Find Out How You Can Grow Your Business By Using Social Media

Should you be a business owner, no matter the size of the company, you are aware that it is more vital to be able to concentrate on your subscriber base than simply attracting brand-new customers. Though attracting brand new shoppers can be a strategy to help your own organization increase, you are going to want to keep those customers returning for a lot more. This process allows you to keep the expansion you have experienced and could also help your current company expand even more as individuals are pleased to discuss all of the businesses they enjoy.

One of the ways you’ll be able to obtain completely new shoppers as well as make an effort to keep the focus of all of the clients you currently have is via using social media web pages. These types of internet websites can be refreshed on a regular basis and buyers are generally in a position to follow you on them to stay up to date with your business. Business men such as Issa asad florida can easily explain to you exactly how to utilize all of the social media accounts to help you by simply keeping the eye of current consumers plus grabbing the attention of completely new clients. This is achieved by using a selection of tactics for example producing beneficial written content that engages your readers.

If you want to learn just how to utilize social media web sites efficiently together with your company, you are going to need to go through training books by experts just like issa asad florida. These kinds of books go indepth on just how you can work with the social media sites to your advantage. Publications such as Instant profits with instagram can provide you with awareness regarding one particular social media web site plus just how it may help you. You will learn the tricks the pros fully understand so that it is possible to begin using all of them immediately and watch your volume of admirers rise.

Before you start looking at the publications, you really should find out about the author. This particular creator is actually highly trained in social media accounts and just how they can help businesses. To be able to find out more on him, you really should go to the Issa Asad linkedin page found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/issaasad2 right now. After that, you can check out a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=tas6Ahp3sG0 that will let you know a little more about one of his guides so you are able to decide if you want to test it out for.

If you are ready to acquire brand-new customers plus really want the right way to keep the shoppers coming to your small business, make an effort now to discover more about social media web pages as well as precisely how they are able to help you. That is a growing solution to market the company and it really is an element that can be kept up with frequently for you to make certain your clients know much more in regards to you and exactly what you’re offering them all. Browse publications with regards to the social media web sites you are considering so you can learn all the tips and tricks. Then, you’ll be able to apply them to your current portfolio plus watch your company thrive.

How To Select An Inexpensive 3 Dimensional Printer

Three-dimensional printing is certainly a brand new science. However, by simply figuring out how to utilize it today, you will be in a far greater place to work with it once the technique advances and gets much more useful applications. Undoubtedly the easiest method to get hands-on experience utilizing one of these printers is to obtain your very own. You may even be surprised to discover that they are much more reasonably priced compared to what they happened to be just several months ago. You can acquire a good home 3d printer for a couple hundred bucks. Despite the fact that your printer may handle plastic-type material, you’ll have the opportunity to generate quick in addition to intricate jobs. More complicated masterpieces may require that you modify the options on the device in addition to join pieces of your object to make a completed project yet in case you are in a position to commit the time to discover ways to make use of your 3d printer, the number of choices are virtually endless. Prior to buying cheap 3D Printers, you will need to read the requirements along with reviews created by other clients. Do not be surprised when you may not be able to find many testimonials considering that only a few folks have these sorts of machines inside their households nevertheless. It may be quicker to find information on websites focusing on innovative engineering. Look for information regarding convenience, the materials the 3d printer makes use of in addition to the amount of space it can take in your house. At this stage, it can be preferable to not spend lots of money in the 3D printing device simply because as the technology advances and a lot more of such products are out there, the purchase price will go down. You actually just require the Best 3d Printer available in your price range. You could always improve it later. As soon as you find a 3D Printer for sale that you would like, browse the instruction manual before you make your investment to ensure the directions are really easy to follow. You need to have the capacity to create basic things without much of a learning curve. Although intricate masterpieces might require far more work, the printer you decide on ought to have the ability to print whatever you style.

Technologies Used For a Two Way Radio

A two way radio employs various technologies to send and receive data. These technologies have been se developed that they make the use of this type of a radio very easy. Also with every technology, different types of features are incorporated within the radio so that it meets the needs of the customers.

The first two way radios employed a conventional technology in which operated on fixed channels. The use of conventional technology allows the use of only a single channel at a time even if the radio can operate on multiple channels. When radios are made using this technology, they are provided a scan feature so that the user can scan for and find the particular channel that one wants to listen to or use for the transmission of data. The provision of this feature prevents the user from using the channel selector that takes a lot of time to locate a particular channel.

Another technology used for two way radios is the trunked technology. In this technology, the radio picks up a frequency by itself. In this type of technology, the radio channels work according to a protocol to ensure that the assignment of channels takes place automatically. In this type of a radio system, a control channel is used by the protocol so as to control the allocation of frequencies to the radio.

Simplex technology is yet another technology that is used for two way radios. In this a single channel is used by the radios to send and receive data. Radios with this technology are the most common ones used for the purpose of communication. These types of radios are the most reliable ones for short distance transmission of data. The duplex technology when used for two way radios makes available two different channels, one for sending data and the other for receiving data. The use of two separate channels ensures that the data or signals do not interfere with each other. The duplex technology can be used in two ways in a two way radio. The first is the half duplex technology in which a radio can either send or receive signals at any given time. The second one is the full duplex technology in which the radios can send and receive signals simultaneously. This technology results in faster transmission of data.

