What to Count On From a Business Phone Service Provider

In a business, factors such as communicating with business partners, clients, customers and employees are very considerable. Telecommunications play a major role in the receiving and sending of information. Efficient air time and a good audio quality are also very crucial. AT&T, a leading and very well known telecommunications business phone service provider can help you achieve quality calls with your colleagues, business partners, clients and employees. Even if what you are looking for is merely to install an advanced business phone system, make new replacements or modify them with the modern business phone service features that AT&T has to offer, then you have made the perfect choice in choosing AT&T. And your main goal in improving your business is now more achievable than ever.

As the competition in business phone services rapidly increases, the options in choosing a better business phone service provider is also increasing. And since many providers grant almost the same features as the others do, the technology of such services is no doubt in par with the others as well. When selecting service providers for your business, always take into account that the cost of the service as well as the services you are planning to purchase is worth your money. Some service providers offer packages at low prices. But remember not all of them offer good quality for a low cost. So think carefully on the quality of the products offered because compared to the popular and large service providers, their offer could well just be around the basic level. Also, do not forget to call their hotlines and inquire about their products, since some questions are answered more accurately through customer support than the ones given in the manual that goes with the package. Most probably, the products of the well known service providers cost way higher than the not so sought after services, but rest assured that the satisfaction you are going to get from their service is priceless.

Fax messages, emails, and voice messages are some of the features included in the business phone service. Additional phone equipments and the accessories are sometimes provided by other telecommunications companies. Now if some of the equipments are not included or provided by your chosen business phone service provider, unlike what was assured then you might want to switch to your personal choice of provider. The billing process of some business phone service providers differ from one another. Some providers issue bills by every phone call made, while some offer a fixed billing rate per month, depending on the features and package that you purchased. Most providers also include call forwarding and call waiting options at a fixed price. Meaning, prices do not change.

With features like as good as the ability to make conference calls, your clients, business partners and employees will be able to communicate from anywhere in the world. This advantage is very beneficial as it can save you time and money. It is also cost effective since business trips to other areas of the country are certainly minimized. So again, choose only the kind of business phone service provider which product suits to your needs best.

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Video Production Service for Unmatched Marketing ROI

With the world economy showing signs of another meltdown, businesses have become a lot more conscious about where and how they invest their money. Especially when it comes to marketing and promotions, companies are looking for ways by which they can reduce their marketing expenses by reducing their reliance on ridiculously high figured mass marketing methods. First of all, the conventional methods of marketing used by businesses require them to invest a major chunk of their earnings towards the marketing budget; to add to the woes, the results delivered are never in accordance with the amount of money invested. However, with video marketing, all this can very well change, and change for good!

Thanks to firms offering marketing video production, the need to promote a product or service can be easily met and that too without having to drill a hole in your bank account. By using such marketing videos, you will be able to present your offer in a highly creative and interactive way while getting quick and remarkable return on your investment. These videos not only help promote a certain product or service, they also contribute greatly towards building a brand image for your organization. This way, by opting for motion graphics video marketing, you will be able to promote your offer while creating a remarkable goodwill for your business.

When it comes to video production service providers, just like any other business experiencing boom, a number of names have joined the league. Though it may have led to more number of choices for the wishful takers, it has considerably brought down the overall standard of the league. This is the reason it is important to be sure about the competence of the service provider you are giving the task of video production to, in order to ensure that the videos produced are apt as per the demands of your business’ marketing campaign and hence, offer the expected results.

Now, when it comes to making the choice from the pool of companies offering motion graphics video production, you can make the pick after evaluating the testimonials received by the leading names in the business. With the help of internet search engines, you can easily find the links to the websites of leading firms offering video production service, and go to their testimonials section to discover the best name to go for. It is important that you sign up only after being completely satisfied with the reviews received by the company.

What Are Post Production Services?

In film, photography, and business videos, post-production includes all the tasks that will be completed after the shooting of the film is complete. This includes cutting, editing, if needed, working with action and sound, and dubbing.

What Do Post Production Services Include?

Video and audio post production for any video project includes:

• Sound editing
• Picture editing
• Music composition (if any)
• Visual effects
• Sound mixing
• Color correction

Audio Post Production Services

Sound specialists will step in and ensure that all the narratives sound clear, and that the decibel level is appropriate. When they edit sound, they can only work with what you already have on screen.

If the dialogue needs to be edited, words may be replaced if they became overlapped by other sounds during filming. Some lines may also need to be re-recorded, for similar reasons. This is also part of audio post production and is known as ADR. Foley is another element of audio post production.

Video Post Production Services

The footage in your video must be clean and clear, so that there are no distractions when your audience watches it. This is the case whether your audience is a training class, a marketing group, or a potential business partner.

The assembly of the video sounds straightforward, but it actually includes putting the video together and finding the story, so that it makes sense to the audience. During this edit process, all the pieces are put together, in creating the final product.

The time needed for picture editing varies a great deal, says Rocket Jump, depending on the subject and the way the video was shot. Complex corporate videos, if they have a storyline and visual effects, may take longer.

Music Composition

There isn’t always music in corporate, training, or marketing videos, but it is used in some cases. The editors will go over the areas where music would be appropriate, and determine what they want the music to “feel” like.

Some editors lay down music throughout the film, but unless you’re making a movie and not a business type video, there may not be many scenes that need a musical score.

Visual Effects

Visual effects in business videos are something that people may not notice. If they are overdone, people won’t remember the main focus of your video. They may include painting out objects that don’t belong in the video or blending two takes. When video post production services are performed, if they are done properly, they will be invisible, but they are still important. A visual effect should always have a motivation.

There are also “cool” visual effects, which are not seen as often in corporate or business videos. During this period, the visuals need to be coordinated with the sound, so that the sound elements in and the visual effects can be synced.

Sound Mixing

After the sound is edited and the dialogue is easy to follow, sound mixing brings all the sounds together so that they are harmonious. Today, sound mixing may be quite complex. Sound editors may be bringing isolated elements together so that they can be more easily be understood.

Color Correction

Color correction is the last visual effects step. This involves matching the color balance and the levels between shots. Portions may need to be adjusted lighter or darker. Overall, the images are tweaked so that they look better and match from shot to shot.

If all the phases of post production have been done correctly, your business video will get your point across, whether that means training employees or selling new products to your customers.

Yahoo! Finance – What Sets This Finance Website Apart?

“What Obama Must Say Tonight,” “10 Tax Moves to Make in 2010,” and “Ailing Banks Favor Salaries Over Shareholders,” are all examples of the dozens of articles that could be found today at Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance is a finance website that offers lots of free information and tools all related to finance. There are many websites today that offers resources and tools related to personal finance and investing, so what does Yahoo! Finance have to offer?

*Free- Although there are some services available for a fee, accessing the Yahoo! Finance website is free and so is the use of many tools.

*Personalized Updates- If you choose to set up an account, you can get personalized updates when you log on about stocks or companies that you’re interested in.

*Up to Date- This is one of the best things that sets Yahoo! Finance apart. Market indexes and updates are updated frequently and the “news” is fresh.

*At a Glance- You can see Market index averages for the day including the DOW, NASDAQ, S&P 500 and more, as well as graphs showing the trend in these averages for the most recent working day.

What’s Up at Yahoo! Finance?

In addition to the Yahoo! Finance home page, you can find helpful pages on:

-Investing

-News and Opinion

-Personal Finance

-My Portfolios (if you choose to organize your financial information here)

– A Tech Ticker

On the Investing Pages at Yahoo! Finance:

Find out about “Today’s Markets,” including recent earnings statements, recent stock splits and more.

Mutual Funds, Stocks, ETFs, Options, Industries and Currencies are all explored furher. Find research, converters, calculators, articles and more.

You can also learn more about world stock index levels, world news and exchange rates are under “International.”

“Research and Education” offers a business term glossary, personal tutorials on finance and investing and more.

Of course Yahoo! Finance also offer “Community,” a section where you can chat, ask questions or join groups.

On the Personal Finance Pages at Yahoo! Finance:

Get your personal finances organized at “Banking and Budgeting.” Free trials of online bill pay are available. Frequent offers include free for 6 months and $4.95 thereafter.

More under Personal Finance…

*Insurance

*Taxes

*Loans

*Real estate

* Family and Income

*Retirement

On the News and Opinion Pages at Yahoo! Finance:

Look for articles on…

*Industry news

*New technology

*Top picks by experts

Creating a Yahoo! Finance Account:

Creating an account at Yahoo! Finance is easy and free. Once you’ve created an account, you can personalize your logon so that the information that is important to you will be displayed including stock prices and relevant news pertaining to companies you are interested in.

The Perks of Yahoo! Finance:

Yahoo! Finance visitors and members enjoy that there’s so much financial information in one place and that the articles and financial charts on Yahoo! Finance are kept up to date. They also like that so many of the services available are free. Visitors also applaud Yahoo! for having limited ads.

Popular Tools at Yahoo! Finance:

There are rate charts and calculators for Mortgage, Home Equity, Savings, Auto Loans and Credit Cards for fixed loans and ARMs. You can see rates across the country as well view rates in your area.

