Tech Thursday Roundup May 26: iPhone vs. Android for Business, AT&T Server Support, Peachtree 2012 + more

This week’s Tech Thursday roundup brings you tech news we haven’t covered elsewhere on Smallbiztechnology.com. Today:

  • Verizon Wireless and Casio Introduce Rugged Android Smartphone
  • Sage Peachtree 2012 Provides Deeper Business Insight and Efficiency for Small Businesses
  • Adobe SendNow Adds Audio & Video Capabilities
  • AT&T Adds Windows Servers Support for SMBs
  • Intermedia Study: More Business Professionals Choosing iPhone over Android
  • eFax Adds Large File Sharing Capabilities
  • MerchantCircle Offers “Request a Quote” Feature for Local Customers
  • Policy Patrol Signatures – Centrally Manage and Streamline Email Signatures

Verizon Wireless and Casio Introduce Rugged Android Smartphone

Casio and Verizon Wireless introduce a new addition to the rugged wireless category and a new Android-powered smartphone in the marketplace, the CASIO G’zOne Commando. The Commando is a mobile office with high security features for secure corporate email; Wi-Fi for high-speed Web access; XT9 and T9 trace input for efficient typing; and snap-out menu for customized access to high-use applications.

The Casio Commando is ideal for the business environment, especially for fields such as construction, transportation, manufacturing, utilities and healthcare. Workers in hazardous environments, such as construction sites, warehouses and factory floors, need a smartphone that has the capability to download blueprints, files and pictures; update project plans; access field force management, inventory access and corporate applications; and capture signatures.

Sage Peachtree 2012 Provides Deeper Business Insight and Efficiency for Small Businesses

New with Sage Peachtree 2012 is the Sage Advisor, which helps small businesses maximize the value of their software investment, whether they are new to Sage Peachtree or have been using it for several years. The Sage Advisor helps them by following usage patterns and intuitively offering brief, personalized “show me how” demos and guided tips and tricks, prompting small businesses to discover new ways to simplify processes and obtain valuable business advice. The tips can be saved for later review or dismissed completely if preferred.

Sage Peachtree 2012 also helps small business owners and managers:
Better manage data backup and other system processes: With the new System Check, small businesses can quickly and easily monitor system health and resolve potential issues before they affect productivity or compromise data. The System Check gives helpful advice around last backup, system memory, database size, and other key indicators, all at a glance, potentially heading off minor issues before they become big headaches.

Improve control over vendor relationships: A customized Vendor Management Center dashboard helps users process large quantities of information about a single vendor at a glance. It enables quick research, comparisons, and decision making, helping small businesses analyze past transactions to make informed decisions, negotiate better rates with vendors, or even switch vendors when necessary.

Get richer insight into the business with new Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence: Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence is an add-on reporting and analysis solution integrated with Sage Peachtree. Using the familiar Microsoft® Excel® interface, it enables more robust reporting and easier access to Sage Peachtree data, providing affordable, simple Business Intelligence for small businesses. Because Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence pulls directly from the system without the need for export or manipulation, reports are always current with latest data.

Adobe SendNow Adds Audio & Video Capabilities

Adobe announced new features to SendNow, their cloud-based file transfer service. Users can now send audio and video files, and personalize file sharing notifications with their own company logo. The company also added a desktop application, which does not require an open browser window in order to send files using the service.

AT&T Adds Windows Servers Support for SMBs

More small businesses are investing in computer servers to run their business due to the increase of mobile devices, applications, and an increasingly remote workforce. However, many don’t have the in-house resources to adequately manage or monitor those servers.

AT&T announced the availability of a new service: Tech Support 360 Server Support, which provides remote IT support for small business computer servers. The new service provides small and mid-size businesses with wide-ranging care for Windows servers from U.S.-based AT&T certified network engineers.
Features include:
24/7 server performance monitoring
Security patch management
Management of critical business applications, and network and Internet connectivity
Remote monitoring of firewalls, switches and routers
Consultative recommendations on best practices
Unlimited phone and live remote support

Intermedia Study: More Business Professionals Choosing iPhone over Android

Android market share and popularity among consumers continues to climb, but business professionals generally prefer the iPhone, according to Intermedia, a Microsoft Exchange hosting provider. Intermedia, which manages 320,000 premium hosted Exchange email accounts, reviewed the number of ActiveSync -based smartphones its customers activated. Sixty-one percent choose the iPhone, while only 17 percent prefer the Android. This is in stark contrast to recent reports showing Android market share beating iPhone. Intermedia also finds that the iPad is a business favorite with 99.8 percent of tablet customers picking the Apple brand over the Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Xoom. More details on the data can be found here.

eFax Adds Large File Sharing Capabilities

eFax, a provider of cloud-based fax services, announced Large File Sharing, the latest free enhancement to the eFax service. Large File Sharing is yet another premium feature resulting from the eFax Next initiative, a rollout of innovative solutions — including mobile faxing, digitized signatures, enhanced security, and lifetime storage for subscribers.

The new premium Large File Sharing solution from eFax is free to U.S. subscribers and solves the problem of sending over-sized media files, extensive databases and other very large graphic-intensive documents via email. With an eFax account, both free and paid U.S. subscribers can now reliably and securely upload and share files well over 5MB via email to any email address without bounce-backs or failed send attempts.

MerchantCircle Offers “Request a Quote” Feature for Local Customers

New feature enabled across the MerchantCircle network helps consumers searching for products and services connect with qualified providers in their local area

MerchantCircle announced that it is now delivering qualified consumer leads to its more than 1.6 million local merchant members. The company has launched a new feature across the MerchantCircle network that allows consumers searching for products and services online to immediately connect with qualified providers in their local area for free.

Consumers who visit the MerchantCircle network will be able to request quotes from local merchants based upon category and locale. For example, consumers searching for “tree trimming services” in their local area will be presented with the option to “request a quote” And inquiries will be routed to the relevant subset of MerchantCircle’s 1.6 million local business members. MerchantCircle will ask for more information from the consumer as needed, then will route the request to relevant MerchantCircle merchants. The MerchantCircle system automatically creates a profile for each consumer that allows them to track which vendors have received their request, manage their responses and even go back and rate the vendors they’ve worked with. In addition to MerchantCircle Answers, where consumers can go to post questions and find expert advice from local business owners, this newest feature further extends the value of the MerchantCircle platform to a growing consumer audience.

Policy Patrol Signatures Allows Companies to Centrally Manage and Streamline Email Signatures

Email management software company Red Earth Software, announced the availability of Policy Patrol Signatures for Microsoft Outlook. Policy Patrol Signatures allows companies to centrally manage their users’ Outlook email signatures, ensuring that the necessary email disclaimer is added and that corporate email signatures are uniform and convey consistent and professional brand practices.

Policy Patrol Signatures works with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Web Access and allows companies to centrally manage their Outlook email signatures. By making use of Active Directory merge fields, companies can configure a global email signature that is automatically personalized for each sender. A 30-day trial version is available from http://www.policypatrol.com.

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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 Smallbiztechnology.com and Small Business Trends.

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