Tech Thursday (28 July) – McAfee Channel, Pansaonic Hi Def, Social Media Across the US, Cbeyond in Boston, Self Healing Phones

Welcome to Tech Thursday – 28 July 2011

McAfee Accelerates Revenue Opportunity for Channel Partners With New SMB Program

Panasonic Introduces Two Cutting-Edge High Definition Visual Communications Systems

Social Media Adoption Among Small- and Mid-Sized Businesses Strongest In the Southeast and Great Plains

Cbeyond Brings Innovative IT Services and Communications To Boston Area Small Businesses

Mobile phone ‘heal thyself’ – a new app that cures your ‘broken’ phone

McAfee Accelerates Revenue Opportunity for Channel Partners With New SMB Program

SMB Partner Specialization Addresses Unique Needs of SMB Customers

McAfee is making significant investments to enable partners to sell McAfee security solutions to small and mid-size businesses (SMB). In response to a worldwide opportunity of more than $7 billion[i] for SMB security solutions, McAfee is launching the SMB Specialization within the McAfee SecurityAlliance program to enable partners to improve profitability while addressing the unique needs of SMB customers.

The McAfee SMB Specialization is a robust program that empowers partners to sell targeted security solutions to customers with less than 250 employees. By enrolling in this specialization, partners can offer their customers email, web, data and endpoint security solutions, with on-premise or SaaS delivery models. With this new program partners can take advantage of an enhanced profitability model, a full range of enablement tools, turnkey marketing programs, and dedicated resources.

This specialization is supported by the Partner Acceleration Resource Center, a dedicated online resource center which provides McAfee SMB partners 24/7 access to the information needed by channel partners to more easily drive new SMB business and expand existing business with SMB customers:

Panasonic Introduces Two Cutting-Edge High Definition Visual Communications Systems

Panasonic announced the introduction of its next generation High Definition Visual Communications (HDVC) Systems, which will be unveiled at InfoComm, June 15 -17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL at Panasonic Booth #3829 . The two new models, KX-VC600 and KX-VC300, use low bandwidth to deliver a stunning Full HD experience with life-like audio and video. The systems are interoperable with other brands of video conferencing devices. The currently available KX-VC500 is also interoperable with other devices through a free software upgrade.

“Panasonic is building upon the success of its ground-breaking first system, with two models designed to bring high-quality video conferencing to more businesses,” said Bill Taylor, President of Panasonic System Networks Company of America.” The KX-VC600 and KX-VC300 HD Visual Communications systems are designed to be versatile and practical, with simple set-up and operation. They are portable and highly efficient, allowing businesses to conduct productive real-time collaboration while minimizing the business disruption of travel.”

As the fastest growing collaboration technology, video conferencing facilitates real-time, face-to-face communications. Panasonic is leading the way in this powerful HD technology, enabling businesses to maximize productivity and increase revenue. The two new cutting-edge Panasonic HDVC systems are easy to set up and operate and include an array of features that facilitate outstanding visual and voice communication.

Social Media Adoption Among Small- and Mid-Sized Businesses Strongest In the Southeast and Great Plains

New survey reveals social media adoption still in its infancy among businesses

Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) located in the Great Plains and Southeast states of the U.S. are embracing social media at a quicker pace than other areas of the country, according to a recent survey conducted by Zoomerang Online Surveys and Polls.

The survey polled more than 500 SMB decision makers on the adoption of social media for business use and how these social media profiles are managed.

Of those surveyed, businesses located within Great Plains and Southeast states are more likely to have branded social media channels at 30 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Additionally, decision makers for businesses in the Southeast (28 percent) and Great Plains (22 percent) regions are among the most active via social media on behalf of their businesses.

“Less-populated areas or cities with a strong small business presence are relying more and more on cost-effective mass-communication tools for business news, customer support and acquisition, as well as networking,” said Alex Terry, General Manager of Zoomerang. “For people immersed in technology driven cultures, such as Silicon Valley, this data may come as a surprise, but I believe they can learn from less-technology enriched regions.”

