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More Tech Tools to Increase Business Productivity

December 22, 2009 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant

The Business Success Strategies Blog is Sponsored by  ABC Business Consulting

As I discussed in the previous Business Success Strategies Blog, Technology can help a small company, with a limited budget, compete on a global scale.  Let’s continue looking at Tech Tools useful in your business.

Note: All of the product quotes are full retail quotes and are subject to change.

Femtocell

A Femtocell acts like a mini cell tower to boost your cell coverage so you can have reliable, strong coverage throughout your office areas.  A Femtocell can help in replacing the need for a landline altogether as your cell coverage will be consistent and reliable, without the risk of dropped calls. 

How does it work?  The Femtocell channels the indoor wireless traffic through a broadband connection, (high speed internet is required).  The Femtocell looks like a modem with a small antenna on it. 

Where can you get it and how much for the unit?

Verizon Wireless Network Extender:  $249

Sprint Airwave:  $99.99 plus $4.99 per month

External Hard Drives

Backing up information is vital so you want a reliable external Hard Drive which has a good software management system.  Security is also a consideration with a Drive that is external to your computer systems.  Some choices:

Seagate Replica:  Does an automatic Complete System Back Up – just plug it in and click “OK” and continuous backups are initiated.  Completely backs up everything, including your Operating System, Programs and Settings.  Costs:  $130 for a 250GB, single PC, unit; $180 for 500GB, multiple PC units.

Clickfree Backup Drive:  No software to install – just plug it in.  Automatically backs up.  You can get the optional $60 Transformer Cable to add this same capability to a hard drive you already have.  Cost:  $90 for 120GB and $220 for 500GB.

Maxtor Black Armor:  No access to the Hard Drive without a password.  Software sets up automatic back up and syncs data from multiple computers.  Cost:  $170 for 320GB Unit.

Western Digital – My Book World Edition:  Can access your computer files from the web (even if the PCs are off) and back up files remotely (this feature not as user friendly).  Stream music to XBox or PlayStation.  Cost:  $230 for 1TB; $450 for 2TB.

Free Online Fax Service:  MyFax

Send and receive faxes via email.  Can send up to two faxes per day, of up to 10 pages per fax, for free.  Can send MS Word Documents, PDFs and 175 other file formats.   

Multi-Function Server:  HP Media Smart LX 195

Compact unit, about the size of a toaster.  Allows you to access all your documents and photos through an on line portal.  Can publish photos directly to Flickr, Picasa or Face book and listen to your music collection while you are on the road.  Effective Business Server with 10 free user accounts, automatic backups and 640 GB of storage capacity.  Cost:  $399

Free VOPI:  Ooma

3,000 Domestic free minutes per month and call international for as little as 1.4 cents a minute.  There is also a Premium Service for $12.00 per month which offers land to cell transfers, a second line and three way conferencing. 

Free Presentation Tools

Some competition for Power Point:

Sliderocket:  Template driven online platform which builds great looking slide shows, quickly.  Can then publish the Presentation online, embed it in a website or export it to Power Point if you don’t have an Internet connection at the presentation location.

Zoho Show:  Very customizable slide show web-based platform.  Can import Excel Charts and can export to Power Point if needed.  If you post the Presentation online, you can track how many people have viewed it.

Openoffice.org 3 Impress:  Has most of Power Point’s features.  Can save the slide show as a Power Point document, even on a computer which doesn’t have Power Point installed on it.

Website Hosting Discounts

You can find great savings on Hosting Packages through:

Coupon Mountain

RetailMeNot

Ebates

Alternatives to Microsoft Office

If you don’t want to spend $400 on the MS Office Suite, try these:

Open Office

Google Docs

Note that neither of these have a replacement for MS Outlook.  You may want to try Endora.

Professional Looking Biz Cards for $9.95

Try Overnight Prints for reasonable, yet professional looking biz cards.  Ask to view samples and sign up for free email offers.  They’ll send a 25% discount coupon.

My last three blogs have discussed numerous technical resources to save your company money, while increasing your Productivity and helping you to compete effectively in the market place.  Technology is great, but it needs to be evaluated, tested and planned; otherwise, its effectiveness is significantly minimized.  A good Business Planning Process should be built around technology so when you implement your Business Plan, the technology is an integral part of your company.  Then that technology will be and create substantial Competitive Advantage.  Company-wide training, adoptance and integration are key toward effectively leveraging technology.

Have more tech tips for our readers?  We invite your Feedback. (you will be sent to our blog comment sign up page)

Upcoming Blogs will focus on Company Leadership, Customer Building Relationships, Employee Relations, Effective Business Plans, Winning Marketing Plans and Strategic Planning for Business Success.

Need more help?  Get the ABC Business Success Guide 

Date:  Dec. 22, 2009

Author:  Frank Goley, Chief Business Consultant for ABC Business Consulting

Subject:  More Tech Tools to Increase Business Productivity

Posted in Business Productivity.

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