Use VoIP As Marketing Tool

IP-Telephony literally changed the way we communicate. Traditional telecommunications companies like pressed the panic button and forced to launch their own voice over ip service. Internet telephony is no longer the cautiously protected secret of computer freaks it was before. With voip it is easy to bring your business confidently to the global market.

Initially Voip was launched as an IM PC tool with voice as an added feature. Within a very short time it became popular for making calls over the net.

In consequence Voip providers, e.g. like Skype, Vonage and Lingo, build a communication network of thousands of PCs connected to each other owned by people like you and me.

The purchase of Skype Technologies by the Internet auction leader eBay for an incredible amount of $2.6 billion unveils the potential of the power of this technology.

How do I benefit when using Internet telephony

You only need a microphone and speakers to call. The call quality is of high quality in most situations.
Most people are sure they know what Internet telephony is.
They know how to make free calls with a PDA, PC, iPhone or laptop over the net.
But voip is much more than to call over the Internet.
With additional software tools it becomes a powerful marketing tool.

VoIP services has some value added features like

  • call waiting,
  • call routing,
  • three way calling,
  • teleconferencing,
  • videoconferencing,
  • fax capabilities,
  • call filter options,
  • return call

Voip provides you with the facility of forwarding the call to a particular telephone number and gives you a busy tone and play a message.

Redirect your calls to your voip number no matter where you are. Than redirect the call to your landline phone or your cellular phone.
Sell your ebooks e.g. in Australia and ask for a local number. When you answer the call with Voip on your cellular phone no one will know that your are sitting on the porch in your garden in Chicago.

The real power of voip lies in the additional software tools.
Voip makes a phone a versatile tool not only for business owners.

Export Your Services Overseas: Compete Globally and Grow Your Market

While following up on a trade lead recently, I was reminded of how American products and services are viewed by most countries in the world as being of first-rate quality and consistency. A buyer submitted a request to purchase baking ovens in the next two to six months. The manufacturer who I procured to fulfill the order needed clarification on how the ovens will be used and where in the world the items will be shipped.

I called the buyer to verify the kind of ovens, how many shipments per year, etc. After providing the requested information, the buyer went on to say that while their company often imports from China, shipments can be unreliable, delayed, or of poor quality. In contrast, the buyer says that American products are known for their dependability, performance, and consistent delivery of their products and often meets or exceeds expected quality. I don’t know about you, but I was very proud to hear that. So I challenge all America small businesses to: Compete Globally. This one phone call was an affirmation of American products and skills – at least in my eyes – on the global market place. As a matter of fact, when it comes to exporting quality services overseas, America is second to none. The service sector is where many small businesses seeking to expand its market base, may find success.

While exporting your company’s service maybe more difficult than exporting a product, America is known for its leadership in technological advancement, banking and insurance, as well as broadcasting and entertainment. Exporting a service is more difficult due to services being an intangible product. It’s more difficult because overseas buyers may find it more challenging to secure loans to purchase services. But difficult or challenging in this context means doable, it does not mean impossible. If you have a website, then your service is already available to global customers. A website gives you the possibility to take and process orders from customers in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, to name a few. Translating your website to another language nowadays is easy, making it possible to enable your Webstore to interact with customers’ in their native language.

Here are Five Service Exports with Potential for Success

•Green and Environmental Services: Green goods and services have taken off here in the US, and therefore, there will be an increase in demand abroad for services related to renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE). Providing your technological know-how and expertise to global economies is a great way to broaden your horizons, and at the same time increase your customer base, which of course increases your company’s bottom line.

•Banking, Financial and Insurance Services: According to the A Basic Guide to Exporting, companies operating in this market segment exported $52 billion in 2006. Some of the areas where your company can provide services and compete effectively are account management, credit collections, underwriting, risk evaluation, and insurance.

•Travel and Tourism: Is the largest market for the United States service sector, with earnings of $86 billion in 2006. Your company can provide recreational services, lodging, transportation, and refreshments to tourist.

