Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween, Yay!

It's one of our favorite days at Datavo because we love being able to act silly.  Get your costumes on, get your pillow case ready cause its time to collect some candy!

Let's peek around the office and see who we can find all dressed up. 

It's a Mario!

The DevilMint Twins

Gangnam Style!


Slam Dunk!

A Trekkie!

Our Very Own Cigar Girl

Datavo wishes everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Make a Call to Portugal from the United States

Datavo makes calling Portugal from the United States a breeze.

We know that making international calls can be hard for some. So we have developed a simple way to help you make the process easier.
Take these uncomplicated steps:

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix or access code
  • Second dial 351, Portugal's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 9 digit phone number starting with 2
   Example: 011 + 351 + 2 XXXX XXXX

  Major Cities and Area Codes:

Area Code

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix or access code
  • Second dial 351, Portugal's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 9 digit phone number starting with 9
  • Example: 011 + 351 + 9 XXXX XXXX
Click HERE to go to Portugal's Blue Pages.

Do you call Portugal regularly? Well Datavo has a deal for you. Click HERE for more information on Portugal's calling rates.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

12 Quotes About the Internet

Here at Datavo we love the Internet! We compiled a list of some our favorite Internet quotes for you to read.

  • The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. ~ Bill Gates
Bill Gates
  • There was a time when people felt the internet was another world, but now people realise it's a tool that we use in this world. ~ Tim Berners Lee 
  • The Internet has always been, and always will be, a magic box. ~ Marc Andreessen
  • The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting. ~ Dave Barry
  • As a research tool, the internet is invaluable. ~ Noam Chomsky
  • Internet TV and the move to the digital approach is quite revolutionary. TV has historically has been a broadcast medium with everybody picking from a very finite number of channels. ~ Bill Gates
  • The Internet has changed the way we communicate with each other, the way we learn about the world and the way we conduct business. ~ Ron Wyden
Tim Berners-Lee
  • The Internet knows no national borders. ~ Alan Dershowitz
  • We believe that within five years, 96 percent of British consumers will have access to the Internet, whether it be through a personal computer, a set-top box or a mobile phone. ~ Richard Branson
  • A lot of things you want to do as part of daily life can now be done over the Internet. ~ Marc Andreessen
  • People enjoy the interaction on the Internet, and the feeling of belonging to a group that does something interesting: that's how some software projects are born. ~ Linus Torvalds
  • On the Internet you get continuous innovation, so every year the streams are a little better. ~ Reed Hastings

Feel free to leave any of your favorite quotes in the comments.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

11 Flagrant Sales Mistakes to Avoid

Most people are in sales, whether it’s really part of their job title or description  Even if you don’t sell services or products, marketing yourself and ideas is a must.

Avoiding these kinds of errors will help you increase sales as well as open additional doorways.

1. Not Knowing Your Product
You must learn the product your are selling inside and out. People will not want to purchase anything you are selling if you are not able to answer the questions they have about it. 

2. Not Listening and Assuming
Make sure you are listening to the customer when they are talking, so that you will understand their wants and be able to supply the product that will fit their needs. Your sales will come much easier by just taking a minute and understanding what the customer is saying.

3. Forgetting to Turn Off Your Mobile Devices
It is best practice to give your potential customers your undivided attention. Your phone going off constantly will cause a distraction and make the customer feel like you are not their main concern.

4. Having a Bad Attitude
No one wants to buy anything for a Debbie Downer or a person that acts like you are hasseling them when you make a request. 

5. Having Poor Communications Skills
Make sure when you are speaking to a potential client you use eye contact, don't mumble or use one word answers. It puts people off.

6. Poor Personal Presentation
Image and first impressions are important to a lot of people especially in the sales world. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed, your hair is combed, and you smell nice.

7. Breaking Commitments/ Not Following Up
If you promise to do something for a potential client such as calling them back at a certain time, make sure you do it. 

