5 Green Technologies You Can Pitch




Ben Stiegler, CEO and Founder,

How much time do you spend traveling for business each year? Urban commutes, business trips to see customers, etc. Sometimes it seems we spend more time with Homeland Security than our intended meeting partner.

Fortunately, several affordable green technologies are changing how people collaborate, commute and work:

  • VoIP-enabled telephone systems allow employees to both place and receive calls as if they were at their office desks and from anywhere they have a broadband connection. While simple call forwarding allows inbound calls to be routed to an employee’s cell or home number, VoIP makes this transparent for outbound calls, too, while allowing access to all phone system features like conferencing, call recording and caller ID. These systems can be premises-based or completely virtual (hosted).
  • Presence viewers allow everyone in an organization to know what their team members are doing and how they can be contacted. A simple right-mouse click reveals available choices: text/chat message, live phone call, video conference, e-mail, etc.
  • Collaboration appliances are low-cost alternatives to services like WebEx, which enable presentations, interactive meetings (where control of shared screens and documents can be passed around), trainings, even board meetings to occur virtually – with everyone participating from a location that’s convenient for them. Typical appliances for SMBs cost under $1,000, do not have a per-minute usage charge, and have a ROI payback of just a few months. For organizations that do not yet have the capabilities to meet virtually, these open up new ways of working – and can free up many precious hours each month for productive work.
  • Video conferencing is no longer exclusively for bankers and generals. Low-cost Web cameras, video conferencing services and phone systems that can host video conferences all provide access to a meeting almost as good as a face-to-face.
  • Secure VPN connections allow remote staff full, yet secure, access to all resources on a corporate LAN. VPN provides an encrypted “tunnel” through which information is safely conveyed – even when in a dicey IT environment, such as a wireless café or airport. Traditionally, VPN is a partner dance between a central encryption and user authentication resource at the office and a VPN client (software) running on the remote PC. More recently, VPN accelerators provide this same functionality without the need to install VPN client software on remote computers by harnessing the encryption capabilities of late generation browsers like Internet Explorer 7 and FireFox.

While it’s possible to be “too connected,” these five advances in communications offer the potential to work more effectively, conserve energy, avoid fatigue and spend less time on the road.

Ben Stiegler is CEO and founder of Synertel, a provider of converged telephony services and equipment. He also is a member of the 2008-09 PHONE+ Channel Partners Advisory Board.

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