Smartphones Making a Difference in SMB
Power, Speed and Business Efficiency on America’s Fastest and Most Reliable 4G Network
If you are an entrepreneur or work for an SMB, in all likelihood you think of your smartphone along the lines of the once prominent American Express Card theme: You DON’T leave home – or your office – without it.
There are so many articles about how smartphones are usefulness for businesses. In a sense it’s like a miniature computer, but with telephone capabilities and it is small enough to easily carry around wherever you go.
With a smartphone you can answer a call and check your email or browse the web for news or search for a vendor. You can take a photo or a short video and easily upload it to your company’s Facebook page or Twitter.
Plus there are many apps that are made especially to help business owners. Verizon Wireless recently introduced the ideal business smartphone -- the DROID BIONIC™ by Motorola, the first Verizon Wireless smartphone to combine 4G LTE with the power of dual-core 1 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and a stunning 4.3-inch qHD display using scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass with dual-layer anti-reflective coating.
The raves for the DROID BIONIC and its 4G technology just keep coming!
For example, the DROID BIONIC introduces a host of groundbreaking applications and accessories that turn the device into a productivity hub, a ruler of remote access and a purveyor of virtuality. A must-have feature is ZumoCast™, an app that lets customers bring their digital world of pictures and documents stored on their computers at home or the office to their handset via remote access. Cool, no?
With its revolutionary Webtop application, DROID BIONIC can beam a full-featured Firefox® Web browser 4.0, email or documents to a TV or monitor using accessories like the separately purchased Lapdock™ with a 11.6” screen, keyboard and integrated trackpad.
Accessories such as the HD Station let DROID BIONIC users turn the phone into an entertainment center or home office. Customers can view pictures, video, and content from the DROID BIONIC on any HDTV or monitor by connecting a separately sold HDMI cable. And, of course, the DROID BIONIC lets customers share their 4G LTE signal with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices (tablets, laptops) when they activate the Verizon Wireless Mobile Hotspot. The device of the future today, the DROID BIONIC also includes the following features:
- Business ready with advanced security policies; resizable and scrollable email, calendar and task widgets; device and SD card encryption; and Citrix® GotoMeeting® and Citrix Receiver™ for Android
- 4.3-inch qHD screen using scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass with dual-layer anti-reflective coating
- 8-megapixel autofocus camera with flash and 1080p HD video capture
- Front-facing camera for video chat over 4G LTE, 3G or Wi-Fi
- Adobe® Flash® pre-loaded
- HTML 5 capable
- Supports wireless chargers
On a personal note, having had no electricity for five whole days during the recent October snow storm, I was truly thankful for my DROID BIONIC which not only allowed me to check my company emails and make phone calls, but it gave me access to the web allowing me to get the latest news on the weather condition in my area. While only depending on my smartphone, I truly realized the importance of the network and the speed of my connection. For businesses, consider 4G speed especially when working in a remote environment, on the road or unable to be in the office on a regular basis. You need the speed to get work done.
Click Here for more information about availability, features and accessories for the DROID BIONIC. If you don’t have a smartphone, is it time you consider getting one to amp up your productivity.
We are always interested in hearing great stories from our readership. If you have a smartphone or a DROID BIONIC, tell us how it has changed the way you run your business.
Weekly Roundup – Cloud Is Hot, Price It Right, and Find Help Online
Happy reading! How is your summer going? Do you shut down your business for a few days so everyone can take a little vacation? Or perhaps your business is at its height during the summer so your doors are opened 7 days a week?
No matter the business you are in; are your products and/or services priced right? I referenced an article not too long ago on pricing and here’s a new one.
I know in this blog we’ve talked about cloud computing or cloud services – how it can help your business. Check out this article by InformationWeek SMB that focuses on how one company is leveraging cloud computing to run its business better.
If you are looking for a money, check out this video which gives you some tips to better position yourself and your company for a loan.
Click here for a shortlist of online resources that can help your business… also check out this site from Alltop -- it has quite an extensive list of online magazines and blogs that focus on topics relevant to SMBs.
