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To do this, the NHS is harnessing new technologies and making much better use of data. Along with implementing artificially intelligent chatbots to help patients self-serve, the NHS Blood and Transplant department has begun working with digital consultancy T-Impact to improve and automate its process for matching donated hearts with recipients. This has resulted in the world’s first allocation of a heart using a cloud-based system.

Your Guide To Working With A Small Business Answering Service

If you are about to start working with a small business answering service, you can expect your life to get a lot easier. When you have a professional service answering your calls for you, you’ll have a lot less to stress about. That said, you’ll want to be sure that you know what to expect. This guide will give you an overview.

Even if you’ve used a service like this before, you’ll want to take the time to find out as much as you can about the service that you’re currently working with. If you’re entirely familiar with the service that you’re using, you’ll be able to take advantage of everything that they have to offer.

Take a closer look at what the service you’ve chosen provides you. Learn as much about their services as you can. If you know what’s available to you, you’ll be able to ensure that you get everything you want and need.

A small business answering service will benefit your company in a lot of different ways. Some companies use these services so that customers can reach them at any time, even when the business is closed. Other companies use these services when they’re on vacation.

You should think about how you plan to use the service that you’ve chosen. Come up with a plan that makes sense to you. If you’re not sure how you’d like to use the service, you may want to talk to other business owners that use a similar service.

Think About How You Want The Service To Respond To Your Clients

You have control over the response your clients receive when they talk to your answering service. You should think carefully about how you want the service to interact with your clients. Try to find an option that both you and your clients will be comfortable with. If you’re not sure how you would like to handle this, your answering service should be able to offer you some options.

The things you need right now may not be the same things that you need forever. It’s possible that you’ll need more services at some point in the future. You should evaluate your relationship with your answering service from time to time. Think about whether or not you’d like to upgrade your current services.

Don’t feel like you can’t make changes to your answering services. If you need additional services in the future, it’s likely that your answering service will be able to give you what you need. You should periodically take stock of your answering service and think about how well it accommodates your needs.

If you’re new to working with answering services for small businesses, it might take a bit of time for you to adjust. Thankfully, now that you’ve read this guide, you should be more than prepared for everything that awaits you. You can expect to have a smooth experience from here on out.

Why Contractors Should Have a Live Answering Service

Why Contractors Should Have a Live Answering Service

Being a contractor in these trying economic times can be challenging that’s why it is essential to stand out from others. An answering service is very important to your business because it leads to an increase in revenue and at the same time it increases the possibilities of expanding your business because you are able to lure more customers into your business. For a busy contractor, it can be very difficult to balance the new business with the existing one particularly when you are far away from clients’ sites during the day. This is challenging for most contractors because they have to think of ways of providing the required attention to the potential new clients. A Contractors live answering service is the ideal solution. This service should only be meant to offer exceptional call center support for companies specializing in building and construction. A Contractors live answering service should establish a connection between the potential customers and the contractor. Here is a look at how it can work for you.

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Who is responsible for business innovation?

It is vital that business leaders foster an environment where innovation is a natural part of company culture. “It is vital that our organisations are able to attract people with the right tech skills, but also to develop those skills internally,” says PwC chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis. “As well as recruiting people with digital skills, organisations need to focus on training their people to be adaptive, creative and critical thinkers.”

The IT department

In 2015, Raconteur launched a study of workplace innovation, in collaboration with Google for Work. This study revealed that over a quarter of respondents saw IT as the main driver of innovation – a view which has barely changed since. With technology at the core of business, those with the ability to master it have the power to spark change. Not to mention that the IT department has close working relationships with every part of a business, which allows them to drive innovation and improve collaboration across the organisation.

Chief data officer

Smart use of data is key to business innovation, and CDOs are responsible for highlighting where opportunities and threats lie. Richard Merrygold, director of group data protection at Homeserve says: “CDOs need to sell the benefits. The CDO role is one of looking for efficiencies, simplifying needs, demonstrating cost-benefits, and encouraging businesses to be open and transparent.”

Chief transformation officer

The term chief transformation officer has a wide meaning: some CTOs see themselves as visionaries, while others are essentially project managers for an overhaul of an organisation’s processes, often through technological change.

