Thursday, October 4, 2012

Create Cool Cursors With Mouse Trail Software


If you have been searching around online looking for a mouse trail software for creating image trailer cursor effects, I have no doubt at all that you may be feeling pretty overwhelmed from the wide range of choices and scope of software options available on the market not to mention the sheer volume of information available on the various products. The figures are enormous especially when you're trying to find the ideal product that best suits your needs for creating cool cursor and mouse trail effects. One particular category of products that receives a lot of attention in this regard is image trailer mouse effects software a popular example of which is the newly released Lotus Zen Trail Pro. This article will attempt to provide some insight into it's effectiveness in helping someone create cool cursor image effects for their web pages.
Lotus Zen Trail Pro is an effective image trail cursor effects software program that produces mouse trail effects for web pages. What is so good about this software is its ease of use. This software has a simple step by step program which only requirement from you is to fill in the relevant blanks with the information you like to make your ideal cursor effect. The software then creates the cursor code for your web pages. That's how simple it is to use.
There is no need for you to write any code yourself. This software will automatically generate the code needed for you websites according to the specifics you want. Once all the data is entered into the software the program then generates the code needed for your web pages so you then have cool cursors. All you need to do is add this code to the head and body portions on your web pages that you want the cursor code to be on. It's that simple. Once the code is on your pages all you need to do is upload the provided cursor or for the creative folks you may prefer to upload one of your own. All the relevant files that you need to upload will be saved by the software program so all you need to do is upload them so they get published on the internet. The software will generate your code in a matter of seconds and the hardest part of the process is actually uploading to the internet. The step by step tutorial will ask you to input your data in to the provided spaces and then you just click the finish button and your code will be completed. All files are rather small and will cause no issues with your website.
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Training Employees Through Technology - Employee Learning and Development


With the Internet easily accessible, and with computers in abundance from offices to libraries and homes, naturally turning to the Internet as a tool for training is a wise choice. Allowing your employees to learn in the comfort of their own home, or by learning at work through Internet training programs allows each employee the freedom to work at his or her own pace. Thus saving you valuable resources for those employees that learn faster and allowing those that learn slower the time to let the information "sink in." Let us look at the variety of training options available through the Internet, and see how the programs offered can benefit your organization.
Online Course(s)
Many learning centres offer courses available online to teach certain skills in a variety of fields. For instance, the University of Phoenix happens to be a school that offers college courses online for credit or simple certifications that can be obtained. By asking your employees to take advantage of becoming certified in certain areas you are adding the protection and prestige to your organization by boasting "certified" technicians. Prices for these courses vary and are often reimbursed to you the employer tenfold with a well-trained employee to show for it.
Online Seminar(s)
Depending on your filed of expertise there are often companies that sublet trainers to train your employees via an online platform. Costs can vary based on your specific needs so keep in mind to inquire about costs prior to enrolling anyone in the seminar. Sometimes taking advantage of these trainers is in your best interest should you have a basic approach to how to train your employees. On the other hand, if your field is not as general or broad as some other fields you may find it hard to find a seminar that fits in with what you are trying to train. If you are attempting to train customer service skills, a seminar of this sort should be easy to come by, have your employees enroll in the seminar and you should be all set. However if you are looking for a seminar on how to change oil in a Volvo you may find this seminar much harder to come by. Although with the Internet being worldwide and the categories and subjects available to you online nothing is impossible.
One on One Training through IM (Instant Messaging)
For the employee(s) that needs just a little extra help, or that added boost to get them where they need to be on a training level, you can always turn to one on one messaging. With the help of instant messaging, you can answer any questions that an employee may find difficult to ask in person, or just forget to ask when at work. Anything that seems unclear or unfamiliar to an employee can be addressed here. Keep in mind you do not have the safety of the work environment behind you so keep personal business to a minimum and focus strictly on helping your employee be all they can be.
Employee Training Software
Also offered online are specialized programs that help employees learn skills and train for advancement. These programs benefit the company as well as the employee and are often set up to where the software is on an interactive platform allowing the employee to "take part" in the training. Software also has an added bonus, by creating the software, or purchasing the software you are able to tailor it to your companies' individual needs and use it repeatedly to help seasoned employees polish up their skills or give new employees the advantage of having training software at their fingertips (literally).
Online Forums or Discussion Boards
Creating a small webpage (or large webpage) and adding a forum where employees can ark questions anonymously may benefit your company as well. Incorporating a facts and questions (FAQ) section may also help, while you're at it include an area where potential customers can ask questions and you have created not only a good training method but also a new advertising avenue. Implementing an open forum, where questions can be asked and answered by employees helps solidify the training process and saves time and money because there is no need to hire additional trainers, your. Offering incentives to employees who to take a on a tutoring or training type role in your dedicated online discussion area may also help boost employee morale and involvement.
Online demonstrations
With programs that make video conferencing readily available it is not hard to hold your own training seminars, lectures, question and answer sessions, or demonstrations for others. Programs such as Skype offer video conferencing where you can see each other in a "face to face" meeting, or conversation and can address questions or concerns. Demonstrations are also an added bonus because showing something to someone while explaining it helps the employee retain more of the lesson provided.
Whatever you goal is when training your future employees keep in mind that to train is to teach, it is important to find a training method that works for you as well as your employees. Always make yourself available for questions and make sure you provide feedback on a regular basis, this give the employee the sense that they are in fact "getting the hang of things" or that certain areas need improvement. Learning is all about retaining information, and drawing on the information one retains to use in daily activities, in essence the best training techniques are hands on experience, as repetition tends to solidify the learning process.
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Computer Technology - How to Improve the Speed of Computer Running


Over a period of time, the computer will run slowly and slowly. At the time, it might result in crashing and a blue screen of death. This can inflect the running of the Windows system badly.
Once I install the new additional programs, they can quickly and quietly influence my Windows system start-up status. The more installed programs which are loading at start-up, the slower my system runs. Thus, uninstall the unwanted programs can speed up my system running.
I install some new software. Unfortunately, the malicious programs store themselves into the software without any notice. They cause damage to my operating system and applications and make my system stop running. Even be blue screen of death and crashes. There are many Anti-Spyware on the internet. It is difficult for me to make a decision for selecting the proper one.
Frequently, the applications are loading slowly at start-up in my computer. And it also takes me a lot of time to wait for my computer starts up. Sometimes, a general application of system process happened. The registry is the main reason, which is the master control center for my operating system and the applications it runs. Once the registry is overloaded or corrupted, it can cause a lot of system errors. To clean up the registry, I use the professional software to help me. This can easily and effectively erase the registry and does not remove the other system data as well.
In order to speed up my computer, the software can take care of the errors in my Windows system. I can control the operation of fixing errors. This can save my time and money.
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Why the Satellite TV for PC Software Might Be Right for You


Are you sick of battling your spouse for the t.v. remote control? Are you missing the big game because of blackouts by your service provider? Do you think the monthly fees by satellite providers are ridiculous? Then you and I seem to have a lot in common. It's because of these concerns that satellite technology via the PC really caught my attention. And upon my purchase, I was overwhelmed with all the entertainment and features at my fingertips. This product is definitely a quality buy.
The balance of power shifts easily in a remote controlled household. A quick pit stop in the bathroom during halftime can have dire consequences. You return only to find that your spouse has decided reruns of American Idol are far more exciting than a playoff football game. Conversely, have you had your American Idol reruns interrupted by the game? Or have to fight your kids to end the all day Dora the Explorer marathon. Sound familiar? It happens to all of us (in most cases far too often). So imagine getting an extra television out of that 24" LCD computer monitor we all can't seem to resist. That's where my journey began. I was tired of fighting with my wife and kids about what we were going to watch on TV, since none of us can seem to agree. Plus I had just bought a brand new LG 24" LCD monitor with a 5000 ms response time, and was just itching to put it to good use. That's when I came across the satellite TV software for your PC.
As soon as I had read about this technology, I was interested. I had to have it. And virtually instantaneously I did. I couldn't believe the amount of features built in. Instant access to over 2800 channels, including premium movie and music channels. Sporting events that either weren't carried by any local stations, or were blacked out by my provider. I live in the Seattle area, and I love the Seahawks, but sometimes there's other games I'd love to watch at the same time as a 'Hawks game. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with 5 different networks all airing the same game. And as much as I love football, I find the rates of the the NFL Network ridiculously overpriced. With this software, I can watch any game I want.
If movies are your thing, then theres plenty being offered here as well. Theres a multitude of premium movie channels for film buffs and occasional viewers alike. Theres everything from classic movies to recently released blockbusters.
Although it may be difficult at times to choose which of the thousands of channels you want to watch, I'd say thats a nice problem to have. The never ending choices of programs from all around the world, the ability to watch virtually any sporting event taking place and the ease of use make this an excellent program all around. I would highly recommend this to everyone. In fact, I already have!
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Where Has All the Free Computer Software Gone?


