Tech Thursday (4 August)- AT&T Recommendation Tool; CDW IT Monitor; Kerio

AT&T Launches A Communication Recommendation Tool

IT Confidence Up But IT Budget Outlook Cautious – Large business and federal government expectations down since 2010

Kerio Announces Kerio Operator 1.1, an Easy-to-Use and Secure IP PBX Phone System for Small Businesses

Buckaroo Helps Small Businesses Run Daily Deal Promotions – New Web- Based Tool Helps Merchants Attract New Customers

Doodle Launches Survey: 49% of Online Users Use A Paper Calendar. The Other 51% Are Still Not Happy

AT&T Launches A Communication Recommendation Tool

For many small businesses, choosing the best technology for the business can be difficult—with limited time and limited funds, not to mention in many cases, limited expertise, finding the best solutions can be a challenge.

To help small businesses overcome this burden, AT&T today announced the introduction of the “AT&T Recommendation Tool ,” an online portal that helps takes the guesswork out of choosing communication technologies.

In fact, before making final purchase decisions for IT or telecom services, nearly half of small businesses indicate that they go to a preferred providers’ website and see what they offer, according to industry research firm Compass Intelligence.

The AT&T Recommendation Tool has a simple user-friendly interface for non-techies and is the only in the industry that offers recommendations and purchasing capabilities for both wireless and wired solutions with a few clicks of a mouse. For a brief video of the tool, click here.

Available for free at, the tool presents a series of questions, then based on the answers given, recommends the best AT&T wireless and wired solutions to help the business reduce costs and enhance productivity. With the tool, customers can quickly order pre-defined packages, or build their own customized solutions, using AT&T’s recommendations and to the best fit for their business.

IT Confidence Up But IT Budget Outlook Cautious – Large business and federal government expectations down since 2010

Six Month Outlook, which looks at overall market confidence, up year over year.

On a sub-measure, forty-three percent of IT decision-makers expect an increase in the overall IT budget in the second half of 2011, a five percentage point decrease year over year.

Two out of five IT decision-makers expect to purchase new software for a significant part of the organization.

Economic uncertainty has resulted in a mixed outlook among IT decision-makers according to the latest CDW IT Monitor. While confidence is on an uptick and spending is showing small gains, budget recovery has been slow.

“Given the current economy, many IT decision-makers are displaying a cautious optimism,” said Thomas E. Richards, president and chief operating officer, CDW. “CIOs are looking at every IT investment in terms of how it makes sense for the business and our data shows they are still spending on key investments including software and hardware – particularly mobile devices, virtualization and security.”

Budget expectations among IT decision-makers held steady through most of the latter half of 2010 until December of 2010 when there was a six percentage point drop. The recent CDW IT Monitor shows that budget recovery has been slow in some sectors but improving in others. However, the Six Month Growth Outlook, an index calculated from a number of survey questions related to spending, staffing expectations as well as hardware and software procurements, increased one point year over year, to 68. Get more information here –

Kerio Announces Kerio Operator 1.1, an Easy-to-Use and Secure IP PBX Phone System for Small Businesses

Kerio Operator 1.1 Helps SMBs Manage Voice Communications with Advanced Phone Services Typically Associated with Enterprise Organizations

Small businesses need to control telephony costs, and that means moving away from expensive traditional PBX phone systems. However, in doing so, they can’t sacrifice the ease-of-use, advanced features, or security capabilities that are essential for business communications. With that in mind, Kerio Technologies announced a new version of its IP PBX (VoIP) solution for small and medium businesses.

Kerio Operator 1.1 is secure, flexible and can be set-up and deployed within a few minutes. The system improves voice communications, controls telephony costs, and lets users stay connected anywhere, while remaining simple for both theemployee and the IT administrator. Kerio Operator 1.1 utilizes the industry-standard SIP VoIP protocol, is compatible with any IP Phone and SIP provider, and will auto-configure with many popular phones.

The key to Kerio Operator 1.1’s simplicity for administrators is the intuitive web-based GUI, which has advanced drag and drop capabilities for interface configuration, contextual help, and a configuration assistant. As with other Kerio products, the system can be configured and managed remotely from within an Internet browser.

VoIP has long been plagued by fears that those with malicious intent can exploit thetechnology and make very expensive calls before being detected. To address this concern, Kerio has incorporated enhanced security mechanisms into Kerio Operator 1.1, including dynamic protection against password guessing and the ability to monitor and address abnormal use of any extension within the system.

“IP PBX is a huge opportunity for VARs to grow their businesses,” said Scott Schreiman, CEO Kerio Technologies. “We have worked with the IT channel for years, and our mission is to help them understand that providing voice solutions to their clients is actually very similar to the messaging, security and storage solutions they already provide.”

The traditional PBX telephony industry is outdated, and IT resellers are betterequipped to incorporate voice into their messaging portfolio. Kerio Operator can be configured and managed remotely by VARs. Thus, end customers will nolonger have to pay for expensive onsite visits every time they need to adjust their phone system.

“As a Kerio Preferred Partner focused on providing our clients with top-notch service and support, Kerio’s ease of use for both the provider as well as the end-user has always been appreciated. With the release of Kerio Operator 1.1, they’ve once again taken what was once a complicated and unfriendly technology and made it available to the masses,” said Sam Bergin, owner, MacSERV. “When you think of ease of use and simplicity in a product, you generally expect to have to sacrifice advanced features and support. With Kerio Operator, you get the advanced feature set of Asterisk and the very functional and well-respected admin and user interfaces Kerio is known for.”

Buckaroo Helps Small Businesses Run Daily Deal Promotions – New Web- Based Tool Helps Merchants Attract New Customers

Buckaroo ( announced its new web-based tool for small businesses to run custom email and social media promotions. Merchants upload their email list and company logo, and then send promotions to their customers to share with friends. A variety of popular promotion types are designed to drive new customers to the merchant.

“We help businesses grow their customer base by targeting people that are genuinely interested in what they’re selling…This is drastically different from daily deal sites Groupon and LivingSocial.” – Alan Fisher, Chairman, Buckaroo (Iron Speed, Inc.)

Unlike daily deal sites, Buckaroo users are not limited to 50% off deals because Buckaroo does not set promotion terms. With Buckaroo, merchants create custom offers that work for their specific needs such as “percentage off” or “buy one, get one free”. To redeem offers, customers present a printed coupon and pay the merchant in-store, as they normally would. Merchants keep 100% of the revenue they earn from each promotion.

“Buckaroo’s goal is to help small businesses run their own promotions in the most effective way, without taking half their revenue.” –Alan Fisher, Chairman, Buckaroo (Iron Speed, Inc.)

Buckaroo is free during the beta period and is currently available at After the beta period, Buckaroo will charge a flat monthly subscription fee regardless of the number of promotions run.

Doodle Launches Survey: 49% of Online Users Use A Paper Calendar. The Other 51% Are Still Not Happy

Here are some of the main findings:

– 49% of people still use a paper calendar as their main calendar

– Online scheduling is used by 67% of the Swiss and 21% of the rest of the world

– An average Internet user has 5.7 appointments in a normal week

– Young people lead the way in having their main calendar on a mobile device

– Only 30% of people who use electronic, Web-based, or mobile calendars are happy with them and don’t think that they need additional features

– Personal / phone conversations and email are absolutely dominating the way meetings are coordinated

The complete survey results can be found in the following blog post that also includes charts.


About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, & Infusionsoft. Full bio at . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook