Upgrading Mobile Technology

A smart investment for more efficient and faster business operations

to access his e-mail from anywhere. Furthermore, the earpiece speaker is wirelessly connected via Bluetooth — no wires to get in the way.

“The BlackBerry does one thing well — e-mail,” says Madison. His BlackBerry allowed him to reply to his office when a client was closing on some much needed venture capital. “I was on the road for a technology conference and I was in an area where my cell phone service was sporadic,” recalls Madison. “Since the BlackBerry operates on several data frequencies, I was able to send critical e-mails to my client and my office despite the lack of phone service.” For those who must have access to e-mail, upgrading to a device that allows you to send and receive e-mail whenever and wherever should be considered.

Upgrade: Reduce the number of devices you carry

If you find yourself digging into your purse to grab a cell phone while juggling your PDA in one hand and typing an e-mail with your notebook computer precariously balanced on your knee, it’s time to consider upgrading your “gadget soup” of devices and getting one device that can handle several tasks.

PalmOne’s Treo, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, and Danger’s Sidekick come with built-in keyboards and feature phone, PDA, and Web/e-mail capabilities. Integrated devices reduce your dependence on multiple power and recharging sources. They also allow you to have only one device to synchronize with your computer, and make you more productive.

Upgrade: Speed and Memory

Some of you may remember the bulky Handspring Visors of a few years ago with 2MB of memory. The latest Palm Tungsten T5 has 256MB of memory built into it. More memory and a faster processor enable your mobile technology — be it a PDA or phone — to store and process more programs and data. As you use more data and work with more mobile applications, upgrading to more memory and a faster processor will increase your productivity.

Upgrade: Get connected faster and more reliably

Larry Johnson, a graphic designer at Pfizer, says that his most important upgrade has been his “press to talk” digital cell phone from Nextel, which enables him to reach colleagues who are often unreachable using a traditional analog phone. “The Direct Connect walkie-talkie allows me to connect with another Nextel user anywhere in the country and across borders,” says Johnson. Only a few years ago, Johnson would dial a colleague’s number and cross his fingers — wondering if the call would go through. With his new cell phone’s walkie-talkie feature, he presses one button and talks.

You’ve seen from these examples that a wireless network can make your business more productive and enhance your customer service.
Here are a few tips on how to upgrade wisely:

  1. Take inventory of the technology you already have. See what equipment you can use with a few modifications or upgrades. If your technology is too old, you will have to get rid of it and buy new hardware.
  2. Software is important. Make sure that you can access the applications and database in your office from your mobile devices.
  3. Security is important —
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