Either way, a successful CTO could be exactly the person to take up responsibility for driving business innovation. “We’re all living through intense change, the pace of which is only accelerating,” says Jason Dormieux, global chief transformation officer at media agency Wavemaker. “Regardless of title, all companies need people whose obsession is around what products and services they can build in order to help their customers take advantage of the opportunities that this disruption brings.”

Expert advice: how to begin business innovation

Don’t fixate on distant goals

“A solid strategy must avoid all-encompassing initiatives without careful understanding and planning. Instead, taking on board ‘quick wins’ will help to bring a clear impact on operations and obvious benefits. This can be done by running multiple small projects in parallel to ensure the best ideas are progressed rapidly and the bad ones fail early.”

Don’t neglect design

“An increasing number of fast-growth startups are founded by designers. The design course on Stanford University’s MBA is one of the most popular and it’s increasingly understood as a powerful strategic tool. That said, many businesses still don’t realise this and not only neglect to create a leadership role around design, but also fail to invest in growing design capabilities more broadly in the business. Done properly this will force a company to entirely rethink how it brings new products and services to market as well as how it runs and organises itself.”

Be wary of rivalry between change leaders

“Herd instinct driven by the kind of digital disruption that is ubiquitous in today’s global economy can lead to confused, ‘me too’ efforts by businesses to transform. Nothing is more symptomatic of this failing than the bewildering cast of characters that variously present themselves as digital leaders – chief information, marketing, digital, data, customer, technology and digital transformation officers to name but a few. According to research by Digital McKinsey, a third of company executives do not know which leader is responsible for digital and technology functions within their business. In most cases these are either people who have successfully ‘made a play’ for the digital piece or they are brought in to spread some digital pixie dust across some previous perceived success.”

Business innovators

2020 was a year filled with challenges for professional sports leagues, many of which landed on the desk of the NBA’s first-ever Chief Innovation Officer, Amy Brooks. Not long after the NBA Bubble was set up in Orlando, Fla., the NBA needed to run its annual Draft Combine, a multi-day pre-draft event that brings invited athletes together with scouts, coaches, and team managers. Typically held in June, the 2020 event was postponed until September for safety reasons — and it got a major digital upgrade. Not only was the entire event held remotely with videoconferencing, but the NBA also partnered with the app HomeCourt, which uses advanced machine learning and computer vision to record and analyze a player’s shooting skills. Brooks also spearheaded the launch of a lucrative jersey patch sponsorship program to boost revenue for the league.

Nelson Irrigation

Working Backward’s Jeff Bezos innovates by first listening to his customers

When Jeff Bezos first launched 15 years ago, plenty of analysts saw it as a company with little potential for growth. After all, how much money can you really make selling books? But Bezos confounded his skeptics by continuously re-inventing the business. Today, it’s arguably the world’s leading online retailer, selling everything from groceries to electronics.

And Bezos is just beginning. The guy who changed the way we thought about bookstores keeps opening up new frontiers. The Kindle, Amazon’s electronic reading device, is changing the way we look at reading. And with its approach to "cloud computing," a set of new web-based services that enable customers to operate their software on Amazon’s computer systems, paying only for the computer power they actually use, Amazon is changing the face of information technology.

This year, analysts expect the company to earn more than $750 million, up nearly 400 percent from 2006, on sales of more than $22 billion. And Amazon is worth $40 billion, giving Bezos a personal net worth of more than $8 billion. He will soon move his company from its perch on a hill above Seattle to a new campus in South Lake Union which, when completed in 2012, will have 10 buildings capable of housing 8,000 employees.

How does Bezos keep introducing major new innovations at Amazon? The typical approach, he says, is to take the skills you have and use them as the basis for offering a new product or service. That’s what Amazon did with cloud computing, taking a computer infrastructure the business developed internally for its massive electronic commerce operation and offering other firms an opportunity to run their own services over the same infrastructure.

That method meant returning to the needs of the company’s original customers: book buyers. Of course, it is a tall order to improve on books, which are essentially unchanged after 500 years, even as the industry continues to evolve. "Physical books have that elegant feature that they get out of the way so you can lose yourself in the author’s world," says Bezos. "We had to build an electronic device that would disappear."

But if the device was going to sell, it also had to do things the book couldn’t do. "So we made it really easy to look up a word’s definition while you are reading. We made it possible to buy a book and read it 60 seconds later."

Unlike past e-book offerings from companies like Sony, the Kindle has developed a loyal following, and analysts expect Amazon to sell as many as 1 million Kindles this year, generating more than $300 million in sales.

