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The 7 Pitfalls That Can Ruin Your Conference Calls

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Conference calls have practically become a way of life in the business world. People schedule and hold conference calls almost every day of the week without even thinking twice about the technology being used or how they are being perceived by their fellow conferees over the other end of the line. Moderators or hosts of conference calls just take it for granted that the technology will work just fine and that everyone is hearing their voice perfectly.

Au contraire! The technology that you are using can be imperfect and have limitations or the moderator and the conferees on the call can be untrained or unaware of how their usage habits are affecting the calls. Both of these issues can cause devastating results leading to information being lost or not communicated properly, and in some cases, terminating the entire call.

Because these nasty issues on conference calls keep occurring, it was decided that a small, concise booklet be prepared that would spell out each problem and propose simple solutions for each one that could easily be followed to eliminate any future “disconnects”. So here they are: The Seven Pitfalls That Can Ruin Your Conference Calls and You May Not Even Realize It.

1. Avoid Free Conference Services

Free conference services were started around the year 2000 as a way to exploit the telephone companies’ way of revenue separation. Revenues from long distance calls were divided up between the parties that carried each call from the originating party to the terminating party. The originating party would be billed for the call and the telephone company that collected that bill had a system to pay the other companies that handled that call. It was called separation of revenues.

Back in the day, if a long distance call costs 10 cents per minute, a portion of the call or two pennies, for example, would be remitted to the company that terminated the call. These payments are called terminating revenue. All of these costs were regulated by state and national rules and each telephone company had to file tariffs.

What some bright telecom entrepreneurs figured out was that they could locate a conference bridge in a remote, rural telephone company and do a business deal with the company that they would deliver conference minutes into this bridge and split the terminating revenue that was being paid to them for these minutes. To generate huge amounts of minutes, they would advertise their conference service for free and just make money on the terminating revenue paid by the teleco.

And that is exactly what happened, the free providers generated so many millions of minutes each month that they had trouble keeping up with enough equipment or conference bridges to handle the traffic. This problem caused contention on the bridges. There were more parties trying to get into conference calls than they had enough ports or lines to accommodate all of them. Consequently, many conferees on conference calls could not get into their conference calls. Granted the conference calls were free, but you were not guaranteed if all of your parties would be on the call. Bummer! So you get what you pay for.

The reason for this long story is that free conference services still exist and as a customer you could still have contention for the conference ports on the bridges, resulting in only a portion of your conferees getting into your conference calls. In the business world, this cannot be tolerated. What do you say to your colleagues, We are going to schedule half a conference call tomorrow. The problem is that you don’t know which half will be allowed into the call. It’s a disaster.

As a sidebar to this issue, the Federal Communications Commission, the national entity that regulates telecommunications and telephone companies passed some new rules a couple of years ago that gradually reduced the amount paid to these terminating parties to the point that in 2017, they will be eliminated almost entirely. This could lead to many free conference services exiting the business entirely.

2. Failing to Mute Conferees in Large Conference Calls

Most moderators of conference calls have learned this rule the hard way, by having it happen to them on a live call. It certainly can be embarrassing and if the moderator doesn’t correct it and tries to soldier through, the call can become a disaster with many conferees fleeing the scene.

Conference bridges are typically programmed with some moderator commands, which allow the moderator of the call some degree of control over the call. One of the commands is the mute function. On many bridges, the mute function is activated when the moderator presses the *5 keys. When these keys are pressed by the moderator, all of the conferees are placed into mute, meaning their microphones are shut off and will not allow interactive participation with the moderator or the other conferees. This allows the moderator complete silence when giving a presentation or long dissertation. The function is sometimes referred to as “listen only”.

When the moderator has completed the speech and wants to put the parties back into interactive mode, the *5 keys are pressed again and the conferee microphones are now activated for speech and all of the parties can interact on the call. There is one major caution when placing all of the conferees into interactive mode. Calls larger than fifteen to twenty five callers are about the limit to being interactive. Any larger calls can become a mass of confusion when multiple parties are trying to speak at the same time.

As a conferencing service provider, we have experienced several customers that have larger conference calls with as many as five hundred to one thousand parties on the call. Even though we have warned them about this issue of too many parties trying to talk at the same time on large calls, they insist upon having an open call. Much to their chagrin after a few minutes of mass confusion and inaudible babble, they ring our operator to help them place their call into listen only. The lesson here is learn to use the mute function and tell your conferees that you are placing them into listen only and you will let them know when they are able to speak again.

3. Choosing a Service With No Live Support

In today’s environment of on-line Internet services, customer service has fallen to a new low. High tech Internet companies are trying to make their services “Do it Yourself” (DIY) and limit their expenses on providing customer service personnel. This philosophy can add greatly to their bottom line profitability, but it stinks for the customers when they don’t have a live person to assist them with a problem or issue with the service.