There was a time when you could find endless supply of free software for your Windows operating system. However; over the years free seems to have become a bad word, because everyone wants a little piece of the action, everyone seems to want to make a buck. Or when you go and download something free it is filled with spyware, advertising and restrictions on what you can do with the program and the free version. It just does not seem like a good idea to download free computer software today.
Although it seems that most free programs are just not worth it, there still are some items that still exist as truly free programs. There are still some free full featured products that you can come across such as system utilities, some great office applications, nice image editors, security tools and quite a few others that cost you nothing not even advertising to get in the way of you using them.
If you are in need of some good free utilities there are several that are worth looking into. Kill Win lets you program you computer to shut down, restart and log off at times and dates you choose. This is great if you want to run a backup for your system.
If you have XP and you want tweaks for the system simply check out the Windows XP Power Toys. This is a set of utilities have a variety of tweaks to choose from. Some of the better ones are Alt Tab Replacement, this helps you toggle between different apps you may have open. Power Calculator is a calculator that performs different math tricks and is a graphing calculator. Image Resizer allows a person to resize one image or several at the same time with a click of your mouse. If you have a webcam, Webcam Timer shot can be programmed to take pictures when you have scheduled them, upload and save the image files. If you do not have a bootable CD for your XP system you can go and get the Windows XP Setup Disks, this is the home edition and allows you to make bootable floppies of you system.
If you just rely upon the recycle bin to delete items and not a shredding program you will know that not all files are completed deleted by the recycle bin this is good in some ways because you can use a program called Restoration that can retrieve files that perhaps you did not mean to delete and this program will restore those files.
If you love to keep in contact with all your family and friends through instant messaging it can sometimes be a problem because of the different instant message programs people use. Trillian however; can be used to send messages to people who use IRC, AIM, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo Messenger.
If you want a better browsing experience then you should consider trying out Mozilla Firefox. This is a great browser that is more elegant and functions far better than Internet Explorer ever dreamed of. It offers a variety of different tools to make the browser uniquely yours.
It is a must that we have programs that programs help protect our computers. If you are looking for something that is excellent and is free you will not find much out there that are worth the download. There are two out there that are as good as any program you have to pay for and those are the free versions of AVG Anti Virus and Avast. Both excellent programs that even stop you from continuing onto a site that they have picked up as being dangerous or contains a virus.
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Buying Business Software - The Secret No One Thinks About When Shopping!


You run a business and it's You are getting busier and busier by the day and it feels like your time is spent constantly resolving issues and concerns.
You have a computer and its working...hard. Your business is so dependent on your computer the power cable is starting to look like an umbilical cord. If your computers crash, your business is down.
If the software you rely on has a hiccup, it feels like an earthquake. So, why is it that when you bought software for that computer, you didn't even think to ask about what kind of support the creators offered?
Every day, people get stuck on the phone for hours with cut-rate technical support, often a price that exceeds that of the software itself. Email requests go unanswered for days on end and you feel that all hope is lost. Want to avoid this situation all-together? Never buy software unless it has a solid, professional support system to back it up.
But isn't all support just long minutes on hold waiting for the "next available operator"? Test it out, find out for yourself. Download a demo and call support with an issue. If they don't help you now, what makes you think they will help you once you are a customer. Try both email and phone a few times and see how friendly, knowledgeable, and quick the support staff is to respond to your needs.
Then, when a crisis comes, as they inevitably do, you will not only know who to contact but you can lower your stress level by quantum leaps knowing that your issue will soon be resolved.
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Mobile Phone Spy Software: Technology Vs Infidelity


What does Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods have in common? They were both unfaithful and they were both caught. The first one was impeached and the second one lost contracts. Both of them got the unfaithfulness stigma attached to them for the rest of their careers, especially Clinton, who will never live down the jokes about his promiscuity.
Unfortunately, they are rather the exception than the rule. They both were caught in their infidelity because they are very public figures who are followed around by a horde of photographers and cameras. Their lives were also investigated to the last detail by an army or reporters and journalists. Most cheaters, however, don't have dozens of photographers and reporters trying to see if they catch him red-handed.
In fact, the average cheater has plenty of opportunities and excuses to cheat. From business trips, to classes, to dinners with clients and lunches with friends, the cheater really has to be overconfident and sloppy to get caught.
Fortunately, technology is now available that makes it easier than ever to catch a cheater. And it comes at a price that is very reasonable, specially compared with the options.
Mobile phone spy software is exactly what it sounds like: a piece of software that allows you to get information about a mobile phone. This information proves without a doubt whether there is infidelity in your marriage or not.
One of the main features of mobile spy software is that it records on an online log all the phone calls that the phone makes or receives. Does your husband quickly end a call when you arrive? Does your girlfriend receive a call every Tuesday at 9:00 PM. Mobile phone spy software lets you know what number they called. And if they assigned a name to that number, you get to see it too. Do you know how often is that number contacted? You can see it in the mobile phone spy software's log, including the time and duration of each call.
Another useful feature of mobile phone spy software is location tracking. You can now log to the seller's website from any computer and see on Google Maps where exactly the phone is in your town or city. In a sense, it turns your spouse's mobile phone into a tracking device. Now you can know if your husband is really at work or if your girlfriend is really at the gym.
And of course, mobile phone spy software costs much less than a private detective, and unlike a private detective, mobile phone spy software can't be bribed.
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Advancement of Wireless Technology in ERP


Advancement of wireless technology in ERP has given it a boost that has made ERP a big solution provider to the companies working in different sectors. Today the effect of ERP on the market is immense due to the use of wireless technology that gives it the reach beyond geographical locations and has made data communication and integration faster and reliable in real time.
With the advent of wi-fi internet connections and offices, web enabled mobile devices and laptops ERP application and its features can be used and accessed from any where. Manufacturing companies working from many locations with their head office, manufacturing units, warehouses and sales offices at different locations ERP application alone would have made a little difference in reducing the pile of problems they faced, but with the use of wireless technology in integrating ERP applications, the data transfer and its availability to all the concerned departments with in the organization and outside organization has solved chunk of their problems. Manufacturing company management is now aware of the stocks in the warehouse, production status of any product, shipping details, deal status and various other set of information, crucial for decision making, at their laptops with out any delays due to far locations.
Compliance of best practices and company policies are much easier today with advancement of technology in ERP. Sales force of any company of any sector gets access to relevant data and status of the customer from any where which helps them in closing the deals faster. Distribution companies whether small or big can have 24x7 working with e-commerce feature only possible with wireless technology in ERP. Maintenance of web store can be automated with out any human intervention to avoid delays and wastage of man power. Self service options provided to customers or possible customers not only improve customer satisfaction but save valuable man hours of the front office which can be utilized for more productive work than simply providing price and warranty details.
Today large organizations have global headquarters working with many headquarters in different countries connected by servers through wireless technology. These organizations rely for their decisions on their ERP which provides them with updated data to give real picture irrespective of the geographical location of the point of data entry. The advancement of wireless technology only has made ERP application capable of providing such facilities to its users.
Like any other technology wireless technology also has some problem areas which are to be taken care of. With the use of wireless technology privacy becomes of utmost significance, whenever the real data is brought under the public domain it becomes literally impossible to maintain privacy from the third party. More security features are desired, to maintain privacy of the companies using ERP with wireless technology. More and more alternates shall be used for data transfer and integration as they may be helpful in the case of emergency when any system crashes down. But there are no two opinions on the fact that advancement of wireless technology has taken ERP applications few steps ahead in providing solutions to their users.
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Technology Project Planning - Too Much of a Good Thing


