Why are Companies Giving Mobile Devices to their Employees?

Last week I wrote about an application for Smartphone called YUILOP.  This cool app offers you the chance to send free SMS to your friends who sadly do not posses any Smartphone like you.

Going through the topic I mentioned before I wrote that nowadays is quite important to be able to have internet wherever you go, especially if where you work at you need to be in constant communication with superiors and clients, or if you need to do business constantly abroad.  Cell phones have become vital for many businesses, improves communications amongst the workplace and provides a valuable tool for workers to do their job.

So why they actually do it? Why do companies give an Smartphone to their employees?

First of all they don´t give an Iphone, Blackberry or Android just to anyone, mostly this devices go to salespersons, executives and managers, the type of employee that need to be reachable 24/7.

James Bucki, the Director of Computing Technology at Genesee Community College, explains:

 “salespeople and executives are the most frequent employees that travel on company business.  They must be reachable in order to service customers, manage the business and make quick decisions.”

Customers are now expecting rapid responses to their needs and a cell phone in the employee´s hand will give you an advantage over your competition.

Some other reasons of having employees with cell phones at all times is to be able to address them when they are on the road e.g. for a meeting, or for technical support if somebody in the office requires it.  The two reasons mentioned above reduces cost to the company, because you don´t need then an extra person to cover that employee, you just give him/her a call and fix the issue.

As a company if you decide to give to your employees a mobile device, Leo Kreuzweird, a blogger from Yahoo! Contributor Network for topics related to business and law, suggests to consider the following:

  • What service provider you want to go with.
  • Need to consider whether a national rate or better an international one (depends on your business and your employee business needs).
  • If your provider also provide services overseas.
  • Also what kind of equipment is the best for the employee (for example if the person is in their early twenties would get used to an Iphone better than somebody who is in their fifties)
  • What plan is the best, how many minutes your employee really needs, or if it better a flat rate on text messaging, etc.

Smartphones have allowed workers to become more organized, also allows to receive email outside the office and where they can efficiently answer an email for a client right away instead of losing them to a competitor.  Also most of Smartphones offer the ability to edit documents, so if you are outside or on a business trip, holiday, etc you can quickly make a change to a document and send it right back at the office.

The disadvantage of having a company smartphone is that when you terminate your working contract you must have to return the device.

Is there another option?

There are also some companies that are willing to help you pay for the personal device of your choise , like for example Citrix Systems, Inc.

At Information Week, the Business Value of Technology, Charles Babcock reports how Citrix employees are getting subsidy from the company to select the device they prefer.

In this article Mr. Babcock describes how Citrix implemented a policy of bring-your-own-computer to work for 3500 Citrix laptop users, willing to pay them $2,100 to pick out the computer of their choise.

This is quite an incentive for the employees to be able to upgrade themselve to a higher level multimedia machine.  Paul Martine, the CIO of Citrix Systems and the creator of this policy mentioned before pointed out that people have tended to go and spend a $1,000 more than what they give them. Most of the employees wouldn´t go there and buy a laptop of $3,000 by their own, they consider it irresponsible, but with the $2,100 stipend is not a problem anymore.

And what about security?

Well for the employees that bring their own device to the workplace, they must storage all the important company data in an encrypted “safe zone” folder, so in the case of lost or robbery, no corporate data has been lost.  Because without the encryption key, the folder is useless to the possesor of the laptop.

A program like this one improves the employee satisfaction that leads to increase their productivity and efficiency.

And as a personal opinion, I do thing is quite a great incentive for companies to give a device to their employees, or to subsidized the purchase of a device of their choise.  Who wouldn´t like to get an Iphone for example at work? I thing nobody!



Mind Maps Mind Maps Mind Maps Mind Maps Mind Maps …

XMind  –easy mind maps

Whoever likes to use mind maps may know about XMind already. A Tool to create mind maps with a couple clicks only.

XMind is a crippleware and hence there are two different types available. One is free and one is commercial. Nevertheless, there’s no lack of any essential feature when using the free version. You can find a complete overview of what XMind Pro (49$ a year) offers you by clicking on this link.

XMind allows you to keep ideas and structures neatly arranged. The freeware links text fields and connections to vivid diagrams and possibly uploads results to the web. It is possible to create classic mind maps as well as fishbone diagrams or spreadsheets by selecting the appropriate template. The style can be changed even when processing without additional manual effort. An essential part for easy handling contributes to the webbrowser-like user interface. XMind allows to open multiple tabs simultaneously, that allows you to keep track on different projects. Connections, bubbles and so on can be colored and moved freely. Finished diagrams can be saved in .JPG, .HTML, Word-Doc or PDF and uploaded onto www.xmind.net which makes them easily accessible for different persons on different locations. XMind Pro even allows you to add audio comments.

Here’s a Video Tutorial:

Recently, blog.xmind.net announced a new portable version of XMind.

“XMind Portable version is special designed for people who have limitation to install software on computers, or have to use XMind temporarily on other computers.”

Great! Now I can use XMind on university-computers as well.

Even Biggerplate supports XMind as they reported on their blog!

“The addition of XMind to the library is yet another exciting step forward for Biggerplate, and a testament to a fantastic piece of software that has been making some big waves within the mind mapping world!”

I am going to use this awesome freeware in the future. It helps me to sort and collect information as well as getting a general illustrative overview on certain topics.

Franz S.

A tool for PDF´s

Hej Guys there are a lot of cool tools out there in the internet.

One of them is the PDFCreator.

This little cool tool makes it possible to create a PDF Document from a whole bunch of Data-Types. We all know that PDF is a very common Datatyp to share documents in private and in business.

