Remember the fax machine? That handy device emerged on the scene in the 1970s, found its peak use in the 1990s and began a steady decline after the new millennium. Today, such electronic devices are hard to find but were the current trends in office communication of the time; and are typically part of an all-in-one office machine that can copy, print, scan and fax documents.
Office communication equipment has changed, but the need to have such tools at the disposal of businesses small and large remains critical. Although your computer printer, fax machine and teletype machines may be gathering dust in the stock room, your equipment needs today consist of other devices including the following to take part of the current trends in office communication.
Sometimes referenced as cell phones and more often as smart phones, such do-it-all devices have found a home with businesses across the world. Some business folk, wanting to maintain customer access at all times, have eliminated or scaled back the traditional office phone system in favor of mobile phones.
Your smart phone offers a plan that is easy to understand, scalable and includes such important features as texting, Internet access, paging and making phone calls. Quite easily, an employee’s smart phone can be a money drain, therefore the plan you choose should include unlimited data.
The desktop computer has not disappeared completely, but it is quickly being replaced by tablet computers. As are laptops. Such oversized handheld devices are operated by touchscreen and can provide the same features as a computer, especially when it comes with a pull out, detachable or connectable keyboard.
As of publication, approximately one in three computer users access the Internet with a tablet. Your business may find that having such devices in the hands of workers can streamline the business operation. For instance, when sales people are on the floor, they can take and complete orders on the spot, making it possible for customers to avoid long lines at the cash register.
One big reason why fax machines are no longer necessary is that today’s electronic devices can scan documents. If you need to make a copy of a document all you need to do is hold up your iPhone or other mobile phone, scan the document and send it.
Still popular with some businesses are portable scanners, lightweight units that can sit on a desktop or be packed up and taken with you. The better ones are both PC and Mac compatible and offer two-side scanning, scan up to 10 pages inside of a minute and can be connected to your computer with a USB device. No outlet plugs and certainly no batteries!
Point of Sale
Merchant service providers once owned the point of sale market, supplying the machines that made it possible for companies to take MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diner and debit cards. Those companies charged a fortune and held businesses large and small hostage by limiting their choices.
Today, we have modern point of sale devices that attach right to your smart phone. Businesses can accept and process cards on the go, by swiping the car through the reader or manually enter the card number information and authorizing same. The authorization process is completed within seconds and a print or email receipt can be issued right away.
When tied in with certain software, mobile point of sale devices enable you to track customer transactions, manage inventory, assemble sales data and review your statistics. You may still need an electronic cash register to ring up transactions in your store, but mobile point of sale devices make it possible to complete transactions when you are on the road.
With new or updated devices now part of the 21st century office, you have options available to you today that did not exist in the last century or were simply beyond your company’s budget constraints. Today, it is all about convergence, making it possible for office communication systems to tie in together, to deliver instant solutions and at an affordable cost to you.
What other trends in current trends in office communication that you use? Leave a comment telling about current trends in office communication that work best and you recommend.
Independent writer Cassie works for www.AnsweringServiceUnited.com. Her area of expertise lies in call center solutions including areas such as virtual receptionists and order taking services.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
“It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole” ~ Mark Montoya