Telephone Systems For Small Business Are Facing A Revolution

If you’re running a small business and still using a static phone line, where have you been for the past few years? Telephone systems for small business have undergone somewhat of a revolution, all thanks to the rising popularity of VoIP.

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Voice over Internet protocol, more commonly abbreviated to VoIP, is the process of using internet connections to establish voice communication with others. With online communication playing a major factor in business success, VoIP allows you to instantly connect with other users free of charge.

Telephone Systems For Small Business
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Gone are the days of needing a static BT phone line; if your business has access to the internet, and almost 99.9% do, then your businesses can start using the services of one of the many VoIP Providers UK. VoIP providers are able to offer businesses a cost effective way of communicating with customers and business clients across the globe. Before VoIP, businesses were faced with large communication bills and often struggled to communicate effectively with overseas clients and customers. The development of VoIP has radicalized the way in which companies now communicate with each other.

It is not always necessary to be logged onto a computer terminal to receive VoIP calls. There are many providers who provide adapters that can be used to convert conventional telephone handsets into VoIP receivers. As well as these adapters, it is also possible to buy dedicated phone units primarily for VoIP communication.

With communication being of vital importance, providing telephone systems for small business has become big business. The internet is full of websites offering the services of an abundance of VoIP providers UK who are currently at the forefront of this new and exciting technology and offer some of the best deals around. A quick internet search will guide you to VoIP comparison sites that will allow you to compare current VoIP pricing and offers.

If you’re a small company looking to utilize VoIP for your business, then are several things that you need to consider. When choosing a VoIP provider it is vital to ensure that they can offer your business the reliability and technical support your business requires.  It is no good jumping into bed with a provider just because their price is cheap; if they are unable to provide you with a reliable service then your business will ultimately be the one to suffer. Almost all telephone providers in the UK, including Virgin Media and Sky, offer VoIP services for its customers.

The benefits of using VoIP are endless. Three way calling, conference calling and call diverting are just a few of the benefits that companies can experience. Of course, the main benefit of VoIP is the huge financial savings that can be made. Several companies, like Skype and Virgin Media, offer free unlimited calls to other users anywhere in the world. In fact, many VoIP users have seen their communication bills reduced by almost 90%!

Telephone services for small business have undoubtedly been revolutionized by VoIP providers UK  and all sizes of business  are benefiting from this new way of communicating.

This post was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Maintel. Amy writes on a number of subjects but has a particular interest in communications and how modern businesses can make best use of them.

Five Bits of Technology for Mobile Phones

The first generation of mobile phones dates back to the 1970’s when bulky hand-held mobile radio devices were first developed. Since this time, mobile phone technology has expanded exponentially. Here we look at just five pieces of mobile phone technology that have changed the way we use our phones.

Batteries and Technology for Mobile Phones

Battery technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and has contributed to the constantly reducing size of the phones. Traditionally, the batteries were made from nickel but more recently these batteries are being made from lithium, which is famously the lightest metal known to man. These are lighter and can hold their charge for longer, which make them an ideal candidate for mobile phones. The future of phone battery technology is thought to be in solid-state batteries and the race is on to create one that can be mass produced. These would potentially massively increase the length of charge that a phone battery could hold and greatly decrease the manufacturing costs.

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Liquid Repellent
There is now technology for protecting mobile phones from the effects of liquids. Much like waterproof watches, these range from those that can withstand a few splashes of water, such as being caught a light rain shower, to being resistant to being completely submerged in deep water for long periods of time. This technology is a godsend for many people. For example, anyone who works in the great outdoors, sportsmen and women and boaters, amongst many others. These phones are currently being made by several of the most well-known mobile phone manufacturers, including Nokia and Samsung, and it is very likely that more will join them. The phones are made water resistant using advanced nano-technology and coating them in a chemical water repellent substance that does not add weight or change the look and feel of the phone.

GPS
One greatly used piece of technology in mobile phones is GPS or ‘global positioning system’. Many people are familiar with GPS, a technology that has been used for many years to provide reliable location and time information on the go in mobile phones. Using satellites phones with GPS can pinpoint your location anywhere in the world very accurately, up to around 10 metres. More and more phones have included GPS and many can now double up as satellite navigation systems in cars. This ability to have an accurate worldwide map in your pocket, with your precise position at any one point is a much over-looked piece of technology.

