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iPhone Plugs Into Poppy for 3D Photog Fun
June 27, 2013
The Kickstarter campaign for Poppy, the retro-looking device that promises to turn an iPhone into a 3D camera, is quickly gaining popularity. It hit its $40,000 Kickstarter goal in about nine hours. By Friday afternoon it had commitments for nearly $87,000, with 27 campaign days remaining. Creators Joe Heitzeberg and Ethan Lowry modeled Poppy after the 70-year-old View-Master.
Intercom Connections Aid $6M Funding Round
June 21, 2013
Intercom, which offers businesses a tool to create personalized communications with customers, has secured some $6 million in a Series A round of funding. The Social+Capital Partnership, founded by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, handled the fundraising. Some prominent tech players have attached their names to Intercom, including Twitter founder Biz Stone and Facebook exec Paul Adams.
A Search Service That Learns What You Want
June 20, 2013
Vu Digital is a new search tool for the Internet that helps you locate content. This very interesting startup, which launched just over a month ago, does not replace traditional search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. It goes beyond them. You will still use traditional search engines, but Vu finds, organizes and delivers content users are looking for seamlessly.
The 5-Step Plan for Picking the Right CRM Consultant
May 21, 2013
Pretty much all CRM deployments need some degree of customization, the exceptions being those rare situations where businesses have very simple needs. Customizations can be as simple as the modification of a field to accommodate a local convention for addresses, or as complex as the addition of workflows that introduce social media data or specific sales and marketing behaviors.
HP's Officejet Pro Does 1 Thing Extremely Well
March 26, 2013
The HP Officejet Pro X551dw doesn't scan, doesn't copy, doesn't fax, and obviously doesn't make coffee. It is, however, among the best single-use printers you could get in a small-to-medium sized office environment. It is fast, it operates at a low cost, and although it doesn't do those aforementioned things, it does much more.
A Tale of Two VoIPs
March 23, 2013
Ever since the first Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, calls were made in 1973, packetized voice was supposed to be the nail in the coffin of enterprise PBX systems. Thirty-seven years later, while instant message, presence and conferencing have successfully penetrated the enterprise, VoIP is still lagging behind traditional voice services in the large enterprise setting.
App Dev Wants to Let Phone Users Pocket Cash From Ads
March 08, 2013
The cost of keeping a smartphone can add up, but an app developer may have found a way to help users make money off their devices, as the company tries to offer a unique twist on the mobile ad space. SmartAds is giving consumers the ability to "sell" adspace on their Android devices, and is offering to pay up to $25 per month per device to those who will view ads touting offers, deals and savings on their phone's lock screen.
US Wants Private Sector to Secure Government Cloud
February 27, 2013
The U.S. government has some unique -- and exacting -- security requirements related to the adoption of cloud technology. These internal government security hurdles have resulted in significant outreach to expertise from commercial information technology companies. The latest example is an invitation from the General Services Administration to the private sector to take over a critical element in the security certification of federal cloud deployments.
Sage Made a Wise Decision
February 20, 2013
I liked what Sage did last week in agreeing to sell off some non-core assets to partners, and I am most interested in the decision to sell ACT! and SalesLogix. The move reduced Sage's bullpen of CRM solutions from three to one -- and that's the right number for this market.
Bringing SaaS Apps to the Masses
February 08, 2013
One of the age-old challenges that has plagued the software industry, like many others, is how vendors can reach small- and mid-sized businesses with their software products. Although today's Software as a Service model eliminates many of the distribution challenges of the past, it hasn't overcome the obstacles associated with selling cloud-based applications to SMBs.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Chrome Business Apps
January 16, 2013
This week, All Things Appy looks at must-have, 21st century business-oriented tools in the Chrome Web browser environment. TweetDeck is a social media management app that lets marketers engage with Twitter conversations in real time. However, the app also provides at-a-glance standard and optional alternative views that include Interactions, Mentions, Messages and Activity, among others.
Moving to the Front Office
January 09, 2013
For a long time, many people have been predicting the demise of ERP, and while I share those sentiments, a demise can take many forms. The one we all understand well is the crash-and-burn variety, but that's not the only and perhaps not even the predominant approach. The crash is at best the final step. Humpty Dumpty must have teetered and lost his balance, but all that got recorded was the fall and crash.