There are many Internet audio and web conferencing services that are web page driven and have no live customer service. All you get is a Q&A section on the website and if your question or issue is not in there, then you are stuck. Their service is basically useless if you can’t figure out how to use it.

Consequently, you should select a conferencing service that has full customer support with an 800 number and a customer service department. This service will assist you real time when you have an issue, not call you back the next day. In fact, a good customer service department has operators that can even operate the controls on a web conference for you, allowing the customer to focus on the content of the presentation and not have to worry about pushing the right buttons.

4. Choosing a Service with 30 Day Expiring Pass Codes

This is a new one. I was called out on a customer contact at a law firm and the Managing Director said that he was very upset with his conferencing company. I asked why and he said that one of his attorneys was hosting an occasional call that was quite large, fifty parties. He didn’t hold these calls very often, about every six to eight weeks. When it came time for everyone to dial into the 800 number, no one could get into the call. The call never happened. The moderator of the call was totally upset because he had wasted all of the conferees time and he looked bad in the process.

After this lawyer reported the bad call to the Managing Director, he called the conferencing company to find out what had just happened. The company representation said that, “Oh, you have 30 day expiring pass codes. If you want the pass codes to be permanent, you have to pay a charge of $5. per pass code per month.” With 100 sets of pass codes, the firm would have to pay an extra $500. per month just to keep them active.

After hearing this, the Managing Director became very angry, resulting in a phone call to our company, which led to his firm switching their service over to us.

Repeat this after me, “You should never have to pay a monthly fee for a pass code.” Pass codes are free. There is an unlimited number of pass codes that can be assigned to a conference bridge. Every employee in your company or organization can have a free pass code. They never run out. Don’t be fooled by this new ploy to get your money.

5. Using Poor SIP Phones

With the advent of digital technology, more telephone equipment has migrated from old analog technology to new digital technology using the Internet. Telephone service has migrated also to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which is reliant upon good Internet bandwidth for clear transmission of voice calls. Many business telephone systems are changing to this new format and they have become dependent upon having enough bandwidth for clear voice calls. Some of these telephone system providers, which use Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) do not provide enough bandwidth and therefore the voice quality is sacrificed. The voice can fade in and out. There is cracking or popping on the line. It is just a horrible experience.

When a moderator or conferee comes into a conference call with a poor SIP phone, it can cause havoc on a conference call. No one wants to hear popping, crackling or voices fading in and out. The immediate solution is to use another phone. The longer term solution is to call your phone system provider and have them fix the bandwidth or the phone itself. If this does not correct the problems, then it is time to switch phones. Be sure and test new phones out before buying them.

6. Using Your Speakerphone as a Moderator

Some people just love using their speaker phone, both on their cell phone and on their business phone. This is just fine if you keep your mouth within a reasonably close distance to the phone’s speaker for the duration of the call. However, some moderators love to walk and talk. This presents a problem, because when a person walks away from the microphone, their voice fades out. When you add multiple parties in the same room around the speaker phone, the microphone will pick up any conversations within the room, causing disruption in the call. Consequently, when a moderator uses a speaker phone, they have to be extremely careful to stay at a constant distance from the microphone. The moderator should also caution all of the parties within the same room to refrain from talking amongst themselves while the call is proceeding.

7. Moderator on a Cell Phone: The Kiss of Death

Recently, the number of participants on cell phones in a conference calls exceeded the number of participants from business phones. If you are a conferee on a call, you are probably okay to participate via cell phone. You just need to insure that your surroundings are in a quiet setting. However, if you are a moderator on a conference call using your cell phone, you should be aware of certain procedures that can ruin your calls and which you must avoid.

When you set up your conference service with a conference moderator, regardless of the type of phone you are using, you have to specify whether you want your calls to end when you, the moderator, hang up or if you want participants to continue to be able to talk after you hang up. If you want the call to end when you, the moderator hang up, this feature is called “automatic disconnect when moderator hangs up”. This means that on all of your calls when you hang up, all of the other parties are automatically disconnected.

The problem you have with being a moderator on a cell phone with this feature is that if your cell phone fades out for whatever reason and disconnects in the middle of your call, all of the parties will be disconnected also. They can all dial back in and be reconnected, but if this keeps happening on your calls, participants will get frustrated and not call back in.

This issue becomes problematic when you are mobile or traveling in a car and go under a bridge or enter a dead zone. Your phone disconnects and boom, your call is toasted. Therefore, when setting up your conference service, consider selecting the option to allow your conferees to stay connected until they hang up.