“For good or evil, pdf is the standard format for universal accessibility. Adobe Reader is ubiquitous, and pdf’s are viewable on all computer platforms.” assures the guys from nedwolf.com

The function of the PDFCreator is very simple. After the installation the program simulates another printer and with that it converts for example word into a PDF.

So the PDFCreator is a very useful tool to share your documents easy. For Adam Pash the PDFCreator is an “all-in-one PDF Swiss Army knife”.

And Rob Dunn discovered an also little cool feature of this Tool. He found out that it is possible to shrink PDF daters with the PDFCreator. Here is his story.

It is also possible to melt different PDF into one. And the best part again is, it is totally free.

If you would like to have this useful tool you can download here at chip.de.

Best regards

Africa – “Garbage Chute” of Western Mobiles

Making Money off the Poor!

For my last post I was searching the web for alternatives that are tantamount to Apple’s latest success Siri. While we are wondering about which speech recognition program works best, some people that by the way make up about 15% of the world’s total population still live in a, as we would consider it, technological stone age. Never been in touch with phones or whatsoever they surely got different issues than looking for voice control applications. I’m talking about Africa, a “garbage chute” for old, technologically rewind mobile phones that are in our “developed” countries anything but a profitable business.

Africa’s Mobile Revolution

“Africa is at the center of a mobile revolution”, writes Kilian Fox in The Guardian. According to his statistics there were “fewer than four million mobiles on the continent in 1998” which has gone up to 500 million today and is still rapidly growing every year. Mike Kujawski sets these numbers in relation with the total population of the continent. Taking his numbers into account 30% of Africa’s total population is already in possession of mobile devices that were predominately manufactured at little cost. This is where it’s becoming interesting.

The Aspiration for Technological Benefit!

Apparently the majority of the Africans are unable to afford Laptops, computers and other modern devices as ca. 50% of Africa’s total population still lives below the poverty line. But just like us these people want to benefit from electronic systems that make interpersonal communication and accessibility much easier. Due to their technological pre-stage some businessmen have struck gold and started buying cheap, obsolete mobile phones in our countries to sell them for an affordable price to the African population. Ken Banks has already introduced Spice Mobile which built “The People’s Phone” for India and rolled it out in Europe. Such plain phones offer an extremely narrow profit margin but open bright markets.

An Example

An example: Let’s assume we produce very simple mobile phones for average costs of €10. We speculate that out of 1.2million Africans, 900.000 people will buy our phone which we sell for only €20. Considering these numbers we could expect earnings of €9.000.000 with the possibility to expand our production to other continents and countries. Since the electronic development is an ongoing process companies can steadily “recycle” outdated phones and sell them in technologically backward countries.

The Future Goldmine

This concept refers to the so called “Long Tail”. It basically describes that selling a couple high-priced devices to a particular group of customers is just as profitable as providing plain, cheap phones for a poor but huge target group. Fox writes about a “booming industry” and though countries like India as well as the African continent have already been introduced to such phones it’s still seen as a future goldmine.


Yuilop – more than just chatting!

As a member of the „Tool-Fool“ group, I was searching for interesting and useful tools for our smartphones, iphones or blackberries.  Well in my case I´m just going to imagine how it would be to have one of these.

Because of different reasons, now I am not in the position to buy a new phone with all these features.  But I do think is important nowadays to have a phone that allows you to be online all the time, more if you are already in college or working for a company.  For example now some companies give you even when you start a new iphone, blackberry or android so they can communicate with you at all time!

Well, let´s cut to the chase.  The new “tool” I will introduce you is YUILOP.  For a long time the SMS were a big source of profit for the Cell-phones companies, people were sending housands of thousands of messages in a month. But now with the chance of having internet in your phones, you can communicate with friends through

regular Mail, Facebook, or instant messaging tools like Whatsapp or Blackberry messenger.  The average cost of sending a regular SMS is around 0.20 Euro, but if you hire from your provider an internet flat rate you will have the chance to minimize this cost by using the programs I’ve mentioned already, the only “problem” is that the use is limited, you can use it only with persons that have the same app as you.

But with the App Yuilop for Androids and recently Iphones you have the chance not only to “chat” with persons that share the same tool, but you can also send regular SMS to persons like me that do not possess an Android, Iphone or Blackberry.

What can this new cool tool do???

  • Well with this cool app you can send unlimited free SMS to any provider and in 110 countries worldwide (for now free SMS only in Germany).
  • You also get to be in contact with all your friends, even when the receiver has no Smartphone.
  • Real-time status –> Appears on your screen if your SMS has been send, read or if that person is writing you back.
  • They also want in the future to offer you the possibility to call for free.

If I want it, where should I go and download it?

If you are interested go to the webpage http://yuilop.com/de/download/, sadly is only for Androids and Iphones available.  Once you downloaded it you will get a new yuilop number (but it doesn´t mean you won´t have you regular cell-phone number) and through this new number you can send the SMS for free, thanks to a energy system they implemented.

The whole point of this system is to gain as much as possible new members.

But how does it really this energy system works???

You will get extra “energy points” every time you get a new SMS on your Yuilop number,  when you invite friends to become new members, through chatting with other yuilop contacts and also through some yuilop activities concerning in energy points. And how do I spend this energy points?? Well, points will be taken away every time you send an SMS.

If I would have an android or iphone I would definitely give it a try,
because then I can also communicate with friends that don´t have
Smartphones and the best you can download it for FREE!

So who knows and just give it a try?? if you do, let me know how it