Push to talk technology has also been used in these types of radios recently. In these radios, a button has to be pushed to start the transmission of data. These are popularly used in different types of vehicles.

Analog and digital technologies can also be used for these radios. When the analog technology is used, these radios transfer analog signals that have varying frequencies. When the digital technology is used for these radios, they transmit and receive digital data which has only two forms, namely on and off. This means that the frequency of digital signals is fixed. The 2 way radios that transmit analog signals are more popular because most communication takes place in the analog format. However, there is much more clarity in the transmission when the digital technology is used.

Rule Real Estate Technology Or It Will Rule You

Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed with all of the technology stuff that is out there
to help you grow your real estate business?

Websites, GPS, PDAs, laptops, desktops, bluetooth, automated 800 numbers,
contact management software… The list is endless.

Ever feel like technology actually keeps you from getting things done?

In my travels helping real estate professionals use technology to make more money,
I have found that there are basically two types of people: those who rule technology
and those who are ruled by technology.

The difference doesn’t have so much to do with what a person knows about
gadgets, gizmos, websites and the like. That is a difference of knowledge, and
knowledge is something everyone has access to. The important distinction here is
intention – the deliberate decision that you must make about how technology fits
into your business.

Just like a business has no value without a customer, technology is worthless until it
is used for a specific purpose – to reach some goal.

Using technology for a specific, well thought out purpose will help get you to your
goal more quickly and with less effort.

Now I know (as I am sure you do) real estate pros who have built multimillion dollar
businesses without even turning on a computer, but I am not writing for them.

Using technology to boost your real estate business is smart business. So here are
some guidelines to help you make sure that YOU are the one that is stays in control.

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#1 Set your goals FIRST. Then use the tools you need to reach those goals and
forget the rest. Who cares what everyone else is doing?

====================

Take for example the cell phone. Everyone needs one right? No. Do you want to be
accessible to your clients at a moment’s notice?

Maybe, maybe not. There are plenty of successful real estate professionals on both
sides of that argument.

Set your business goals FIRST, before you let your mind go onto finding the tools
(technology) you will need to reach those goals.

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#2 Don’t jump in the deep end

====================

If you’ve never turned on a computer or have little interest in them for your
business, then don’t run out and buy the latest one with every bell and whistle
under the sun.

The goal isn’t to be tech savvy. The goal is to be productive and make more money
in less time.

Start slow and take small steps. And make sure that your productivity is increasing
with each technology “step” you take.

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#3 Learn… and keep learning

====================

Do you read books about real estate? About business? About marketing? Throw
one in every now and then about technology. Or better yet, dedicate some time
each month to get on the internet and read some articles that will teach you how to
use technology in your business.

Never stop learning. Learning is one of your greatest strategic assets.

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#4 Get a schedule and stick to it

====================

Do you check your email or voicemail 20 times a day? 10 times a day? Do you need
to? Does it make you more productive or just busier?

Make a schedule for how you relate to technology. For example, you could return
voice messages before lunch and check your email 2 times a day.

The details of the schedule don’t matter. Make it however you want. The important
thing is that you have a schedule and stick to it. Your schedule will keep technology
from spilling over into the time you want to be productive.

====================

#5 Understand that most technology is far less than perfect

====================

I really mean this. The next time your computer freezes or your email goes haywire,
don’t blame yourself. There is a 95% chance it wasn’t anything you did.

For the most part, technology is mediocre. It has bugs, quirks and other problems
that appear at the worst times.

Just accept the good along with the bad and learn as you go.

Stop blaming yourself. You’re a whole lot more intelligent than the pile of wire and
plastic that is your computer.

Leveraging Technology for Organisational Excellence

Technology & HR-Leverage one for the other: “Technology and HR are enablers of business. Integration of the two would mean not only harmonious co-existence but also leveraging one for the other. Leveraging of technology for HR would mean digitizing the mundane HR activities and automating the back office and transactional activities related to recruitment, performance management, career planning, and succession planning, training and knowledge management. Leveraging HR for technology implies managing change associated with technology by way of communication, training, hiring, retraining, stakeholder analysis and conscious keeping. Thus they can play complementary roles.”

Technology and HR both have one thing common i.e., both these are enablers of business.

In recent times, technology has become synonymous with information technology, as hardly any other technological development of the past would have impacted all spectrum of business as information technology has impacted. Irrespective of the kind of business you are in i.e., services or goods, commodity or branded, trading or manufacturing, contemporary or traditional deployment of information technology in one form or the other is a foregone conclusion. To manage and deploy technology in an effective way, all business Organizations would need knowledge workers. Managing of these knowledge workers is the responsibility of HR function. Hence the integration of technology and HR is an absolute must.

Having understood technology and HR in the present context we must understand integration in this context. Integration would not only mean harmonious co-existing but would also mean one enhancing and complementing the other i.e., technology is used to enhance effectiveness of HR and HR functions helps in adopting and managing change which technology deployment brings in.

