Category Archives: Social Media

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How to Get Your Brands on Video and Social Media

There are several things that all site owners must do to serve their geolingual visitors in order to march orders for global marketing staff:

  • Use more video and other interactive (non-text-based) content. Today, most companies that deliver video assets via their web properties are producing unique creative for each market. That works for one or two international markets. But now think about producing unique video assets in more than 30 languages. Smart creative can be adapted in various ways, using voice-over, dubbing, or subtitling in ways that build the local language right into the design. Do it. Be smart. Produce some local creative; then deliver the best assets in all markets.
  • Add participation features. People in emerging markets often feel ignored by big companies. But participation options can quickly overcome geographic and cultural distance. Engagement is critical for entering new markets, growing market share, and maintaining good customer relationships. Global websites as a class almost all require better engagement through participation. How can you get your audience involved? Or is this not your job? If this is the case, then make it somebody’s job in your organization. The sooner the better.
  • Jump into social with both feet. Social media is no longer new. It’s another form of communication, and one that is here to stay. You need to consider it as just one more tool in your marketing and customer engagement toolbox. Don’t ignore the social network effect any longer. Use it.

Verztec is a leading ISO 9001:2008 Global Content Consulting Services Company. Verztec assists companies around the world to design, develop, localize and publish their global communication messages in over 60 languages across various channels. For more information as to how Verztec may partner and assist in your next localization project, kindly contact us at info@verztec.com or call +65 6577 4646 now!

*Sources: How to Get Your Brands on Video and Social Media: 1 April 2012 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

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Using Social Media to Boost Language Service Business

Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are no longer merely “phenomena.” Within the space of just a few years, they’ve become essential components of many firms’ marketing and public relations plans. But social media is notoriously difficult to monetize. How can language service providers (LSPs) leverage these networks for their companies’ benefit? This brief offers several important guidelines to follow – and some pitfalls to avoid.

Use Social Media Platforms with a Strategic Purpose in Mind

Your company’s social media profiles are a window for the rest of the world to learn more about you. Increasingly, your most recent tweets or status updates might be among the first search results that potential customers find. In other words, their very first impression of your company may come through one of these channels. Most LSPs agree that a social media presence is important, but very few stop to consider what kind of presence they want to create. Consider these questions:

  • “Are our customers actually here?” Many companies assume they need to have a social media presence before they’ve conducted the basic research to find out whom they want to reach online. Are the decision-makers and influencers you really want to reach using these platforms? If so, which ones? What type of content are they looking for, and how can you provide something better than what others have on offer? Random thoughts on a wide range of topics will not make you the go-to source of expertise. First, find out where your customers are – what groups they belong to, what pages they are fans of, and which companies or individuals they follow. Then tailor your content to fit those channels.
  • “What do we really want our brand to convey?” Social media platforms are not necessarily a place to adhere to a strict brand voice guide – in fact, services like Twitter demand you to keep your tweets concise and to use hashtags (#) to flag your topics so that other users can find them more easily. That said, you still need to develop basic rules regarding what type of image you want to convey. Is the person who controls your brand presence on social media familiar with your most salient marketing messages and your brand attributes? Review your company’s last 30 status updates and tweets. Is there a common theme, or is it scattered? Does the company put forth an image consistent with your marketing goals?
  • “What type of information will we provide?” One of the most common mistakes we see LSPs make is that they use social media platforms as soapboxes to brag about themselves. While an occasional “Hooray for us!” update isn’t harmful, a steady stream of self-centered updates will turn people away or simply cause them to ignore you. Instead, focus on what you can deliver that is of value to your customers. What kind of information can you provide to them that will be helpful in their daily work? Can you provide a daily datapoint relevant to their work, or a helpful tip that will make their life easier? Make sure that the resources you link to are worthwhile for your customers and prospects. Don’t link only to your own website – this will be seen as the overt self-promotion that it is. Link to your own web properties only when you really have something valuable to share.
  • “What is our network growth strategy?” Social networking is about building networks of individuals with shared interests. What are those interests? Are they clearly stated in your profile or description so that potential contacts can easily find you? Do you conduct a daily search for new contacts with the same interests? Do you use these terms frequently in your status updates? Do you frequently re-tweet items from the “social media celebrities” – individuals who specialize in these fields and boast the largest number of contacts? We’ve spotted many LSPs who focus extensively on the content but not enough on the contacts – meaning that while their updates are good, their network size fails to grow much. This usually means that they are not focusing on the basics – building their networks.
  • “Are we engaging our employees and partners?” Invite your staff – including your network of freelancers – to become a fan, connect to you, or follow your firm. Set a goal – can you get 50% of your employees connected to your social media platforms in the next six months? Launch an internal campaign to get as many individuals connected to your company as possible, thereby increasing your reach – and making you a more sought-after contact in the process. Encourage them to use your company hashtag – if need be, set up a quick internal webinar to teach them how to use the platforms and to communicate your goals to them. Consider offering a prize for people who build their networks with the company’s interests in mind – for example, offer an incentive to the first person to connect to 20 localization managers in a given industry.
  • “Are we a contact worth keeping?” Don’t forget to give people a reason to connect to you and stay connected – content is not necessarily sufficient. Action and interactivity are more important. Do you have periodic giveaways, raffles, or contests? Are you planning a local get-together? Are you offering a free webinar on a topic that will help the people you most want to reach? Do you provide an interesting brain-teaser or something else that will entertain people and keep them coming back? Make sure whatever information you’re providing is of sufficient quality to keep people returning to you.

