Unlock The Power In Your Pc
In the 1970s and 1980s, the fastest way to transport lots of data between information devices was often to carry it down the hall on a magnetic tape or floppy disk–a method that computer scientists jokingly referred to as “Sneakernet.”
At my house, Sneakernet still rules, at least when it comes to multimedia networking. If I want to download a movie or TV show from an online service such as iTunes, for example, I attach my laptop to the 10-megabit-per-second cable modem in my office; if I then want to watch that same show in my living room, I have to lug the laptop downstairs.
But consumer-electronics makers have a different vision in mind, and they’ll be marketing it to thousands.The vision: consumers could simply point a remote control at their entertainment center and access video, music, or photos stored on their PC using a home broadband network based on old-fashioned Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections or newer technologies, such as powerline networking and ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless.
The gadgets that allow this integration are called “media adapters.” The category hasn’t yet attracted much attention among the electronics-shopping crowds at Best Buy or Circuit City. But at CES, where part of the massive exhibit area will be devoted to home networking, a number of companies will show off new or recently released models that they hope will appeal to entertainment junkies who want to get the most bang for the thousands of bucks they’ve already spent on the newest sound systems, high-definition (HD) LCD or plasma displays, and home computers.
For example, Netgear, already a leading maker of wireless routers for home Wi-Fi networks, will be promoting its Digital Entertainer system, introduced four months ago. The 0 device looks like a set-top cable TV box steamrollered to about 1.5 centimeters in thickness. It resides next to your TV and stereo system, where it communicates with your PC using a conventional wired network–if you’re lucky enough to have Ethernet cables built into your walls–or an 802.11g Wi-Fi wireless connection.
Using a remote control and a simple graphical interface displayed on your TV, you can call up digital movies, videos, photos, or nonencrypted music stored on any PC or hard drive attached to your home network. Your computer will compress the files and send them to the Digital Entertainer in streaming form as fast as your network can handle them. That means up to 100 megabits per second for a wired Ethernet connection and 54 megabits per second for an 802.11g connection. Both are enough to stream HD video, if that’s what you’ve got stored.
Netgear’s competitors offer similar boxes in the same price range; D-Link’s Media Lounge DSM 320, for example, goes for 0. Buffalo Technology’s LinkTheatre wireless HD media player lists at 0 but goes for 3 on Amazon. But for people who don’t already have 802.11g routers for their computers or Ethernet connections in their living rooms, a few companies are offering media adapters based on newer technologies, notably UWB and powerline networking.
UWB chip sets from Hauppauge, NY-based semiconductor maker Tzero, for example, are finding their way into media devices from Audiovox, Siemens, ViewSonic, and other consumer-electronics companies. UWB devices send data over a large range of frequencies, rather than over specific channels, as Wi-Fi routers and most other wireless devices do. This protects signals against interference and allows time-based rather than frequency- or amplitude-based signal modulation, meaning UWB signals can carry up to 480 megabits of data per second over short distances (10 meters or less), according to Tzero. At CES, Tzero and Audiovox plan to introduce a UWB media adapter, to be marketed under Audiovox’s Terk brand name, that can connect PCs, set-top boxes, HD DVD players and DVRs, and big-screen displays without the usual tangle of cables.
And there’s one more way to link entertainment devices without adding new wires: plug straight into your home’s electrical outlets. Electronics vendors have been talking up powerline networking in the home for ages, but interference problems and bandwidth limitations have kept the idea from catching on (see “Are Powerline Networks Finally Ready?” June 2001). Arkados is one of the companies that will argue at CES that the technology is now ready for consumers. It’s working with GigaFast and other manufacturers to put its chips and software into small “bridge” devices that can connect a PC to any television in a home. The devices can transmit data at up to 100 megabits per second–more than enough for HD-quality video. (For 0, Netgear will sell you a powerline adapter for the Digital Entertainer.)
Apple may actually make the biggest home-networking splash at CES, even though Steve Jobs and crew will be 400 miles away at San Francisco’s MacWorld convention, slated for January 8 through 12. The company is expected to preview–or at least talk about–a set-top device dubbed “iTV” that wirelessly streams iTunes music, videos, or movies from any computer in the home to a TV set. Given consumers’ familiarity with Apple digital media products like the iPod, an Apple entry in the media-adapter market could severely limit the opportunities for competitors like Netgear or D-Link.
Despite all these newfangled networking technologies, Sneakernet may not be dead yet. Think of it this way: if you carry a 4.7-gigabyte DVD down a ten-meter-long hallway at one meter per second, you’ve effectively “transmitted” the data on that disc at more than 3,700 megabits per second–a speed home networks won’t be reaching for a long time.
Business Success Through A Mobile Marketing Strategy
Mobile marketing is one of the latest methods of advertising for any kind of business. If it is done correctly, you are sure to benefit greatly from all of your efforts. This article was written to help you know the methods that work and what to avoid, in your mobile marketing campaign.
Make sure that your business has a presence on social media websites, and includes links to them on your business website. Social media have their own mobile versions of their websites in addition to mobile apps that have a relationship with them. This is another way for your business to connect with consumers easily.
Be prompt with your messages. This goes along perfectly with being relevant. You can send out an email about something happening, but it doesn’t always translate when you need to send a text message. Don’t be too early or too late with your messages. For example, you can announce a sale minutes before the store opens, versus days.
Give your customers a taste. Provide your customers with a product sample. Sampling is a powerful marketing tool, getting a first time taste or a use of the product is enough to get many consumers hooked. Set you marketing campaign up so that when the consumer responds that they will receive a text alerting them of when they will receive the item.
Make sure that your site and/or ads are consistent across multiple formats. Not every bit of mobile technology is the same, so you will need to adapt to them all. There’s nothing worse than working hard on a mobile campaign just to find out that people using a certain type of mobile OS are having trouble accessing it.
If you have multiple people working in your business on mobile marketing, it is important for each person to understand the plans and goals behind your company, to that everyone is working on the same page. Your team should be knowledgeable enough not to put your business in a bind, should a customer ask a question.
Take advantage of mobile applications that many mobile consumers already use and are very popular, like Google Maps. Google has a Local Business Center that will list your your business on their Google Maps for that region. This way, your business will be targeted to the audience local to your area.
Always supply a call to action. Your customers need to know what they should be doing to purchase from you, and if you do not give them the answer, they will not be purchasing from you any time soon. Tell them you have what they need, and tell them how to get it.
When it comes to mobile marketing, one great way to connect with your customers is through QR codes. This is a great in-store idea because the customer can can scan a bar code with their mobile device’s camera and obtain either an exclusive coupon, a video or other information.
Use the provided information to make the most of your efforts in your mobile marketing campaign. These tips will help you to save time by going through the trial and error step that many businesses have had to go through before finding the methods that work well for their growing companies.
VoIP Solutions, Taking care of Your Business
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, has been a subject of boiling issues for the past years. Many businessmen from large corporations have turned to VoIP and have made savings of at least 50 percent with their telephone bills.
VoIP has grown in demand because it can assist users with their tasks. This is one thing which may not be available from traditional networks. Some of such tasks include the following:
* In UK, the US, and other member countries of organizations like VoIP User, phone numbers are available for free use.
* Incoming calls can be controlled to be automatically forwarded to a VoIP phone, wherever you may be connected to the network. So, a traveling businessman can still receive incoming calls by just connecting to the internet with the use of a VoIP phone.
* With the use of VoIP phones, call center agents can do their work from any location with a stable and fast internet connection.
* Various VoIP packages offer free features such as Caller ID, Call Forwarding, 3-way Calling, and Automatic Redial.
VoIP solutions entail VoIP problems. For the past years, the problems that have stirred up on the use of VoIP focused on the voice signal quality. If IP packets are delayed or lost at any point in the VoIP network, users will experience a brief drop-out of voice transfer. This case is obvious where there are long interworking and distances between endpoints and in congested networks. But this has changed. Many companies have sought for VoIP solutions for a clearer signal that has even surpassed that of the present analog landline service.
Another VoIP drawback is that sending faxes is difficult because of networking restraints and software limitations. However, a VoIP solution is in progress to outline an IP-based alternative for Fax-over-IP delivery. This is called T.38 protocol. A substitute solution to fix this drawback is by treating the faxing method as a message switching mechanism that does not require real time data broadcast. Examples are sending fax as a remote printout or as an email attachment. The incoming fax data can be completely buffered by the end system before being displayed or printed.
However, there are three main issues that concern VoIP solutions before VoIP can dominate the world. These are mobile VoIP phone service, power outages, and Emergency 911 services.
The first VoIP solution that needs to be directed is a way to substitute voip phone service to cellular phone service. Presently, wireless VoIP, or wVoIP, is reliant on the reach and location of Wi-Fi hotspots. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi hotspots have lower reach compared to the present microwave systems of cell phones and may not be practical on a larger range.
A VoIP solution for the problem of replacing a cell phone service can possibly be an advanced cellular-VoIP service. Presently, there a few manufacturers that can produce dual-purpose phones. Such cell phones work as standard cell phones; but when the user is within a hotspot, the cell phone can get connected with VoIP. This type of solution will help the users save money, particularly when they are in hotels, airports, cafés, and other hotspot areas.
Another drawback of VoIP is the irregularity of the Emergency 911 service. Not all current service providers of VoIP provide full Emergency 911 service. But, this has changed as the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, has taken an action on this dilemma. It has directed all the phone service companies to provide the standard 911 service, even if the customers have not specifically requested to avail the service.
Another VoIP dilemma that has to be prevailed over with VoIP solutions is the power outage concerns. During a power outage, the local phones are still operational. But VoIP requires high-speed internet connection. Without power, the internet access is lost, and so with the VoIP connection. The use of cell phones is the current alternative workaround during residential power outage. Many VoIP companies and providers have started to install power backups in the VoIP hardware sets to attend to this issue.
But these VoIP shortcomings would not stop the VoIP technology in its widespread deployment. VoIP solutions are coming. Don’t get left behind! Do you have VoIP already?
Home Owner’s Insurance Can Be Intimidating Without The Right Information
Home owner’s insurance isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It may even be required if you have a mortgage on your home. In the case of a disaster, your home owner’s insurance might be the only thing that gets you back on your feet. Here are some tips that can help you in selecting a home owner’s insurance policy that suits your needs.
Insuring a vacant house is very expensive, as a vacant property is a magnet for vandals. Vacant house insurance can cost more in a month than regular homeowners insurance costs for a year. If a family member can’t stay at the house, consider renting the property out, or exchange free rent for house sitting services to avoid having a property sit idle.
If you look only at cost when seeking homeowner’s insurance, the company you choose may well be one where you deal only with a distant call center. But if a tree falls on your home, you want someone with an office nearby, someone who will actually come out and look at the damage.
When considering insurance for your home, keep in mind that having your mortgage paid off can actually effect your premium amount. Insurance companies will commonly reward you with a lower premium if your mortgage is paid off, because it is generally thought that a home will be better taken care of if it is fully owned.
Before starting your search for home owner’s insurance, make a list of the five most important factors for you to have. If you live in an area that is high in crime, then your coverage for theft should be comprehensive. If you often have tornadoes, wind damage should be fully covered by your plan.
Technology is moving quickly and buying your insurance from an online broker can save you money. They don’t have to employ as many people and don’t have brokers’ commissions to pay, so they pass those savings onto their customers. The only downfall is that you won’t be able to talk to someone in person, but for most people that will never be an issue.
To get a discount on your home owner’s insurance, get other forms of insurance through the same company. Most companies offer multiple policy discounts to anyone has multiple insurance contracts through them. Before you select your policy, you should check other insurance companies and see if any of them offer other forms of insurance you might need.
If you have working smoke alarms in your home, you could lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. You can save 10% of the price you pay each month just by taking this simple step. Not only could installing smoke alarms save you money, they can also help to save your life.
As mentioned above, a home owner’s insurance policy is a necessary safety net in case of fire, theft, or other disasters. Having a good home owner’s insurance policy in place will benefit you in case the worst occurs. Having read the advice in this article, you should be better prepared when selecting a home owner’s insurance policy.
Good Reasons for Choosing Brink’s Home Security
Brink’s Home Security offers installation and monitoring of home security systems. Several criteria make the company an excellent choice for home security provision. Trained personnel, rapid response, easy to use systems and award winning products and service are good reasons to choose Brink’s. Systems can easily be adapted to fit need and budget.
The right personnel make all the difference in how well a job is done and how easy it is for customers to relate. Like most successful home security companies, Brink’s Home Security provides in-depth training for all employees. Technicians who install Brink’s Home Security systems must pass National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association training. They drive vehicles clearly labeled with the Brink’s logo and carry proper identification. Consumers can safely open the door to Brink’s personnel.
Rapid response is important when personal and property safety are at risk. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Brink’s Home Security can quickly contact appropriate emergency response agencies. Home and business owners can rest assured that monitoring is active and on alert.
Even the best home security systems are no good if family members can’t operate them. Many consumers have installed security systems only to decide that operating them is too much trouble. Brink’s Home Security systems feature easy -to-use one touch keypads.
Both standard and premium keypads are designed for ease of use. Most commands are a simple matter of one touch. There are no complicated sequences of numbers or entries to remember. Children and the elderly are usually able to use Brink’s keypads without problem. Demonstration keypads can be accessed at the company website.
Brink’s Home Security offers different systems to meet individual and business needs and budget constraints. The free home security system needs analysis provides home and business owners an easy way to assess security needs and requirements. All systems come with keypad, door/window sensors, motion detector, interior siren, control panel, and Brink’s yard sign and window decals.
Award winning products and services rank Brink’s Home Security a top level provider of home security services. Consumers Digest has awarded its Best Buy Seal to Brink’s products. J.D. Power and Associates recognized Brink’s’ delivery of outstanding customer service in the customer call center operation.
Brink’s Home Security holds the distinction of being the only full service national security company with Installation Quality Certification by the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association.
