis’s young partners, TJ McDonald and Jeff Snyder, compared to the stuff the company is cooking up these days as it aces the convergence of telephone, cell phone and computer into a singularly harmonic symmetry.

“We knew this technology was coming,” Davis admitted. “We were against it at one time and now we’re such a proponent because this new system is residual. In the years past, you sold a good phone system, you got paid and all you had after that was maintenance. With the new concept, the money keeps coming in.”

With its new brand V2B (Virtual to Business), which enables clients to utilize the Internet for their phone systems, TDS will bill its subscribers directly, eliminating the middle man, as it were.

“V2B is just another product for us, and our job is to get as many subscribers as we can on V2B to boost our revenue,” explained Snyder. “We’ll still be selling and servicing Avaya and Nortel. All our guys here are trained on the latest and the greatest products of Avaya and Nortel systems and that won’t change.”

One of the most compelling features about V2B is instantaneous voice mail to e-mail capability, Davis pointed out.

“The buzz word in today’s world is ‘presence.’ You can be at one place and be attentive to all your needs.

But instead of me leaving you a voicemail and you not getting it ‘til the end of the day, you’re going to get it immediately. Not everybody wants that, but for those who do, it’s available.

“We don’t want to be stuck like everybody else and out of business in 10 years because something is happening,” Davis added. “We’re at the forefront of it all.”

The company recently hired two additional sales reps, Snyder noted.

“That will help us grow our customer base, and just by doing that we’re going to expand,” he said. “The nice thing about TDS is that we’re not just in the phone business, we sell everything. We handle data networking, data infrastructure, to traditional structured cabling.”

The sky is still the limit for a company that’s been soaring for more than a quarter of a century, McDonald noted.

“If we don’t know something, we’re going to figure it out. Nobody that works here will say no to any task, and that’s why we’re so diverse today and can handle customers in California or Texas ... and that’s because we never said no,” McDonald said.

“That’s something that will help us to grow for years to come: knowing what technology is out there and not backing down from it.”

By Gary Puleo


For full article, click here.

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