This month, our featured author is Jennifer Prosek, who will share tips on how to motivate your employees – turn them into entrepreneurs. We’ll be giving away copies of her book all this month so read our blog, follow us on Twitter or fan us on Facebook for more information.
Have a great weekend!
Online Software Can Help You Grow Your Business -- If You Pick the RIGHT Software
As mentioned in an earlier post here at the Verizon Small Biz Blog, I am seeing more and more small businesses and entrepreneurs jumping on the “cloud bandwagon.” They are moving to online software, instead of software installed on local servers or desktop computers, because of certain advantages. Those advantages include: speed of implementation; ability to scale the business despite lacking internal tech expertise; lower costs; relief from tech headaches enabling you to concentrate on strategy and core competencies; and, arguably, fewer security issues you have to worry about.
We explored those advantages in my last webinar on March 9th, In the Cloud: 5 Reasons to Move to Online Software (watch the webinar here). In that webinar I polled those participating and learned that roughly 80% are already using cloud apps in the form of online banking.
One person asked me about popular online software services that I recommend – here are some online services that I know other small businesses are getting good value from today:
This list is just a small smattering. Edith Yeung, Founder of BizTech Day, where they profile new software, was kind enough to choose some of the best in class for us, in: 101 Small Business Web Applications You Must Check Out. I also recommend you check out The Small Business Web for a directory of several hundred small business online software apps.
Now, despite being a proponent of online software services, I don’t want to give the impression that there are no risks or issues to consider. The advantages of online software applications only apply if you make wise choices. If you make the wrong choices, those advantages may go out the window. Remember, you will have to place your trust in vendors to make sure the software is operational and does what it claims to do. Your data will be online in a third party’s hands. And, if something goes wrong with the software, you need confidence that the vendor will jump on the problem quickly and get it fixed to your satisfaction.
So it becomes crucial to do a thorough due diligence when choosing online software. This due diligence process for choosing online software is what we will cover in my next upcoming webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.
In How to Choose the RIGHT online software webinar, I’ll offer a checklist of points to consider when evaluating online software, including how to assess vendors for reliability, and how to determine which software will actually make your organization more efficient and effective. I’ll also answer your questions about the practical aspects of integrating online software with existing internal systems and software.
Online software services aren’t a cure-all for everything that may ail your business. But they are a valuable technology strategy for growing your business while running “lean.”
Choose the wrong technology and you’ll find your business working on your technology. Choose the right technology, and it will work FOR your business.
Join me this Wednesday March 23 at 2pm Eastern for: How to Choose the RIGHT Online Software.
PS, if you can’t make the live webinar, watch the replay it will be taped and archived – just view it later.
- Everyone's Tags:
- cloud technology
Spend Less, Be More Productive, and Market Better With Online Software
Some of the smartest small business owners and managers I know are jumping on the “cloud bandwagon.” What I mean is, they are improving their business operations by using online software services.
Online software services are exactly what they sound like. They are software programs that you use online, by connecting to the Internet and logging in to the software using your Web browser. They’re called services because the company providing the software provides them as a service. This means they not only give you the use of the software, but they store and safeguard any data you use in the software program. The software company handles everything, soup to nuts: keeping the software running; fixing bugs; managing databases; preventing intrusions and data breaches; enhancing and updating the software.
In exchange for this service, your company typically pays a monthly fee. Sometimes you pay an annual fee. Some software services may even be free.
Think about the obvious impact: your firm needs fewer computing resources. All you need to use an online software service is a computer with an Internet connection. Even an inexpensive netbook computer is sufficient (I know – I’ve used online software programs with just my $399, 2-lb netbook!). You don’t have to invest in hefty up-front licenses, powerful servers to run the software and handle the data, support personnel to keep the servers running, and all the other expenses associated with in-house computing. A laptop or desktop computer for any staff who use the software, is enough.
You often hear lingo to describe these services in one form or another. Software as a service or its acronym, SaaS. Cloud computing. Software in the cloud. Application service provider or its acronym ASP. The list goes on.
I say, ignore the lingo. Focus instead on the benefits of these online software services. And there are quite a few. I’d go so far as to say that the advantages of using online software are greater for small businesses than for large corporations. That’s because online software lets your company be “lean.” When you allow someone else to worry about keeping the software running, you can focus on your business’s core competencies and strategic goals – and not be sidetracked by tech headaches.
