Using Technology To Enhance Your Business

Our second annual summit asks experts to focus on the issues and innovations that can help small companies be more productive and efficient

to somebody else’s site on your home page–you’ll get somebody to your home page and right off. When somebody comes to your site, you want them to explore your site.

McKENZIE: The place where most people are making money and are using the Web wisely is for their own private interconnectivity. You’re on the Web but you’re not providing a Web site for everybody to come to. It’s closed and it’s just for your customers and your employees. They make local calls, no matter where they are, get on, get what they’re looking for and get off. That’s how it’s used by a lot of companies and that’s a wise way to use it. The secondary reason is e-mail. The third is that it’s an inexpensive method of having a huge network of people connected and getting things from your site without having to spend the infrastructure dollars to build a private network.

FOSTER: One of the challenges we have, as African Americans, is not to wait for this revolution to pass us by. There are many who believe that personal computing is behind us. We are now into a revolution called `network computing’– be it the Internet, intranet or whatever. So we have to be thinking about creative approaches.

BE: As we move into the next millennium, the new global economy, how can we expect technology to change the way we do business now?

SALTER: One of the things that is evolving is the whole area of virtual locations. With the kind of telephony that we now have, your office can be right here because you can fax from your laptop.
Your voice mail, your beeper and your e-mail can be used anyplace. So, I think virtuality is a thing that is coming.

FOSTER: . . . . And the integration of the multiple devices in different technological advances connecting your beeper to your phone, to your think pad or your laptop–a process that allows you to do all that.

McKENZIE: Telecommunications is absolutely the largest segment, and it’s going to come from places like AT&T and MCI.
WHITTLE: The biggest change coming is that there are going to be huge differences in cable modems, video–bidirectional stuff is possible very soon–video conferencing and teleconferencing.

McKENZIE: Curtis Mayfield said, `People get ready, there’s a train a- coming, you don’t need a ticket, just get on board.’ Well, the train that’s in the station is one of technology, and the ticket is your willingness to just get immersed. It’s a willingness to grow and to change and to learn something.

TOP MISTAKES OF TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION FOR BUSINESSES
Underusing the features of the existing technology in the organization.
Making the initial investment in technology but failing to assess costs for staff training and ongoing maintenance and support of the system.
Investing in dead-end or inflexible systems instead of scalable systems to which solutions can be additions can added as needed.
Buying “technology for technology’s sake” rather than implementing a technological solution to a business problem.
Failing to anticipate the impact of implementing technology on both customers and employees
Failing to train

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