Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tips For Running An International Business Company

International business company owners face one common challenge in their organizational structure: language barrier. While it is true that transport links and globalization of business have made the world a smaller place, language barrier still exists, and it doesnt look like its going to go away soon.

So how does an international business company owner overcome such a major hurdle in business?

The key of course is translation. If you want effective global operations for your international business company, then you need to somehow find a way to translate your business language into that which your foreign operations understand. Speed and accuracy in the translation process are also important in order to ensure efficiency in your translations team as they work with contract research organizations all over the world.

Intranets, Interoffice Materials, and External Websites

You know already that communication is the key to creating a more cohesive organization, especially when it comes to an international business company. But the existing language barrier can defeat your international business companys communication processes, rendering it useless.

In order to prevent this and bring employees of your international business company closer together, the translation of interoffice materials and intranets is a huge help. Not only will it help empower non-native speakers of the language of your head office, it would also facilitate communication among member offices, creating a more cohesive organization.

Translation should not be limited to intranets and interoffice materials alone. External websites are your companys vital link to your international customer base. In order to reach more customers worldwide, your external sites must answer to the various languages to increase understanding.

How to Choose a Translation Provider

As mentioned, accuracy and speed are the goal of every translator. The most important thing to remember is that the translation must be able to effectively communicate the message into the local language in the most accurate and fastest way possible. A translator who is able to do this without diluting in any way the local language (so that it results in insulting text!) is a must. That is why it is not often recommended that you do the translation job yourself, even if you speak the language. Because speaking the language does not necessarily mean translating it into writing a language.

Look for a certified translator to handle the translation processes in your company. If there is no certification process for translators in your head offices country, then look to translators associations, such as the American Translators Associations, that offer accreditations to translators through a voluntary testing process.

Freelance translators are also another option. However, if you ever decide to use the services of a freelance translators, then be sure to have someone in your international business company coordinate the workflow.

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Remember When You Could Have Bought That Blackberry And You Did Not

Todays cell phones are compact information peddlers and most are good looking too. When you choose your cell phone plan ask yourself this, where will you be using your handset the most?

Do you know whether there is adequate network coverage in the area you will be using your mobile the most? Personal safety reasons must be taken into consideration before choosing a provider that may not give you adequate coverage.

Wireless consumers are becoming increasingly demanding. Gone are the days when consumers blindly accepted the inflexible service plans dished out to them. As a result, it is essential to pick the cell phone plan that will satisfy the majority of your needs.

Recently, some cell phone companies gave the go ahead for you to call any number on any other network and you do not have to use any of your allotted minutes for the month.
Imagine that! A plan that allows you to call five to ten numbers without loss of allotted minutes. In the event that you get calls from these numbers, they are free!

A major requirement for all cell phones is to have a System Identification Code SID. It is a unique five digit number. Each carrier is assigned this number by the FCC. Your cell gets its SID code after you sign a service contract. Then it is activated.

The Blackberry brand of handset is developed by Research In Motion Limited. They create the most up to date, sophisticated cell phone technology. Here is a list of some of the things that Blackberries do:
1. send messages with the short messaging service
2. updating friends who are in a hurry
3. sending a typical email
4. accessing internets and intranets.

Handheld Blackberry Smart Phones come with the Qwerty keyboard. It is so much easier for older computer users. The keyboard may seem a little odd at first on a small handheld device. Most get used to it rather quickly. Blackberry has the most respected name in the industry. Word has it that if you do not have a Blackberry in the business world you probably are not very important.

High Tech, HTC, is an innovative mobile designer. They have a goal of making waves in the industry with the newest and trendiest technology available. HTC specializes in Smart Phones and PDA phones. Their goal is to reach the true businessperson.

HTC builds most of their PDA phones with the GPS navigational service. The HTC Smart phones come with more simplified controls for those who are not cell phone savvy.

If you are looking to join the elite Blackberry Smart Phone users, then it is time for you to upgrade from your current phone. To do that you will definitely need to heed the several cell phone plan tips in this article.

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Broadband Gives You Access To The Internet, Phone and TV

Do you remember using the Internet back when you had to dial in using a modem. If you are unlucky enough to still be using dial-up Internet access, I feel for you. The internet is a growing and dynamic entity and everyone will have broadband sooner or later.

Naturally companies try to offer access to internet in growing number of ways. Assuming the user has the correct hardware, a wi-fi account, and is in range of the transmitters, the service allows the user to connect to the internet at broadband speeds without the use of cables. Users can log on to the internet at these hotspots provided they have an account with the broadband supplier and the necessary wireless equipment, such as a wireless laptop or broadband-enabled mobile phone.

