Translating Telecommunications Into Understandable Choices

My latest column is up, over at Inc Technology. I write about the wealth of telecommunications choices we have today:

Never before have small businesses had so many affordable choices for phone calls and voice messages. Everything from free Skype, to out-of-the-box VOIP services like Vonage, to virtual switchboard software, to sophisticated VOIP networks, to PDAs and mobile phones — even souped-up voice mail services that defy easy description. This article cuts through the confusion and gives you a quick guide explaining the differences in these choices and when/how to use them.

Readers often ask if I am a technologist, because I regularly touch on technology issues in my writing. The short answer is: I’m not a technologist. A better description would be: a small business generalist who bridges the divide between technology and business.

Technology, in my opinion, is a confusing area that doesn’t have to be confusing.

One of my aims with the Inc columns is to translate between the world of small business and technology. That translation goes two ways. On the one hand, it means explaining to technology providers what small businesses need. On the other hand, it means translating baffling technology into plain English so that we mere mortals can understand it.

I am on the Boards of four different technology organizations here in my home state of Ohio: Ohio IT Alliance, Center for Information Technology and eBusiness , NEOSA, and NorTech. Even though these Boards take up a fair chunk of my time, I participate on them so that I am better equipped to translate between small business and technology.

In that vein, go read the latest “technology translation” column over at Inc Technology.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.