The law of diminishing marginal returns
I recently had a bit of a debate with a technology consultant friend who knows I am big on content and detail within project planning and the contracts that support a technology deal. We found ourselves talking about that principle of economics called the law of diminishing marginal returns. His point was that for project owners who are in the midst of planning a new project-gathering requirements, fleshing out specifications, polling user preferences, etc.-the law of diminishing marginal returns sets in much earlier than they realize. The resources spent during the initial planning stages produce some hefty returns. But soon after, spending the same amount of resources again, and the next time after that, will produce smaller and smaller chunks of benefit. When you are caught up in a planning process, it is often difficult to identify the point at which your cost-benefit curve has begun to flatten.
What my friend was saying seemed plausible, and because I did not have any evidence to the contrary, I just accepted his theory. Then I thought of a possible consequence of his theory, and I said, "You're not going to go out and start spreading this thought around the technology community, are you?"
Threatened evangelist
My fear was this. Here was I, this evangelist of content and detail, and across the table was a fellow who could undermine the past and future progress of my mission by telling folks they actually need less planning and critical thinking for their technology projects and not more. Project owners' planning and thinking are, after all, what generate the content and detail I crave and have come to respect.
Well, we talked some more, and my friend added some clarification. As it turns out, he was suggesting mainly that project owners not waste time and money planning what cannot be planned effectively at a particular point in time. Made sense. I was still squirming, but now a bit relieved.
Obvious example
You have decided to use a staged or iterative approach for your next project. You will buy some Off-The-Shelf software and customize it a fair amount. Phase 1 might involve extending a discrete element of existing functionality and then wiring up to a live database for some testing.
In this example, there is really no point to thinking through the details of Phases 2 through 5 or estimating costs within those phases, except in either case at a very high level, because: 1) unless Phase 1 is completed smoothly and with an acceptable cost, you will never get to the subsequent phases; and 2) you have not yet tested your assumptions about costing within Phase 1. Indeed, you probably chose an iterative approach for this project because of your inability to plan your project effectively from start to finish.
Less obvious examples
My friend and I talked some more, and we moved beyond the obvious examples, the ones that are easy to accept. My natural reaction was to resist any further extension of his theory because I knew he would be cutting closer and closer to the bone, threatening the very foundation of my evangelist mission. However, sitting before me was a bright person and a clear thinker, with nearly two decades of experience with technology. I had to listen (nervously). "When the student is ready to learn, the teacher will appear."
Requirements gathering - A good thing, no doubt, and something the experts have been encouraging us to do more of over the last ten years. "Insufficient requirements development cited as leading cause of project failure." When it comes to requirements, we have been led to believe that more is not enough. Surely there is a point at which more requirements are not helpful (and may even be detrimental), but the experts have not told us how to determine just when we have turned the corner.
Specifications development - Same story. Develop specifications thoroughly now or risk project failure.
User preferences - Same story. Involve your users in your planning process. Otherwise, "If you build it, they won't come."
We have heard so much preaching on these topics that each of us can rattle off a number of clichés for each topic. The advice has been mostly good, but we are hammered with it by speaker after speaker, in article after article.
As much as I resisted the flow of this discussion with my friend, I have to admit that what he was saying made perfect sense to me. But now I had to find some way to reconcile two divergent concepts: on the one hand, my long-held belief that more project planning and critical thinking should always be one's aspiration, and on the other, my realization that you truly can have too much of a good thing.
Ultimately, I found the reconciliation I needed with just one insight. It occurred to me that, with all of the speakers and literature out there telling us to engage in more best practices for our technology projects and more often, we have become conditioned to believe that more is not enough-in fact, because of the nature of the beast, more can never be enough. We have been doing more and more, and the incremental improvements we have witnessed, together with the new articles we read, encourage us to keep doing more and more. Of course, our intention is good, but when can we stop doing more? When should we stop doing more?
It's all relative
I think it all boils dnwn to relativity-your relative sophistication as a technology buyer, and the relative nature of your particular project. If you started heeding the experts' advice many years ago, your approach to buying technology may be fairly sophisticated by now. You may be doing an appropriate level of planning for your projects, and maybe you occasionally do too much. Other organizations are just now opening their eyes to a better way, perhaps prompted by a recent problematic project.
Second, when enough is enough depends on your particular project. Your goal is to plan effectively and thoroughly for all aspects of your project, but be mindful that your present need or ability to plan certain elements may not yet exist. Further, even if you have the present need and ability to plan a certain aspect of your project, do not overdo it. For example, do not continue to add more and more requirements to your requirements basket as if quantity were your only goal.
On this last point, remind yourself that requirements, specifications, user preferences, and every other item on your project-planning list have at least one thing in common. Once you have thought of them and cemented them into some spreadsheet, they have a way of hanging around for the duration of your planning process, and often through completion of your project. Instead of waiting to whack some of these hangers-on toward the end of a phase or at the end of your project ("backward creep" of scope or deliverables), attempt to prioritize them at an early stage of your project. You will not even open Requirements Container 2 until the high-priority requirements in Container 1 have been exhausted (satisfied or deliberately discarded). A prioritization approach could save you time, dollars and other resources.
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Why Groundbreaking ATM Software is So Important


Technological advances in the finance sector not only allow us to make transactions, pay bills and apply for accounts faster than ever before but they also help us keep our money safe. Technological advances come in all shapes and sizes and often become so integral to everyday life that we can often take them for granted. We investigate some of the most ground-breaking technological advances within the banking sector to happen in recent years.
The first major technological advance within the finanbial sector is the rise and rise of internet banking. Internet banking first stemmed from an invention in the late 80s called videotex where people could send tones down a phone line and administrate their bank account. A system much more similar to the internet banking we know today was introduced in 1983 and was called Homelink. Homelink allowed customers to view their bank accounts via a BBC Micro computer as well as make transfers and pay bills. Online banking as we know it really to shape during the mid 90s and the internet became readily available.
Since security and data protection have become more topical with the rise of internet banking, more advances have involved making the world of finance a more secure place. Using a single password is no longer secure enough for most online banking or e-commerce sites. Recently PINs and TANs have become popular for protecting people's online accounts and details. While a PIN is a selection of numbers used as a password, a TAN is a one-time password that is distributed using a security token and becomes void after that one particular transaction. In recent years, scams such as phising, pharming and Trojan keyloggers have put people's passwords at threat as viruses either log the password as it is being entered or users unwittingly give out their details in false forms or email queries.
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Workers' Compensation and Case Management Software: The Devil Is in the Details


For any law firm that has handled a workers' compensation case, they can testify to the complexity of not only the laws themselves, but the large amounts of data involved. Being able to handle the myriad of details that accompany a workers' comp case can be overwhelming if you don't have a good system in place. And as with most everything today, that means utilizing technology.
The details for this type of case are voluminous. For example, the date and details of the accident, the employer's insurance information, the employee's medical expenses, the statute of limitations, and the employee's wage details to name just a few. The deadlines and documentation necessary to a workers' comp case can be tremendous. Luckily, there is a way to not only get a handle on all these details, but to handle them with proficiency.
Case management software can be employed in your firm to not only track the details of the case itself, but also the documents and email, both sent and received; the deadlines imposed by the courts; the parties involved such as factual and expert witnesses, medical providers, insurance adjusters and opposing counsel; and all the financial details surrounding the case such as demands, settlement offers and costs related to the case. Of course, this information can be tracked with simple programs such as Access and Excel, but is that truly the best way?
In today's competitive legal market, the most successful law firms are the ones that utilize comprehensive, legal-specific software that can be customized to fit not only the requirements of the firm, but also the requirements of their clients and the courts they practice in. Tracking the details and information surrounding the case is one thing; being able to quickly access that information without having to go to several different places can significantly increase your efficiency and subsequently, increase the number of cases you are able to handle at a given time.
Can you quickly and easily find all upcoming deadlines on your cases? Can you quickly and easily find all demands and settlement offers? Can you quickly and easily find the contact information for the opposing counsel? What if you could see all this information aggregated on one screen or in a report? The technology exists to help you better manage your cases so it's up to you to decide if a piecemeal solution is the best solution for you and your clients. The devil is in the details, but they don't have to bedevil you if you choose an integrated case management software solution built specifically for workers' compensation law practices.
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Six Strategies to Save on Computer Software


Are you thinking of obtaining quality computer software at a cheap price? Whether you make money online or just want good applications for your notebook computer, you will be confronted with an endless collection of PC software. Sorting through the selections can oftentimes be a major assignment. On the other hand, if you need to get good, quality applications there are several things that you could do that could save you cash as well as headaches.
With the emergence of online marketing, you have further choices than ever. There is a large number of reliable software companies that advertise software at significant savings. With a small amount of research as well as attention, an individual can get high quality programs that will execute your special task.
In order to avoid wasting both time and cash on notebook software programs, here are six steps you ought to take.
1. To start with, you must see as attentively as possible the precise task you wish your program to achieve. The more particular you are, the better. E. G., do you want an extremely broad word processor to create special letters or maybe a more sophisticated word processing software application to monitor the marketing for your small business?
2. Take a look at the smallest requirements, required to run the application. You would like to be certain it will work on your computer equipment. You should assess the memory size the program uses, what PC operating systems it is going to operate on and the size of hard disk space that is needed. Is there another computer accessory required to apply the software?
3. Speak with friends and contacts who have made use of the particular type of software program you are looking for. Ask your friends where they got the software, the price paid, how long they have used the computer software, what type of agreement was attached to the software, etc. If you have a job, that includes a deadline, as an example, a payroll program, ask your friends how they were able to find replies for their questions and how long the process took.
4. Investigate the Net for critical reviews on the program. View customer platforms or bulletin forums to see what clients are saying in regards to the program. Just to illustrate, if you are considering the QuickBooks accounts program, type in QuickBooks Accounts Software Review to find evaluation information about the computer application.
5. A user must always test the software application before purchasing.Numerous reputable companies will permit you to download their computer software and check it out prior to making a purchase. Use the opportunity to check the application. Type in some data, publish reports, and thoroughly run the system.Test as many alternatives as possible. You are not restricted to go by set operations. Attempt to test on your own. You will know what the program does in the operating background. A person must know what takes place in the event of a mistake.
6. When the software guarantees support, you must consider a question about the system that will not be too obvious and ask support for help. You are significantly better off to experiment with support before you truly need assistance than to wait until you are in a must have help situation. Find out how long it requires to obtain an solution. Check out how understandable the answer is. Ask yourself, "Did this completely solve the issue for me?"
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Interior Design Software


Interior design software is a fascinating piece of technology that is revolutionizing the interior design and construction sales industry. Interior design software allows the salesman in most cases to lay out and convey the customers needs and wants when it comes to interior design renovations, to the contractor or handyman that will physically perform the construction on any given project. Interior design software has developed in the last few years into quite a tool for the average construction salesman. The ease with which interior design can sell itself to a potential customer is unbelievable.
First of all, you can not only dream about the way you want a kitchen to look for instance, a construction salesman or interior designer can sit down with you, find out what kind of counter you want, how many cabinets you want, find out if you want a double bowl under-mounted sink, then they can begin to design the kitchen right before your very eyes, as you sit in your old rundown kitchen watching. Very good interior design software can take this further, much further. You can input measurements from your existing kitchen to get the new design exact in size, every detail replicated right down to scale. Then, as you see and help design the build of your new kitchen, after you pick out appliances and so forth, you get to the next, perhaps best feature in some software. You begin to pick out colors for the new kitchen; you get to pick out countertop design for your new kitchen. Are you sick of enamel countertops that chip away? How about a nice Corean? After youâ've picked all this out, spending a couple of hours designing, building, and choosing the colors for your redesigned room, the customer often gets to the best part of the evening. In some cases you can do a virtual walkthrough.
That's right, you can take a three dimensional walk through your dream kitchen and see what it's like before it gets built so that you can make any changes before it's too late. That's the beauty of interior design software, it allows you to find flaws in your design before one single penny has been spent, or one part of your house has been demolished to make way for your new project. The best thing about the software is the ability for the project coordinator, master carpenter, or contractor to have an actual picture of what it is that the customer wants before he begins designing and purchasing material. There is far less room for human error because there is far less ambiguity between the person that is purchasing the addition or renovation and the person that is building it. In the end interior design software helps the efficiency of any construction project. It cuts down on costs and mistakes; it enhances the experience for the customer, and it makes for less mistakes and miscommunications in the process from beginning to end. That is exactly what good technology is supposed to do, improve on the process.
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Preparing Open Source Software Compliance Guidelines