Additional Considerations for Social Media-Savvy LSPs

Has your language services business already covered many of the fundamentals? If so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Are we using the right tools?” If you find yourself struggling to constantly keep your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles updated, chances are you’re failing to take advantage of tools that enable you to automatically send out the same messages across multiple platforms. The mechanics of keeping a prominent place in the social media stream are becoming easier all the time with tools such as Brizzly, Buzzom, HootSuite, Seesmic, TweetDeck, and TwitHive. Today, you can easily populate your Facebook and LinkedIn pages using your Twitter feed with such tools. In fact, they are essential for ensuring a consistent brand presence across multiple social media networks.
  • “Is our social media content aligned with SEO?” What search terms and keywords are you using on your web pages and in your press releases? Are you using the same terms in your social media messaging? Many companies fail to recognize that much of the same work they are doing for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing can yield good results with social media campaigns as well. If you’re not already in close contact with your webmaster about these issues, you need to be. Find out which pages of your website are most popular, and what search terms most frequently bring people to those pages. Make sure you are integrating this information into your social media marketing work.
  • “Are we setting micro-goals?” One of the best features of social media for marketers is the ability to track specific information and tie it back to specific campaigns or objectives. Make sure that you are setting micro-goals – for example, achieving a set number of members of a LinkedIn group, a high number of re-tweets or expanded following on Twitter, a specific number of views or embeds of a YouTube video, or a number of fans or Likes on Facebook. You can also use unique URLs to track which channels are most successful. Micro-goals should tie to other concrete goals – such as an increased number of subscribers to a blog and, eventually, the number of actual sales leads generated.
  • “Are we engaging younger generations?” Don’t overlook the power of Generation Y when building your networks. The individuals you sell to today are likely in their 30s or 40s. But are you reaching the 20-somethings who will be your customers a few years from now? What about the freelancers who might still be in college now, but could be among your most talented and trusted resources in the years to come? Think creatively to find ways to engage younger generations. Conduct outreach to translation and interpreting programs at universities. Join social media groups for students in the areas that commonly produce individuals with localization manager titles. Find ways to reach these important contacts earlier in their career paths, so that they are fully familiar with your brand – and have positive associations with it – later in life.
  • “Is it time for a social media policy?” For better or worse, most organizations have to develop social media policies at some point, or they risk their brand being associated with the random electronic mutterings of employees regarding everything from their favorite soccer team to their spats with family members – none of which will help you accomplish your business objectives. Who will be allowed to represent your brand officially through social media channels? Will anyone review their messages prior to posting? What happens if they leave the company – will you gain control of their public profile, or do they retain it? Are they encouraged to re-tweet, share, or re-purpose your messages? If you do decide to leverage your employees, provide them with detailed examples of what type of behavior is appropriate in these platforms – and what isn’t.
  • “Are we over-doing it?” It’s fine to be excited about new ways to reach your target marketers – in fact, social media is in many ways a marketer’s dream, but it can also turn into the target’s nightmare. Beware of bombarding your contacts with too many messages – a steady stream of useful information is great, but if you are not careful, your constant updates could easily be regarded as spam. Take care – and enlist others to obtain feedback about your social media presence. Ask some of your contacts and followers for their suggestions and advice – not just regarding the content but regarding the frequency of its distribution.