An extra phone is the only way to get calls that cannot be received due to the dial up connection. Fixed line operators are now incorporating wireless with their traditional phone services providing ease of having one device and one bill for both mobile and fixed line calls. You can take it out of your phone bill.

Broadband phone actually uses voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to carry phone calls through the internet. There are also a number of companies that has VoIP as a free service.

Digital Subscriber Lines, or DSL uses the existing customer phone lines to provide internet or intranet access to businesses and homes using high-speed broadband technology of varying levels. But even with all the technology that has gone into the making of the Internet, there seems to be more to be expected than has been seen. It's easy to understand why; the technology industry defines it in different ways as well.

Just be sure you do not choose an ISDN line (because it is getting obsolete) or power line (because the technology is not mature, and it will be some years before the bugs are ironed out). The cheapest broadband deals allow for such technology to reach our homes for less than $10 per month.

Ok, on to the two major broadband access methods, cable and DSL. There is cable access, DSL access, satellite access. Although cable broadband internet is a whole lot faster than dial-up, I usually experience a slight delay when opening a webpage.

Perhaps most people do not notice the latency associated with cable internet, but it got my attention right away. So are cable television modems, which have similar speeds. Approximately 4 million people in the UK use ADSL with an extra 2 million using a cable connection, meaning 6 million people in the UK have an always-on internet connection.

The fact is that anything less than the speed supplied by a broadband cable has become inadequate for today's internet users.


However it has emerged that broadband providers touting such products are not revealing the full story to their customers. The key will be for broadband providers to develop the services that broadband allows for, and to deliver them to as many households as possible. High-speed Internet services are growing in popularity because intense competition from broadband providers is continually driving the product exposure in the marketplace to new highs, and prices to new lows.

Connecting to the Internet for the first time in your home or office is as easy as securing a fixed telephone line (which you probably already have) and signing up to one of the dozens of Broadband Providers, like AOL and others.


Bummer indeed, but you still have broadband Direct PC by satellite and it seems to make it through those clouds and so you can surf the NOAA website and get the latest results or watch video streams of the local TV station right. Broadband Internet by Satellite is about the coolest invention in the World and indeed it has helped the unconnected become connected even if they live in the middle of nowhere. Did you know you can get a special satellite antenna hooked up on your motor home or recreational vehicle that will enable you to get the Internet anywhere in North America.


So they are bundling broadband with other products, such as home phone, digital television and mobile. The acronym is used to describe services which broadcast on-demand television programming to consumers, delivered via a broadband connection on normal telephone line to TV screens. Broadband television is a means of providing TV programs via the Internet.

Broadband Television is being hailed as the biggest change in the way we watch television since it was first invented.

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Keith George always writes about valuable news & reviews.

How Blogging Can Help You Take Your Business To The Next Level

In these days of technology it is sometimes difficult for a small business to afford fancy advertising, even the old billboard has become quite expensive. The new way to pass on information about your company is through blogging on different websites. Blogs are a type of online diary that allows others to read what has been written and respond to comments in a chronological order.

Blogs are not just for young people or computer nerds. There are many places a business can get their input out there. The best place to start is on sites that have something to do with your business. You don't have to be obvious and sound like a commercial, just give your ideas a chance and sign your blog with your company's website. You want to be careful when you do this, people aren't stupid and they don't want to be preached to about how great your company is. This is a time to be subtle yet factual in the things you say.

The goal for any business advertisement is to create awareness. This does not happen overnight even on the internet. It may take some time to cause a stir and get some recognition. If you don't have time to do it yourself there are companies that will write blogs for you. Then it will look like a customer testimonial instead of a company trying to sell something.

Another great place for blogs is on an intranet. An intranet is the company's internal network. A blog can be a great place for people from different parts of the company to share ideas. There may be a problem in one area that someone in another area can solve if they know about it. It can also help management keep a finger on the pulse of the company. Sometimes people can become so wrapped up in their own area that they forget how their tasks can affect other areas.

There are disadvantages to using blogs. One of them is that if they are not very interesting and no one will read them. You have to be careful about what you put out there, make sure it is entertaining and informative. There is also the problem of misinformation. Once it is put out there it is hard to take back. Or, if a lot of time passes and you forget it is out there it can come back and bite you later. There should be some type of unity when blogging for a particular company. A consumer does not want to see a lot of conflicting reports. Make sure your companies blogs are all going in the same direction with a positive tone and you will soon discover the pay back from your work.

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Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida.