Service and products are both important considerations when choosing a company to trust with the security of home or business. Brink’s Home Security provides well-trained personnel devoted to customer service and utilizing state of the art equipment. Fast response is a vital part of providing home security and Brink’s prides itself on rapidly responding to all issues.
Easy-to-use systems make it easy for home and business owners to actually use the security system they’ve spent time and money on. Brink’s provides easy, one-touch keypads and systems to fit business or personal security needs. Innovative and dedicated company policies have won Brink’s Home Security many awards. They continue to build on an already excellent business reputation.
home automation denver
Home Automation and the Mile-High City of Denver
Ever since man came into existence, he has been looking for a place which he can call home. Today, the world is very much different from the way it was long ago. This is due to the intelligence of man which he used to improve his way of life. The dawn of advanced technology has brought about huge changes in man’s everyday living. And it promises even more in the near future.
New technology is not only for big businesses or for organizations. You can see it working even in your own home. But the more advanced feature of it is home automation. From the word automation, you can already have a little idea of what’s it all about. Automation is similar to mechanization or computerization.
At present, many huge establishments like shopping malls and banks are making use of automation. Now, the market is opening its doors to homeowners who want to incorporate home automation into their households.
In the US, home automation is no longer a new thing. If you live in Denver, Colorado, it’s also easy to have home automation integrated into your present home systems.
Denver is the most heavily populated city in Colorado. It is located on High Plains and downtown Denver is just east of Cherry Creek. Denverites make up the 25th densely inhabited city in the entire US.
This ‘Mile-High’ city played an important role in agriculture, especially in the plains on the foot of Front Range. This city is also noted for their important contributions to the rail hub and dominance in the region of Rocky Mountains. There were even ships named after Denver. An example is the USS Denver.
Due to its connection to the systems of major transportation and its geographical position, Denver is the home of some big corporations in US. It is considered as a trade point, being located halfway between Detroit and Chicago. Distribution, as well as storage, of many services/goods is located in Denver, thereby making its economy prosper.
Government presence is considerably felt in the city because of the large number of federal agencies. Next to Washington D.C., Denver is also home to many federal workers. And this may be the reason why many state jobs are provided for Denverites.
A convention center in Colorado was completed last 2005. The expansion can attract more investors and the business sector to hold conventions in the city thereby increasing the city’s earnings. The city also enjoyed economic success especially during the 70’s and 80’s because there was a boom in the mining sector. Silver and gold were abundant in the area that time.
Denver also allows telecommunications to take place in the north coasts, Europe, South America, and Asia in real time because of their geographic location. The city is elevated over a mile and is located at 105th meridian thereby allowing a real time ‘one bounce’ satellite uplink. All the six continents of the world are benefited
The economy of Denver is vulnerable to boom/bust cycles, so the state government is trying to diversify Denver’s economy. The late 1990 was a period when many companies, and all of them are high tech, dominated the economy. Last 2005, the unemployment rate in the city is only 4.7% which means that a large percentage of the population are employed.
The local residents of Denver are capable of automating their homes. And this is largely based on statistics. With a high tech company in town, it’s easy to find a good supplier of home automation gadgets and devices.
The city is a good target market for home automation. Since many of its residents are employed, they can afford the cool gadgets. Even the people are slowly realizing that now; having home automation around can make their lives comfortable and convenient.
If you’re a Denverite, it’s now time to automate. You can choose among many home automation gadgets and change your home system from its lighting, security, HVAC, and etc. to a more futuristic home.
There are many home automation companies in your locality. You can even search the internet for home automation providers. Either way, you can integrate automation into your present home system. Consult the pros and have your home done in no time.
Joe Biden – Democrat
Joe Biden was born November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1961 from the Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware, and in 1965, from the University of Delaware in Newark. He graduated in 1968 from Syracuse University College of Law, and was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1969. In that year, he began to practice law in Wilmington, Delaware, until 1970, when he was also elected to the Council of New Castle County, Delaware.
His career took a dramatic turn of pace when he was elected to the U.S. Senate as the Senator from Delaware in 1972. He assumed this office in 1973, being the age of just 30. This made him the fifth-youngest U.S. Senator in the history of the United States, and he has continued to win additional terms into the present day, where he is currently the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Delaware history, the fourth-longest serving Democrat Senator, and the sixth-longest serving Senator in office.
He has served on a number of committees in the 110th United States Congress. He has acted as Chairman in the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, and has co-chaired the Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Additionally, he has served as a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Citizenship, and the Subcommittee on Technology Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Previously, he has been a Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1987 to 1995, and has been a ranking minority member on that committee for a much longer period. More recently, he has been the ranking minority member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations starting in 1997, and Chairman of this committee from 2001 until 2003.
Joe Biden has been responsible for the creation of many Federal crime laws throughout his career, with a chief focus on drug crimes, crimes against women and minorities, and crimes against civil liberties. He was elemental to the formation of the commonly-known “Drug Czar” policy. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is one of his most famous accomplishments. He has also introduced the “RAVE Act” (Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act) and the “VAW Act” (Violence Against Women Act). He has also passed legislation to improve education, with college aid and loan programs, and spear-headed the “Kids 2000” legislation to promote the accessibility of computers and the Internet to low-to-middle-income children and the vocational training of children in technology careers.
Having been a “career Senator” for 35 years spanning the terms of 7 Presidents, he has now announced his candidacy for President as of January, 2007.
He previously sought election to President in 1988, but quit the race early in December of 1987. He was replaced as the Democrat front-runner by Michael Dukakis. Previous to this, he had been nominated as a Presidential candidate in 1984, even to the point of winning one vote from the Democratic National Convention, but declined the nomination.
Politically, Joe Biden has gotten a reputation as the “sensible center of the Democratic party”. He has been neither too extreme to the left nor wavered too far from his Democratic stance. With his record, he is easily able to win votes from the “tough on crime” crowd. Women and minority voters can find something to like in his past work, and he also has some claim to call himself “pro-education”.
Most importantly, he can stand firmly on his career as a “Washington insider” who knows how to get things done. During previous debates, so common did the phrase “Joe’s right” repeat that he has now made that phrase his campaign slogan. He is very glib and well-spoken, and quick with a sound-bite for the media whenever a microphone is around. Most recently, he has been investigating into the scandal of deleted videotapes showing the interrogation of suspected terrorists, which is an issue that has been in the news and hence on voter’s minds.
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Online Tutoring – A Real Boon When Class Gets Tough.
Extra academic help in the form of tuition is a essential and viable option if your child needs help with classroom assignments, or supplemental work. All kids have some areas that they need help with, and if you feel your child can get advantage from it, it might be just what they need. Check out the different Internet tutoring options available, and decide the best for your child. Online tutoring offers so much that you might not realize.
Retired and substitute teachers use it. In fact, some teachers have left classroom teaching, and now teach full time through online tutoring. Before you sign up your child though check out the credentials of the Internet classroom. Write or call your local state governments to find out if there have been any complaints from the Internet Better Business community.
In today’s busy 24 hour work society, kids often get home before parents, and they can profit by going online, and starting their online lessons. Quality online services offer help everyday of the week, including the weekends. When you’re shopping around for a top rated online tutoring service, make sure to ask about schedules. Also, question if their system is secure, so your child won’t be exposed to just anyone that can hack into their online tutoring.
Any of these services should offer ways for you to be able to check in on your student’s progress. Any service that you pick should also give you the choice of being able to talk with a teacher on what your child is having trouble with, and how you can help them at home to do better. Other services that you should find before you sign up for your child should be a pre-assessment on their abilities, and testing for their style of learning. It won’t do your child or you any good if you don’t know what they can do, and what areas they need help in.
If you can find a program that encourages one on one help and training for your child outside of the classroom or online this is perfect. Success for students means that they’ll find others to interact with that are on their level and that they can feel comfortable talking with them. It might be helpful to speak with your child’s teachers for help in locating not only an online tutoring system of help, but also a local center. They know what works for kids, but with your input about your child they’ll be better able to understand the full picture for online tutoring.
Finally, remember to look at any educational help as a blessing. Only a few years ago, kids that needed help didn’t get a lot of it. The fee of tutoring is affordable, and technology has provided kids the chance to get more assistance when they need it, at home or the library. Online tutoring has come of age in the 21st century.
Google’s “Big Daddy” Purportedly Causing Havoc With Page Rankings
Bigdaddy, Google’s new data centre, isn’t news to most webmasters; both Search Engine Watch and Webmaster World’s forums have discussed the technology since late 2005, and even Google’s own Chief Search Engineer Matt Cutts has blogged the topic extensively. Even the reason behind the naming convention (one of the Google staff’s kids call him Big Daddy at home) is out in the open.
How Bigdaddy will affect page rankings within Google however, still remains to be seen, although there is a lot of speculation floating around the Net. Mr. Cutt’s blog states that the new foundation will improve cannonicalization, which is the computer code that tells a search engine that
are all the same web site. It is also reported that the data center will positively impact 302 redirects, which have been a known issue for some time.
What wasn’t anticipated with the update though were the chaotic and oftentimes strange behaviors the search engine has displayed, most notably over the past several months. Although some of Google’s previously-indexed sites dropping off the face of the engine may be associated with their reported lack of server space and others due to Google’s “different datacenters get different data at different times” statement, many of the problems seem surreal, without explanation.
For instance, Webmaster World’s forums have reported large SERPS drops, changes in supplemental result handling, “home page only” results and pages dropping right out of the Bigdaddy index, while the Digital Point forums are asking if Google has cleaned their index and why the supplemental problem is reoccurring.
What little information is available on the subject is only the information that webmasters are providing each other; little explanation is coming from Google themselves right now. Some experts have shown that the supplemental deletions across the data centers have been gradual over the past several months, with the idea that perhaps the supplemental results are being deleted to free up server space. Others have noticed the inclusion of longer URLs with multiple variables, such as database-driven pages (which were not previously indexed), and the product-based sites like BizRate and Amazon generating higher search results than previously found.
Right now, the only “fixes” seem to be either contacting a member of the Google team (most notably posting in Mr. Cutts’ blog), ensuring your website doesn’t fit within the “too similar” Google guideline (as it seems that sites with slightly different page text are doing better than most) or hitting up Google’s site for a re-inclusion request. Without more guidance from Google though, there isn’t much webmasters can actively do at the moment, other than sit back and watch Bigdaddy work out the search engine-retrieval bugs, talk over the situation with other webmasters, and stay as informed on the subject as possible.
The iPhone – A Complete Media Center In Your Pocket
At prices that ranged from 9.00 to 9.00 Apple’s new iPhone hit the market on June 29th. The launch was without a doubt an incredible success, with lines around the corner all over the United States waiting patiently (sometimes) for the latest and greatest high tech toy. The iPhone however has turned out to be more tool than toy. Apple is now changing the way cell phones and cell phone accessories are being used. And what is Apple turning them into? A powerful media and communications device that can fit in your pocket.
Apple has been positioned as the friend of the people, standing against the corporate might of an unforgiving Microsoft. While this stance is more a marketing campaign than a mission statement, Apple is a strong competitor and is certainly a viable alternative to the traditional PC product. In the 80’s the Macintosh stood against the PC, and succeeded in the educational and creative community (the niche markets Apple wanted to begin with). Now the iPhone has will take Apple into the bleeding edge of technology, and it appears they are leading the charge.
Specifically the iPhone is:
• OS X
• Video formats supported: H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 768 Kbps, 320 by 240 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
• Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
• 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 160 dpi
• 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen multi-touch display
• Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
• 4GB or 8GB flash drive1
• 2.0 megapixels
• Audio formats supported: AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 1, 2, and 3), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
• Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
With a price tag between 9.00 and 9.00 the iPhone isn’t cheap. The vast majority of the marketplace will be unable or unwilling to pay this amount for a “phone”. As the word gets out however the market will slowly become aware that although this is called an “iPhone”, it isn’t a phone. This is something new altogether, and from a holistic standpoint the price is right.
Now in a single device you can listen to your favorite song, call your friends, read a web page, send an email, or watch a movie. Yes, watch a movie. Those stats certainly don’t read like a phone. But what about the traditional problems that are inherent with traditional PDAs or other wireless Internet devices such as tiny keypads and endless function screens, or the stylus that would never actually input the correct information? All gone. The iPhone is accessed via a touch screen with a virtual keypad that changes depending on the function the user is attempting to access. So it looks like a phone when you are making a call, and it looks like a keyboard when you access the Internet or send an email. The iPhone uses the Safari browser, so current Apple users will already be familiar with the look and feel. Also, don’t worry about spelling errors in your email as the iPhone will auto-correct just like you are accustomed too.
How Business Process Outsourcing Fares in India Today
The act of contracting business process functions to a
third party, more commonly known as business process
outsourcing or BPO is an increasingly popular trend.
Today, many of the world’s biggest companies have
outsourced some of their activities, and most of them
find their way to the cities of India.
Business Process Outsourcing in India The BPO industry
in India continues to grow. Now known as “the back
office of the world”, India is home to outsourcing
firms of numerous Fortune 500 companies.
In the 1980’s, a number of European airlines had
established back offices in India, and this arguably
built the roots of what’s now one of the world’s most
active business process outsourcing industries.
Other companies soon followed. In the same decade,
American Express brought over its Japan-Asia Pacific
branch into New Delhi. In the 1990’s, General
Electrics also came to set up its back office in
India. Other well-known corporations that had
outsourced their various business needs to India
include Motorola, Standards Chartered Bank, Yahoo,
Dell, Cisco, and Delta Air Lines.
Cities with high BPO activity include New Delhi, the
country’s capital, Chennai, and Bengaluru. Due to
increasing infrastructure costs however, other cities
are slowly being developed to match the resources
provided by Tier I cities. Tier II cities include
Jaipur, Mysore, and Kochi.
Advantages of Business Outsourcing in India There are
various benefits that companies can enjoy if they
choose to outsource several of their activities to
Human Resources Labor is comparatively cheaper in
India than in Western regions like the United States
and key cities in Europe. The Indian labor force is
also well-educated and with varying skills and
talents. Neither does it hurt that Indians had long
been educated to speak English.
Pioneers in Software Development India is one of the
world’s pioneers in software development.
Multinational IT firms wouldn’t find it terribly
difficult to procure competent resources for their
needs in India.
Technology and Infrastructure The country’s government
is very much aware of the economic benefits offered by
the growing BPO industry. As such, they have been more
than willing in recent years to improve infrastructure
and technology in order to make their cities
well-equipped to handle just about any call center
need of multinational companies.
Problems Encountered by the Business Process
Outsourcing Industry in India Of course, the BPO
industry, just like other industries, isn’t free from
problems. One major problem is the high rate of
attrition. Many BPO firms are keen on addressing the
high rate of attrition in their operations. There are
various reasons why many employees are choosing to
leave their relatively high-paid jobs.
Many jobs in the BPO sector require employees to work
at night and while they are certainly well-compensated
for their efforts, this doesn’t negate the fact that
they’d have to stay up late for work and suffer
possible health problems due to their unusual work
Stress and pressure during work isn’t something to
scoff at either, and this is another reason why people
prefer to leave their jobs in the BPO industry.
Business Process Outsourcing in India Today Recent
news have predicted India to generate approximately 8
million jobs over the next decade from the BPO
industry alone. One-fourth of this figure will be
immediately taken up by Tier II and III cities in
Today, ninety percent of the BPO industry’s labor
force is situated in the country’s top seven BPO and
ITO cities. This however has produced problems like
oversubscribed universities, rising infrastructure
costs, and overburdened roads.
It is the country’s hope that Tier II and III cities
will soon be able to provide the requisite resources
so as not to put the growth opportunity in BPO to
Beware Of Cruises In The Hurricane Season
Summer is usually the ideal time to take a vacation since the weather is warm and the kids are out of school. The lure of a cruise can be hard to pass up especially since Caribbean cruises can be deeply discounted in summer. The Caribbean has a hurricane season from about early June to late November so before you purchase your dream holiday it is important to keep some things in mind.
Cruise ships are very safe but they aren’t indestructible. There have been a few tragedies involving cruise ships in the last decade. This isn’t meant to scare you but make you aware that Mother Nature dictates your holiday especially in the hurricane season. Cruise ships are equipped with technology that can forecast weather conditions so don’t be unduly concerned.
Cruise lines will always but the safety of its passengers first and will never intentionally go through a storm. Cruise lines can skip or change a port of call with little or no compensation. If the weather is severe they may cancel a cruise all together in which case they will give you a voucher for another cruise at a future date. While understandable, a canceled trip can mean a missed vacation especially if your family’s vacation time is limited and not flexible.
Check with the cruise line company or your travel agent for information on changes due to weather. You can also purchase travel insurance but make sure you read the fine print and understand what is covered; some cover none or very little in the case of acts of God.
A storm may not be enough to cancel a cruise and you can still have an enjoyable time. There are activities on the ship that are indoors including exercise classes and shows. Make sure you bring some books and consider bringing a portable DVD player and movies to keep the family occupied.
Make sure you bring sea sick pills. Even if the weather is nice, the waters are sure to be rough. If you get sea sick, head to the center of the ship where swaying is at a minimum.
So your holiday plans are not totally spoiled, have a backup plan in case the cruise is cancelled. Plan your embarkation port as a fun city such as Orlando. If your cruise is cancelled then you can still head to Orlando and your family can enjoy Disneyworld. Also consider some enjoyable road trip options if the airport at your port city is closed.
Lastly, if you travel in the hurricane season plan for inclement weather and don’t get upset if it rains the entire time. Consider nice weather a bonus in the off season.
Marriage Counseling–Are You a Workaholic?
Justin, a thirty-five year old executive at a high-pressure investment firm works 60-70 hours per week. Even on vacation, he often slips away from the rest of the family to go on-line, check messages and answer phone calls. Until recently, he saw nothing abnormal about his behavior; in fact, everyone at his job works like that.
In the United States, we value work. Americans labor longer hours than workers in any other industrialized nation. In fact, in Western Europe, Americans are viewed as a “nation of workaholics.”
According to a 1998 study by the Families and Work Institute in New York, the average American now works 44 hours of work per week, which represents an increase of 3.5 hours since 1977. This is far more than the workers in France (39 hours per week) and Germany (40). According to a new report from the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), “Workers in the United States are putting in more hours than anyone else in the industrialized world.”
The ILO statistics show that in 2000, the average American worked almost one
more week of work than the year before; working an average of 1,978 hours – up from 1,942 hours in 1990. Americans now work longer hours than Canadian, Japanese, or Australian workers.
What are we working for? It’s not vacations. The typical American worker has an average of two weeks of vacation as compared to four – six weeks for their European counterparts.
For happiness? According to regular surveys by the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago, no more Americans report they are “very happy” now than in 1957, despite near doubling in personal consumption expenditures. Indeed, the world’s people have consumed as many goods and services since 1950 as all previous generations put together, yet report that they are not any happier.
There are many costs in working so hard. People tend to cut back on sleep and time with their families. A recent survey found that almost a third of people working more than 48 hours a week said that exhaustion was affecting married life. Nearly a third admitted that work-related tiredness was causing their sex life to suffer, and 14% reported a loss of or reduced sex drive. They also complained that long hours and overwork led to arguments and tensions at home. Two out of five people working more than 48 hours a week blamed long hours for disagreements and said they felt guilty at not pulling their weight with domestic chores.
So how do you know if your job has turned into workaholic habits? Here are some of the warning signs:
*Your home is organized just like another office.
*Colleagues describe you as hard working, needing to win, and overly committed.
*You keep “technology tethers” like cell phones, pagers and laptops with you all times, even on vacations.
*Friends either don’t call anymore, or you quickly get off the phone when they do call.
*Sleep seems like a waste of time.
*Work problems circle in your mind, even during time off.
*Work makes you happier than any other aspect of your life.
*People who love you complain about the hours you work and beg you to take some time off.
If you experience some of these warning signs on a regular basis, it may be time to
re-evaluate how you are handling work in your life. A healthy marriage takes time and commitment. Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
Shedding Some Light On Outsourcing Pros And Cons
About 15 years ago, the concept of outsourcing was fairly unheard of in the business society. As of today, it has become a widespread custom that allows companies, both big and small, to focus on income-augmenting activities and core competencies. Then again, like any other field of business, companies will surely come across a number of outsourcing pros and cons.
These days, “outsourcing” has become a standard term in the media. This is mainly because of the fact that numerous big companies are reaching out to countries like China, India and several other nations in order to take advantage of low-wage employees. Although various types of businesses have resulted to large sums of saving by subcontracting activities to overseas workers, the majority of outsourcing endeavors are not worldwide in nature.
Companies typically outsource a wide array of functions. Some of the commonly outsourced business activities include human resources and payroll management, call center operations, technology, public relations and marketing, and housekeeping services. Most of the time, tasks that call for special skills, legal know-how, or regulatory expertise are well suited for outsourcing.
As far as strategies go, outsourcing could be viewed as a good and cost-effective business solution. Of course, the different functions should at all times depend on the nature of the business, its core competencies, and its goals. In addition, well-supervised companies that aim to do things right yet could not afford to employ payroll specialists, compensation experts, senior-level human resource directors or lawyers usually acknowledge the importance of accessible professionals.
The collective advantage of outsourcing rests in the fact that it allows businesses to cut down on operating expenditures, as well as training costs. As a result, companies have more time and resources to focus on core competencies while improving their level of productivity. Access to cheaper and better technologies is also made possible. On top of that, companies can keep up with the competition without spending a fortune.
End-users in developed nations also derive benefit from outsourcing in the sense that they’re able to get hold of cheaper, high-quality products. Aside from that, they’re also provided with excellent customer service without the added cost.
The opposite end of the outsourcing spectrum reveals a somewhat different story. Companies that decide to outsource various business functions can also get into hot water with their service providers due to a variety of reasons.
Outsourcing calls for control over the activities being outsourced. This means that companies may need to partially or totally relinquish jurisdiction over a certain area or areas of the business operation. Conflicts between the owners and service providers are expected to arise with this type of setup.
Another issue that company owners need to factor into the equation is the possible effects that outsourcing may have on their own employees. The looming prospect that they might lose their jobs due to outsourcing may drive them to not function properly.
The different cons of outsourcing are the reasons why businesses should think thoroughly before contracting with a service provider. A planned approach should be implemented on the subject of outsourcing. It should also consider the interests of clients and employees alike.
Outsourcing pros and cons should, therefore, be weighed up before deciding to jump onto the bandwagon. The advantages should always be greater than the disadvantages so as to get the maximum benefit of outsourced services.
Get The Most From Your Auto Insurance With These Simple Tips
There are two approaches to buying auto insurance. You can go online and get quotes and take the lowest one. But this will probably be insurance through a call center. If you want a face to face relationship with your agent, you will want to get quotes from companies that have local offices.
If possible, pay your entire auto insurance policy premium at once. Most carriers either offer a discount for paying in full or, at a minimum, do not charge monthly service fees when you are not making monthly payments. The discount can be significant and prevents you from having to worry about monthly payments over the life of the policy. At the same time, while monthly fees may be small, they add up over time.
Part of the cost of your auto insurance is based on where you live. In particular, people who live in urban areas, generally pay a significant amount more for their auto insurance than people who live in rural areas. If you live and work in a city, you might want to consider trying to find a place in a rural area, from where you can feasibly commute to work.
When it comes time to cancel your existing auto insurance policy, make sure you understand the carrier’s cancellation policy. Some carriers require notification in writing of your intent to cancel. Others may only require a telephone call. In all cases, if you are between renewal dates, make sure you understand the carrier’s practice on premium’s owed. Some policies require premium payment at the front of a policy, meaning that if you cancel mid-term, you may still be liable for a refund for the remainder of the term.
If you’ve ever been in an accident you know what a hassle is to get an insurance adjuster to pay your claim. But if you’ve read this tip, next time won’t be so difficult. With modern technology everyone has a camera handy. Don’t be afraid to use it! After an accident, take pictures of your car, their car, and yourself if there are any injuries. This should make getting the claim paid far less troublesome.
Consider your daily commute when purchasing auto insurance coverage. If you only drive a few blocks, you are at lower risk of an accident than if you drive a long way on winding roads dodging wildlife. While an accident can occur anywhere at any time, the longer you are on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident. This can affect the amount of coverage you feel you need.
Better your eye focus while you are driving. Let your vision focus on something far away, such as an oncoming car, and then quickly look at your speedometer. Continue doing this as the car approaches, and every time you drive. You will eventually find that your eyes are focusing much faster than before!
Now that you have thoroughly researched what a variety of auto insurers can offer you, you can weigh and balance them. If lowest cost trumps every other consideration, your decision is easy. But if other factors in the policies and coverage and location play a role, you may decide another company’s offer is preferable to the one giving the lowest quote.
Cisco VoIP, Easy Shortcut to an Effective and Unified Communication
Technology has a never-ending story. It speaks about change and evolution and not about permanence. From film-making to video game consoles, expect that technology will find a way to change these things into something that will interest the public as well as have it coping up with the drastic change of time and society.
From the traditional method of recording films during the pre-war times, there you have modern film-making equipments to help film-makers and producers make their movies very interesting to the viewing public. Fantasy, scientific fiction (sci-fi), and animated movies are now possible with these modern film-making gadgets and equipments. On the other hand, from the 2-dimesional graphics and monotonous audio outputs of Magnavox and Atari video game systems, there you have the seventh generation of video game consoles, such as the newly-released PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, which is now the center of attention of the gaming public.
Technology changed the way the people look and use such stuff.
It is not surprising to see communication tools evolve through the course of history. From the Morse code and telegraph mode of communication during the early times come the modern and sophisticated communication tools, which are produced for a single purpose-to provide individuals an effective, reliable, and convenient communication channel in keeping in touch with their friends and loved ones all over the world.
Regular telephone lines started the saga of modern communication system, which allowed individuals to make voice calls anywhere in the world in exchange for a certain fee charge on a per-minute or per-call basis, depending on the telephone service provider. At the later decades of the 20th century, mobile phones were introduced to the market. Such mobile phones allowed a user to make voice calls even if he or she is in a remote area, provided that the mobile phone service reaches such remote area. Satellite phones are also produced to cater individuals who are living outside the coverage area of a regular mobile phone service provider. These are all products of technology to make existing communication systems convenient and reliable for the public to use.
At the early years of the 21st century, the communication industry introduced another form of modern communication, which is said to be the most reliable and cost-effective communication tool nowadays-the Voice over Internet Protocol, or commonly known as VoIP. This latest communication offering is now wisely used for business application and now getting popular among residential and other applications as well.
VoIP differs from other communication system in one thing-communication medium. Unlike in regular telephone lines that make use of underground telephone cables and mobile phone lines that make use of signal towers, VoIP relies on a high-speed Internet connection to facilitate voice calls. Thus, VoIP routes voice conversations using the Internet or other Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks.
VoIP became popular to business applications because it cuts down telephone bills by as much as 60 percent, both in terms of installation costs and monthly bills. You only need to purchase one VoIP infrastructure and upgrade your existing VoIP system if you will need several lines in the future. In addition, VoIP systems are cheaper by about 22 percent in terms of operation compared to circuit-switched networks. That is why the installation cost and monthly billing in VoIP system is cheaper compared to regular telephone lines.
Such advantages prompt telecommunication giants to switch from their traditional phone system operations to VoIP system. One of which is Cisco, which provides VoIP-based structures to help business organizations integrate their communication system closely with their business processes as well as to ensure that information and other data reaches the intended recipients by using the most appropriate medium.
Cisco’s primary VoIP offering, which is the Cisco Unified Communication, is now a recognized product in voice as well as in data communication. It combined the advantageous features of networking security and open application programming interface to facilitate an effective business communication channel within the walls of your business organization, which can lead to simplified network management and lower total cost of business operation.