8. Not Being Present
Make sure that you are fully alert and your mind is not elsewhere.

9. Focusing on Price
Having competitive pricing is important in the long run. But using only this as a ploy means nothing if your competitor undercuts you. 

10. Not Closing the Sale
It is very important to have a good rapport and personable relationship with potential clients. You must not let this stop you from why you came to them in the first place. Make sure you are clear that they have agreed to proceed.

11. Not Asking for a Referral
Word of mouth is the best advertising, its free and it comes with from a trusted source. Make sure to ask each of your clients for at least three people that could also benefit from what you have to offer them.

Datavo loves to hear what you think, feel free to leave any sales mistakes you know of in the comments.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

7 Essential Tips for Giving Constructive Criticism

Criticism is one of the things that people tend to give freely without your request. It usually comes as overbearing with the feeling that the person thinks they can perform the task better than you. Some criticism can be helpful while most is hurtful and annoying to the person on the receiving end. Learning to provide constructive criticism is an art that takes patience and remembering to remain positive while providing your opinion. 

Here are seven essential tips to help you out:

1. Be Honest and Unbiased
When you give criticism it is a reflection of your feelings and not the person being criticized. If you hold some resentment or anger toward the person, you most certainly should not be the person to try to offer them advice as it may come off rude and make the person miss your point because they were offended.

2. Begin and Finish with a Compliment
To make sure that the person does not feel attacked, find a good attribute the person has and lead with that. Once you have given the criticism, ending your conversation this way will again make the person take in what you said and not feel like a failure or that you are mad.

3. Keep Your Voice Tone Light
The tone of your voice communicates just as much as the actual words that come from your mouth. Keeping edge and anger out of your voice makes people take in what you say faster and easier.

4. Be Specific
Since criticism gives people a negative feeling, you need to be specific and explain exactly what your problem with an issue is. Using generalizations is not helpful and make it seem like you are only complaining instead being helpful.

5. Provide a Solution
If you follow step four and are specific with your criticism, add a solution at the end of how the person can make improvements the next time. This shows the recipient that it is not your intent to demean them, as you are providing positive helpful feedback.

6. Do Not Attack
Giving feedback is not about attacking or insulting a person on a personal level. It is about explaining how you think they can be better at a certain task. Being sarcastic or throwing insults is not helpful and has no place in constructive criticism.

7. Move Forward
Once you have given the criticism, move on and let it go. Do not dwell on the situation as it is a waste of time and will only cause negative feelings.

Criticism can be a good thing if given in the correct way. It is very had to hear at times but can make you grow as a person.

Datavo loves your feedback, feel free to leave any tips you may have for constructive criticism in the comments. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

6 Google Chrome Apps to Help Your Productivity

Google Chrome is one of those things that amazes people once they find out how much functionality it really has.

My favorite part about it is the apps. There are so many available in the web store and most are free. No matter what you need to do, most likely you can find an app that can help you with it. Today, I want to review six of the ones that will help most with your productivity during the day.

1. Hootsuite - This app allows you to control all of your social media in one simple dashboard. It also allows you to track traffic, schedule messages and monitor conversations using the app.

2. Awesome Screenshot - With this app you can grab a still from any page you are searching in your browser. It is easy to use and is more transferable than notes or copy & paste. (I used this app for the screenshots in this blog)

3. Large Document - This app allows you to share large documents over 10mb that would usually bounce back to you due to size. It is much simpler than any of the external sharing sites such as Dropbox or YouSendIt. It actually converts your file to a url so there is not login info required.

4. Stay Focused - If you are an Internet browsing addict this app is for you. It allows you to set times for certain websites so that you do not spend too much time browsing. You can put a cap on the sites you select so you can limit the amount of time you waste during the day.

5. Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer - This allows you to view any PDF or PowerPoint file by just clicking on the link. No need to download large files or launch any other applications to view them.

6. Google Calendar Checker - This apps shows a countdown until your next engagement on our calendar. It is easy to use and you can link any of your calendars together so that you are never late or miss a meeting.