Wireless: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Unauthorized wireless devices can expose your organization’s confidential data and critical assets to the outside world. Left connected, these devices create a dangerous vulnerability at best, and at worst, a company disaster. Despite the widespread understanding that rogue devices are a leading security threat facing enterprises today, organizations continue to look for viable solutions and best practices for scouring the entire network to ensure that only approved devices are connected.

There are solutions available to root out unauthorized access points and other devices acting as access points, known as rogue peers. However, enterprises and government organizations should look for solutions that find and eliminate rogue devices while also being easy to deploy and manage – and cost-effective. A new approach that should be considered is wired side scanning using a security appliance, which can be a highly effective, lower cost solution to protect the entire network.

The Rogue Wireless Device Problem

As enterprise networks expand and more and more devices are introduced, it is critical to quickly discover and eliminate network infrastructure that poses a significant risk to the organization. The emergence of wireless networking has created a host of new threats that must be addressed under the umbrella of wireless vulnerability management. In particular, unauthorized devices connected to the wired network can pose the most acute risk.

Rogue wireless devices can be broken down into two broad categories: access point (AP) based threats and computer based threats.

Rogue Access Points

A rogue access point is an AP which is connected to the LAN without the blessing of a network administrator. Most commonly, rogue APs are added to the network by employees or contractors who want to improve their own productivity by being able to work wirelessly.

Rogue Peers

A rogue peer is an end-user computer—usually a laptop—that has both bridging and wireless enabled. Since the basic functions of an access point are bridging and wireless access, any laptop that has these capabilities presents a similar vulnerability or worse. In fact, the vulnerability with a rogue peer can be much more severe than with a rogue AP, because laptops provide almost no security features to prevent connections from other unauthorized users.

In addition to the problems of network access provided by rogue APs or rogue peers, there are also security concerns about other unauthorized networked devices. For example, a Web camera connected to the LAN could be used by an attacker to eavesdrop on confidential meetings. It may have been installed by a well-meaning employee, but it's actually sharing your trade secrets.

Depending on your organization’s security policy, different devices may be considered security risks. In some organizations, even the act of connecting an unauthorized printer to the network is considered a serious vulnerability.

Discovering Everything on the LAN

The first step to being able to find unauthorized devices on the LAN is to find everything. The second step is to quickly hone in on the devices which meet the criteria of being a threat. With the network appliance scanning approach, a combination of passive and active techniques are used for discovering devices, because both techniques are needed to discover all of the devices. Passive techniques place the least load on the network and also help the system discover the network topology, but some devices may not communicate very frequently. Active techniques work quickly and are less dependent on the network topology.


Accurate classification is critical for any system responsible for discovering and identifying network infrastructure. Determining what a networked device is, based upon only what can be observed from the network, is very much like recognizing your friends from their silhouettes—the one with the long nose or protruding forehead is easy to recognize, but the others all look very similar. Solutions using the new wired side scanning approach collect as much information about each device as possible using the discovery techniques already mentioned. Once the basic device mapping is complete, additional probing is used for classification. The system then combines the information and matches the data against known device signatures to determine which one matches the best.

With over 300 different manufacturers of access points and tens of thousands of different models of network equipment, the major challenge for device classification has been in creating a database of fingerprints for all of these devices. Typically, the approach has been to acquire one of each device that needs to be fingerprinted and probe it in a laboratory. This technique simply can’t scale beyond hundreds of devices. Furthermore, it is limited to devices which can be easily purchased and acquired, which ignores devices that are no longer on the market, are only sold in foreign markets, or are relatively rare.

New collaborative classification techniques are now leveraged for building the classification database. This process leverages the collaboration of network administrators and networks.


The new wired side solution approach mitigates rogue wireless devices through the technique of Ethernet port disabling. Enterprises can leverage configuration capabilities for auto-blocking a particular device type. Whether automatic or manual, the product will block the switch port for the rogue wireless device.


Unauthorized wireless devices connected to the network continue to be the number one wireless security risk that network administrators need to address. With new wired side scanning solutions that can find, classify and remove rogue devices, it is now possible to scan an entire network to accurately find and remediate these threats. This protects organizations from wireless threats, whether they have implemented a wireless infrastructure or need to enforce a “no wireless” policy. And while the bane of classification systems has been their inability to properly identify devices and differentiate actual threats from authorized devices, the use of new classification techniques can finally solve this problem.

Author Dr. Christopher Waters is the CTO at Network Chemistry.

Sesames Award winners honored as year's best in smart card and ID technology

In its eleventh year, the Sesames Awards has become a key part of the industry’s leading event, the annual CARTES smart card and identification conference. Sesames honors innovations and application achievements within the chip card industry. As 2006 was coming to a close, an international panel of judges active in the industry selected the individual recipients from 203 companies that applied for the ten Awards.

Gemalto’s IPv6 embedded stack took the Software category honors. The product provides enhancements in areas such as auto-configuration and built-in security for data protection and integrates the smart card into the network world via a high-speed protocol communication interface.

The winning product beating out another Gemalto product, the PC-Link.SIM that allows a Windows PC and the SIM card in a mobile phone to communicate with each other, as well as Oberthur Card Systems’ AngelIC, a winner in the Mobile category.

Infineon Technologies received top honors for its CC EAL 5+ certified Flash Chipcard Microcontroller that enables data to be stored on the card in flash-like EEPROM in a secure manner that is usually considered possible only via ROM.

Runners up in the Hardware category were Gemalto’s GemBorder Inlay designed to increase the power yield between chip and reader for passports and ID cards, and INSIDE Contacltess’ Micropass L4, a chip designed from the ground up for contactless optimization and use as a multi-payment brand offering.

IT Security
The winner was SIM Strong from Gemalto, a product that leverages SIM-equipped mobile devices to provide secure access to online content and services. According to Gemalto, a user with a valid Identity Provider account and SIM-enabled mobile phone or dongle can securely log on to a host of online services such as e-commerce or the Intranet.

The other two finalists in the IT Security category were Ingenico with IngeTrust that secures communications between a terminal and its host computer, and Page International’s ICS 2 Invisible Code System for securely sending PIN codes via the mail.

ASK took top honors here with its shielding media designed to protect data on contactless cards from fraudulent RF readings. The shielding also works with contactless paper tickets and e-ID documents such as e-passports.

Runners up in the Banking category were Gemalto’s Geminstant Sticker containing a contactless chip and antenna that can be affixed to any device; MasterCard Worldwide PayPass M/Chip Flex allowing the issuance of OneSmart PayPass cards without updating the EMV infrastructure; and Way Systems’ MTT5000 mobile POS device (a winner in the e-Transactions category).

French-based Let It Wave’s CodecID Transport won for its compression software that reduces the storage of high quality ID photos to as few as 500 bytes, taking up to three times less space on the ID card. It is intended for low capacity multi-application cards such as those used in transport, parking, access, etc.

Runners up were Ingenico’s iPod-compatible payment terminal that allows users with a plug-in module to use their iPod to download tickets, etc. that can be read by a terminal; and China-based Watchdata System’s SIMPass, a mobile payment application that includes a contactless interface allowing for credit and debit payments and an e-purse.

Smart Packaging Solutions, France, and its E-Pastille with E-Booster, designed for passports, won this category. It includes a contactless module (the E-Pastille) made with a die and a small antenna that is embedded in the cover page of the passport but cannot work directly with the reader. Communication is done through a passive larger antenna, called the E-Booster, located on the data page.

Runners up included Adobe Systems’ Adobe Acrobat 7.07 for SmartCards, which offers digital signing; Cross Match Technologies’ L Scan Guardian that captures an individual’s fingerprints, evaluates them and displays them on screen; and Datacard Group’s Artista VHD retransfer color printing module.

Health Care
Actividentity and InterComponentWare Card Management System took this award for their German eHealth card solution, which includes a smart card to provide German citizens with a secure e-prescription service, allowing authenticated card holders to store and then reproduce their digitally-signed doctor’s prescriptions.

Runners up in the Health category included: Dallas Semiconductor’s Maxim Integrated Products/DS3600, a battery backup for POS terminals; Page International’s ICS 2-Invisible Code System; and SCM Microsystems’ eHealth 100, a smart card reader designed for the German health system.

Oberthur Card Systems won for its AngelIC solution that enables a mobile subscriber to plug a SIM USB key into his PC or laptop to place and receive calls from a PC soft-phone using the subscriber’s mobile phone number. The product bridges mobile services with VoIP and messaging services and can be used by virtually any broadband connected PC.

Runners up in the Mobile category were Banksys’ Pay2me, a mobile phone to mobile phone payment system; Sagem Orga’s Phonebook New Generation which manages phonebook applications; and Watchdata System’s SIMPass.

Way Systems won for its MTT5000, the latest EMV/PCI certified mobile phone payment terminal with contactless capabilities. Its 32-bit processor allows it to meet the needs of individual merchants as well as larger companies in a wholly mobile way.

Runners up were Gemalto’s ChipSwipe, a pocket handheld reader that protects against skimming by encoding a unique key generated by the chip onto the mag stripe prior to a transaction; Xiring’s Xi-Sign 4500, an EMV authentication device for the visually-impaired; and Innovative Card Technologies’ ICT DisplayCard that helps with online authentication by generating a random number.

Xiring, Suresnes, France, won for its Xi-Card Vida Bancomer, a smart card reader associated with the "Vida Bancomer" marketing program in Mexico. The reader allows each cardholder to check the number of coupons, loyalty points or cash bonuses earned while using his/her EMV payment card at participating merchants. The Xi-Card is aimed at accelerating the adoption of the EMV payment card in Mexico.

Runners up included YesPay International’s Real Time Service for Business Intelligence, which helps manage a retailer’s POS, inventory and other business systems; and Gemalto’s FireFly, which provides an on-card light source that is powered by the reader’s RF field and can be used to add special effects to cards (e.g. the issuer’s logo lighting up).

The 12th edition of the Sesames awards will be presented this year at CARTES Nov. 13-15.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Relief for Road Warriors


Forhealth Technologies Inc. understands efficiency. The medical device maker's new $600,000 hospital robot, the PARxD IV, accurately fills 300 syringes per hour -- a feat unmatched by man or machine. Too bad the Daytona Beach, Fla., company didn't have a similarly clever robot for its accounts payable department.

Instead, the 23-person company had relied on a single human being to process manually some 60 expense reports a month. First, she'd print out Excel spreadsheets that had been e-mailed to her from the company's traveling personnel. Then, she'd rekey each entry into the company's computer system, kicking back any reports that lacked the necessary managerial approval. Sometimes managers responded quickly. Sometimes they didn't, and what should have been an hours-long process became a days-long ordeal.

But late last year, ForHealth got the shot in the arm it needed -- a new Web-based expense-reporting system, OneMindConnect's ExpensAble. Now, not only do ForHealth's 15 business travelers get reimbursed more quickly -- in fewer than five days instead of more than a week -- but the firm's sole accountant has time for other, more important tasks. The entire system cost $3,500 to install and $500 in monthly service charges and has already paid for itself. Without it, says Spence Lloyd, chief financial officer, "we would have had to hire another person."

Keeping track of travel and entertainment expenses has long been one of the more onerous of executive chores. After all, who wants to sift through stacks of tiny, crumpled receipts, trying to remember what you had for breakfast in Omaha that morning three weeks ago? It's no wonder that many traveling executives regularly fall behind, creating untold headaches for accounting departments.

A growing number of Web-based expense-reporting systems -- including those created by Concur Technologies, Gelco Information Network, Extensity, and more than a half-dozen others -- promise to change all that. Such services allow business travelers to log on to their company's intranet from the road and record expenses as they go. Some systems go even further, automatically filling out expense reports each time a corporate credit card is swiped in a restaurant or hotel. Sure, it's convenient. But such systems can also boost the bottom line. With Web-based services, execs can file a report in just 18 minutes, compared with about 35 minutes manually, and the time and labor costs per report drop from $48 to $18, according to Aberdeen Group.

What's more, over time the electronic T&E reports create an increasingly rich database that can be mined to locate even more discounts. Sirsi Corp., a developer of library-management software based in Huntsville, Ala., with about 100 business travelers, implemented Concur Technologies' system in March. The company already is saving time and money, says corporate controller Barbara Duffey. But the real savings are yet to come, she insists. "We expect this system to allow us to negotiate better terms with hotels, car-rental agencies, and [airlines]," Duffey says. "We'll be able to look at how much we spent with each hotel branch, even down to a single location."

Electronic T&E reports also can help cut unnecessary spending by automatically flagging expenses that exceed company policy. On average, companies that adopt online systems reduce such so-called "maverick" purchases 31%, according to Aberdeen.

In general, the systems work like this: Workers file expense reports via the Internet straight to accounts payable. At the same time, the system automatically e-mails department managers that accounts payable has reports awaiting their online approval. Once approved, software extracts detailed data -- say, where the employees stayed, how much they spent at lunch -- and keeps a running companywide tally. After processing the report, the accounting department electronically transfers money to the travelers' bank accounts.

The final step: Employees send their paper receipts to accounting for filing. Alas, thanks to IRS rules, there's still no way around this one. But some services will allow you to scan paper receipts and store them on the Web or CD-ROMs. That's handy if you ever want to take a second look at your account manager's business trip to Grand Cayman.

Prices can vary greatly. But in general, if you have 100 employees who travel, expect to pay $500 to $1,200 a month. Add to that one-time installation and training fees of $5,000 to $100,000 (see table). Still, most users report that their investment pays for itself within 18 months. ForHealth Technologies, for its part, has already recouped its investment. And that's not all, says Lloyd. "Consider the intangibles," he says. "Clearly, we're saving time."