Bezos doesn’t think so. He points out that digital cameras remain important in spite of the fact the many cell phones can now take pictures. Similarly, he says, "When you want a long reading session, one hour, two hours, you want a device that’s so appropriate for that kind of focused activity that you set aside your cell phone and pick up your Kindle."

So what’s next from this tireless innovator? Bezos has invested his own money and time in Blue Origin, a Kent-based company that is developing "a rocket-propelled vehicle designed to routinely fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space." The vehicle has already gone through tests on a 300,000-acre site Bezos acquired in west Texas and could be ready for its first unmanned space flight in 2011.

Reed Hastings – Netflix

In 2020, Netflix progressed exceptionally well under the leadership of CEO Reed Hastings, who co-founded the company as a mail order movie rental business in 1998. Over the years, Netflix has, of course, evolved into an on-demand internet streaming company. In 2013 the firm saw its stock triple, and in September the same year it counted a whopping 40.4 million subscribers. This ascent may well be due, at least in part, to one of Hastings’ most successful innovations: in 2013 he launched original TV shows Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix, to much acclaim. Some industry experts have noted that people are turning their backs on cable since they can get their favorite shows on Netflix and elsewhere on the web. “Hastings could be the successor to [Steve] Jobs as the model in Silicon Valley for how to innovate,” said Paul Carroll of consulting company The Devil’s Advocate Group.

The Top 25 Most Influential Innovators

Most companies aspire to be more innovative. But amidst layoffs, budget freezes, and lockdown orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a brutal year that separated a few forward-looking companies that continued to invest in innovation from the rest of the pack.

We’ve spent the pandemic year covering all kinds of innovation-related initiatives and products, and the people responsible for making them happen — and doing it from our homes, like many others around the world. Now, with 2020 in the rearview, we’re happy to present our first-ever Most Influential Innovators list.

In compiling this list, we looked at an individual’s major accomplishments from 2020, also taking into account prior career highlights, as well as recommendations and background from innovators in our network. We especially looked for leaders who took on projects that sought to address and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, from face masks to telemedicine to mRNA vaccines. (Yes, and also streaming entertainment.) We conducted interviews with some of these innovators, and researched others. One key criteria: since Innovation Leader focuses on innovation inside large organizations, everyone works for an organization with 1000-plus employees. To learn more about some of the innovators on our list, click the links for more background.

1. Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin

The first patient being dosed with Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Before either the US or the World Health Organization had dubbed COVID-19 a public health emergency, BioNTech co-founders Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin had made the decision to begin focusing their company’s efforts on creating a COVID-19 vaccine. Türeci and Sahin are married, and the decision was made at the breakfast table on the morning of January 24, 2020. At the time, shifting the German company’s resources was a risky move: the pair couldn’t be certain of the virus’ massive global impact, and the first case hadn’t yet been seen in their own country. Also, the prior world speed record for developing a vaccine was four years, for mumps. By April, Türeci and Sahin announced that BioNTech would expand its research and development partnership with the much larger American pharmaceutical company Pfizer. And by November, the two companies revealed that the Phase III clinical trial was extremely successful, and that the vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19. By early December, people were getting the Pfizer-BioNTech shots outside of clinical trial settings. Not bad for a company founded in 2008, which has just 1,400 employees. And the co-founding couple has since been named Financial Times’ “People of the Year.”

2. Elon Musk


3. Ted Sarandos

Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO & Chief Content Officer, Netflix

Anyone who binge-watched “The Queen’s Gambit” in 2020 has Ted Sarandos to thank. Sarandos has been responsible for designing the streaming platform’s slate of original content — from a slew of original television shows in different languages to movies directed by Hollywood A-listers like Martin Scorsese. Sarandos wasn’t a techie when he joined the company in 2000, but he knew what made the entertainment industry tick, and he learned to rely on Netflix’s software algorithms to predict what movies and shows would connect with viewers. The approach has paid off at the awards shows, with Netflix originals receiving 35 nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards — topping its former record of 24 nominations set in 2020. Netflix was also beating its own forecasts for subscriber growth through much of the pandemic. Sarandos added “co-CEO” to his title in 2020 after 20 years as Chief Content Officer, paving the way for him to become the potential successor to Netflix co-CEO and founder Reed Hastings.

4. Marcello Damiani




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