What position(s) do you hold at Cellular Sales?
UN Training Coordinator, Sales Rep.
How long have you worked with the company?
What is your role within Cellular Sales?
I am responsible for coordinating the training of all new employees. I organize and implement new curriculum, pair new mentees with compatible mentors, upload necessary files, forms, and training documents specific to the trainee into a global server for mentors to update, and communicate all travel and schedule arrangements to mentees. I am also responsible for monitoring and maintaining the UN training team and curriculum, gathering feedback from the mentors, and facilitating program evolution.
Please tell me about your most rewarding or satisfying experience – your proudest moment – since you joined the company.
I have never had a job that kept me from living paycheck to paycheck before this. My father was diagnosed with cancer last January and forced into early retirement leaving my parents behind on their mortgage. Thankfully, I was actually able to pick [their mortgage] up for them. I still hold that experience and accomplishment close to me. It seemed impossible at the time but I overcame it and now know that there is nothing too big to conquer.
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company to work for?
In my eyes, Cellular Sales isn’t just a career – it’s a lifestyle. This company has such a huge effect on people both inside and outside of the job. I have never, in any other job, watched so many men and woman go through the transition that occurs when one is truly happy with their home and work life. We are given the tools from day one to succeed – and as we [succeed], this company will always succeed. It’s intoxicating and energizing. CSOKI will always be addicting, turning incredibly smart individuals into even smarter, happier and motivated giants.
What do you like best about working for Cellular Sales?
I have found that no matter where you go in this nation you can find CSOKI reps. They might be climbing a mountain or skydiving or doing some crazy thing but there is an instant comfort around them when you find them. I have never met a CSOKI rep that I couldn’t have an awesome conversation with. We are all so like-minded but different at the same time. I have never been more motivated than I [am] while around Cellular Sales reps. The competitive nature of the company along with the like-minded teams is a huge driving factor. I know I will never get bored or stagnant with this company and that is what I like most about working here.
Are there any obstacles you face at work?
For those that know me well, they say my brain must look like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I rely heavily on a few of my close coworkers to sort out the ongoing pile of ideas that pour out of my mouth on a daily basis to tell me what’s good and what’s bad.
Do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales?
I have so many, especially after working with the UN Show Team, but I must say one that sticks in my head the most is watching, Chris “Chart” Heart, close a phone by yelling, “LOUD NOISES!” during a tractor pull in Boonville, NY. Tractor pulls are extremely loud and this made the customer laugh and he was able to pull them in and close the sale. Chris also made a woman in a wheel chair get up and dance with the help of Mackenzie at that same show. Anytime the UN Show Team (AKA Shark Squad) travels, ridiculous things will happen.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I worked on a twelve man team as a Special Operations Officer for the State of Colorado. High action and high stress.
What are your hobbies?
I’m a musician and a painter.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have to have with you?
A moonshine still, crate of beef jerky and Kristen Bell.
If a phone was named after you, what would it be called?
And finally… DROID or iPhone?
I love both but I’m a salesman through and through. Until they count for new lines I’m going DROID all the way.
Building a strong business requires serving customers and delivering real value that keeps them coming back. Richard Lagnese models this, teaches this and has thriving sales record to prove it. Serving as a Business Consultant & Events Specialist for Cellular Sales, Richard divides his time between outside sales & events and in-store sales & coaching. He helps new employees understand the value Cellular Sales delivers to customers.
This value attracted Richard to Cellular Sales. For the past year, he’s been making local, state and national records. In March 11, he was top sales performer in New York. By July, he made over $11,000 and reached number 3 sales performer in the nation, and he was only working three days a week.
Richard brings a strong record of sales and training to Cellular Sales. In the past, he worked with a national brand, traveling between locations and helping managers and associates sell wired shelving. While he enjoyed the work, he didn’t have the earning potential that Cellular Sales offered.
The possibilities for higher earnings and flexible time for family appealed to Richard. Cellular Sales has afforded him the opportunity to work smart, earn big and spend precious time with his wife and three children. His goal is build a business that will give him flexibility to work 8 months of the year and serve 4 months with his family in missionary work throughout the U.S. and other countries.
