The quest for a competitive advantage drives every business on the move. That
means reducing travel costs, making faster and better informed decisions and
helping employees balance their professional and personal lives. The most direct
way to attain these goals is to make it easy for colleagues, customers or associates
to manage their time more efficiently.
Time management has been a business buzz-phrase since the early 90s when
companies were challenged to improve profitability on shrinking budgets. Efficiencies
were put in place to reduce costs, including streamlined travel and reduced
T&E expenditures. What product of the 90s has better increased office
efficiencies than the Internet?
The Power of the Internet
Theres no doubt that the Internet is permanently changing the way business
is conducted both in the United States and around the world. In a recent MCI
WorldCom Conferencing study on Internet usage among technology-savvy business
people, these professionals are increasing their reliance on the Internet as
a tool to save time and reduce costs.
The independent study "The Internets Impact on Business Productivity
and Individual Work Habits" surveyed nearly 300 Internet-connected business
professionals on their Web usage. The results show that American businesses
are rapidly embracing the Internet. More than half of the respondents say the
Internet is central to their companies daily business practices; only
13 percent say their company limits or discourages Internet use.
A majority of survey respondents use the Internet for a variety of business
tasks. For instance, business travelers use the Web frequently to access online
maps (94 percent), obtain flight information (89 percent), conduct research
on other companies (82 percent), make hotel reservations (67 percent) and purchase
airline tickets (58 percent).
business benefits companies gain from the Internet are staggering from
both a financial and work-life standpoint," said Tim Reedy, vice president,
Finance and Marketing, MCI WorldCom Conferencing. "More than 68 percent
of the respondents of the study say the Internet reduces costs; 63 percent say
it improves customer service; and 61 percent say it reduces travel. Furthermore,
over half say it helps improve job satisfaction and quality of work, and reduces
Conferencing on the Internet
While most business professionals already use the Internet to help plan business
trips, an increasing number are also using it to participate in meetings and
collaborate with others. In fact, more than a third of respondents have participated
in Internet-based conferences, where presentations are shared and viewed over
the Web. Web conferencing enables hundreds of people at dispersed locations
to meet as a group, using only an Internet-connected PC and a separate telephone
line. Because no one needs to travel to attend, companies save time and money.
|Other uses of the Internet for meeting-related tasks:
||75 percent have e-mailed a presentation to meeting participants
||46 percent have met via online chat
||40 percent have participated in a distance learning session
||29 percent have attended a virtual seminar
Online Organizational Tools
With use of the Internet growing, the virtual space is becoming a crowded one,
and keeping track of all these activities can be challenging. But new online
time-management tools, such as AnyDay.com, can make it easier. AnyDay.com is
the perfect companion for Internet-savvy professionals who need to schedule
a meeting on the Internet or in-person especially when faced with
the usual time crunch.
For example, setting up a last-minute online conference with colleagues around
the globe is as easy as a click of the mouse button. When the conference coordinator
adds the meeting to AnyDay.com, its automatically added to all participants
schedules. It can also remind each participant a half-hour before conference
time. Because its an Internet-based tool, AnyDay.com is available 24 hours
a day, seven days a week and is completely secure.
AnyDay.com was created in response to the demand of the online calendar market,
which International Data Corporation predicts will grow to almost 60 million
users by 2002. AnyDay.com offers individuals and groups powerful, integrated,
easy-to-use time-management tools, including a calendar, an address book, a
reminder service, group scheduling and publishing features, and a task manager
with an event directory. It also can be synchronized with popular handheld and
desktop organizers such as Palm Pilots, IBM Workpad, Windows CE devices,
Lotus Notes, Lotus Organizer, MS Outlook, Symantec ACT, and Goldmine
letting you access up-to-the-minute information.