1A.Impact of Technologies on customers and e-business
Technology can be defined s the creation, application and the understanding of the styles, skills and the structure of classification so as to handle out a particular function or to decipher or beaver away at a predicament. There are various types of technology such as computer and phones.
The impacts of technologies on e-business.
There are a number of ways that technology can be used to impact on the customer value. Some forms of technology, like computers can be used to create a shopping library from where customers can choose the items that they want to shop online and request or know from where the best products are found and from which companies.
The new various forms of technologies when employed in a company increase the efficiency. An example of efficiency would apply if a computer works on architectural and planning services. The computers can be used to sketch plans and insert the right dimensions since most of them are programmed (Sam, 2007).A
Most of the successful have ventured into the use of computers to influence the information. They use the computers to evaluate the business information, construct new documents and also to update the other various workers when essential. The company management can communicate with the departmental executives from various branches without the use of the traditional snail-mail ways.
In the industrial plants, most of the equipments and the machines are automated. An example is a crane. The cranes can be used to perform tasks that manual workers could do for longer time, but with the new forms of technologies like the cranes, the time used for the task performance is very small compared to the manual workers. Computers, make it very easy for the enquirers to dig into the information about a particular company or industry as all they have to do is to Google a few words about the company and the whole information and address of the company is displayed on the screen. In that way, the customer care agents, the representatives and the human resource employees are spared the time that could be used in inquires and complains and that time is used somewhere else more constructive.
Technologies greatly influence business and customers in other several ways. Big shopping malls have high-tech technology such as digitalized signs that help clients known where the items that they may be looking are situated. In huge shopping malls, children easily get lost in the hustle and bustle and so in many of them; they are electronic speakers from where parents can broadcast to the entire building. At the counter, there are programmed digitized sensors that when the purchased item is pointed to it the digital machine beeps and automatically shows not the prices but also the total sums. The technology is convenient in that it’s faster than the traditional way of calculating using biros (Zajas Jay, 1997) .
The importance of infrastructure in business
Infrastructure refers to the basic facilities that are vital for easy and convenient transportation, movement and communication. The basic types of infrastructure include: roads, telephones (mode of communication) and energy supply. Good and reliable roads are important in that they facilitate the movement of goods, both raw and final products.
The roads that are convenient are important because customers would be discouraged from shopping in a company that is located on places that to get to them they need to battle with rough impassable roads. Companies that are set in nice locations and beautiful buildings tend to be appealing to the eye and compel clients to shop in them. Also, beautifully decorated buildings that house companies are attractive to shoppers. Communication is yet another factor that determines in business. Many people nowadays use the mobile phones and so good network coverage in an area will not deter clients. The other type of infrastructure is electricity. If a company is located in an area that experiences frequent power blackouts there are bound to be frequent interruptions. Even though some things are unavoidable, the companies could work out on other supplementary methods such as generators
Q 1B. The recent Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype
Microsoft Corporation is a global company that is based in Washington and mainly upgrades produces and authorizes permits to products that involve the computer software, household electronics, computer hardware, and automotive software, creates video games, runs IT consults among other services. On the other hand, Skype is a form of software that allows the clients to chat in the internet with calls that are characterized with videos and voices. The users can use the Skype service to make calls to either the traditional phones, mobile phones. The Skype Company also allows broadband-connected users to use the service. The Skype Company is headquartered in Luxembourg (Oswald, 1980).
Microsoft approached Skype and merged it at a transaction that was worth $8.5 billion. In the view of the Microsoft’s management, the coming together of the two companies would give it a conducive environment to work together with the intermediaries that were eager to make alliances with the Skype Company when they turned regarded the networks that were based on LTE. Due to the cutting edge features of the Skype company: the clear voice that it had and the video service that it offered, it would upgrade the commerce of Microsoft once they can into an alliance. They were also other claims that the Skype Company had been advertised because the eBay and Silver Lake wanted to see their proceeds. The Microsoft Company figured out that the Skype company could assist in the movements of kinect.The CEO visioned that with the new alliance, the Microsoft would get an increased rate of kinect travel because the bases of the clients would work flawlessly since there would an upgrading of the virtue and voice Microsoft services (Faisal, 2002).
The Microsoft company also figured out that by the alliance of it with the Skype company, the usage of the x-box LIVE, would be a bait that would lure the other users of services that involved voice to video and also increase the market sales of x-box 360.Then, the Microsoft figured out that with the improved visuals, the users would keep playing them longer compared to before.
The fact that the Skype Company was a company with a reputation of cutting edge visual and videos, the acquisition of it by the Microsoft Company would increase the reputation and the popularity of the Microsoft. Considering that Microsoft had low quality visuals (in video) and low quality voices, in the ever expanding world of technology, it would give it a stronghold in the technology fights and the courage to fight other technology giants such as Google and Cisco.
