The Avaya 5420 – A Great Small Business Phone Solution

When opening a new business, or moving to a new office location, there are many details that need to be taken care of prior to the official opening. Some of those details obviously include getting desks and computers set up. Less obvious, but still essential, is the phone system. If you don’t have a good phone system set up prior to the start of business, it can be a major headache trying to figure everything out. I only say this because I speak from experience.

When I first opened my own web design company a few years back, I thought I had everything in place – employees, desks, chairs, computers, internet connections…but wait. I had forgotten to even look into a phone system simply because we relied on the internet so much. I thought we wouldn’t be on the phone very much, but I was quite wrong.

I scrambled to find a phone system for my small business that would work well, yet be simple. I looked online to see which system had the best reviews, and to be honest, Avaya seemed to blow the competition away.

I quickly looked into Avaya to see what costs were, and who could install the entire phone system for a group of 15 people quickly.

Luckily, I found a distributor that would help us out last minute. He did a great job installing the phones, and getting everything set up for us. I decided to go with the Avaya IP Office, and more specifically, the Avaya 5420 phone. There are a lot of features that I love, such as the digital display of my speed dial list (no more writing names on paper!), and my favorite feature – the large display.

Having these phones in place for my employees has been great for us, and for business. I don’t have any worries about the system, and it’s been working really well. I’m pleased with the quality, and as my business has grown (we now have 30 employees), so has my phone system. It has scaled well, which has saved me the expense and stress over trying to find a new phone system.

My advice is to find a phone system that works well for you, and have it installed prior to move-in. Having your phones up and running in a new office or for a new business is essential, as I’ve come to learn, because it is a necessary means of communication for your clients, which are the most important part of your company, because they’re what keep you in business.

Beginners’ Guide to Business Intelligence Solutions

Current Condition of the Business Intelligence Tools Market

The sustained interest in Business Intelligence applications has driven large corporations, offshore software development centers as well as custom software development companies to focus on developing a wide range of Business Intelligence Tools suitable for each and every industry. The use of Business Intelligence tools in key industries from aerospace to iron and steel has also increased in recent years due to the uncertainty in global markets. Currently available tools including the Microsoft Business Intelligence software include numerous paid, freeware as well as open source and proprietary software, which are often customized by a custom software developer to suit the requirements of a specific client. Some of the additional categories of Business Intelligence Tools are discussed here and these constitute only a few of the business intelligence reporting tools commonly utilized by the enterprise.

Data Mining

Data mining combines key elements of statistics and computer science with the objective of identifying patterns in large data sets. Currently implemented data mining methodology includes various elements of database systems, statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver actionable intelligence to managers, decision makers and data analysts in an enterprise. Apart from the analysis of the available raw data, additional operations performed by data mining process include online updating, visualization, discovered structure post-processing, complexity considerations, metrics to determine interest as well as data management. Data mining is distinct from information processing or large-scale data analysis as the process is based on “discovery” i.e. the detection of something new. As data mining deals with large data sets, various automated and semi-automated solutions are available to carry out the task. Data mining applications developed by any software development company focuses on performing the following tasks- anomaly detection, association rule learning, clustering, classification, regression as well as summarization. Current business applications include data mining in applications related to customer relationship management, determination of successful employee characteristics using HR department data, identification of customer purchase pattern by the marketing department as well as much more. Leading companies engaged in providing data mining tools for use in business intelligence reporting include Extra-Data Technologies, Clarabridge, Versium Analytics, emanio and Polygraph Media.

Data Warehousing

Data Warehousing in simple terms refers to any database utilized for reporting as well as analyzing enterprise data. The data in an enterprise is usually obtained from all over the organization including the HR, Marketing, Sales, Customer Support, Warehouse, administration departments. In some cases, the raw data may undergo a small degree of pre-processing prior to being used for reporting in a Data Warehouse. A traditional data warehouse (a warehouse operating on the extract-transform-load mechanism), houses the key functions by using separate staging, integration and access layers. The staging area stores all the raw data obtained from various enterprise-wide sources. In the integration layer the raw data stored in the staging area is integrated to transform it into a form suitable for analysis and stored in the data warehouse database. The data stored in the data warehouse database is arranged in hierarchical groups, which are accessible by the user through the access layer. Each data warehouse is often subdivided into data marts, which store subsets of the data integrated in the warehouse. The key objective of a data warehouse is thus to store data in a format suitable for analysis by the user using various techniques including OLAP and data mining.

