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BBA Business Communication Study Material Technology of Business Communication

  • Pagers: Though not as versatile as cell phones, pagers are much cheaper, and are therefore much more popular in a country like India. These devices, usually clipped to our belt, enable a person to receive message from anyone with access to a telephone. To send a message we just pick up a phone and dial a four digit multiline network operator. On getting a response, we dial the pager’s number and give the message. The operator uses an elaborate network of computerized transmitters dotting the city and within seconds the pager receives the message. In India pagers first appeared in 1982 during the Asian Games. After the opening up o the economy they have become very popular.
  • Video conferencing: For interactive two – way communications, modern corporations have started to rely on systems that create ‘virtual meeting’ with people in different locations. Voice, data and video are combined and transmitted via satellites or phone lines.

There are more than 450 public video conferencing centers in cities throughout Europe, North American, and the pacific States. In addition, thousands of companies around the world now have their own in – house video conferencing facilities. In India Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) has four public video conferencing centers – Mumbai, New – Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai.

Although two – way meetings are the most common; we can simultaneously connect three other centers in India or overseas. The VSNL conference table seats six. If we want more people to participate, it is possible to accommodate an additional row of four chairs. 

  • Fax (Facsimile): This is an older technology that enables us to immediately send charts, drawings, photos and graphs as well as standard business documents from one place to another.

The technology is so named because the output is replica or facsimile of the original document. A facsimile or fax machine is like a split photocopier – the image is reproduced on another machine which may be next door or thousands of Kilometer away.

In facsimile transmission the document to be transmitted is scanned and an electronic image of the document is created. This is converted into signals by a modem and transmitted along telephone lines. In the fax machine at the other end, these signals are reconverted and the machine reproduces the original documents. Personal computers can also be used for sending faxes. Vacant slots are provided in computers where one can plug the fax board. A software programme converts a computer language file into the facsimile format for transmission.

  • Electronic Mail: More popularly known as e – mail, this is a fast growing method of communication that enables us to use computers networks to transfer messages or ‘files’ electronically. Today e – mail reaches many millions of people around the globe. All we need to get set for e – mail is a computer, a modem and telephone line.

A member of private companies as well as VSNL provides e – mail service. While e – mail has some disadvantages compared to fax – the message are not transmitted immediately – it is much cheaper. E – Mail also reduces paperwork, since the messages are stored in the computer. And, unlike faxes which sometimes get smudged or are otherwise illegible, e –mail messages are always clear and easy – to – reads. And while we can’t use our fax machine to send an e – mail message, if we subscribe to an e – mail service, we can send a fax through our computer. 

  • Intelligent Networks: Services such as toll – free long distance calls offered by business houses – popular in numerous countries – have now been introduced in India by the department of telecommunication (DOT) and MTNL.

These services allow a company to subscribe to a common number so that a call made by anyone, from anywhere in the country, is routed to a predetermined destination. All charges for a call to the toll – free number will be paid the company, not the caller. Many companies abroad have found that allowing faraway customers or potential customers the facility to call them without cost boosts business. In the United States, billions of toll free calls are made annually. In fact, American Businesses currently handle toll – free calls from more than 67 countries.

  • Satellite Communication: personal communications using satellites, thus freeing oneself of the need to go through a national network, is the wave of the future. A large number of corporations have already started preparations for launching their own satellites. The major satellite service provides are Global star which will launch 48 satellites, Iridium with 66 satellites, and Odyssey with 12. Handset prices will range from $5 per minute. Most of these services are going to be available very soon.
  • Citizen Band Radio: This technology, also known as CB radio, is suitable for voice communication for distances of up to 20 kilometers. The band around 27 MHZ is left free for anyone to transmit messages. Unlike ham radio, which is largely a hobby, CB radio has commercial uses also. Since CB sets are simple to use and inexpensive, they are ideal for developing country like India. The wireless planning and Coordination Wing of the government of India has allocated 40 channels of CB radio. It is likely to be extensively used for business in far – flung and rural areas.
  • Electronic Bulletin Board: It is like the traditional corkboard in public access areas except that electronic bulletin boards use a computer and a modem instead of paper and thumbtacks. These boards can be easily used to communicate routine information and to reduce paper work by storing policy manuals, job descriptions, telephone directory listings and other documents to which managers and employees can have access. Besides being useful with an organization they are also being used for general public to give information regarding a particular interest such as the information needed for a software or professional group. Besides making contact, electronic bulletin boards can also become important to a firm’s daily operations.





Communication; they can also be deftly combined so as to give us multifunction devices. For example all the technological development and devices discussed so far are not only separately useful for business; a combined printer – copier – fax machine is on the way. And all this can be possible through the personal computer that would instruct one central unit to print, copy, and transmit messages. Also there are self – modifying printers for varying software, voice and data telephone transmissions and solid – state computer memories for more capacity. There is, in sight, no limit to computer applications, especially in business communication. As has been right pointed out the boundaries between computing and communication are becoming blurred. “Today, computers communicate and telecommunication networks compute”.

With such unforeseen and unprecedented technological advancements are we heading towards, or have already arrived at, a wireless and paperless communication stage? For a moment we are persuaded to think that the thrust has shifted from the basic communication skills/methods of speaking. Writing and listening. In the 1960’s it was predicted that the conventional office would give way to ‘paperless office’. But till today such an office is not in sight. No doubt the computer can do all sorts of functions like responding to voice, receiving, recording, storing and transmitting information. But after all it is the human mind that dominates. The construction of messages and controlling message formulation is essentially the inborn trait of human mind. Hence, there seems to be no substitute for the basic writing and speaking skills. The technological developments discussed in this chapter can at best be regarded as highly advanced aids or facilities of communication.

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