Remember, it is okay to participate with a cell phone as a conferee on a conference call. It is as a moderator of a conference call that you have to be careful and consider the options available for you when you set up your conference service.

So there you have them, the 7 Pitfalls That can Ruin Your Conference Calls. Now you are educated and can put this information to good use with your conference call etiquette. I wish you much success with your conference calls and your future endeavors.

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3 Forgiveness Quotes Everyone Should Live By

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Forgive and forget. Isn’t that just one of the most overused forgiveness quotes in history? If you’re looking for something a little more than that, then this article is for you. Read on…

Forgiveness Quote # 1: “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

Love can be quite complicated; but if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.

Parents, I think, understand this best of all. Mothers and fathers who truly love their children might get angry when their kids break something in the house or disobey their orders, but they’ll always forgive them in the end.

Runaways who leave home in the heat of an argument can also relate to this. The lucky ones who have loving parents will always be welcomed home with open arms.

Forgiveness Quote # 2: “Always forgive you enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde

Talk about cheekiness. This Oscar Wilde quote is almost a spin-off of the Christian mandate “love thy enemy,” isn’t it? For most people, getting them to forgive their enemies is almost impossible; but from Wilde’s perspective, it looks quite doable and even satisfying.

So if you have someone who makes your life a living hell – say, a boss or a rival at work – try forgiving their transgressions against you. Think about this quote as you do so, and I am confident it will make your day.

Forgiveness Quote # 3: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

In this particular Lewis B. Smedes quote, you are being made to discover how your inability to forgive other people affects you.

Most people think that withholding forgiveness gives them power over others, but they fail to realize that they themselves are also held captive.

As long as you hold that grudge, your heart will never be at ease and you will remain forever bitter. Is that really how you plan to live the rest of your life?

These forgiveness quotes might not make sense to you at the moment, especially if you’re still too angry and too wound up to listen. Give yourself time to relax and let go. In due time, you will find it in your heart to forgive even those whom you find most unforgivable.

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Practical Tricks For How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep At Night

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Babies are one of the most precious gifts for parents. In simple words, it is a blessing for parents. Having experience of becoming a new parent is undoubtedly a feeling that cannot be expressed into words.

But apart from this, there are still a few things which you as a new parent do not know or mentally not prepare, and somehow this becomes the reason for creating a bit of fuss in your routine cycle.

For a new parent, one major thing that becomes a bit problem is when the baby won’t sleep at night hours, so what new parents start to do Is finding the ways and start searching.

To consider this, today in this article, I try my level best to jot down some of the effective ways for how to get your newborn to sleep at night, through which you can be aware of it a bit early especially before your delivery time and then able enough to tackle your baby after your delivery.

So without any wastage of time, let’s get the ball roll, and unveil the tips about how to get your newborn to sleep at night together.

Tricks that help to make your baby sleep well at night

Feed well:

One of the major mistakes which most new parents make is to not be sure or set the time that when and which time you need to feed your baby.

So my advice for all the new mothers wondering how to get your newborn to sleep at night is to make sure that during night hours, specifically at the time when you sleep, avoid feeding your baby. As for babies, there is no day and night time, and they sleep when they want to sleep.

So, one trick which you can adopt is to make sure that your baby is not sleeping too much in the day. Try to entertain your baby or spend day hours with your baby, so through this automatically, your baby will sleep at the time when you sleep.

The second thing is, try not to feed your baby in sleeping hours. Make sure that you feed your baby well, and your baby is not hungry before sleeping.

A white noise:

White noise is also one of the best considerations which you can pick at night time. If your baby wakes at night or in the middle of the night, then play a sound like a lullaby or a gentle/ soothing sound. You can play that near your baby, so doing this will help your baby to make him sleep at night.

Keep your surrounding calm and comfortable:

Make sure that at night times your room lights are properly off, the surrounding of your baby room is calm and comfortable. Additionally, also try to avoid switching on and off the lights during the time of your baby sleeping.

As most of the time, a little bit of distraction or disturbance in your baby sleep becomes the reason for keeping your baby awake.

Hope after reading this little piece of guide regarding how to get your newborn to sleep at night will help you and let your baby sleep well at night hours.

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Refurbished VoIP Business Phone System Is Cheap And Reliable

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The VoIP or the Voice over Internet Protocol cloud technology offer the sophisticated phone systems that you need for your small business or office needs with a limited number of employees. The VoIP phones offer a range of features like the virtual receptionist option, the voicemail, conference calling music on hold and much. But unlike the traditional phone systems, these are not as expensive and also are easy to install requiring less wire too. Since they are run by the cloud-based technology, they entail less hardware installation and thus less setup cost apart from the zero maintenance cost.

