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Volume I : Issue 1
Welcome to Common Ground News!
Welcome to our first email newsletter from Geographic Enterprises! We are very excited to make this new resource available to our customers and subscribers. The newsletter will be sent out each month and our regular sections will include:
Feature Article – guiding you in your daily business decisions
Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx
Thematic Map – showcasing different elements of mapping possibilities along with a related trivia challenge
Upcoming Events – inviting you to relevant and informative webinars and events
This and all future newsletters will be available on our website under ‘news.’ We hope you all enjoy our first issue! We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page.
—-Kent Hargesheimer, Managing Partner
Common Ground Blog
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series
Next Webinar: “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”
WEDNESDAY, February 15th at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
Online Tools to Grow Your Business
Information overload! Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the advice you receive regarding what you should and shouldn’t be doing to grow your business? In this issue we’d like to simplify some of that advice by focusing on the growing trend of ‘cloud computing’ and how it can help you.
Cloud computing, which may sound a little nebulous at first, is something you are probably already utilizing in some capacity. This technology provides free and subscription-based services delivered in real time over the Internet. Traditionally, all the information and software you accessed was either stored directly on your hard drive or on a company mainframe within your LAN (local area network). In contrast, cloud computing providers maintain both the hardware and software, so all the maintenance and the heavy lifting of the data processing is done on their equipment, not yours.
With an ever increasing number of services and applications available online, our personal computers no longer have to be the workhorses they once were. Smaller hand-held devices can be as productive as traditional desktop machines. With the advent of cloud computing data has become mobile, transferable and instantly accessible from just about any device that can connect to the Internet. Your company can access shared data online anywhere at any time.
Here are some cloud computing services and applications that can help you grow your business:
Email: Utilizing a Web-based email system, where the software and storage exists on the provider’s equipment, allows you and your employees to access email from any number of devices. Instead of waiting to return to the office to check email, real-time information exchange can improve response time to your customers.
Office Productivity Tools: Online word processors, spreadsheets, calendar interfaces, file sharing and even accounting software are just a few of the examples of applications that are now available in the cloud from providers such as Zoho, ThinkFree, and Box. Files are accessible from anywhere allowing you to file share and collaborate with colleagues and clients whether in the office, at a remote location or even visiting a customer site.
Online Meetings: Services such as GoToMeeting; JoinMe and Skype allow you to meet online with customers and colleagues. Voice and video chatting as well as screen sharing enabling everyone to view the same document simultaneously are common features.
CRM Tools: Online applications such as SalesForce.com allow businesses to manage customer relationships in their entirety. Such tools allow your sales team to have up-to-the-minute access to all customer and prospect interaction including emails, phone calls, status updates, proposals, sales deals, customer issues and more from all members of the team. Additionally, many online CRM tools integrate client data with other applications.
Territory Management: Online mapping tools, like GeoMetrx, help you take the guess work out of territory management. It’s important to know as much as you can about your customers and about the area where you are doing business. Similarly, for your sales team, it’s highly advantageous to strategically align sales territories to meet the individual strengths of your team members thus maximizing productivity.
The benefits of using online tools such as these are many including having access to expert support rather than relying on an internal IT person who may not be as familiar with all aspects of the product. Data is backed up off-site using redundancy techniques which protects it from disasters such as fire and power surges. Regular software updates are managed and maintained by the host service freeing up your company’s time and resources from supporting the variety of tools needed for your business to continue its growth and success.
Tips & Techniques
This month our feature tutorial will guide you through the simple steps of building a franchise or sales territory in GeoMetrx. Expert Rich Mithoff will navigate you through the process with simple step-by-step video instructions in this six-minute video.
Where the Mountain Meets the Milk Run
What do you get when you combine lots of snow and people willing to launch themselves down a mountain side on two very thin strips of plastic? Snow-skiing, and it’s as popular as ever! The map below is a layered thematic map, created in GeoMetrx depicting average snowfall across the United States (yellow is the least at 0-5 inches and dark blue is the greatest at 38-219 annually). Next we added an index layer showing the propensity to participate in downhill or cross country skiing for the residents of each state. The larger the ‘black diamond’ the greater the likelihood that folks in that state participate in this crazy sport! How does your state compare to what you expected?
Click to see a larger version of this map.
January 2012 – Trivia Question(s)
This topic is just too much fun for one question, so it’s going to be a three-parter.
1) Where was the first chairlift in the world installed? Hint: it was in the US
2) Which company designed and built this chairlift? Hint: think transportation
3) What was the original purpose of the system that was adapted to become the chairlift? Hint: think fruit
Click here for the answers!
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