Leveraging technology for HR

HR management as a function is responsible for deliverables like business strategy execution, administrative efficiency, employee contribution and capacity for change. All these are accomplished through what HR people do i.e., staffing, development, compensation, benefits, communicate organization design, high performing teams and so on. In majority of these areas technology is being deployed.

e-Recruitment

Recruitment is one area where all the companies worth their name leverage IT. There are two different models of e-recruitment, which are in vogue. One is recruitment through company’s own sites and the other is hosting your requirement on the other sites e.g., monster .com, jobsdb.com, jobsahead.com, naukri.com, and jobstreet.com and so on so forth. The first models is more popular with the larger companies who have a brand pull for potential employees e.g., G.E., IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, HCL, ICICI, Reliance, Mindtree consulting etc. Other companies prefer to go to the job sites. Some are adopting both.

E-recruitment has gone a long way since its start. Now these sites have gone global. Sites like jobsahead.com and monster.com have established global network, which encompasses separate sites for jobs in Australia, Denmark, Belgium, and Canada etc. Job seekers are able to search job by region or country and employers target potential employees in specific countries. For example, 3 Com recently posted a company profile on the Ireland site that highlights the contributions of 3 com’s Irish design team in its global projects.

In the early days e-recruitment was plagued with flooding the employers with low-quality bio-data’s. Again technology has come as a savior. Now pre-employment testing like the one introduced by Capital One, a US based financial company, help in filtering the applicants. These tools test online e.g., applicants for call centers. ‘Profile International’ a Texas based provider of employment assessments, has developed tools that allow instant translation of assessment tests between languages. Further developments like video- conference specialized sites, online executives recruitments and combining online and offline methods are leading to more and more companies adopting e-recruitment at least as a secondary recruitment method. Arena Knights Bridge, a US based IT company conducts video based interview of its prospective employees and only short listed employees are met in person. Even Cisco was to launch the same.

Employee Self Service

Employee self-service is perhaps one utility of IT, which has relieved HR of most of mundane tasks and helped it to improve employee satisfaction. Employee self services is a plethora of small activities, which were earlier carried out by employee through administration wing of HR. These are travel bookings, travel rules information, travel bills, leave rules, leave administration, perk administration, etc. Earlier all these rules and information were in the custody of HR. Every user employee was expected to reach out to HR and get it done. Now with deployment of ESS in most of the companies, employee can request for travel related booking online, fill his/her T.E. bills, apply for leave, log time sheet and see his perks value disbursed and due etc. E.g., in Ballarpur Industries Ltd. leave administration is completely digitized in its corporate office. It is working towards digitizing travel related activities, perks and even compensation management and performance management administration. ‘Digitize or outsource all the mundane and routine focus only on core and value add’ – Vineet Chhabra V.P. -PDC BILT.

Communication

Communication which is most talked about management tool has always been a gray area in HR management. In large companies with vast geographical spread communicating with all employees had really posed formidable challenge to HR professionals. Technology has again come for rescue. Starting with telephones, faxes, e-mails and maturing into video conferencing, net cast, web cast etc. communication is one area of HR, which has been greatly benefited by technology. Mouse & click companies like Oracle, IBM has an intranet which caters to most of the information needs of its employees. Brick & Morter companies like BILT also have made a foray into deploying intranet for internal communication, which has corporate notice board, media coverage, and knowledge corners.

Knowledge Management

Another area of HR, which is leveraging technology, is employee development. Programmed learning (PL) i.e. learning at its own pace is one of the most effective ways of adult learning. Use of technology for this purpose can’t be over emphasized. Aptech Online University and ‘The Manage mentor’ are some of the Indian sites, which are in this business knowledge management, which is an integral part of any learning organization, which cannot become a reality without technology. Companies can harness the knowledge of its employees by cataloging and hosting it on the intranet. Talk to ‘Big-5′ or not ‘so big’ consulting companies you will find that main stay of their business is the knowledge repository. Technology has enabled them to retrieve it swiftly. In the competitive environment where speed is the name of game technology driven Knowledge Management constantly provides a strategic advantage.

If you look at HR module of ERP solutions like people soft, SAP, Oracle and Ramco they provide you with a comprehensive package which helps in man-power planning, recruitment, performance management, training and development, career planning, succession planning, separation and grievance handling. A transaction happening in all these areas are digitized and form a closed loop ensuring employee database is always updated. E.g. a joining letter of a new employee is system generated. It will be printed only when all mandatory fields of information are entered. Similarly a transfer order or a separation letter is issued from the system only if that transaction has been carried out in the system.

For career planning, success planning, skill and competencies matrix methods are used by most of these systems. They search an employee with the required skills first in the in-house database of employees. Once put in practice in letter & spirit, this system not only enhances business results by matching the right candidate for right job but also improves retention of employees.

Processing payroll, churning out time office reports, providing HR-MIS are some other routine activities of HR which have been off-loaded to technology.

Leveraging HR for Technology

All HR professionals, preaching or practicing, learning or experimenting, teaching or studying have experienced leveraging technology for HR. But most of us come across a situation where we need to leverage HR for technology. Let us understand what do we mean by this.