Soon, Cisco will introduce the VoIP system extensively to residential and other essential applications. They are committed to provide an effective and unified communication not just for businesses but for the world as a whole.
Know Who You Should Contact
Children of the pre-teen years all the way up to the teens rarely play with toys anymore – certainly much less than those of the earlier generation, thanks to the advent and rise of modern technology, most notably the Internet. Games can be found on computers and the Internet, even for kids, which are most often the substitute for actual playing with other kids. Times have indeed changed with children preferring to interact online rather than for real.
While computers and the Internet are good sources of amusement and entertainment for children, dangers lurk around every imaginable “corner” of the Internet, from the actual gaming sites to hardcore pornography sites which can pop up with one simple click of the mouse. Social networking sites like Friendster and MySpace, known to attract those of the younger generation, are also the haven for perpetrators looking for innocent, unsuspecting victims that they can find easy to trick, such as children, who are the most vulnerable.
As a parent, you need to find the various ways possible to protect your child from the dangers of the Internet, while still allowing him/her the privilege of exploring it. However, it is understandable that at times, the child can be secretive and will lie to his/her parents. Yes, he/she is only exposing him/herself to the dangers of the Internet, but a parent can only do so much when the child lies. If all avenues of protection have been exhausted and the child still gets into Internet trouble, as a parent, you need to know who to call.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is usually the agency that handles cases like these wherein the child is exploited by unknown perpetrators on the Internet. Perhaps the perpetrator sent or allowed the child to view pornographic materials, whether photo or video. Since this is bound to have a significant deal of psychological effect, the agency mentioned will help your child deal with that fact. The hotline for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is 1-800-843-5678.
If the act occurred on a social networking site such as MySpace or Friendster, you may try calling the site owners and/or operators and give the username of the perpetrator if you’ve managed to obtain it. Although this could be somewhat of a long shot (due to the fact that it is accessible from any computer in the world, including in countries without specific laws dealing with these situations), you could still try it as the very least these social networking sites could do is to ban the user from their sites.
Of course, if any sexual act, criminal activity, and/or suspicious behavior occurred, you have to notify the local law enforcement agencies. If the police are able to catch the perpetrator, it could prevent him from victimizing other children. Also, the police are very adept with modern technology and can catch a perpetrator during any criminal activity or just prior to.
It is also important to notify your internet service provider. If a perpetrator tricks your child into going to a questionable site, you can have the internet service provider block that particular site and also warn them to warn the other clients of the said service provider. That way, the effect of the questionable site is greatly lessened.
Aside from the social agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others that will help in this problem, it is also good to inform other parents who are experiencing or will experience the same problem of a child spending a lot of time on the Internet. Should your child be victimized, warn the other parents, whether they are the parents of your child’s schoolmates, family friends, or those in social clubs, of the dangers of the Internet and how to prevent a child from being exploited. This will go a long way into helping solve a problem that affects the whole world.
Schools should also be notified, beginning with the school your child attends. Schools can give pep talks regarding the dangers of the Internet, what to do when faced with questionable circumstances, etc. Sometimes, schools have a way of reaching the children the way parents can’t.
Knowing who to contact will definitely help solve this world-wide problem of child exploitation via the Internet.
Sports Handicapping Services Explained
If you bet on sports, or perhaps even if you don’t, you most likely know what a sports handicapping service is. Most people know that they give out sports picks, but what is happing behind the scenes? Are all sports handicapping services the same? Do they really win often? What is inside information? This article will explain the sports handicapping profession by answering these questions. While every sports handicapping service operates in a different way, there are some common elements integrated into each one.
For decades sports handicapping services have touted their “inside information” as a reason why you should pay them. Before the Internet really took hold in the mid 1990’s, this was by in large accurate. It was necessarily that the sports handicapping service knew the players, it was the fact that they had access to information that, by in large, most sports bettors did not. In fact, unless you lived in Las Vegas or knew someone, your sports information was limited to what was in the general media.
The Internet changed all of that. Today, the average sports bettor has access to a plethora of information. Dare I say, the average sports bettor today has most access than did even the most informed sports handicapping service did before the Internet took off. The Internet has change betting on sports in so many ways. Sports bettors can easily shop lines, get information straight from teams and reports 24/7, bet on sports online, access mounds of stats and so much more.
The Call Center
The call center is still thriving and it’s where operators stand by to give you, the sports bettor, a selection or sell you on a service. Technology has greatly changed this area of sports handicapping, but it’s still around. One trick less ethical sports handicapping services use it to alternate their free selection. Let’s say that there’s a free pick advertised on an NBA game between the L.A. Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. Caller one would be told that the “lock” selection of the day is the Lakers. Caller two would be told the “lock” selection of the say is the Spurs. Caller three would hear the Lakers and so on and so forth. Why would they do this? Well, by alternating, the unethical handicapping service is guaranteed to hit 50% and that means half of the callers become potential clients since they received a free winner. Unfortunately, it’s an effective technique.
The Free Sports Pick
We talked about free sports picks in the previous section. Every sports handicapping service has free sports picks. It’s the most used advertising tool out there. The goal is to give you a winner (or a good percentage of winners), so you can’t help but want their really good stuff. In the old days, you would get free sports picks by watching TV, reading media (like magazines) or calling up free pick lines. Today, free selections are all over the Internet. In fact, if you look long enough, you will probably end up with a 50/50 split on any game you seek out.
There’s no real set pricing structure. Every service is different. Many services try to sell you season packages or special event packages. This way they can lock down money and concentrate on selecting games. Also, if you buy a season or event package, it makes their job much easier since they have a guaranteed customer. If you purchase daily picks, they have to keep working hard to earn you as a client. A couple of bad days and they lose you. If you are locked in for the season or event, it does not matter as much.
So, you now have a little peak inside the workings of a sports handicapping service. The world’s full of sports handicapping services, from the one-person operation to the larger company filled with sports handicappers.
Nokia will host commercial OMA PoC and Presence services for 3
Nokia will host commercial Push to talk over Cellular (PoC) and Presence services for 3 Scandinavia in Sweden and Denmark, thus allowing the operator to roll out the solution more quickly and efficiently. The service, enabling people to use their mobile phones like walkie-talkies, communicating with a selected group or with individuals at the push of a button, will be launched in September.
The agreement marks the launch of the world’s first commercial Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)-compliant Push to talk over Cellular service, leveraging Nokia’s leading position in GSM/WCDMA 3G-based PoC, unique experience from terminals, knowledge of consumer behavior, and systems integration. The PoC services are interoperable across all OMA-compliant wireless networks and handsets. Nokia will operate the PoC platform from its new Hosting Center to be opened in Vienna, Austria in September. Nokia will also deliver 3 Scandinavia Nokia Eseries business devices with preset PoC settings.
“After a successful push to talk trial with Nokia, we are confident in Nokia’s ability to host the service for 3 allowing us to concentrate on our core business,” said Jörgen Askeroth, Chief Technology Officer, 3 Scandinavia. “Arranging meetings, for example, will be cheaper and and faster by push to talk than by a regular mobile phone call.”
“Nokia Mobility Hosting tackles the major challenges operators face in launching and managing as-yet unproven new services -cost, complexity, risk- and gives them the confidence to explore and discover important new revenue streams,” said Patrik Sallner, Head of Hosting Service Line, Networks, Nokia. “Hosting is a rising telecoms industry trend, and an area where Nokia intends to grow.”
Hosting is one of the many tools that Nokia can offer operators to help grow their business in the face of ever-toughening competition and growing technological complexity. Hosting sits alongside Managed Services to form one of the main pillars of Nokia’s growing Services business unit. Nokia is a leader in the managed services market, with 40 agreements in 31 countries.
Nokia’s end-to-end push to talk solution offers a full feature set, and is compliant with the OMA standard. It also includes Nokia Presence solution which adds a whole new dimension to push to talk by letting mobile subscribers know how and when they can reach their family, friends, or colleagues – before making a call. Nokia Push to talk over Cellular is part of Nokia’s IMS for fixed and mobile offering and compliant with 3GPP IMS standards. In addition to voice, the solution will be capable of supporting various push-to-media, such as video. With commercial contracts for 53 PoC service offerings, and several operator trials ongoing, Nokia is leading the market for Push to talk over Cellular in GSM.
Ask Don’t Tell Leadership: When To Start Your Own Business?
When to start your own business?
Q: After working at one company for 10 years, I would like to begin my own business. What issues do I need to consider, and how do I know when it is the right time to take the “big step?”
A: Almost 20 years ago, my roommate asked me to spend a day of my vacation in New York spying on his competition at a tradeshow. I made up a story to tell the vendors at the show — I was planning to start a fundraising call center for politicians and wanted to implement the most advanced technology in the industry. Eighteen years later, my business partner and I were running one of the largest outsourced call center operations in the world!
With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we made it, but there is no way to eliminate the risks of entrepreneurship. There are, however, several key questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are prepared.
1.) Do I have a business plan?
A clear business plan is essential, and the lack of a plan is a frequent cause of business failure. A business plan helps you assess, in advance, how you are going to address key issues. I have found planning software, such as BizPlan, to be very helpful. It may take weeks or even months to develop a quality plan, because your ideas may need a gestation period before fully coming together. Throughout planning, it is important to find a source of objective feedback — ideally, someone who clearly understands the process.
2.) Do I have the energy and physical stamina for the venture?
Owning your own business typically requires long hours, and stamina is essential. It is common to work 12 to 16 hours a day, particularly during the first several years. Be prepared, and be honest with yourself. If you do not already have an exercise regimen, begin one now.
3.) Can I get the money I need to support the business and myself?
If your business plan is interesting and enticing, money will be available. Although most banks have little interest in financing a start-up these days, they can help you secure an SBA (Small Business Association) loan. An SBA loan can be valuable, even though it may require repayment before you can raise money elsewhere.
Another approach for financing your business is the “family and friends” model. If you go this route, do not overlook the strings attached. Your family dinners and get-togethers can quickly turn into shareholder meetings, particularly when your business is struggling!
There are numerous other options. Couples with two incomes may be able to independently afford the transition of one spouse into business ownership. You may be able to fund the business yourself, especially at the outset. Several years ago, I left my call center business, because it no longer filled my passion. I began my new business, executive coaching for entrepreneurs, by using money earned from my first venture.
4.) Does my family support this?
It is important that your family truly understand the demands of business ownership. There are subtle differences, for example, between working long hours for someone else and working long hours for yourself. “My boss needs this done by tomorrow; I have to miss Johnny’s game” becomes “I need to get this done by tomorrow; I have to miss Johnny’s game.” Before writing your plan, make sure all your stakeholders are aware of the details.
5.) How do I feel about making critical decisions and being responsible for others?
Owning a business requires constant decision making, often with no time for self-reflection or opinion gathering. Depending on the business, you may become responsible for other people’s livelihoods. Their families will count on their incomes, and your decisions and behaviors will significantly influence their lives. You will no longer be responsible for your family alone, but for all families supported by your business. From experience, I can tell you that this is more stressful than you might imagine!
6.) Am I willing to do things I have no business doing?
Owning a business may force you to learn subjects and perform tasks that have never been your forte. Aside from French, accounting was my worst subject in school. Today, I am quite good at understanding numbers, purely because accounting skills are critical to successful business ownership. Similarly, I quickly learned to repair computers when we could initially not afford a service contract. If you resist doing things that you do not know how to do, reflect hard on your decision to start a business.
7.) Is your soul calling you?
I have always admired those who just “knew” it was their time, almost as though their souls were calling them. They reached a point when they could no longer work for someone else. Your soul may be calling you. Have you begun arriving to work with your body, but not with your mind? Are you working to earn money, but dreading every moment of it? These are potential signals that it is your time. Just remember, however, your soul does not give a “Get out of writing a business plan” pass. Remember, your business plan is essential.
Laser Eyelid Rejuvenation
Dear Dr. Seckel, Is eyelid rejuvenation the same as reducing circles and drooping under the eyes? I’m not sure about this. My problem is under my eyes which makes me look tired and older. Do I need a blepharoplasty or eyelid lift? Thank you, Florence, Boston, MA.
June 28th, 2006
Thank you very much for your inquiry about eyelid rejuvenation.
The short answer to your question is yes, eyelid rejuvenation refers to the correction of loose skin, puffiness and dark circles under the eye which makes a person look tired.
Some patients who only have wrinkles and old looking skin can be made to look much better with a Laserlyte peel also called an ActiveFX Laser Peel and Botox. We are the only center in Boston who has experience with this eyelid rejuvenation technique. The Laserlyte peel or Active-FX Peel with the Lumenis Ultrapulse Encore CO2 Lyte is the newest and best technology available.
Most patients however need an eyelid rejuvenation procedure called a blepharoplasty to make the lower eyelid look refreshed and young.
I also use the laser to do this procedure and use a modern technique called a transconjunctival laser blepharoplasty which involves a tiny incision on the inside of the eyelid to correct the aging changes. The benefit is that there is no visible scar on the outside of the eyelid and the natural shape of the eyelid is not changed.
Most other Plastic Surgeons do this operation through a scalpel incision on the outside of the eyelid which leaves a scar and changes the shape of the eyelid.
Finally, to remove dark circles under the eyes we do a procedure called an arcus marginalis release and fat grafting or tear trough implant to plump up the dark circle. This is a new technique and is also done through the inside transconjunctival incision.
I would be delighted to offer you a complimentary consultation in Boston to discuss your situation.
Please call Michele at 617-262-2208 if you would like to come in for a consultation.
Webcam Technology – Beyond Just Entertainment
The online entertainment of web tools the like of webcams, music and movie transfers and voice changer software has indeed been given an amazing boost with the development of virtually unlimited global bandwidth and high-performing computers; huge volumes of videos and audios are quickly downloaded to personal laptops, while softwares that require significant disk space to operate like the voice changers could run smoothly like never before.
