After just purchasing an iPhone 6 Plus, I’ve decided to integrate it into the digital structure of my business. Technology has advanced in the last couple of years, and I’d like to ‘re-tool’ to maximize the benefit of this to my business and myself, making each day more fluid, where I have more freedom to do what I want, as well as to be more responsive to customers when they need it.
This series of blog articles will cover my experiences, good and bad, of changing the way my business works to incorporate the mobility and power of the iPhone.
As of 10/25/2014, here is the list of items that need to be addressed so that the overall system has maximum functionality:
1. Contacts… contacts… contacts…. Over the decades, I have been using Eudora-Thunderbird to read and write emails, I run my own mail servers, have multiple (dozens) of email boxes that need to be monitored. I’ve also used ACT for a contact manager for years, and then transferred over to SugarCRM CE, an open source equivalent to Salesforce.com. With the iphone, and an a Macbook pro, I now have iCloud, and iCloud contact book, an owncloud contact book, Thunderbird personal address book, Thunderbird collected address book, and a SugarCRM database of contacts. Let’s see if this can be simplified in some way.
2. Email… historically I have used a pop email account with Thunderbird to process all the accounts, and download the emails to a central ‘repository’ on my portable computer (now using a macbook pro). One issue I’ve run into is that when I’m mobile, and only have my phone, I might want to access some emails that are on my portable. The flip side of this is that I get way too many emails, and emails with large attachements, to switch to imap. This needs to be ‘engineered’ so that it handles my needs most of the time (85%) when I have any device I might use (iPhone, iPad, portable, or web based). I also need to address the ease of use (generating text based messages via typing or voice) and how to be most efficient in these regards.
3. Phone… Using a landline and a cel phone, would prefer for business calls to come into the landline. I’d like to keep my cel phone ‘private’ for my own personal use, and not mix business and personal. Currently I use the Trixbox pbx software, and voip phone lines. My cell phone works as a wireless extension when I’m at work or at home, and I have no connection to my office when I’m roaming. It would be nice to maintain the connection to the business landlines while out of the office.
4. Banking… Need to keep track of my finances, bill payments, etc. using the phone.
5. Schedule management and sales efforts. The lifeline of a business is keeping in touch with sales prospects, and getting work done for them. I would like to use SugarCrm more, for contact management and sales efforts. Right now I’ve got 3 instances of SugarCRM running, one for each of three sets of activities that I do. Perhaps this can be simplified, and made ‘mobile accessible’.
6. VPNs for home/work connection, and ‘mobile/work connections with my portable, (osx, windows 8.1, linux), and ios 8. These are useful for connecting to file servers, computers, and printers on my home and work networks.
So, it’s somewhat of a project to get this all organized, but writing this document is a good first step.