Among the regions slower to adopt social media are the Northeast (New England and New York) and the Mid-Atlantic regions.

Additionally, the survey found that 15 percent of those surveyed have issued internal social media policies. At the same time, another 6 percent plan to create a social media employee policy and 8 percent are evaluating the need for one.

“Considering the recent social media gaffes, businesses need to proactively evaluate their social media needs and practices,” Terry said. “For many smaller businesses, a social media policy may not be required. Instead simple education on the potential repercussions of ill-informed tweets or updates will deter most situations.”

Aside from negatively reflecting upon the brand, social media blunders can significantly hurt brands and have resulted in employee termination. Of the decision makers surveyed, 6 percent indicated that they have fired an employee for misuse of social media.

For more information on the survey and its results, visit http://www.zoomerang.com/pr-survey-smb-social-media-adoption/.

Cbeyond Brings Innovative IT Services and Communications To Boston Area Small Businesses

Company Creates More Than 50 Jobs in Boston Area and Hosts – Ribbon Cutting with Burlington Area Chamber

Cbeyond, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBEY), a leading provider of IT and communications services to small businesses, today announced its expansion of services into its 14th market, the Boston metropolitan area, and created more than 50 jobs at the company’s new Burlington office.

To celebrate its expansion into Boston, Cbeyond will host a ribbon cutting with the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce at the company’s office on June 21, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST. The ribbon cutting will bring together small business leaders and local elected officials. At the event, Cbeyond executives and Burlington Area Chamber President and CEO James Murphy will speak on the importance of growing the local small business community through technology.

“Growing technology companies, like Cbeyond, land in Burlington because of the strong business climate and the enormous wealth of talent in our community,” said Murphy. “The launch of another technology-based company also ensures the stability of our recovery through job creation in Burlington—the town where ‘Technology Goes to Work.’”

Cbeyond’s arrival in Burlington provides an option for small businesses looking for high-quality phone and Internet services and reasonable prices on the latest communication technologies. In addition to cloud services, Cbeyond offers more than 30 productivity-enhancing applications such as local and long-distance voice, broadband Internet, mobile, BlackBerry®, voicemail, email, Web hosting, fax-to-email, data backup, file-sharing and virtual private networking.

Mobile phone ‘heal thyself’ – a new app that cures your ‘broken’ phone

While mobile phone manufacturers continue to enjoy record demand (Q1 global sales surged 20%), the combination of increasing sophistication and the sheer volume of units is presenting them with unexpected front end challenges.

A quarter of new handsets they’re selling will soon be returned with problems – but over 60% of these ‘faulty’ phones can be detected and fixed at the shop or by calling a ‘help line’, but rarely are.

As a direct consequence, tens of millions of phones pointlessly enter the repair chain every year – resulting in massive inconvenience to consumers and inflated costs for both manufacturers and operators.

To break this wasteful cycle, B2X Care Solutions (http://www.b2xcare.com) has taken a revolutionary, high-tech approach. It’s finalising the development of a ‘self-healing’ mobile phone app that quickly and easily fixes the majority of faults.

The key features of the software include:

– troubleshooting support
– ‘how to’ movies
– an automated diagnostics guide
– a ‘test my phone’ option
– an easily understood explanation of the relevant warranty policy

“To give customers the ability to ‘self-heal’ their phone is a unique and revolutionary approach,” said Raul Sfat, VP Sales at B2X Care Solutions. “Most of the units presented as broken are usually suffering from software, configuration and usability problems – issues that our ‘app’ can easily diagnose and fix.”

“Not only will it greatly reduce servicing costs for manufacturers, customers will also benefit as they won’t needlessly have to surrender their much-loved phone. It’s a win-win situation.”

The second part of B2X’s approach involves supplying browser software to phone shops and call centres, enabling staff to accurately troubleshoot and fix front end failures.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook