Top telecoms sites

Sue
Weekes chooses her top sites for information about the telecoms sector.

For
the HR professional, interest in telecoms is two-fold. First, it represents one
of the most exciting sectors in which you can work, although events over the
past few weeks at WorldCom for example, prove it can also be one of the
toughest.  Second, it is not only the
industry that is driving much of the technology that will radically change not
only the way we all work, but is spinning into HR applications too.  So from two perspectives, HR simply can’t
ignore what’s happening in this sector. To cut straight to the issues and
agendas making the news and to arm you with the knowledge you need to work in
the sector and make it work for you and your workforce, we searched out some
useful ports of call on the web.

Connect
UK
www.connectuk.org

The
union for communications professionals has an excellent website packed with
news, industry reports, information and discussion forums – but you have to be
a member to access the discussion rooms – as well as full details, of course,
on union membership and joining.

It
is almost a magazine site in its own right and members benefit from lots of
extras, such as fact sheets and guides to issues such as working abroad.

The
FAQ section throws up and provides answers to some interesting workplace
questions and the Industry Update and News sections are free to access.

There’s
also a link to OPUS2, the recruitment consultancy set up and run by Connect and
a special section dedicated to Connect’s Worktime Yourtime campaign, which
tries to address issues like the long hours culture and high stress levels that
exist in the sector.

Telecommunications
Industry Association

www.tia.org.uk

‘Helping
to improve staff competence’ is one of the declared aims of the
Telecommunications Industry Association and it lists staff training as one of
its ‘business benefits.’

Unfortunately,
its online presence doesn’t make it that easy to track down what shape or form
the training takes. But, like Oftel’s site below, it provides a lot of general
sector information – White Papers, policy statements, publications and press
releases, as well as a guide to telecom acronyms and jargon.

It
has also forged a link with the online recruitment network Jobsin and provides
a direct link to www.jobsin.co.uk/telecoms,
where you can both advertise and search for jobs in the sector.

Oftel
www.oftel.gov.uk

If
you’re new to the telecoms sector and want to make sure you’re aware of the
industry issues and regulations, the online arm of Oftel, the regulator for the
UK telecommunications industry, is an essential bookmark.

There
is a wealth of information to read and download and while much of it is
heavyweight regulatory directives and documentation, there are some good market
reports to be had.

With
human resources increasingly being linked to the bottom line, acquiring product
knowledge and an understanding of consumer perceptions is an important part of
the job for HR managers and directors. This site provides a good overview of
all sorts of telecoms-related areas.

There
is also a handy – and exhaustive – glossary, so if you’re having trouble
distinguishing your broadband from a broad bean, this will help sort you out.

Cable
and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA)

www.cthra.com

An
American site, but since telecoms is a truly global industry it is quite likely
that you’ll have US-based staff. CTHRA aims to help you become an HR champion
in the sector – in fact, they have a symposium dedicated to the subject this
October in Los Angeles.

The
group was set up in 1985 by a group of HR professionals who were concerned
about how talent was being managed across the industry. They now conduct
surveys, arrange events and put members in touch with careers and industry
opportunities.

Regarding
the latter, a section of the site lets you link directly to the careers opportunities
pages of a number of telecoms companies ­­– which is handy.

Women
in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT)

www.wict.org

Developing
women leaders has been WICT’s mission since 1979, when it began to provide
leadership programmes and services to its members. Again it is American in
origin, but it is an organisation with global relevance, although you have to
be a member to make the site really meaningful – but you may indeed decide it
is worth it after reading its agenda.

Within
the WICT is the WICT Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to
advancing the status of women in the telecoms industry. It has been responsible
for publishing a number of reports, handbooks and initiatives in areas such as
pay equity, work-life balance and best practice.

Institute
for Employment Studies
www.employment-studies.co.uk

Key
the word ‘telecommunications’ into the site’s search engine and it returns a set
of links to the institute’s studies in areas ranging from teleworking and
globalisation, to women in information technology and communications.

A
report carried out on the latter on behalf of the Department for Education and
Skills (DfES), the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Women’s Unit
in the Cabinet Office, can be accessed free from the site, but some reports
have to be paid for – which is fair enough.

Useful
sites that you can springboard to include the DfES labour market information
website, Skillsbase at www.skillsbase.dfes.gov.uk.
Although it currently doesn’t list information sector by sector, it is well
worth having in the armoury.

Gartner,
IDC and Forrester
www.gartner.com;
www.idc.com; www.forrester.com

Those
working in the sector are lucky in that telecommunications is one of the most
researched and reported on areas, and these are the big three when it comes to
up-to-date data and reports.

You’ll
nearly always have to pay for information from these sources, but you can
usually get a good flavour before you buy.

The
Work Foundation
www.theworkfoundation.com/research/isociety

As
part of its long-term iSociety study, the Work Foundation (formerly the
Industrial Society) is undertaking extensive research in the area of
information communications technology. It believes that telecoms networks are
to the 21st century what road systems were to the 20th.

The
above link takes you to the iSociety section of the site, where you can click
the Projects and Publications menus to find out which reports are available for
downloading and what’s currently in progress.

 The paper, Next Steps for Broadband, is
currently available in the publications area of the site, and a draft paper
that follows the foundation’s MobileUK seminar will be on the website shortly.

Comments are closed.