Wireless and hot days in Rome

After a great deal of window shopping and price comparison, I finally purchased a new laptop (at Heathrow Airport Sony Shop). It was my first departure out Terminal 5 and I even managed to avoid going into the very fashionable and expensive shops that the Terminal has and head straight into Sony. Next time maybe! My third arrival at Terminal 5 (6 days before) however had been less successful, when my luggage didn’t arrive by courier until the 5th and penultimate day for work. The bag had gone to Bangkok ….

Back to the laptop… I even have a wireless connection set up which is great for those of us who work out of home. I am extremely grateful to my neighbour, Carlo, who is a genius with IT systems, who did the wireless set up for us and to our IT support team in the UK who set up the network connections through to Guildford and loaded the anti virus programmes. Up and running now safely and securely with English language software (it would just be too complicated to work with Italian software), able to work from every room! and with a choice of views and temperatures as to which floor I am on. I’m still yet to work in the garden.. perhaps when it gets cooler! It’s been full immersion 30 degree sunshine for many days now…


Call Centres in Bangalore

Well I haven’t been anywhere exciting recently although it does feel like I’ve spent the last few evenings in rainy Bangalore.

My daughters Dell crashed. Suddenly she couldn’t talk to her friends on msn, she lost the group homework due in tomorrow and all of the photos. She had thought about backing it up but………!! 🙂

Basically it was the end of the world -and my life would certainly not be worth living -unless I could retrieve the data and fix the laptop asap.

So I called the Dell help desk. Don’t believe everything you read about call centres in India. They were patient, they were helpful. They worked hard not to go too fast but at the same time not to treat me like an idiot. They put up with me making dinner, answering homework questions, setting up dvd’s while I was following their instructions. One of them even had a quick chat to the tesco delivery man when I was signing for my order. After three evenings of talking to them, they were like part of the family – although I’m sure they were very relieved once all was sorted and they could say goodbye. So thanks everyone at the Dell Presto call centre in Bangalore and I hope the rain has stopped……..

Have a good weekend,

Digital Identity

Last week I attended the inaugural Digital Identity and Privacy conference held by Consult Hyperion in London, which followed 12 successful years of the Digital Identity forum. The usual topic of ID cards – which always seems to be portrayed so negatively in the news (as highlighted by Elisa Pieri from her PhD research) was not actually at the forefront of this forum which brought together some of the leading thinkers in the field. Although it was interesting to hear that in other countries such as Norway, the banks hold all the identity data and national scheme rather than the government… not sure if that’s even scarier than the government having all our data, judging by what’s happened to the UK banking system recently!

Other, discussions included thoughts on should we take ownership of when we give our I.D out online and in the real world. One thought, from influencer/blogger and academic Adriana Lukas for the online world was to spin CRM on its head and let consumers adopt something called VRM (Vendor Relationship Management), where we control what information we send to the various online vendors we do our e-commerce with. Where as others (including Andrew Whitcombe from Consult Hyperion) talked about how in verbally/face-to-face transactions you often give out more personal info that required as its part of building a relationship and rapport with a customer e.g. a plumber working at your house, you tend to chat to them, talk about your work, family kids etc, both sides swapping personal info. Here it was argued that you choose what to say and data to give out, where as online, you can’t and don’t have the opportunity to make these judgments, so the point was raised how does this human element transfer to the digital world?

Many speakers argued that the future for Identity and any national identity scheme surely has to be the mobile phone… it has a screen to show a photo ID on, so ideal to show quickly and easily to a bouncer at a nightclub to prove your age. Plus, it has a ready made keypad for chip and pin, or even now using oyster card like technology called NFC to prove identity and pay for things or voice activated biometrics info. After all, the phone has become ubiquitous now, we depend on it, and most people would go back home to get their phone if they left it, where as may not bother to go back for their wallet. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, but still worrying is that It was suggested that the on average it takes a few hours, even a day for us to notice and then cancel a credit card if we lose it, where as it will take us just 8 minutes to call our phone operator and report our phones missing!


Cost Effective PR Tips from Chaz

Firstly, make your website as effective and professional as your budget allows. Use a recommended local web designer who knows about search engine optimisation. Make sure you keep your website simple and clear and include PDFs of key pages, so that they can double up as marketing collateral and allow you to save on printing costs.
Link your website to a daily blog that has chatty topical comment. Have a section on the website that you can easily update yourself, latest news etc, and do this often – or just link this section to your blog and update your blog often. If you are reading this blog, that’s proof of the pudding!

Concentrate on your key words and phrases for the search engines and do searches on what your customers would use if looking with your service
to see how easy you are to find. All of this should result in a user and search engine friendly website – a great basis for any budget marketing and PR campaign.

Having made the website as user friendly and as search engine visible as possible, offer free industry advice. For example, we offer free PR Fact Sheets. We get regularly requests for these and they lead to interest in our company and to signing new customers. We are happy to share ideas here for marketing and PR on a shoe string 🙂

Other cost effective PR and Marketing approaches to think about could be to link up with suppliers and customers when planning any seminars, events etc so as to share the cost, and to work with industry bodies and local Chamber of Commerce to maximise low cost marketing opportunities.

Best wishes,