Anybody who downloads software knows that the size of the file is going to effect the time it takes to download. The bigger the file the longer you wait, right? For those of you who are on a dial-up connection (I know you're still out there), the size of the file can be the difference between downloading and moving on to something else. Even with a fast connection, some of the popular game demos and larger software apps can mean an all-night download party for your computer--particularly when that download is in high demand.… Read more
While GrandCentral may have been stealing headlines lately, there's another suffix-sharing phone call management service called RingCentral that can make small businesses look and function like larger ones with some pretty neat telephonic tomfoolery. The service has been around since early 2004, and today is introducing a slew of VoIP plans called DigitalLine that give users the option to use VoIP instead of, or on top of their existing landlines.
So what can you do with RingCentral? Small business owners will love it, since you can set up a ridiculously extensive set of rules to handle incoming calls, or reroute them on the fly with a virtual phone call manager called SoftPhone. The idea is to take a single or multiline setup and spread it out intelligently, while putting all the options online for you to manage and tweak while away from your office.
Like GrandCentral, you can set up calls to be routed to different phones or line extensions, there are also handy business-centric settings to tweak the response people get when they call at off-business hours. For fans of GrandCentral's multiphone ring system, RingCentral has also gone the extra step of letting you add three-digit passwords to an incoming phone call to keep unintended pickups from happening. This feature actually stemmed out of users wanting to keep their children from answering a business phone call when they had forgotten to turn off the home forwarding options off, or couldn't get to their own phone in time.
The new VoIP implementation is fairly straightforward. All incoming calls can be set to be received via VoIP, letting you receive and manage phone calls while away from your landline. You can also get various minute packages to use VoIP to make outgoing calls, including an all-you-can-eat plan of outgoing VoIP for around $25/month. In contrast to consumer VoIP services like Vonage, Skype, or Comcast's DigitalVoice, RingCentral isn't aiming at cheap outgoing long distance providers, as much as the multi-line business crowd who's looking for a way to handle several lines without the hardware or staffing.
For a shot of the call log interface, click the read more link below.
Into a sea of online personal financial services wades billQ, a bill management service that promises to store your one-time and scheduled bills and alert you before they're due.
Unlike competitors like Mint, Wesabe, and others, there's no bill pay engine, no money-saving deals, and no hot financial tips. For now, billQ is strictly positioned as information management, and for a lot of folks that's the right load.
Add and manage bills The site is visually appealing in Google-esque minimalism. Adding and viewing bills is intuitive on billQ's clean, user-friendly interface. Tweaking account options and adding from a noble menu of additional tools are also easily done.… Read more
769 CEOs from 40 countries were asked to rate their greatest concerns from among 121 challenges. The polled CEOs selected "excellence of execution" as the top challenge and "keeping consistent execution of strategy by top management" as the third-greatest concern. Sustained and steady top-line growth, which led the list last year, now ranks second, with profit growth fourth and finding qualified managerial talent fifth.
The survey responses reveal some remarkable regional differences. CEOs from Europe expressed greater … Read more
I realize that the advice I give CEOs may fall on deaf ears. Still, that's a lot of ears; they can't all be deaf. And if a board director, a staff member, a good friend or a gutsy employee was to forward this link, isn't a good CEO obligated to at least take a look? I know, I won't hold my breath.
Still, the CEOs of the future need to know this stuff. Now that's a thought.
Assuming somebody's getting something out of all this, today's unsolicited advice is about the business. Many technology CEOs are surprisingly short on what it really takes to build a profitable, growing company in today's competitive marketplace. This is the biggest challenge for any CEO of any company. It's not the kind of thing you learn in executive MBA school.
In many cases, and this is especially true in small- to mid-size technology companies, CEOs play to their strengths and ignore weak areas. It's human behavior. Unfortunately, they're not getting the guidance they need from their boards or others.
And that brings us to what is, without a doubt, the shortest version you'll ever see of what every CEO of every technology company needs to know about running the business, along with a few links for more info.… Read more
Management's focus on innovation comes and goes in cycles. Right now, it is all the rage again (although it remains to be seen if that's still the case as innovation budgets may be cut when the looming recession hits the US), and the business press is covering it all across the board. Managing innovation is one of the most critical tasks companies face, and yet it remains one of the biggest challenges. Not only do companies need to come up with new ideas, but they also need to nurture a culture that consistently encourages and rewards innovation. If … Read more
There's a funny thing about technology: It's supposed to make life easier, but things just seem to get more complex as time goes on. Still, that's the price you must pay when fanaticism drives you to collect a terabyte of music.
In those extreme cases, something like the Qsonix Q110 may be one of the few solutions to keep life in order (at least as much as can be expected). This touch-screen music management system not only takes care of your archives but can also control four zones independently with their own tunes, volume and other settings, … Read more
On his main desktop computer at the Power Lair, Power Downloader has huge hard drive volumes filled with old case files, spy photos, and secret documents. Though he's a master of software and navigating the intricacies of Windows to get the files he wants, he has always found that Windows Explorer isn't exactly ideal for some of his more complicated file management tasks. Fortunately there's a better way.… Read more
Today, multimedia software publisher Corel released Corel MediaOne Plus--a brand-new software program designed to let you organize, edit, share, and create projects with your digital photos and videos. The software provides users with an all-in-one solution for managing their digital photos, all the way from their cameras to finished projects like greeting cards or scrapbooks. It also lets users combine photos, videos, and music into what are called "shows," or video compilations.
The main MediaOnePlus interface consists of a large viewing and editing area on the right, with four-pronged navigation on the left: Home provides the organizational features; Enhance includes basic image editing and effects; Show lets you combine photos, videos, and music into your own remixed creations; and Create offers a variety of photo products like collages, albums, and magazine covers.
A photo-tray feature on the bottom of the interface lets you create on-the-fly media lists of photos and videos for easy access and editing. The trays are placed in a tabbed interface, and you can create as many sets of media as you'd like. You can also select multiple photos or videos from any photo tray and add them to a "storyboard," the playlist component that creates the Corel Shows.… Read more
According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more