One pleasant surprise Richard discovered when he came to Cellular Sales was the team work. Having working in commission sales before, he was used to environments where fellow employees competed to close the your sales. Then, he entered an environment at Cellular Sales where associates think and work as team, supporting one another. Everyone wins.
At the same time, Cellular Sales affords Richard the freedom to work inside and outside the store. He’s free to build his business, set his own goals, and create his work schedule in the way he believes that can make his business succeed.
Richard understands sales. Not only the highs but the challenges as well. He has learned to stay positive and energetic even when business seems slow. Determination, motivation and a positive attitude can overcome challenges and lead to more income and more appointments. He brought this energy and passion to Cellular Sales even though he knew nothing about cell phones. His commitment and discipline have proved successful as Richard has built a business that exemplifies the real value the keeps customers coming back again and again.
Verizon Wireless put the spotlight on the possibilities of its 4G LTE network at CES 2012. Partnering with a wide range of innovators, Verizon Wireless showcased over 90 demonstrations of 4G LTE providing a framework that supports public safety, healthcare, tele-retailing, education, banking, shopping, gaming and more.
Verizon Wireless announced that all smartphones released this year will take advantage of the 4G LTE speeds and convenience. Here are some of the Verizon introductions that Cellular Sales readers may be interested in checking out:
DROID 4 by Motorola
It’s finally here. The thinnest and most powerful 4G LTE QWERTY Smartphone. It’s only .5 inches deep, and yet it still has a sweet slide out keyboard. The laser cut design with backlit LED light is perfect for typing. PC Magazine calls this “the keyboard to be beat.” According to Motorola, Droid 4 is enclosed in a water-repellant nanocoating. It includes an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture. With Mirror Mode, Droid can stream video to a TV and on the device at the same time. The government grade encryption for mail, calendars, and contacts and the preloaded Citrix Receiver makes this a great device for businesses.
Verizon Jetpack™, A Global Ready™ 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
Utilizing the speed and power of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, the Jetpack delivers blazing fast connectivity for up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The built-in OLED screen and interactive keypad gives customers the ability to manage connection connections and settings, and also read data usage notices via text message. This world device reaches more than 205 countries, operating on both 4G LTE and 3G networks. It supports Quad Band EDGE and HSPA.
Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.7
Introducing the world’s thinnest 4G LTE Tablet and first tablet in the United States to feature Super AMOLED™ Plus Display. At half the weight of the iPad, this tablet is turning heads and catching eyes. The Super AMOLED Plus displays such a good contrast that is easier to read and view than many screens, plus it provides a clearer picture. The specs are unparalleled among its competitors including a 720p (1280×800) resolution touchscreen, 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 3MP camera, HDMI out with an adapter, Wi-Fi direct, front-facing camera, AllShare, Wi-Fi, 16GB storage onboard, and microSD slot. With an HTML 5 Web browser utilizing the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, the Galaxy Tab can quickly access the Web, stream music and more at blazing speeds using the V. This stylish, light, and thin tablet is a top contender.
Last fall, 15 Cellular Sales Call Center employees joined over 13,000 participants (800 of whom were breast cancer survivors) to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is the largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to fighting breast cancer.
Started in 1982, people from all walks of life have been walking in honor of Susan G. Komen who fought and battled cancer until she died. In honor of her compassion and drive to make a difference, her sister Nancy G. Brinker started the Susan G. Komen race for the Cure. For the past 19 years, thousands and thousands of people have joined the race. Along the way, they’ve raised $1.9 billion dollars in this fight against breast cancer.
On October 22, 2011, Knoxville residents met at the World’s Fair Park to join this historic event, raising awareness and funds in the fight against cancer. The team from Cellular Sales contributed $600 dollars and joining with a host of volunteers they raised $305,723.96 dollars.