App It Up: Mobile Strategies for Small Businesses
January 04, 2013
Even when Darien Gold's pilates clients aren't in her studio, they can work on their moves by following the instructions and imitating the positions on her mobile app. Gold uses the app to expand the reach of her business, according to Bharath Lingam, CEO of PurpleTalk, which worked with Gold to develop her app.
New GSA Program Steers Federal IT Buying to Small Businesses
January 03, 2013
Small businesses often find it challenging to gain access to the federal information technology market, despite efforts by government agencies to smooth the procurement process for small companies. In a move to provide more opportunity for small businesses, the federal General Services Administration has awarded a bundle of IT contracts to small firms under the National Information Technology Commodity Program.
SMBs Can Be More Secure With Cloud, Virtualization, BYOD
December 21, 2012
If you're a technology professional in a small or mid-sized business, chances are pretty good that information security is something you've had on your radar for quite a while now. In a smaller shop, this is usually out of necessity. As well all know, SMBs usually don't have the luxury of an expansive technology budget that would allow for extensive resource specialization.
Shore Up Before the Next Disaster Strikes
November 29, 2012
From time to time, we receive stark reminders of just how delicate our IT systems really are. Disaster preparation has risen to the top of the to-do list at many companies, thanks to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy several weeks ago. How can we maximize our chances of keeping communications open and data safe? I will present two relatively new ideas you should consider.
A Matter of Timing: Seasonal Marketing Strategies for SMBs
November 27, 2012
It makes sense to watch the calendar when putting together a marketing plan. Holidays, seasons and events, after all, drive sales. "There's good reason to ride the coattails of seasonal events and holidays," said Shannon Byrne, marketing coordinator at BlueGlass Interactive. "When done right, it provides fresh ideas, generates buzz, and improves SEO."
Avaya Puts More Eggs in BYOD Basket
November 26, 2012
Avaya IP Office joined the BYOD revolution with the release of version 8.1 earlier this year. Now the company is gearing up for more changes, including a forthcoming release that will integrate video functionality into its feature set. It will continue to expand its functionality around mobility in 2013, said SVP Tom Mitchell, president of Avaya Go to Market.
Genesys One Gives Mid-Market a Second Shot
November 16, 2012
Genesys is making a play for the middle market with the release of Genesys One. The last time the company targeted the middle market was more than 10 years ago, when it was owned by Alcatel. Since then, the middle market has changed significantly. Both customer needs and buying behavior have changed considerably, observed Brian Bischoff, vice president of global offer management for Genesys.
No-Sweat Windows 8 Networking
November 15, 2012
Easy sharing and streaming of media and other assets among computers at home or in the workplace is a good reason to get networked. Other benefits include sharing Internet connections. If you've been using email as a method for distributing files among family members or a small business, or are simply taking the Windows 8 plunge, Microsoft has never made it easier.
Disaster Planning on an SMB Shoestring
November 13, 2012
For folks on the East Coast of the United States, the past few weeks have been pretty intense. Between hurricane Sandy and the associated fallout -- flooding, lack of public transportation, power outages, dark cell towers -- many firms in impacted areas have experienced firsthand the value of their BCP -- business continuity planning -- and DR -- disaster recovery -- planning efforts.
Open Source Ammo for the SMB Security Arsenal
October 20, 2012
Technology professionals who work in and around SMBs know that sometimes bringing up information security in a smaller IT shop can be a tough sell. In many cases, SMBs feel that they don't present an attractive or large enough target for hackers to be interested in them.
Report: SMBs Overconfident on Cybersecurity
October 18, 2012
Small businesses in the United States are generally confident about their cybersecurity status, but they're wrong, according to a survey of 1,015 companies conducted for the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec. Apparently, SMBs aren't doing enough to keep their businesses safe and secure.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Small-Biz Sales
October 08, 2012
Is your small business guilty as sin? Many small businesses are committing sales transgressions that hinder success and threaten to condemn them to eternal mediocrity in the market. The root of all these sins lies in a failure to adhere to the "commandment of commitment." To stay on the right path, every business should commit to a sales process that is documented and measurable.

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