Local-area networks

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Also, with people spending more and more time at a computer, they are not spending so much time exercising, but are sitting at a desk all day. Also, some people feel that the internet & email mean that you lose the ‘personal touch’ involved in business and so prefer speaking either over the telephone, or in person. The internet is an example of a wide-area network (WAN), a large number of computers linked together to allow them to share resources over a large geographical area. There are also Local-area networks (LAN) which cover a smaller area.

Many businesses will have their own networks, though I think that HAF may have quite a primitive version of this, something that I will research and discuss with them. Advantages of networks are that sharing devices saves money. Files can easily be shared between users, and they can communicate by email. Also, security is good, as other users can’t see your files, and a file server is easily used to back data up. There are disadvantages though, purchasing the parts needed are expensive – as is the installation. Also, a network manager is necessary to oversee the day-to-day running of it.

If the file server breaks down, so do all the computers on the network. Also, there is the risk of hackers and intruders harming the business and reading confidential files. Despite this, the internet is undoubtedly a very important asset within a business, and I think that the majority of communication in businesses is computer/internet related. The telephone is an oral method of communication and can be used internally and externally. Examples of when the telephone internally would be for the office department of the company needing to specify something to the factory, like how much of a certain product should be made.

If there is more than one office to the company, one department could contact their colleagues elsewhere in the world. External communication would be if the company were in contact with another company. However, with the introduction of email ; video conferencing, this type of communication is not required as much as it used to be. The telephone is an example of personal oral communication. Other methods of this would be conversations (internal) and visits (external). The advantages of the telephone are that it is quick, all companies have them and there is the ‘personal touch’ involved.

Many people prefer using the telephone to other media, this is because you can hear the other person and it strikes up an intimacy that is not shared when communicating of email. There are disadvantages with the telephone net work however. At peak times, it can be quite expensive, especially so when telecommunicating internationally. There are other problems too. If the company has a power cut, or the telephone lines falter, you cannot use the telephone. Also, there is no guarantee that there will be someone else at the end of the phone.

This is not such a big problem now though, with the introduction with the answer phone, but it can be a problem if there are emergencies. There are other drawbacks as well. Calls have to be made when the business is open, and you have to pay particular attention to different time zones. Finally, the Queuing systems employed by companies can be irritating. More and more people today have mobile phones and in business today they are essential, especially in the sales department. As HAF is a manufacturer, they will have salesmen who need mobile phones. Also, many others working in the office will require one.

Advantages with using mobile phones are that they can be used anywhere as long as there is network coverage. Also, you can send text messages – useful is someone is not available on the other end of the phone. Finally, WAP enabled phones allow Internet and email connection. Disadvantages of using mobile phones are that there is a lack of hard copy and there are arising health issues surrounding phones. Meetings and conversations within the business are one of the most effective ways of communicating, even if they are not particularly time efficient at the time.

In this, people can take part in general discussion. Also, you do not have to get back to the person you are communicating with after you have been asked a question, like when using email. Moving on from personal oral communication, I will now talk about personal written communication. Internal examples of such are memos and emails. As I have already discussed, the email system is very useful both internally and externally. Indeed it is an example of internal and external personal written communication. Memos, or Memorandums, are used as notes within the organisation.

Instead of holding a meeting, or using email, people may quickly write out a memo to more than one person. Memorandums are very cheap; all you are paying for is the paper and ink that it is written on and by. An advantage of this is that it is a quick way of communicating within the company, and you can send multiple messages. However, as memos are generally very brief, the recipient may have queries about what he/she has to do. Despite all of these means of communication, many companies still use the post for written communication.

This has been stamped out with the introduction of email which is far faster and cheaper. Advantages of using the post are that people enjoy getting letters. Packets and parcels can be sent, and it does not require any special equipment, The disadvantages are that it can be expensive and very slow (especially when sending letters abroad). For these reasons, many companies have converted to using email as a preferred communication means. Notices put up by people in the company or are sent round are another quick way of ensuring that everyone gets the necessary information.

However, such notices may get lost in all the paper work that the employee has to deal with. This is the same for memos and the like. Fax machines have been very popular in businesses for the last decade or so. It is a means of sending digitised images along a telephone line, replicating the image at the fax machine of the recipient. An advantage is that there is hard copy provided. Disadvantages are that it can be slow to send a big document. Also, paper is wasted when junk faxes are sent. Finally there is another means of communication that major corporations and big companies work; video conferencing.

This is where people in different places are able to link u to see and hear each other. Sometimes a small camera is attached to a PC but computers are not always needed. It is like having a personal conversation with the person on the other end, even though they may be thousands of miles away! However, for a smooth moving picture, the display needs to show at least 25frames per second. Broadband communication is necessary, as it means transmitting many megabits of data per second. Most normal internet connections are not fast enough. This method of communicating probably is not used by HAF.

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