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The buzz word that is currently doing the rounds of Information Technology industry is 'technology-driven transformation'. Businesses interpret this as using the technology to redefine the services that they can offer at lower costs, which would increase the revenues and boost the profits. As the scope of the Internet is getting widened day by day as a technology platform, it has been occupied by an ever-growing number of application tools. These tools facilitate deriving the most from the Net and business communication trends.
It is a fact that continually advancing technology is bringing about dramatic changes in business communication trends the world over. The day may not be far off when business communications will be done in a paperless manner favoring green technology.
During the last decade alone, tremendous technological advancements have taken place to provide a new direction to business communication trends – be it voice communications or data transfer.
It is only to be expected that during the ensuing decade, business communication facility will receive further thrusts and will witness major innovations across many more interfaces - through mobile phones, standard landline telephones, Internet and the Web in general. Business communication trends and tools broadly deal with technological developments and applications pertaining to business processes that can relate to back office operations, data management and analysis, professional services and support, to mention only a few. They cover almost any type of businesses, in manufacturing and/or services. Some of the most recent and relevant ones are discussed in this article.
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The term ‘cloud computing’ is derived from the fact that the technology is hidden behind the clouds and hence invisible to the users. Beyond this, it may be more appropriate to define it by what it does. It is a technology that deploys shared infrastructure that links together large pooled systems in private or public networks in order to provide Information Technology (IT) services. The advent and application of Web 2.0 has ushered in a vast scope for adoption of service-oriented architectures and afforded the opportunities for cloud computing to thrive in an environment that encourages open collaboration, social networking, mobile commerce, etc.
In short, to manage the ever growing needs of the users - whether in business, government, public or private - where there is a need to manage the Infrastructure environments, euphemistically speaking, as a unified cloud. Its advantages to businesses, to mention only a few, could be found in its capability to relieve the IT professionals from the day to day routine tasks of Information Technology and devote more time to value add the IT services relevant to their specific areas of operation, availability regardless of the location and the capability to bring in tangible benefits in adding more customers by enabling horizontal market expansion, quicker delivery of marketing services and customer retention (Source: IBM Cloud Computing)
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With the advent of a new product, called in the trade parlance 'Book Reader', it has now become possible to turn any text document into an audio document. By the applying an intuitive technology, it first scans books, magazines, or other documents, and then applies character recognition and text-to-speech software to play it back on the user’s computer or portable audio device with an exceptional quality of a human-like voice. This patented technology, termed as 'Shadow Elimination Element" (SEE) deploys a unique hardware design to accomplish its objective. The converted documents may be saved in RTF, PDF formats. Its usefulness to the business lies in its capability to handle letter like documents and graphic features.
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In its original form, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was functioning as a one dimensional tool which limited its capabilities to an interaction between back-office functions and client facing functions. Today, the scenario is changing fast. The advent of CRM2.0 is now making it possible to meet the set of capabilities which are interactive because of which, it provides versality to the businesses. It is based on tools from social networking sites, wikis, blogs, and community forums and benefits any type of business from the inputs of entire stakeholders, whether in the design, research, procurement and delivery.
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Social media networking is the order of the day and many business enterprises are exploiting social media network like Facebook to encourage and attract customers.Call centers are springing up everywhere to handle customer enquires instantly regardless of time zones.
Web technology is getting more and more refined and many business houses are setting up interactive websites to facilitate online business communication and also providing enquiry/order forms to quicken transactions.Online marketing is gathering momentum and most customers want to order goods/services over the Internet, sitting in the comfort of their own offices and homes. Waking up to this reality, all business organizations are creating web presence to offer prospective customers all the product information they want.
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Power-point presentations have become an extraordinary audio-visual tool in business conferences. Instead of merely delivering speeches which most participants may fail to register properly, power-point presentations create a terrific impact and helps better understanding of issues.
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Video-conferencing has added a new dimension to today’s business communication trends. When you wish to talk to a person remotely and still want to see him or her to get a real personal meeting effect, you can opt for video-conferencing. Video-conferencing has now become quite commonplace in many business organizations and even employee interviews are done through video-conferencing.
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Telephones are now being used more purposefully as part of modern business communication trends. Most organizations have taken to telemarketing in a big way to create sales enquiries and occasionally even close sales. Most EPABX systems provide for teleconferencing when mare than two persons can interact and share information.
There are sophisticated telephone systems that offer features like ‘call forwarding’ and ‘follow me’ so that no business calls are missed. EPABX systems also provide for Direct Inward Dialing (DID) so that a caller need not waste time going through an operator.
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Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and more and more communication devices are emerging to add to business efficiency to facilitate quick exchange of information with employees, customers and business associates located in different parts of the globe.
Most businesses are today confronted with the problem of communication overloads. It is only to be expected that newer and more sophisticated technologies will emerge to help manage better the ever-growing complexities of business communications.
This article can be concluded with a statment that technological engagement has become an integral part of any business. In this regard, dynamic communication technologies are the strategies that have been helping businesses to go beyond customer-centric management to a platform of collaborative management in which all the players engaged within the sphere of business can participate to achieve organizational objectives defined in terms of performance, profits and excellence. And, such a range is so wide that it cannot be constricted to narrowed specifications.
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The benefits of Cloud Computing: available at: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/
Image Credit: Communication - Sender - Message Receiver - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Communication_sender-message-receiver.png