In the scope of this article, I would like to focus on an emerging, or rather renewed, aspect of web-based entertainment, the webcams. The old days of delayed webcam images of low resolution via congested telephone wires have long been replaced with high-quality pictures personalized with on-screen animations of texts and icons transferred through submarine fiber optic cables.
Beyond the entertainment sensations of teenagers exchanging good explicit, as well as bad explicit, photos on the web while savoring a good chat or two, sometimes even further empowered with entertainment chat tools such as the voice changers of Media Morpher, webcam technology has proved itself more than just another online entertainment tool. The little camera has evolved into a household friend that makes business sense. I’ll tell you how.
69-year-old diabetic Norwegian Karin Jordal was saved when the images of her collapsing in the living room of her California apartment were transmitted to her son, Tore Jordal, who was working in the Philippines via their connected webcams. Tore alerted his brother, Ole Jordal, in Norway, who knew just who in the States to contact to help their mother. Within 10 minutes, an emergency ambulance arrived at Karin’s apartment. She had since recovered steadily.
Without the little webcam often considered for pure entertainment purpose, how could such wonder have happened to Karin and her sons? “Now I see the Internet as a way to save lives. It’s also a wonderful tool for people who live alone in some remote area, and might need help,” Ole said.
Besides such humane quotient of the webcam and its internet associates like the voice changers or music editor softwares, webcam products also facilitate business activities in the case of, for instance, the Jordals. The webcams allow the family to constantly be in touch with one another, making them feel at ease while pursuing their interests away from their home. This psychological assurance does help one improve his professional performance, according to an America-based online research firm in 2005.
Another insightful experience to illustrate how the webcams could come in handy in the business context: John Jackson, an Indian call center operator, narrated his story of how a heart-broken American lady called in one night and asked if she could speak to him face to face. John empathetically explained he could not leave his work, and assured the woman that he could live chat with her for the time being. As Indian call centers do not usually wish to be known to customers as Indians (due to problems of prejudice), John had to mask his webcam picture and adjusted his voice accordingly to sound more American.
John managed to console the lady so well that night that she sent in a testimonial to him. That sparked an idea in the 28-year-old man; he thought of introducing a service line that caters specially to those who needs not the business updates but simply some one to talk comfortably to. He is now overseeing an ever thriving business.
Let’s snap back. It is known that voice changers by Media Morpher could effectively help John modify his voice and calm the American lady. But it is not too widely known that webcam morpher softwares recently available could mask John’s image with some one else’s of his preference. Though still in the Beta phase, the AV WebCam Morpher by Audio4Fun is capable of many funky tricks that meet your online entertainment needs. And most of all, the webcam software is for free download right now.
So scrap all the rantings about how online entertainment tools are just fads that would some day be gone! One who looks beyond the entertainment factor to recognize how to embrace entertainment technology to better his life is indeed the one that goes beyond his time.
About the Author:
Josh Nowell is a Media Morpher writer keen on technology development and how it enriches our experiences in life.
He could be contacted at email@example.com (attention to Josh Nowell).
VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP phone is also known as broadband phone because it requires broadband internet connection to make and receive phone calls. VoIP technology allows the conversion of voice into digital signal. The signal is then transmitted over the internet and converted back to voice when it reaches the destination.
VoIP phone service has many advantages over analog phone line. The major advantage is the cost. Since the voice signal is transmitted over the internet and is considered as data service, VoIP phone service is exempted from long distance fees. Therefore, many VoIP phone providers can offer a very low rate for long distance and international calls.
Many VoIP phone providers also offer bonus services such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls for free. In contrast, you will have to pay extra for these services using analog phone companies.
Some broadband phone providers allow you to choose a virtual phone number with an area code different from where you live. For example, if you live in California and most of your friends and relatives live in New York, you can pick a virtual number for New York. When your friends and relatives call you from New York, they will only be charged for local calls and not long distance calls.
Nevertheless, VoIP phone service also has some disadvantages. VoIP phone service relies on broadband connection to transmit the signal, it will not work with dialup internet connection. The quality of internet connection also determines the quality of the calls.
VoIP phone service will not work if there is power outage and when the internet connection is down. It is safer to use it as a second phone line, or install a backup power supply and get a cellular phone as a backup.
The 9-1-1 service provided by VoIP phone service is also different from analog phone which is associated with a fixed address. The 9-1-1 emergency center may not be able to determine your location based on your virtual phone number. VoIP phone users should update their current address with their service provider to ensure that emergency help will be dispatched to your location promptly.
In summary, VoIP broadband phone provides great savings on long distance calls and is a low cost alternative for a second phone line. However, it also has its own limitations. Customers who wish to use VoIP service should ensure that they have a stable and high quality broadband connection. A primary analog phone or a cellular phone would be a good backup in case of power outage or internet connection problems.
The Web Advantage In Building A Trend Setting Company
The Web gives you the ability to see and view your business in a new way. Some call it peripheral vision that makes you more aware of your surroundings. It is looking straight ahead while having the ability to be aware of everything outside your field of vision. To often business concentrate so hard on the same things day in and day out. The business owner may loss the ability to take a wide and long look at his goals by concentrating on center stage.
You want to be a maverick and start new trends. At the very least you want to spot a new trend in its infancy. A business owner can not afford to only see the problem and the same solutions over and over. He has to set his scope to a new view. By not having selective hearing and vision you can listen to the political, economic and technology that affects your industry. You look at the past and use this data to project the future growth of your industry.
Unconventional thinking is what is needed to build a maverick company. The skills that allow one to do that are launching wannabe entrepreneurs. Eventually the new web technology will help companies innovate and change the game. This technology should be intergraded into your business model. The web does not innovate for you it gives you the tools for you to. Businesses are starting to flourish with the help of the World Wide Web.
What is amazing is that there is still widespread spending on print advertising. The web and all the mobile devices are transforming the way we do business. From Ipods to blackberries this is the future of business. Our society has always rewarded renegades and mavericks because that is what capitalism thrives on. This is the first time in our history where you can broadcast your ideas and business from where you live. The limitations have just been lifted; all you have to do is not underestimate the power of the internet.
To broadcast your business on the web means that you also appear on wireless mobile devices. The upcoming surge in web use will cause economic growth for sluggish brick and mortar business. To win at business is to see with peripheral vision and watch the genuine growth of the web. The web audience wants related content to what ever they are searching for. Your rivals are likely out their building an audience. Almost every business is represented on the web.
The web has blown things open by making it easier than ever for people to discover your business. The promotional material that you publish about your company on the web can now be quite innovative. It can be audio, video, digital images, or slides that introduce you and your enterprise to the world. It just gets better and better as the new technology develops. This still represents trends that are in their infancy. This is the place for you to invent and innovate until your business becomes the trend setter.
Internet Safety Program Combats Online Predators
While the Internet offers a world of information for kids, it also presents great dangers from online sexual predators.
Every year, one in five children receives a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet. With millions of children in chat rooms and sending instant messages, parents must take action to protect their kids.
A recent survey of young people revealed the following statistics about how parents are supervising their children’s online time: More than half of young people (53 percent) say their parents never ask them about whom they are talking to on the Internet, and 55 percent say their parents never surf the Internet with them.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to create NetSmartz (www.netsmartz.org), an interactive, educational safety resource for children ages 5 to 17. Parents, guardians, educators and law enforcement personnel can access age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to stay safer on the Internet.
Here are some Internet safety tips for parents:
* Keep the computer in the family room or another open area of your home.
* If children use chat or e-mail, talk to them about never meeting in person with anyone they “met” online.
* Know who your children are exchanging e-mail with, and only let them use chat areas when you can supervise. Limit chatroom access to child-friendly chat sites.
* Let your children show you what they do online. Visit their favorite Web sites.
* If you suspect online “stalking” or sexual exploitation of a child, report it to your local law-enforcement agency or call the CyberTipline at (800) 843-5678.
With the support of Microsoft, BGCA also has implemented the Club Tech program in more than 3,700 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. Club Tech’s goal is to “technology enable” every club by providing software, curriculum and computer training for staff and youth.
New technology centers are becoming available online every week, teaching basic computer skills and Internet safety.
Outsourcing: Why and How to Outsource Your Business
Outsourcing is one of the latest buzzwords in the business world. It is an effective business solution that will truly benefit any company. Outsourcing means you will be hiring a third party company to do your company’s business or at least part of it. So, why outsource your business when you can do the business of your company in-house?
The main reason why companies today are outsourcing their business or at least part of their business to other companies is that it is relatively cheaper than doing it in-house. For example, if your company needs a customer care department or a help desk, you will need a particularly large office space for this department and a lot of materials, such as computers, software and your company will also hire a large amount of manpower to act as call center agents or help desk agents.
If you outsource it to call center companies, you will definitely not need to hire additional employees and you will not need to purchase the technology needed to run an effective call center department. You will also not need to devote an office space as the office can be in another country.
Companies prefer outsourcing in another country or offshore outsourcing, particularly in developing countries, such as India, Philippines, China, and countries in Latin America. This is because there is quite a large pool of talented individuals joining the workforce every year in these countries. Qualified and talented professionals in these countries can provide the same quality services as the qualified individuals in developed countries with companies that outsource their business or part of it, such as the United States, Canada, and countries in Europe.
This means that the companies who outsource their business in developing countries have access to cheap labor. They can save as much as half of their budget when they do not outsource or when they perform their businesses in-house.
Another reason is that the companies who outsource their business or part of their business will be able to focus more in the development of their company. Companies will be able to make full use of their facilities and resources for other important matters to make the company grow or improve.
The office space intended for the outsourced job can be used for another department. It can be an expansion of another department or it can be an entirely new department that the company may add.
Finding the right company to outsource your business can be rather easy to do. You actually don’t have to travel to the country where you plan on outsourcing you business. All you have to do is search for it in your favorite search engine in the internet and you can expect a lot of results.
Since there are a lot of companies that offer outsourcing services, there will be a great chance that you will find a company that will suit your company’s needs. It is recommended however that you should look for a company that is known to provide quality outsourced work. Find out if the company have ever worked with the same business you have in order to know that the company you plan on hiring have an experience in your field before.
Remember these things and you will know why outsourcing can definitely help your business and where and how to find the right company to get your business outsourced.
Work At Home Business Solutions At Your Own Pace
With the advent of computers and high speed Internet access, better choices are out for those looking for work at home jobs. Nowadays, companies are switching their mindsets to accommodate working the home. Affiliate marketers tout the work at home philosophy, outsourcing companies are looking to establish home-based calling centers, and work at home mothers are starting their own businesses. In this article, I will discuss four work at home business opportunities: a home based calling center, EBay, mystery shopping, and freelance writing.
For starters, advances in call routing technology have made it possible for companies to hire home based employees to handle their order and sales calls. This work at home business solution lets companies save on traditional call center costs and avoid turnover. This work at home business opportunity usually pays by the minute (a welcome change from paying idle employees at their cubicles.) This work at home business usually requires a quiet area free of distractions to accept incoming calls. The pay is better for sales jobs than order taking and grows steadily over time with commissions and incentives. Some companies currently hiring include workathomeagent.com and liveops.com.
Another work at home job is EBay’s online auctions. With more than 1 million people working full time or part time as EBay sellers, it makes for an exceptional source of income. Work at home enthusiasts can sell both their used items or products in bulk and flip it for a profit, like CDs, DVDs, genuine watches, purses, and more. This work at home business solution comes with plenty of tutorials and guide books to get started, including a Dummies book for Powersellers.
Freelance writing is another work at home business solution skilled writers can do. Today, there is a booming market for content writing throughout the Internet. Buyers on Elance.com and guru.com are paying serious money to ghostwriters who will work their content. Through these sites, work at home enthusiasts can bid on projects and gain a clientele. These work at home jobs can pay anywhere from for 10 articles to 00 for e-books. Freelance writing has plenty of competition, but the more established writers are in a league by themselves in this excellent work at home business opportunity.
To conclude, freelance writing, home based calling centers, and EBay are solid sources of income as a work at home job.
Goldmine Software Sales Automation Software
Goldmine Software has earned a reputation for providing quality sales automation software but it has also decided to enter the contact center market. The 32 bit version of this contact management software is readily available.
This is a product that not only automates your sales division but offers you all kinds of tools such as report writing capabilities with spell checker and graphical organization charts. You are going to impress them with this quarters report! You also get a calendar where you ca schedule all your appointments and activities and it’s been improved considerably since the previous version. Finally let’s not forget about the ACT! Import Wizard. This piece of software is no wimp. It’s packed with power to get the job done.
FrontOffice 2000 integrates with Goldmine providing sales personal, marketing staff, and call center agents with a single complete customer database which quickly provides them with whatever information the need to know about the customer and the products the customer has. This unified system ensures that everyone has up to date information on the customer.
Managers love it because with the click of a mouse they have a complete overview of what’s happening in their department and they can now quickly and effectively track not only problems but trends and patterns too. As well they can monitor their department’s activities and communication and they can compare it across departments. It’s a powerful tool for managers to find and correct internal problems.
With departments being able to quickly trade information managers are much more able to ensure cohesiveness not only in their own department but across the board. You don’t even have to be in the office because it can all be accessed remotely.
This program might not bring you all the bells and whistles of larger packages such as Siebel’s but this is solid technology for the average budget and it goes from the box into production with no technical support required. This is a turnkey piece of software and it was designed with the small to medium call center in mind.
Goldmine Software offers training and lets you tap into the full power of this software. You can pay for on site training or have a few staff attend classes at there site. That said this software is also easy enough for staff to learn on their own. The training however gives you the skills to get the full power out of the Goldmine Software.
Goldmine Software certainly is the right name because any business running it is sitting on a gold mine.
Make Money With Coastal Vacations But Don’t Leave Yourself Out
The travel industry is hot today, especially with growth in technology and the Internet and large travel companies like Coastal Vacations. Computers and online tools are helping people earn extra income not only with affordable sales and marketing tools, but also with plenty of other tools to help your prospects and clients.
