Traveling Sales – Less Traveling in Business Thanks to Technology

The traveling salesman used to be a job position that people took on with vim and vigor, proud and happy to travel the country and the world to get the job done, no matter what it took. However, today, people don’t have the time or money to travel a lot, and companies are looking to save money wherever they can. Instead of losing business and not having traveling employees that can go to clients and seek out sales for the company, they choose to utilize technology, which can provide all of the same benefits of traveling to other businesses or clients, without the hassles or expenses.

No more tracking mileage, waiting on flights, and sleeping in stale hotel rooms. Some companies will still use these traveling employees from time to time, but more often than not, they stay home and utilize web conferencing software such as the ever popular GoToMeeting to connect with clients around the country and around the world. Through technology, a company in New York can connect with a customer or a partner in China just by turning on the computer and setting up webcam programs. You can have entire meetings and conferences online or one-on-one conversations that offer that personal touch without actually being there.

It’s convenient and affordable to use software like this to work with clients and partners in business. Instead of spending a lot of money on travel and losing valuable time due to layovers, time changes, and travel time, you can now do everything in real-time, without actually having to travel anywhere farther than your computer at the office. You can even work from home with these great conferencing tools, which is another way that companies are cutting costs without actually cutting back their staff. Whether your position used to involve a lot of travel or if you have employees that did, you can now rely on these great tools to save everyone time and money, making business much easier and more convenient for everyone.

Traveling sales is not a dying industry by any means. It just involves much less travel than it used to. Now that you can communicate with anyone around the world from a computer screen, there is no need to waste money on trips and expensive travel when it isn’t necessary. However, there is still a time and place for actual meetings and having that actual presence with customers and other businesses. You will need to determine which trips are critical to make for your business, and which ones can be exchanged for technological innovations like online meetings and chat programs.… Read More

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Cloud Outsourcing – The Coming Revolution in Business Services

Traditional models of outsourcing have required a high level of trust on behalf of the customer. Using cloud technology is reducing that risk at the same time as allowing significant savings. To date much of the discussion about cloud computing has been around the replacement of in-house infrastructure and software with cloud-based alternatives. The real power in cloud technology will be realised when entire non-core business processes are sent to the cloud, taking advantage of the technology and virtual teams. Cloud outsourcing flips the trust in favour of the client and facilitates access to expertise at a lower cost.

Non-core business functions often include accounting, payroll, human resources and the IT department itself. The investment by businesses in the infrastructure, software and people to run these functions is a significant drain on profitability. For many businesses the barrier to outsourcing these functions is the fear of losing control of these important functions. In contrast, the barrier for outsourcing companies to allow greater client control is the cost of allowing clients to access systems and business processes. The breakthrough is cloud technology, particularly software as a service, that provides inexpensive system access via the internet.

Taking payroll as an example, the traditional model requires a customer to sign up to using the business process, software and staff of the outsource provider. The customer may then sometimes access certain data from the system. The system is always the property of the outsource company as is the way of working. In this model clients have difficult questions to resolve. What if theirs is a unique business need not suited to the outsource companies systems? If they terminate how would they get their data back? What investment will they then need to make in a new system or a new outsource provider?

Cloud technology enables a reverse view of outsourcing, changing the whole provider/client relationship. Using software as a service the client allows access to their system. The client owns the data and tells the outsource provider how they want the process to work. This approach is highly empowering. It enables competitive advantage.

Entrepreneurial outsourcing providers are taking advantage of this new technology because it allows a larger market of outsource clients. The costs are significantly lower. Investment in infrastructure and software investment can be redirected to people and flexibility. Mutual competitive advantage is derived from quality people with a service orientation who provide expertise more quickly. Investing in flexibility reduces overhead – office costs and IT infrastructure – and flexible work at home employees are more efficient.

Less risk, lower cost and a higher service level is the outcome of the application of the new technology. Thus the real power of cloud computing is not in the replacement of IT systems but in the ability to send entire non-core functions to the cloud and therefore access standards of expertise that were previously not affordable for many small businesses.… Read More

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The Value of Local IT Support Outsourcing

Having a great IT department is essential for any business that is utilizing the online market. It is the difference between having customers at your online store or website every day all day long. Many of us do not understand the intricacies of IT and do not have the training to effectively manage our websites or merchant services. Outsourcing IT departments is a great way to have somebody on call whenever you need them. But outsourcing an IT specialist isn’t enough. There are thousands of companies online that will charge your company to oversee all of the IT you need. Going with a local company is one of the best ways to ensure that your business is going to have all of the IT support it needs.

Online IT support can cost a business thousands of dollars a month or more. When you go with a local company, you will enjoy a cheaper service that can offer more personalized repair. Going with a local company can give your business a technician that becomes familiar with your individual needs. Getting to know your technician can be an invaluable resource when it comes to IT support.

When IT issues come about, having a local team that can respond immediately is key to getting your business up and running again. Dealing with a tech company that is only open during certain times can be extremely frustrating. Going with a local company will eliminate all of the hassles with time zones. Coming into the office and realizing that your email or server is down can create problems for the next couple of hours. Having a company that can respond within an hour to get your website or online store back up before the day is over is essential to keeping your customer base.