Social media is definitely fun, interactive, and dynamic. But we see too many LSPs take the plunge without developing a strategy or thinking about how social media will help them advance their larger marketing objectives. Too often, they have “joined the conversation” without thinking about what they really want or need to say. To build a social media presence that will help your company grow, remember that social media platforms are just part of a much larger marketing strategy. Make sure to keep your overarching marketing goals front and center to determine how social media can help you achieve them.

Verztec is a leading ISO 9001:2008 Global Content Consulting Services Company. Verztec assists companies around the world to design, develop, localize and publish their global communication messages in over 60 languages across various channels. For more information as to how Verztec may partner and assist in your next localization project, kindly contact us at info@verztec.com or call +65 6577 4646 now.

*Sources: Using Social Media to Boost Language Service Business: 26 July 2010 by Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

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Is Facebook a Social Media Platform or a Translator?

From a social media platform that helps to share and connect one to another, Facebook is now making a huge leap and effort by offering automatic machine translation function on comments made in all other languages into English.

The good news is that this feature is capable of translating various languages such as Hebrew, French, Spanish, Japanese, Thai, and Chinese, you name it. Facebook has successfully rolled out this feature in the late of 2011; however, it has only come to attention by many earlier this year.

Beyond a shadow of doubt, it will definitely be a boon to every user. Hassle of manually translating the comments via Google Translate can now be prevented. An addition of this simple button has made language difference a learning opportunity rather than a language barrier.

For Facebook users who are unaware and have not already tried out the feature, it is powered by Microsoft Bing, another type of machine translator close to the likes of Google Translate. However, machine translation is not flawless. We should not overlook the fact that machine translators only interpret the gist of the content with minimal accuracy.

Machine translators have worked wonder in assisting us to find out the gist of content, however, they should be used with discretion as the translated content may not be professionally sound, most of the time, and hence, definitely should NOT be used for professional and important documents.

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Firms Ignore the Foreign Language Internet at their Peril

By Fiona Graham Technology of business reporter, BBC News

When Pepsi launched in China, so the story goes, the translation of the slogan, ‘Come alive with the Pepsi generation’, promised consumers something a little different.

Could Pepsi really bring their ancestors back from the dead? The result was apparently a dip in sales.

While this has never been properly substantiated, according to urban legend-busting website Snopes, Pepsi has never denied it.

Be that as it may, companies across the globe have come a cropper moving into foreign markets.

Businesses must be careful they don't leave customers grimacing like Donald Rumsfeld at their poorly-translated websites

Braniff Airlines, for example, once offered Spanish-speaking passengers the opportunity to ‘fly naked’ rather than on leather seats.

But for businesses operating online, the push to be multilingual is hard to ignore.

Research commissioned by the European Commission found that 82% of consumers were less likely to buy goods online if the site was not in their native language.

Globally, research firm Common Sense Advisory found that 72.4% of consumers were more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.

Language of flowers

Arena Flowers’ co-founder and managing director, Will Wynne, would agree.

The online florist launched in 2006 in the UK. In 2008 the business started moving into European markets, first in Holland, then Germany, France and Belgium, with other countries on the horizon.

Each site has its own url rather than running from the main site, and customer-service issues are dealt with by native speakers.

The decision to translate the sites was easy, according to Mr Wynne.

“I think the language is a no-brainer. You’re not going to have any success if you don’t adapt to the local language.

