Choosing a Long Distance Plan

Written by Alyice Edrich

Long Distance rates are onrepparttar rise! Have you ever said to yourself, "Some companies charge a monthly usage fee and I don't have to pay a monthly usage fee with my ten cents a minute plan. Why would I want to switch?"

Let's break this down a bit for you:

.10 cents a minute times 200 minutes per month = $20.00 a month .045 cents per minute times 200 minutes per month = $9.00 a month. Even if you add inrepparttar 133554 $2 monthly usage fee,repparttar 133555 total for your long distance bill is only $11.00! That is a savings of $9 per month or $108 per year. Why not take that $108 per year and invest it in a single share stock option and watch that money grow, instead of just throwing it away? So how does one chooserepparttar 133556 right Long Distance Plan?

Are your long distance calls for pleasure or business? When do you makerepparttar 133557 most calls -- time of day/day of week? What area do you callrepparttar 133558 most? How long do your calls last? Do you need a plan that allows you to call all overrepparttar 133559 world, at any given moment, offeringrepparttar 133560 best rates 24/7 or do you need a plan that allows you to call one particular area forrepparttar 133561 best rate? Are there time restrictions on when you can call forrepparttar 133562 best rates and if so, will those restraints work out for your calling needs? Carefully evaluate package deals. Sometimes, you can get cheaper deals by making your own package. In other words, pick and choose individual plans versus taking a "package" full of unnecessary items simply becauserepparttar 133563 amount of hours you use your long distance complies withrepparttar 133564 minutes inrepparttar 133565 package. Readrepparttar 133566 fine print to any plan before you sign on. Know what you are getting, so that there are no surprises. What is a Dial-Around Service and are they better than havingrepparttar 133567 standard long distance plans?

Fast Forwarding your Business with Instant Messaging

Written by Lee Traupel

Instant Messaging is rapidly becoming accepted inrepparttar business community as a viable communications tool and process - it's faster than e-mail, free onrepparttar 133553 client side, even a novice user can easily grasprepparttar 133554 interface in just a few minutes and it enables remote workers and business partners to "talk" and share files and information effortlessly usingrepparttar 133555 in-place infrastructure ofrepparttar 133556 internet. Its mushrooming in popularity too - according to IDC, corporate and general business users will jump from 5.5M in 2001 to close to 200M by 2004.

What are some ofrepparttar 133557 pitfalls and concerns you need to have when assessing and integrating Instant Messaging ("IM" another biz acronym) with your business processes? Be aware you are sending clear text messages overrepparttar 133558 public Internet - so all IM technology is inherently insecure. Privacy issues can also be raised - these messages are typically archived viarepparttar 133559 IM servers ofrepparttar 133560 company whose services you are using and can be made public at a later date. Anyone with a network scanner may have access to and be reading your messages and if your are downloading files, you need to ensure your anti-virus software is setup to scan these files when you open them.

One ofrepparttar 133561 biggest pitfalls ofrepparttar 133562 technology and process is that it adds another communications layer to your busy day - but you can offset this by selecting or filtering who you communicate with at any point by usingrepparttar 133563 IM interface to block all or selected individuals from "seeing" you when you are online.

Finally, like all things in today's computer industry (or many) each ofrepparttar 133564 Instant Messaging vendors are trying to build applications which don't integrate withrepparttar 133565 other (no surprise here - arrogance has not faded away inrepparttar 133566 business community!). So, you need to assessrepparttar 133567 installed base ofrepparttar 133568 market leaders and make a decision on which company's product you want to utilized - my recommendation would be to review Microsoft's or AOL/Time Warner's products - their installed bases are inrepparttar 133569 200 million users plus when combined (these numbers include consumer and business usage) and they both work well and have user interfaces that are intuitive.

There is one alternative company that is solvingrepparttar 133570 "IM Tower of Babel" issues and claims to integrate well with all proprietary apps by utilizing XML technology, Jabber, Inc., So, if interoptability is important to you then I would recommend assessing their products.

Most ofrepparttar 133571 IM providers including Microsoft are integrating voice communications with their IM clients - you may be able to bypass your local telephone carrier at some point using this technology, but don't bet on it anytime soon - all of those lobbyists here inrepparttar 133572 states need to keep generating fees on behalf of their telecom clients in Washington D.C. We use Microsoft's IM product and we have upon occasion utilizedrepparttar 133573 voice and video features (you must of course have a multimedia setup for your PC and camera) and they do work. Althoughrepparttar 133574 video quality is a little jerky and repparttar 133575 voice is akin torepparttar 133576 old Citizens Band ("CB") radio - your Internet connection impactsrepparttar 133577 quality of both.

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