The purpose of these Open Source Software Compliance Guidelines (Guidelines) is to provide guidance in the development of procedures designed to verify compliance with the license requirements of various open source software applications and code (OSS) used internally or included in products for distribution. Technology lawyers, advisors and consultants need to be aware of issues surrounding open source software in order to properly advise their clients.
The output of these Guidelines should be (1) an Open Source Software Compliance Policy (OSS Policy) that describes the policies and procedures applicable to the company's use of OSS, and (2) an inventory (OSS Inventory) of all OSS approved for use within the company.
The OSS Policy must be designed with the company's culture and specific way of operating in mind in order to be effective. The OSS Policy should also be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
The OSS Inventory is the ultimate output of these Guidelines and the OSS Policy. However, it will also serve as a ready document, in modified form, that can be provided to customers that may request a listing of OSS contained in distributed products and to a potential partner or acquirer which is performing due diligence.
It is important to note that 3rd party proprietary software will often contain OSS components. Therefore, particularly when such software is being included in a distributed product, it is necessary to have the vendor identify all OSS components so that they can be considered along the lines as set forth below.
Designated Gatekeeper:
A person or committee should be designated for approval of all OSS proposed to be used internally or included in products for distribution. In order for this procedure to be effective, notice must be provided to relevant company personnel that the company requires prior approval of all OSS utilized in any manner within the company. Such notice must be conspicuous and repeated at regular intervals. In addition, supervisors must also be instructed to reinforce this requirement. Special attention must be paid to development teams which are accustomed to pulling OSS from various places, and usually operate subject to tight deadlines.
Request for Approval:
1. Requests for approval should be submitted within the amount of time prior to use/implementation as stated in the OSS Policy. The approval process should be initiated with the submission of a document that contains at least the following information:
2. Name/Version Number/Source of Open Source Software
3. Name of Applicable License (e.g., GNU General Public License v.2, zlib, BSD), and Source Address for the License
4. Name of Entity/Person Granting License
5. Source Address from which OSS will be Obtained
6. Description of How OSS will be Used (e.g., internally, as a development tool, embedded in distributed product, etc.)
7. If included in distributed product, description of the manner in which these OSS will interact with the company's proprietary source code (i.e., will the OSS be compiled and/or linked statically or dynamically with the company's proprietary source code?)
8. The manner in which the OSS will be implemented (e.g., modified vs. unmodified, standalone, statically linked, dynamically linked, etc.).
9. Description of whether the OSS will be modified
10. Statement as to whether the OSS is a key product component
11. Statement as to whether the OSS well-known and widely used
12. Target date for OSS use/implementation
Approval Process:
The approval process involves examining risk areas relating to using the particular OSS. Risk areas may include:
1. Does the OSS license require making modified source code publicly available?
2. Does the OSS license require that source code for company's proprietary software be made publicly available? (e.g., will there be static linking of GPL code with company's proprietary software?)
3. Has there been litigation or other issues relating to the subject OSS?
4. Does the OSS license contain ambiguous terms, thereby potentially placing a cloud on company's rights to use the OSS in a certain manner?
5. Will lack of warranties and intellectual property indemnification pose a risk to company vis-à-vis customer expectation and demands?
It is important that the approval process be conducted quickly, and the expected time period for approval should be set forth in the OSS Policy. Otherwise, users and developers are likely to get frustrated and find ways to get around the procedures as deadlines approach.
When new versions of approved OSS are used, an expedited approval process should take place. This allows the OSS Inventory to be kept up to date, and will prevent gaps forming in the inventory that could end up becoming large holes.
The goal of an OSS Policy is to achieve compliance with each OSS license. Depending upon the licenses involved, compliance may include any of the following:
1. Inclusion in appropriate documentation of warranty disclaimers, liability exclusions, author attribution, and proprietary rights notices.
2. Inclusion in appropriate documentation of the applicable OSS end user license agreement.
3. Public delivery or availability of source code for the unmodified version or the modified version.
4. Public delivery or availability of source code for company's proprietary software if linked to a "copyleft" open source software code in a manner that requires this result.
5. Marking of modifications made to the OSS source code.
On a periodic basis, at least annually, an audit should take place to verify that the OSS Inventory is accurate and up to date. The audit process can be as simple as distributing the OSS Inventory to key personnel who will sign off on it, or as complex as installing monitoring software that will identify OSS on the company's computer system. The extent of the audit will depend upon company's needs and the volume of open source OSS in use.
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Steel Detailing Software - Automating Steel Design and Engineering


Steel detailing software has been in the mainstream now for well over a two decades but large swathes of the steel fabrication industry still adopt tried and tested manual methods to deliver projects to their customers.
These traditional practices of course work and it cannot be argued either as you have only to look at the engineering feats of the Victorian era when great engineering projects where planned and delivered with no more than a pencil and paper and the skill and knowledge of the engineer. So what's the difference now and why change?
The biggest principal difference is of course the driving factors of the market place itself, which cannot be ignored. In the first instance there is more competition so in order to remain profitable and win business, tenders have to be a lot more accurate and businesses that are adopting the old rule of thumb "over-estimating" methods often find themselves losing more tenders than they are winning.
Secondly, fabrication companies are finding that they are required to tender more often than before and principal clients are expecting a much faster turnaround of the tender documents. This ultimately will either result in a business using traditional estimation methods missing the tender deadline or delivering inaccurate tenders which can either result in them losing the project, or much worse, actually winning the projects but then having to complete the job at a loss.
One of the benefits that steel detailing software delivers is its ability to aid the tender process by automating the delivery of fast and accurate estimations of project costs and associated material costs. This enables businesses using the software to provide quick and accurate proposals so they invariably find themselves winning a higher percentage of projects than they would otherwise, and at the same time they are aware of the walk away price so rarely take on jobs at a loss.
Another driving change in the market place is time compression and projects ard now expected to be completed in much shorter time frames. Invariable in any project there are changes that are made to the original scheme, some of these are driven by the architects and engineers and others are build related, that is to say the elements of the original plan have to change for some reason, perhaps to accommodate additional services or structures.
Change management can be very challenging for fabricators as often especially on larger projects this involves a large amount of drawing and detail revision but the project deadline remains the same. It is also an area that is prone to errors due to time pressures and this can seriously erode the profitability of the project.
This is where another one of the major benefits of steel detailing software come into play. Steel design and detailing software enables companies to make even radical design changes and updates of design documentation an order of magnitude faster than can be done using traditional methods or even using 2D cad.
In addition because this process is then easily traceable using inbuilt revision and document management functionality, changes can easily be tracked and costs passed back to the customer where appropriate to increase the profitability of the job. This is a far cry from using paper or 2d cad methods where this extra work (and potential profit) is simply absorbed into the project costs as the business simply does not have the time or methodology in place to properly track and document these profit earning changes.
This article only highlights some of the benefits that businesses gain from using specialist steel detailing software and why companies employing this technology are invariably more profitable nowadays than their competitors who are still relying on manual traditional design and detailing methods.
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What You Should Know About Choosing Software Programs


For the various occupations of today, there are software programs for each of them.
Programs, or applications, are the life of your computer. They will provide the information your computer needs to do for you what you need for it to do. From writing a letter to producing an extensive spreadsheet, there are software packages that will make it all easier for you.
From a one bedroom apartment to an entire condominium complex over acres of land on a golf course, architectural software will help the architect create any type of building he wants. The landscape architect has software, too, that can be so detailed that he may never use the whole program. There is a lot of information that can be put onto a CD to tell the computer what to do.
Graphic artists, film makers, and all types of other artists need software applications to create what is in their mind. With these applications they can only be limited by their own imaginations. The artist can draw with the software and create artwork that might not be possible otherwise. A film maker can create special effects, imaginary backgrounds, and wonderful entertaining films for the world to see.
Photographers have many different programs to choose from. They need these to crop and enhance their photos. And there are special effects that can be used, as well, to create a windblown look, or metallic edges. The possibilities are just about endless.
The administrative assistant of today wears a number of hats in her position. He will have to write letters, of course, but these days she needs to know the internet to be able to send the letters as emails. She may be asked to do some bookkeeping, enhance photos, create flyers, crop a picture, create a database or spreadsheet, and set up a meeting that will feature her five star presentations.
If you need to learn to drive or fly an airplane, there are applications for that. Your fax machine, digital camera, and printers all came with software to tell your computer how to use them.
Now we have applications on our cell phones. They are now called apps. And there are new ones being introduced every single day. It is hard to keep up with it all. It seems like only yesterday that we used a mouse for the first time. It was 1995, and Windows was just introduced as the greatest software for your computer. Not much before that, secretaries were typing on typewriters, architects were drawing on drafting tables, accountants were writing their numbers into ledgers with pencils, and photographers were using film. Now the photographer can take a digital picture, put it into his computer and clean it up. If it came out too dark, he can enhance it. In fact, he can almost make a sunny day out of a thunderstorm with the photography enhancements that are available today in software programs. It will not be long before something else is new in the technology world. It will probably be tomorrow.
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Current Trends in Education - Use of Technology


