Post about "business"

Small Business Still Running Out to Retail Stores

Small Businesses in Canada are continuously running out to their local retail office store to purchase their computer supplies and accessories for their business. This practice is great for those businesses that need an ink cartridge or some DVD’s to backup their data, however, it is not the best practice for them to run out to purchase their next notebook computer or computer system.Today’s small businesses are often purchasing the wrong computer system for their business. Many times when meeting with small businesses during my travels and inspecting their existing infrastructure, we are still finding many Windows XP Home or Media Centre computers that they have purchased for their business at the local retail office supply store. The sales people at these locations may lack the business technology training to properly understand what a small business needs and how business affects technology investments. The small business world is definitely different from the home or SOHO marketplace.The business decision maker is often upset when the IT professional has to pass along the bad news that their existing systems need to be upgraded or the operating system replaced when they hit that critical point in their business that the need for a server in their business is identified. Computer Professionals that focus on small business often struggle with this daily, the need to inform the business owner that their existing systems will not be able operate effectively in a Windows domain with a home based operating system adds additional stress to their daily job.The original reason why they went to purchase their latest computer at the retail store was perhaps the immediate gratification of getting a computer system that they can use today or out of urgency that they need something immediately. Small Business today, needs to start planning their technology investments wisely instead of spontaneously purchasing or impulse buying. This is where the Microsoft Small Business Specialist can assist them to ensure that they are investing in the right computer systems to allow their business to thrive with the right technology solution.Where can small business turn? Business owners must find a trusted technology provider to assist them before they run out to the local office supply store. Microsoft has a great website for business owners to find that trusted resource at An experienced small business specialist understands what a small business requires and will recommend the correct solution, even if they do not have a server today, a small business specialist has the skills to plan for the future. The Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Vista Business Editions are what a small business needs to ensure that are ready for grow, so when the day comes that they need to invest in their first server, they can purchase the server and it can easily fit into their existing investments.What prevents the home or media versions from working in business? These versions of Windows were developed with scaled down functionality to work in the home market or to work with your entertainment systems, sure they will run all the software that you purchase for your business, however, they lack critical business functionality like logging into a Windows domain network, file synchronization and they lack the additional security features found in the Professional and other business editions of Windows XP and Vista.The Small Business Specialist community needs to continue its effort in educating today’s small business marketplace to ensure that they are investing in the right technology solutions for their business needs. Small Business consultants can leverage the Business Assessment Toolkit to paint the picture for the small business on their exact needs and ensure that they are investing their dollars wisely in technology.

Social Media and the Introduction of the Google Plus Project

Google has thrown down the Gauntlet to Facebook by introducing its latest attempt to tap into the increasingly important Social media scene. Google+ is the latest big thing to come out of the Google camp, following on from two previous social platform failures in recent years. Google+ promises to be different from previous social failures in that this is a totally new approach from Google. This new service will also tie together all of Google’s current services such as G-mail and its popular video streaming service YouTube.Google+ is currently only open by invitation and no actual date for a full launch has yet been announced, but it’s coming, because Google needs it.Google+ has been deliberately structured with a similar look and feel as Facebook, with some very similar functionality such as profile pictures, video uploads and news feedsHowever, one of the fundamental differences is the way “Friends” will be structured in Google+. A user’s friends or contacts are grouped into specific circles of the users choosing – as opposed to the common pool of friends used in the Facebook model.To create Google+, the company went back to fundamentals in the wake of its previous notable failures, including Google Wave and Google Buzz, a micro-blogging service whose launch was marred by privacy issues.Google learned a lot from the failures particularly that of Google Buzz, and one of the things they learned is that there’s a real marketing opportunity for a Social Media product that addresses people’s concerns around privacy and how their personal information is shared. this is something Facebook has been grappling with since it was launched and continues to plague them to this day.Google generally gets more than one billion visitors a month to its websites in any given month, but research suggests that people spend more time on Facebook than they do one Google and in terms of measuring success or failure online, time is more valuable than visitor numbers, something Google is all too aware of.Just like Facebook, Google+ will have a central web page that runs a current constantly updating conversation stream of comments, photos and links being shared by its users, their contacts and friends.If you are at all familiar with other Google services, you will notice that they all share a toolbar that generally sits across the top of the site. This toolbar allows users to access their personalised data feed. In Google+ this toolbar will enable users to add the information in their other Google accounts to the news stream directly from the toolbar. They can then contribute their own information to the stream.Google+ is also working on a live conference video chat facility, where up to ten people can jump on a conference call.Google is also going to automatically store photos taken on mobile phones on its Internet servers, allowing a Google+ user to access the photos from any computer and share them across the service.Google executives have given this social expansion project its highest priority and Google is keen to build its own social presence to take on Facebook directly.Google recognizes that it’s position as the main gateway to online information could be at risk as people spend more time on other social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Google also realizes that enticing people to yet another social media site may be an uphill battle especially when they are pitching against Facebook, their main rival and the biggest Social site on the web.To achieve dominance and set its self apart from Facebook, Google+ is taking a very hard look at personal privacy at the core of this service. This is one of the Hot topics currently causing the most consumer pain and ne of the most important aspects to get right. Privacy issues have caused Facebook and Google a lot of grief in recent years, something else Google is keen to avoid.Social media is fast forming into the critical mass of most online users. the potential for commercialization and financial domination are only just being realized and that’s why Google is spending so much time, energy and resources trying to find its place in the growing social web.Google+ is still under construction and won’t be widely available until later in 2011. However one thing is becoming increasingly clear. Social media is only going to become increasingly important to business in the near future and those who are best placed to take advantage of this opportunity are going to grow and grow fast.