How do you keep in touch on business?

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  ChesterSimons 8 Jul 2010
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  • Anonymous

    fitbusinesstrip
    Participant

    With so many forms of communication at our fingertips these days, we’re spoilt for choice as to how to stay in touch with the office or home, while out and about on our business travels.

    There’s texting, email, Skype, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook and any number of other Social media sites that can be dialled up in a matter of seconds.

    I mean, who actually sends communication by post these days?

    Despite all these options, you can’t beat the good old fashioned phone; calling someone direct and making human contact.

    Email is faceless, easy to misconstrue and SO corporate! Half the time you receive automated ‘out of office’ responses, or you sit there, checking your email inbox persistently, hoping for a quick response. Unfortunately, your top priority may well be someone else’s ‘to do when I’m not so busy’.

    Then there’s texting. Now texting makes it easy to stretch the truth and avoid prolonged contact. Again, without vocal expression, it’s easy to misconstrue what is being communicated or to convey the wrong message entirely.

    “I’ll deal with it this afternoon ok?” could be read as a positive acknowledgement of a request or a frustrated brush off. It’s ALL down to how you read the words, and what expression you put in. The number of times I’ve got the wrong end of the stick and over-reacted to an innocent text!

    And as if that wasn’t enough, don’t you just hate the whole text speak?

    ‘N E 1 agree wiv me 2?’

    What’s happened to the English language? Have other languages resorted to text speak or is just an English thing?

    If you’re travelling on business chances are you won’t have time to Twitter, Facebook, Bebo etc, unless your job is Social Media, and if you do, you have to question what you’re doing with your time!

    So, it all comes back to the phone and good old fashioned talking. Is that such a crazy, out-there concept these days?

    I know we lead busy lives and don’t have time to hang around and chat incessantly, but don’t you think the real you, on the other end of the line, talking live to your family and loved ones, is appreciated?

    Regardless of your schedule, even 30 seconds of ‘Hi, how are you? Looking forward to seeing you soon’ is better than a text full of typos and short, blunt half sentences.

    So how do YOU stay in touch?

    Do you prefer the convenience of text and email, or do you still believe in the power of a phone call?

    Do you use text speak or are you a stickler for good grammar?

    I’m sticking with the telephone – unless my battery dies!


    HonestLogic
    Participant

    I agree, a simple phone call, person to person is great! Also, don’t trust your important files to a laptop, iPad, etc… save them on SwissDisk and be safe… SwissDisk is simple, like a phone call, and secure (it’s encrypted end-to-end) … travel safe and keep your files safe the easy way, on SwissDisk, then access them anytime, anywhere you have the Internet… enjoy the world!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    comminicating and data whilst on the move – integral part of my business

    1. Do not rely on on line back ups – i travel with 2 fully encrypted back ups of my entire lap top using acronis

    2. What happens if you need to restore or file, programme or document and there is no online access. In simple words – you are stuffed

    3. NEVER access wirless via an unsecured network, especially in hotels. If you can access internet without a password or entering your email address odds are its an unsecured network and your computer will be vunrable, irrespective of anti virus software

    4. If you travel to same regions, city, hotels, find an IT local consultant who can help you out in an emergency. Listen to the consultant and watch him work, its how i learnt.

    5. What ever you back up onto, flash drive, USB, external hard drive, make sure you password protect and use an auto run killer programme. This is the best way to ensure that your back up stays virus free if it is attacked.

    6. Most windows passwords are easy to bypass, try hitting F10 on start up. For pre Vista machine, i.e. XP and bacwards, install the pre bios password. This way your machine cant fire up the OS with out a password.

    7. 3G sims – if you travel overseas, see if a local pay as you go sim has data services or 3G. If it does, use your local IT consultant to set your modem to the local network and breeze the internet and log on to company servers very cheaply and very effivciently wihtout it costing anywhere near the hotel rates. In Asia, for example, you can buy data services for 5 hour blocks at less than £1. There are fewer and fewer lap tops being built with a sim slot.

    8. Watch how your children communicate with their friends. For quick messages on the move, hotmail, facebook, any social network is good. It is easy to see who is online and who isnt. We use hotmail to communicate with staff all over the world. you can see whose on line, a quick question is always answered. Far quicker than dialling on the phone.

    9. Its a global village. When people ask me to call when i am in town, my reply is that I already am – I need to fill my diary. What difference does it make if you need to make an appointment with someone in Vietnam and you are in London. The world is far smaller and far better at the same time.

    10. Always carry at least 2 mobiles. Buy a local sim, saves on the roaming costs.

    11. Blackberry – the bain of some peoples life, i look on it as my freedom, because the blackberry allows me to be anywhere at any time and still have my office at my finger tips. I take 13 weeks holiday a year accompnied by my blackberry. I could not live with a 2 week break and switch off. I agree, thats my choice.

