Wired to the World

DIRECT CONNECTIVITY

The technical foundation for my firm consists of telecommunications. Each morning, my main PC polls up to 20 different electronic mailboxes, retrieving electronic mail (e-mail) from clients, associates and friends. In all of my activities, I make sure that I have an electronic mail link to my client, permitting me a closer strategic link to the ‘customer’.

In many ways, my professional service consists of the delivery of information, and an electronic bridge to the client makes it easier to provide that service. Currently, I send research reports directly to the internal e-mail systems of several major client’s. Not only does my client get the information quicker, but there is also no need for them to re-type sections of the report from a hard-to-read fax. And by listing my e-mail address in their internal e-mail system, the client knows that they can send research requests directly to me.

Efficient communications with all parties involved in a client project have become critical to success. Recently, on behalf of several clients, I’ve been doing a lot of work on projects involving products from Lotus Corporation. Through my diverse e-mail systems, I am able to get a question directly to the desktop e-mail system of any staff member within Lotus, permitting faster response to client issues. The wonderful thing about this type of electronic relationship is that it permits me to avoid the dreaded voice mail jail.

I’ve found that this is often the thing that helps me to build a more profitable client relationship over time.

GLOBAL NETWORKING

It’s not just electronic mail with clients and associates that are key to my activities…..it’s global networking using the Internet.

It is no longer unusual for me to put out an inquiry to thousands of people around the globe, and to receive many answers back within hours. It is not uncommon for me to exchange e-mail messages with individuals in Moscow or New Zealand or Sweden via the Internet one moment, and to send electronic reports to a client through the Internet the next; to participate in a global discussion group concerning methods of building electronic mail gateways while receiving Keplarian elements on the latest shuttle launch, so that I can track when the shuttle might be appearing over Toronto. (Shuttle tracking might have absolutely nothing to do with my business, of course, but it can be a heck of a lot of fun!)

The Internet serves as a critical source of information. Recently, I needed to determine if there were any on-line databases containing market research reports for a particular industry, in addition to the services that I already use. I sent a message to an electronic mailing list I maintain of over 200 on-line research experts around the globe. Within several hours, I had received comments back from several people highlighting a couple of services I had never heard of. Today, I’m investigating the servic es to determine if I should add them to my research portfolio.

To track issues of importance to my consulting practice, I make extensive use of USENET, a global conference affiliated with the Internet. With thousands of topics ranging from environmental issues, computer groupware, oceanography to popular culture, USE NET has proven to be a font of expert knowledge. Recently, to keep up to date on electronic mail privacy issues, I’ve tracked a worldwide discussion on the reaction to a controversial initiative by the US government concerning the encryption of data.

Within days of the release from the White House of the policy papers, hundreds of people from around the world were debating the complicated issues raised by the proposal. I gained greater insight into the issue in days than if I had studied the matter directly.

You can make international calls at so low and favorable rates; long distance phone cards can help out you get in touch with who you need to, what time you want to, with no delay, problem.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.