Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ENTERPRISE FOR LONDON; Work on Your Flexibility ; the Right Technology Can Help Your Business Move Forward and Cut Costs, Says Alexandra Dawe

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ENTERPRISE FOR LONDON; Work on Your Flexibility ; the Right Technology Can Help Your Business Move Forward and Cut Costs, Says Alexandra Dawe

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEXANDRA DAWE

MOBILE computing offers your business more flexibility and helps cut costs.

Take this as an example: a large corporation uses scheduling software and wireless connections to enable its workforce to alter schedules through a handheld computer. As a result, it fits in twice as many service calls, boosting productivity and profits. It shows that mobile technology and the right software can transform a business.

However, while large corporations can afford to run these sophisticated applications, for smaller businesses the costs are too substantial.

Even so it is possible to reap some of the same benefits without breaking the budget. The trick is to look at the handheld or laptop computer as a replacement for, rather than an addition to, an existing computer.

Laptops have serious processing power these days. Next time you are upgrading, you might consider getting a laptop as your main system: the Notino R5400-1800 from Hi-Grade, for example, which has a DVD/CD-writer combination drive, 20 gigabytes of storage, 384 megs of RAM and a Pentium 4 chip, will do just about everything a chunky desktop computer can manage - and you can carry it around with you.

Retrieving emails from a laptop while you are on the move can be a trial, unless your clients are happy for you to use their phone lines for the built-in modem - currently standard on almost every laptop. You might, however, need to use your mobile phone instead. If possible, have a model with an infrared connection, as the cables that connect phones to computers tend to be around pound sterling90 for a small piece of wire.

An alternative to infrared is a networking standard called Bluetooth. This will require a purpose-built phone, such as the Ericsson T39m, and a Bluetooth adaptor card for your computer.

The card will cost around pound sterling80 and will form a network with the phone (as well as anything else with a Bluetooth connection), which will then dial out to your internet service provider, a fax recipient, or anyone else you might have wanted to dial from your computer. …

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