Feel free to leave any apps that you may know of in the comments.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Understanding Cloud

Cloud Computing can be seen as the next step in the evolution of the Internet by supplying a method that everything - such as applications, computing infrastructure, computing power, business processes and personal collaborations - is available to you as a service when and where you need it.

The definition of "cloud" in cloud computing can be described as the set of hardware, storage, services, networks, and interfaces that join together to supply aspects of computing as a service. Cloud services incorporate data storage over the Internet, infrastructure, and delivery of software based on end user demand. 

There are four vital aspects of cloud computing:

1. Flexibility and the capacity for scaling up and down.
2. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
3. Self-support provisioning and mechanized deprovisioning.
4. A pay-as-you-go model for billing and metering of service usage.

Cloud computing is available in multiple forms such as; private clouds, public clouds, and a combination of the two - called a hybrid.

People that use cloud computing services are:
  • Cloud service providers who manage IT assets and maintenance.
  • Business executives who must be accountable for the management of their services and data being stored on the cloud. Cloud providers must make sure their networks are stable and secure.
  • Personal users that are not aware of the behind the scenes technology in place.
Businesses that use cloud computing have found that it can eradicate a large amount of complicated obstacles that traditional computing comes with, including time, space, cost and power - completely changing the way they are using technology to service their clients. But, there is a down side if the company you choose does not have proper security or their servers go down. It may be best to use cloud only as a back-up for redundancy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Employee Spotlight: Donna Basist

One of the things that makes Datavo an awesome company to work for is the diverse group of talented, fun and interesting people.

Starting today, once a month we will be shining a spotlight on one of our employees to help you learn a little more about them and why they love working at Datavo.

First up, is our newest addition to the team,

Donna Basist

Donna has recently joined Datavo as the Director of Channel Sales with multiple years of experience in the telecom field, specifically dealing with phone equipment, cellular and network (voice and data) technologies.

Let's find out a little more about her.

1. Where are you from/ where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Southern California.

2. What are your hobbies? I love hiking and yoga.

3. What is your favorite quote? “what a long strange trip it’s been” -The Grateful Dead

4. What is your favorite movie? “Must Love Dogs”
TV show? “That 70’s Show”
Band? It's a toss up between The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppalin, and The Doors

5. What excites you most about working for Datavo? The amazing opportunity to build and establish a quality channel program from the ground up, with amazing, quality people.

6. What is one fun fact about yourself? I dress up as Janis Joplin every Halloween

Connect with Donna by sending her a message on our company Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The History of the Landline Telephone

The invention of the landline telephone made it possible for people to have verbal communications over long distances, drastically changing the way the world communicated. 

As technology has improved in telecommunications, landline telephones became cheaper, easier to operate and more accessible. Making it possible for billions of people all over the world to remain in contact with each other.

The first practical telephone derived from the creation of the electrical telegraph. It's invention is most often credited to Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 who was the first to patent the technology. There is much controversy surrounding this as Bell may have stolen the invention from Elisha Gray (who is not the only person who claims to have invented the phone before Bell.) The modern telephone that we use today is the result of many people working together.

The first long-distance telephone line was installed in 1877, covering a distance of 58 miles across Nevada County, California. This trend continued during the 20th century, increasing accessibility and usage dramatically. Between 1955 and 1956, the first transatlantic cable was installed, carrying 36 telephone channels, making international calls possible. It ran from Gallanach Bay, Scotland to Clarenville, Newfoundland.   In a little over 90 years after the first long-distance telephone line was installed, landline service reached 100 million users worldwide.

During the 21st century, landline telephone usage reached its highest point. In 2000, there were 16 fixed lines per 100 people in the world. In more developed countries the numbers peaked in 2000 and 2001 at 57 fixed lines per 100 people.