What’s not to love about Yahoo! Finance?

While many users like the non-nonsense format at Yahoo! Finance, others find the finance web sites look to be drab, boring and unexciting with little more than two colors, black and blue, a limited photos.

Still, Yahoo! Finance is recommended as a finance website that has a lot of helpful tools and resources that are well organized, up to date and more than not, free.

Letter of Intent (LOI) in Crude Oil Deals – The Legal Traps and Pitfalls of LOI for Crude Buyers

Nowadays, to hear many of the oil sellers and operators, particularly their brokers and agents, who are involved in the international open market crude selling, describe it, this document – called the “Letter of Intent” or LOI, for short – is not only an essential document for doing crude oil business, but one which every credible person or company engaged in crude buying should always use in initiating a purchase. To many of these operators, not only should crude oil buyers use the LOI to initiate their buying orders, but initiating the purchase order in that manner, they say, has always been the usual way by which credible buyers initiate their purchasing projects, as doing it that way indicates, they claim, that a buyer is “serious” and genuinely committed to making a purchase.

THE SELLERS’ RATIONALE FOR DEMANDING THE LOI

This position expressed by one representative of a seller, a Swedish-based broker, in a recent exchange with this writer’s office regarding the seller’s offer wherein the prospective buyer’s mandate resisted the broker’s insistence that the prospective buyer must first sign an LOI, pretty much sums up the traditional rationale offered by sellers and/or their agents for having an LOI:

“Buyer who is serious, ready and able to purchase [crude oil], will sign [an] LOI and all the necessary documents that protect the rights of the Brokers and proceed. There is nothing to lose in signing those documents. This is how it is usually done and this is how it should be.”

In sum, the rationale underlying the Seller’s demand for LOI, can essentially be summed up as follows:

1) That giving an LOI to a seller by a prospective buyer, is an indication that the buyer is “serious” and willing to purchase;
2) That use of the LOI is the usual way of initiating a purchasing proposal by a buyer, and is the right and proper way to go; and
3) That there is nothing for anyone in the deal to lose by a prospective buyer signing an LOI.

HOW VALID, OR OTHERWISE, ARE THESE USUAL RATIONALE BY SELLERS OR THEIR AGENTS?

Ironically, while oil sellers and their agents frequently demand that prospective “serious” buyers involved in crude oil transactions should first offer an LOI, the buyers, on the other hand, are not generally enamored of that idea. Especially when, in effect, what is being asked of them is to provide the LOI upfront to a little-known Internet-generated seller about whom they lack any familiarity with or whose bona fides as sellers they know next to nothing about – other than, perhaps, that they (the buyers) had had some initial communication with the “seller” via an Internet contact. In deed, to this writer’s knowledge, crude buyers, particularly the more established and prominent ones, would very rarely offer an LOI upfront to any sellers to initiate a purchase. And when, especially, the supposed “seller” that’s involved is one that is a virtual unknown to the buyer, or one that is merely an Internet-generated seller about whose bona fides and credentials the buyer knows practically next to nothing, one can be almost absolutely certain that the chances of a crude buyer of substance signing over an LOI to such a seller, is practically next to zero.

Contrary to the sellers’ and their super sales-conscious agents’ familiar claim that “There is nothing to lose in signing those documents,” quite the complete opposite is true – namely, a great deal, in fact, could potentially be lost particularly by the buyer by signing an LOI to a supposed seller. Why? In a word, this is because the LOI is actually fraught with many incalculable legal flaws, traps and pitfalls, much of which could often be prohibitively costly for the buyer, according to legal authorities and contract law experts. (See below for more on this)

In fact, some experts have called the LOI a document whose use is primarily advocated or promoted only by amateurs and marginal dealers or “joker-broker” types in the crude trade business, especially the overzealous sellers’ agents and brokers in a desperate hurry to land some buyers. Mr. Ziad K. Abdelnour, President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc, a New York-based advisory firm to traders and suppliers of metals, minerals and crude oil commodities, calls the LOI document something that is primarily “used out on the Internet by inexperienced traders,” and by “inexperienced ‘intermediary seller’ who is claiming to be the supplier.”

The point is that the often-heard notion and claims by some sellers or their overzealous agents and brokers that the use of the LOI to initiate a purchasing proposal by a buyer “is how it is usually done and this is how it should be,” may be applicable and prudent only in the minds, the imagination, and hopes or dreams of those sellers, especially the more marginal ones and their brokers and agents who operate on the fringes largely on the Internet. It is NOT a view that is shared by the broad spectrum of credible buyers, more especially when the “sellers” involved are largely unknown and obscure operators.