Whenever technology is deployed afresh or upgraded it involves a change. The change may be at the activity level e.g., applying for leave through the intranet or at the mental model level e.g., digitizing the process succession planning which have been HR professionals forte. The people have always registered adopting change. This is one area where HR professionals are to deliver i.e., become change agents and lead the process of technology and change adoption. The resistance to change is directly proportional to speed of change. Now speed of change has increased and hence resistance.

Just to take an example, most of ERP implementation in the world have not been able to deliver all the expectations. Some of these have failed to deliver at all. While analyzing the cause of failure it has been observed that 96% of failures are because of people related issues and only 4% are because of technology.

It is the people who make the difference; hence HR should exploit its expertise to facilitate the adoption of technology. I would like to put together some of the thoughts on what HR should do for this.

At the time of recruitment, stop hiring for skills rather hire for attitude and a learning mind. Skills of today are no longer valid tomorrow. Managing ever changing change is the only criteria for success.

Functional or technical skills can be acquired during the job. Hence recruitment in the technology era needs to undergo a paradigm shift i.e., from a skill/competency based it needs to be attitude and learning mind/ ability based interview. That would translate into hiring for skills for future. In IBM every employee has to fill in his/her individual development plan where the employee commits its learning one/two new skills every year thus remaining competitive every time.

If we look at the chemistry of resistance to change it is either a skill issue or a will issue. To address the will issue we need to work at a comprehensive solution starting from recruitment (as discussed earlier), reward, compensation and leading to organization culture which promotes change. A living example is 3M, a US based company, where innovation is way of life, where 10% of revenue must come from new products every year. For them change becomes way of life.

To address the will issue further organization need to prepare a communication strategy which creates a ‘pull’ for the technology. For example, in Ranbaxy, when they went for SAP implementation they anticipated resistance. To address this they started a house journal, which was aimed at educating the employees on the benefits, which will result from adoption of ERP, SAP. This created a need rather a potential need or a latent need was brought out. Adoption of ERP did not become much of a problem.

At times adoption of technologies is perceived as a threat by the employees e.g., automation leading to reduction in workers, office automation leading to retrenchment of clerks etc. HR needs to be associated with the technical adoption right from the beginning till the end. At the selection of technical stage if HR is associated, it can map the skills required and create a pull during implementation and adoption. Post adoption it can release the excess non-re-allocatable employees.

To understand this process more clearly we can take example of ERP implementation. ERP is taken as an example as this is one technology adoption which effects employees across the org. irrespective of function and position. Any other automation may have affected only a segment of organisation. ERP implementation in any organization goes through the following stages.

1. Selection of package

2. Business analysis

3. Solution design

4. Configuration and customization

5. Conference room piloting (CRP)

6. Go-live and production

At each stage HR has to play a role, which will help in mitigating resistance to change.

During selection process, the change agent can understand the business benefit ERP would bring. This would help him to draw a comprehensive communication plant aimed at creating a ‘pull’ for the change. The communication plan may use its various weapons from the armory. The obvious examples are Newsletters, Newsflash. In-house journal, addressing by the top management, web cast, open house sessions, meetings formal and informal.

During the business analysis phase implementation team is supposed to analyse the existing business processes. At times this leads to surfacing of some data which is not very desirable by the process owners, leading to resistance at this stage, HR has to be again proactive and carry out a detailed stake-holder analysis. Such an analysis should give a lead to potential areas of problem and potential champions of change.

Solution design involves defining ‘To-be processes’ i.e., the way business would be carried out in future. At this stage HR has to play the role of catalyst to turn the heat on. The idea is to ensure to make maximum out of an opportunity of package enabled business transformation. HR can play a role by arranging to educate and train the right people on best business practices, just before this phase.

During the configuration and customization HR has to keep on beating the drum, the customization of a standard package is a big no-no. Similarly, during the conference room plotting (CRP) it should help in identifying the right persons to be involved in CRP. A thorough testing at this stage would result in lesser pain at the time of going live. This is also time to focus on training of end users, the employees who are going to use the system once implemented. Training- retraining -training to ensure all the prospective users are comfortable with usage of software before the system goes live.

During the go-live stage HR has to work over time to keep the motivation levels high. This is the time when management starts losing patience as one glitch after the other keeps appearing and virtually bringing the business to halt. At this stage, HR has to play ‘conscious keeper’ for the top management once into product relocating the surplus is a challenge for which it has to be prepared before it.

This examples makes it clear that involvement of HR during the entire life cycle of technology is valuable. ERP is not an isolated case. It is true for any other technology adoption only finer details may vary. Hence HR must play a proactive role rather than being just a silent spectator or mere executers of the wishes of business or chief technology officer in case of technological changes.

Having set the case in different perspective, it seems only logical to leverage technology for HR and vice-versa.

Why Health Care Companies Are in Need of Health Care Law Firms

There are several reasons why health care companies utilize health care law firms. Due to the nature of the industry, agencies must secure legal representation to defend against certain claims and lawsuits. This can be in the form of class action suits, along with individual and even corporate claims. These specialized lawyers represent the providers in these cases. They also represent health professionals and organizations in regulatory and business matters. The latter helps ensure that all companies strictly comply with industry regulations and rules. In the event a particular product, service, or company offering is challenged, an attorney must step in to protect his or her clients.

