Sunday, January 18, 2009

Windows and tools for business

As I type this new blog entry, Technology Alignment is preparing for it's office opening in Boise, ID. In Boise we believe that we found the holy grail and an excellent workforce and the ability to expand. Of course, we're still planning on opening an office in Norwalk, or another area of Connecticut to attract more people with the skills needed for our entry into new markets. Many people have been calling and asking what we're doing with the operating systems, Pioneer Linux. The Pioneer Linux workstation is being released still, but we are concentrating on our Pioneer MigrationSERVER.

The one thing we've found thus far is that Windows is very seated in the market. Although it may have many issues, it's what people find easy to use. Remember, I personally have not really used a Windows system since ME, but played with Windows 2000. My last Windows desktop was a Sony Vaio with ME loaded. After awhile I installed Mandrake and then MEPIS on the laptop. They were great, easy to use and easy to understand for me. I still liked Windows 3.1 since I was able to configure things easily and add functions I wanted. In came Linux and there was a new operating system that was easy to use and without the open RPCs that people love to exploit.

During the Pioneer hayday we created a basic desktop that anyone, I felt, could use. It wasn't bloated and it amazes me that the new systems being released today are as bloated as Windows. I don't get it, but that's what the market wants I imagine. I saw Bryan at the office running BSD with Rat Poison, WOW now talk about an efficient and effective desktop, reminded me of the old IBM Mainframe days on a 370 to 390 series. I was amazed that this group had created such a wonderful desktop. Bryan wanted to prove a point to me about Windows users. We had a Windows system in house for shipping in the back, so he had me work on the box. WOW, I was amazed at how many clicks I had to make to do something. Windows was so alien to me, it was like WOW again and I couldn't figure anything out. Well, actually I could but didn't want to be bothered. I asked him where the command prompt was so I could do something like you do in Linux or BSD. Well, it doesn't work like that. I guess you all know that running Windows.

I imagine the bottom line and what Bryan was trying to show me was how difficult it was for someone going the other way from Windows to Linux. If you're used to clicking a zillion things to do something, I guess typing a command would be difficult because you have to learn everything. Well, I didn't want to learn everything to be honest and do a million clicks to accomplish something I can do on Linux in a few commands. So Windows is probably never going to be my desktop. I'm wanting BSD now with Rat Poison – WOW I still can't believe how effect it is! But Bryan's point was well taken, regardless of how bad I view it as, it's still an effective business tool for people who don't want to learn something new. Of course you'll have to deal with the inherent problems with Windows, but what the heck you can find some good IT folks to keep your Windows environment going. I still don't understand why they have a registry with “hives” and causing all of those problems, but if it works for you like Linux or BSD works for me, more power to you. It's all about getting business decisions completed or working with the available tools for you and people within the organizations. Of course I'm not a gamer, so who cares about home computers running games, I use it for basic things at home and of course I work too many hours so use it like my system at work.

We're now tying everything together from the PBX to the mail servers and CRM. This method allows us to work with our Pioneer MigrationSERVER and actually give it for free and tie in our CRM and mail server for Unified Reporting, or as some call it Enterprise Reporting. The bottom line is it doesn't matter what your desktop is, as long as you have a good browser, of course we suggest you use Firefox instead of IE or Opera is pretty good also and my perferred browser due to the memory leaks in Firefox. So what we're seeing is the desktop doesn't matter, but we're staying with MigrationSERVER for the systems on Unified Reporting – PBX, CRM and Mail Servers. A bit about our new VoIPTelCaster series, they provide reporting like has not been seen previously.

If you're using a VTC 500 Plus or a VTC 1000 Plus, the system provides the ability to expand with mail servers and CRM applications. The mail servers allow the company to implement a mail solution that ties to the PBX to show the amount of emails to calling. Some calling campaigns in a call center, for example, have information being sent. If an agent were to make 60 dials and 20 connects, speaking to 20 people, are there 20 emails being sent to the prospects? Adding the CRM provides the ability to get a view into the effectiveness of the calling campaign. If a company is utilizing a different CRM, the data may exported into a companies reporting tool. Using the three (3) major components in a unified reporting methodology, the reports can display high performers and low performance of agents at a glance by group and by department.

You know it's becoming critical that companies manage better today than before because of the competitiveness in any market during a recessionary period. This means that a company owner in a small company needs the same tools as an SMB or Enterprise. To remain competitive, the tools are offered at a low cost, starting with the PBX. Of course not everything we do is open, but you can still get an open source version of the CRM with PostgreSQL freely from the community project pages. It's only the CRM and not compatible with the HIATLANTIS CRM, but it's a tool that will help you manage any sales or support organization from the smallest SOHO to the largest Enterprise.

The bottom line is that your business tool, be it Windows, Linux, BSD or OS/X, you have the backend tools that make it simple to manage a SOHO to SMB.

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