Three Ways to Use Technology to Help Your Business Grow

While today’s companies face more competitive pressure than ever before, technology is also helping to level the playing ground between small and large businesses. Many of these technologies allow companies to perform more efficiently and serve customers better. There are so many possibilities available it can be hard to determine which would be most helpful for a company. Here are three different technoogies that can benefit a business and help it to grow:

1.Server Colocation

As technology becomes more and more important to the success of a business, the pressure to make sure it continues to work at all times is even more intense. Colocation can help in this area because it stores a company’s computer servers at a location away from the business office that has been specially built for this purpose. Providing for all the contingencies below would be cost-prohibitive for most businesses:

*Dependability – These data centers are built with performance redundancies to prevent connectivity from being lost during power outages, disasters or human error.

*Environmental controls – Servers can generate a great deal of heat and the data centers are built to keep them cool.

*Security – Because the servers are kept off-site at an undisclosed location, they are safer from theft and vandalism than if they were stored inside the business building.

2.Project Management Software

This software allows individuals or team members to better track every aspect of multiple projects in order to keep them moving forward and on budget.

*On time – Calendars and timelines for individuals as well as the team can be created and shared with everyone on the project.

*Tasks – Managers and team leaders can easily prioritize tasks and instantly inform workers of any changes. Others on the team can also be allowed access to the list of tasks to see how the rest of the team is progressing on their assignments.

*Budget – All budgeting information is kept in a centralized location for easy viewing.

3.Virtual Numbers

With many workers traveling a great deal for their companies, a virtual number could make sense. A virtual number is a telephone number that is not actually tied into a telephone line. When a call comes into the business, it is automatically routed to a preset number, such as a mobile phone. Calls can also be routed to different phones depending on the time of day.

*International – Calls can be made inexpensively from overseas and forwarded to the business number.

*Efficient – There’s no need to make the choice between manning the phones 24 hours a day or risk missing a call.

*Focus – Workers can stay focused on their current tasks while still being able to screen and manage business calls.

There are all sorts of technologies available to help businesses grow and compete in the world today. Many of them allow workers to complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently, which helps keep projects on budget. The systems listed above can help employees manage information and stay in contact from any location. A business not using some of today’s top technology is at a definite competitive disadvantage.

This is a guest post from Sandra Hopkins, writer for a site that compares project management tools and helps business owners choose the best solution for their company’s needs.

Noah Banks on VOIP systems

VoIP Phone Systems

As a communication tool, the telephone is an incredibly important part of business and without it, it would be incredibly difficult to communicate with our existing clients, potential clients and co-workers. In addition, if a client has a problem, or needs a solution the telephone is one of the most common forms of communication that they will use and as a frequent first point of contact, it’s important that our telephone systems are reliable and responsive as necessary.

We are currently in the middle of one of the largest technological revolutions the world has ever seen and almost every business is starting to benefit from constant innovations right across the board. One area which has really come to light in the last few years is the emergence of VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol telephone systems, this system replaces the need for a traditional telephone line by operating a telephone system over a regular broadband internet connection.

Are they a good business alternative?

When it comes to business, deciding whether something is a good alternative means that you really have to take into consideration what your business needs. As your business continues to grow and develop you need a telephone system which can move and adapt with the times, VoIP technology is designed to grow and develop with your business which means that as your business grows you don’t need to fork out for an entirely new telephone system. It also has the capacity to deal with a number of incoming and outgoing lines at the same time, allowing you to operate the entire office telephone network through one simple network.

What savings might I make?

Regardless of the size of your business, there are a wide range of savings which can be offered by a VoIP network, but the most common is the immediate cost savings that you will see. This is mainly due to the reduction in call costs, this can be seen especially if you are frequently making long distance or international calls, your general cost rates are now replaced by a basically free service which uses only internet data to make the telephone call.

What other benefits could VoIP offer me?

In addition to cost saving, VoIP technology can offer you a wider range of savings, especially when it comes to time. The functionality of the VoIP software means that you are now able to easily participate in video and telephone conferencing, saving you the time and hassle of having to attend the conference in person.

Although many people are sceptical about the reliability and security of this style of telephone system, there are a wide range of security packages available to help ensure the reliability as needed. In addition, as the technology continues to develop improvements are being made right across the VoIP service to help ensure that you have a reliable and stable telephone network.

Noah Banks is an author of telecommunications articles and specializes in VOIP systems.

Putting all your comms eggs into one basket makes good business sense

Usually, business owners are told that the answer to everything is to diversify, and in general that’s good advice. If you rely on just one supplier, or a handful of clients, then you’ll be in a lot of trouble if things start to go wrong.

One area where it’s better to go against the grain, though, is communications. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, a unified communications solution is a valuable tool that can save you money, and increase the productivity of your employees.