The earliest data warehouses used by an organization were offline operational data warehouses. In these warehouses, the data was updated periodically (fortnightly, weekly or monthly) from operational systems and stored in a report-oriented format. In the next stage of data warehouse evolution, offline data warehouses came into existence. In offline data warehouses, the data was updated regularly from operational systems and the structure of the stored data was designed to aid the reporting process. The offline data warehouses later evolved into Online Integrated Data Warehouses, which updates the data in the warehouse in real-time by recording every transaction performed on the source data. Further evolution of data warehouses has resulted in the creation of the integrated data warehouse, which compiles the data obtained from the various departments of the enterprise to provide users with real-time access to actionable intelligence from all over the organization. Leading data warehousing solutions companies include Accenture, IBM, Igate and Infobright.

Decision Engineering

Decision Engineering is defined as a framework, which unifies various leading practices in the field of enterprise decision-making to improve the overall decision-making procedure by providing a structured approach. The decision engineering process is designed to overcome problems resulting from a “complexity ceiling” of the decision-making process. This “complexity ceiling” usually results from a mismatch between the complexity of a particular situation and the sophistication of the decision-making procedure being implemented. Decision engineering acts as a framework for providing advanced analytic techniques to a non-enterprise user while simultaneously integrating machine learning and inductive reasoning techniques to streamline the organizational decision-making procedure. The use of Decision Engineering as a business intelligence tool by enterprises is still in its infancy and further development would be required before decision engineering develops into a viable business intelligence reporting tool.

Reporting and Querying Software

Reporting and querying software are designed to provide users with access to the data stored on enterprise databases subsequent to submission of user-queries. Such tools are designed to provide a logical format to the available data sets to support enterprise-wide data accessibility as well as speed-up the organizational decision-support process. Currently, various open source business intelligence tools as well as commercial business intelligence reporting software are developed by software development companies all over the world. Some of the leading reporting and querying tools are mPower, Zoho Reports, Cognos BI, GNU Enterprise and JasperReports. Many offshore software development companies in India also provide customized versions of reporting and querying software to streamline the overall enterprise-wide decision making process.

Spreadsheets

A spreadsheet is defined as an interactive computer program, which allows the analysis of available information by use of a tabular format, which originated from the use of paper-based accounting spreadsheets. On a spreadsheet, users can modify the values in each cell of the spreadsheet and are now used widely by the financial sector as a replacement of paper-based accounting methods. The digital spreadsheets allow users to automatically calculate values after making modifications to the available data as and when necessary. Apart from the standard arithmetic calculation support, currently available spreadsheets also features support for a wide range of statistical and financial operations built into this commonly used business intelligence tool. Spreadsheets are probably the most widely used and easily available among a wide range of proprietary and open source business intelligence tools. The first spreadsheet introduced for a micro computer was Visicalc, which was overtaken by Lotus 1-2-3 at a later date. Currently Microsoft Excel, available as part of the Microsoft Office Package, is the leading spreadsheet solution utilized by enterprises all over the world.

Can the Modern Business Survive Without a State-of-the-Art Printing System?

Business processes are becoming more digital by the day. We now send emails, rather than memos. We use online quote systems, rather than sending a fax. We search for answers on Google, rather than looking it up in a book. Almost everything we do in our personal and professional lives involves some kind of digital or multimedia interaction.

As you look to the future, and increasingly use digital platforms to communicate and do business, will you be able to do away with offline processes such as printing? Constantly keeping your digital systems at the forefront of technology may improve your online productivity, but without an efficient printing system to support your offline needs, your business could suffer.

As day-to-day employees’ working practices travel further up the digital stream – some now operating only in a digital space with emails, web and network connections – it’s important to keep up with the times. Even by having the most state-of-the-art email, hardware, database and networking systems, there is currently still a need to have hard-copies of information as a back-up, for legal reasons or simply for ease of use. Therefore, whilst the digital revolution is increasing business efficiency and information accessibility, the need for printing is currently still strong. Paper is something that is engrained in our society and the concept of an entirely paperless office still looks to be well off in the future.

One of the biggest challenges faced by companies is how to effectively manage and integrate their offline printing solutions. A simple, secure network of printers may no longer suffice. To make your business’ printing the most efficient it can be, an in-depth look at the current printing needs and situation is needed: the more complex and fragmented the printing network is, the greater the likelihood it is not as effective as it should be.

Integrating your business printing solution with your online systems is very important, as it will allow users to access, create, process and distribute content and information easily.

The environmental impact of printing should also be considered, and an integrated printing solution that allows fast, high-quality duplex printing is a must in today’s business society. Not only will this help reduce the company’s environmental impact, it will help save money too.

Therefore, an assessment of your current business needs, whilst considering your existing online systems, would be highly beneficial to any business. With the right printing solution and your existing, efficient online systems, your business will be able to achieve maximum online and offline productivity.