Tech Thursday (September 1) – Quickbooks Mobile, Project Tartan, Manta forum, Mobuyle Launch, Postcard Services

Intuit Launches QuickBooks Mobile for Android

It is called “Project Tartan” (video creation wizard for email)

Manta Announces New Forum for Connecting Small Businesses

Heartland Payment Systems Launches Mobuyle

Postcard Services Is QuickBooks National App Showcase Winner

Intuit Launches QuickBooks Mobile for Android

Application Now Available for QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Online Customers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – July 25, 2011 – Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) today announced QuickBooks Mobile for Android, providing mobile access to QuickBooks data for the more than 4 million small businesses using QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Online.

The QuickBooks Mobile application releases data from the desktop and provides solutions designed specifically for a small business owner’s on-the-go needs. Users have the ability to create estimates, manage invoices, view customer details and more all from their mobile phone. The application automatically syncs with QuickBooks, arming users with the most up-to-date information, whether they are in or out of the office.

“The majority of small and medium-sized business owners feel that staying connected through wireless devices is critical to the success of their business,” said Dan Wernikoff, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Financial Management Solutions division. “As the demand for mobile access continues to accelerate, we’re working to give customers the solutions they need most so they can save time and make money wherever their business takes them.”

QuickBooks Mobile is designed specifically to address the demands of small business owners who are regularly on the go. Specific features allow them to:

·         Stay connected to their business with quick access to customer and sales information

·         Save time by checking customer balances and creating estimates on-the-go

·         Be more productive by invoicing at the job site, without having to go back to the office

·         Have the latest information at their fingertips as customer and sales information syncs automatically between QuickBooks and QuickBooks Mobile

It is called “Project Tartan” (video creation wizard for email)

As you know, Video is “hot” … and lots of companies offer ways to embed video into various marketing streams. That’s great if you have a video to embed … but what if you don’t – which is the case with many small businesses?  “Project Tartan” – currently being tested by Constant Contact’s Labs team –  is a video creation wizard that allows small businesses to quickly and easily create a video to include in their email newsletter. Constant Contact is once again seeking to bring big company technology to small businesses.

Fast Facts

·         Constant Contact Labs has worked with Waltham, MA-based VisibleGains (in the same building as Constant Contact), to develop a beta for a template-based video production feature.

·         Constant Contact’s template-based method of video creation offers a good approach for a small business owner who has never created video before and does not know how to get started. It’s an easy way to get in the game.

·         Constant Contact wants to make it easy for small businesses and nonprofits to create and share videos.  Customers can use their Smartphone or flip cam to create a video in minutes to be quickly added to a newsletter.

·         Demo:  Check out this quick video introduction

·         Pioneer:  We have only seen one other company that offers SMBs the opportunity to insert videos into email newsletters.

Manta Announces New Forum for Connecting Small Businesses

Leading Small Business Community Helps SMBs Network and Share Best Practices

COLUMBUS, Ohio—August 2, 2011Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business, today announced the availability of Manta Connect, a new forum for business owners to connect with their peers, discuss new ways to reach customers and provide insight into overcoming common SMB challenges.  Manta experts also participate in the conversations to share best practices on topics from everything about how to leverage new marketing tools, drive sales from their website and understand more about search engine optimization (SEO).

“Manta is committed to providing small businesses with tools that help them grow their business in new ways. With more than 6,000 small business owners already taking advantage of Manta Connect,  it’s clear SMBs are embracing the forum as a place to share and receive advice that helps them stay ahead of the competition,” said Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta. “Small business owners on Manta Connect report they’ve seen immediate results, including increased visits to their Manta profile.”

“Taking part in the Manta Connect forum has been a great way to meet other business owners from around the nation and has generated great leads for future business,” said Patrick Tuure, owner of OT Web Designs.” Manta Connect has proven to be an excellent method of creating business partnerships for several projects that I haven’t been able to find locally. The best part is that it’s simple and easy to connect with fellow business owners looking to exchange best practices.”

Heartland Payment Systems Launches Mobuyle

First mobile application developed by a major processor provides merchants high-tech, cost-effective line-busting solution


PRINCETON, NJ — August 9, 2011 Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE: HPY) launches Mobuyle (pronounced MO-buy-uhl), a comprehensive mobile solution that enables merchants to accept credit, debit and gift card payments through their smartphones or mobile devices. Mobuyle is the first mobile application fully designed and developed by a major payments processor, providing business owners the most comprehensive processing capabilities of any mobile payment application currently on the market.

Mobuyle is designed for brick and mortar businesses looking for off-premise processing capabilities or on-site flexibility, including the ability to easily add extra point-of-sale (POS) payment terminals to dispel long checkout lines or “line-busting.” It is also ideal for mobile businesses that want to provide customers convenient payment options. The solution enables merchants to accept all major credit and debit cards, including corporate cards and Heartland Gift Marketing’s loyalty and gift cards, via secure card swipe or manual entry. It features electronic signature capture, GPS location capture, merchandise picture storage, and voice authorization capabilities, and enables merchants to accept card payments even if they are out of range for cellular coverage or WiFi access with Store and Forward (SAF) functionality.

With Mobuyle, merchants pay rates similar to those for traditional card processing, which is much more cost-effective than paying a higher, flat fee for all transactions like some other providers charge. In accordance with The Merchant Bill of Rights <http://www.MerchantBillofRights.org>  and its advocacy for the clear, straightforward presentation of processing costs, Heartland follows an interchange plus pricing model which passes card brand fees directly through to the merchant and charges processing fees separately, making it easier for merchants to see what they are paying and to whom. Business owners also save money by working with Heartland directly and bypassing third-party provider fees.

“We are excited to roll out this full-featured, user-friendly mobile processing solution and provide retailers functionality and conveniences that other applications are lacking,” said Steve Elefant, Heartland’s chief information officer. “Many providers are taking a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to mobile processing, which doesn’t serve business owners with the optimal technology solution for their businesses and ends up costing merchants substantially more in processing fees. With Mobuyle, merchants benefit from robust business applications and can drastically reduce their mobile processing costs.”

Postcard Services Is QuickBooks National App Showcase Winner

More than 160 developers applied to participate in the 2011 QuickBooks National App Showcase – a forum to allow developers to craft business solutions that build upon the power of QuickBooks. 30 finalists were chosen to present live in San Francisco, and Postcard Services of Tampa, Florida was one of them.

“As I watched the other presentations, I knew we were facing stiff competition from some talented developers and businesses,” said Jonathan Kremner, C.E.O. of Postcard Services. “But I also knew that our App, called “Postcard Services For Use with QuickBooks,” is a well constructed, easy to use, powerful tool that businesses of all shapes and sizes really need.”

The free Postcard Services App – http://appcenter.intuit.com/postcard-services allows users to drive customized, digitally printed direct mail postcard marketing campaigns by unleashing (without being limited to) the powerful data already resident within their QuickBooks. The App also contains analytic tools that integrate with QuickBooks to demonstrate campaign R.O.I. (Return on Investment). This enables businesses to answer the question “Did my direct mail campaign make me money?”

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About Allison Midori Reilly

Allison Midori Reilly is the CEO and Founder of Stirring Media, LLC. Stirring Media, LLC is a content marketing and news production firm that provides content marketing and business blogging services to the small business market. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer, who was published in over a dozen print and online publications, such as Smallbiztechnology.com, American City & County, Ideabing.com, Transport Topics and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In her spare time, Reilly is an active member of Amnesty International as well as an avid poker player.