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Posts Tagged as communication

Despite bad weather, the show must go on

The prevailing bad weather in the United States and Europe has caused varying degrees of production delays in all sorts of industries and business. In circumstances like these, communication is especially important – when all members of the organization need to stay connected to keep operations coordinated and moving forward. Bad weather or not, there has been an increased demand to maintain constant communication and continue productivity outside the office. With remote and mobile accessibility between all links in a company, efficiency can be maintained through working from remote locations. Your company’s employees – from the worker-bees out in field to supervisors, managers, and CXOs – no longer need to be limited by dependence on in-office resources. Our services provide solutions that allow people to maintain communication regardless of the weather and other productivity-stalling circumstances. We realize the importance of being able to keep in touch, especially in critical situations such as the current weather conditions. Please contact us to learn more about our communications solutions.

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Webcams, video conferencing, and all that jazz

The internet makes a great number of tasks more convenient for many people, especially in the area of communication. The power of the internet allows millions of people around the world to talk to each other over voice programs and even videos – all in real time. While the benefits to personal communications are obvious, the larger value implications of this type of technology is evident in business, where travel costs are greatly reduced through the use of video conferencing technology. Imagine a group of people in the United States being able to see and communicate in real time with another group in Australia. This is possible with video conferencing, which allows the two parties simply agree on a time (with the time zone difference considered, of course) and then hold a meeting in the comfort of their own offices. Video conferencing not only saves the fares and accommodation expenses, but also saves time spent travelling. It’s also valuable to employees in the field who need to report to a main office. A webcam, a mike, and a decent internet connection allows those in the field to report in real time to the main office at any time, eliminating the need to leave their post or assignment. Programs you can use: Citrix GoToMeeting – one of the most popular software for web conferencing, costing $49.00 per month or $468 for an annual plan that gives you unlimited conferences (including both video and voice) with up to 10 attendees. The interface is easy to use and meetings can be set up in a flash. The only downside is that Mac users can only participate in, and not set up, meetings. Microsoft Live Meeting – another popular bundle of decently priced and stable conferencing software. However, the interface is much more complicated than Citrix GoToMeeting, and may confuse first-time users. Another possible concern is its “per use” charging system. WebEx MeetMeNow – at $39 – $49 a month, this option offers the best value for the money, with its unlimited monthly use with up 10 participants and a very user-friendly installation and interface. Acrobat Connect Professional – this option offers the most flexible payment plans, making it best suited for occasional users. It also boasts customization features allowing users to tailor the program based on their needs. Video conferencing is a simple and practical way to communicate in real time with personal and business contacts, wherever they are in the world, at a fraction of the cost of more traditional methods. Need help choosing equipment and getting set up? We’ll be happy to lend a hand.

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The Benefits of Having an Intranet Server

Reading this article will help you understand just what an Intranet is and how it can help your company be more organized and your teams more productive. And Why Should I Care? People are your most valuable and expensive resource – are they working smart and in a well organized way? Intranets are not new, and they are very popular among companies of all sizes. Intranets are a technology companies tend to love because of their easy implementation and the many benefits they offer at a low cost An Intranet is an internal network built using the protocols and standards of the Internet. It’s an intra-company network that offers access to the same type of resources as the Internet but is limited to company’s employees (or selected outside users) only. Intranets are not expensive to implement and they offer many benefits, which probably explains why they are so popular. Some of the benefits of having an Intranet include: Better communication . Having an Intranet server where all the relevant information your employees need stored in one place reduces the time spent in locating information through normal, people-dependent channels. With Intranets, you just go to the server and get what you want. Increased productivity . When all the information your employees need is easily accessible, they spend less time communicating unnecessarily and more time doing their immediate jobs. Improved teamwork . Intranets are great for facilitating teamwork because when everybody has access to the same information, it is easier to be a more effective team player. Improved learning and knowledge management . Constant learning is a prerequisite for success in almost any business, and if you want to keep your employees in top shape, you need to make their learning experiences as easy as possible. When all the information they need is updated regularly, and above all is kept in one place, all it takes to learn is a desire and access to the location (i.e. your Intranet server’s knowledge base). Cost-effective . Unlike many custom applications, Intranet solutions are not expensive, yet they come packed with useful features and functionalities. Easy to use . The fact that Intranets use the technologies of the Internet means that your employees will not have to learn new programs. Actually, very often the only thing one needs in order to use and Intranet is a Web browser! Easy to adapt to your needs . While it is true that there are many Intranet servers and not all of them are equal, most of the best on the market provide extensive customization possibilities. If you implement a Intranet server that is packed with features, in the beginning you might have some difficulty figuring out what exactly you need. However, your IT Consultant will know your company’s needs and will select the features you need to use right away, and then gradually enable new features as you need them. If you’re wondering what it takes to implement an Intranet, the answer is easy – just some time and a small investment. There are many Intranet-ready solutions and one of the best for a company of up to 50 computers or so is the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS). Microsoft SBS includes many nice features and one of them is an Intranet. So if you are already using SBS for your company network, just ask your IT Consultant to enable the Intranet features. What Now? Evaluate your business and talk to your team about your common workflows and document organization to find areas where you could be working better. Work with you IT Consultant to implement the best Intranet solution for your company’s needs.

