The Evolution Of Fax And Business

Ever wondered about the evolution of fax and business? How they became so mutually inclusive? Well, there is definitely a certain pattern when it comes to fax and business, but in order to understand where it all started and how it all started, you need to make sure that you understand the history of the fax itself and how crucial it has been to communications as a whole. Fax machines themselves were actually not viewed as essential pieces of equipment until the late 20th century. Before that, methods of communication were the telegram and the letter. The fax machine was however invented before the telephone, by Alexander Bain. Bain wanted to send information fast, via an electronic impulse so that people could get letters much faster than via the postal service. He succeeded in inventing this machine, but it was not developed until much later.

Faxing was only proven to be useful as a good mode of communications when it was picked up by the banking sector. The first functional fax machines were used to record banking transactions. Once the telephone was fully invented and in use, fax machines were paired onto telephones as a more reliable way of sending signals across ling distances.

The importance of fax in business today

The fax machine was only made into a staple of office life in the 1970’s. The Japanese were the first to recognise its value in business and make it an essential addition to communication. The reason that the fax machine was so simple is because it could take messages that were in English and print them out in Japanese, without the Japanese having to have a machine that had all 6000 characters of their alphabet on it. As soon as this was discovered, the fax became a staple in every office as well as home.

Fax machines were also the first pieces of technology that gave rise to fast and efficient communication, as well as the ability to print out documents as well as receive them. Fax machines then came with built in photocopiers, so that people could make copies of the faxes that they received. This meant that anyone from anywhere in the world could do business with or communicate with anyone from elsewhere.

Faxes were also the first pieces of technology that made a signature authentic. Any signature that is on a fax document is considered to be truer than an electronic signature. No computer has managed to make a signature that is as authentic just yet. This is important in business dealings too.

So as you can see the fact fax machines and businesses have been working side by side for many years. Even though the technology has not been used as much lately it will always have its place.

What Does Mobile Technology Represent?

With the passage of time we have seen the telecom industry evolve into what might have been inconceivable some twenty odd years back. A device which was designed to connect people by enabling them to establish communications on the move is doing much more than what it was initially designed for. Surely mobile phones have come a long way since their inception.

Back in the days the basic functions of a phone, one would reckon, would be simply receiving a phone call or a text message and now we have phone which not only just do that but do much more. It seems that it’s not just a device made to keep you connected, but also designed to keep you entertained. From music player to a movie player, phones now have it all. This transformation from a simple to the advanced version has been at a high pace.

Android and Windows operating phones are now controlling the major segment of the market; these phones come with literally unlimited mobile applications which a user can install and usually without a cost. Imagine a world where one gets whatever he/she wishes for by simply putting a finger on it, interesting now isn’t it?

Usually most of the applications made are not even of any good use rather than being a good waste of time yet they are of immense popularity amongst all age groups. Most of the popular “Apps” are for either gaming or for socializing. There used to be days when one would take out some time of his busy schedule and go out to actually socialize with selected and precious friends and family, but now everyone who owns a fancy mobile phone is seen virtually socializing with anyone and everyone who might come across, without realizing that people he/she interacts with are not real friends and in the person would be deceiving himself by believing he has a great friends circle but ironically none show up when he needs them the most. Sure the socializing application helps in reducing distances and keeps you connected with your loved ones, but at the end of the day it keeps you connected with people who you really don’t need to interact with.

Similarly these applications have drastically damaged the way our society interacts with each other, children instead of going out in parks and playing real sports end up playing on cell phones. Typically he same argument which came up with the emergence of video games, however, it took some effort to set up the video game but these games are even more easily accessible. This is making children lazy and obese.

According to an argument, these mobile phone applications which can be instantaneously are a representation of capitalistic values. The entire concept of whatever you want by just putting a finger on it makes you in one way or another greedy. It also makes your fragile mind believe that you can easily have whatever you want. Which however is not true in the real world and people need to get out of this mess before it gets too late.

Electronics Retailer – Company Profile – Best Buy

Shopping has become a part of everyday life for many Americans. Large retail outlets line major roads of American towns and cities, enticing consumers with attention grabbing advertisements for products that vary from everyday necessities, to flashy toys that promise hours of entertainment. While many stores carry these entertainment products, like TV’s, computers, gaming systems, and mp3 players, there is one company that stands above the rest as the “dominant technology and entertainment retailer” (taitsubler.com) in the United States – Best Buy.

With a gross income of over $50 Billion in fiscal year 2011, and a net income of $1.227 billion, Best Buy Co., Inc holds one of the largest market shares in the consumer electronics industry, as they should. Best Buy, founded in 1966, is electronics merchant, whose stores are chock full of expensive electrical toys and tools. Stores are split into departments, each department specializing in a type of technology. Each store has a Home Theater, Computer/Tablet, MP3/iPod, Gaming, Digital Imaging, Car Electronics, Music/Movies, Appliances, and Mobile (cell phone) department, in which products and their accessories are on display.