Simple internet phones

All you require to install a VOIP business phone system is the internet access and the IP phones. The first step involves signing up for the service that has to be completed by the member of the team that is installing the system for you. Most of these companies will have the phones pre-figured for you when you order them and explain your exact requirements to them. Subsequently, they will ship the phones to you that should ideally arrive within seven working days following which the easy setup begins.

The original hardware

Once the phones are customized and configured, you will only have to plug them on and embark on the activation service and restart them once. When you want only the best and at reasonable prices, the best you can do is to opt for the Cisco IP phone system that are refurbished, but maintain the same quality as the original CISCO hardware. Those that setup and maintain these systems are the same people who are a part of the authorized training labs for the various programs for the official CISCO examination.

Customized and pre-configured

The configuration that all small business and office business telephone systems have are identical cookie cutters that run the systems. Only small improvisations are enough for individual customization. The technical guides on the phone will help you to set up the phone at your office that will have just he functions that you need. You can have the extensions that you need for each employee with the personalized number that will help you in streamlining your internal as well as external line of communication.

Managing your personalized system

With the CISCO refurbished systems, you will have facilities like using their computer for calls and manage a line of direct communication with the internal staff as well as engage in video conferencing if needed. Since these systems come from the professionals that manage such systems, you will not have to worry about maintaining them either. This type of refurbished system will not just cost you less while buying but also save the expenses of the technicians having to come to your office and install them that is chargeable on an hourly basis.

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Navigating the Health Claim Maze

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Introduction

The second half of getting sick is fussing with the health insurance claims process. I have some tips to pass-on from my own health claims experiences that might help you navigate this maze. Since I also sell health insurance, my understanding of the process and structure gives me an added perspective. This is not a rant on health insurance business or healthcare – just some techniques that can be helpful.

I am way too experienced in running the Health Claim Maze. Unfortunately, I lost my older brother to cancer last year and as his friend, and later executor, had the task of helping on the insurance issues.

First the Good News

I have always gotten the right answer eventually from every health insurance company on every health claim I have dealt with. Each and every insurance company honored their insurance policy and correctly paid what was due (or had a valid reason to decline a claim). Most claims were handled correctly and timely without any intervention.

This included the Kansas Health Insurance Association (the Kansas health insurance risk pool) which paid over $500,000 for my brother’s lymphoma treatments over his two year illness. It gave him access to any treatments that were appropriate. The final cost to him, in addition to his monthly premium, was his deductible and cost sharing of $3000 for each of the two years ($6000 total).

The core value of any health insurance plan is offsetting the huge financial risk of a major illness or injury and getting you access to the treatment you need.

Choosing the Right Insurance Company

Claims service matters. Unfortunately, most folks select insurance companies based on price and not value. An important value to consider is the ease of getting help if you have a claim.

Look for an insurance company that has kept their claims call center in the United States. Nothing will make the claims process more frustrating than trying to get help on a complex health claim over a bad phone connection with someone who is talking a different version of English. Avoid any insurance company that has chosen the cheap off-shore claims helpline strategy.

Second, ask around about the claims service reputation of an insurance company. This is a good question for your insurance agent. Some insurance companies focus on making the claims process easier while others only offer only adequate service. It is worth paying more and getting the quality service.

Organization Matters

Setup a filing system to keep all claim benefit paperwork. Since the annual insurance deductible follows the calendar year, it is helpful to sort any claims “Explanation of Benefits” by the year the healthcare service was rendered. At the very least, have a box or file to toss any health insurance paperwork – keep it all. You will need this paper trail if a major health claim problem erupts.

If you are dealing with a major illness with a high volume of claims documents you will need a more advanced filing concept. For my brother, I had three files for each year: 1. Paid Claims; 2. Claims in Process; 3. Claims being appealed. I also stapled any unpaid healthcare provider invoice or appeal letter with the claims documents. Within these files, all claims paperwork was sorted by date of service. With pounds of claim’s documents generated by my brother’s illness, organization of the paperwork was very important.

The Contract / Sales Booklet

Always keep in your file the actual health insurance contract and the detailed sales booklet. The sales booklet is much more accessible and a good starting point to understanding your benefits. I purposely send the detailed booklet to each of my clients when they apply for insurance. The contract is what the health insurance company is obligated to do in exchange for your premiums and is the final word on any dispute.

Troubleshooting the Maze

Most health insurance claims are automatically (particularly if you are “in network” with your healthcare providers) and correctly handled. With any organization, even if well intended and well run (I count most health insurance companies in this category), balls are still going to get dropped and mistakes will happen. Always treat the claims representatives politely (my wife’s very wise advice) and enlist them as allies.