The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) came and went with promises of smarter and thinner mobile products that are always working in the background to meet your particular needs. Depending on who you read, CES 2012 was either the year of the TV, the year of the smartphone, the year of applications, or the year of Samsung. The show wowed some and bored some and offered up a range of new products that are coming soon to consumers, businesses and stores. Here are a few highlights:
Smartphones – This year 21 new phones debuted at CES. 17 of those phones were Androids including five Samsung Galaxy phones, the Droid 4, Nokia Lumia 9000, LG Spectrum and more. At the show, Verizon Wireless announced that all future smartphones sold by Verizon will be 4G equipped. I’ll take a closer look at some of the key phones released in a future post.
Tablets – This might be the year of the tablets…again. While many folks predicted 2011 as the year of the tablet, it appears the penetration of tablets into the consumer and business markets will make greater strides in 2012. More than 100 tablets were unveiled at CES with some impressive debuts including the Asus Memo 370T, Blackberry’s Playbook, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, the Toshiba Excite, and a Lenovo with an Intel chip that wowed the crowd. (For a comprehensive list of all new tablets at CES, see BGR.)
TVs – Many were awed by the stunning OLED technology on display in TVs like the LG 55″ television and the Samsung 55″ television. Get ready to see, hear, read about OLED TVs and why they’re the next big thing in television. These TVs are thin (some merely 4 mm thick), application driven (streaming media, social media, online access), and voice and gesture controlled.
Unusual – There were also plenty of unusual offerings on display like the Samsung Smart Window. It’s a 22″ transparent window that is also an LCD panel. You can look through to see how fast your grass is growing, but you can also use it as a computer display to check out Facebook, Twitter, weather updates, and more. It can create personal shades as well as adjust the display to lighting levels in the room.
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Apps – Everything has applications now. From TVs, to tablets, to smartphones and more, apps are becoming the way we all customize our always-on devices to support the unique ways we use them. More than ever, consumer electronics appears to be entering a time of customization where our products come ready to adapt to our requirements. One fun little app that was on display was a remote control car designed to work in conjunction with a remote control app on the iPhone. With this app, you can control a toy car by simply gesturing.
There are a range of other new apps, tablets and smartphones worth discussing that I’ll try to highlight in the coming days.
Update: I forgot to mention the unveiling of the Behringer iNuke Boom, the ultimate iPhone speaker. For a sound explosion, the savvy shopper must have an eight foot long, 1000 watt speaker weighing 700 pounds and costing $29,999.
The use of online learning and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) have both surged in recent years. Mobile learning represents the merging of these areas, combing the convenience of learning online with the versatility of mobile accessibility. This area is just beginning to grow, but there are already a range of mobile learning apps and several companies have already begun to embrace a mobile model for training employees.
According to the 2011 Survey of Online Learning, over six millions students and almost 1/3 of all higher learning students are taking at least one class online. This demand is only expected increase in the coming years. As I’ve posted here before, smartphone sales have more than doubled over the past two years. In their 2012 trend report, Mind/Shift actually expects to see a greater integration of mobile devices with the classroom.
A variety of applications have emerged to support the mobile learners through their smartphones and tablets. Real Simple Edu offers a wide range of course in math, science, medicine, business, law, english, languages and code. All their courses are designed to support iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry phone, Blackberry tablet, Kindle Fire, Nook, Nokia, and Palm phone or tablet.
Several companies like busuu.com have begun designing language learning tools. They offer a range of courses that be downloaded to a smartphone. Each course contains audio/visual elements, synchronization with online profile, and a range of tools that are accessible with no internet connection.
Dale Carnegie and Associates has developed their own app store with three leadership training modules and a secrets of success app as initial offerings. McGraw and Hill is offering a range of courses for children as well as adults, representing the diverse targets groups of their various companies. In addition to their children’s apps and medical apps, one interesting app is a public speaking primer that helps the user develop outlines, avoids common mistakes and time the speech.
Training on the Go
Various companies have begun transferring training programs to the smartphone. In 2011, the Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) announced that they are in the process of opening instruction to mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones and Androids. This allows soldiers to continue training on specific courses while in the field instead of having to attend classroom instruction or study in a computer lab.