“It’s almost a matter of respect. If you think there’s 60 million people in France and 80 million in Germany, and the idea that they would use our website if we didn’t translate is probably a bit ambitious,” he said.

Arena Flowers' Will Wynne: "Localisation is hard to get without native speakers"

Overseas sales now account for 20% of the company’s revenues.

But before pushing your content through online translator Babelfish, or having your mate who spent his year abroad in Portugal take a look, there are a few things to consider.

When Arena Flowers first started to translate their webpages, they used translators recruited in an ad hoc fashion. After replacing their German translator with someone with a better grasp of the language they discovered the site was littered with mistakes.

“I speak French so it was easy for me to determine someone is the right person to have. But I don’t speak German,” Mr Wynne said.

“The trick is either to use a service which provides cost-effective help, or you need to get one good person that speaks that language really well. That first person is key.

“You need to have credibility. Having spelling mistakes on your front page, it makes you look shoddy,” he said.

Quality control

Skyscanner is a price-comparison website for commercial flights. They trade in 23 countries and 60 currencies.

Around 70% of their business comes from international markets. In Russia, Skyscanner is now the largest meta-search site, with users increasing from 30,000 to 1 million in the space of 18 months.

Russia is now Skyscanner's second-largest market

The site has a Russian market development manager, as do other key markets. Lara Bayley, head of marketing for Skyscanner, says using native speakers has made all the difference.

“They have overhauled the sites they’ve been working on, and they’ve made a huge improvement to the quality of the translation – partly because they understand the business.

“We’ve found it quite important to have an independent reader. You send something for translation into a language you don’t understand – who’s going to check it? It does help to have that double blind quality control,” she said.

Language classes

You may have prose that would make Pushkin proud – but if no-one can find it you may as well not have bothered.

Christian Arno: "If there are economic problems in the UK, there may not be in Germany or Vietnam"

Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a global translation company. As well as translating websites, the firm advises companies on how to position themselves online.

“Translating the website is only half the battle,” he said.

“The key thing is to identify the terms that people are searching for, and then to get to the top of the search engine with those terms.

“That’s a challenge in itself. It’s not trivial. The terms people search for in France or any other country will not be direct translations. In the same way that you’ve got linguistic quirks, you’ve also got searching quirks,” Mr Arno said.

Machine translation is useful for research – but it is not accurate enough, according to Mr Arno.

“Marketing text by definition has to find a common bond between the reader and the company. And that means playing on cultural devices,” he said.

Comfort zone

Gene Alvarez, analyst with technology research giant Gartner, agrees.

“If you went to a website with all sorts of grammatical errors about the product and about the payment processes, would you feel comfortable actually doing business with them? You almost get to feel as if the site is possibly fraudulent.”

He predicts huge growth in companies developing multilingual websites, especially those aimed at the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

“If the information is not available in the native language, then [customers] will move to a website that offers that.”

US-based Common Sense Advisory is a marketing and research firm that has monitored this area since 2003. Founder Don DePalma believes companies should be taking note.

“I’ve been saying for years that people don’t buy what they can’t understand.

“We found first off that [consumers] tended to spend more time on sites that were in their own languages.

“Time equates to increased stickiness and increased opportunities to sell the customer. So language is a major determinant in keeping people on the site,” Mr DePalma said.

He says this applies even in countries where there is a high acceptance of English.

“We found that even [in Sweden] 80% of Swedish business buyers gave preference to buying in their own language. Across the board this is what we’ve seen in terms of buyer behaviour.”

Ultimately it comes down to common sense according to Mr DePalma.

“Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer or the business buyer who’s on the other side of your website.

“If you go to a site in Japan or China or Russia, how would you react to information which is either exclusively in Russian or Chinese or sparsely translated into English… where you’re forced to use the JCB card, or the Shanghai Visa One card, and that’s all you could use.

“You’d say OK, this doesn’t look like a good kind of situation, and you’d probably go somewhere else,” he said.