    Most of the above has been learnt through experience. I have had a complete IT failure casued by a big hotel names unsecured network. However, my data recovery worked and i was up and running within the hour. Unfortuantely it took another 3 hours to throughly test the system to try and find the root casue.

    I hope that this helps. I would be delighted to hear any critique of this system. I am especially keen to find an on line secure back up which is able to synchronise 32gb of data. One of the issues with companies that try and present a solution, is that shared servers are being used which are positioned remotely. All provide cast iron 100% guarantees about security of your data. Ask your clients whether they are happy with your data being stored remotely, somewhere in cybersapce on a equipment belonging to a 3rd party. I know what our clients said which supported our solution of carrying off line back ups.

    I hope that this all helps the global traveler.


    thespecialone
    Participant

    Honest Logic – one question about your post. Why bother with a ‘phone call away’ system when off line, you dont even need to make that call?

    Intersting analogy, but you will find that simpler is safer.


    HonestLogic
    Participant

    thespecialone… your post is rather cryptic, not sure what you are talking about…. have you even bothered to visit the SwissDisk website? ….. I hate to break it to you softly but we seem to totally agree, my whole point is summed up in your last comment, i.e. “simpler is safer” Business Travelers and the rest of the world is constantly being told that tons of technology will solve their problems when generally speaking “simpler is safer” …. SwissDisk is a very simple, straight forward system and very secure. No software downloads required to use it. Also note, if you ‘simply’ want to use it to sync your iPhone, Blackberry, etc then the free account should suffice. Anyway… I hope you travel safe and enjoy whatever device and system that you choose.


    thespecialone
    Participant

    Yes Honest Logic, nice to agree with you about simplicity, I wish someone would come up with “simplicity in terms of wires/connections needed”. I most certainly have looked at Swissdisk as I have the Dell system which even incorporates a dedicated key to the sky sorage on the key board. I have also reviewed a system through INVU which is similar. However we see 2 negarives:

    1. You need an internet conenction – agreed 75% of the time it is possible, but we need 100% cover,

    2. As an international legal practise, with offices in 3 continents, we are responsible for ensuring the security of our clients data, which would inlude visiting server locations and receiving undertakings from them re data security/storage. Our view and it is a view we are always willing to change but is supported by our external IT auditors is that it is more practical to issue memory sticks for data storage for those travelling, including back ups because of data transfer speeds. The likes of Swissdisk, which you seem to promote are only as good as the internet conenction which on many occasions is simply not fast or secure enough. There are still too many hotels with unsecured networks.

    As a previous poster said, Swissdisk provides an excellent service and I can see the benefit from iphone and blackberrry back up and synch. This we do via our own servers, but ultimately, being responsible for client data, we are not sufficiently satisfied that data being stored virtual servers outside of our firms control is really a sensible or secure way forward. The simplicity of 128gb memory sticks, suitably set with, encrypted seems to us to be far simpler, more secure and more practical as it is always 100% available.


    HonestLogic
    Participant

    thespecialone… ok, I can understand the concept that a memory stick is 100% available, however that only applies if the memory stick is physically there. Also note, when you access SwissDisk it’s always over a secure https link. I agree most networks, especially wireless networks are not secure, but that’s exactly why people should use a secure document storage service like SwissDisk. Also note, SwissDisk hasn’t totally updated their website, but they now offer a feature called Multi-User accounts. This feature allows you to share a master account by assigning a unique password for secure access to single folders within the master account. You can also create a folder named “Shared” that will allow you to securely share documents with your business associates and or clients. SwissDisk services comply with all USA banking regulations for security, further the system meets or exceeds all known State and Federal USA standards for health care records security. Clearly as a lawyer I can understand that your legal office has strict fiduciary and privacy rules that you need to adhere to to maintain your clients trust and security. However, I hate to break this to you but visiting a server colocation facility to verify that a service provider such as SwissDisk is actually providing the secure servivce level that they claim is a total waste of time for you. Respectfully I can’t imagine you would actually do that and think that you would prove anything. I’ve personally built and managed telecom and data centers and I guarantee you that looking at a secure cabinet, a stack of servers, etc, etc. doesn’t prove anything about the security of the service being provided by someone such as SwissDisk. The only way to confirm the security of a service like SwissDisk is to have someone with respected IT credentials test it in a real world environment. Otherwise with all due respect all you are doing is posturing. I have contacted SwissDisk and they are more than happy to answer any questions you have. Many happy returns.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    To save the need of multiple SIM cards and very expensive roaming costs, try these people out:

    http://www.gosim.com/

    I’ve had good reports on them and have just ordered the business package with half price offer for a second card.


    thespecialone
    Participant

    Hello Honest Logic

    Your post was very interesting. The management team and our IT guys are not so worried about inspecting the “cabinets and stacks of servers”, I am sure one looks very much like another. The key issue is that we are a business that relies on secure data storage. If things did ever go wrong, our defense that “xyz company stated it was 100% secure” would not protect us. We have a legal responsibilty to satisy our compliance and audit teams that any data storage is run by competant management, is secure and most importantly understand the xyz company disaster recovery system.