At times, medical companies may even face investigations by governing bodies and law enforcement. While state and federal regulatory agencies are always present, these companies cannot rely on these bodies to come to their rescue. This is especially true if a particular provider has unknowingly overstepped certain boundaries. Even for companies that have intentionally committed a questionable act; they still have access to timely and effective legal representation services. These law firms also assist agencies involved in medical malpractice suits. This includes nursing facilities, and especially home care and hospice providers.

When an elderly family member is under hospice care, emotions are running at an all-time high. There are times when family members accuse the nurses of foul play, especially when the family member passes away. While their grief and anger is understandable, families that file lawsuits against caretakers is very common in the industry. As a result, home care and nursing agencies reach out to these law firms to protect their rights. This helps counter lawsuits from families and individuals, while ensuring the integrity of the company in question. The health care industry is incredibly intricate and complicated. To effectively preserve the company’s rights, legal representation is essential to tackle all legalities and compliances.

Whether you need hospital or Medicare lawyers, health care law firms are always available to assist you. These specialized firms also stay abreast on all the latest health related laws, which help protect health care companies and their cases. These highly dedicated and skilled attorneys can also prevent costly legal problems before they impact client businesses. These firms simply possess years of extensive industry experience, and know how to neutralize threats within time and budget. They are also trained in crisis response, which may include customer lawsuits, threats, or industry investigations. Without proper legal representation and defense, health care companies would face a litany of charges and fines. This, however, is if they were found guilty of wrongdoing in a court of law. Still, why take a chance when proper legal representatives are available to defend your company’s rights?

When Looking For a Job – Check Out Their Technology

Last week, Apical Resource Group had our second monthly All Candidates meeting in order to discuss the employment landscape, new initiatives and new hospitality technologies. We had some great discussions spearheaded by Chicke Fitzgerald of Solutionz Media that surrounded a number of topics that included a candidate’s online reputation as well as online positioning. There is a lot more to come about this very interesting subject.

One of the main areas of discussion was focused on hospitality technology and how it figures into a candidate’s decision-making process on whether they should accept a job offer from a prospective employer. As technology continues to evolve, it is increasingly important that people fully understand the “technology state of the company” as it relates to their current technology as well as their future technology direction. How a company is perceived in regards to its technology will either make it easier for its employees to obtain outward visibility or it can hinder them greatly. It does not matter whether the position with a prospective employer is a sales, marketing, development or an executive position, the technology plan that is in front of a candidate should be highly scrutinized.

Mark Hoare, a Partner at The Prism Partnership, was our guest speaker related to the future direction of hospitality technology and his insight was greatly appreciated. Mark discussed initiatives that will help a candidate focus on technologies that are up and coming. Some of these initiatives were the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, where the application is truly Internet native and you pay to use the technology application via a subscription or transaction fee and have no overhead associated with buying and maintaining the hardware or software required to run the service except for an internet connection and a PC, Mac or laptop.

Another area of interest was focused on mobile technology and how it will change the playing field. Undeniably the mobile phone is the tool, which will become the ultimate User Interface for Hoteliers and Guests alike and any company that fully understands this technology is a good one for a candidate to investigate.

Last but not least, Mark discussed social media and its impact on every facet of technology. As candidates look to hospitality technology companies as a possible target for employment, make sure that the companies have a good plan in place on how they will use social media to market their brand as well as their products.

Bottom line…Irrespective of your expertise and discipline within the hotel industry you will always be touched by technology in your working day. Some of you will be completely dependent upon it, and it will directly affect your performance and productivity. Accordingly, when you are researching prospective employers, always take the time to investigate and ask direct questions about the company’s existing and planned technology. You should inquire about how they are planning to investigate, embrace and deploy the technology advances we’ve discussed today. You may be surprised at their answers.

Law Practice Management Software and Its Impact to Law Firms

Law practice management software provides lawyers with an effective and convenient way of managing their clients and other pertinent case information such as documents, contacts and calendars. This can also be used by law practitioners to share important information with other attorneys within the firm.

Purpose of Law Practice Management Software

Since law schools basically do not teach law students all the needed business skills to manage a law firm, most law offices have heavily relied on technology to aid them in the process as well as to reduce any unforeseen clerical errors. According to the American Bar Association or ABA, the majority of legal malpractice claims can be attributed to deadline and calendar-related errors. Hence, most law firms have invested considerably in their very own software in order to save the firm considerable amount of money, making a law practice management software an ideal investment for any law firm.

Also, an entire section has been devoted to this type of software by the American Bar Association, of which software and other related programs can be very crucial to the delivery of their mission as law practitioners. Majority of state bar associations have also provided their members assistance and discounts for law practice management software. The goal of such program is to ensure that law firms can function effectively with the aid of such software.

This specific tool, when used effectively, can be a huge contributing factor to the success of any law firm. This will enable a law office to reduce the number of callbacks everyday since they don’t need to look for physical files in their large archive.

Law Practice Management Software Industry

This industry is gradually growing in the United States and United Kingdom. This is likely attributed to the industry’s natural competitive edge. In United Kingdom, the LSSA or Legal Software Suppliers Association is the sole governing body of the law practice management software industry.

Web-based Law Practice Management Software

Web-based, or most commonly referred to as cloud-based law practice management software basically means that your software and other pertinent case files, calendars and other pertinent data are stored on servers on the internet rather than being stored in your local computer. However, most law firms are wary about cloud-based law practice management software due to security risks, which is not the case.

In terms of security, law firms need not worry since all the important data are securely kept on the web-based servers. With regards to desktop versions of the software, there is a chance of losing all the data stored in one’s local computer. A crash or a virus can completely wipeout all important data in your local hard drive.

Billing and Accounting Features

When you are this kind of software, you also have to make sure that it comes with billing and accounting features. It is equally important that the software generates invoices and it works compatibly with other third-party software such as Quickbooks. Most lawyers make use of Quickbooks for accounting purposes. Hence, it is ideal that the law practice management software works well with the company’s accounting software.

Integration with Third-Party Software

Majority of these software work well with Microsoft Word and Outlook. Only a few of the bunch can integrate with Google Docs and Calendar. Some law practice management software providers charge a fee for additional plug-ins to be integrated in their product. These plug-ins allow third-party applications to be integrated in the law practice management software.

An Interview With Techno-romantic Thriller Author Denise Robbins on Merging Technology and Fiction

Denise Robbins, a software engineering manager by day, integrates her knowledge of computers and technology into all her techno-romantic thriller novels. Her published works include It Happens in Threes and Killer Bunny Hill with Connect the Dots and Never Tempt Danger scheduled for release in 2010.

I saw down with Denise and asked about the unique combination of technology and fiction.

Your computer background has obviously been a big factor in the plots of your books. How did you become interested in technology?
It all started when I was a kid. In elementary school we went on a field trip to an electronics shop. In there, we saw all kinds of cool gadgets like small calculators, electronic games, and then. . .a computer. Holy cow! I could play chess on the computer.

About that same time, my dad brought home a modem. I’m not talking the modems you pick up today that fit in the palm of your hand, we’re talking a behemoth of a machine that looked like a typewriter with a phone coupler attached to it.

Some readers may not understand the significance of computers in fighting crime. Explain how important an understanding of new technologies can be in staying ahead of the bad guy.
Computers are used a great deal more than people think in regards to fighting crime. One simple example is the FBI’s website that gives the public information on some of the criminals they are searching for. This website not only informs the public, but now there are large numbers of people on the lookout for the ‘bad guys.’

Local police departments have computers in every patrol car, which can be used in different scenarios. Remember the last time you were pulled over? The police officer can put your license plate into the computer and check if the car was stolen, your driving record, or even your car registration. A police officer making a routine stop may not seem like any big deal or use for computer technology, but what you may not realize is that the same computer that told the officer the car was stolen, can also provide arrest and warrant information. Information attained via the computer by the officer makes him/her more capable of making the right decision of how to approach the situation.

Computers also give law enforcement the resources and technology needed to keep up with modern day criminals in the cyber world. Some criminals steal people’s identities or purchase goods with someone else’s credit cards over the Internet. Internet felons commit all sorts of crimes such as downloading child pornography, even trying to convince minors to meet them somewhere, which could result in abduction. Without computers, it would be nearly impossible to catch felons of this nature. Through computers law enforcement agencies can watch these actions and make the web safer.

Because of computers and instant access to large amounts of information, law enforcement agents have the power to turn a possible dangerous situation into a much safer one sooner rather than later.

Explain a little about nanotechnology and its current uses.
Nanotechnology is a technology based on the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules to build structures to complex, atomic specifications. The nanoscale is about a thousand times smaller than micro that is, about 1/80,000 of the diameter of a human hair.

Items already available in the marketplace include: burn and wound dressings, water filtration, dental-bonding agent, coatings for easier cleaning glass, bumpers and catalytic converters on cars, protective and glare-reducing coatings for eyeglasses and cars, sunscreens and cosmetics, stain-free clothing and mattresses, ink, longer-lasting tennis balls, and lightweight and stronger tennis rackets.

A ski jacket produced by Franz Ziener GmbH&Co is based on nanotechnology. The windproof and waterproof properties are not obtained by a surface coating of the jacket but by the use of nanofibres.

The company InMat makes long-lasting tennis-balls by coating the inner core with clay polymer nanocomposites. These tennis-balls have twice the lifetime of conventional balls.

What do you see happening with nanotechnology in the future?
Today, we have just scratched the surface on what nanotechnology will do for us. There are many nanotechnology applications in research and development. In the field of medicine, there will be Qdots that identify the location of cancer cells in the body and Nanoparticles that deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to cancer cells to minimize damage to healthy cells. Can you imagine not having to expose the entire body to chemotherapy but only the part that requires the treatment?

Nanotechnology is huge in the science and technology area as well, in particular, manmade diamonds. In recent years, there has been research into producing manmade diamonds, no, not cubic zirconia, but “real” diamonds grown in a lab and not in nature. Manmade diamonds is a huge breakthrough that will only get bigger. The diamond has the largest thermal conductivity of any material. With every improvement in computer chip technology, the machines get faster and hotter. At some point the chips and computer insides will melt. Diamonds are the answer for faster computers without the heat factor. For the same thermal conductivity reason, manmade diamonds could help make lasers of extreme power. The material could allow a cell phone to fit into a watch and iPods to store 10,000 movies, not just 10,000 songs.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Nanotechnology is the next great wave and I’m hoping it hits soon.

What are some of the challenges in blending cutting-edge technology with fiction?
The challenge in creating techno-fiction is knowing how to keep the story moving at the same time giving enough of a visual picture of the technology so the reader understands without dumping boring information on top of their head.

It seems like the field of technology is more of a man’s world. How did you end up in the field and why do you think there aren’t more women involved?

I think since my dad was in technology, not the same as I am involved today, I was destined for computers.

Taking a job with a government contractor for the Department of Defense hooked me on technology. I was part of a team that built software for use in military medical facilities. It was when I taught computer programs and programming to adults that I found my love for all that ‘geeky’ computer stuff. There is nothing like watching the spark in somebody’s eyes as the light bulb goes on inside their head after they have learned to write code and see the result.

Why there are not more women in science and technology is a question that has been asked quite a lot in recent years. One simple answer is how parents and teachers present information technology professions and other occupations to their daughters and students. It is about encouraging and providing role models.
Another explanation for the lack of women in information technology careers is misconception and preference. Why do I say that as if they are com-mingled? Many people believe working in IT is solitary. They imagine someone sitting in front of a computer eight hours or more a day with no one to talk with. Ask any of the engineers that work for and with me and they will let you know that is not the case.

In general, women prefer to work with people while men prefer to work with things. With the solitary misconception out there, many women are choosing other careers.

Do you have a lot of male readers because of your interesting plots? How do you draw them in?
To be honest, I am not certain that I have too many male readers yet, but I have a few and I want more. I think once the guys know that my novels are based on interesting and real technology, have suspense and mystery woven in with action and adventure that they will want to read them. All it takes is a few good men. . .to spread the word.

While my novels are fiction, when my hero or heroine is shooting a weapon, all readers should know that I have done the research and had the experience several times. My first time shooting anything, but a shotgun at skeet (of which I am a very good shot), was when I wrote It Happens in Threes. I had to know what it felt like. I contacted a friend who taught me all the various right and wrongs and who enjoyed seeing me struggle filling a clip and always forgetting to take the safety off.

Right now, my attempt at “drawing them in” is to give a guy I see a copy of the book, ask him to read it, and let me know what he thinks. So far, the response has been positive. The other little tidbit that helps draw the men in as that I have other men review and edit my novels for the male perspective. It always helps me when Steve or David say, “No guy would say that.” Then they wrinkle their noses and slash away at my work. I am very grateful. I also have friends who are former military and they correct some of my ideas as well.

How do you handle the fine line between giving too much technological information and making the story flow?
This is an excellent question. Computer stuff can be very dry and boring, take it from me. What I do is take technology and introduce the readers to it in small pieces, like breadcrumbs of information, so that technology is part of the mystery or part of the solution in the puzzle. I take the technology and break it down so my characters show you just enough to make you understand, and at the same time get curious. Wait until you find out about nanotechnology in Killer Bunny Hill. I’ll give you a hint – Diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend.

Where do you come up with your story ideas?
My story ideas come from various places and most the time it is just a matter of sitting down with pen and paper and asking myself about the particular characters I have just identified in my mind. Sometimes, as in the case of my second novel Killer Bunny Hill, the seed for novel will just hit me while flying across the country on a plane. In the case of my fourth novel Never Tempt Danger, the idea came from a dream. Those are just the beginnings, now I have to construct a story line and that takes a little more effort.

Sometimes I take from my own experiences with technology, but that is still limited in scope. So what do I do? Well, here is my answer.

I did some research once for work when I accidentally ran across an article on ‘manmade diamonds’ and using them as computer chips. As I continued to read the story, I found out about an organization known as DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This agency is the central research and development office for the Department of Defense. They fund all kinds of technology research in order to keep our military technologically superior and in turn keep us safe and military personnel safe. Cool stuff!

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, Denise!

Technology in the Second Language Classroom

It goes without saying that technology is all around us and it is almost inevitable to get in contact with it in every single action of our lives: CD-ROMs, E-mails, The Internet, ATMs, the World Wide Web seem to be so integrated into our everyday vocabulary that most people would not even ask what we are talking about.
They would know for certain what we mean, even those who are not technology-minded.

We all know that technology is always evolving and when we think we have figured out how it works, we have an invasion of new developments, gadgets and tools that make us wonder if we are not still in square one. And we are not. We are just in the middle of a never-ending quest for knowledge. Isn’t this what education is all about? The words mentioned above are part of our daily life now, and we may even feel that they never were complex in the first place. But they were! Just as at present it may sound to us to hear about blogs, ipods, poscasting, streaming, RSS, and so on and so forth. In turn, this will be so that we will feel at ease both to hear about them as well as to talk about them. The learning quest is on…. For good!

However, the aim of this article is not to tell you that technology is always evolving_ something that you already know for certain_ but to share with you some of the reasons why I personally love to teach using technology in the classroom and why I think that every teacher should use it as much as possible whenever possible.

I have been teaching English as a Second Language and Spanish as a Second Language for over 14 years now and in my career I have always noticed how fascinated students feel when they deal with technology.
You can see it in their eyes, that glint of emotion they irradiate every time they get in contact with it.

However, the same does not apply to teachers. I have noticed that many teachers feel either scared of or overwhelmed by the new technological advances, as if, in a way, they have to place themselves in a long-forgotten position, that is, as students. And it is true that with the new technologies we are all learners. But also in life we are learners!!! Who could afford to say, “I know everything”? I definitely couldn’t! To narrow it down a little bit, who could afford to say “I know everything there is to know about my field of expertise?” I could not say that either. I have to accept there is a world of knowledge out there that asks or even begs for exploration and it is up to us to engage in this quest for discovering more and more every day. Will we ever be able to know everything? I think it would be like asking if we could ever be able to bottle all the water in the ocean. We may not be able to do so, but what a good time we could have while trying to do so!

It is pretty understandable that we as teachers are not always up-to-date with the new trends but if we just try to relax and lose the fear of them we will notice that they are not our enemies but our allies. It is true that if I wanted to stand in front of my students with an aura of omnipotent power and knowledge, this may not be the best approach, but I wonder, is it ever good to have that attitude in front of our students? Is it good for our personal development and growth to have that kind of attitude? “I know everything and if there is something I don’t, I will do like an ostrich and put my head under the ground.” Is this what we really want to do? With or without technology, this attitude more often than not will be our main cause of frustration and rejection both from peers and students alike, actually with everyone we come in contact with.

Sadly enough, this is what is happening in most classrooms nowadays. Many teachers simply do not approach technology, either for fear of the unknown, or even for having to yield some sort of authority to the students,. After all, isn’t it true that teachers teach and students learn? Well, yes…. but let’s not forget and always bear in mind that we are all learning. The more I teach and see how my students react, the more I learn about them, about myself, about how to reach them, about my teaching practices. It is all part of the teaching experience. There is not such a clear-cut distinction any more.

Undoubtedly, young people feel more attracted to the new technologies than adults do. They spend lots of time dealing with it that they become self-taught experts. Actually, they do know a lot! Maybe MUCH more than we do! So what? Where some teachers may seem trouble or fear, I see a possibility!

Think of the terrific opportunity of engaging those students in sharing part of the knowledge they have acquired after hours and hours in front of a computer, for instance. They could share so many things with the rest of the class so that everyone and YOU yourself can learn from their experience. Do not see them as threats but as allies in your quest for knowledge. You may know nothing, a little or maybe a lot about their favorite subjects! It doesn’t matter. You can start to use the new technologies straight away! How? Very easily. With a couple of tips and instructions, any teacher can start to use them straight away! Just think of this:

How much more effective would your lessons be if you could create your own website with exactly the materials you need to use with your students? Think of the advantages of just this in the classroom, if you have never done anything like this.

“Yeah, right.,” many will say. “I have just learned to check my e-mail and now you are expecting me to create a website! Sounds good but too optimistic and unrealistic!”

My answer would be: “Do you know how to use a word processor?”

If your reply is “YES,” then I will tell you that if you know how to use a word processor, learning how to make a website will take you 10 more minutes.

If your reply is “NO,” then it may take you between 15 and 20 minutes to create your first website.

Yes, you heard me right! Ten to twenty more minutes and you will have your very own website up and running! How about the software? Do you need some special software?

Well, if you have a word processor such as WORD, you do NOT need any other special software. That will do!

It is not our aim in this article to explain how to create a website but I promise I will in another installment of these mini-articles. What I want to highlight here is that technology does not need to be difficult for us to implement. Actually the opposite is true. We have to lose the fear of it and we can accomplish tasks unthinkable for us just one year ago! Losing the fear of technology is everything! Once you decide to implement the new technologies in your classroom you are well on your way towards that end. It is your decision what matters most. Set your mind to it and the rest will be plain sailing.

Why do students love “technology” so much? Simply put, technology has a magical component. It is the thrill of exploring something new, an untravelled path begging for exploration. I call it “the Matrix syndrome.” If you have seen the movie called “The Matrix,” you may know what I mean, that little something that drives you to find out more, that does not let go off you until you have answered all the questions, and you get a clue at a time. Once you unravel one, another one closely related appears, and sets your mind in motion to try to figure out what may happen next. You cannot keep you mind off it and actually crave for more and more, like an addiction begging to be fed. The good thing is, this is an addiction for knowledge.

If you are not very technology oriented, think about how much your students may be missing, not because your lessons are not good enough. They may be excellent lessons. But just imagine how much you could empower your lessons by embracing the new technologies and capitalizing from those students with some expertise in the field. Not only will you be taking your lessons to the next level, but you will also be taking a great porting of magic into your classroom. And when you see that glint in your students’ eyes, you will know for certain you have made the right decision.