Are You Using Technology Effectively: Win $50k

If you feel that you are applying technology in an innovative way, enter the 2009 Dell Small Business Excellence Award. The award gives small businesses applying technology in innovative ways to better serve customers a chance at up to $50,000 in Dell solutions and a meeting with Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.
As I’ve often written before, there are about 2 or 3 types of businesses and how they are implementing technology. The laggards who are not implementing hardy any technology solutions. They have computers and they have various versions of Microsoft Often (including the unlicensed versions). Others are at a basic level of technology competence with their average peer. They have computers, many are relatively new and there’s really no problem. They might even have a technology consultant. The large ones business is the more likely they are to have a dedicated IT consultant or in-house IT person.
The final type are those businesses who are harnessing and leverage technology for all its worth They use paper as little as possible and try to use as many digital documents as possible. All employees have remote access to files via a web browser (Egnyte has an awesome solution for this). Their use of CRM, maximization of Microsoft Outlook or some other email program is at the highest level and their web site and social media communications are quite advanced.
Which kind of business are you?
Maybe you have a “boring” business, like selling tractor parts, but you can still use technology to keep in touch with customers and better serve their needs. Maybe you use technology to not just sell them parts but to sell them additional parts, or entire tractors based on their buying history.
If you are not using ___________ as a __________ to _________ your _____________ then you are not using technology as effectively as you should.*
How can you start maximizing technology. Sit down with a local technology consultant and review two things about your technology. Where your basic technology infrastructure is right now and what needs to be improved. Are all your computers up to do, are you running anti-virus software, is your email server optimized, etc, etc. Once you get the basic technology running smoothly consider what technology you need today and for the future to improve productivity, save money, and boost customer service.
*In the first paragraph of this page you’ll find the answers to the blanks.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook