Business Phone Systems Featured Article
Beyond Voice: How Your Cell Phone is Evolving into a Business Productivity Tool
In order to stay competitive and ahead of the curve, businesses need to look beyond what the cell phone is today and anticipate where it will be tomorrow. You have to ask yourself, “How is the cell phone changing my customers?” “What new service could I deliver on a mobile platform?” Or, “How are these beyond-voice-capabilities changing my customers’ customers?”
The fact is that if a business doesn’t change with its customers, they won’t be customers for long. For most businesses, their customers are changing rapidly along with today’s technology.
What will happen? We know there are three driving forces that create exponential technological change: 1) Processing power doubles every 18 months as it drops in price, 2) Storage capacity doubles, and 3) We get faster speeds and higher bandwidth. Because of the processing power being faster, your cell phone can go online and perform searches faster also, phone companies are continually upgrading their network so the 3G network will become the 4G network. This means, that in less than a year, processing power, storage capability, and speed have will all doubled - and next year they will double again, making the cell phone as powerful as a current desktop computer.
Additionally, businesses need to look at other countries to see what they’re doing. While Americans tend to think we are the first with technology, that isn’t always the case (and it’s definitely not the case with cell phones). Whereas we have multiple standards for cell phone technology, many other countries have one national standard so everyone’s phone works the same way. As such, they can roll out new cell phone innovations much faster than we can.
Culture also plays a big role. The Japanese culture, for example, loves their devices and prefers using them over face-to-face conversation. So they have more cultural incentive to unveil the next cell phone uses.
The bottom line is smart businesses will start seeing the certainty of technological change of cell phones and will recognize the opportunities that lie within. The following are some current and coming cell phone uses you need to be aware of and using.
Mobile media: You probably already have music on your cell phone, and you may even have television programming. But now businesses can disperse training and education to employees as part of that mobile media. So while an employee is waiting in an airport for a flight, she can download the latest training information right from her phone.
Mobile management: Need to know where your salespeople or delivery drivers are at all times? We all have triangulation or GPS as part of our cell phones. There are programs, such as Looped for the iPhone (News - Alert) that allow you, with permission, to bring up a map and see where your employees are located right now. Granted, this program was developed for personal use, so that friends and family could see where each other are, but there’s no reason why a business couldn’t use it to locate employees, drivers, or anyone else who leaves the office for extended periods of time.
Mobile commerce: There are places in the world where you can pay for your restaurant, auto service, groceries, parking meters, or any other item with your cell phone – without using a credit card. You’re simply using your mobile phone to pay for the transaction. To prevent fraud, cell phones will have biometric ID capabilities that can detect everything from the user’s fingerprint to voice pattern and facial recognition. Such measures are actually far more secure than using a credit card.
Ultimately, as we move into the future of cell phone technology, the goal is to get businesspeople to not just crisis manage in the present, but to opportunity manage for the future. When you can start viewing your cell phone in that capacity, you’ll be connected to a whole new world of business that can make a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi