SmartPhones Let Your Small Business Connect from Anywhere

Ready to trade in your cell phone and PDA for a Smartphone? Let’s start with the basics…

What’s a Smartphone?

A Smartphone is your cell phone and PDA (Portable Data Assistant) joined, allowing verbal communication by phone and visual by email and text messaging. Other capabilities include Internet, fax, and data transfers between your office computer and the Smartphone. There are pros and cons to switching over, just like anything else.

The Pros

With just a Smartphone, there’s one less item to carry or forget. You’ve got Internet access for directions, email or quick info. Scaled-down versions of certain computer applications are available. By using a keyboard instead of a phone pad, it becomes easier to type long messages.

The Cons

The initial cost is approximately three times more than a regular mobile phone (including additional fees for network service access). If you’re set on a small mobile phone, the larger Smartphone may feel a bit bulky. It could take a while to get used to using it, and text-heavy messages can be a bit difficult to read on the smaller. Finding your way around and understanding all of the features has a bit of a learning curve. So now that you’re ready to invest in a Smartphone, which one will you buy and what factors affect this decision?

Service Contract

Before deciding what hardware to purchase, carefully examine the plans that various service providers are offering. If purchasing the hardware and plan together, you may get good discounts for a package plan. Make sure your plan covers usage since charges can be a costly lesson learned. You will want to know exactly what you will pay before the bill arrives.

Select a Model

After finding a plan you like, your selection of a model will be down to just a few. Which features can you live without? An MP3 player and camera may be nice features to have, but big files may fill up your memory and browsing the Internet could be slow.

Test the Smartphone

Allow time to play and window shop, to make sure your Smartphone is comfortable to use. If not, you may consider adding a Bluetooth device. Feel the weight of it too. It’s great to have plenty of memory, but if the device is too cumbersome to carry with you then you won’t use it. See how things are organized on the phone. Does its organization make sense to you? Can you to find what you’re looking for? You may want to consider purchasing software to better organize it to your style.

Sync Your Smartphone

Evaluate the options for software to handle synchronizing contact and other data with your or your organizations existing systems. While there is free software available on the Web, the current standard is Microsoft Windows Mobile for Smartphones 5.0. For a review of the Smartphones that come packaged with Microsoft Windows Mobile, visit the Microsoft website. Consulting with your IT service provider is wise, to resolve any issues there may be with integrating the new systems.

Many businesses are now seeing the opportunity in using a Smartphone for mobile workers. If you travel frequently, consider a solution that could let you leave your heavy laptop behind. The time has come.