Archive for August 28th, 2012

Airtel ties up with Microsoft to sell Office 365

In a sign of the increasing role being played by telecom operators in the emerging cloud computing ecosystem, India’s largest telco Bharti Airtel has tied up with Microsoft to sell the software giant’s office productivity suite to small and medium businesses in India.

For Airtel, the partnership will help boost its intent to derive a larger portion of revenue from data services and for Microsoft, the tie-up will give it easy access to a large pool of potential customers in India who prefer to pay for software based on what they use instead of the traditional model of high upfront investment for licences.

Currently, data services (excluding SMS) accounts for only 4.3% of Airtel’s revenues of $7.5 billion. Telcos around the world, like Etisalat in Dubai and China Telecom in China, are looking at such partnerships to drive data revenues. Microsoft has also inked similar arrangements with AT&T, Verizon, Telstra in US and Australia.

“There are 30 million small and medium businesses in the country. About 10 million of them use PCs, which gives us a ready market for Microsoft’s Office 365 and other products,” said Sanjay Kapoor, CEO of Bharti Airtel.

As part of the contract, Microsoft will sell its Office 365 Software – Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote – as a service, with the actual software hosted on from Bharti Airtel’s data centres.

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Point of Sale Software: How It’s Improved Over the Years

A POS system has come a long way from the trusty cash drawer that was opened with a lock and key. Today, new POS software technologies run rampant as more tools are introduced to support different business models.

The following are some of the most prominent advancements that have made POS software a huge help for businesses:

Tablet-Compatible Cash Drawers

Customers and employees want mobile POS systems technologies. In fact, 50% of customers surveyed in a recent Honeywell survey agreed that using a mobile POS station will save time; 43% believed that paperless receipts sent via e-mail were beneficial to both customers and businesses.

That’s why business owners should start thinking about POS system software such as iRegister. It’s a new POS tablet that can save small business owners a lot of money because they won’t need to purchase a complete POS system.

The register costs $999 and can be used stationary when docked at a cash drawer in conjunction with a keyboard and thermal receipt printer, similar to a traditional POS station. For added convenience, employees can remove the tablet from the docking station for mobile transactions, to reduce long lines, or print customer receipts away from the register.

Multi-Location Management

New point of sale software allows business owners with several retail locations to manage reports in real-time using one complete system. All customer transactions in multiple retail stores can be accessed with multi-level security encoding to control records, sales, and inventory without having to step foot in the actual store.

This type of on-site and off-site management will allow a business owner to track customer sales to improve day-to-day efficiency and productivity – regardless of the size of business.

POS E-Commerce Storefront

For retail stores that also sell products online, POS software now provides e-commerce solutions for all business types and sizes.

E-commerce POS software can be customized to meet a business’s unique needs, allowing brick-and-mortar retail stores to expand their reach to a larger customer demographic by selling products online. This type of streamlined POS software will enable a retail store to expedite customer orders placed online, while continuing to track inventory and sales for both in-store and Internet purchases.

Clearly, standard POS systems are raising the bar by introducing new, functional technologies that benefit a wide variety of business models. Whether you own a retail store, a restaurant, or a fast food chain, using an updated POS system will make it easier to expedite customer transactions to improve sales and step up your level of customer service.

Sylvia Rosen is an online writer who enjoys writing about the latest business technology trends.

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