Choosing an IT specialist to oversee all of the technical aspects of your company is a big part of your business. Going with a company that is local has far more advantages than going with a company that is located halfway around the country. A localized IT support team will be able to get familiar with your system and offer a face to face relationship that email and phone support cannot provide.… Read More

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What the US Navy Needs for the Future

Overall, I see the US Naval Research well suited for priming the pipeline of future technology, and yet, just because they are presently, well it is not time to rest on our laurels because there are other potential enemies afoot developing their own weapons systems. Weapons which may challenge us in the coming decade or two, and once you get behind in the technology race it takes years to catch up. In my humble opinion and without ego, I believe that the US Navy should have the strongest force in all the oceans in this solar system, and I am not exaggerating when I say that either.

Okay so, not long ago, I was challenged on specifics of exactly what I mean by that statement so let me give you 8 new technologies we will need to maintain our naval superiority moving forward in the twenty-first century. For the US Navy, well, yes, I have some fears I’d like to see shored up to protect our Nation, Assets, Foreign Interests, Allies, and protect shipping world-wide while maintaining the ability to strike immediately or respond to Natural Disasters.

I’d like to see our Naval Researchers look into some of these Great Projects and concepts. Below I have listed some of my ideas, but realize this was a 10-minute exercise, so there are many more bundled in my head, to add to this list:

1.) Ability to Swarm combat UAVs (carrier based)

2.) Ability to defend fleet against swarm anti-ship missiles with Aegis,  Lasers, Metal Storm

3.) Off-shore underwater early warning via UUV, AUV (powered off of ocean  wave, volcanic vent, wind energy re-charge) forming a net-centric net

4.) Track all foreign subs, ships, attack boats, robotic assets – friend or  foe (pollution signatures, advanced sonar, satellite, AUVs in fish school  cloak, etc.)

5.) Control of Choke Points for shipping with stealth surveillance and  pirate elimination through decoy Yacths, Cargo Ships, Tankers.

6.) Better Intelligence with coastal nation-state militaries and police  forces through collaboration, information inflow need-to-know and  information collection robust

7.) Absolute computer security, cloaking fake networks to watch the incoming  attacks, see where they go, fee misdirection, cause enemies to needless  spend against bogus threats.

8.) Ten-fold increase advanced weapon system innovation, hard-core push  towards the seemingly impossible, expect success to win.

Of course, implementation of such must be streamlined to initiate fast and put into the fleet. Excellent and effective training is also essential, perhaps using futuristic, off the shelf high-tech training, VR immersion. You see, we will have to defend many hot spots in the world and choke points such as the Straits of Hormuz, Suez Canal, Arabian Sea, Black Sea, Caspian, I have many other ideas as well, but please consider all this.… Read More

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What’s the Big Deal About Windows 7?

Users who have been faithful to Microsoft for a long time will remember how poorly Windows XP was received on its initial release. Those transitioning from Windows 98 found that a lot of their software and hardware was not 100% compatible with the new operating system. It ran much more slowly and used much more memory; users had absolutely no reason to migrate. However, with the release of Service Pack 2, XP finally became a much more secure and reliable operating system. Much in the same way, Vista was initially unable to exceed users’ expectations for increased performance. Just like its predecessor, it ran slowly and took up a vast amount of system resources during simple background processes.

What's the Big Deal About Windows 7?

Though it was considered a general disappointment at the time in comparison with XP, Vista made critical changes in operating system structure essential to supporting modern hardware standards. It introduced new driver architecture designed to move core functionality from the kernel (where any instability could bring down the whole system) to user space; a necessary development. Microsoft’s introduction of a standard 64-bit operating system was more than just a display of competition against Apple; it paved the way for new file allocation tables and lessened restrictions on available memory. Once vendors fixed their driver flaws and Microsoft squashed some underlying bugs, Vista morphed into an entirely workable operating system.

Windows 7 iso, its successor, is finally capable of taking advantage of the progress made by hardware and software vendors who supported Vista over the years. In many past cases where users once went out of their way to downgrade their computer’s operating system from Vista to XP, there is now newfound excitement in installing Windows 7. Most notably on netbooks and with a clean installation, the speed of this new operating system is surprising. Additionally, you can also upgrade your existing Windows installation; however, there is less reason to do so as performance gains are not as noticeable in this configuration.

Although it is possible to upgrade any Windows operating system to 7, the only ‘true’ upgrade is performed on Vista; in this scenario, all the users’ applications and files are kept in place with no extra work or application reinstallation required. However, when upgrading Windows XP, all files stored on disk are moved to a separate folder, so although applications will need reinstallation, personal data will still be accessible. Windows 7 has been incredibly well received and is generally thought of as being the operating system that Vista should have been. It has several new visual features that make us shocked we’ve ever lived without. It introduces several media libraries and exclusive Homegroup networking, so organizing and sharing music/pictures/video across family computers just got more accessible than ever.

There has never been a better time to make the switch to Windows 7. For one, speed is a major selling point on the new operating system. It’s faster than both Windows XP and Vista, and it’s a lot more stable. It … Read More

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