Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that has important implications for telecommunications service providers by paving the way for states to collect sales or use taxes from sellers with no physical presence in the taxing state. The court declared constitutional a South Dakota law requiring out-of-state sellers to remit sales taxes on sales to South Dakota residents if the sellers exceed certain revenue or transaction thresholds.
In South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., the Supreme Court overturned its 1967 decision in National Bellas Hess, Incorporated v. Illinois, and its 1992 decision in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, which had generally prohibited states from collecting sales or use taxes on sales of tangible personal property from sellers with no physical presence within the state.
The Wayfair decision does not say that out-of-state businesses must immediately pay sales or use taxes to all states with such taxes, it indicates that a lack of physical presence in a state will no longer prevent the state from requiring out-of-state businesses to remit sales and use taxes. While the decision does not necessarily mean that all telecommunications service providers now have substantial nexus with all states, these companies should re-evaluate their tax collection and payment obligations on a state-by-state basis.
Connect with your Simplified agent to find out more about how this will affect your business.
Your business may be overspending on telecommunications costs. According to Gartner Research, billing errors could represent as much as 14 percent of telecom spend. Telecom consulting firms have reported that billing errors were discovered in 81 percent of their client base – in multiple cases exceeding 20 percent of invoice. Yet 85 percent of companies do not audit their telecom bills, but simply pay them in full.
In order to shed light on your business’ telecom expenses – and reduce costs – ensure that anyone handling your telco accounts has Key Performance Indictors (KPIs) that match growth strategies. In addition, regularly review needs and usage in International calling costs, handset/hardware costs, and data consumption and charges.
Conduct an internal audit to review historical pricing and review the presence of unused products/lines that are incurring charges. Audits can uncover things like:
On an ongoing basis, consider current products and which will be the best fit and which will reduce costs and maintain or improve operational efficiencies. You won’t be able to realize telecom cost reductions by being complacent, but Simplified can help by performing a full audit to identify problems as well as opportunities.
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After a 6-week trial, a federal judge recently approved AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, ruling the government failed to prove that the deal violates antitrust law. The transaction, which will unite Time Warner's TV shows and movies with AT&T's enormous distribution system, including cell phone and satellite networks, is one of the biggest in media and telecom industry history.
When the deal was announced in 2016, AT&T said it needed Time Warner in order to compete against companies like Netflix and Amazon in the rapidly changing media landscape. Trump spoke out against the deal, citing the size of the combined companies. The antitrust division of Justice Department sued in November 2017 to stop it, arguing that the combination would harm competition and raise prices for consumers.
Connect with your Simplified agent to find out more about how this merger will affect your business.
Huawei recently released the results of its fifth Global Connectivity Index (GCI), which was broadened from 50 countries to 79 and concluded that AI could almost double the value of the global digital economy to $23 trillion by 2025 compared to $12.9 trillion last year when it accounted for 17 percent of global gross domestic product.
But as nations prep for digital economies driven by the advancements in artificial intelligence, the report also revealed a scarcity of AI developer talent worldwide. According to the GCI study, in order to deploy AI on a large scale, countries need to have three components in place: computing power, labeled data and algorithms. In order to overcome this threat, the study said that governments needed to rethink AI education for workforces by building a collaborative, open AI ecosystem that would attract and retain AI talent.
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Evolving technology allows Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to provide better services for customers, and many will compete for your business by offering better internet plans. While this can be to your advantage, especially if you’re struggling with your current service provider, switching to another ISP is not a simple matter. Here are five things to understand when considering a switch.
A reliable internet connection is essential in today’s world. If you’re ready to switch internet service providers, Simplified can help you choose one that’s right for your specific needs.
While about half of small businesses in the U.S. experience a cyber-attack, a whopping 87 percent of business owners think they’re not at risk. A data breach can be devastating; half of small businesses who experience one are shuttered within six months.
The good news is there are some easy things you can do to protect yourself from hackers who can not only steal money and customer data, but also employee details and vendor information.
It’s imperative to build a strong cyber security plan. By using data breach basics, you can help protect your business from cyber-attacks.
Contact a Simplified Agent today to learn how we can help protect your business
Although most often associated with Bitcoin, blockchain’s potential far exceeds digital currency to include a host of other industries, including telecommunications. The technology allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. Because a blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, the records it keeps truly public and easily verifiable and therefore difficult for hackers to corrupt. This technology will be applicable to telcos networks in a variety of ways.
While blockchain is poised to disrupt typical business operations, unanswered questions about regulatory frameworks, security and privacy issues, and more still exist. Perhaps the biggest challenge of the new technology will be for telecom service providers to identify optimal entry points.
Have questions about the benefits of Bitcoin?
One of business owners’ most dreaded projects is rebidding their telecom services and negotiating a new provider contract. Simplified has helped hundreds of clients navigate this often-complicated process, and recommends the following tips when negotiating a telecom contract:
Having contracts in place makes it easy for a carrier to count customers and ensure predictable revenue. But telecom contracts are to your advantage as well. They eliminate guess work when conducting service audits and help to verify that your accounts are being billed correctly.
Call your Simplified agent to find out more about how your business can benefit from telecom contract negotiation services.
Major corporate data breaches may make headlines, but small businesses actually suffer the majority of malware infections. In fact, recent data suggests small business owners should think in terms of “when,” not “if” when developing cyber security strategies. Consider these recent statistics:
No matter the size of your business or your field of expertise, cyber security will continue to grow in importance. Protect your business today.
Contact a Simplified Agent today to learn how we can help protect your business.
On Dec. 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), led by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, voted to repeal regulation passed in 2015 that prevented broadband companies from blocking or slowing access to websites or services. The move was met with opposition from consumers and tech companies, and now, individual states are responding with their own legislation in response.
What has happened since the regulation has been repealed?
To learn more about how the repeal of the law or the proposed bills may affect you and your business, contact a Simplified agent today.
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