Friday, July 4, 2008

Communication Technologies

Information technology is changing continuously and there by affecting the way we communicate. Communication technologies have undergone a revolutionary transformation since past 100 years. All thanks to the science and technology. Now we do not need to wait for weeks to deliver a simple message to the other part of the world. We do not need messenger boys. Massive invisible network of communication technologies help us to reach anyone to any place in any time.

What seemed to science fiction a decade ago is now reality. Cellular phone, internet, intranet, wireless networking, VOIP, video conference etc is now a reality. With the help of these technologies we can communicate with anyone any time within a fraction of a second. We thought telephone is all we need for instant communication. But humans cannot be satisfied. We wanted to see each other while we are communicating. Therefore video conference came into place to satisfy our need. To put life into video conferencing, companies are coming up with new technologies such as Tele-Conferencing which helps to achieve eye-to-eye contact with all participants.


Besides face-to-face interaction and letters maybe the most classic form of communication. Most of the time it is one to one directed communication and is conducted through a landline. The advantage of telephone technology lies in its long history. Everyone knows how to use it and feels comfortable using it. Disadvantages are the high costs (for foreign calls for example) and the hardware which need to be installed.

Cell Phones and PDA/Smart-phone

In a world which has become mobile and on the run business would be impossible without the use of mobile phones. Managers need to make strategic decisions while on the road; and the global world has increased the need for mobile communication. Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and Smart-phones have further developed the mobility of cell phones. With included e-mail client and web browser, managers can also send and receive e-mails while on the road.


Electronic Mail (E-Mail) has become the primary form of communication in the world. It substituted the classic letter communication in many areas. The advantage of E-Mail is that the message is received immediately by the recipient. Furthermore, costs are saved for postage. A disadvantage of E-Mail is the abuse of the technology. So called Spam e-mails send unwanted advertisement to users. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, for example, receives literally 5 million spam mails per day.

Video Conferencing

In a global world companies have recognized the need for cross-national communication. However, with the continuous increase in gas prices it becomes more and more impossible for managers to arrange face-to-face meetings in other countries. Therefore, video conferencing has become a common tool to conduct cross national communication. The high bandwidths available nowadays benefit this trend. Furthermore, videoconferencing has developed in such a way that it almost feels like persons involved in the conference are really in the room.

Corporate Intranet

More and more companies make use of a corporate Intranet. Like the Internet it is a collection of web pages of different topics but only accessible to employees of the company. Employees can look up important information, documents, or communicate with co-workers by using the corporate Intranet. Intranets are mostly used as a knowledge management system. Documents and results from previous projects/processes are uploaded on the Intranet and can be accessed by other employees. Furthermore, the Intranet contains general news about the company.


Blogs (or web logs) are a form of diary on the Internet or a corporate Intranet. Many executives use blogs in order to provide information about the development of a corporation or strategic decisions. Blogs are a good way to keep employees and other constituencies informed about what is happening in the company. Furthermore, it allows interactions through the comment function of blogs.


Wikipedia are a type of collaboration platforms. They allow users to easily change content on the platform. The maybe most known Wikipedia is the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia on the Internet. Users can create pages about certain topics and easily change entries of other users. The advantage of Wikipedia is that everybody is empowered and can create or change content. The disadvantage is that control is lost in some way, since everyone has equal rights.


Teleconferencing permits participants to meet in a virtual conference room, and communicate as if they were sitting right next to each other. Until the mid 90s, the hardware costs made teleconferencing exceedingly expensive for most businesses, and individuals, nevertheless this situation is changing rapidly. Most experts believe that teleconferencing will be one of the fastest growing segments of the computer industry.

In its basic form, teleconferencing uses communication means that range from simple telephone lines to sophisticated satellite links. The only requirement is that the conditions be interactive, allowing participants at each location the opportunity to actively participate in the meeting. As equipment and high-bandwidth cabling become more commonplace, it's possible that sophisticated, multimedia teleconferences can be held from your own computer or even in a mobile setting. Recent developments include improved equipment, more transmission options, the introduction of digital devices, and the integration of teleconferencing technologies with the desktop through personal computers. Additionally, there is a trend toward using teleconferencing for more international applications. As more international services have become available, this segment has seen significant growth for teleconferencing.

These communication technologies help companies to achieve high degree of success in communication. One of the important uses of various communication technologies within companies is to build efficient internal communication system. One of successful use of these technologies is IBM’s intranet – w3.

Technology is changing rapidly so is communication technologies. It is just a matter of time when new technology comes and replace existing one. In fact scientists are now working on to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence (CETI). So it’s just a matter of time when we will find ourselves chatting, or video conferencing or even calling our friends in other planets!


Almost every executive employee at the Internet company Google Inc. has his own blog. In this way, not only co-workers, but also the public is informed about new things happening at the company.

Computer and electronics manufacturer Apple Inc. wants to change the way businesses are conducting mobile business. With the release of the new 3G iPhone Apple reacted to criticism, the iPhone would not be suited as a mobile communication device for businesses due to no broadband functionality. However, Apple has taken a lot of market share from market leader Research in Motion (RIM) and its Blackberry devices


Corporate communication, 4th edition, Paul A. Argenti, The Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

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