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Five reasons for Small Businesses to Switch to VoIP

Five reasons for Small Businesses to Switch to VoIP

VoIP, or Voice over internet Protocol to give it its full title, is a concept at the vanguard of the telecommunications industry which, if you haven’t already heard about, will become an increasingly familiar part of all our lives in the near future. But what is it and how can it benefit small business users?

The concept (which has a number of interchangeable titles such as Voice over Broadband, VoBB) actually covers a set of technologies whereby voice data is transferred in essence, over the internet. The service is distinct from the traditional telephony systems of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) which transmits both analog and digital voice data on a combined network of physical cables and wireless connections, using switch exchanges to connect the network together. In contrast VoIP transmits voice as digital data packets across internet connections, encoding and then decoding the packets at each end. VoIP packages can therefore vary in terms of the functionality they offer, often depending on the software that is supplied by the VoIP provider.

There are three main types of VoIP that can be combined within a single package, IP Phones (or VoIP Phones, which can be used just as traditional handsets), Software VoIP (which runs from a computer) and Mobile VoIP (or Mobile and Integrated VoIP). In fact you may already be very familiar with one example of this technology, an example of software VoIP which has permeated many of our social activities – Skype.

At a business level, users of a traditional telephony system need to implement a network and hardware, such as a PBX exchange, on site to split their incoming connection in order to provide the separate lines amongst their staff. However, with IP telephony such as VoIP, the service can use existing data networks to create the required number of lines.

As a consequence there are significant benefits to be had from switching your business to a VoIP service:

1. Improved Functionality
As briefly touched on above, a VoIP service can provide a business with many more communications options than a traditional telephone system. Most packages will include a software element which drives the functionality and which can be kept up to date remotely by the VoIP provider so that the business continues to benefit from the latest developments in the technology.

With enhanced software driven communication channels such as video conferencing and the fact that the service is not tied to a geographical location (e.g., colleagues can be accessible on simple extension numbers in different offices in different locations) businesses can cut unnecessary travel and costs and open channels which may have previously been difficult to access – without the need for heavy investment in expensive hardware.

Moreover a VoIP service can change and improve the way in which your business operates with many efficiencies to be had thanks to functionality such as the ability to dial simply by clicking on phone numbers on a PC, integrated computer based phone directories, self-managed caller ID and the scope to assign both multiple numbers to a single phone and a single number to multiple phones.

2. Improved Customer Service
By taking advantage of the extensive functionality generated by a VoIP service a business will no doubt enhance the way in which they operate and work with their customers, however using VoIP can also boost customer service in a number of more direct ways.

Handling of calls can be improved with features, such as ring groups, transfers and forwarding and even automated call handling coming into the reach of smaller scale businesses, ensuring that calls are dealt with by the right people in a timely manner. This can not only improve customer satisfaction but present customers with an advanced phone service at an affordable cost giving them the right impression of your business irrespective of its size. Previously this has been the reserve of big business with big budgets.

A company can even give its customers a free contact channel by supplying them with VoIP enabled telephones.

3. Flexibility
VoIP can greatly improve the flexibility of a business in a number of ways. One key area is the ability of business to respond and adapt to changes in personnel due to positive or negative growth. VoIP offers more cost effective scalability than traditional fixed line telecoms as you need only pay for the exact number of lines that are needed at any given time with less hardware to upgrade – depending on the package, the handset or headset may be the only the outlay required for a new line.

What’s more, many VoIP packages come with the capability for the business to use a simple piece of front end software to configure their network to their business needs as and when they need it rather than depending on third party providers

A VoIP product can also offer flexibility in the manner in which a business operates. Staff can work whilst being fully mobile, receiving their communications in a variety of ways – email, voice calls, instant messaging – on a variety of devices – smartphones (mobile VoIP), landlines – ensuring that they are easily in contact with colleagues and clients whenever they need to be. And all this using the same number, wherever they are in the world. Traditional phone systems, conversely, which rely on a physical network with physical exchanges connecting the relevant elements of the network, are often defined by their location.

This has further benefits for business in the event of an office or workplace becoming unavailable. A switch to VoIP will allow a business to set redirects to mobiles and handsets in other locations from any device with an internet connection. Therefore ensuring interruptions to customer service and operations are kept to an absolute minimum, without needing to physically access the office and manipulate any hardware in situ.

Last but not least of course is the fact that VoIP systems are fully integrated with traditional PSTN services so users will not have any trouble communicating with the rest of world.

4. Unified Communications
Unified communications is a term used to describe the integration of different communication channels which is made possible by the fact that VoIP uses the same data networks as other data transfers to handle voice data. As a result it may be possible using VoIP to easily switch between voice and instant messaging, receive voicemail messages into an email client, share and collaborate on documents through your VoIP software whilst discussing them on call and even integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases with telephone systems.

