All about Office Automation

Office automation refers to the different computer machinery and software used to digitally create, collect, store, manipulate, and relay office information needed for accomplishing basic tasks. Office automation helps in optimising or automating existing office procedures.

Raw data storage, electronic transfer, and the management of electronic business information comprise the basic activities of an office automation system. The backbone of office automation is a LAN, which allows users to transfer data, mail and even voice across the network.

All office functions, including dictations, typing, filing, copying, fax, Telex, microfilm and records management, telephone and telephone switchboard operations, fall into this category. The desktop computer has contributed greatly to office automation, which is why the term office automation was popular in the 1970s and 1980s as the desktop computer exploded onto the scene.

Office automation has several advantage, which are:

– It can get many tasks accomplished faster.
– It eliminates the need for a large staff.
– Less storage is required to store data.
– Multiple people can update data simultaneously if there is a change in schedule.

There are three basic activities of an office automation system: storage of information, data exchange, and data management. Within each broad application area, hardware and software combine to fulfill basic functions. We shall now discuss each in detail.

1) Information storage: This is the first area within office automation. It is usually considered to include office records and other primary office forms and documents. Data applications involve the capture and editing of files, images, or spreadsheets. Word processing and desktop presentation packages accommodate raw textual and graphical data, while spreadsheet applications provide users with the capacity to engage in the easy manipulation and output of numbers. Image applications allow the capture and editing of visual images.

2) Data exchange: While data storage and manipulation is an important component of an office automation system, the exchange of that information is another equally important component. Electronic transfer is a general application area that highlights the exchange of information among multiple users. Electronic mail, voice mail and facsimile are examples of electronic transfer applications. Systems that allow instantaneous or “real time” transfer of information are considered to be electronic sharing systems. These include online conversations via computer or audio exchange with video capture. Electronic sharing software illustrates the collaborative nature of many office automation systems.

3) Data management: Office automation systems are often used to track both short-term and long-term data in the realms of financial plans, workforce allocation plans, marketing expenditures, inventory purchases and other aspects of business. Task management or scheduling systems monitor and control various projects and activities within the office. Electronic management systems monitor and control office activities and tasks through timelines, resource equations, and electronic scheduling.

So, this is all about office automation in a nutshell. It has become an imperative for most businesses to invest in office automation system to improve productivity and save both time and money. Here’s to efficient and effective working….with office automation…

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Turning Your Home into a Smart Home with these Smart Home Solutions

Smart Home Solutions

 

If you’ve always wanted the kind of smart home they show in the movies, you’re in luck! Increasingly, a plethora of smart home gadgets are available that will turn your humble abode into a smart home….smart home solutions and all…This guide will talk about some of these smart home solutions and what you can do with them. So, here goes…

1) Smart Door Locks: These are a smart substitute for house keys. You can opt for a more modern entryway by installing a smart door-lock system. Such products will let you lock and unlock your door using your smartphone. What’s more, you can program “virtual keys” for other visitors, such as friends, relative, the cleaning service…the list goes on. These virtual keys will only activate at certain times. Prices are typically in the US $200 range and installation is often as simple as putting hardware on top of your existing deadbolt.

2) Smart Home Network: You can add a network-attached storage system to your home network to boost your home’s intelligence in ways you never imagined. It consolidates, centralizes, and syncs all your music, movies, photos, documents, and other data. It then makes it all available on-demand to just about any connected device, including phones, tablets, TVs, and PCs.

3) Smart Thermostat: You can install a smart thermostat, which automatically learns what temperatures you like and when (during the day, at night, and so on). It also automatically adjusts itself based on whether you are home or not, due to built-in movement sensors. You can also monitor and control everything right from your smartphone. This works well when you’re outside in the cold and want to walk into a warm house.

4) Smart Light Bulbs: Smart bulbs are LEDs all the way! And what’s more, LED bulbs can change colours, connect to apps and the Internet and much more…They do this while consuming considerably less power and lasting for decades.

Now you know how to get started in setting up your smart home. Keep these first steps in mind and understand that you don’t need deep pockets to get started with your smart home…All you need is imagination, flair, and the right products. The latter can range from the right lighting control to the smartest security system, and from the smart thermostat to the smart home network. Here’s to building your very smart home…

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5 Essentials of Office Automation Systems

office automation system

Office automation refers to the varied computer machinery and software used to digitally create, collect, store, manipulate, and relay office information needed for accomplishing basic tasks. Office automation helps in optimizing or automating existing office procedures.

