Smartphones can streamline a business

Millions of consumers have learned how smartphones can enhance their daily lives and, according to research conducted by Forrester, 2010 is going to be the year the business world discovers the benefits of smartphones as well.While only 11 percent of American professionals currently use smartphones that are supported by their employer, 64 percent of U.S. workers who use a computer for work want a smartphone, and a majority is willing to pay at least a portion of the cost.There is a reason these phones are referred to as “smart” phones, because they truly do help users to work smarter. By having access to their office anytime, professionals can work anywhere, helping to maximize efficiency while enjoying greater freedom that comes from no longer having to be tied to their desk.For instance, Michael Scanlon, director of purchasing, quality and logistics for in Goffstown, sees the smartphone as instrumental to his business.“Since we made the switch to smartphones, we all have become more efficient in our day-to-day activities. We are able to sync with our Outlook e-mail contacts and much more. If I am out of the office, I am able to review and revise contracts, responding quickly and efficiently saving us time and money, while giving us an edge up on the competition.”Here’s how smartphones can help streamline your business: • Having a smartphone is like carrying your desktop computer in your pocket. It provides instant access to company data, which can allow for a flexible work schedule. Users can access multiple e-mail accounts, view embedded links and open, edit and save company documents, just to name a few. • Company networks sync with smartphones, such as BlackBerry and Windows phones so that you can have your calendar, e-mail and contacts up-to-date at all times. • Smartphones give employees the Internet at their fingertips. Most smartphones also have GPS capabilities to help users navigate their way to a business meeting. • Texting enables professionals to reach one another during meetings, seminars and other situations when a traditional call is deemed inappropriate. Instant messaging options help customers stay in touch and get answers in real time. • Smartphones can help workers keep their professional and personal lives organized and productive. Aside from calendar features, which can alert you of upcoming meetings and events, the phone also stores all of your contacts’ information, photos, videos, and music, helping users balance work and play all in the palm of their hands.Eric Conlon is director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England.