You can also scale your business better. You can grow faster without adding as much expense burden and internal systems complexity. When new opportunities arise, you can seize them quickly. For instance, you can go online and sign up for a software service in minutes or hours – instead of waiting weeks or months to scope out requirements for and install a new software program you may need for servicing more customers. Using online software, the cost may be spread out monthly, instead of an all-at-once budget hit.
But what about security? You’re probably thinking, “Our customer data and business information now will be on a 3rd party’s computers.” If you are uncomfortable with that idea, I urge you to consider this: many small businesses I know just can’t afford the same level of security that a large software company can provide. As much as we business owners want to keep our data secure, a determined cyber intruder may get in anyway. A carefully-chosen software provider’s services may actually be MORE secure than the networks and systems of a small business. It’s not because small businesses are negligent or don’t care. It’s just that we smaller firms may not be able to afford the same level of security infrastructure, not to mention the same level of in-house expertise, to make strong security a reality.
In my webinar that I am presenting hosted by the Verizon Small Business Center, we’ll explore the advantages of online software. I’ll share tips and resources. You won’t get lingo. You won’t get theory. You’ll get practical advice to make sure you leave the hour equipped to make informed choices for your business. Make 2011 the year you improve your business operations and seize opportunities -- online software can help make it happen.
Join me later today at 2 p.m. Eastern for: In the Cloud: 5 Reasons to Move to Online Software. So, get your questions ready.
PS, if you can’t make the live webinar, it will be archived – just view it later.
- Everyone's Tags:
- cloud technology
Now Available: The Total Solution for Your Business Including Google Apps for Verizon
It’s a new year and we’re bringing a suite of new productivity services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Today, we introduce the Google Apps for Verizon offering which includes a set of productivity and collaboration tools to help your business get a sharp edge on the competition.
Google Apps for Verizon has a number of key tools. Now, every essential functions to run a business effectively and efficiently such as email, calendar, instant messaging, documents, editing and sharing files in real-time are included. These and more are easily accessible and available to our business customers and their employees on one fully integrated apps system anytime and anywhere with a broadband connection.
We believe our business customers will find this to be such a productivity-enhancing resource that we’re including Google Apps for Verizon with three free user accounts for businesses that subscribe to a bundle solution. Verizon’s bundled services are available in parts of 12 states (CA, CT, DE, FL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, PA, RI, TX, and VA) and Washington, D.C. Additional, email user accounts can be purchased for $3.99 per month per user. Businesses who do not subscribe to a bundle can subscribe to Google Apps for Verizon at $3.99 per month, per user.
For instance, a double-play bundle of phone and FiOS Internet at symmetrical speeds of up to 25 Mbps/25Mbps (Megabits per second) starts at $79.99 per month (plus applicable taxes and fees) in certain areas with a month-to-month (no term) commitment price guaranteed for a minimum of 12 months or a two-year term agreement with the price guaranteed for 24 months.
Or a double-play bundle of phone and Verizon High Speed Internet at speeds of up to 3 Mbps downstream/768 Kbps upstream starts at $59.99 per month (plus applicable taxes and fees) in certain areas with a month-to-month (no term) commitment price guaranteed for a minimum of 12 months or a two-year term agreement with the price guaranteed for 24 months.
When a business orders a new bundle consisting of Verizon Internet service and either Verizon voice or TV service or both, the total solution includes:
- Verizon Websites Gold package and WebListings (which lists websites on more than 100 search sites) as a bonus at no cost for six months after applied credits (taxes apply);
- Verizon Internet Security Suite and 250 MB of Verizon Online Backup and Sharing;
- Wi-Fi access from thousands of hotspots nationwide;
- Google Apps for Verizon;
- 24/7 technical support for Verizon’s FiOS Internet or High Speed Internet customers.
All online bundled orders will receive an additional $10 off per month (for 24 months with a two-year agreement or 12 month for month-to-month (no term) commitment). For more info visit http://smallbusiness.verizon.com or 888-481-0387.
Does your service provider offer you the total solution for your business?