Office automation has several advantages. It gets many tasks accomplished faster, and eliminates the need for a large number of employees. Also, less storage is required to store data and multiple people can simultaneously update data in the event of changes in the schedule.

You may have installed and set up computers, fax machines, and word processing software in your office. However, if you think that’s the very latest in office automation systems you have a long way to go. If you want to make the most out of office automation, you need to look beyond emails. This article will explore the 5 essentials you need to consider when setting up an office automation system.

1) Choose a system that lets you design workflows: Your office automation system should not determine the flow of operations and other processes. Instead, it should let you define your workflows and processes. Every business is different, with different needs and processes and your office automation system needs to keep this in mind when designing workflows.

2) Choose a system that lets you define access privileges: Your office automation system should let you define access privileges not just for yourself, but also for every member of your organisation. Access privileges are critical to every operation. You should look for an office automation system that lets you define access privileges along with the flow of operations.

3) Choose a system that lets you create a structured approval process: Your office automation system should let you approve the processes that you wish to set up. Everyday, numerous processes go through cycles of approvals. So, it is imperative that your office automation system lets you create a structured approval process.

4) Choose a cloud-based system that lets you access it from anywhere: If you have an office automation system that needs multiple approvals before it can work, you need to go cloud. The latter will let the approver access it from anywhere at any time.

5) Integrate your system with other office systems: Your office automation system should not just be yet another software tool. It should integrate with the software tools already being used in the organisation, so that you can save yourself the pain of manually transferring data from one system to another. Using an integrated system, means that you can manage your office accounts, payroll, and leave management systems, all at one place.

So, now you know more about what to keep in mind when thinking of installing the latest in office automation systems. Here’s to seamless management of data and technology for efficient working…

For more information on how to set up the very latest in office automation systems, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

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12 Essential tips to achieve better enterprise desktop Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is becoming the preferred way for businesses to conduct both one-on-one meetings as well as group meetings. Employees can use video conferencing to participate in meetings in a more relaxed and comfortable way, whether they are working from home or in the office. Live video feeds let participants interact with each other in real time.

Using video conferencing regularly, results in increased involvement and stronger personal connections. For businesses of different sizes, video conferencing can reduce time spent walking between campuses and buildings, and also reduces travel time for meetings.

More importantly, advances in video conferencing software makes it more appealing and cost-effective than ever before. Also, the advent of cloud-based video conferencing means that businesses do not necessarily need to invest in expensive hardware to make that all-important video call.

However, all video conferencing is not created equal. You will need to choose your equipment carefully depending on your unique needs. We shall talk about the 12 essential points to keep in mind for successful enterprise desktop video conferencing. Here goes…

1) Use a top-notch camera: Use a professional-grade camera to ensure best image quality. Also, do not forget to keep the camera lens clean.

2) Use the right microphones: If you are connecting to your video conferencing system using mobile phones and tablets, you should use a Bluetooth microphone and a wired headset. Another option is using a clip-on microphone that has noise-cancelling features and a wide pickup frequency range. Also, you should mute your microphone when it is in listening mode and conduct video conferences from quiet, indoor meeting spaces.

3) Use the right lighting: You can record and transmit high-quality images only if there is good lighting in your meeting space. You should experiment with lighting by moving it around. Also, avoid direct sunlight on your face or behind you.

4) Use enhanced bandwidth: If you have insufficient bandwidth it will hamper desktop video conferencing quality. Bandwidth problems result in the skipping of video conferencing images and decreased window size. Be sure to enhance bandwidth to the computers you plan to use for desktop video conferencing.

5) Reduce the burden on the memory and CPU of your computer: You should not do any other tasks on your computer, such as processing or downloading while you are on a video conference. You should also close all unnecessary applications to improve memory resources.

6) Pay attention to body language when on a video conference call: You are being continuously watched when you are on a desktop video conference, so pay attention to what you do and to your body language. Do not yawn, clean your ears or cough into the camera. Ensure that you mind your manners when on a video conference.

7) Ensure that your background is clean: Your background, such as walls and furniture appear very clearly on desktop video conferences. Ensure that your background is clean and appealing. A plain, light-coloured background with your company logo looks best.

8) Speak directly to the camera: You should speak directly to the camera and not to the person on the screen. This is most noticeable when incoming video is projected on a large TV screen, but outgoing video is captured via the desktop in front of you.

9) Mute your microphone to eliminate background noise and echoes: If there is a lot of background noise, you should mute your microphone to correct this problem. You should also remove nearby electronic devices, especially phones or other wireless devices.

10) Become familiar with the video conferencing system before the call: Practice using your video conferencing system well ahead of your actual call. You should download the desktop video client and ensure that it installs. You should learn its chat function, try out the whiteboard, and select and deselect the camera or microphone. The more you know, the better you will look.

11) Dress the way you would for a formal meeting: Dress business-like like you would for an in-person meeting. You should wear royal blue, purple or gray as they contrast well with a light-coloured background. You should avoid wearing complex designs that the webcam cannot pick up effectively. Also avoid too much jewelery.

12) Practice using the system beforehand: You should practice your presentation by recording yourself using the video conferencing software and critiquing the presentation. Video conferencing will help you improve your presentations in both the virtual and the physical world.

These are the 12 essentials to keep in mind when setting up and using a video conferencing system.  Do pay attention to these before and during your video conference. Here’s to seamess and satisfactory video calls!

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5 Things To Keep in Mind Before Getting Your Workplace Automated And Work-Ready

Using computer based methods to execute an information-related task is known as an Office Automation system. These tasks include collecting, retrieving and analyzing crucial information related to your business. For example, a machine used to record attendance is an automated system. The information collected is used to track employee attendance and punctuality. Other examples of office automated systems may include an accounting system, a pay-roll system, an email system, and so on.  Further, an office automation system ranges from basic e-spreadsheet software to an advanced integrated system, devising multiple applications like ERP, PPC, forecasting, budgeting, accounting etc. and putting these into practice. This post focuses on 5 aspects to keep in mind when getting your workplace automated.

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  1. Control over operational workflow- An efficient office automated system helps you in streamlining operations, rather than affecting the flow of operations altogether. So, choose a system which lets you control the processes in an operational workflow.
  2. Incorporates approvals- Everyday, a number of approvals are required before a task reaches the stage of completion. It is important to have a system which allows for inclusion of structured approvals.
  3. Access privileges- Some information is required to be shared with everyone in office, while the relevance of certain types of data is limited to a particular department or a team. Further, this could be some data, which is confidential and crucial and needs to be protected. Make sure that your office automation system has all these features that allow you to define access privileges for a concerned person or team.
  4. Cloud based system- Choosing a cloud-based automation system is essential.  Why? Because it would not be completely  productive if you need to come to office every time you want to use an automated system. It would not only be time-consuming but would defeat the entire purpose of business efficiency through automation.
  5. Integration- A good office automation system is not just software used in the organization. It should allow integration with existing software tools, thus eliminating the need for manual data transfer.

Have you tried office automation systems? What are the benefits that you have come across?

Share your views in the Comments section below. For more about effective office automation or even for home automation system, click on (paste link).

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Heard About IP Telephony? Here’s a Quick Guide

IP telephony, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technologically-advanced method of conducting telephone calls over the Internet, rather than using  traditional calling methods. For example, representatives at call-centres resolve customer queries through calls which are seamlessly and inexpensively routed to a satellite location or any other centrally-connected facility. This technology is mutually beneficial as it provides a higher degree of flexibility to the business and a transparent medium to the customer to connect with the company. Continue reading

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Intelligent Lighting Solutions

Lighting is an important feature in office, which can be used in an intelligent way to reduce the lighting cost while optimising its use and creative potential. Lighting systems can be customised to the needs of different offices and can result in a well maintained and organised office. Here are some benefits of installing good lighting systems- Continue reading

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Office and Home Automation Systems

What are Office Automation Systems?

Office Automation Systems are the diverse computerized software and machinery used to monitor, create, store, revise and relay information digitally. The storage of raw data, transfers carried out electronically, and the management and regulation of related information is done through these systems. In such systems, all the machines are connected so as to maintain a homogenous and visual workflow. It allows for the optimization of work and results in higher productivity of physical and especially mental labor. Nowadays, this automated system has become the backbone of almost every office; without an automated office it is very hard to get work done quickly and efficiently. Continue reading

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The Advantages Of Lighting Controls And Design

Lighting control and Intelligent Lighting Solutions are now used for indoor and outdoor lighting for commercial and residential purposes. Controlled by the use of central computing devices, these lighting solutions maximize energy savings and can be referred to as ‘Smart Lighting.’ These systems provide cost control, help to streamline maintenance, and provide energy savings. Continue reading

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Features Of Office Automation System

For the past few years, people have been using home automation systems to control basic home functions remotely. Now, such systems are widely used in offices as well, providing several benefits. Office automation  involves the use of computer machinery and a software system for relaying information and accomplishing different tasks. It is different from home automation as it is more complex, involves the sharing of existing data, and allows automation of existing office procedures. Continue reading

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