5. Cost
Switching to VoIP phones will arguably lead to a host of efficiency savings and operational improvements as a result of the aforementioned benefits, which therefore mean indirect cost savings. Improved communications in general, telephone and video conferencing in particular perhaps, can reduce the need for business travel and in the current climate that is an increasing expense.

However, there are also plenty more immediate savings to be had when switching; for example, the fact that businesses are able to use their existing data networks (no need for additional voice networks) and therefore potentially reduce the installation and maintenance costs of their network infrastructures. The only hardware needed are the phones/handsets, the hard work is done by software.

Furthermore, the actual costs of renting an equivalent of better VoIP service from a provider are likely to be significantly lower than a traditional service (due in part to the fact that this is a growing worldwide market with healthy competition). Whilst the services that are often considered extras in a traditional package will often be included in standard VoIP billing or be available at a far cheaper rate.

Whatever size of business you operate switching to VoIP can generate both cost savings and significant improvements in your operations and services. However, if you are a small business the switch to Business VoIP could give you that leading edge over your competitors and ensure that you are free to develop your business efficiently and dynamically.

http://www.a1articles.com/five-reasons-for-small-businesses-to-switch-to-voip-2413667.html

Wonders of IP Cameras

Wonders of IP Cameras

Did you ever ask yourself, what are IP cameras? And what is the thing so special about them? Ok�Ц read carefully each word of this cool article 🙂

IP is an acronym that stands for “Internet Protocol” and an IP Security System is an internet based security system, which uses a LAN network or the Internet as a crucial tool for surveillance. IP system delivers secure and real time images of an event; as well as, the flexibility to show both full motions and still images.

Check out the coolest 5 features of IP Cameras and Systems:

– Cost Effective:
IP Camera System can be cost effective. Firstly, it reduces the cost of cabling in large installation. Secondly, it reduces the network infrastructure by using the same network for both, the transportation of video and control of PTZ (reduce the amount of cables) not as the traditional CCTV which needs two separated cables. Finally, it reduces the space needed because video processes are done via computers without the need of bulked and expensive switches as CCTV systems.

Let me break the idea of PTZ cameras for you;  
Pan, Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras, often referred to as dome cameras, are cameras that can be moved left to right, up and down and zoom in and out via a computer, DVR, or PTZ joystick. This type of surveillance camera is often found at retail stores and allow the operator to follow a person as they move about or to zoom in on someone’s face, a license plate, a cash register etc. some of them are indoor, outdoor, and internet protocol (IP) cameras, each dome camera provides full color surveillance images.

– Secure communication:
By using IP systems, you get the necessary authentication and encryption to make sure that your system is not exposed to hackers. And of course more secure image capture and transmission. On the contrary of the traditional CCTV system which doesn’t have the needed authentication and encryption, and without them, it would be much easier for hackers to get into your system and record everything.

– Real time Events:
IP Camera System records events in real time, and provide triggering alerts and warnings of in progress events in case a suspicious activity is detected such as: blocking, covering, spray-painting or redirection. It also provides an automatic analysis, which makes IP systems more productive means of surveillance and efficient monitoring of large systems.  But the traditional CCTV systems record events for viewing after the event has occurred. Now, what really distinguish IP camera from the traditional CCTV camera is: showing the number of people and objects, audio detection, and face and gender recognition. In a simpler words; IP Camera System records events in real time, and provide triggering alerts and warnings of in progress events in case a suspicious activity is detected such as: blocking, covering, spray-painting or redirection.

– Ease of view and switch:
IP camera system gives you the ability run a number of cameras on one surveillance network; and to view each on one screen. The available software enables one person to switch between cameras; some allow you to view scenes and videos over your mobile phone, which gives you the ability to manage it from any location.

– Perfect Image:
IP camera is the perfect choice regarding the clarity of images because of it’s highly and various resolutions, it is at least four times clearer more than the traditional CCTV system. IP system has higher image quality, full image details, progressive scan and more accurate and specific information. Simultaneous high resolution and low bandwidth streams allowing remote viewing of live video whilst recording crisp megapixel images.  It also has different aspect of rations. IP cameras have wider color spectrum than traditional CCTV; better color representation, full frame rate, and wide screen format.

IP Cameras have solved many problems and obstacle which the users have faced with the traditional CCTV cameras and systems�Ц..So, admit it, IP Cameras really are making wonders in the camera systems technology.

http://surveillance-tracking.ezinemark.com/wonders-of-ip-cameras-7d2ca9179574.html

Know the main ‘culprit’ and ‘worst’ planner

Know the main ‘culprit’ and ‘worst’ planner

Making ERP success: Identifying the right elements

In our last article we have discussed what makes a business grow. It was explained in details the basic qualities, applications and dedicated efforts are necessary to succeed in a business field. What we would like emphasis in coming series of articles are that just implementing ERP solution won’t make your business grow.

To make ERP implementation sensible, we have to consider some other elements along with its focusing styles and then formulate the overall plan of actions. Let us now get to know what the important elements of ERP are and how can ERP be used in a rightful manner that will contribute largely into the growth of an organization. There are five important elements that have been identified and these are analyzed in details in the following articles.