But don’t think that all the wonderful advancements can replace plain old-fashioned elbow grease. They can help with some parts of your business operations, but your business needs ‘you’ in it, too. And too many want to skip that important point.
So take a look at some of the ways technology and the Internet can help you earn some extra income, yet why you need to be involved at certain levels, as well:
1) Too many people think that because programs come with call centers, their own websites, full color digital brochures, and much more, that they won’t have to work at all – they can just let the technology, the Internet – and call center people – do all the work. But just like any other type of work, Coastal Vacations and other home businesses also require effort, perseverance and a plan of action from the get-go.
2) Small things might not trip up a computer or system on the Internet, but they can mess up your operations out of a home office. So set up your home office and business operations in an efficient manner.
3) Learn and keep up with the latest information in your industry, the travel business. Learn what the hot spots are, the special places people want to visit for upcoming holidays, etc.
4) If you’re trying to bring others into the business, learn about the pros and cons and how you can truly help others get established and grow their businesses. Don’t just look out for number one.
5) Be professional and get organized. Set goals and steps to achieve them. Have your phone’s voicemail recording professional, not your two-year old speaking gibberish on it for fun. Network, get out to local functions, meet others and follow up. Use your phone, don’t just rely on email.
In summary, technology and the Internet – like email, websites and blogs are great. With many people helping you set up shop and marketing 24/7 quickly and affordably today, take advantage of the new age and hire help. Then spend your time on the steps above and on training and coaching your team.
Don’t skip steps and leave yourself out of the mix. Your prospects and clients need YOU in there.
The Basic Knowledge About Call Centers
Call centers are centralized offices used for the
purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume
of requests by telephone. They can provide services
that can increase the productivity of several
businesses. But for small businesses, call centers can
provide the advantage of increasing their bottom
Business services call centers provide normally
include order collection, customer care,
telemessaging, customer service options and a lot
more. These services are also offered with
multi-lingual options. May it be French, Spanish,
Chinese or English, several capable representatives
can easily handle clientele from all across the globe,
thus increasing the businesses.
Usually, call centers are operated by companies aimed
in administering incoming product support or
information from consumers. There are open workspaces
for agents, which include computers, telephone set or
headset connected to a telecom switch and one or more
stations for supervisors.
Technologies Used By Call Centers
In order to improve the company’s operations and
reduce the costs, while providing standardized,
uniform and streamlined services to customers, the
centralization of call management is used. Apart from
that, call centers utilize a wide variety of different
technologies allowing them to manage large volumes of
work. Such technologies facilitate processing and
queuing of calls, maintaining consistency of the work
flow for agents and creating cost savings for other
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is one of the
technologies call centers use. This kind of technology
is a protocol optimized for the transmission of voice
through the Internet or other packet switched network.
Outsourcing is another technology used by call
centers, which is actually the subcontracting of a
process including the manufacturing or designing of
products to a third-party company.
There are others who theorized that with the
advancement of the society, future call centers would
include technologies, like speech recognition and
speech synthesis. These kinds of software are now in
development and allow computers to handle first level
of customer support, natural language processing and
text mining to further improve customer handling,
agent training, productivity and customer
The Dynamics of Call Centers
To provide a number of services to business consumers,
there are categories of calls often separated into
outbound and inbound. Outbound calls happen when
agents place calls to potential customers mostly with
intentions of providing service to the individual or
selling. These calls are substantially different from
inbound calls, where consumers call the call center in
order to acquire information, ask for assistance, or
report possible malfunction.
Furthermore, the staffs working at call centers are
organized into a multi-tier support system to handle
calls efficiently. In such models, the first tier
normally consists of operators that direct inquiries
to the appropriate department and give general
The second tier is forwarded with calls and handles
consumers in need of further assistance. If the second
tier of support cannot resolve the issue, the call is
then forwarded to the next tier. There are cases,
where the existence of three or more tiers is required
to resolve issues. Usually, the third tier of support
includes highly skilled support staffs, product
engineers, or product developers.
Due to the highly technological nature of the
operations of call centers, close monitoring of the
activities of the staff is widespread and easy. This
can be quite beneficial and enable the company to
better plan the time and workload of its employees.
Hello, World; Hello, Voip Telephony
The world has shrunk, thanks to an invention called the Internet. Communication is now made easier. Barely two decades ago, a person in Thailand has to wait for weeks for a letter from the United States. Now, a letter can be sent in a matter of seconds, through e-mail or electronic mail. A few years ago, talking to a person halfway across the world is guaranteed to cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Now, with the advent of VoIP telephony, it costs nothing more than a local phone call to your neighbour. Sometimes, it’s even for free!
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP telephony, is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet. It allows anybody to utilize the internet as one gigantic phone line. With VoIP telephony, you can now indulge in talking until your ears heat up and go numb, even if the conversation is with someone from another continent.
VoIP telephony is very straightforward. To avail of this technology, all you need is a computer, a stable Internet connection, and a provider.
What Does VoIP telephony Have for You?
Though still a fairly new technology, VoIP telephony is capable of facilitating tasks that ordinary landlines and mobile phones can’t achieve. VoIP telephony’s number one feature is portability. It is location-independent, requiring only an Internet connection to connect with a provider. Most providers give subscribers a router to connect to their computers. Take this router with you on vacation or a business trip, and hook it up to a local computer with Internet connection. It’s guaranteed that you will never miss a single phone call, wherever you are in the world. You can even choose a phone number that’s registered to a city or state other than the one you’re in at the moment.
Most of the leading VoIP telephony providers have introduced several features that rival those of landline and cellular phones. One example is caller ID, for both incoming and outgoing calls. Some providers even go as far as providing the option of blocking caller information. Call forwarding to landlines, cellular phones, and other VoIP phone numbers is also offered. Furthermore, other providers are also currently offering toll-free numbers, virtual phone numbers, softphones for added portability, fax lines, and multiply phone lines, and only recently, text messaging service, a milestone for VoIP telephony.
What You Need to Go VoIP
To fully appreciate the wonders of VoIP telephony, a high-speed Internet connection is a must. The technology relies heavily on bandwidth, making it impossible for a slow dial-up connection to support it. Power supply is also essential in VoIP telephony. Routers are connected to computers so an outage in power also leads to an outage in phone service.
VoIP and Emergency
In the past, emergency services posed a problem for VoIP telephony. Owing to the static nature of IP addresses, a call to 911 does not guarantee a connection with the local dispatch center of the caller. Service providers have long since addressed this obstacle by requiring the registration of the physical address where the VoIP line is used. A call to 911 would then display the caller’s address, making it easy for the dispatcher to route the call to the local emergency center. This workaround is called E911 or Enhanced 911.
Like all new technologies, VoIP telephony is far from perfect. There have been reports of bad voice quality in phone calls. However, these issues are being addressed one by one and most VoIP telephony subscribers have seen a great improvement in the quality of their voice calls. You’ll be able to enjoy full voice clarity in no time at all.
Call Centers : Say Hello To Big Business!
The elusive dream of a successful business depends on how well you attract the interest of potential clients. In order to attract clients, you need to capture the imagination of aspiring and existing business owners everywhere. Making such a big impression establishes professionalism and creates trust and confidence.
The growth of the call center industry signals the beginning of a new age in business and communications. During the past few decades, there has been a major transformation in the way people work, socialize, communicate, and engage in business. Call centers offer a variety of services to organizations and customers such as answering calls, handling orders, complaints, providing technical support to customers, direct response advertising, infomercials, etc. The demand for call centers increases as businesses diversify and their products and services become more complex.
In today’s global economy, call centers optimize a client company’s investment in human capital by providing market differentiation, brand identity and commitment, and ultimately, operational success. Their business strategy is built on excellence in such areas as technology, database management, and the human capital.
Clients who are always on the go will not sit up with a recorded message when they call. Having trained customer service agents to answer the phone for you gives you the enhanced image and professionalism clients always look forward to. No one knows that these agents are not inside your office. These agents can talk to people all over the world anytime and and access vast amounts of information at the click of the mouse. They take pride in providing the most advanced solutions and technologies in the industry. You need to let the client believe that you can fit into the high-powered executive world just as well as anyone.
Call centers do more than just provide a 24/7 “live” call answering service and take phone messages for you. They help screen the calls to minimize your interruptions yet they can just as easily connect to you an important caller in seconds. The need to make an immediate human connection is a concern of every potential clients. A client’s first phone call inquiry is so important that is why it is necessary to make that good first impression as well.
The call center industry has paved the way for cost-efficient work force. It has reduced overhead, employee paperwork, and extra expenses that are usually associated with hiring employees, acquiring furnitures, as well as office equipment and technology. No more hassles of having enough phone lines and repair maintenance. With customer service agents to answer the calls 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, you get a toll-free business phone number and only pay for actual calls answered.
Part of the service that call centers offer is to gather important contact information for your sales and marketing campaigns. They take the time to get to know your business, find out who your clients are, and identify what customer service needs you can offer.
With the proliferation of call centers, the vision of flowing profits, industry respect, thrilled customers, and a successful business is as easy as saying “hello”.
The French Connection: Call Centers of France
Generally, the main functions of call centers are
telemarketing or marketing, information and client
support services that give assistance in the
resolution of technical problems. From the Collective
Agreement for Service Providers of France, call
centers are made up of agents who are organized by
type of services and grouped in teams at centralized
offices. Additionally, call centers manage client
relations and prospecting exclusively by telephone,
using IT technology or telecommunications, for either
incoming or outgoing communications.
For the past years, the word contact center or centre
de contacts has changed call center or centre d’appels
in order to cover the several means of communication
that have been integrated. In France, contact centers
have become an essential part of client relations.
France’s Position in the Call Center Business
United States is the world leader in call centers with
more than 3.8 million jobs and 60,000 call centers.
Canada and Brazil also have significant presence in
the Americas, as well as South Korea and India within
Asia. However, France is relatively well situated,
with identical amount of call centers as in the United
Although the sector in France has attained a certain
level of maturity, the margin for progress in such
sector remains significant. For the next few years,
the key factor for growth will be the evolution from
the existing trend of general sub-contracting, to
There are several major generalist service suppliers
that have surfaced in France. On the other hand, there
are still a large number of smaller actors located in
geographical markets, niche functions and sectors that
will continue to manage. The following is a list of
the 4 major sub-contracting groups in France.
1. The Generalists, which combine industrial scope
with a wide range of services;
2. Groups offering a wide range of services but not
limited to specific markets because of their size;
3. Groups with large-scale service providers, limited
to a specific sector client or position;
4. The Specialists, which include a wide range of
actors whose services, are aimed at specific market
segments. There are also function specialists that
operate in assistance, telephone debt recovery or
telesales, and local centers that can benefit from
geographical immediacy to a precise local economy.
France is ranked 4th in the world for setting up
administration services and call centers in terms of
global set-up costs. There are three sectors in France
with probably the most call centers and they include
Telesales, ICT and Outsourcing and Banking. By
incorporating the needs and constraints of call center
projects within contractual and structured policies,
the French local authorities combined with the AFRC or
Association Française de la Relation Client have been
able to build up high-tech facilities for the call
The Workforce in France
The call center human resources account for about 60
to 80 percent of total working costs for client
services making them an important consideration. In
general, call centers apply fairly low-wage
guidelines. There are 75 percent of client relations
agents in France who earn less than 31,150 net per
month. Additionally, 70% of employees in France are
working full-time and contrary to common mistaken
beliefs, call centers mainly employ long-term
employees with CDI contracts.
After India, France is also the country that employs
the most qualified staffs. There are over 60% of
centers in France that employ people with at least two
years of higher education.
Outsourcing Services: The Perfect Solution for Your Business
The word outsourcing today is often heard in the world of business. Outsourcing is something that affected the way people run their businesses in the whole world. So, what is it about outsourcing that created so much change in the business world?
First of all, outsourcing is a simple agreement with a third party to perform a service for a company. Outsourcing today is utilized by many companies by paying an outsourcing company to handle a part of the company’s function. This is done in order to save money in terms of cheaper services provided by outsourcing companies, better or equal quality in work, and also to unburden the company resources for other important functions to let the company grow.
Outsourcing services have begun with the data processing industry. However, because many companies are now realizing the full potential of outsourcing services, more and more services are being outsourced, such as call centers, tele-messaging, help desk, and others.
Think of Company A as the parent company and Company B as the provider of outsourcing services. Imagine that Company A needs a call center in order for their clients have a way to contact them. However, Company A doesn’t have the necessary funds to start an in-house call center or it proved to be too expensive and can drain their company’s funds. So, Company A seeks the services of Company B by outsourcing their call center to Company B. Company B has all the necessary equipments and manpower to handle the job that Company A requires. In exchange for Company B’s services, Company A will pay a specific amount to Company B every month.
This is basically how outsourcing works. Because the provider of outsourcing services is usually in developing countries, the rate for its services is relatively cheaper and offers the same or even better quality. Because of this, large companies that needs a call center or any other functions that are not really important for the company but needs it anyway, tend to rely on outsourcing in order to get it done.
Outsourcing is a very cheap way to get the company’s work done. Outsourcing can also free the company’s resources and focus more on the growth and the strategy of the company to expand or grow.
These are the main advantages of outsourcing. Here are some of the different jobs that companies are now considering to outsource in order for their company focus more on important matters:
• Data Analysis
• Information Technology
• Research Process
• Engineering Design
• Help Desks
These are just five of the many factors in business that are being outsourced today. So, if you have something in your company that needs to be done but your company doesn’t have the manpower or the technology for it, you can consider outsourcing as one of the best business solutions you can ever consider.
With outsourcing, you will see that your company will become more efficient and more productive than ever before.
Outsourcing is the perfect solution for your company. With outsourcing, you can get the job done at a very cheap rate, and make your company and its resources focus more on important factors. Just make sure that the outsourcing company you hire is competent enough and hires competent and qualified professionals in order to get the best quality.
The New Way of Helping Consumers: Customer Service Call Center
Call centers have been the human crossing point for
years in several areas including order-taking, catalog
sales, post-sale service, and telephone solicitation.
