Five Technologies Every Business Must Understand
December 03, 2013
By Mae Kowalke
, TMCnet Contributor
Our world is full of technology, and it is moving faster than ever. By the time we master one new technological development, another (or two) has appeared to take its place.
We can be forgiven for not having our pulse on every new technology that comes down the pike. Many of these technologies are interesting but not terribly important. Others are so short-term that it hardly is smart to spend the time learning them.
But some technologies are both new and going to stick around. Here are five technologies that every business should know and use:
Cloud Document Storage: There’s a whole world of cloud computing, and if you have Gmail you probably already are using the cloud at least to some degree. While the more adventurous can explore infrastructure-as-a-service and more advanced cloud offerings, every business should know and use cloud document storage. The benefits of cloud storage are many, but two of the most important reasons to use it are backup and anywhere access. With documents in the cloud, employees always have files at their fingertips. And unlike most office backup systems, cloud storage also ensures that files are safe even if there is a disaster or proper backup protocols have not been followed.
Voice-over-IP (VoIP): Voice has gone digital, and the benefits of sending calls over the Internet instead of the traditional telephone network is greatly reduced cost, ease of use, and a boatload of added features such as call forwarding and interactive voice response. There are many options, but every business should have a digital phone service in 2013.
Fax-over-IP (FoIP): Just like VoIP, the fax has also gone digital. The benefits of using FoIP include the elimination of fax supplies, e-mail transmission, optical character recognition, improved workflow, and added security, among others. For those that already have an investment in fax machines, solutions such as AudioCodes’ (News - Alert) fax ATA solution allow businesses to retrofit their existing hardware to transform into a FoIP solution.
Google Alerts: There’s a lot of information on the Internet, and sometimes it is hard to keep up. But with Google (News - Alert) Alerts, important stories and Web pages can come to you—and for free. By entering keywords for products, competition and markets of interest, Google Alerts lets businesses have a personal clipping service on the cheap. This is essential in 2013.
Twitter (News - Alert): Customers no longer just voice their issues and frustrations to themselves and your customer support line. There’s an ongoing discussion 24/7 online, and much of it uses hash tags and takes place on Twitter. Even if you’re not a social media-focused company, it is important to interact with customers and know what they are saying. Twitter plays a big role, so you must be there.
There are many technologies that we could focus on, and there are some we must know. These are five that you need to know. Are we missing some? Let us know!