Best Buy, striving to be a one stop shop for customers, also provides services to go along with their products. Through partnerships with companies such as Comcast, Dish Network, Time Warner, and Clear Wireless, customers can leave the store with connections to the internet, cable or dish TV, and phone services. Through the acquisition of Geek Squad in 2002, Best Buy is also able to offer repair and installation services on many of its wares, such as TV’s, computers, and appliances. In fact, Best Buy now brands all of its warranties and installation services with the Geek Squad name, and encourages customers to make use of their in-store service counters, where they can talk face to face with a Geek Squad agent about the issues that they are experiencing with their technology.

Geek Squad is not the only brand to be owned by Best Buy. Product brands such as Dynex, Insignia, and Rocketfish are all owned by Best Buy. These brands are mainly manufacturers of product accessories such as wireless mice (for computers), speakers, cables and cases, but both Dynex and Insignia are manufacturers of larger products, like TV’s. Having “house brands” is beneficial for the company because they lead to higher margins on those products, and Best Buy has greater control over product inventory levels and greater flexibility in the creation of new products to fit with market trends. For example, Best Buy was able to respond to the release of the IPad by creating several IPad accessories, such as cases and stands, through its brand Rocketfish. Not only did consumers benefit by having a greater assortment of accessories to choose from, but also from the lower prices that arose due to competition in the accessories market.

Other brands associated with Best Buy are Magnolia, a branch of the Home Theater department, in which higher end TV’s and speakers are sold, for those customers that desire above average performance from their TV’s and speaker set-ups, and Napster, which, up until earlier this year, was an attempt by Best Buy to enter the music streaming and download market. (Napster was recently sold to Rhapsody for an undisclosed amount.)

In November of 2001, Best Buy purchased another brand as well – Future Shop. Future Shop was an electronics dealer within Canada, and upon being purchased by Best Buy Co., Inc, was renamed Best Buy Canada Ltd. It functions as a largely separate entity of Best Buy Co., Inc, yet has a strong presence within the nation, grossing more than $5 Billion dollars in revenue.

Best Buy Canada is not Best Buy’s only international project; it has also launched stores in China, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, it has not been met with success in those regions. Best Buy recently closed all nine of its stores in China, but does have plans to pursue the consumer electronics market there with the opening of 50 new stores branded as “Five Star Electronics.” Best Buy, however, has pulled entirely out of the Turkey and U.K. Markets, closing down the two stores in the Middle Eastern country, and its eleven locations around Britain, with no announced plans to re-enter those markets.

Best Buy has had increasing difficulty with domestic expansion as well, facing stiff competition from other retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, who have recently put forth efforts to expand their electronics selections at increasingly competitive prices, and also from online retailers such as Amazon.com and Newegg.com, who are able to offer large selections exceedingly lower prices due to their low overhead. Best Buy stores have been called “Amazon’s showcase” by consumers who use the blue and yellow retailer as a place to see and learn about products up close before ordering them from another company online.

Ex Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn, however, has an optimistic view of his company’s strategy for competing with these other companies. Bestbuy.com is Best Buy’s answer to online competitors, and has been called “extremely successful” by Dunn. It also has an advantage over Amazon and Newegg; the products ordered from Bestbuy.com can be picked up in store, which eliminates the cost of shipping. 40% of online orders are picked up in store, according to the article Best Buy Gets Squeezed which signifies that consumers do enjoy having this option available to them. Furthermore, items ordered online can be returned to brick and mortar locations, which consumers find convenient and reassuring. “In the future, physical stores alone will not be enough. Digital alone will not be enough. How they come together is what really matters,” says Dunn (Best Buy Struggles with Global Ambitions).

Brian Dunn’s confidence, however, is not shared by investors. Stocks, traded under the symbol BBY, have dropped from a high of $43.21 dollars per to a low of $21.79 in under a year, and though stock prices are recovering slightly, they are currently hovering around $28, a mere 65% of what they once were. Profits per share have also declined, according to Best Buy Gets Squeezed, with profit dropping from 47 cents a share to 60 cents.

In response, the company has cut down on the number of seasonal hires brought on board for the year, cut its employee discount (Best Buy currently has 180,000 employees, which is why this was considered to make a large impact in the bottom line), and plans on reducing its retail square footage by 10%, which will reduce operating costs. Despite this, end year profit expectations have been cut, company growth has continued to flat-line.

The economy has been to blame for the company, and the industry’s current woes. American’s have been spending more cautiously, lately, and with electronics considered more of a luxury than a necessity, consumers have been spending less in that area over the past few years. Furthermore, there have been few “must have” innovations in the electronics industry since the invention of HD and Plasma TV’s. 3D Television was expected to be the new HD by the industry, however was met with skepticism and lack of interest by consumers due to its lack of content and requirement of wearing bulky and expensive glasses while watching it.

There is some hope, however, for Tablet and on-the-go computing growth; and Best Buy has responded by creating extensive tablet displays within its stores, and providing extra training for employees in the Computer Departments. Mobile technology an area that Best Buy is looking to expand market share in. Best Buy Mobile departments and stand-alone retail stores carry cell-phones, and offer on the go internet services (called mobile broadband). Sales in this department are extremely lucrative because wireless companies such as AT&T and Verizon provide pure compensation for each contract signed by Best Buy Mobile customers.

Best Buy Mobile customers are also likely to be repeat customers. Their cell-phones are typically available for upgrade every two years, and Best Buy sends its customers upgrade reminder text messages, inviting them to come and check out the latest and greatest technology around their upgrade time.