Collaborative learning can be viewed as a joint effort between students or between students and teachers together. Through collaboration, students develop knowledge by sharing ideas, joining forces to search for meaning and solutions to problems. With trends shifting towards collaborative learning resulting in the education model become more versatile, so has the technological tools used to facilitate it. In recent years there has been an exponential growth of what has been termed as "social software" referring to technologies that facilitate group communication. Internet discussion forums, social networking sites such as MySpace all allow people to represent and create social relationships, and can all be seen as social software. Weblogs that facilitate conversation across many weblogs through comments on posts, social bookmarking, and wikis are other forms of social software that have recently seen growing popularity.
The possibility of transforming learning has been greatly enhanced by use of these technologies. With the rise of social media, education can be delivered in many versatile ways. One such media "wikispaces" have received interest from the education sector. In education, wikis has gained a reputation as being one of the most effective tools for collaborative learning. Wikis are online websites which allows content to be created and edited by the users themselves. Perhaps this shift towards collaborative learning holds true to the philosophy that the knowledge of a group is greater than that of the individual.
The dominant rise of wikispace as a tool to facilitate collaborative learning might owe its success to the change in the attitude of developed society where there is a move away from the traditional industries to a more knowledge based society. During the last 20 years or so, there has been significant amount of technological innovation and a rapid shift towards knowledge based economy means it is necessary that members of society have the ability to adapt to these changes. It would appear therefore that knowing how to learn and participate in creating new knowledge are necessary life skills. With a focus on learning life skills i.e. "learning to learn" and knowledge creation in a knowledge economy, it appears that the use of wikis in education is being recognised as being capable of imparting those life skills.
Wikis are one way in which technology can help groups come together to share and create new knowledge and so may be a useful way of learning skills important to participation in a knowledge economy. The practices of participating in wikis, and social software more generally, could potentially provide a structure supporting a community of practice model of learning as individuals come together, and develop a repertoire of shared practices, bringing new experiences to the group and learning from the existing practices of the group.
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Why DAM Software is Crucial to Technology Reliant Businesses


Long gone are the days when individuals and businesses used to store and file important documents and images in lockable cabinets and cupboards.
As the world continues to be bombarded with constant technology advancements, the presence of digitization has quickly taken over. Businesses are now dealing with logos, product images, design templates, PDF files and photographs on a daily basis. Keeping them secure, organized and accessible is fundamental in order to achieve maximum business productivity.
State-of-the-art digital asset management (DAM) systems now play a major role in all industries where businesses rely on digital technology for its day-to-day operations. DAM software is perhaps regarded as the most logical and effective method of managing these assets.
Such software is paramount where a large amount of digital information is being stored and also distributed. It ensures that digital files are categorized, cataloged and archived and not mixed up or completely lost. A user-friendly system is excellent for providing future reference and retrieval of all digital assets. By investing in such software, you can save yourself both time and frustration, enabling you to focus on other important aspects of the business.
DAM software has become more and more popular with businesses as well as photographers. It enables digital files such as product images and corporate information to be distributed online. Files can be accessed with a sophisticated permission feature that allows control of user access to specific categories and assets.
DAM not only saves time, but also money. The return on investment that it provides is unquestionable. According to research, the average person looks for a media file over 80 times per week and fails to locate it 35% of the time. It has been suggested that DAM software can reduce that figure to 5%.
Photographers are big advocates of DAM software. It is designed to help them in every part of the photography process that proceeds from taking the photo. It enables permanent storage in a systematic and effective manner. As you upload your photos to your library, the software reads the metadata and allows keys words and other information to be assigned to them. This convenient system is beneficial to clients who wish to search, view and access your photos.
When configured properly, DAM software can extend a business's workflow, whilst enabling the ability to re-purpose assets for extra profits. Once you've assessed the requirements of your business, current workflow and systems, you'll realize that DAM software is the ideal tool for capturing and managing your digital assets.
Original Image is a New Zealand company dedicated to providing innovative online tools and services for marketing communications, information management, and publishing requirements.
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Enterprise Software is a Booming Business


Technology is irrevocably woven into the fabric of daily business. Most of us would be hard pressed to think of one day in the past month in which we didn't use some form of technology. In fact, most of us couldn't even think of a recent work day in which we didn't use some kind of enterprise software.
As ubiquitous as it is useful, enterprise software is big business. Several of the world's largest software companies specialize in enterprise software, and the Top 10 enterprise software companies generated US $22.5 billion in revenues in 2008, according to the latest Software Top 100 research.
Nevertheless, enterprise software is a young market, born out of the convergence of ERP, CRM and SCM markets. Walldorf, Germany-based SAP initially made ERP popular in corporate business. In 1972, five former IBM employees - Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, Klaus Tschira, and Claus Wellenreuther - launched the company with the goal of developing software that would allow real-time business processing to help businesses link their processes and information. They succeeded beyond their wildest imagination.
SAP's software allowed different departments to communicate with each other, a unique feature for the time, and over the next few years businesses across the globe embraced the concept. When HRM and CRM functions were added, the software became even more useful for large businesses and by the 1990s nearly every large corporation began utilizing ERP software, with SAP as a leading provider.
Today, the German giant continues to lead the market with software revenues of €8,197 million (FY 2009). With services for companies of all sizes across 25 industries, SAP has gained more than 95,000 customers in 120 countries.
In Canada, the firm offers what it calls a "comprehensive range of enterprise software applications and business solutions to empower every aspect of your business." SAP enterprise software offerings include: Business Suite, Customer Relationship Management, ERP, Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Management, Supplier Relationship Management, sustainability solutions and much more.
SAP's nearest worldwide competitor is Oracle which boasted total applications revenues of US $6,105 million and total software revenues of US $18,877 million. With more than 370,000 customers from 145 countries, including 100 of the Fortune 100, Oracle is a force to be reckoned with. Founded in the late 1970s, Oracle rocketed into the enterprise software market in 2004 with its high-profile acquisition of Peoplesoft and JD Edwards for $10.3 billion.
In Canada, the company now offers customer relationship management, supply chain management, and human capital management through applications such as PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
As the software market continues to evolve, both SAP and Oracle have expressed interest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). As smaller companies continue to see strong financial results in this market, larger companies are announcing their intention to shift their activities in that direction.
While the largest enterprise software firms are truly behemoths, several smaller Canadian-based firms are making their mark. In fact, the top two Canadian software companies, as listed by Branham Group Inc., both specialize in enterprise software.
Open Text of Waterloo, ON supports 50 million users in 114 countries and boasts offices in Canada, Asia, Australia, Europe, Brazil, and the US. Founded in 1991, the company is a leader in enterprise content management. Publicly traded on NASDAQ and TSX, the company employs about 3,400 with 2009 revenues of US $785.7 million.
Their flagship product, Open Text ECM Suite, manages all types of enterprise content-including business documents, vital records, Web content, digital assets email, forms, reports and more. It also offers project and community workspaces and business process management tools.
Constellation Software, headquartered in Toronto, provides services to both the public and the private sectors. Founded in 1995, the company has grown through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth and established a strong customer base of 20,000 in over 30 countries.
Made up of six operating groups, - Friedman Corporation, Jonas Software and Constellation Homebuilder Systems in the private sector and Trapeze Group, Harris Computer Systems and Emphasys Software in the public sector - the company has offices in North America, Europe and Australia with more than 2,200 employees and consolidated revenues exceeding US$330 million.
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How Software Technology Has Advantages Over Hardware?


Reliability is the foremost quality of a Soft switch. The sophisticated architecture ensures that any chance of system failure is just next to negligible. Read on to get a handle on Soft switch, the technology behind Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP.
Soft switch is a software that is used to manage IP traffic that contains a blend of audio and video. The technology bridges the traditional PSTN and VoIP by linking PSTN to IP networks. While the conventional switching center technology is hardware-based, it is software-based switching platform.
Soft switch is based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), that ensures error free communication to enable ITSP's to offer PC to Phone, PC to PC, IP Phone to Phone and IP Device to Phone services. VoIP billing software is seamlessly attached with this switch, deploying modular and sophisticated software architecture. The technology is flexible enough to suit new or existing service providers.
Usually, a Soft switch software supports features such as Customization of IVR, Caller ID & Card Number, SIP/IAX2 Friend authentication, Recording of all calls, Free VOIP calls between application users, Simultaneous or single access on same card, Support call at Zero-Cost & Negative cost, Auto creation card option for new Caller ID, Top-up account via IVR menu, Advanced Card and Customer management, Define post-pay/prepay, Reporting statistics and LCR(Least cost routing) & LCD (Least Cost Dialing) management.
Additional features include support for Online shop, Multi-language support, Play balance with multi- currency support, Auto refill existing card with auto refill option, Signup modules, Email activation to verify customer email address, Customize mail templates, ACL (Access control) support for admin users, Export data into XML or CSV, Ticketing System, etc.
A carrier-grade software solution provides call control, translations, routing and element provisioning for network elements ranging from gateways and gatekeepers to H.323 and SIP endpoints. The solution is scalable to control a network of millions of ports. A Soft switch can function standalone or function with other Soft switches for delivering expanded capacity.
Job of this switch is to control connections between the circuit and packet networks. To attain the objective, a single device containing both the switching logic and the switching fabric can be deployed. Modern technology segregates the device into a Call Agent and a Media Gateway. While the Call Agent enables functions such as billing, call routing, signaling, call services and so on, the Media Gateway links different types of digital media streams together to create an end-to-end path for the voice media as well as data. A Call Agent may control different Media Gateways in geographically dispersed areas over a TCP/IP connect system.
Soft switch technology has distinct advantages over the hardware. It has higher scalability, handling just the control part of the server while saving the rest of the switch for other purposes. They are platform independent, capable of serving well in any computer server environment. Easy in installation, they can be extended by beefing up the controlling connection over the IP Management of Soft switch, with easy and a professional with adequate training can handle it.
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Top 8 Things to Look For When Selecting Dispatch Software


Searching for dispatch software can be a challenging project for the most seasoned transportation professionals. Often times a company will be aware of a handful of issues that need immediate solutions, but anticipating the needs of a growing company is a lot like predicting the weather a year in advance. Will it rain? How much? Will you need a sweatshirt or shorts? The answer to all these questions is YES. You need to think of all of that, because it could all happen and you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you think of everything you need without knowing exactly what the future holds.

