v. Communication networking systems
vi. Data warehousing
viii. Video conferencing
E-mail stands for electronic mail. It is a computer-based messaging system that transports electronic messages from one computer to another through a communication network. In a large organization, e-mail connectivity is established across numerous locations, such as branches, regional offices, controlling offices, service units and training centres.
Each e-mail location is identified by unique e-mail identification. Messages and data, which are otherwise transferred through couriers, speed post and floppies can instead be transferred through e-mail. Physical transfer and movement, so essential in other means of transmission, are avoided. Data transmission through e-mail is both instantaneous and cost effective.
The advantages of using e-mail are indeed many:
i. E-mail communication is swift, in fact instantaneous.
ii. E-mail communication is extremely economical.
iii. E-mail communication has a large global reach and access.
iv. E-mail communication is largely reliable; the sender can know if the message has reached the addressee or not.
v. E-mail communication can be readily acknowledged by the receiver. The sender can also seek an acknowledgement from the receiver.
vi. The sender can send copies of the message to many others instantaneously.
vii. E-mail communication messages normally use the telegraphic language and salutation, and other essentials of a regular correspondence are not a must.
viii. E-mail communication can be stored and retrieved as and when required by both the sender and the receiver.
No wonder, there is a rapid growth in the use of e-mail across the world. One of the earlier annual reports of Lucent Technologies refers to a whopping five million messages per minute through the e-mail.
It is indeed very essential to be familiar with e-mail, as most businesses today are using this medium of communication. We have earlier discussed the subject of preparing and sending job application letters and resumes.
It is worth noting here that some of the companies and job advertisers insist that application letters and resumes be sent only through e-mail, to the specified e-mail address.
Similarly, intimations and other routine communication are also sent by businesses only through e-mails. Having an e-mail ID and a familiarity with this medium of message transmission is thus not only useful but also essential.
E-commerce refers to business or shopping done through the internet. In other words, it is paperless commerce. The transaction between the buyer and the seller is direct and there is no middleman involved. There are essentially four types of e-commerce—business to business (B2B), business to customer (B2C), customer to business (C2B) and customer to customer (C2C).
E-business is an all encompassing term that includes e-commerce as well. E-business is the final stage of development, the earlier one being e-support of e-commerce. In the words of IBM, ‘E-business is what happens when you combine the broad reach of the internet with the vast resources of traditional information technology systems.’ E-business is holding out tremendous possibilities, and is transforming and redefining businesses and commerce by doing away with the restraints of geography, distance and time.
Cable and satellite-related changes apart, advancement in information technology and telecommunications has also resulted in the growth of the internet culture. The findings of the National Readership Survey (NRS), 2002, have clearly shown that the growth of the internet has stabilized at two million per annum.
Nearly half of those who surf the internet do so from conveniently located cyber cafes. Apart from the convenience of cyber cafes and growth in the ownership of personal computers, steadily declining surfing costs are also aiding the growth in internet usage.
Through internet, it is now possible to access any information for the purpose of e-learning, e-business, e-commerce and even entertainment. With a growing number of corporate and organizations establishing their own websites, it is much more convenient to access, and if need be, download required reports and statements, in sharp contrast to the search and procurement of printed material earlier.
5. Communication Networking Systems:
Communication networking systems providing online access are revolutionizing the world of business in general and the services sector in particular. Communication backbone, it is worth noting, can be either through terrestrial lines or through satellite links.
As compared to the conventional modes of communication, network-based communication is far more reliable and efficient, with an uptime of around 99 per cent. Reserve Bank of India has set up a satellite-based Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) communication network across the country for the benefit of banks and financial institutions.
The future holds out enormous inter-bank and intra-bank VSAT-based applications in the financial services sector, resulting in speedier, secure and cost-effective modes of communication.
6. Word Processor:
While discussing the new trends relating to business communication, it is imperative to take note of the role of word processors. These relate to software that facilitates better organized and appealing business correspondence.
Word processing software applications like MS-Word, Word Star, Lotus and WordPro add elegance and convenience to written communication covering business letters, analytical, and other reports and memos.
It is possible to erase, reword, regroup and restructure the written text several times till the desired level of effectiveness is achieved. Word processors are increasingly replacing the traditional typewriters.
Any person keen on ensuring elegant and effective written business communication must become familiar with a word processor and the numerous options it offers, in terms of fonts, letter size, colour and pagination. The advent of word processors has added a welcome new dimension to the elegance in written communication.
Teleconferencing, as the name suggests, is conference or discussion that takes place over the telephone. Telephone instruments with speaker facility enable speaking and hearing without the handset or mouthpiece.
In the process, it is possible for more than one person to speak from one end and discuss with more than one person at the other. This way, the advantage is that people from one group or section can speak to another and have discussions, without physically attending the meeting.
It is gaining popularity in modern business places and organizations, especially for small group interactions.
8. Video Conferencing:
Video conferencing goes a step ahead of teleconferencing, whereby apart from the audio messages, video pictures are also available. It is possible to look at the person speaking.
It is of particular relevance when the chief of the state, CEO of the company or any expert wants to communicate with people spread across regions.
A typical example of this is the live telecast of budgets and election results, and the analysis that follows, wherein opinions and comments are sought.
It is also possible that if an expert speaker cannot be physically present to address the meeting, a live telecast of his message or address can be brought to the assembly of people in a meeting or seminar. This facility, however, is available in select places only and is comparatively quite expensive.