Here are three primary claims problems with troubleshooting techniques that I have used:

Problem #1: Claim Denied

Health claims are often denied for minor technical reasons. Don’t panic. You have work to do.

First Action: Call the Insurance Company’s claims office and ask for an explanation. Why was the claim not paid? Often it is a simple problem that can be quickly corrected.

For example: a client that had a hospitalization ($45,000 three day hospital visit due to a heart rhythm problem), but had the claim initially declined by the insurance company. A phone call to the insurance company revealed they needed a detailed bill to process the claim but the hospital had only sent a summary bill. This was quickly resolved with a second call to the hospital. A payment for the claim (less policy deductible) was quickly sent.

Second Action: Appeal the Claim. You will see on any “Explanation of Benefits” a procedure to appeal any claim that has been denied. Follow this path (normally a mailed letter). Keep a copy of everything. You need to appeal within a limited time period. I made it a policy with my brother’s claims to appeal the same day I received any Explanation of Benefits that did not pay the claim. Always send an appeal by certified mail to establish the date the appeal was made and who it was sent to. An appeal forces a higher level of assessment and typically shifts the claim to a special claims appeal review department.

Third Action: Follow up the appeal with a phone call. Normally, you will get an appeal response by mail within a specific time frame outlined in the appeals process. If you don’t receive a timely response or a response that you don’t understand, call the claims appeal office and ask for help. Request a supervisor if you don’t get an adequate answer.

Fourth Action: Ask for a copy of the contract clause that impacts the claims outcome and reread it. Have the claims representative or the supervisor explain the contract language and why the claim is ineligible for payment. You will eventually get the right answer (I always have). If the right answer is a denial, you are owned an explanation you understand.

Problem #2: Past Due Notice from Health care Provider.

This is a warning flag – something has gone astray in the claims communication or processing and you need to figure it out. Intervention will be needed.

First Action: Confirm with the healthcare provider that the claim was properly filed. Several times, I have found that the provider never got the policy information and was unable to file a claim.

Example: Both times that my brother was taken to the hospital, the ambulance service was never given any insurance policy information. The late notices alerted me to call them and provide what they need to file the claim.

Second Action: Call the insurance claims call center and confirm that they received the claim. Ask for an explanation on why claim payment has been delayed. Discuss when the claim payment will be handled.

Third Action: Repeat if necessary. If not resolved after calling the provider and health insurance claim office a second time, request the insurance company to contact the healthcare provider and resolve the communication issue directly. If this is refused, see: “Fourth Action.”

Fourth Action: The “Poor Man’s Conference Call” – my favorite technique to deal with communication barriers between healthcare providers and claims processors. Get access to two difference phone lines (I normal use a land line and my cell phone) and call both of them at the same time with a phone at each ear. Force them to dialogue with you as the conduit until the problem is resolved or until they accept your request to discuss the problem directly without you.

The “Poor Man’s Conference Call” has worked both times I had to use it. Reserve it for your stubborn communication problems when you need a “nuclear option” to force direct contact to resolve a claim problem. Because of HIPAA rules and legal risks, it is normal for healthcare providers and insurance claims processors to be reluctant to discuss any claims issues directly. Health care is a crazy world with privacy, legal barriers, office procedures and multiple layers of processors that limit cooperation and foster communication impediments.

Problem #3: Out-of-Network

The best way to avoid claims paid at the much lower “Out-of-Network” rate is to make an honest attempt to use “In-Network” vendors. If you choose to use providers that are not on the preferred list, you will pay more out-of-pocket and often have to meet a higher deductible.

Below are situations in which you are forced to use providers outside of the prefer ranks:

First Situation: Emergency Treatment. The health insurance contracts that I am familiar with and sell make an exception for any network issues if you are unable to choose a preferred provider due to bonified medical emergency. Your claim will likely be processed initially based on the “Out-of-Network” rates and then you will need to appeal for claim payment based on the emergency treatment exception and request adjustment to an “In-Network” settlement.

Second Situation: No Ability to Select an In-Network Provider. I have appealed and been successful based on the argument that there was no opportunity to select a preferred provider.

Example: My brother was transported by an ambulance service that was summoned by calling 9-1-1. He had no control over which ambulance was dispatched. The ambulance service was not a preferred provider and the initial claim was figured based on “Out-of-Network” rates which left a substantial balance. After an appeal, this balance was paid by the insurance company.

Another example: You select an “In-network” facility but are assigned an “out-of-network” doctor or provider. My brother’s pathology sample was sent to a lab that was not a preferred provider. He had no control of the transaction and no ability to select who got his lab work. I again was successful on appeal.

