Communication

 
Communication

With a technology base that is constantly expanding, business communication options are increasingly growing all the time. From traditional communication services like telecom to new mobile communication technologies, you can choose what business communication plan is most cost effective for your business.

  • Small Business Internet Access and Services - Depending on your business and its customer base, high-speed Internet access and online services are probably the most important service your small business depends on.
  • Small Businesses Embracing Cloud Computing - To help reduce the costs and complexity associated with their technology infrastructure, a growing number of small businesses are replacing installed software programs with web-based, "cloud" services and mobile apps.
  • Small Business Conferencing and Collaboration - Web and phone-based conferencing and collaboration tools offer small business owners the ability to stay in touch with customers, prospects and colleagues while reducing travel costs, improving productivity and saving time.
  • Faxes Hanging On - Despite the growing use of email and document-sharing services to exchange information, faxing remains an important business communications tool.
  • Unified Communications Streamlines Inboxes - To help business owners manage their message deluges easily and efficiently, unified communications systems bring inbound calls, emails and instant messages onto a single screen.
  • Small Business Instant Messaging - Instant messaging (IM), or text-based "chat" applications provide a convenient and efficient tool for small business employees to communicate and collaborate.
  • Designing Your Small Business Phone System - As with other business systems and services, digital technology has evolved the basic office telephone far beyond its basic role in carrying voice calls.
  • Hackers Dialing Up Phone System Fraud - Unlike analog phones that were only connected to a carrier's equipment, digital phones using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are vulnerable to hackers and fraud.
  • Mobile Options
    • Choosing the Best Small Business Laptop - The wide range of price, power and software in the laptop market today can make choosing the right model confusing. Selecting the best laptop for your business starts not with the latest technology, but with thinking about the features and software you need. Here are some important factors to consider.
    • Powering Your Small Business With Tablet Devices - With more processing power than smart phones, the latest generation of tablet PCs is redefining the mobile computing market. By combining productivity suites, Internet access and mobile apps, tablets offer a powerful computing experience for traveling business owners -- allowing users to catch up on email or complete quick tasks without booting up a laptop.
    • Choosing a Small Business Smartphone - It's easy to get caught up in the hype around the hot handset of the moment, but choosing the best smart phone for your business needs will depend on the features and apps you're most likely to use -- as well as the options available in your area. Careful research can help avoid being locked into an unsuitable device.
    • Maintaining Productivity Outside the Office - Read about the three types of safe, secure mobile banking, and decide which is right for your business.
    • Mobile Scheduling Boosts Efficiency - Maintaining an electronic calendar, allowing customers to book their own appointments and keeping track of employee work schedule are just a few of the benefits of Web-based and mobile tools that make life easier for business owners. Scheduling apps can improve efficiency and collaboration by helping everyone stay connected and in sync.
    • Apps Help Smart Phone Users Manage Contacts - Your business contacts are among your company's most valuable assets, and being able to access an up-to-date contact list remotely can provide important benefits to your company. A variety of apps and services can help business owners use contact data more efficiently and unlock value in their customer lists.
    • Password Managers Guard Mobile Browsing - With more of us relying on mobile access and a deluge of passwords to remember, smart phone apps designed to help people generate and manage strong passwords can provide valuable security for online accounts. Web and mobile apps will store and protect login credentials and other sensitive data so you don't have to remember it.
    • Using Your Smart Phone to Accept Mobile Payments - Customers expect to be able to use credit and debit cards for nearly any purchase, so it makes sense for your business to offer the convenience of accepting payment cards outside traditional retail outlets. Using a smart phone as a virtual payment terminal allows you to make sales and provide services from nearly anywhere, and to be paid on the spot -- without the cost and payment risks of sending paper invoices after the transaction.
    • Smart Phone Tethering Expands Laptop Reach - Most of the latest smart phones offer "tethering," or the ability to use a smart phone as a modem that can provide a wireless connection for a laptop. You can connect the laptop to your smart phone with a cable or Bluetooth and use the phone's data capabilities to get online. While tethering may not offer the same convenience as a dedicated aircard, it can be a good alternative if a Wi-Fi connection isn't available.
    • Mobile Document Management Keeps You Productive - Running your business often means spending time outside the workplace, but that doesn't mean you have to be cut off from important documents or information on your office PC. Smart phone productivity suites can help you access and manage word processing documents, spreadsheets or presentations remotely, often sparing you the need to travel with a full-featured laptop or tablet.
    • Mobile Presentations Spread Your Message - Sometime a presentation or online demonstration is the best way to get your point across, but delivering a mobile presentation doesn't always mean firing up a laptop and a projector. Smart phone versions of popular presentation programs and portable projectors let business owners share ideas nearly anywhere.
    • Reaching Out With Video Conferencing - For important meetings or improving internal collaboration, video conferencing can be more effective than phone calls or text chats. A growing range of Web-based and smart phone apps enable even the smallest of companies to reap the benefits of video conferencing without the need for an expensive investment in dedicated video equipment.
    • Backing Up Your Mobile Data - With smart phones, tablets and laptops playing an increasingly important role in the success of small businesses, portable devices are storing a growing amount of critical business information and records that must be protected. Scheduling routine backups is crucial to maintaining access to your company's all-important data.
    • Remote Access Expands Your Business Reach - Remote access apps extend your company's network by allowing you to access important documents or files securely from nearly anywhere. By logging in to your network with a laptop or smart phone, you can access or update files securely over a wireless broadband or Wi-Fi connection.
    • Finding Wi-Fi Hotspots on the Run - We're a long way from the convenience of Wi-Fi being available nearly everywhere, but for business owners who know where to look, it's becoming more and more common. Knowing the types of places likely to offer Wi-Fi access and checking smart phone apps that list public hotspots are helpful first steps in finding the connection you need.
    • Protecting Data Privacy on Public Wi-Fi - The ease and convenience of getting online at a public Wi-Fi hotspot has to be balanced with the risk of your signal being compromised while you're sending data back and forth. A few simple precautions should be followed at public hotspots to protect confidential customer or personal data from online eavesdroppers.
    • Smart Phones Making Travel Smoother - Applications and services designed with business travelers in mind make it easy to plan your trip, adjust to any delays, and help you take care of the routine headaches that often accompany life on the road. From finding the best deal or sharing your plans to discovering the best local restaurants, smart phone apps can reduce the hassle of traveling.


The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of Zions Bank or its affiliates and is intended for informational purposes. It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal, investment or business advice.