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Infor Aims to Fill a Gap With Saleslogix
August 15, 2014
Infor, a provider of business application software and cloud services, has agreed to acquire Saleslogix, a CRM application that is currently owned by Swiftpage. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks. Financial details were not disclosed. For Swiftpage, the reason for the sale is straightforward: It allows it to focus on ACT!, a less-complex CRM application.
Amazon Flows Into Mobile Payments Territory
August 13, 2014
Amazon has introduced Amazon Local Register to the mobile payment market, taking on such companies as Square and Paypal Here. The product is a combination of a secure card reader, which sells for $10, and a free mobile app. Together, they offer a platform that allows businesses to accept credit and debit card payments using smartphones or tablets. The product comes with customer support.
Desk.com Support: Video Is the New Manual
August 11, 2014
Salesforce.com has debuted a new feature for its Salesforce Desk.com Support Center: video support for knowledge-based self-service offerings. Desk.com Video Support Center allows users to embed video content from any of the major video platforms in their online customer service offerings. There is also analytics support that allows companies to assess which videos are working well.
Joining Forces to Harness the Internet of Things
August 08, 2014
A rising tide of interest has sparked a series of competitive moves among the widening array of software and technology providers vying for a share of the rapidly expanding IoT market. As with previous major IT industry trends, the enormous promise of the IoT has driven a growing number of large and small players to rebrand and reposition their product and service offerings.
Secure Sites to Get the Google Bump
August 07, 2014
Google on Wednesday announced that it has begun factoring websites' use of HTTPS into its search rankings, resulting in more favorable results for those that use the security-minded protocol. Use of the protocol still is considered just a minor factor, though, affecting fewer than 1 percent of global queries and carrying less weight than high-quality content.
Google Hangouts Get Down to Business
August 01, 2014
Google has unveiled a handful of new features for Google Apps for Business designed to attract more enterprise customers. Google Hangouts, its video chat service, will be further integrated into Google's enterprise suite, entitling Google Apps for Business customers to 24/7 phone support and 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime, the same support level they get with Google Drive and business Gmail.
6 Ways to Hone Your Lead-Scoring Skills
July 25, 2014
Your company has a CRM system that employees love and use regularly, and marketing automation tools to help streamline and automate all of your online marketing activities. That's a great start, but did you know that most marketing qualified leads -- perhaps more than 94 percent -- don't convert to paid customers? That doesn't mean your sales and marketing information systems aren't working.
Path Adds Another Avenue for Mobile Gabfest
June 23, 2014
Path has hived off its mobile-only messaging service as a standalone app named "Talk," it announced Friday. It also ended limits on the number of friends users can communicate with, and announced its purchase of place messaging pioneer TalkTo as it sets itself for growth. The Talk app has a new feature, Ambient Status, that shows users' current status at a glance.
Hiring Linux to Run Your Small Business
May 15, 2014
Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Disgust with Microsoft or Apple regimentation and software limitations are but two of them. For some, the greater flexibility that comes from open source software, as well as better cost and productivity controls, are the driving factors for a move to the Linux OS. The benefits vary depending on the use case.
Facebook Seeks Better Fit With Small Biz
May 07, 2014
Small businesses have been an elusive market for sellers of online advertising. That's because the value proposition of those ads is a tough sell. Facebook hopes to reduce some of the resistance in the small business community to advertising online with a series of summer boot camps, dubbed "Facebook Fit," that combine business advice with a soft sell for Net marketing.
Small Biz CRM Secrets Any Business Can Use
April 10, 2014
The rise of Internet commerce sounded a death knell for small businesses. Large e-tailers could wield massive buying power, had less overhead than brick-and-mortar stores, and could appeal to customers in new ways. They could collect customer data in the course of doing business, and turn around and use that data to better market to their customers. How could a small retailer compete?