The Client: The first and foremost element

The client is, who suggests focusing on the organization’s main line of business. As ERP implementation is more of business strategy than IT strategy, one has to analyze the key business driver’s specific to the industry and also for the company. It is customary to redefine the business processes with proper synchronization of these drivers along with improved customer interactions. The term ‘customer ‘ includes internal as well as external. The organization must plan for leaving traditional functional set-ups and reconfiguring its resources across pull type process set-ups where every transaction has specified supplier, customer, and the activities known in all aspects.

What is happening in most of the Indian companies is that even after adopting ERP, the organization continues with traditional functional style of departmentalization. This is mainly because of the absence of customer driven strategic plan or its incomplete implementation. In such set-ups or typically in make-to-stock environment, we find the traditional atmosphere of rivalry between various functional departments. For example, Marketing is the main ‘culprit’ for the production planning inefficiencies because of the dynamic, non-standard requirements which do not make sense.

Similarly, production planning department is regarded as the ‘worst’ ever planner by the purchase department. The accounts department is the common enemy of all. Such culture is the outgrowth of the multi-hierarchy organization structure in which cohesive and common language for business performance is missing. The organization is operating with fragmented departmental optimum results and no orientation is observed for the integrated business strategies. ERP completely fails to address such environment the underlying reason being misunderstanding and lack of coordination between different departments. ERP cannot ‘fulfill’ the requirements of these users.

For example, a sudden change in released marketing plan without consent of planning and purchase will create complete nervousness in the organization. Also, the targets given to purchase will conflict with production and maintenance targets. Such local optimum objectives lead to overall fragmentation and underutilization of organizational resources. ERP never supports these practices and the corresponding deviation between the ERP concept and the organization practice will make ERP a costlier affair for the organization.

If the client is not able to switch over to lean products and still wishes to eliminate these problems, then S&OP (Sales and Operations Planning – will discussed in details later) must be followed sincerely. It is the only way out for the Indian companies to improve their existing ERP performance.

A few organizations already started this, but it should become a general feature across all sectors. The main idea of S&OP is to collaborate internally and find out workable and naturally optimistic plans for particular planning horizons. Participating regularly in such meetings will boost the morale of participants for driving ERP towards success. An important point to be noted here is that this recommendation is applicable to each and every industrial sector including manufacturing and service.

For more information kindly visit: http://www.eresourceerp.com/making-ERP-success.html

Please Contact us at:
TMA House, 1st Floor,Road No 16, Plot No. 6,Wagle Industrial Estate,Thane (West) 400 604, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Tel: +91 22 25827692
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E-mail : info@eresourceerp.com

http://www.a1articles.com/know-the-main-culprit-and-worst-planner-2221578.html

Digital signage-Why you must change

Digital signage-Why you must change

How you look can be a big factor on whether you succeed or not especially in the world of publicity and promotion. This has become more and more pronounced as we begin to only slightly move away from the worldwide recession period. How your products look and how you publicize them has become a principal factor which determines whether your target audience accepts your product or not. This is where digital signage comes in to truly save your life or product!

The large scale commercialization of the booming flat screen market means the prices are now down enough for them to be used as a commercial venture. LCDs and plasma screens have now become an effective and attractive advertisement media for marketers all over the world. They are now replacing almost all kinds of traditional advertisement media such as print posters and billboards due to their wide appeal. Digital signage is now fast becoming the media of choice for almost all kinds of advertisement forms for a myriad variety of products.

These screens can easily replace all forms of traditional advertisements with a very engaging moving content which can attract the target group in a whole new level. The flexible nature of these screens means that they can be easily networked to allow the marketer to alter or change the content delivered to the masses in a matter of a few minutes and not hours or even days as with the traditional advertisement media. They can also be remotely accessed for even greater flexibility. Thus making the labor intensive process of visiting each advertisement individually as in certain cases of traditional advertisement process seem primitive. They can be scheduled to display different content at different times of the day for greater visibility and outreach.

Digital signage can virtually be placed anywhere and everywhere where traditional forms of advertisement can be placed. These LCDs and plasmas can be placed inside retail spaces and also outside. The latter is recommended as it would attract more viewership in actual consumers who can be really enticed by the advertisement even when they are not present physically in front of the actual product.

These screens have allowed the marketer to reach their target audience at or very near the actual point of sale, thus increasing the advertisement potential so as to make the consumer more attached to the product. From the economical point of view too a digital signage is more advantageous. It will allow the marketer to save on the recurring amounts of money involved while changing or even altering advertisements especially in cases of traditional means of advertising. Communication media needs to change with the times and this is the answer to it. And in this consumer market still reeling in the after effects of recession, it can be a very attractive option indeed. It allows marketers to reach shoppers where it`s necessary and that too under their own budget constraints.

So why wait go digital today!

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