Technology for Mobile Phones photo
Photo by mikecogh

3G and HSDPA
Many phones now use 3G technology, the third generation of wireless technology, which allows high-speed transmission, worldwide roaming abilities and enhanced audiovisual streaming on the previous 2.5G technology. Recently, HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) has started to replace this technology in more advanced mobile phones. It has also become known colloquially as 3.5G or turbo 3G due to its significantly faster download speeds with a massive theoretical maximum speed of 14.4Mbps. In effect this maximizes productivity without requiring a wireless network to connect to.

Touch Screens
Ever since Apple brought their massively successful iPhone to the market, touch screens on mobile phones have become more and more popular. There are two types of touch screen typically found on mobile phones – capacitive and resistive. Resistive touch screens work by sensing pressure on the screen, whether that is from your finger or a stylus. Capacitive, the newer technology, uses electrodes that sense the conductivity of your finger when placed against the screen. Each has their pros and cons, the ability to use a stylus means that you can make more accurate selections on the screen, whereas capacitive screens are typically more intuitive and sensitive, requiring only the gentlest touch or swipe. Users have enjoyed using touch screens in new and inventive ways, from pinching the screen to zoom out to ‘double clicking’ to select and copy text. This technology is changing the way we interact with our phones forever.

Article by P2i.com – Market leaders in nano-technology and water repellent coatings.

Mobile Apps Meet Privacy & Security Concerns Among Consumers

Geolocation sharing services like foursquare, MyTown, Loopt, and others have been getting a lot of press lately in marketing circles.  Geolocation is still in early adoption stages, but it is growing rapidly among mobile users.  Unfortunately, privacy concerns are growing with it.  You might think that the eagerness of location sharers to distribute data about their lives to other users and to companies is a sign of ignorance or unconcern, but it is neither.  These users are choosing to accept a certain loss of privacy in return for certain benefits. But, they expect certain boundaries to be observed.

Cell Phone Reverse Lookup

Below you can see the results of a study by privacy services TRUSTe and Harris Interactive.  The smartphone owners they surveyed stated that they were most concerned about their privacy.

The reason that these users agree to participate in many apps with advertisers is because they still feel as though they understand the agreement and are in control of the situation.  In fact, 36% of the survey participants said that they felt in control of their personal information.  How do participants assure themselves?  By setting strong passwords and by reading privacy policies thoroughly before opting in or signing up, users feel safe.

Even though other surveys show that many mobile device users could potentially be interested in opting into advertisements which target their location based on tracking data, three quarters of the population surveyed in this study indicated that tracking by advertisers disturbed them.

Mobile Apps Meet Privacy
Photo by IntelFreePress

White iPhone 4 displayed at a Softbank mobile store in Omotesando, Tokyo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mobile privacy and security issues will only continue to receive more attention and press as mobile location sharing services grow into the mainstream, particularly with the opening of Facebook Places, which is introducing location sharing to more and more users.  Just a couple weeks ago, there was a lot of press surrounding a log file that tracks and records the movements of the iPhone it resides on.  If a person should acquire the iPhone, he can view all this tracking data unencrypted, and discover the movements of the iPhone (and its user) since the log file was introduced onto the device.

In reality, this problem has been in existence for a long time.  In the past, it was revealed that government agencies make regular use of these types of log files in mobile phones to find out where users have been and what they have been doing.  These searches are often conducted illegally without a warrant.

When a user signs up for an app and reads the privacy policy, it may include an agreement to be tracked by the company.  What it does not include is an agreement to submit to illegal search and seizure by the government.  These are the kinds of fears that permeate the consciousness of a mobile user though, and not unreasonably.

What this means is that until these broader legal dilemmas are more resolved, mobile users will be concerned about privacy and security issues; tracking in particular.  This doesn’t stop a lot of people from signing up or opting into apps with companies which track movements though.

If you are starting a geolocation campaign, it is crucial that you understand the privacy and security concerns of your patrons and that you take steps to protect their privacy.  Make it very clear in your user agreement what your policies are and how you are protecting the security of mobile users.  Let them know that you share their concerns.

Mobile users can benefit from geolocation targeted advertising.  The tricks is to make sure that they are benefiting from it, will ensuring their data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Spencer Belkofer is a blogger, researcher, and follower of anything related to Internet marketing. He recently founded Lumin, an Alabama-based Internet marketing firm. Lumin has recently included infographic design as one of it’s service offerings.

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