•Education and Training Services: If your company provides management training, then you can provide these services to overseas companies. English Language training services should also do well due to the English being the International Language of businesses world-wide.

•Professional and Technical Services: Globally, American companies are looked at as pioneers and leaders in this sector. Services such as: Accounting, management consulting, legal should be able to expand their services successfully to a global market place.

In conclusion, competing globally puts your business at an advantage, not only domestically, but internationally as well. Forcing overseas companies to compete in their own backyard, translates into less competition from them here in the U.S. But also, be proud of your expertise and knowledge, export your talent; your small business is still the standard barer of excellence and quality world wide.

Learn to Invest Money: Free Global Market Opportunities Technology Stock Picks (April 19 2006)

Looking for some tech stocks to add to your portfolio? Here are three technology stocks that are well positioned for the remainder of FY2006.

TKO: AMEX

Telkonet, Inc. (TKO) is a small cap company that develops and sells proprietary equipment that enables the transmission of voice, video, and data communications over existing electric utility lines within a building at a very cost-effective price, often even less than a typical wireless setup. TKO offers the Telkonet iWire System product suite, a technology that enables the delivery of commercial high-speed broadband access from an Internet protocol platform.

Last year, TKO’s technology was awarded the “Best of FOSE” at the Federal Office Systems Expo (FOSE) in Washington D.C. In February 2006, TKO acquired a 90% share in Microwave Satellite Technologies, Inc. which allows them to provide wi-fi solutions as well as voice, video, and data solutions to residential, commercial, and institutional clients. So why have you never heard of them? Because as of April 16, 2006, their market cap is under $200M, their average daily volume over the past three months is only about 350,000 shares, and their stock is trading at roughly $4 a share, all parameters too small for the big investment houses to ever consider.

CSCO (NASDAQ)

Cisco(CSCO) demonstrated many of the solutions used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at FOSE (federal Office Systems Expo) 2006 and these demonstrations generated quite a bit of excitement among government employees that attended the conference. The Cisco network provided a central platform that allowed FDA employees throughout their campus buildings to access the same data and share information quickly and easily. Using the Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) phone system and integrated messaging features, employees had the capability to access, store, and forward voice and e-mail messages from any PC.

CSCO’s IP phone system also facilitates the establishment of communications systems for corporations undergoing reorganization, as is common in large agencies such as the FDA. As opposed to the CSCO system, during reorganization, traditional phones systems would require employees to place an order with the local carrier for each move, which can take four to six weeks. Furthermore, each move would bear a cost of about $50 to implement. With the Cisco VoIP phone system, employees do not need to place an order with a local carrier. Instead, they can simply take their phone and its associated extension number with them and plug it into the new location with no additional hassle. “Cost savings are a fundamental benefit of Cisco IP Communications solutions, but even more important is how this technology helps users work more efficiently and do an even better job in this dynamic, information-sharing environment,” said Patrick Lugenbeel, Cisco account manager.

Cisco should be a solid stock as a long term holding.

CSR.L (London Stock Exchange)

CSR plc is a leading British company in global bluetooth technology. Bluetooth was the buzz a couple of years ago and these stocks, for the most part, went nowhere. Finally, this industry is starting to reap the benefits of the buzz from a couple years back although no one seems to be paying attention now. With its 2005 fourth quarter revenue up 105% year over year, its fifth generation launch of its BlueCore suite, and its widespread manufacture of its fourth generation BlueCore devices, CSR has positioned itself nicely for the remainder of 2006. BlueCore technology is featured in over 50 per cent of all Bluetooth devices shipped and over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website. Furthermore, industry leaders including Nokia, Dell, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Motorola, IBM, Apple, LG, NEC, Toshiba, RIM and Sony all implement BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products. The Bluetooth market is estimated to more than have doubled in unit terms during the past year. Growth in this market does not seem to be slowing down. And CRS.L is the global leader.

Afterthought: Though TKO and CSR.L may not be tracked by any of the big investment firms, the point is that in order to achieve superior gains, you must do your own research. For example, I saw a buy recommendation initiated on April 16, 2005 on Chinese advertising company Focus Media from an investment house at a price of $61 a share. I bought into this position more than six months ago at $31 a share when many of the big U.S. investment firms had not yet started to grant this company any serious attention or complex analysis.