Article Reference Source from BBC News

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Crowdsourcing Facebook’s localization process

With 550 million registered users and counting, Facebook already been translated and localized into 65 different languages, one might think that Facebook had spent a great deal of money in localizing their content; if you are one of those who thought so, you are so wrong.

On the contrary, to embark on their global presence, Facebook launched an application called “Translations” and through this application, the tedious process was crowd sourced, allowing the millions of Facebook users worldwide to participate in the translation process.

Within a few weeks, Facebook managed to release its first ever localized version in February of 2008 when they launched their Spanish site.For the months to follow, volunteers from all over the world had utilized this application to help translate the social network into every other major language in the world.

After seeing the success of “Translations”,Facebook did not just stop there,instead they continued their global mapping on the other sites and applications across the internet; as long as the site or application uses Facebook Connect, they will be able to leverage on Facebook’s global community in getting it translated into any language that Facebook Translations supports.

This move by Facebook would have epitomized Facebook’s philosophy “Giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” but on the flipside, Facebook is at the same time patenting this crowdsourcing translations process which had helped transformed them into the global entity they are today, seeking to profit from other networks that are thinking of using similar method to localize their content.

Source: [Facebook Translations,Inside Facebook,TechCrunch]

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The World of One Screen: The Fusion of Social Media

Imagine a world where everyone you meet, every brand you use, and every company employee immediately enters your network. Imagine not having to “friend” or “like” anyone, but simply interacting with them – online or off brings them into your network. Imagine a world fueled by the most powerful currency of all: Relevance.

It’s a lot closer than you think. Join Peter Shankman, founder of Help A Reporter Out – the wildly successful social media website which has gained more than 100,000 members within 2 years and is among the top 5 rankings of public relations and online social websites, as he discusses this new world, and more importantly, how to stay on top of it.

Listen as Peter expands on the four rules of the new world, including being transparent, being relevant, the art of brevity, and the guides to being remembered, not simply recalled.

Early Bird Promotion – Registrations with Payment before 31 December 2010
Early Bird Fee: B 8000 (SGD$348)
5 or more B 7500 (SGD$326)
10 or more B 7000(SGD$304)

Registrations after 31 December 2010
Normal Fee: B 9000 (SGD$391)
5 or more B 8000 (SGD$348)
10 or more B 7500 (SGD$326)

Venue
Ballroom Hall, Landmark Hotel Bangkok
Sukhumvit Rd, Bangkok

Date and Time
Wednesday 16th February 2011 09:00 – 17:00
Gates Open Approximately 30 minutes before show start.

To buy Tickets online, visit
http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/seminar/the-world-of-one-screen-eng.php

About Peter Shankman
An entrepreneur, author, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, and marketing, advertising, creativity, and customer service.


Peter is perhaps best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) which in under a year has become the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources on deadline, offering them more than 125,000 sources around the world looking to be quoted in the media. HARO is currently the largest free source repository in the world, sending out over 1,200 queries from worldwide media each week. HARO’s tagline, “Everyone is an Expert at Something,” proves over and over again to be true, as thousands of new members join at helpareporter.com each week.

In addition to HARO, Peter is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide. His blog, which he launched as a website in 1995 at http://shankman.com, both comments on and generates news and conversation.

Peter’s PR and Social Media clients have included the Snapple Beverage Group, NASA, Sprint, Haworth, The US Department of Defense, Walt Disney World, Abercrombie and Kent, The Ad Council, American Express, Discovery Networks, New Frontier Media, Napster, Juno, Dream Catcher Destinations Club, Harrah’s Hotels, and many others.

Peter is the author of Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons 2006) and a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences, and tradeshows worldwide, including The Affiliate Summit, South By Southwest, The Public Relations Society of America, The International Association of Business Communicators, CTIA, CTAM, CES, PMA, OMMA, Mobile Marketing Asia, and the Direct Marketing Association. Peter’s second book, Customer Service: New Rules for a Social-Enabled World (Que Biz-Tech 2010) comes out in the fall of 2010.

