Choosing the right high-performance communication tools, from IP-based phones to digital cameras, can have a major impact on productivity and growth.
Phone systems and services that use Voice over IP (VoIP) can save you money on phone bills and improve communications, but choosing the wrong solution can result in poor voice quality or dropped calls.
Covad's integrated service combines existing phone and Internet access into a single communications solution, and has a good track record for reliability and service quality.
VoIP phones and systems from Zultys provide interoperability with SIP compliant hardware and most VoIP services. New models include the WIP 2 wireless Wi-Fi phone with push-to-talk, and the 4-microphone BTC Bluetooth-enabled conference phone.
Several VoIP service providers are customizing their offerings to meet the needs of growing businesses. ShoreTel's Integration, for example, is designed to enable users of the popular CRM application to share data seamlessly with team members and call customers directly from their Web browsers.
The successful rollout of VoIP solutions with integrated call-center management and other advanced services requires careful evaluation of benefits and cost-of-ownership. Toshiba's AIS Telecommunication Systems Division offers a useful pre-deployment assessment service for its Strata CIX IP PBXes.
Certified VARs with knowledge of VoIP can also provide valuable information and support before and after the sale. Panasonic's versatile Digital Hybrid IP-PBX Systems (KX-TDA) are scalable, and are sold, installed, and serviced exclusively by local certified dealers.
The immediacy and impact of digital photography has helped many businesses tell their story to customers and communicate with strategic partners and employees. The right camera can make this work feel like play, and ensure that the pictures you take will do the job.
Sony's new 10.8 megapixel Alpha DSLR-A100 combines ease-of-use with the sophistication of an advanced DSLR. The first fruit of Sony's acquisition of Konica-Minolta's camera technology, this unit retains the Maxxum lens mount, honeycomb metering, and sensor-level anti-blur system. Sony adds its new 3-frame-per-second Bionz processor, a new Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO), an anti-dust system, a bright 2.5-inch LCD, ISO 1600 sensitivity for low-light shooting, and battery life of up to 750 photos. The Alpha DSLR-A100 costs about $1,000 with an 18-70mm zoom lens.
Outstanding in the all-star field of advanced prosumer DSLRs, Nikon's new D80 features a 10.2 MP sensor and sophisticated automatic exposure control. The camera is compatible with the versatile Nikon Creative Lighting Speedlights, accepts a wide range of Nikon lenses, and sells for about $1,300 with zoom lens.
High-resolution, pocket-sized digital cameras excel at capturing crisp snapshots of people and places, but are also ideal for quick product shots, site surveys, and photos for newsletters or brochures. The new 10 megapixel Samsung NV10, with 3X zoom lens and 2.5-inch color LCD display, fits comfortably in a jacket pocket or purse, takes publication quality pictures, and costs about $350.
The Leica D-Lux3 features a 4X wide-angle zoom, offering coverage equivalent to a 28-112mm lens on a 35mm film camera. This elegant 10 MP camera sells for about $800 and offers a full gamut of manual and automatic controls.
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