With the booming of e-commerce, call centers are
becoming more important since they play roles in
organizations without the need for other physical
presence or human contact.
Nowadays, customer services have taken many forms.
Consumers expect that they will be able to obtain the
same quality of services and answers through whatever
medium convenient for them; e-mail sending, filling
out forms, telephone calls or even through online
So, what are the requirements of establishing a
customer service call center? To answer that question,
exploring the elements, connections, and overall
skills involved is necessary.
The Elements of a Customer Service Call Center
Having a good customer service and knowing the
elements are not that difficult to determine. In some
way, it can also be helpful if one places himself or
herself on the consumer standpoint. Elements of a good
customer service normally include the requirements for
the agent. It does not necessary end with good
communication skills but a complete understanding
about the product or the service as well.
Aside from those qualities, someone who is able to
listen to the consumer’s situation and needs is also
necessary. Additionally, the agent should also be
empowered and intelligent enough to resolve the
situation effectively. But most importantly, the
element of a good customer service is someone who can
treat a consumer with respect.
The Methods of Connecting With the Consumer
The methods of communication with the consumer can
help determine the issue of staffing levels and
technology. However, besides the volume of requests
for information or calls, it is important to also
consider other issues. Such issues may include the
difference in time zones between you and the customer,
consumers who are using the company’s services or
products at some time other than business hours and
the total variation in the volume of calls.
Nowadays, customers may also require the staff to be
available in a number of ways, such as: on the phone,
by fax, by e-mail, by VRU or Voice Response Unit, by
interactive ways on the Internet, or even in person.
Taking into account all these factors can help in
determining the staffing levels and the technology
going to be used as a method of customer
The Overall Agent Skills
Basically, agents are required to achieve some sort of
exemplary caliber regarding communication skills.
Although, agents must also be screened for their
writing abilities since there are customer services
requiring e-mail responses. Agents should also be
proficient in utilizing the equipments. By orienting
them about the proper use of several tools in the
office, bungling transfers, sending e-mails to wrong
addresses and other fumbles can be easily avoided,
thus maintaining the company’s credibility. Most
importantly, the agents should have the knowledge
about the company’s products and services. It may be
helpful to provide them with materials that can help
them answer the questions from the customers.
Listening and judgment skills are also important.
Customer satisfaction is easily the most important
goal of any call center. It is critical to train
agents who are deeply enthusiastic about their job and
are able to provide terrific services.
Customer service is probably the hardest and most
challenging aspect of any businesses. By developing
the proper system for handling customer service,
fortunately, can help the company establish its name
on the market.
Quality and Quantity: The Call Centers of India
India has always been the preferred outsourcing
location for most global organizations. This is
because call centers in India offers a wide variety of
advantages that other countries normally do not offer.
Currently, having call centers in India has become the
norm for several global companies. India has been able
to effectively meet the growing international demand
for call center outsourcing services by giving
cost-effective services and consumer-oriented call
There are several international organizations that are
also setting up call centers in India due to the large
number or qualified workforce and cost-effective call
center outsourcing services.
The Workforce and Specialized Outsourcing Services
Probably one of the reasons why many organizations
choose India as an outsourcing location is the
workforce. The call centers in India contain a large
number of competent, trained, IT literate, experienced
and skilled professionals. Additionally, India also
has the largest English-speaking population after the
The large and well-educated workforce in India has
also been one of the main advantages India has over
other countries. The increasing number of college
graduates and successful training industries help
India in continuing with the production of
well-educated and tech-savvy workforce. All these
factors ensure that India’s resources will keep on
increasing year after year.
The large manpower India has is also willing to work
for a lesser price. Normally in a call center
operation, the manpower accounts for 55 to 60 percent
of the total cost. However in India, the manpower is
available at a fraction of the cost overseas.
The initial investment in training and infrastructure
is expensive making a person believe that the promise
of reducing the cost is false. However, the fact that
several global giants still set up call centers in
India is proof enough.
Aside from the workforce, current call centers in
India also have experience in offering a variety of
call center outsourcing services, including outbound
telemarketing services, CATI services, inbound call
center services, technical helpdesk services, email
support services, chat support services and disaster
recovery services amongst others.
They can also provide a host of IT-enabled services,
such as: helpdesk services, transaction processing
services, accounting services, remote network
management and end-to-end processing.
Expert product solutions, like risk modeling,
actuarial services, underwriting variation analysis,
and data mining are also available.
It is evident that call centers in India have
state-of-the-art technology, people, resources,
operational expertise and processes all utilized to
provide specialized outsourcing services.
Time Zone Advantages and Cost-effective Call Center
Another reason why several global organizations
outsource call centers to India is because of its time
zone advantages. The twelve hour time difference in
India enables organizations worldwide to provide
customers with 24/7/365 days services. By taking
advantage of the time difference in India, companies
in the United States are able to ensure that their
customers receive round-the-clock customer support.
An important factor in outsourcing call centers is the
cost-effectiveness. Call centers in India offer
cost-effect services for customer support without
compromising the quality. With the low cost of
manpower available, call centers in the country have
been able to provide high-quality services at a cost
which is more than 50% less if performed in the United
Kingdom or United States. These reasons have
encouraged several companies around the globe to
outsource call centers in India since they can access
quality services at reasonable prices.
Why it is Important to Enable End Users in Project Management Software
By: Lawrence Calmus
Choosing The Right Business Path
Technology advances at such a rapid rate that with each passing day it seems to only go faster. Business professionals strive to choose the best tools to efficiently manage and execute projects. With technology moving so fast, there is no time to go down the wrong path. Once on a familiar path, one can continue with confidence. The biggest fear is starting off on the wrong path. There is a simple guideline for determining the correct path and it is this – empowering the end user. End users are their own experts, so the more ability you give them to control their tools the more they will feel comfortable with any given product.
The Current Situation
We live in a time of technology when access to tools has exceeded political boundaries. The Internet and the World Wide Web are part of a user-driven force that is affecting everything in society. Entertainment has become decentralized. We can download songs, which means we do not have to go to the concerts; we can download a movie, which means we do not have to go to the theater. We are in fact becoming a world of Do It Yourselfers who expect user-driven tools. The last thing we want is for our tools to drive us.
Technology is always somewhere between the center point and the perimeter.
End users towards the perimeter have greater control over their tools and the systems they use, whereas end users towards the center have little or no input. They must follow the dictates of the tool’s designer.
In the past, when you wanted to place a call you gave the operator the number and the call was put through for you. Today we dial directly. We still purchase newspapers and read what the editor laid out for us. But now we can go to Digg.com and see what the readers think should be on the front page. Technology seems to be moving us away from the center and out towards the perimeter. Kodak built a business on developing film, whereas the digital camera allows us as many shots as we want followed by all the manipulation of the image cared for.
Design For The Perimeter
By its nature, technology is moving away from the center towards the perimeter. End users are empowered to not only do more things, but to have those things feed back into the system and affect end results. The success of a new piece of technology or business is based on a wide number of factors, but empowering your users rather than trying to overpower them truly provides the best foundation.
Interneer Intellect: Project Management Software that empowers the end user.
In the realm of project management software, systems such as Interneer Intellect are built on this concept. Interneer Intellect allows the administrative user to actually design the templates and workflows that project executers see. The entire project management process is guided and designed by the project managers themselves, without hard coding. This is a major breakthrough for project management software.
Most systems trap the end user into attempting to execute unique and often complicated projects with the limited functionality of pre-designed templates. If the business then wants to change the program to reflect the types of projects they run the system must be programmed, costing unnecessary amounts of time and money.
Interneer Intellect empowers the end users to design, manage and execute every project in the most effective way possible.
This invaluable feature has convinced enterprises like Bose, Boeing, Verizon and Harman International to turn to this tool for their project management needs.
What You Need To Know About Virtual Call Centers
By definition, virtual call centers are call centers
wherein the organization’s representatives are
dispersed geographically, rather than being located at
work stations in a building operated by the
Employees of virtual call centers can be situated in
groups in a number of smaller centers though most
often they work from their own homes. Virtual call
centers are effective arrangements for several
From the organization’s standpoint, it can also be
beneficial in terms of cutting the costs of housing
and equipment, thus normally leading to lower employee
Benefits of the Virtual Call Centers
For starters, the virtual call center can provide the
benefit of extended service hours. There are companies
who are searching for 24-hour communications with the
customer. With a virtual call center, it is easy to
manage workers based on their time zones and work time
preferences. Additionally, for some employees, this
can include the offset hours of the day.
The benefit of recognizing productivity improvements
is also existent. For several individuals, working
from home is more comfortable and more productive than
being in a sometimes noisy office environment. The
virtual call center can provide a place of employment
that both the employee and the employer can benefit
Nowadays, the latest trend in employment seems to be
working from home. It is appealing for a number of
workers and through virtual call centers, it is even
possible. Virtual call centers remove the barrier of
staying home to work allowing several employees from
all over the globe to be utilized. Additionally,
through the use of IP-based services, virtual call
centers can be based anywhere in the world providing
no geographical limitations.
Advantages of Virtual Call Centers
The final question would be, why should a company even
consider setting up a virtual call center? There are
several advantages to this kind of setup that uses the
concept of telecommuting and combines it with
top-notch networking technology.
Company would be glad to know that operating a virtual
call center is less expensive and more cost-effective
compared to running a center that is
centrally-located. This can be for that reason that
once the system is in place, the administration and
coordination associated with running a large office is
eliminated. Employees can obtain the right to work,
meetings can get started in no time, and the overall
energy can be devoted to the task at hand, thus
providing excellent customer service.
Empowering call center agents through a virtual call
center to work remotely from a location near their
home lessens the time and energy agents use each day
not working. This only means that agents can be more
efficient and provide the company, they work for, more
value. Additionally, virtual call centers allow
companies efficiently stagger agents in diverse time
zones to react to variations of call volume without
having to synchronize several centers around the
To improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, it is
important to know what the customers need. Normally,
customers want to talk to call center agents who are
helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. They also desire
to have their questions addressed in a timely way, if
possible through first call resolution. By helping
ensure that the best agent to answer a given question
is available, the company can guarantee that customer
satisfaction will improve. Setting up a virtual call
center provide companies a new level of flexibility to
hire the best agents; those who have specialized
knowledge or possible live in advantageous time zones.
Where to Find the Best Call Center Outsourcing Company
As an entrepreneur, you want your company to save money in order for it to expand. And, at the same time, you want your company to provide quality service for your customers and potential customers. However, you may find it hard to balance both of these factors in today’s business world.
By providing quality customer care, you have to spend a lot of money in order to satisfy your customers. To do this, you have to hire additional employees to act as customer service representative, you have to buy a customer service software, and you also have to purchase a lot of computers and gadgets to accommodate your customer service representatives and also your callers.
This would mean you have to devote a significantly large office space for your workstations, and you also have to spend a lot of money on salaries, and on the technology you have to buy.
This is why many companies are now considering outsourcing their call centers to offshore call center companies. With this, you will save a large amount of money from hiring additional employees with full company benefits. Aside from saving a lot of money from purchasing additional equipments and hiring additional employees to act as customer service representatives or help desk agents, you will also fully use your company’s resources to further develop your company.
You would want to consider hiring offshore call center companies, particularly call center companies in developing countries, such as India, Mexico, China, and Philippines because the labor in these developing countries is cheaper. These countries also generate a lot of fresh college graduates every year who are competent and qualified to do the job.
However, you still have to consider a few things first before you go on and hire a call center company in a particular country. First of all, you need to know if they have the proper facilities to accommodate calls. They will need everything from good call center software, to competent employees to act as call center agents.
You should also look for a call center company that hires competent professionals who speaks fluent and understandable English in order for your clients to communicate well with the agents. It is recommended that you should at least talk to a few call center representatives in order to find out if they will be able to do the job effectively.
You may be required to set up a seminar in a call center company in order to orient the call center agents on what your company does and what they should expect from callers. You should orient them about the products and services you offer.
Another thing you should look for is the average time that a customer will wait before their call is transferred to a call center agent. You should consider the fact that call center agents should be able to take incoming calls as soon as possible and should be able to provide quality service to your customers. They should also be able to answer your client’s questions clearly, accurately and as fast as possible.
By typing in the keywords in your favorite internet search engine, you will be able to get a lot of search results. All you need to do now is choose a call center company that will be able to provide your needs in a call center. Always remember that if the company isn’t at par with your standards, then it is a good idea to look for other companies that are more efficient in the call center industry.
Will Call Center Management Software Improve Your Business?
Call center management software is becoming increasingly popular, even with businesses that have only a few workers. More often called “contact centers,” call center management software has the ability to control and handle the many different needs of businesses today. Many features include instant routing of important customers to the best agents, reduce holding times for customers, and offer more efficient scheduling of employees and detailed reporting. Your call center management system will help your customers and corporations talk to each other by managing their interactions. It is said that by using the right call management center software will have an immediate positive impact on your business and customer satisfaction. By not making your customers wait, being able to connect them immediately with the right service people, will improve customer perception. Now days, with technology making things faster and faster, customers’ expectations are high and they expect your business to be on its toes and have the information they want—yesterday! The best thing you can do is upgrade your system with good call center software, and keep your customers happy. Happy customers spend more money.
Your investment can reduce your costs, depending on which call center system software you buy. The sooner your business is able to handle more calls, the sooner you can start making more money. Efficiency is key and a call center system can provide a wide selection of reports that give you detailed information, from live statistics on hold times and drop-off rates to yearly overviews of the entire operation. This will help you find out which employee is successful and which ones may need a bit more training. It is suggested before you call a dealer or go online looking for the best call center management software to fit your needs.
• How many requests do you handle per month?
• Where do your requests originate from? (phone, fax, email, web, online chat?) How many to
• What are your primary calls? (Inbound or outbound? sales or service? internal or external?)
• How many agents handle these calls? In how many locations?
• What metrics do you currently use to measure performance?
• What phone system are you currently using?
