Business Travel: The Best Tools and Coolest Tech – Part 2

by admin on August 12, 2013 · 0 comments

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We’ve got the right hardware, now we just need the right tools!

These little helpers will turn working on business travels into children’s play. Stay in contact with your colleagues and experience how easy it can be to remain coordinated and work productively when you’re on the move.

1) Tools for Video Conferences and Meetings

You can’t just reach for the telephone on business travels: it’s not always possible when out of the office and even if it is, it’s rarely the cheapest solution. A good tool for video conferences and meetings is therefore a must-have. A vast array of free and paid products are available on the market. The established market players at the current moment are Skype and GoToMeeting from Citrix. Whilst video conferencing with Skype Premium allows up to 10 participants to join, the professional solution from Citrix allows up to 25 employees to communicate together.

2) VPN Client of Web Proxy for Access… Anywhere!

VP…what? It’s a foreign word to all those who aren’t too familiar with technology, but those of you who have visited China and tried to access Facebook or Youtube will know the misery that unfolded. Many sites lie under restrictions of the state censorship. Everyday services that are also affected include Google Docs, WordPress and Twitter. As well as China, there are numerous other countries that place such controls in force. With a VPN client or a web proxy, such as Hide My Ass, censorships can often be bypassed with little effort or technological knowledge. The best solution for those that are often on the move but don’t want too much technical exposure: Express VPN, and for those in the IT generation: Cisco VPN Client.

A list of countries which enforce such censorship measures can be found here.

3) Theft Protection for Laptop, Smartphone etc.

Let’s not avoid the point: when you’re travelling away from home, there will be a higher risk that laptops, smartphones and tablets will fall into the wrong hands. With the correct software, not only can you locate your smartphone, but you can also delete data so pickpockets won’t gain access to your documents. The most popular form of protection is an Open Source project known as Prey. Prey allows you to locate and lock stolen laptops, smartphones and tablets. The cost free service is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and as an app for iOS and Android. Apple customers have similar functionality with the “Find my Mac” and “Find my iPhone” features.

4) Cloud Backup

External hard drives, USB flash drives, laptops: hardware has the uncomforting connotation that it can go missing or be stolen. Thankfully, you remembered to save your data to the cloud! Didn’t you? Documents are then accessible anywhere, regardless of device, and can have improved protection against unwanted access; compare that to the vulnerable USB flash drive you accidently left on the bus.

Dropbox, the most renowned Cloud Backup provider, offers 2GB of free space to customers. Users who don’t want to encrypt data themselves will be more inclined towards a service provider such as Carbonite. The Dropbox alternative offers cheap, unlimited upload storage, as well as transferring the data encrypted.

5) Time Tracking and Project Management

Managing projects during business travels – does that work? Yes! By using a good piece of project management software, collaborative work will become child’s play, even across borders! With project time tracking software, such as TimeTac, all working processes can be comprehensively recorded. The benefit for colleagues: the current working situation is always clear, with easy access to open and completed to-dos. Changing time zones is automatically accounted for as well, so you can be sure that your working times are calculated correctly.

Which tools are vital for your business travels? What tips do you have for people who travel frequently?

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