Companies like Dashe & Thomson work with organizations to design training solutions for mobile devices. The mobile workforce can access specific training modules in multiple formats that best fit their learning habits. They can access ebooks, watch videos, listen to podcast or tap some combination of the three. Learner progress is tracked and can be uploaded manually by the user or automatically by the company.
 Erb, Michael. “Study: Online Classes More Popular.” News and Sentinel, January, 3, 2012.
 Watters, Audrey. “12 Education Tech Trends to Watch in 2012.” Mind/Shift, January 3, 2012 <http://mindshift.kqed.org/2012/01/12-education-tech-trends-to-watch-in-2012/>.
 Army Looks To Use Mobile Devices For Medical Field Training. Broadband for America, January 28, 2011 <http://www.broadbandforamerica.com/blog/army-looks-use-mobile-devices-medical-field-training>
Whether your smartphone is IOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows 7, it incorporates multiple high-speed technologies to deliver a range of services. Think about it. To map directions, your phone automatically configures a connection, determines your location, translates that location onto a map and generates directions to another location. Mapping seems like a simple tool, but it is utilizing a range of resources to help you get from one place to another.
Location-based technology does more than map. We’ve all enjoyed the ways our smartphone can deliver coupons to nearby stores, comments on nearby restaurants, and even connections with nearby friends. As 4G technologies continue unfolding, we’ll begin to see more and more tools that combine location-based applications with other technologies for a range of amazing possibilities.
For example, using augmented reality glasses (or memory glasses), we could visualize a historic site as it was in the past, or visualize a house the way it will look when completed, or even have a virtual, 3D conference with co-workers from anywhere in the world. The 4G networks in place can support this technology, and now devices are emerging that will be able to run such applications.
Recently, the New York Times ran an article that explores how close we are to wearable computing. The smartphone can provide a hub for a range of other devices that utilize 4G via the smartphone to tap services such as programmable clothing designs. Cornell University is making transistors out of cotton fabric that could be used as sensors, relaying temperature and other information.
Fast Company reveals that Google is in late prototyping states for a set of glasses that run some form of Android OS and connect wirelessly to an Android smartphone. These “memory glasses” will deliver augmented reality (AR). With Google’s expansive database, these glasses could have access to all sort of information that could be projected to the viewer’s field of vision.
Imagine shopping in a store and simply looking at an item to get a price comparison. Combine 3D imaging and you could wear special classes when touring a museum or historic site and see in your field of vision (and hear in your headphones), highlights about specific exhibits or even recreations of past or future spaces or events.
There are already devices emerging for fitness and sleep and health monitoring that interact with your smartphone to deliver stats, improve performance and so on. One company that is already offering fitness devices is BodyMedia. They have armbands and body sensors that can track your temperature, perspiration, calorie burn, and more.
A range of 3D devices should be appearing on the market soon. At this year’s CES, Masterimage plans to show a glasses-free 3D tablet. At the same time, Samsung is reportedly planning to release a 3D version of its popular Galaxy 2 this year.
4G provides the infrastructure to support all these devices and more. We can expect to see more and more 4G based applications for gaming, fitness, health, tourism, education and much, much more.
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We’ve barely begun to tap the possibilities of 4G. Delivering faster download and upload speeds is only the beginning. In the coming years, we will see a range of devices that utilize the speed and convenience of 4G to deliver a range of daily services.
This year the Verizon 4G LTE will continue expanding markets and is on track to cover it’s existing 3G footprint by sometime in 2013. As the 4G LTE network continues expanding, the technology that will run on 4G is rapidly developing. To get a sense of where we are now and where we are headed, it might be helpful to look back.
In 2002, Alex Lightman published his insightful “Brave New Unwired World – The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet.” Lightman coined the term 4G when discussing the super-network that would connect our world. In one sense, what Lightman describes is the vision of the pioneers behind the Internet who were writing, exploring and developing solutions from the 1950s and forward.