Federal Agencies Knee-Deep in Mobile Devices
March 05, 2014
U.S. government agencies are moving briskly into the mobile era, spurred by the fast pace of technological change. The scope of the federal mobile market is broad-based, and to some degree depends upon what is meant by such terms as "wireless," "mobility" and "digital." The parameters of that market are coming into focus, with federal agencies recently having created a track record of procurement.
Google Gives Teleconferencing a Chromebox Sheen
February 07, 2014
Google is moving into a new market with the launch of its teleconferencing system, Chromebox for Business. The system uses the Chrome operating system and is built on Chrome's core tenets of simplicity, speed and security. It marries Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps to allow meeting participants to hold high-definition video meetings with document collaboration options.
An SMB's Guide to PCI 3.0 Penetration Testing
February 04, 2014
By now, if you're an IT professional and you're in an organization that has PCI-DSS in your scope -- that is, you store, process or transmit credit card data -- you probably already know that an update to the standard, Version 3.0, was released late last year. With this update come a few changes to the technical measures that organizations handling credit card information must implement.
T-Mobile Gives Customers No-fee Checking
January 23, 2014
T-Mobile USA on Wednesday launched Mobile Money, a money management application for smartphones that is meant to be used in conjunction with a reloadable T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card. There is no charge for activation, monthly maintenance, in-network ATM withdrawals, or for replacing lost or stolen cards. There are also no minimum balance requirements.
Microsoft Hooks Up With GoDaddy
January 16, 2014
Microsoft and GoDaddy on Tuesday announced they were partnering to market Microsoft's Office 365 to GoDaddy's 12 million small business users. GoDaddy's small business users can attach Office 365 to a domain name and get access to cloud storage and Microsoft's productivity suite. 24/7 live customer service is part of the package. Launched in 2011, Office 365 is a cloud-based app.
The Year of...
January 15, 2014
There are some good reasons to consider platform's primacy in our thinking. Platform makes sense from both vendor and customer perspectives. For vendors, platform rebuilds the walled gardens that were prevalent back when compilers and databases drove things. For customers, platforms and their ecosystem partners offer a reasonably robust environment for doing most of their business processing.
Kickstarter Funds Bumper Crop of Projects in 2013
January 09, 2014
Kickstarter on Wednesday released a breakdown of its successful 2013. Three million backers pledged $480 million to help finance 19,911 projects. The company saw plenty of repeat backers: 807,733 people pledged to more than one project; 81,090 backed more than 10; and 975 people donated to more than 100 campaigns. Funds came from 214 countries on all seven continents.
Goodbye, Win XP - Hello, Linux?
December 11, 2013
Microsoft will stop security support for Windows XP this coming April, meaning that more than a few remaining users of the long-standing OS need to come up with an alternative plan. Almost a third of desktop computers still run Windows XP, according to Net Applications. More than 15 percent of midsize and large enterprises will still have Windows XP running on at least 10 percent of their PCs after support ends.
SMBs Hop on Virtualization Gravy Train
December 06, 2013
Mentioning virtualization technology to typical computer users in a work environment will get you a puzzled look. Despite the apparent obscurity of this IT trend, virtualization is making an increasingly large impact on SMBs. Some type of virtualization was reported in place by 77 percent of firms with 500 or fewer employees who responded to a recent survey.
PayPal Digs Deeper Into the Bricks-and-Mortar World
October 09, 2013
PayPal on Tuesday announced Payment Code, a new tool that allows customers to pay for in-store purchases by simply presenting a QR code or four-digit number at the cash register. Similar in some ways to PayPal Beacon, which the company rolled out last month, Payment Code is intended both to simplify payment and to add a new layer of protection for consumers.
Aio Wireless Hits the Ground Running
September 19, 2013
Last week, I met with Aio Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T. As an industry analyst for almost 30 years, I have met with my share of companies -- new and old, growing and struggling. They all want to put on a good front so I'll say nice things about them. Each has its own special set of opportunities and challenges, and that's the case with Aio Wireless. However, Aio seems to have four key strengths.

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