    Ease of Use. First and foremost, the software must be easy to adopt. Beware of systems that take several days or weeks of training. The longer it takes to learn in the beginning, the longer it will take to train each and every new hire. Plus, most employees will resist change when the training takes too long.

    Current Technology. You don't have to be a techie to spot old technology. Look for features that are current with the times: a web platform or integrations with web tools, document management, communication and collaboration, mobile apps, etc. The absence of these features means the vendor isn't investing in product development.

    Document imaging. No dispatching system is complete without it. Transportation companies are swimming in paperwork, and anything that reduces the paper is a big help.

    A routing engine. Some transportation companies merely need mileage calculations, while others need sophisticated routing technology for lots of delivery routes. Be aware of your specific requirements.

    Communications with drivers. Either built in or bolt-on, the absence of driver communication tools is a red flag for lack of product development.

    Fully integrated features. A good software platform is one that was designed with all features in mind from the beginning. Simply put, data should only be entered one time, and should be accessible by other tools and reporting. Generating invoices and driver settlements after the delivery has been made should not require more data entry.

    Ask for references, and call them. Enough said.

    Don't expect a perfect system. The only perfect dispatch software system is one built custom for you. Custom development is VERY expensive and can take months or years to complete. If you don't have the time or budget for that, be prepared to use software that might not appear to be perfect. However, software is usually developed by industry professionals with best practices built in. Be willing to change your business to adopt better processes if a good dispatch software platform requires things to be done differently. That's probably not by accident.

Masslogics provides web-based trucking software to small and medium sized trucking companies. Using features like Document Imaging, IFTA reporting, and now Mobile Dispatch, the cell phone interface for drivers, Masslogics makes enterprise level trucking software affordable for any trucking company.
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Strategic Fundraising for Startup Technology Companies


Almost every company goes through it, except for the fortunate few. Some people have gone through it multiple times. While never easy, raising money for the second or third time (assuming success the first time!) is a picnic, compared to the first time.
The questions that run through an entrepreneur's mind are nearly endless. Do I even need the money? Is my company fundable, regardless? How much do I need? How much should I try to raise? What's the best time to start raising money? What type of investor should I approach, and what are their expectations? How should I go about approaching them?
I could fill up the rest of a page with salient questions an entrepreneur might have. This might be the most daunting process in the minefield of difficult steps to forming and building a winning high tech company.
So you're a new entrepreneur, with a great idea, a prototype, and a vague notion that you might need to raise some capital. Where do you go from here?
Well, like most things that really matter, there's no easy answer. It depends on what type of company you're trying to build, your own control and risk/reward mentality, as well as the dynamics of your market.
For discussion purposes, I'll focus on an embryonic software company. Most of the discussion will be just as relevant to a later stage business, or an early stage manufacturing business. In a manufacturing business, you'll need to raise more money to fund manufacturing in the ramp-up phase. But the initial fund-raising is very similar.
First of all, let's quickly cover the various categories of capital sources. There are many variations and shades of gray with respect to funding sources, but the following are representative of the basic categories available to new software companies:
1) Self-funding
2) Friends & Family
3) Angel Investors
4) Venture Capital
5) Strategic Partners
Hopefully, these categories are pretty self-explanatory. Next, let's look at what TYPE of company the entrepreneur is trying to build:
A) Lifestyle Company
B) Solid Single
C) Home Run
A Lifestyle company is one in which you are often intermixing your personal life with your company life. There may be family members involved in the business, your write-offs and accounting are more aggressively aimed at reducing taxes than showing profits, and you aren't interested in or planning to sell the company anytime soon. Solid Singles and Home Runs are similar to each other; the major difference is market size/opportunity.
Lastly, let's talk about what outside investors look for in a fundable venture:
I) Management
II) Market size/opportunity
III) Defensible differential advantage
The three items listed above are all crucial, but they aren't equal in importance. Professional investors look for strong management teams, but if there are holes in the current team, it isn't necessarily fatal for many investors. They're happy to help you fill out the team. Many, in fact, prefer it this way. But having a large market opportunity and strong differential advantage are non-negotiable in the eyes of investors. They are looking for big returns. It's a long-held view among institutional investors that their own management time is the limiting factor in their own business. As a result, they don't feel they can afford to invest in "solid little businesses". If you don't stack up as having big potential in both of these key areas, almost every professional investor will take a pass.
Another important consideration that many entrepreneurs fail to consider is how well potential investors fit with the company's management. Management teams are often so focused on "getting the money" that they fail to consider that you "have to live with them", as well. It's a bit like getting married. You may be thrilled to attract the most prestigious investor (like the best looking potential spouse), but end up with business philosophy and personal conflicts that severely retard the company's development. This isn't a used car transaction, where the sale is made and the parties walk away. You and your investors are now intertwined, but may or may not have the same interests.
So ask yourself: Is this a good match?
Are you seeking a "hands off" investor, or someone that will get involved with the details--providing business guidance and contacts--for better or for worse? Many VCs, for example, have successful business backgrounds and networks that can make them invaluable as advisors. There's another group, however, that don't have the background or skills to run a company. Yet their arrogance leads them to believe they are eminently qualified to drive even the most strategic of decisions. Are they going to be so involved that it will take up much of your scarce management time that is needed to build the business? On the other hand, are the investors so busy that you won't be able to get their attention when you need them? Which type do you want on YOUR board?
It's true that the money that you raise is a commodity--but the people relationships that come along with it can make or break your company. Early stage fundraising, taken as a whole, is NOT a commodity function.
Now let's look at the simplest case study. An entrepreneur has conceived a software business using his knowledge of a particular, very specific, vertical market. It's a market he knows well, and there's almost no direct competition. Unfortunately, the market, while attractive to him, is not large by software category standards. Yet the market is plenty big enough to support a very profitable company, particularly since there is almost no competition. He's proven to himself that he has a solution that the market will embrace, allowing the building of a business. Yet he thinks he needs a little additional capital, to ramp it to the point of the business being self-supporting using it's own cash flow. What should he do?
This is the classic example of a lifestyle company in the making. Sophisticated outside investors will have no interest, unless it's for personal/hobby reasons. And since there is little competition, and as a result, little time pressure--fund it yourself. Take out a second mortgage, use lines of credit, or get an SBA loan. If you really have to, raise some money from supportive friends or family members.
This example makes up the great majority of software companies worldwide. There are many, many solidly profitable software businesses that will never be on the radar screen of the investor community. These companies often exist quite nicely, enjoying solid and relatively stable profitability with revenues in the $1-10M range. That's fine--the problem lies when the entrepreneur doesn't know what he has, or won't accept it. He thinks his baby needs to grow up to be a fast-growing player. But it's generally the case that the market is too small. There is little need to be distracted by trying to raise funds from outside investors--and it's fruitless to try. It will only be a waste of time for the company and investors. And if by some chance it IS funded, there will end up being a lot of turmoil and hard feeling when the company doesn't meet the lofty expectations that were needed to sell the funding deal. I've seen many great little companies screwed up in the attempt to become something they're not.
Now we'll examine the next step up--the solid single. This opportunity often presents as a bigger vertical than the life style company is attacking, or possibly a horizontal, yet still niche, product. These are often the situations where the most difficult strategic decisions reside. And in fact, the great majority of software companies who seek outside funding probably fall into this category. The market size is just on the edge of what the professional investors will consider. And while there is a differential advantage, it's not at the level that you'll be able to "knock their socks off" in your slide-show pitch. There's worrisome competition, but it's not over-crowded, with 75 venture-funded companies. What's a management team to do?
This is a tough call. Every situation is a little different, but my general advice is to work your way up the 5-part funding tree discussed earlier. Fund it yourself as long as it's not crippling your progress. Then do a round starting with Friends and Family, as well as Angel Investors that are easily approachable via your immediate network. Once you go through this funding, hopefully you've built a rapidly improving business with good growth prospects.
It is at this point you may be able to attract money from a VC or private equity firm that has a later stage, more conservative risk/reward profile than the typical early stage VC. Professional investors might see in your company one that may not be a 10X return, but one that may be a 2-5X return in a shorter timeframe, with less risk. And this later funding may work to your benefit, because the opportunity in front of the company may be such that you need to manage dilution of your stake carefully, to ensure that at the end of the day, it's been worth your while. A strategic partner may be even a better fit here. Often a company in this situation may be able to attract funding because their product is important to the prospects of a larger partner company, filling out a total solution or providing a key technology the larger company can't quickly or easily replicate. In this situation, the company may even get a richer valuation that the "Home Run" scenario which we'll look at next.
Lastly, there's the classic Venture-funded company, the one with "Home Run" potential. These are the companies that VCs are out seeking to fund. These are the hot young companies that you often read about in the newspaper or trade journals. A high profile engineer, or someone else well known has started the company, with some cache in their field. The technology of the company appears to have breakthrough potential. The market is new, expected to grow to be very large, and is very newsworthy. But the competition is expected to be very intense, both from established players and a spate of new startups. This is obviously a very different situation than the two discussed above.
In this situation, you've got to go get the money. Time is of the essence. Getting established in the market early is crucial, and economies of scale usually become important as well. So a company in this situation typically needs to raise as much money as possible, as early as possible. All the steps are compressed here; and the time between funding rounds may be only a few months in extreme circumstances. It's best, if possible, to skip the more casual funding sources and go very quickly to where you can raise large amounts of money very early--the VCs, and possibly strategic partners. Care needs to be taken on how you approach VCs, however. Unless you know them personally, never approach them directly. It's one of the peculiarities of the VC community, and considered perverse by most people outside the VC community. The VC community has their reasons, although their rationale is certainly arguable. But no matter--it's one of the rules of the game. Always approach them through a service provider (Accounting firm, Law firm, etc.), or another entrepreneur who has been successfully funded by the VC firm in the past.
Until you can get a commitment from institutional investors, however, take money from wherever you can get it, within reason. Self-fund, friends and family money and Angels may all come into play if there is a delay in getting the institutional money to buy in. Don't worry very much about dilution in this case. The choice is often one of potentially ending up with a small, valuable percentage of a company with a large market cap, versus a large percentage of a failure. As you can see, the advice in this scenario is almost the complete opposite of what I've recommended in the two previous examples.
But it's all fund-raising, right? Why such different advice?
The advice varies because fund-raising is one of the most strategic activities facing an early stage high tech company. Many entrepreneurs view raising capital as a generic operational activity, like choosing a bank or leasing office space. It's viewed as just a necessary evil, because every business needs money to survive and prosper. This discussion was intended to demonstrate that raising money should be viewed as one of your most important strategic functions--a decision that is taken with an eye for its effect on your competitive position, no differently than choosing the best technology platform to adopt, or what marketing mix to use to outflank your key competitor.
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New Phones, New Tablets and Your Technology - What Do You Want to Do?


