I’ve completed the upgrade on all my Apple devices to iOS7, and while I haven’t had the time yet to explore all of the new features, I can’t help but celebrate one of the best features these devices have in common: technology refresh.  In today’s accelerated technology world, this is becoming an ever-more critical characteristic as new technology trends erupt at a sometimes dizzying pace.

What is technology refresh?

Technology refresh simply refers to the ability of a device or application to stay on the cutting edge of technology by easily (and cheaply) updating its software.  iOS7, the new operating system for iPhones and iPads, is an excellent example of how this works, since a simple download produces many new features and interfaces that enhance the user experience at no cost.  Essentially, millions of Apple users today have a new phone that cost them nothing to upgrade.  I will let Apple or CNET tell you all about its new features; the purpose of this blog is to show that this feature is tangible for personal use AND business use.

Why is technology refresh important to businesses?

Every business owner wants assurances that they’ll get the most bang for their buck.  Technology refresh offers peace of mind that improvements to technology will come regularly, and at little or no cost.

Forward-thinking businesses that embrace technological innovations can streamline operations and become more efficient than their competitors.

Hosted PBX (phone system) services shows an easy example of technology refresh for businesses.  When I first started working with the Broadsoft platform in 2005, I immediately grasped some of the efficiencies it brought to my daily work life: voicemail to email, administrative web portal access, and enhanced call routing were big improvements over the existing premise-based phone system we replaced.

broadsoft_logo_2cDespite these great improvements, it wasn’t until 2008 that I fully grasped that this system was a completely different paradigm than all other systems – a whole new slew of features were released, including Broadworks Anywhere, that continued the transformation of how businesses could leverage communications services.

With this new feature, I could now seamlessly transfer calls from my desk phone to my cell phone without missing a beat.  I could take office calls on my cell phone, and then transfer them or add a third party to a conference call.  I could do extension calls from my mobile, and have detailed conversations without needing to take notes – knowing that all my business calls are recorded for review later – even though I was using my cell phone.

Another game-changing characteristic of technology refresh is that the new features don’t only exist within the platform.  For example, while Broadsoft itself typically upgrades their features twice or more per year, third party vendors that integrate with  Broadsoft release new applications independently.  An example is integration with Broadsoft, allowing for screen pops as well as click-to-dial-functionality. This integration is done by a third party vendor that wants to work with both Salesforce and Broadsoft, the same way that thousands of developers work with Apple to offer applications in the App Store.

How do I know if my business technology has good technology refresh?

One of the best ways to assure good technology refresh is to understand how well the platform is supported.  Apple, for example, is one of the biggest technology companies on the planet, with tens of thousands of engineers working for it, as well as an unlimited pool of 3rd party developers that yearn to sell to Apple’s customers.  Broadsoft is another good example of a well supported platform, since it owns a large majority of the market share of carrier services in the world.  Having big name recognition is generally a good indicator of the ability technology refresh.  Another way to determine the extent that your technology choice will still be competitive in the future is to ask your sales rep about new releases, and get some references that can speak to improvements that they’ve seen in functionality.

Technology refresh is an important trait in today’s tech world.  While there can be learning curves and there will always be some users that are laggards when it comes to adoption, there is no doubt that technology will continue to evolve, and will do so an an accelerated pace compared to pre-IP technology.

Apple’s ubiquitous presence offers us an easy to comprehend example of this.  When you are ready to see how this applies to your business environment, contact Hosted Authority for a consultation.