Third Situation: No network provider available. Any health insurance contract that I am familiar with has an exception for any network issues if no preferred provider is reasonably available. You may have a basis to appeal if you can show that no provider on the network will take you or that none of the preferred providers are within a reasonable travel range.

Example: My brother’s doctor that specialized in infections was not a preferred provider. All of the claims from this provider were initially process as “Out-of-Network.” I was able to prove that no “Infections Doctor” that was on the preferred provider list was available to treat my brother within 30 miles. An appeal, based on network provider availability, was then successful and the claim adjusted.

Summary

While most health insurance claims are processed correctly, you still need to be prepared for the few that aren’t. Always follow-up with phone calls, ask for help and appeal an unfavorable outcome, if necessary. Be polite and enlist the claims representatives to be your allies. Remember, you deserve explanations that you can understand and help resolving any claims processing problems. I hope my organizational and troubleshooting tips are helpful.

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The Benefits of a VoIP Phone System

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Consumers and businesses alike who still use traditional land lines need to discover the amazing benefits of a VoIP phone system. The crux of the platform is voice services provided over the Internet. The quality of these systems is incredible, and they are significantly cheaper than traditional voice options. The economic benefit alone is reason enough to switch, but we are just getting started. If you don’t already know about these amazing systems, you need to read further. Let’s take a closer look at the many benefits provided.

Cost Efficient and Completely Scalable to Your Exact Needs

These phone services are perfect for a single person or an entire corporation. You have complete control over how much you want. Thanks to the move off of public switched telephone lines and the emergence of Internet calling equipment, manpower, maintenance, and even long distance calls are extremely cheap! These savings are passed on directly to you, the customer. If you are running a business, the savings and scalability that VoIP can provide allow you to optimize your bottom line.

A Ton of Other Media Services Are Also Included

This means fax and video calling and instant messaging too. These added features cannot be provided by traditional communications companies. Added media features go a long ways for businesses. Have video conferences and keep in constant communication with your employees via instant messaging. You can add users to the network for quick messaging and video calling. Plus, you will also be able to see which users are online and active.

Your Number Moves When You Do

Remember when your phone number would change every time you moved? VoIP technology has banished this antiquated hassle. When you decide to move, whether you’re moving a single line or a whole business worth of lines, your number moves with you. There is no more hassle in moving. You can even travel with your line! It is common for business people with VoIP connectivity to bring their line along when they are out of the office for an extended period of time. As long as you have an Internet connection, you have phone services. The number remains the same, and you can keep in contact with business associates and customers without breaking a sweat.

No Boundaries

Since VoIP technology is hosted over the Internet, traditional area and country codes are losing relevance. For example, if you lived in Germany, but subscribed to an American phone number, you could make calls to America at the cost of domestic calls, which is cheaper than international calls.

Safe in the Case of A Disaster

Should anything happen to your physical location like a natural disaster or a fire, you’re networks and phones are secure with VoIP services. Even better, you will be able to keep your lines and networks online after a devastating disaster, so you can get back to work without missing a beat.

There is really no competition when it comes to affordable phone services. If you still use a traditional communication line and have not considered VoIP technology, it is time for you to see what it can do.

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Outsourcing Software Development – Top 5 Reasons To Outsource Software Development

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With the rapid developments in technology and businesses looking for alternatives to cut costs and increase productivity, outsourcing software development has definitely become one of the main strategic options that companies are looking to implement.

Seeing all these outsourcing trends, there are several commonalities in which corporations based their decisions to outsource their software development projects.

These five top reasons are listed below.

Cost reduction

One of the main reasons why companies are opting to outsource is due to the reduction of costs. These costs may be in terms of reducing labor, training and certification costs, office space rental fees, utilities, and other company expenditures.

Salaries of IT professionals, for one, are definitely lower in most of the outsourcing destinations when compared to their Western counterparts.

Increase in productivity

Outsourcing has made it possible to remove the limit of specific operating hours. Your company can afford to have an ongoing 24/7 operation. Your offshore counterparts can take over while your onshore counterparts sleep and vise versa.

Increased in productivity with barely increasing operating costs is definitely an attractive factor for a lot of organizations. Note, that 24/7 software development operation is very hard to set up and does not work that efficiently.

Diverse and abundant resource pool

Instead of limiting your company to a talent pool within your geographical location, you can now source for quality talent all over the globe.

Your company has a better chance of finding an offshore vendor that employs a team of top talented individuals in the IT industry, then finding them yourselves one by one. With this set up, you are ensured that you have the right and top people working on your software development project.

Quality of resources

Not only does your organization have access to diverse and abundant resource people, you also have access to quality and highly skilled talents. Majority of the top outsourcing destinations have a high rate of graduating students with a degree in software engineering and computer science.