In the last few years there has been an increase in the variety of functions and features on phone technology and tablets. The question is what will you use if for, there are so many uses now whether, finding places with maps, using software for products online, gaming technology, business technology, organizational tools, calculators, apps, advertising, Facebook, twitter, Wayn, Groupon, and other new software. So in this article we will break down some of these technologies to determine what the best use is for you the user. Some of the important questions to ask are:
1. What function or purpose does it serve? In this case is the new technology actually going to be helpful to you and save you time, make it more convenient for multi-tasking or is it really just too distracting. We are all so busy with our lives that some times we use technology before thinking about it.
2. Who am I connecting with and why? Technology is a great way to connect with others when you can't physically be there, whether it is family, business, friends, or other social networks. Travel can be expensive and this sometimes helps but nothing can really replace being there in person. However with video, pictures, software and a variety of tools it is almost like being there.
3. How much time do I spend on? This is a good question to ask, what if you categorized how much time you spend on each sector of technology, say web search, social sites, information sites, software tools and see how much percentage of time you did on each. Like we schedule our life what is we actually scheduled our own technology, maybe we could learn what is working with our time sufficient and what we could learn more of to make technology work more efficiently for each of us.
There are so many different websites, countries, industries, subjects and perspectives that it sometimes can be overwhelming. Everyone has different interests but be sure to try and understand and develop some knowledge for yourself. There are a wide variety of experts in all areas of technology and taking some time to learn about different subjects, industries and their leaders and innovators may lead you to finding a way to do something differently that you never thought have before, everyone has a different perspective. Ending on that note it is important to keep perspective and see how that information may or may not assist you in your quest.
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The Top Four Remote PC Access Software


If you are working in an office, staying connected to your computer to access files, monitor your team and even chat with colleagues is a very important task that you need to accomplish. The question these days is that do you really need to be in office to do these things? With the recent development in internet technology nowadays, the answer would be "obviously not".
There is computer software that would enable you to perform your obligations even outside your office. You can even do that outside the country. The software is called remote PC access software. This feature allows you to access computers that are connected to the internet. Of course, you can only access computers that are connected to your network. The good thing about this wonderful technological innovation is that it saves you time and money just to see the progress of work done by your team.
There are four major remote PC access software products that you can choose should you want to have it installed in your network. These products can ensure that you have maximum comfort and reliability while using it.
• Symantec pcAnywhere. pcAnywhere is a PC access software from Symantec that has been a perennial leading remote access software. The product has first-time connection wizards, bandwidth auto detection, and other advanced features. pcAnywhere uses a client-server model meaning that remote access software should be installed on any computers either making or receiving remote connections.
• LogMeIn Free and Pro. LogMeIn Free supports desktop remote control that works across firewalls. Clients can choose to upgrade to the Pro version in order to get remote file transfer and printing features. In addition to several commercial offerings, offers a free remote access system for personal use.
• RealVNC. RealVNC is a free remote PC access software program made to work on both Windows and Java platforms. Long ago, the VNC technology began as a corporate research project. Today, RealVNC came out as a solid mainstream software product.
• GoToMyPC. This is a Web-based remote access software. Unlike other products available on the internet, GoToMyPC requires setup only of those computers that needs to receive incoming remote access requests. After registering those computers, the remote connections are opened through internet.
GoToMyPC is attempting to be more firewall-friendly compared to other products by using internet protocols.
Today, many users believe they must be at their office to use effectively access their files from the home computer or internet cafe computer. In order to produce a more productive use of time, the remote PC access software gives the employee a chance to do his job outside the office at any given time. The employee does not need to return to the office just to perform their task. They can be freed up for other functions such as client meetings, product reviews, etc. They can perform these tasks anytime as long as the computer is connected through the internet. Working would now become easier with the help of remote PC access software.
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Beading and Technology - Make Use of Beading Software


Almost every facet of work being done in our times is technology driven particularly when it comes to design and production. Technology is shaping the way we do our work and it has made our lives easier. Since net, and PC programs are within everybody's reach, it essentially keep us informed, updated, and connected. The sharing of information became so well-liked today. Thanks to the web, we can learn new things each day. Through the Net, we can download computer software/programs. These are applications that could help us perform tasks, making us more effective and productive in what we do, be it a proper job, business, or a past-time.
If you love beading as a past-time or you actually are a major beading hobbyist and feel that you simply do not have much time coming up with your own beading collection, try scouring the Internet for a beading software that let's you to download a free evaluation copy. There are around 480,000 search results just for the phrase, 'beading software' if you search in Google.
Beading software can in a matter of a few seconds turn your family photo or heirloom image of your grandparents into a completed bead pattern. For people who are only starting in beading crafts, available beading programs will teach you to form beading design patterns. You'll save time and much effort if you employ beading software because you're able to see the way the finished design pattern will look like. Software programs for beading crafts can also give you tons of ideas as to what sort of beads to use, colors, and so on.
If you're running a home based jewelry business and you are looking to find how to save time and money in the process of your jewelry making, then you actually need to think about a Beading or Pro jewelry Software to help you organize your beading. Employing a Beading Software Program will help you track your inventories, figure out the price of each finished pieces for retail, wholesale, or personal sale prices and it assists in managing your buyer records, track your suppliers, and less forms will be achieved.
One simple way to get back on track, spending more time doing what you adore while growing your jewelry business instead of spending hours over paper work and inventory control is by making use of a Beading Software Program.
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Engineering Technology - Better, Faster, Cheaper