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Collaboration Technologies to the Rescue

Reading this article will give you an overview of tools and technologies that will help you and your teams collaborate effectively and productively. Collaboration and teamwork can make or break a company. Long gone are the days when your employees could work independent of each other. In today’s market, if you want to stay competitive you need to use collaboration to the fullest. Thanks to various tools and technologies, this task is simple. Which Basic Collaboration Technologies Are Right for Me? Every business needs to use some kind of collaboration technique. In fact, there is no business in today’s world that can survive without basic collaboration technologies such as a company Intranet , email server, a fax/print server, or a time management functionality (for instance, electronic calendars). These technologies are so fundamental that most likely you have been using them for ages. So, as you might be surprised to learn that you are actually already using collaboration technologies but you just didn’t know it! However, you may also be surprised to learn about additional tools that you may not be using today that will help improve your company’s collaboration efforts. In addition to the basic collaboration technologies you have used for years, new ones are emerging all the time. Below is a list some of the most popular groups of collaboration technologies you can use in your day-to-day operations. To learn more about each collaboration tool, just click on each link to read our related articles. Conferencing tools . Audio and video conferences become a daily necessity for many companies. No matter whether you use audio and video conferencing to communicate with your distributed team or with suppliers and clients from all over the world, these collaboration technologies can be very useful. Document and application sharing . When many people work with the same document at the same time, it is very inconvenient when you have to wait for your colleagues to finish his or her tasks with that document, so that you can proceed with your work. Document and application sharing make that inconvenience history since it’s now possible for many people to work simultaneously on the same document. Workflow and project management . Workflow and project management technologies will help you manage your business more effectively by minimizing downtime and increasing the performance of your employees through organizing tasks better. Online collaboration . Even if you don’t have many (or any) tele-workers and remote workers, online collaboration tools are great because you can access them from everywhere and you can work at any time you please. Additionally, you can share these tools with your suppliers and clients and further improve your sales and customer service process. Change management . Maintaining multiple versions of the same document is too much of a hassle, but not when change management technologies handle this for you. When you use these technologies, you can maintain as many versions of a document as you like, and all of them will be neatly organized and readily accessible. Knowledge management . Knowledge is power, and there is hardly a company that will not benefit from a company wiki or other form of knowledge management system. The collaboration technologies listed here are just a sampling of what’s available. There are literally hundreds of collaboration technologies and depending on your particular needs you may choose one or another. Of course, it is best if you can find an all-in-one solution, such as Windows Small Business Server (SBS), which includes many or all of the technologies you need.

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Making the Most of Your Intranet

“Lower costs and ease of use mean companies of any size can create their own intranets. Here’s how to get the most from this technology. Seven years ago, INK, Inc., a pay-for-placement media relations firm, needed a way for its staff to quickly share information about potential opportunities for clients. E-mail was too awkward and restrictive, especially where images or video materials were concerned. The answer was for INK to create its own intranet.” Read the story on Inc Technology

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