This is because these countries such as India, Eastern European countries and China value education at a much higher degree compared to their Western counterparts. Consequently, these countries have a quite large number of resource people with high quality IT skill set.

Built in Processes

Constructing the right software development processes could be costly and time-consuming, especially when these are needed requirements that are not yet available in your organization.

Thus, it is often easier to build these processes with an outsourcing software development team who already has those processes in place.

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Find the Best Web Hosting Providers

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Website hosting is the service wherein a business or company will buy an online disk space as a storage where they can keep the files needed for their website then broadcast it on the internet. Because of this, it will be possible for them to promote their services and product to their prospect clients. Internet is the place now where most people meet and interact. There are a number of website hosting services available to people who will need these hosting services.

Linux hosting is considered to be one of those services that are very popular in the market. This type of hosting service is made by Linux, which is also known as an operating system manufacturer that have been giving services at a very cheap price.

Another among the popular host is windows hosting service. This is also manufactured by Microsoft and has been very reliable just like the operating systems that they have been creating.

Virtual Private Server or VPS is another type of web host. The servers on this kind of website hosting service will be partitioned into smaller servers and assign them to different computers. This will give them an independent server that will enable them to boot independently.

A person may also buy these disk spaces and sell it to third party companies. These are called reseller hosting services that are giving income. This is because these resellers have bought the servers in whole sale and paid for it at a cheaper price.

Managed hosting or also known as dedicated hosting is where the company will just get a server space and dedicate it for their website alone. This is a good way of keeping the server secured because they will not be sharing it with other websites or company.

There are always services that will meet the needs of different websites and companies. And it is going to be possible for companies to buy the ones that will meet the allotted budget and preference of a company.

Keep in mind that searching the internet will help you find the right companies to provide you the best website hosting service that is going to help your website’s visibility online and its promotion. Read some reviews about these companies as this will help you find the most reliable company to help you achieve your business’ aim of becoming very successful in the future.

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5 Quick Ways to Improve Your Cash Flow

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Patience, perseverance, and personality are just three of the tips you need to be fully equipped with if your wish to become successful in life.

And although it might not be too ideal to become too materialistic, there is still no denying the importance of money, and a fluid inflow of cash in our lives at that. If you wish to improve your cash flow enabling you to provide a comfortable life, then here are some of the things you need to take into consideration.

Estimation and Forecast

One of the best tricks to help improve your situation is to become smart when handling cash Thus, it is important to always estimate and forecast the cash that you have at the moment and the cash that you expect to get in the coming days. This way, you will get a relatively good idea on whether or not your savings and expenses are still within budget.

Terms for Businesses

If your cash flow woes have to do with your business earnings, then one of the things you need to take into consideration would have to be your business terms. You have to be able to gauge whether or not your customer terms are beneficial and if you find out that it’s not, immediately change it to something more workable.

Practice Discipline

Another great way of improving cash inflow would be to practice discipline especially when it comes to spending. You need to always allot a bigger percentage of your budget to savings rather than expenditure. Although some circumstances might be unavoidable, doing this consistently can help prepare you for what is to come.

Segmentation for Business

Managing your cash flow from a general perspective is a very tedious process. This is why it is best to practice segmentation and divide different groups into different categories, making it easier to track your ups and downs. Allot a segment for your buyers or customers, suppliers, and necessary inventory as deemed possible.

Set Your Priorities Straight

Another great way of improving your cash flow can be done through carefully setting your priorities. Make sure that if you own a business, no matter how huge or small it is, you prioritize a solid and consistently growing cash flow because when this becomes a culture in the business, everybody will realize its importance. After all, if your cash flow improves, your people will also benefit from it.

Now that you have some of the most important ways to help improve your financial position, whether this may be for business or for your personal gains, make sure to employ every single time and it will truly benefit you in more ways than one. In the beginning, doing these tips might be a little difficult because you’re fairly new but when you get the hang of it and start to incorporate it as part of your system, then there shouldn’t be any worries anymore.

5 Quick ways to improve your cash flow makes common cents..!

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5 Proven Ways to Make Money Online

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There are endless ways you can use to make money online. Some will give you great returns while others will leave you working for pennies. If you are looking to make money online, here are the top 5 proven ways that you can consider.

Webinar Trainings

One of the ways you can make a significant amount of money online is through webinar training. A webinar is an online event held in real time. The people present are able to interact with each other and with the presenters by sending and receiving messages in real time.

If you are an expert in a certain field, you can use webinars to train people who are interested in what you offer. To be successful in webinar training, it is important that you have a recognized online presence in your niche or area or expertise.