Ok, that’s it. Three technology stocks to consider.

Disclaimer: Readers should be aware that the above analyses were written on April 16, 2006 and that price movements of the above three stocks or new material news since the writing of this article may make the above stocks more attractive or less attractive. The above does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any of the discussed stocks. All investment decisions should be made under the consultation of a professional, with explicit entry and exit strategies in place when investing in riskier stocks.

Strategies For Reaching Global Markets – Exporting

With increase in technology, companies today must be more willing to evolve than ever before. Although business is evolving much faster than much of the government and private sectors, today’s businesses have to stay ahead of the curve by being knowledgeable about changes in technology as well as continuing to find new ways to be competitive and meet customer demands. Often, this involves learning to compete on a global level, and exporting is often one of the ways that many of today’s corporations and small businesses can increase profits while boosting the local economy.

Unlike offshore outsourcing, exporting is a way of increasing revenues while still creating local jobs. In the US, the Department of Commerce has created local Export Assistance Centers in nearly every state that can help many small businesses export their products and become more competitive. With over 85 percent of US businesses being small to medium sized businesses, these kinds of businesses often do not have the resources, technology, or know how to implement exporting strategies, and these centers help teach these kinds of skills to small business owners and allow for increased technology among today’s smaller organizations.

While the majority of US export in all states continue to be primarily to Canada and Mexico as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, exports to other countries are continuing to increase as well, with emerging markets centered around parts of Europe, Australia, and even some sectors of the Middle East. In contrast, imports from Southeast Asia continue to rapidly increase, fueling greater demand for more US exports in an effort to further boost the economy. Between 1994 and 2004, it was estimated that small to medium sized businesses accounted for nearly 98 percent of all US exports, and it is expected that within the next five to ten years, these kinds of exports will increase substantially through the result of greater technology and educational efforts.

Many of these EACs are essential to promoting this kind of much-needed growth in the export sector. Many small business owners continue to be reluctant to engage in any kind of foreign trade, and the fact that these EACs often deal directly with foreign customs offices and can match buyers with sellers as well as provide needed documentation greatly eases the burden for many of these organizations. Other helpful organizations that can help small businesses get started in exporting are export trading companies, which specialize in mediation and assuring that US companies get paid for their exports. Often, these kinds of companies will also provide a great deal of training and education about exporting as well.

Going Global Without the Grief

Think small and you will undoubtedly get left behind. The increasingly global nature of business means organisations must look beyond the local or even national boundary.

Through the process of globalisation, economies and cultures have become more integrated. Such integration has been enabled by communication and transportation networks.

Businesses now source from across the globe and sell their products and services to a series of worldwide locations. But how do you make sure your information and processes are ready for the increasingly global market place?

The first thing to recognise is the importance of difference. Just because something works at home does not mean it will be applicable elsewhere. Host countries have their own laws, particularly regarding customer records and data compliance.

It might be within the legal jurisdiction to hold records within a different part of the European Economic Area, but you will need to be very careful about holding information in other parts of the world.

Your team will need access to smart financial management technology that can help ensure compliance is straightforward, rather than a bind. Systems such as electronic procurement and document management will make sure contracts are tight and that no element of governance has been overlooked.

Good customer service that meets local regulations will require strong information management. Pay attention to data warehousing and master data management to ensure records are complete, accurate and truthful.

System choices will be affected by locality. Just because an approach works in the UK does not mean it can be easily transplanted to another country. Look for business software that can be flexibly deployed in line with national infrastructure and network capabilities.

Finally, finding local people that can deal effectively with customers and that can comply with standard and local business practices is key. Use human resources software to ensure the right personnel are found and trained, and that the correct global workflow processes are established.

Moving into new markets is exciting – in fact, it can be viewed as a necessity if you want your business to grow. Just make sure you get the ‘behind the scenes’ infrastructure and processes right so that going global does not cause your business grief.