The Microsoft acquiring of the Skype Company was a trick pulled at the communication sector. First, the Microsoft Company wanted to prevent the Google Company from acquiring it since it would spell a threat to it. In a way, the purchase could either be a smokescreen to deter rival communications company from marginalizing Microsoft or the Microsoft Company was fool. Yet, if the purchase of the Skype Company was to be viewed and reviewed with a keen eye, one would be no doubt being left with a barrage of questions. During the purchase, there were rival bidders. There was the Google and that the Silver Lake purchase of the Skype (Cainelli Giulio, 2007) .The latter company purchased the Skype Company for only $ 2.5 billion and sold it for $ 8.5 billion. No matter the level of input that was made by the Silver Lake Company, it wasn’t worth being for more than 300 % the purchase price.
Next, is that Google was the main bidding competitor and it is understandable that when the bidding escalated beyond the $ 4.5 billion mark, it did stop bidding. That means that there was no other bidding competitor. If sure the Microsoft was left the only bidder, then how was the $ 8.5 billion mark reached. This only means that the Microsoft Company was bidding against itself over and over again.Thye can also be another view: the Microsoft Company was eying the future and not the present. It can be very senseless for Microsoft to note that it purchased the Skype Company for $ 8.5 billion while its returns were $ 860 million: a quarter of the purchasing price.
Nevertheless, the Skype is a strong trademark and there are high probabilities that the company will prosper in future. To crown that point, the purchase of the Skype Company was an asset to the Microsoft Company. Imagine a stash of $ 8.5 billion lying somewhere idly. In my own view, the purchase of the Skype Company was an investment. Oops, you never know what lies behind a sparkling facade!
Cainelli Giulio, D. (2007). Agglomeration,technology and business groups. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Faisal, H. (2002). The alignment effect:how to get real business value out of technology. New Jersey: FT Press.
Oswald, M. (1980). Towards measuring the technological impact of multinational corporations in the less developed countries. New York: Ayer Publishing.
Sam, L. (2007). Managing information communication technology investments in successful enetrprises. London: Idea Group Inc.
Zajas Jay, O. (1997). Applying telecommunications and technology from a global business perspective. New York: Routle.
Q 2B. Use of Social Media in Customer to Business Trading
The use of new technology especially in the computer and mobile phones with internet has revolutionized the manner in which different undertakings are conducted in the current society. One of the declines that have embraced use of modern technology is business. Most business organizations have transformed the manner through which they undertake their operations from traditional methods to current. One of the avenues most businesses are resorting to is use of social sites as an avenue of promoting interaction between them and their clients. This is due to the large number of people who have embraced social sites such as twitter, face book, tagged, YouTube, LinkedIn to mention but a few as a means of staying in touch with each other and also as a means by which they can share information.
Most business have realized the need to embrace the use social sites as a means of informing existing and potential clients about the existence of their companies and also as an avenue of updating their customers on current developments in the range of products they offer in the market.
Social networking sites are effective means of passing information to people. this can be demonstrated by the 2008 presidential election in America and also as evident in some countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to mention but a few, the social media is one of the most powerful means through which information can be passed from one person to another. Businesses having realized this, are investing more resources in carrying out campaigns and promotions through social networks with a sole objective of increasing their customer based and profit margins (Heidrich, 2011). There are numerous benefits an organization is likely to enjoy when it embraces use of social networking strategy as a means of promoting its performance some of which include;
It’s the responsibility of any business that wants to control market share to carry out adequate research on the preference of the customers. In order to achieve this, the business has to go where its clients are rather than vice versa. It’s been established in most quotas that a large number of people spent a lot of time on social networking sites. Businesses that have discovered this are utilizing it for their advantage by using such social networking sites as promotional avenues to reach a huge number of existing as well as potential customers.
Continuous exposure of a potential client to a company’s name and products creates curiousity on the client especially on the products the company is offering hence making them try out the company’s product.
Reduced Marketing Cost
The social networking sites are proving beneficial not only to large established business ventures but also to the small upcoming businesses. The advent of mobile phones that are internet enabled and also the use of computers have created a wide platform through which social networking sites can be accessed. Social networking sites such as facebook, twitter, Skype to mention are available for anyone interested at no cost as along as he/she has attained the required age limits. Small businesses are taking advantage of these sites as means of advertising their products since it eliminates the marketing costs and reaches a wider clientele base. In addition to this, the social networking sites are designed in a manner that offers room for chatting. This instant service enables businesses to community with customers instantly hence reducing the business expenditures that were to be incurred in paying for telephone bills and also saves on the amount of money that would have been spent in fuel.