Start an Online Course

Another way to make money online is by starting your own online course. Courses present a good source of passive income. When you create a course, you can sell it for many years to come with little to no updates depending on the topic.

It is easy to start a course and you can price it the way you want. According to Teachable.com, their instructors make upwards of $5,200 per month and most start making money immediately after launching their courses.

People are wired to seek education and skills, therefore, if you have a good course that really delivers value, it becomes easy to build a seven figure business with it.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the act of selling products owned by others for a commission. You can use affiliate networks such as ClickBank and others or look for other online businesses and companies that have their own affiliate offers.

You can easily make money with affiliate marketing if you have a blog with a good following. You can sell products or services that would interest your blog followers and make passive income without much effort.

Drop Shipping

With drop-shipping, you sell products through your site to people who are interested without having to deal with inventory or delivery of the same. It is also a great way to make money online without a lot of investment upfront.

Become a Freelancer

Finally, you can become a freelancer and engage in lucrative ventures such as content marketing, digital marketing and advertising, web analytics, web design, graphic design and others. All of these are freelancing careers that are scalable and able to bring in a decent amount of income. Many people have built million dollar online business offering such services.

Other good ways to make money online include starting a blog, becoming an online tutor, offering virtual assistant services and working with online business like Uber, Lyft and Amazon to offer driver and delivery services.

If you are looking to make money online, the time to start is now. If you are lucky, you might make money immediately; but for most ventures, you will need time to gain traction and start making a decent income.

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How Does QuickBooks Hosting Help To Save Your Enterprise Resources and Money?

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From Purchase orders, receipts, bills, contracts, and invoices, a business generate a large amount of paperwork to complete the day-to-day transactions and business activities. Without organizing record-keeping activities, it becomes very problematic to make informed decisions, that may lead to detrimental results. Record keeping is time-taking and multifaceted activity and therefore to responsibly and effectively complete the process, it is necessary to understand how, where, in what order you are going to store and track your paperwork.

So, before making any decisions to solve your paperwork related tasks, it is quintessential to ask a few questions such as, how do you keep track of paperwork? What percentage of your files and documents need to be secure? How much time do you spend managing your documents?

Perhaps, you might be worried by the time and energy you spend maintaining and keeping documentary records timely and securely. So, how you can organize your documents effectively without wasting your time, efforts and money? Taking your accounting and tax software to the cloud provides flexibility with easy to use self-serving computing resources that relieves the need for hiring IT personnel.

The cloud provides many benefits to its users, but for the sake of brevity here we have mentioned 4 important benefits of the cloud:

Pay-As-You-Go Plans

Unlike in-house infrastructure and hardware hosting provides ease of use by providing flexible plans i.e. one can easily reduce or increase the hosting plan according to the current business needs. For instance, you deal with seasonal goods and in peak season your demand increases considerably and to effectively meet the demand you can easily increase the current bandwidth and thereafter can adjust accordingly. Therefore, you no longer have to bear extra costs of infrastructure and other handling and managing costs. Moreover, with the cloud, you get fast and regular automatic backups of your critical at more than one data center, which enhances the data security by eliminating risks from all types of mis happenings.

Bank-Level Security

Most of the cloud vendors provide industry-standard IT practices. Updated antivirus, firewalls and other crucial security measures make your data highly secured from various internal and external data risks. On top of that, your confidential business files are regularly backed up to make sure that your business files remain protected and safe. With the QuickBooks Cloud hosting, employees can access the business files according to their authority and therefore your critical data becomes more safe and secure.

Free Your Staff And Resources

Hiring a full-fledged IT support to take care of technical issues could cost you an arm and a leg. However, by hosting your software to the cloud you get free access to the IT team as and when you need the help. The cloud frees up your resources and money that you can invest in your core business activity. Moreover, you no longer have to bear the pain to carry thick business files to finalize business deals and to maintain and find them manually. You can readily access and maintain your documents online from anywhere in the world with the help of the required credentials of the cloud and a smart device.

Maintain Business Continuity

To maintain trust among the clients and customers it is essential to understand the significance of business continuity. Most of the cloud vendor such as Sagenext provides 99.99% guaranteed uptime to wipe out any type of visible chances of interruption. The cloud ensures seamless access to the data and business files which enhances business productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, with QuickBooks hosting you get a robust disaster recovery system without incurring any extra cost. With the cloud, your data recovery even in case of drastic disasters will be lightning-fast and safe.

Final Note

The cloud is a simple and effective way to add more capabilities to your existing business. With the cloud, you get mobility, efficiency, security, and a seamless system to manage your documents online. Simply, connect with an experienced hosting provider to introduce the desired speed and cost-effectiveness in your business.

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