I work in an industry that has seen huge changes in the past 25 years. The technology in engineering has grown and changed so much that we are executing project with half (sometimes less) the manpower we needed before. I work mainly in the oil and gas industry but I know that in other areas it is possibly even more dramatic. I have been in engineering industry for 25 years and when I started computers were in a main computer room and there were only a few and only few people who could run them. They slowly started moving on to the desktop about five years later. I was hired mainly because I had taken CAD courses to upgrade my skills during an economic downturn. I ended up developing and teaching courses in AutoCAD for the company. From those simple beginnings we have come a long way.
Let me give an example of that change. The company I work for had a project for a client 30 years ago and we managed to get the second phase of the project 12 years later while I was with the company. The technology of the process had not changed much so the plant was almost a twin of the first phase. The first phase was executed on the drafting board the second phase was done using brand new 3D design technology called Calma developed by GE (this software is gone now). During the execution of the engineering many of the engineers and design supervisors commented that they only had half the people for phase two compared to phase one. Another comparison on this project was in the construction. 30 years ago it was not uncommon in our industry to have 15% rework in the field due to clashes between piping, structural and electrical. With the new 3D technology we were able use clash reporting to fix most of these clashes on the computer before construction. The rework in field came down to 3% on this project and much of this was due to pipes that were field routed and were not in the model.
Leap forward now to 2005. Another example is from an article I read in Design News magazine it was about the development of Lance Armstrong's time trial bike. Trek's Advanced Concept Group was given only 28 days to redesign the bike to make it faster. A group of 14 engineers and designers went work using desktop workstations and eight different software programs. Even 2 years ago a redesign of this nature would have taken them 4 months. They did everything in 3D using Solidworks 3D CAD. This allowed them to do virtual tests on everything form the wind tunnel to reduce drag, to stress analysis to ensure the bike was safe. Using software called thinkid from think3 they were actually able to deform the solid shapes and the software was able to redo to geometric calculations to accommodate the shape change and still maintain the integrity of the design. With this technology they were able to go straight into production knowing what they had designed worked because the model simulations proved it. They ended up with a bike that was 2% lighter, 10% faster, and 15% stiffer then the model they produced in 2004. Lance Armstrong proved it was better by winning the time trials and ultimately winning the Tour de France for a record 7th time. I doubt that a bike of this nature could have been produced in under a year 30 years ago using the same amount of people.
One of the main reasons for these advances in that the amount of RAM and speed of processing has increased exponentially. These new programs require huge amounts of memory and processing power due to their graphic and interactive capabilities. The new systems of today deliver that power (my workstation is now over 3 years old). 15 years ago I would load one design area of a processing plant. One design area might have represented 10% to 15% of the whole plant. Once I called up the design area it was time to go get coffee because it could take about 10 to 15 minutes to load, and you would pray it didn't crash. Today I am able to load an entire process plant in solid model image in about one minute using Intergraph's Smart Plant Review technology. The ability this gives me as a supervisor to check designs and make comments is invaluable, this technology increases our quality.
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Software's Bottom Line


Streamlining expenses and refining services dominate current technology trends.
For the past few years, senior living software has been steadily increasing in functionality and spreading into all areas of operations.But economic conditions have forced a shift in focus from software bells and whistles to the much-needed basics-how operators can use software platforms to perform specific functions and streamline expenses while maintaining the highest levels of quality care to residents.
And while there is still value in software integration-using one all-encompassing operational system that addresses a range of tasks-leading software suppliers are heeding provider feedback and offering solutions that tackle individual challenges.
Niche Needs
Software suppliers that are leaders in specific niches and those that have separate modules within their comprehensive packages have an advantage right now, says Tom Patten, president and CEO of PALs Software, based in Duluth, Minnesota.
Most of the calls Patten fields now are from current and prospective customers who need help with basic regulatory or service delivery challenges. Examples include maintaining error-free medication management services, providing compliance alerts for nurses, or documenting services more efficiently. Smart operators know that "profitability and regulatory compliance go hand in hand," Patten adds.
Of course, this trend doesn't mean providers are no longer interested in purchasing comprehensive software packages; however, those investments are more likely to occur in a better economy. As a result, the more efficiently a supplier serves providers now may influence future business, when those companies are ready to upgrade, Patten says. Providers should look to software companies with product packages that require less upfront investment, such as monthly subscription charges versus buying the software package outright. Internet hosting prices have also gone down, which can contribute to software-related cost savings.
Overall, providers have been steadily refining their current software needs, says Robert Mann, co-owner of Wichita, Kansas-based INTRAcare. This is working to streamline expenses and maintain quality care services; however, many providers know a down economy is not the time to slash marketing. It's important to invest in marketing, particularly in tight economic times when some competitors may not be as visible in the market. Lately, Mann says, sales and marketing modules have been the most popular among operators.
"They come to us with high hopes of putting in a fully integrated operational management package, but their biggest needs are solutions to help them fill their buildings," Mann says. "We can offer that individually and then they can step up later" with other functions. Software suppliers must be flexible, he adds, especially now. And providers should demand that kind of service.
Essential Benchmarking Tools
Much has been made of how software can help providers identify their lowest performing communities for improvement. In this rough economy, though, such benchmarking functions also help identify an ailing property or group of properties. Equipped with comprehensive data, a company could decide to sell those properties instead of investing in a strategy that would prevent foreclosure or receivership, Mann says. In those situations, software portability becomes an additional plus. A company can ask the software supplier if that residence can be packaged into a freestanding customer account so its operational data can be easily transferred in a sale.
Other areas software can help tackle, particularly in tight economic times, include distinguishing your company among its closest market competitors and increasing resident retention and move-ins, says Elizabeth Wheatley, corporate director of clinical services for Newton, Massachusetts-based Five Star Senior Living, which relies on A.L. Wizard software to support operations at more than 200 communities.
Wheatley says meeting these goals starts with the time employees save by using the software to efficiently conduct, track, and analyze resident assessments. The data collected and entered for each resident generates a customized service plan which ensures not only that the resident receives the care he or she needs, but also helps manage staff so that care is provided efficiently. The program also tracks and trends resident improvements and declines in various areas, providing valuable data that can be shared with residents and families.
"We've gotten a lot of positive feedback from nurses who are resident service managers," Wheatley says. "They say it's made their life easier and they like the ability to customize service plans. The executive directors are also happy. It generates automatic reports and they know what their staffing needs will be."
While clinical care software has been able to perform these functions for some time, lately more providers are seeing them as a way to weather the downturn, says Jim Wills, CEO and president of A.L. Wizard, based in San Diego. The software developer began targeting the resident assessment space about a decade ago, while many others have since built out their packages from marketing or accounting niches.
Pivotal Partnerships
Another major trend is not in software capabilities or turnkey solutions, but rather in how suppliers interface with providers. "There's no more developing programs and handing them off to customers; there has to be a partnership," says Rita Burgett, president of Move-N Software, based in Bedford, Texas.
Especially in tough times, it's critical that the software supplier is going to be there to ensure providers' needs are really met, she adds. Important questions to ask prior to investing in any kind of software package include:
o What is the software company's process for product development?
o Does it use focus groups and talk to customers about their needs and how to make software user-friendly?
o What is the process the company uses to make product changes and upgrades?
o How long has the company retained the same programmers?
o Is tech support handled in house?
The leading senior living software suppliers all bring their customers on board as they hone their products. For example, Move-N sends screen-shot tests to caregivers and asks for feedback. Burgett says this allows the company to make strategic changes. "We develop as the market changes," she explains. "Our only plan for development is when a customer tells us they need something."
INTRAcare also uses customer feedback as a main source during its product development stage, a strategy that has benefited Wichita, Kansas-based Legend Senior Living. Based on the provider's input, INTRAcare was able to provide an operations management software solution that could interface with the provider's payroll/accounts payable program, says Matthew Thornton, vice president of operations.
Five Star Senior Living considered developing a homegrown solution for its resident care needs, but opted for A.L. Wizard because it was more cost-effective and its products were built using provider input, Wheatley says. She also liked that Five Star was able to run pilot tests before making a purchase.
New Devices, Capabilities
PDAs, iPhones, and other handhelds have become an integral part of corporate and mainstream culture. The most exciting development for Burgett is that she can access not just the Internet but the contents of her entire computer, including all files and applications, through technology from her cell phone provider. Indeed, recently she recalls checking her accounting program on her cell phone at the beach.
"Whereas before we had to develop programs and include the technology that goes with them, now we're finding that we have to be compatible with the technology that is out there," Burgett says. "It totally changes the way that we have to do our strategic planning for the future."
Handhelds can make service delivery more efficient, not just for executives and managers to check data in real time wherever they are, but also for caregivers who could pull up service plan task lists and check off each task as it is completed right in a resident's room, Burgett suggests. She predicts that advanced applications, including mobile technology, might even become a must for attracting top young talent. Plus, families already are demanding online access to up-to-date information on loved ones, although HIPAA restrictions and security concerns may slow some of those capacities.
"It's something that's coming; it has to," she predicts.
It may be coming, but it may not be quickly, some software suppliers say. One reason is a question of whether staff, who may even be learning English as a second language, will be intimidated by handheld devices, Wills says. Another question is whether handhelds make the care experience more clinical, and that debate extends to marketing, says Mann.
INTRAcare offers tools to integrate with Microsoft Outlook, making it easy for sales staff to access lead-based info on PDAs. Still, Mann wonders, will too much dependence on handheld devices in the presence of seniors and their families impersonalize the sales process? And overall, he asks, is this technology practical with respect to how senior living operates?
"I think when an operator has mastered the basics of tracking all leads and follow up, performing move-ins real time, doing assessments on regular intervals, and capturing all potential revenue, then these types of tools can make a difference in further streamlining their operations," Mann says.
However, this year, economic strains and uncertainty again clearly are at the top of the list for providers. Purchasing handheld devices for multiple staff is expensive, and because of their size and portability, they are easily damaged or lost, Thornton says.
Kiosk Care
A more likely alternative for onsite service- delivery documentation is kiosk-like terminals outside rooms where caregivers can document delivered services in almost real time, Thornton prognosticates. These would be more affordable and also better meet legal standards for documentation, he says.
Ultimately, what Thornton finds most exciting is not handheld technology but the possibility of integrated-and portable- document imaging and data storage. "If we can input accounts payable documents and save images, that would be an enormous savings for a company this size," he says.
Medication records that have one point of entry that flows seamlessly from the doctor's prescription to the pharmacy to the caregiver who administers the dose is Wheatley's "next dream."
That goal may not be so far away if the current administration continues to spearhead a national electronic medical records system, Wills says. "There's no reason why we, at an assisted living care management level, can't integrate better with products that have health records capabilities," he says. "We just need to build a platform that will make it easier to integrate with products like that."
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