Tech Thursday (August 25) – AVG; Adobe Web Creation Tool; Panasonic Cloud Services; Improvement Against Fraud, RatePoint Survey

More Small Businesses Choose AVG for Online Protection and Complete Peace of Mind

Adobe Announces Website Creation Tool for Graphic Designers

Panasonic Enters Cloud-Based Communications Market with Services Designed for Small Businesses

TD Bank Survey: Room for Improvement in Fraud Protection for Small Business Owners

RatePoint Survey Reveals New Customers Form their First Impression from Online Reviews before Visiting Local Businesses

More Small Businesses Choose AVG for Online Protection and Complete Peace of Mind

AVG is the Internet security provider of choice for one in four small businesses worldwide

AMSTERDAM – August 10, 2011 – AVG Technologies, a leading provider of Internet and mobile security, today announced that an independent study conducted with GFK shows that 25 percent of small business worldwide have selected AVG as the their trusted Internet security provider of choice.

AVG Business Edition products are designed exclusively to meet the needs of the most nimble of organizations. AVG products are high on protection, light on resources and easy to use at all times. AVG solutions were recently ranked No. 1 for ease-of-use by Tolly Independent Testing Labs. The products also earned the highest five-star honor in respect to value for the money by SC Magazine, and have achieved finalist standing for the prestigious Small Business Technology SMB Influencer awards.

“AVG has considerably higher levels of satisfaction among small business users in comparison to other brands,” said Robert Gorby, global head of business propositions at AVG. “We’ve achieved this by holding true to basic but important product philosophies that center on providing everything that small entities need to protect their business, without bogging them down with everything they don’t. This equates to incredible value, unrivaled efficiency and the utmost protection for businesses on the move. It’s all about helping our customers keep pace while providing them with complete peace of mind.”

Adobe Announces Website Creation Tool for Graphic Designers

Public Beta of New Software for Designing HTML Websites Without Writing Code

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Aug. 15, 2011 — Today Adobe Systems Incorporated unveiled the public beta of Muse (code name), software that enables graphic designers to design and publish professional, unique HTML websites without writing code or working within restrictive templates. Leveraging the latest Web standards including HTML5 and CSS3 where browser support exists, Muse combines precise design and creative freedom with innovative frameworks for adding navigation, widgets and HTML to include advanced interactivity on a site.

“The ability to build websites as easily as laying out a page in InDesign is one of the most popular requests from our design customers,” says Lea Hickman, vice president of Design and Web product management at Adobe. “Those who have tested Muse are thrilled that something this intuitive yet powerful is now available.”

Designers are invited to learn more about Muse by visiting http://muse.adobe.com where they can download the free beta (English only), see a gallery of Muse-created websites, and access instructional tutorials.

Plan, Design and Publish Unique and Interactive Websites:

  • ·         Easy-to-use sitemaps, master pages, and a host of flexible, site-wide tools make it fast and intuitive to plan the website layout.
  • ·         Designers can combine imagery, graphics, and text with complete control, flexibility and power, similar to the functionality in Adobe InDesign. Muse provides drag and drop customizable widgets like navigation menus. Users can add fully customizable interactive elements including slideshows, Tooltips and remote rollovers.
  • ·         Muse embeds HTML code snippets from sources including Google Maps, YouTube  and Facebook.
  • ·         Muse allows for the creation of Adobe-hosted trial sites for testing and review purposes. A site can be sent to clients, converted to a paid Adobe-hosted site or exported for FTP to other hosting providers.

“Where has this been all of my Web life! Seriously? This is the first Web design tool that lets me go back to being a designer and mostly stay in the creative head while still producing websites.  Damn it makes me happy,” said David Lloyd, owner of David Lloyd Imageworks, a design and photography business for creative business solutions. Visit David Lloyd’s Muse site at www.greenartisans.com.

Panasonic Enters Cloud-Based Communications Market with Services Designed for Small Businesses  

Leader in Business Phone Systems Enters Services Market With Launch of Panasonic Cloud Business Phone System Available Now at Retail

SECAUCUS, NJ (August 4, 2011) Panasonic System Networks Company of America today launched its first Cloud-based services solution, Panasonic Cloud Business Phone System for small businesses.  This marks the first step into the services industry from a company that has provided state-of-the-art telephony systems for business owners nationwide.  Recognized as the number one choice for small business phone systems*, Panasonic is now expanding into services to meet changing market needs by pairing its highly regarded business phones with equally reliable Cloud-based voice services.