The landline telephone has recently seen usage decreases due to wireless telecommunication technologies. Statistics show nearly 16 percent of Americans receive almost all of their calls on a wireless device. While it took 90 years for the landline to reach 100 million users, it only took the cell phone 17 years.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Make a Call to Italy from the US

Datavo makes calling Italy from the United States a breeze.

We know that making international calls can be hard for some. So we have developed a simple way to help you make the process easier.
Take these uncomplicated steps:

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix or access code
  • Second dial 39, Italy's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 2-4 digit area code and 5-8 digit phone number.
   Example: 011 + 39 + XXXXXXXXX

  Major Cities and Area Codes:

Area Code

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix or access code
  • Second dial 39, Italy's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 10 digit phone number starting with 3
   Example: 011 + 39 + 3XXXXXXXXX
Click HERE to go to Italy's White Pages.

Do you call Italy regularly? Well Datavo has a deal for you. Click HERE for more information on Italy's calling rates.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 More Motivational Quotes to Start Your Day

Here at Datavo we know that running a business is hard work and you can sometimes start feeling scared and powerless. So we came up with another list of motivational quotes to help you through your day.

  • I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them! – C.J. Walker

Richard Branson
  • The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. – Debbi Fields

  • Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming. – Richard Branson

  • I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. – Donald Trump

  • Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. – Bill Gates

  • I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
  • Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. – Steve Jobs

  • Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were. – David Rockefeller

  • The enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth-persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. – John F. Kennedy

  • In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential. It’s no different in the financial realm. – Suze Orman

For more motivational quotes check out our blog 20 Great Motivational Quotes to Start Your Day. Feel free to leave any of your favorite quotes in the comments.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Datavo Has a New Office Location!

Datavo has moved it's offices from North Hollywood to sunny Agoura today and everyone is excited and moving in. Let's take a peek around while everyone is busy getting their desks ready.

Our New Office Building

Above is the front of our new building. We are located on the third floor. 

Come on in!

I was able to catch a few people setting up their desks and getting ready to work.

Customer Service is ready to work

Accounting getting it done.

Provisioning is getting a head start.
Back Office is almost there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 Tasks for Business Owners to Do Before Going on Vacation

When you think about going on vacation, for most it means relaxing and sightseeing. For most small business owners it can mean stressing that things are being done instead of having fun or taking their laptop and working while lounging on the beach or by the pool. There are some small business owners that don't go on vacation at all.

Datavo knows that stress can cause a vacation to be ruined so we came up with a short list of items you should take care of before you leave so that you can have a relaxing and refreshing time.

  • Make a list of your tasks. At least a two weeks prior to your vacation go through all of your responsibilities. Determine which tasks must be delegated and which can await your return. Do things such as paying bills or invoicing customers early so that you are not worried while you are away. Make sure to update your list the day before you leave and mark off all completed tasks. 
  • Make a schedule for checking in. To stop yourself from working all day and your staff from calling you with issues every second, set up specific times you are available and which circumstances you need to be contacted for. It may also help to only give one of your staff members your contact number and make them the designated point person while you are out.
  • Be specific and clear with your employees. Keep your employees in the loop. Have a meeting with them at least a week prior to your departure and let them know what you expect from them while you are gone. Go over any projects or assignments and assign who will be in charge of your responsibilities while you are gone. The day before you leave have another short meeting reviewing everything and confirm that your staff has everything it needs. 
  • Use your phone system's features. Most phone systems have features that allow you to optimize your customer service. Make sure you set your voicemail greeting to out of the office and set up any forwarding features so that your calls can route to you properly. 
  • Let your customers know you are leaving and who they can contact. Start letting your customers know that you will be going out of town a few weeks prior to your departure date. Set up an automated email response for any received emails that lets people know you're out of the office, what day you will return and who they can contact in the interim.

Now that you have all of that taken care of try to enjoy your vacation. Have faith that your employees will take care of everything and keep you in the loop if anything arises that needs your immediate attention.  Taking a vacation should leave you refreshed and revitalized, making you more productive in the long run.