• What systems will the call center need to connect with? (Existing phones, databases, CRM, etc.)
• What’s your budget for this purchase?
• What IT resources are available to help integrate and maintain the system?
• How will you measure the success of the new system?
Hopefully some of these tools will help you decide whether you need or want to get into call center management software. These are just some of the idea’s out there that can help you decide. Always check out your different options that are out there for you to decide.
How to Design an Effective Call Center Business Outsourcing Plan
Outsourcing your company’s call center functions, even
if you only have a small to middle-sized business, is
still the right decision to make. Outsourcing often
helps smaller firms improve productivity and
efficiency, lower costs, and increase profits at the
same time. But achieving your outsourcing objectives
will greatly depend on how you’ve planned your
How to Design an Effective Call Center Business
Outsourcing Plan Consider the following steps when
mapping out your call center strategy.
Pros and Cons of Call Center Outsourcing How will your
company benefit from call center outsourcing? Are
there any possible disadvantages and if so, is there a
way to address them?
Does call center outsourcing make a perfect fit with
your company’s vision and mission? It’s not enough for
call center outsourcing to reduce your costs. It has
to be a decision that will help you attain your
objectives as well. Is it?
Resource Evaluation What exactly will you outsource?
If you already have the necessary technology,
facilities, and equipment to run a call center,
perhaps you only have to outsource your call center’s
labor force. But it could also be the other way
around. You have a lot of professionals in your
employment roster but you lack the requisite hardware
needs to run an effective call center.
Performance Evaluation Consider how your company is
presently faring. Take note of the overall performance
of the business and how each department of your
company is doing. Which departments will be directly
affected once you push through with your outsourcing
plans? How about the company’s overall performance?
How much do you expect your outsourcing plans to
You need to be aware of how exactly your company is
doing prior to your outsourcing plans. The knowledge
will subsequently help you determine whether your
outsourcing plans were able to achieve the desired
results or not.
Nature of Call Center Function Some companies divide
their call center functions according to department.
There may be a different call center to handle
sales-related calls while there’s another call center
tasked to handle customer and technical support. Do
you need to outsource all of them? Perhaps one of them
is your core competency and is better left in your
Also, call centers are not always human-operated.
There are also call centers that are completely
automated. Which of them does your company need best?
Consider its rate of success, how you expect your
market to receive them, and whether or not it could
negatively affect your company’s overall performance.
Automated call center operations are efficient,
objective, and verifiable but they aren’t ideal when
handling complicated and unusual cases. Human-operated
call center operations are highly flexible but they
require competent management in order to continue
providing above par performance.
Writing Your Call Center Business Outsourcing Plan Be
as specific as you can be when writing your call
center business outsourcing plan. After all, you are
staking your business’s reputation on a third party’s
ability to satisfy your market. But of course, you
should also be prepared to reasonably negotiate with
BPO vendors until you reach a mutually satisfying
Choosing Your BPO Vendor The ideal BPO vendor is one
with considerable experience and expertise in the
field you’re in. The best BPO vendor may still not be
the ideal partner if they’re best known for assisting
construction firms and you own a fashion retail
What Are Center Drive Elliptical Trainers?
You have heard about elliptical trainers, however you may not know what center drive elliptical trainers are. You do not want to confuse center drive elliptical trainers with the average elliptical machines on the market, because center drive elliptical trainers do have some differences that are superior to your standard elliptical machines. Any time you hear about center drive elliptical trainers, you must be wondering why they call them center drive elliptical trainers and not just elliptical trainers. The reason is, is that center drive elliptical trainers have a different technology that separates them from normal elliptical trainers. They use a center drive technology, which is where they get their names of center drive elliptical trainers from.
Now many people do not know about this new technology and how it changes how center drive elliptical trainers work and why they are regarded as superior to the everyday elliptical machine. Center drive technology helps users having better posture and even more comfort during their workouts which can only be found on center drive elliptical trainers. This is why center drive elliptical trainers make your workout feel more natural. Because of this technology, center drive elliptical trainers are even more safer to use then regular elliptical trainers. The center drive technology makes the center drive elliptical trainers safer, because with better posture and having the machine move with your bodies natural movements, this leaves very little room if any at all to cause any injury to your body. Elliptical machines that do not move with your bodies fluid movements create a higher risk of the user injuring themselves, which is why center drive elliptical trainers are especially good for older people as well as women who have a higher risk of injury while exercising on elliptical machines. The center drive technology is actually patented, which is why you will notice that Key Fitness, who is a highly dependable and respected brand on the market, is the only manufacturer providing this technology.
Key fitness has a few great center drive elliptical trainers that you can find on the market. One is the Center G2. Keys Fitness offers some very great quality products which makes their center drive elliptical trainer very appealing especially with their warranty. Their center drive elliptical trainer has a lifetime warranty on the frame, a three year warranty on the parts, as well as a one year warranty on labor.
Key Fitness also has a G3 which is another center drive elliptical trainers. The G3 offers a slightly better warranty as well as a few extra features such as a customizable stride length of seventeen inches up to twenty-one inches, versus a set twenty-one inch stride length. This feature on this center drive elliptical trainer can be useful for families or people who have multiple users with different stride length requirements, which will make their workout more enjoyable.
Another center drive elliptical trainer is the Iron Man CDT. This is an entry level center drive elliptical trainer, and has all of the great benefits of any iron man machine, but with the added bonus of being a center drive elliptical trainer which makes it more appealing then regular ironman Elliptical trainers.
Center drive elliptical trainers provide more comfort and a safer workout environment. The center drive elliptical trainers are great to look into and have many great features that can be found on regular elliptical machines. Remember that you can only find center drive elliptical trainers through Key Fitness since this is a patented technology.
Contact Center Consultants
In the Internet-driven world of today, contact centers have become a very resourceful facility for businesses around the world. Big companies are readily putting up contact centers to channel their customer care needs. Contact center consultants specialize in providing vendor-neutral information on various aspects of call centers, like call center software, operating equipment and relevant data systems.
Contact center consultants are valuable for setting up both small and big contact centers. They advise the firms on using the right technology, latest practices, and complete evaluation of the available resources. These inputs are very important for companies who want to evaluate and consolidate their present centers, and for those who are just starting out.
Like every organization, people form the core of these centers. Skilled, self-motivated people are what employers are looking for. Contact center consultants develop and improve the employee’s performance and increase the output of the center through agent error reduction, training and development. Counseling desks are regularly set up for stressed-out employees who are then encouraged to give their best.
Experts have realized that there are three factors which are responsible for the success of any contact center. First is people, as mentioned earlier, second is the business processes and third is the technology. All three of them are interrelated and susceptible to change. Contact center consultants thoroughly understand their client’s work environment and needs. They are ready to get involved as soon as the firms decide to improve the performance of their companies.
The overall goal of the consultant is to help the clients in improving the performance, thereby increasing customer loyalty and revenue. They also play a major role in reducing operating costs by planning the customer service requirements of the future. In a world of cutthroat competition and the need to put customer satisfaction first, contact center agents have become an indispensable part of the industry.
Call Centers – A Backgrounder
The call center business has become one of the fastest booming industries today. In the era of customer-oriented services, the provision for accessible support is now a priority. With many companies trying to cope up with their customers’ needs and demands, the concept of the call center was born.
A call center normally operates with all its agents (or customer service representatives) in one central location. It is equipped to handle a large amount of transactions between customers and the call center agents. Transactions may be carried out through a variety of media. The telephone is the foremost form of communication in call centers today. However, transactions are also carried out via email and the live chat through the Internet.
Call centers offer a wide range of services. The first thought that comes to mind for many is support – product information, technical support, and all sorts of after sales services. However, call centers can offer more than that. They also deal with marketing and sales. Telemarketing is an aggressive form of selling your product and can yield very good results. Call centers cater to businesses which aim to increase their sales as well as provide customer services. One example would be credit card companies.
While aiming to provide information and assistance to customers, they can also increase their revenue through sales spiels given by their agents. Another service that can be dealt with by a call center is debt collection. Credit bureaus also make use of call centers to provide information on a person’s credit rating. In effect, basically anything that has to do with your customers can be done through call centers.
What is the typical set up in a call center? The term call center brings up images of wide open work spaces, with small workstations containing a computer, headset, and telephone dialer. The practice is increasingly turning to the linking of data and voice in one pathway. This integration makes for more efficient work practices and is called Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). Individual agents are normally managed by a floor supervisor who also takes calls when the need arises.
Setting up a call center requires certain technology to be applied. There is a wide range of available technologies for call centers today. More often than not, different types of technologies are combined in order to achieve the most effective and efficient set up. The Computer Telephony Integration has already been mentioned is one of the trends in the business today. In fact, CTI is used to combine most applications used in call centers – voice, email, fax, and web. CTI provides many functions such as caller ID, on screen dialing, on screen phone controls (conference calls, hang up, hold, etc.), and agent status control (whether agent is available for calls or not).
With all these advances in technology and developments in consumer-oriented practices, the call center has emerged as an ideal solution for many companies. The call center provides standardized service to customers and helps cut the cost. In addition to that, the separate entity of the call center subtracts from the actual operational considerations of the company.
Offshore Call Center Outsourcing: Economical Solution for Businesses
Thanks to the advancement in communication technology, it enabled business to save a lot of money on call centers. Companies today are now taking advantage of call centers and are now considering it as one of the most economical solutions for businesses.
Firstly, call centers manages tasks to satisfy customers, and attract customers for your company. Call centers can also be help desk support and advice center for your business and it can handle both inbound and outbound calls for your company.
As you can see, call centers are a very important tool for businesses today in terms of customer relations. It is considered to be an essential part of any company in order to satisfy, attract and in keeping contact with your clients. However, it is also a fact that putting up your own call center for your company can be very costly. It will require you to purchase the technology needed for it, such as computers, software, and it will also require you to hire additional employees to act as call center agents.
This is why companies today are now considering hiring call centers offshore. If your company needs a call center, you can outsource your call center in other countries in order to cut some operational costs. Outsourcing your call centers in other countries, particularly developing countries, is very cheap because of the difference in the minimum salary rates with a particular developing country. You will see that the minimum wage is far lower than in your country.
Your company should prefer an offshore call center that hires staff with good English speaking skills in order to communicate with your clients better. Developing countries, such as China, Philippines and India are three of the most popular countries that provide great quality services for a call center. They have a lot of talented individuals with great English skills that will be able to communicate effectively with your customers.
When you are outsourcing your call center offshore, it is important to consider the following things before you sign the contract in order to ensure quality service:
• English proficiency – The call center agents in the offshore call center should be able to have good English speaking skills. They should be able to communicate with your clients well in order to satisfy their inquiries. This is very important because call centers are supposed to be the communication ties between your client and your company.
• Average call waiting time – It is also important that you should find out how much your client will have to wait until their calls are taken by the call center agent. It is important to realize that there will be clients who will be complaining about your products and services and you should realize that they are already irate before they even made the call. Making them wait will only add to their dissatisfaction and irritability. This is why it is important that a call center should be able to take your client’s call as soon as possible.
• Length of conversation – The call center agent should be able to handle the calls as short as possible. They should provide the best answer possible in order to satisfy your clients as soon as possible and make the call as short as possible. By doing this, the call center will be able to handle more calls.
These are some of the features that you should look for in a call center. This is why it is important for you or your staff to call the call center and pose as a client in order to know about the quality of their work and also make sure that it isn’t deteriorating.
What You Need To Know About Inbound Call Centers
Call centers provide phone-based services to clients
or customers either in the private or public sector.
Call centers have become an important communication
channel to acquire new customers as well as to support
existing ones. During the past few years, the number
of call centers and the number of employees or agents
has been growing rapidly demonstrating the increasing
importance of call centers.
The direction in which the contact between the
customer and the agent is distinguished through
inbound and outbound call centers. In inbound call
centers, the agents receive calls from outside
customers, and therefore these call centers are driven
by random customer call arrivals. In order to achieve
customer satisfaction, short expected waiting times
are important. The performance can also be measured by
waiting times, availability of service, or customer
How Inbound Call Centers Work
Inbound call centers are there to receive calls from
existing or potential clients. Normally, the quality
of communication in these kinds of call centers, is
perhaps more important than that of outbound call
centers, wherein the agents initiate contact with
potential clients. In case the client is the one to
contact the call center, one thing can be certain: the
client requires aid or information that the agent must
be able to supply.
Typically, the client’s query can be answered by the
first agent who takes the call. In that process, there
is no waiting or lag time, and the client is assured
that the company has the answers he or she needs.
However, it is impossible to have an expert answer
every single call due to the utter volume of inbound
calls that a usual call center receives. For this
reason, most inbound call centers rely on a tier
system in order to deal with several incoming calls.
Also called the multi-tier support, the tier system is
a foundation of call centers handling inbound calls.
In this instance, the client who has a specific
question or complaint about a product he or she has
purchased from the company, the first tier employee
can transfer the call to a technical support
However, most inbound call centers that use the
multi-tier support system have a total of three tiers
with the third tier consisting of developers or
engineers of the technology or the product. Through
this, the majority of customer requests and questions
can be dealt with effectively and quickly. Basically,
if the client is satisfied with the responses and if
there are no waiting time, the call center is doing a
good job. The importance of satisfactory communication
should not be underestimated.
The Role of Technology in Inbound Call Centers
Aside from the multi-tier support, technology also has
a role to play in facilitating the company’s method in
dealing with inbound calls. The data received from
inbound calls are normally recorder and reported
making the call center effectively predict the type of
information and the number of agents in each tier that
will be needed in the future. Through this, the time
at which the calls are transmitted between agents
continues to develop and calls can be answered faster.
The technology that minimizes the waiting time and
answers and transfers calls quickly often leads
directly to increased customer satisfaction.
However, the use of technology will always be a
support instead of a substitute for human interaction.
The agents or the employees remain the backbone of
inbound call centers and the only means of ensuring
customer satisfaction and preservation is through the
quality of communication.