Tech Thursday Round Up – February 17, 2011

  • Dell Announces Aggressive Financing Options
  • Infusionsoft Announces InfusionCon 2011
  • US Small Business Confidence Increases for First Time Since Q3 2009
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del – How To Ensure Your Company Is Not Technologically Obsolete
  • Inside Constant Contact’s Evolution & What It Means For Your Business: Purchase of Bantam Live

Dell Announces Aggressive Financing Options

1_dell_logo.jpgDell Financial Services (DFS), the lending and financing division of Dell, announced aggressive financing offers for U.S. based small, medium and large businesses and public organizations, to help customers preserve capital, maximize IT investments and drive innovation.
According to a new IDC whitepaper commissioned by Dell, many businesses looking to drive innovation, often with constrained budgets, are finding that leasing technology offers strategic, operational and financial benefits when compared to outright ownership. Specifically, IDC found that leasing and returning x86 servers and related network storage arrays every three years is up to 25 percent less expensive than buying, installing and operating the same equipment for six years. Once an x86 server reaches year four, the IT support requirements can increase substantially, raising operating expenses – even without applying any value to the increased downtime associated with older systems.
Responding to customer needs, Dell offers outstanding financing options including zero percent financing, “full circle” leasing, and revolving credit.

Infusionsoft Announces InfusionCon 2011
1,000 entrepreneurs coming to Phoenix March 21-24 for the 6th annual user conference
Thumbnail image for infusioncon2011.JPGInfusionsoft, provider of marketing automation software for small businesses, will hold its annual user conference March 21-24 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. InfusionCon 2011 brings together more than 1,000 Infusionsoft customers for expert-led panel sessions and intensive training from Infusionsoft’s product and customer service teams.
Featuring 21 break-out sessions that include implementation time and industry-specific networking events, InfusionCon gives attendees a chance to mingle and share best practices with other entrepreneurs with similar business goals, from like industries and geographies. Attendees will hear from Infusionsoft super-user customer panels on how they are leveraging the software to automate marketing and sales and grow their business. In addition, the Infusionsoft product team will be announcing new features.
Some of today’s most well-known marketing experts such as Bill Glazer of the Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle, James Malinchak from ABC’s new TV show Secret Millionaire, and Rand Fishkin, founder of SEOmoz, will be at InfusionCon 2011 to present best-in-breed marketing and sales techniques aimed at helping small businesses grow.
US Small Business Confidence Increases for First Time Since Q3 2009
merchantcircle.JPGMerchantCircle released its quarterly survey of 8,500+ local businesses, showing the first increase in small business confidence since MerchantCircle started conducting its quarterly survey in Q3 2009, as well as better-than-expected holiday sales and a slight uptick in hiring and marketing.

  • 35% of merchants saw their 2010 holiday revenue improve when compared with their 2009 holiday revenue
  • 57% of small business owners expect revenue to improve over the next three months

The survey also reveals some eye-opening trends about how local merchants are marketing their businesses, including a reality check on new services such as Groupon, Foursquare and mobile.

  • 70% of small businesses are using Facebook for marketing, up from 50% one year ago and surpassing Google search (66%) as the most widely used marketing method.
  • Facebook Places has soared past Foursquare to reach a 32% current usage rate, with an additional 12% citing plans to use Facebook Places in the coming months.
  • Foursquare’s usage remains unchanged from Q4 of last year at approximately 9%.

More details on survey results here.
Ctrl+Alt+Del – How To Ensure Your Company Is Not Technologically Obsolete
New book from Scott Klososky teaches leaders how to harness tech, vision, and culture to “future-proof” their organizations
VM-book-cover.pngIn a new hands on guide to helping leaders effectively steer their organizations through wrenching infrastructure and social changes, The Velocity Manifesto by Scott Klososky, a recognized expert in technological innovation, details the actions that leaders much take to keep their digital plumbing – the all-important technological infrastructure of their organizations – up to date.
The book’s call to action will energize leaders who are frustrated by an overall lack of technological sophistication, unproductive lines of communication between baby Boomers and younger staff members, and a lack of clarity into what their future market might look like. By following The Velocity Manifesto, readers will be able to quickly revitalize their current organizational strategy.
The Velocity Manifesto is divided into three easy to use sections:
• Section One: A thought leading compendium of processes, ideas, and concepts that leaders need to know in order to leverage technology as a tool within an organization.
• Section Two: Delivers a process and explanation that will help leaders learn how to look into the future more accurately. A clear future vision allows leaders to made the appropriate investments in the future so that their organizations can be relevant when they get there.
• Section Three: Discusses ways that organizational cultures are changing, and how leaders can put practices in place to create cultures that move forward with velocity.
Inside Constant Contact’s Evolution & What It Means For Your Business: Purchase of Bantam Live
Thumbnail image for constantcontact.jpgWhen Gail Goodman and her partner started Constant Contact (then Roving) in 1998 (ironically one year before the domain was launched) it was “just” an email marketing company.
Today, with the purchase of CRM vendor Bantam Live, Constant Contact offers a full suite of tools helping small businesses stay in constant contact, but also to manage those relationships – with customers and others important to you.
Unlike Borders, which has declared bankruptcy and was late to change its business model of just books sold through brick book stores (minimal online strategy, no ebook development), Constant Contact has evolved.
It has seen that social media (it purchased NutShell Mail, event registration and management (it developed a tool to compete with EventBrite) and now CRM (with its purchase of Bantam Live) are all important products and services that it should offer its small business customers. Read the rest on

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Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.