By David Byrd

Today’s blog was to be about the Broadvox Partner Program top selling 2011 Master Agent Telecom Brokerage (TBI) and Independent Agent Cross/Talk Communications. And I do wish to congratulate them on an outstanding achievement. I further want to acknowledge that Cross/Talk has won the award three years straight, TBI the last two years. Great Job!

More important for the rest of you and, perhaps them, is how to improve office productivity when you are an SMB. Laurie Kulikowski of the Street.com identified five business applications that SMBs should adopt. After reading the list I found four of the five of interest to me and that is impressive. The list of useful applications is as follows:

      1. Online File Sharing: An app for online storage of everything from documents to photos to videos. It is especially useful as a secure source when working out contracts or agreements with third parties. Access is provided to multiple people and companies without compromising your internal IT security. Dropbox is the most popular service but other alternatives include SpiderOak, SugarSync and Wuala. Broadvox uses Dropbox for this purpose
      2. Electronic Faxing: This is an important application for anyone transitioning to SIP. Until the new FoIP standard is completed, there have to be alternatives to using T.38 over a SIP Trunk. While I support using several FoIP solutions, j2 Global offers one called eFax, a product with a document management system complete with digital signature, large-file sharing, lifetime storage and searchable faxes.
      3. Mobile Business Card Reader: A business card reader that uses tablet technology is portable and eliminates manual entry. Again there are several of these on the market such as WorldCard Mobile and ABBYY. With a little research you can find one compatible with your tablet technology.
      4. Online Presentation Tools: This type of application allows you to access, collaborate, and present PowerPoint presentations online or offline. The top five recommended applications that can deliver this capability are Empressr, Google Docs, Prezi, SlideRocket and Zoho Show. It also makes it easier for you to ascertain that your sales people to use the same presentations. For sales people it means they don’t have to preload everything to be prepared for a meeting. If something out of the ordinary comes up and there is a rarely used online presentation, they can immediately meet the challenge.
      5. Expenses Reporting System: One task most business owners and senior managers could do without is completing expense reports. There are two applications that do a good job in addressing this Expensify and Shoeboxed. After a quick review, I like Expensify a bit more but for full disclosure I have not used either.

These five applications can save time and money, improve productivity and support a 24/7 business environment. They are worth a few moments of your time to explore, try and eventually add to your IP related tools. Most importantly, they work with both iOS and Android.

See you on Monday!

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