“The Cloud is the new frontier for major technology companies like Panasonic, and we’re excited to harness it for the benefit of our customers,” said Bill Taylor, President, Panasonic System Networks Company of America.  “Our small business customers tell us they want a simple, easy to manage and feature-rich, customizable business phone system.  Panasonic values this feedback and we have hand-picked the leading companies in their fields to help us reliably meet our customers’ requests. With support from these industry leaders, we created a top-of-its-class Cloud-based hosted-voice solution to help small businesses maximize their potential.”

Small businesses are the fastest growing business segment in the U.S. today. Collectively they account for more than $92 billion in spending on telecommunications equipment and services. Despite the size of their investment, many smaller businesses are underserved by service providers who have prioritized the needs of larger enterprises. Panasonic, with its history of providing hardware solutions for small businesses, will now use its expertise to provide convenient and cost-effective services to fit small business needs.

TD Bank Survey: Room for Improvement in Fraud Protection for Small Business Owners

CHERRY HILL, N.J. and PORTLAND, Maine, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new survey of small business owners conducted by TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, only one percent of respondents cite falling victim to fraud as a top business concern, even as cases of criminal fraud are on the rise.

TD Bank’s survey – which polled 300 small business owners within the bank’s Maine to Florida footprint – also revealed that nearly three-quarters of polled small businesses are incorporating some steps to protect their business against fraudsters’ attempts to access their computer systems, financial statements and other critical information.

“It’s encouraging to see that small business owners are taking steps to protect their business, but fraud protection should be a high priority and it pays to be vigilant,” says Fred Graziano, Head of Commercial and Small Business Banking at TD Bank. “Given the influx of new digital technologies and operational tools available for small business owners, it’s increasingly important to learn about the latest trends and techniques used by criminals, and to be more diligent in defending against fraud.”

Graziano and Robert Dunlop, TD Bank Director of Corporate Security and Investigations, offer the following advice to small business owners to protect their business from fraud:

  • Manage finances using secure online banking.

Online banking is a secure and essential tool for any small business owner. The benefits of this useful service include 24/7 access to real-time information, account transfers and payment management. Small business owners can easily schedule and manage payments, submit remittance information, and have an audit trail of all transactions.

“It’s important for small business owners to check their account activity regularly,” says Graziano. “Having instant access to payment history helps businesses closely monitor their spending for any discrepancies. If there are any, contact your financial institution immediately.”

  • Protect computer systems and practice online awareness.

“Being complacent about cyber protection can lead to the compromise of critical information and detrimental consequences for a business,” says Dunlop. “Every computer at home or in the office should have installed and regularly updated firewalls and anti-virus software.”

While conducting business online, be aware of “phishing” – an electronic scam that attempts to obtain confidential personal or financial information from its target. It takes the form of a fake message, usually an e-mail, which appears to be from a financial institution or service provider. While some e-mails are easily identified as fraudulent, including some containing enticing headlines, others may appear to come from a legitimate address.

“If an offer received via e-mail or on a website sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” says Graziano.

RatePoint Survey Reveals New Customers Form their First Impression from Online Reviews before Visiting Local Businesses

More than three-quarters of respondents read online reviews prior to trying a local business they’ve never used before

Needham, Mass., August 4, 2011 – RatePoint, the simplest way for small and local businesses to track and improve their online reputation, reports new research showing that 76 percent of consumers read online reviews prior to doing business with a company they’ve never used before. For services businesses that conduct work in-home, the stakes are even higher. Eighty-one percent of those surveyed indicated a likelihood of looking for an online review of a local business that comes to their house.

The RatePoint study also revealed consumers now use online reviews (68 percent) nearly as much as recommendations from friends (77 percent) before trying a new business. RatePoint surveyed 185 consumers in May 2011, about their perceptions of online reviews to understand the value a consumer associates with reviews.

“Our data clearly shows online reviews are the new way consumers validate a local business before they will set foot inside,” said Keith Cooper, CEO of RatePoint.  “Local businesses need to proactively collect and showcase feedback from their satisfied customers. Those who do will be in a much stronger position to gain new business and future revenue directly from online reviews.”

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

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