Expanded Market base due to Internalization
In contrast to other means of communicating with the customer such as the print media that are characterized with a relatively small geographical coverage, the social networking sites have a large fun base all across the world hence it’s a perfect avenue for business information sharing and picking of new clients. Responses that a company may receive from potential clients in regions where is does not have operations or representative is vital when a company is considering venturing into new ‘virgin’ markets. Stiff competition is one of the major challenges companies and businesses are facing in the current world. In order to with stand competition it’s important for a company to continuously in touch with its customers which can be achieved through social networking sites, offer quality products, create a channel of communication with its customers with regards to its products so as to understand their preference which can achieved through chatting and message feedbacks done through social networking sites and also expand operations across geographical boarders (Bloom & Novelli, 1981).
Venue for Communication and Trust Building
The key to growth and development of any business is anchored on customers trust on products being offered to him/her by a company or a business venture. Once customers trust your products they become loyal. Creating customer trust and loyalty can be achieved by businesses by effective use of social networking sites since they create opportunity for people to build trust and loyalty (Live2k, 2011). Long-term relationship between a business and its clients can be built through a networking site since it creates a platform on which the business can build a long term relationship with the client.
Social sites such as facebook, twitter, Skype among others have created an effective back-link avenue for most business. Most companies and businesses have their backlinks on these websites hence creating a means through which traffic can be redirected back a business website hence creating a means by which the clients can access a business website to view the various range of products and services they offer.
Strategic Marketing Avenue
Social sites are a means by which a business can reach certain group of people based on their interests and preferences. Although the social sites are open to any persons with age limits varying among the different sites from sixteen years onwards, it’s been established that the highest number of persons using the social networking sites are persons who are computer literate. Hence when a business uses the social networking sites for promotion its targets an informed market niche that’s widely spread across the globe.
A large percentage of persons who know to use computers are either in working environments hence they have purchasing power. This consideration is important as it gives an estimate reflection on the possible number of persons likely to purchase a product. Target market is an important factor to consider when doing business promotions since it’s a futile effort to market products to a market that is not interested in the products you are advertising. It will translate to losses on the business (Richards, 2006).
The social sites offer avenues of interaction between the customer and the business. The business can utilize the avenue to evaluate itself. This can be achieved by analyzing responses of the clients on the business profile on the social website in relation to the nature of products or services the business is offering. Active monitoring of the conversations between the business personnel’s and the customers offers an opportunity for the business to clarify any misinformation regarding its operations or nature of products hence enabling making of clarifications of posted information’s that might impact negatively on the business in the future.
Although social networking sites are an adequate means that can be applied by businesses to reach and attract a wide clientele base, it requires a lot of dedication especially from the business part of it. Social sites can only become effective in promoting business if the business owner is well versed with the operations and management of the site. In the event a business lacks adequate knowledge on how to manage its social profile, coupled with the numerous social sites currently available, use of social sites in business promotion may end up being an exercise in futility.
For a social sites to be used effectively it’s important for a business to register in the sites its sure will reach its customer base rather than signing up with various social sites that it cannot adequately monitor and manage (Lang, 2011). Hence the exercise does add up to the expectation of the business rather ends up being a time wasting undertaking. Social site marketing is an undertaking that requires patience since its returns are not as immediate when compared with direct marketing technique.
Use of social sites such as twitter, facebook, Skype among others as a means of marketing is changing the manner in which business promotions for both big and small ventures are being undertaken all over the world. However, it’s important to note that although social marketing is proving to be one of the most efficient means of marketing, it’s a technology that still being developing and evolving. Hence its likely to face challenges in the business world since its anchored on usage of internet like other internet related challenges such as cyber-crime to mention but a few. However, this should not create panic since the undertaking has proved beneficial to some businesses across the globe. With possession of adequate online marketing skills and strategies, social sites will completely change the manner through which products advertised across the world.
Bloom,P & Novelli. W, (1981).Problems and Challenges in Social Marketing. Marketing science institute. Retrieved on June 1 2011 from http://www.msi.org/publications/publication.cfm?pub=123
Lang, C, (2011).Top 10 Social Marketing Challenges. Online Social Networking. Retrieved on 1 June 2011 from http://online-social-networking.com/top-10-social-marketing-challenges
Richards. R, (2006).Online Marketing Success Stories: Insider secrets from the Experts who are making Millions on the Internet Today. Washington D.C Atlantic Publishing Company.
Heidrich.R,(2011).Lead Generation Problems with Social Media Marketing. SMMPRESS Social Media Marketing. Retrieved on 1 June 2011 from http://www.socialmediamarketingpress.com/articles-2/972/lead-generation-problems-with-social-media-marketing%C2%A0%C2%A0/
Live2k, (2011).Business Through Social Networking. Strategic Web Marketing Group. Retrieved on 1 June 2011 from http://live2k.net/2011/05/business-through-social-networking/