This event is organized by Verztec Consulting (Thailand) Ltd
195 Empire Tower, 45th Floor, South Sathorn Road,
Bangkok 10120
Tel: 02-670-0461 Fax: 02-670-0462
www.facebook.com/verztecthailand
www.verztec.com

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10 Must Have Mobile Applications for your Business Needs

The prevalence of Mobile applications has massively altered our daily routine, with their convenience and usability. They also offer extensive support to the business executive. Below are ten apps which help to maintain productivity on-the-go.

1. Insight
Platform(s) : iPhone
Insight (formerly known as Encamp) is an iPhone app for the highly popular project management tool, Basecamp. With its simple user interface, it allows you to get a quick status of their projects, assign and delegate tasks. Interaction between project members is facilitated on Writeboards where they can post messages and comments. Insight further helps you to organize email and contact details of colleagues and clients so you can reach them immediately wherever you are.

2. Quickoffice Mobile Office Suite
Platform(s): Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, iPhone, and webOS
You can now do work on the go with this app. The Quickoffice Mobile Office Suite lets you view, edit and format your Microsoft Word and Excel documents on the go. It can also be integrated file storing apps like Dropbox. This makes it easy for you to share your work with others and update common folders with your revisions.

3. Dropbox
Platform(s): Android, Blackberry, iPhone and iPad
With Dropbox, you can sync files among Windows, Mac or Linux machines through the web. Different levels of access can be assigned. Private subfolders that sync among your own computers can be created, as well as shared subfolders that sync to clients, partners and colleagues.

4. Salesforce Mobile
Platforms: Blackberry and iPhone
Salesforce Mobile is a Customer Relationship Management system that provides you with instant access to business and client data wherever you are. This means you can quickly look up account activity before important calls or meetings. The app further allows you to respond immediately to sales leads and customer requests even when you are on the road.

5. Contact Hero
Platforms: Blackberry and iPhone
This nifty app allows you to collect, merge, organize and manage all your contacts from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo etc. in one place. Emails can be scheduled to go out to your contacts any time in the future. In addition, you can link contacts in your phonebook to calls to make and keep a complete contact history of notes, calls and messages. If you missed out on any calls, the system will prompt you with a reminder.  Contacts can be identified and stored in a number of ways in this system, including by numbers, colorful icons and country flags.

6. Timewerks
Platform(s): iPhone
Timewerks is a time-tracking and invoicing app. It is especially useful for freelancers, consultants, lawyers, salespeople, contractors and anyone who needs to track time, materials and send invoices. With Timewerks, you can manage and organize the time you spend on various projects and get detailed reports. Complex invoices can also be generated easily, saving a lot of hassle for people who would rather spend more time on work than administrative tasks.

7. LinkedIn
Platform(s) : Blackberry, iPhone and Palm Pre
Termed as the Facebook for business professionals, LinkedIn had more than 80 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Be it looking for a job or a new business opportunity, LinkedIn is the perfect social media platform to get you connected with industrial experts and business professionals all over the world.

8. Econtact Pro
Platform(s): iPhone
Unlike most business card scanners, Econtact Pro does not rely on text recognition software but manual transcription by another person. Thus, 100% accuracy is guaranteed. The service is also quick and convenient. All you need to do is to snap a photo of the card on your iPhone and send it to the service. Your contacts will be updated overnight. At the cost of $0.10 – $0.25 to transcribe each business card, Econtact Pro offers good value-for-money for its service.

9. QuickVoice Pro
Platform(s): iPhone and iPad
With QuickVoice Pro, you can now send emails to others using your voice. The app further allows you to record voice memos, entire lectures and multi-session seminars.

10. FlightTrack Pro
Platform(s): Android, iPhone and iPad
Delayed flights, botched reservations and annoying last minute gate changes are part of business travel. This app tracks your flights worldwide to keep you on top of all these. Forward your airline confirmation to the FlightTrack Pro service and your flight itinerary will automatically appear in your app. With over 5000 airports listed and over 1400 airlines tracked, information on flight arrivals and delays, departure gate numbers, airport closures, and weather forecast is literally available at your fingertips. In case your flight is cancelled, the app can suggest alternative schedules as well.

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