What is Unified Communications?

A unified communications system integrates a range of common communication tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, email, SMS, VoIP, and even remote collaboration tools. Many modern unified communication tools also make use of fixed mobile convergence , to make their suite seamless. One device can use mobile, fixed, and WiFi networks, with the user not needing to care about what network they’re on. All they need to know is that they’re connected, and can reach the people they need to reach, and work with the data they’re interested in.

One System, Multiple Tools

If you have a lot of employees, and need to rely on a lot of different tools to support a range of remote workers (some in offices, some working from home, and others using ultrabooks or smartphones while at client sites), then unified communications is the way to go. Instead of having to have your employees get to grips with one provider’s VoIP software, an unusual IM client, an open source e-mail solution, a proprietary groupware solution, and a phone with an archaic user interface, they can enjoy one consistent user interface that should become intuitive after a short while. Even if they rely only on email and VoIP for most of their work, should they ever need to send a global IM announcement, their familiarity with the other software from the same provider should pay off.

Increased Reliability

With fixed mobile convergence, your users don’t have to care what network they’re on. In theory, if they are in an area with no WiFi signal, the device they’re using should fail over to the mobile signal, silently. If your fixed telephony system encountered a problem, you should be able to continue working uninterrupted.

It’s usually easier for your IT team to back up all of the data in a unified communications system than it is for them to manage the backups of several disparate systems. This means that from a crisis management point of view, unified systems win out.

Relying on one provider to handle all of your communications might seem like a big risk, but if that provider has a strong service level agreement, and you keep a backup line, it’s a risk worth taking. If you ever do feel the need to migrate from one unified communications solution to another, then you’ll be pleased to know that most vendors provide support for just that purpose. Your data is not usually locked in to the system, and exporting it is not that great of a technical challenge.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Maintel, experts in fixed mobile convergence and unified communications. concise review [RESPONSE]

If you came here looking for FlyNumber reviews you may want to check our Facebook wall.

This is in response to a review a user wrote on his malware infested blog.

I’d rather not link to the site because there is actual malware and malicious code on the site. If you try to get to one of his links through google it actually redirects you to some spammy prescription website

I will however admit this user did slip the cracks. We were going thorough some major growing pains last year. Some tickets and support emails got caught up on our poorly written fraud filter we had installed. The bugs are gone and we are now 100%..

The user would have received his number right away but because he ordered a Costa Rica virtual number we required some ID. This is due to local regulations with the carrier in Costa Rica and not FlyNumber

We have since refunded this user and offered a free virtual number for the hassle. He seems to refuse to respond and update his negative post.

We still hope we can come to an understanding with Mr Smits, but until then this post will stay up as a warning.

If any potential FlyNumber customers are worried or reluctant because of his post please feel free to email us at before any payments so we can get rid of any reservations you may have.

Why doesn’t everyone have a Virtual Number?

So says the guy selling them right? Well hear me out, most of us who fall under the categories of entrepreneur, webmaster or internet junkie know of the benefits associated with having a virtual number. We use them to post on our “Contact Us” pages or maybe you used one because the travel site you developed needed a Canada virtual number for local clients to call.

What about the average Joe buying phone cards every week at the local lottery store to keep in touch with his daughter abroad? I happen to be lucky enough to live in the melting pot of the world – New York City. There are still many international callers here who still fuss around with access numbers and PINS.  They seem to be communicating with the same people over and over- a mother in Brazil or maybe a brother you keep in touch with in Spain.

I blame it on the name for one, “virtual numbers” sounds like a domain you’d register in the 90’s, but those are the cards we were dealt and we’ll have to deal with it.  Most sites who offer similar services are clumsy and really seem to cater to the techie. Terms like SIP Address or Asterisk PBX Configuration files usually fly right over the average user’s heads. At FlyNumber we are trying to make virtual numbers simpler to use and easier to understand.

My favorite and by far our most popular forwarding option is Skype. Considering how many new Skype users are added everyday it’s no surprise more and more users want to forward to their Skype accounts. It’s also incredibly cheap. Let’s use the Spain model where I’m in New York and my brother lives in Spain; $3.95 month buys me unlimited incoming minutes to my Skype running on my iPhone.  So my brother can call me anytime and it won’t cost more than 4 bucks a month. Granted, I may want to call him, all I have to do is the reverse; get him a New York number that I can call and we’ll forward  it to his Skype account in Spain- that would be $3 a month with unlimited minutes as well.

Skype offers their own “virtual numbers” called Skype-in; I’m not sure what the future holds for Skype-in numbers though. In the past 12 months they dropped both Brazil and Italy. After the Microsoft acquisition I can only hope Microsoft will keep Skype as “Open” ass possible. Allow developer’s access to new API’s and encourage more new apps being built around Skype and I promise the future looks real good for Skype.