THE REASONS WHY BUYERS & EXPERTS SHUN & DISAPPROVE OF THE USE OF LOI

They include the following:

1. LOI is used as manipulation tool at the hands of unscrupulous sellers & agents.

Often times, obscure or scam-oriented persons who claim to be crude Sellers, or represent themselves as sellers’ agents, mandates or brokers largely by an Internet contact or communication, employ the LOI merely as a tool to quickly “corner and box in” a prospective buyer to a purchase deal, before the prospective buyer may demand that they provide their business profile or show him something tangible to demonstrate that they are truly legitimate sellers. Such sellers would persistently demand that the prospective buyers hurry and issue them an LOI right upfront purportedly as proof that they are “serious” about making the purchase – that is, before the buyer may probably start raising some probing questions about them or their credentials as legitimate sellers.

Many a time, especially in a case involving a supposed seller who is either a fake seller or does not actually have the supposed crude in hand yet, or, an unscrupulous aspiring seller’s agent or broker who actually has not acquired a crude supplier (seller) yet, buyers may issue an LOI only to find out that there is no seller on the other end. This happens a lot in situations where you have an hungry agent or facilitator who is still struggling to get a real supplier, and by extracting this LOI from an unsuspecting buyer, this facilitator can commit the buyer only for him then to start hustling to find a seller or supplier.

2. LOI is a Legally Worthless Document That Means Virtually Nothing

As a practical matter, in legal terms, the Letter of Intent is a worthless and meaningless document. The LOI is a badly flawed legal document. This is because the document is, as one experienced contract law expert put it, “an agreement to agree which is non-binding and non-enforceable as a contract.”

Ziad K. Abdelnour, President & CEO Blackhawk Partners, Inc, the New York-based advisory firm on such matters, puts it this way: “Giving a Letter of Intent only means ‘Yes I’m intent to buy the goods but I can change my mind anytime.’ A letter of Intent is not a binding contract. [Hence] The Letter of Intent is a total waste of time on a worthless piece of paper.”

So, if a letter or document that nominally or presumably conveys the signer’s “intent” or intention to buy, is essentially meaningless and worthless in legal terms, and is not binding on the signer or anyone, and CANNOT be enforced on him, then why would a respectable crude buyer, in the first place, want to waste its precious time and resources (or that of its expensive lawyers) to engage in such a fruitless exercise for the benefit of a seller? Especially for an unknown or obscure seller?

3. LOI is fraught with many legal booby traps & pitfalls especially for the buyer.

But probably the most damning reason why credible crude buyers would have little or no use for LOI in their buying dealings, is that using the LOI is fraught with many incalculable legal traps and pitfalls much of which could atimes be very costly for, and to the detriment of, the buyer, according to legal authorities and contract law experts.

A fundamental flaw of the LOI, lies in what Vasilios J. Kalogredis, a Wayne, Pennsylvania attorney, calls “the uncertainty and potential risk of any such undertaking.” Kalogredisis, a business contract law expert, explains it this way:

“Letters of intent are often touted as a ‘non-legally binding’ way to get the parties to set forth in writing what the undertaking is among them relative to a transaction. Too often, parties will sign such a document, feeling that they have little or nothing to lose by doing so… [True, that’s] one of the attractive elements of the letter of intent [its purported non-binding nature]. However, courts have found letters of intent to create binding obligations, even if the letter itself does not explicitly state that it is binding… certain provisions within the document may indeed [still] have legal effect.”

Kalogredis calls that basic fact that a document generally viewed by many as a casual and non-binding document, could atimes still become binding under certain unpredictable circumstances, “one of the traps in a letter of intent,” and adds:

“My advice [to parties contemplating having an LOI] is to proceed with caution before signing any such document. As a general rule (and there are exceptions), I urge the parties to go right to the final documents and “dot all of the I’s and cross all of the T’s,” rather than go through this interim step of a letter of intent, which has many potential traps.”

Another contract law attorney, Ivan Hoffman of California, makes essentially the same point:

“Parties to a transaction sometimes intentionally create a letter of intent as an expression of what they intend to agree upon should certain circumstances arise… [whatever happens], the document will not be binding and thus not enforceable until those circumstances arise. Thus, the letter of intent is essentially a legally worthless document. It is not clear to me the reason any party would ever bother to create such a document and yet I have seen it used on many occasions. If parties to a transaction intend to bind each other, then they should create a binding contract, not a letter of intent. If the parties to a transaction do not intend to bind each other, then why bother creating a document that is not binding?

However, sometimes one of the parties prepares a document believing it to be a valid and enforceable agreement only to find, after expensive litigation, that it was not a binding agreement at all but merely a non-binding, non-enforceable agreement to agree, letter of intent.”

4. LOI as a Source or Promoter of Undue Litigation

Aside from the legal problem of the ambiguity and uncertainty inherent in LOI, there is yet another major problem inherent in the document, from a legal standpoint. Namely, precisely because the LOI is basically ambiguous and non-definitive by nature, the document often easily lends itself to different interpretations and understandings at the hands of different parties (or even the courts), and thus lends itself, in turn, to being a fertile source for undue litigation and legal contests for those involved with the use of that document in their transactions.

Lawyers at the Coollawyer.com, explain the legal “paradox” inherent in the LOI, wherein the signing of an LOI, is often prone, not to bringing about less litigation, but more litigation, and put it this way:

“Letters of Intent, legally, are the worst of all worlds. Writing a letter of intent is not to be taken lightly. In law, you either have a contract or you don’t. LOI’s are the legal equivalent of “almost pregnant.” Letters of Intent emphatically state that. They state that they are not formal agreements, and then often proceed to set forth agreed terms of the proposed transaction. Given this paradox, if the deal goes sour, one party can argue [in court] that those agreed-upon points were, in fact, agreed upon – or, in fact, a binding contract. And, in some cases, furthermore, that the party relied on the LOI and has monetary damages based on such reliance.”

The lawyers add that: “This is the legal problem with a Letter of Intent – you can’t legally state you agree to something and then state that you don’t in the same document.”

Famous Case of a Letter of Intent Gone Bad: Court Case of GETTY OIL vs. PENNZOIL

A famous example often cited by legal scholars, was a case involving the Getty Oil and Pennzoil in very early 1984. The parties had signed a “Memorandum of Agreement” – viewed by the parties at the time as a Letter of Intent – for a complex investment and stock transaction, whereby Pennzoil would purchase Getty Oil stock, and set forth general terms of the investment that had been reached in conversations, and also stipulated that the Memorandum was subject to the approval of the Board of Getty Oil. The Board of Getty Oil sooner approved the transaction and both parties announced on January 4, 1984 in a press release, an “agreement in principle” to the terms of the Memorandum. The final agreements for the merging of Texaco and Getty Oil were signed by the parties on January 6 – 8.

However, during the same period, on January 6, another oil company, Texaco, came into the picture as it publicly announced that Texaco and Getty Oil would merge. Pennzoil protested the proposed merger, and Getty Oil filed a law suit for the court to issue a declaratory judgment that it was not bound by any contract it had with Pennzoil.

The long and short of the story, is that the court, after scrutinizing not only the Memorandum, but also the wordings of the press releases and other documents that Getty Oil and Pennzoil had issued over the course of their dealings, found Getty Oil to be “in breach” of the Memorandum of Agreement – the document the parties had viewed as a letter of intent. Thus, a document (the letter of intent) that the parties had started out viewing as non-binding and unenforceable, had changed from being that, to being a final agreement! Pennzoil, on the other hand, ended up with $10.6 billion (later settled for $3 billion) from Texaco for interfering in its deal with Getty Oil.

Moral of the story? If you’re ever contemplating using a Letter of Intent in a business transaction, you had better watched out, it may not be as simple a matter as you might think. You better be very cautious, for it could result in unforeseen and unpredictable consequences!

SUMMARY

Put very simply, as a legal or even business document, it’s hard to image any document that could be as beset with so many near-crippling legal flaws, traps and pitfalls for its signer, as the LOI. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that in the REAL world of international buying and selling of crude oil, while the crude sellers and their army of sales-obsessed aggressive brokers and agents may generally be infatuated with the idea of having the LOI document widely and routinely used by prospective crude buyers to initiate their purchasing offers, nothing, on the other hand, could be more disliked, more unacceptable or unwanted by most crude buyers, particularly the more credible and substantive lot. What is more, on top of everything else of decisively negative nature about this document, the LOI is a document adjudged by virtually every legal expert in the field as a document that is legally meaningless, worthless, unenforceable and non-binding both on the signatory parties or on anyone, but yet has the potential to bring forth immense and unanticipated legal complications and problems for the signer(s).

To conclude, there’s perhaps no more apt way to conclude this piece, than to quote this very fitting statement by contract law attorney, Ivan Hoffman, of California: “[Given that] the letter of intent is essentially a legally worthless document [but yet one that could potentially cause many serious legal problems for the signer]. It is not clear to me the reason any party would ever bother to create such a document and yet I have seen it used on many occasions.”