In 1960, J.C.R. Licklider envisions a global network in his published work, Man-Computer Symbiosis. He writes,
“It seems reasonable to envision, for a time 10 or 15 years hence, a ‘thinking center’ that will incorporate the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval.”
The picture readily enlarges itself into a network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines and to individual users by leased-wire services. In such a system, the speed of the computers would be balanced, and the cost of the gigantic memories and the sophisticated programs would be divided by the number of users.”
The realization of Licklader’s vision much like the Lightman’s vision relies upon multiple technologies that can be accessed from anywhere. The developers of the worldwide web never envisioned that it would simply be used while sitting at computers. Listen to the words of Tim Berners-Lee, one of the key players in the development of the web. He says,
“In the future, the Web will seem like it’s everywhere, not just on our desktop or mobile device. As LCD technology becomes cheaper, walls of rooms, and even walls of buildings, will become display surfaces for information from the Web. Much of the information that we receive today through a specialized application such as a database or a spreadsheet will come directly from the Web. Pervasive and ubiquitous web applications hold much opportunity for innovation and social enrichment.”
What Berners-Lee describes requires a wireless infrastructure that can support rich media interaction in multiple devices. The layers of 4G technologies were developed over the last two decades to provide the wireless infrastructure that can support the full implications of the Internet.
In 2002, Lightman described a series of possibilities with the implementation of 4G networks such as wearable computers, interaction with anyone in anyway (via pictures, voice, video, and more), augmented reality (AR) systems, assistive technologies that could help people with a range of physical and mental challenges to live normal lives. At the time that Lightman wrote, one of the big challenges was to develop a processor that was fast enough and small enough and efficient enough to deliver mobile computing solutions.
The smartphone is the mobile device that meets Lightman’s description of being fast, small and efficient. In the next post on 4G, we’ll explore some new technologies that will take advantage of the 4G possibilities.
 Lightman, Alex with William Rojas. Brave New World – The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet. John Wiley & Sons, Inc: New York, 2002.
 J.C.R. Licklider And The Universal Network. The Living Internet <http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_licklider.htm>
 Berners-Lee, Tim. “Hearing on the ‘Digital Future of the United States: Part I — The Future of the World Wide Web.’” Testimony of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, CSAIL Decentralized Information Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, March 1, 2007 <http://dig.csail.mit.edu/2007/03/01-ushouse-future-of-the-web.html>
During 2011, smartphones emerged as the top mobile device for users 25-34 and 18-24 Nielsen released their annual report on smartphone use with the following highlights:
- Between 2009 and 2011 the number of smartphone users in every age category more than doubled.
- 31 million mobile subscribers used their mobile phone for watching mobile video.
- Using smartphones for rich media use is growing (downloading and streaming music, downloading applications, downloading and playing games).
- Android and IOS are the leading platforms.
- In U.S., 49% of smartphone users use smartphone while shopping. 
More people are using smartphones, and more people are using their smartphones more often. Smartphone users are not simply checking email, they are using their smartphones to watch videos, download music, compare prices, look for coupons, play games and engage in all sorts of rich media experiences.
As rich media use becomes more common, the added speed and performance of 4G LTE will become every more apparent. We can expect to see more and more smartphone users adopting 4G smartphones and hotspot devices to support their growing demand for rich media experience.
Verizon Wireless has been the market leader in 4G LTE expansion, and in 2011 they moved ahead of their own schedule, opening coverage in 190 markets and reaching about 200 million people. By the end of 2013, Verizon expects to cover the entire footprint of their 3G network.
Over the next few days, we’ll revisit 4G technology and its implications for mobile communications in the coming years.
 Nielsen Reports. The Rise of Smartphones, Apps and the Mobile Web, December 15, 2011, <http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/report-the-rise-of-smartphones-apps-and-the-mobile-web/>
 Olivarez-Giles, Nathan. “Verizon expanding 4G LTE network to cover area with 200 million people.” LA Times, December 5, 2011 , <http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/12/verizon-expanding-4g-lte-network.html>