    There are many companies that are similar to yours, offering online back ups and data storage – the Swissdisk website does not really stand our any more remarkably than the others. Swiss has also got its fair share of negative info, esepcially regarding pricing.

    Our tech guys still dont follow the time frame for uploading the “free” 50gb data allowance – you have to be looking at days, again this is a question that has remained unanswered.

    The file share facility you mention – how does this differ from file sharing via a link to our company server??

    The other interesting comment you make is

    “I can understand the concept that a memory stick is 100% available, however that only applies if the memory stick is physically there.”

    This really is not a big issue becasue our team can load and reload data as and when, including a complete system back up in a matter of minutes from any of our offices. We have a close relationship with a university computer and robotics department and we regulaly challenge their brightest students either singulaly or in teams to “crack” one of our external drives within a 12 hours period, unsupervised. Never been done yet.

    Our data storage and back up for staff on the move, may seem old fashioned and “dated” but as yet nobody has been able to provide a comparable system online that matches our:

    **cost centre

    **secure encryption

    **100% 24/7 access both online/offline GUARANTEED

    **no worries about unsecured networks

    **known, visible and demonstrated disaster recovery system.

    I dont doubt for one minute your experience and knowledge of computer systems and data storage but my team do not see what your firm or recommended firm can offer over and above the systems we already have in place.

    i would welcome a voice discussion on this, especially if you can put a stronger argument forward – but I am afraid you have not shown to us any logical justification for switching to Swissdisk or any other online back up system.

    I respect all contributions on this site and would say that if you can convince me of the merits of Swissdisk or any other online system, i would arrange for you to come into our corporate office and present to the decision makers, i.e. the head of IT, who is responable for all IT corporate Governence. I cant be fairer than that

    I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully taking this discussion further with a view to speaking and then meeting.


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Martyn, my friend.

    I suspect you’re getting back on a hobby horse here, buddy….. ; )

    Honestlogic – you too!!

    Simon


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Simon – you are 100% right – except Swissdisk is not all it claims to be. This proves how careful one needs to be with companies like Swissdisk.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/19/swissdisk_failure/

    There is just too much negative press in the public areas of the web. I will be sticking to offline backs, despite Honest Logics dispersions to the contrary!!


    HonestLogic
    Participant

    MartynSinclair… you are mistaken… SWISSDISK is ALL that it claims to be, AND MORE!! One of the best secure online servies available!!!

    By the way, do you think you are the first person to use Google? Why are you wasting everyone’s time with this irrelevent link on a forum thread about staying in touch? aka “communicating” for those of you stuck in the stone age!

    Do you really think anyone reading this or using SwissDisk cares about your dribbling post or an old link at this point? Your link proves nothing to anyone and is a very, very weak point…..

    Moving right along…. Simon, my good man, I guess you are referring to the other thread with your hobby horse reference, please expound on your thoughts, extrapilate your feelings from your curious phrase and I’ll see if I can formulate a thoughtful reply. Until then, many happy returns and may you travel safe.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Dear Honest Logic

    I am absolutely not trying to discredit Swiss Disk or any other data storage supplier – to the contrary – I am trying very hard to find one that is workable. On the iPAD forum, you were more keen to blast my questions as if I was some naive school boy trying to question teacher. I didnt need to discredit Swissdisk (which i presume is your company) there is already enough information about the problem of the company in public areas of the internet.

    My key issue and one that I am desperate to resolve is that since windows have removed the “my briefcase” functionality from OS’s above XP, (i.e. vista and seven) synching documents whilst still possible, has been made that more difficult.

    I have had presentaions from several data storage companies and ALL promise the space and promise the functionality, but bottom line is that that none have been able to deliver on the upload speeds.

    I am more than happy for you to proove my findings wrong.


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Merely a wry observation, Honestlogic, with no malice intended. There seems to be the SwissDisk debate going on two parallel threads and people’s positions are entrenched. It seems to be like Marmite.

    Nothing wrong with a lively entrenched debate going on on two threads. It’s just amusing for someone like myself who has no strong view on the subject.

    Regards

    Simon

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