Hungry for Business Take-out

Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 5:52pm by Sandy Jones

With the growing industry for technology and the ever-present need for innovation in the business world to increase productivity and adapt to the changes taking place in the economy, it comes as no surprise that business is being taken everywhere. Whether you’re in a car, plane, boat, bus, train, or at a hotel, restaurant, bookstore, coffee shop, or home, business is being conducted all around you on portable devices.

Mobile Phones

Most major phone companies advertise customized options for businesses that purchase multiple lines for their employees.

  • International minutes: Since many companies transact business overseas or internationally, it can be a huge benefit to invest in a plan that provides unlimited international minutes at a price comparable to usage.
  • Discounted rates on multiple lines and devices for businesses: If a company decides to purchase cell phones for all their employees, they may be eligible for discounts on the rate as well as the cost of devices per employee.
  • Shared data and minutes: Some cell phone companies allow businesses to share data and minutes between their employees. This way, neither resource is wasted and the usage overall is more balanced.
  • Consolidated billing: Rather than paying for individual phone lines from various providers, having a group cell phone plan consolidates the billing process and simplifies such matters substantially.
  • Shared access to online data: Most shared business plans allow each employee to access important information online simultaneously, even from different places or at different times. The shared account information makes it easier for people to send and receive information, upload and download documents, and process things all in one place.

In addition to the customized features of business plans, mobile phones have improved in technology to allow for improved video chat and conference calls. Furthermore, smartphones offer a plethora of apps for business use including programs that help with money and time management, stock and business monitoring, as well as a way to deposit checks and other information via picture.

 

Tablets

Although it seems like the natural place for a tablet would be in the home environment far away from work, a survey done by ChangeWave revealed a surprising strategy among corporations relating to tablets. Nearly 78% of the respondents said their companies intended to purchase Apple iPads for their employees.

The six primary uses of a tablet for work purposes include internet access, checking email, working outside the office, sales support, customer presentations, and laptop replacement. As employees have become better accustomed to using the tools available on the tablets, each area of usage has increased over time.

Popular applications and software have swept through the business world like wildfire, particularly for iPads. A few of the most popular apps resemble regular software, such as iWork (similar to Apple’s office suite), Filemaker Go (database), and Power.ME (task and workflow management).

 

Other Devices

  • External Drives: For those who want to transport tons of storage space without lugging around a 50lb PC, a portable external hard drive is just the right piece of equipment to do the job. With a storage capacity up to two terabytes, you would have a hard time running out of room in the suitcase for packing your work.
  • Credit Card Reader: If your business involves a lot of financial transactions (traveling sales persons for example), consider investing in a smartphone credit reader. This nifty device plugs into the earphone jack of your phone and costs about $35 to $50. Financial transactions can be completed on the go so you don’t end up with a stack of checks and a boatload of cash on your person at any given point in time.
  • Portable Scanner: Portable scanners come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but a popular version currently available on the market is a dock for the iPad that saves scanned documents directly to the tablet in high-definition. Although this device (and similar full-page scanners) runs between $150 and $200, a cheaper solution is also available. Hand-held wands are smaller and cheaper, about $50 to $100. However, the image quality is much lower than that of the full-sized document scanners. Still, for basic purposes, wands are very handy for taking business outside the office.


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