Tech Thursday (Oct 6) – CDW, Toshiba, Lenovo, FedEx, Roost

CDW Report:  Growing Numbers of Small Businesses Gain Agility, Cut Costs with Server Virtualization

Toshiba Unveils Portégé Z830 Series of Ultrabook Systems

Lenovo Gets Glam with Three New Fashion-Forward Ultraportable Laptops

FedEx Office Introduces Cloud Printing with Google Docs

Roost Takes the Guesswork Out of Social Marketing Performance with Sophisticated Analytics

CDW Report:  Growing Numbers of Small Businesses Gain Agility, Cut Costs with Server Virtualization

Twenty-five percent of small businesses boost IT ROI with virtualized servers; 73 percent of those without virtualization are investigating or planning to virtualize

VERNON HILLS, Ill.CDW LLC, a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government, education and healthcare, today introduced the CDW Small Business Virtualization Roadmap, a technology adoption guide that also reports survey results and data showing that small businesses are moving steadily toward more virtualized computing infrastructures.  Server virtualization – running multiple, independent, virtual operating systems on a single server – increases the productivity, agility and scalability of computing resources and the business itself, with an attending boost in a company’s return on its information technology (IT) investments.

The study found that 25 percent of small businesses have virtualized at least some of their servers, attracted by efficiency, cost savings and flexibility to meet changing business demands, and that the average percentage of servers virtualized at those businesses grew steadily from 28 percent to 33 percent between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011.  Even among small businesses that have not yet implemented server virtualization, 73 percent report they are investigating or planning to deploy the technology, with investments averaging 17 percent of their IT budgets over the next two years.

“Based on our day-to-day conversations with small businesses across the United States, we know that most look for IT to deliver business advantages that level the playing field with their larger competitors.  In our survey, two-thirds of small businesses that have virtualized their server environments say doing so has significantly increased the ROI of their IT – but virtualization also requires new skills and knowledge to manage effectively,” said Jill Billhorn, CDW vice president of small business sales.  “The CDW Small Business Virtualization Roadmap is a resource to help small business IT managers start their journey to a more virtual environment.”

Toshiba Unveils Portégé Z830 Series of Ultrabook Systems

The World’s Lightest 13.3-inch Platform, Sub-2.5 Pound Portégé Z830 Series Match Style, Supreme Portability and Enhanced Functionality at Affordable Prices

IRVINE, Calif. — Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today unveiled the Portégé® Z830 Series, the company’s first Ultrabook™ using 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors. Weighing less than 2.5 pounds1 and featuring a 0.63-inch (15.9 mm) profile, the Portégé Z830 Series is about 20 percent lighter and 40 percent thinner than the award-winning ultraportable Portégé R830 Series. These new systems offer unprecedented portability, durability and essential features with visibly smart style and responsiveness — and start at under $1,000 MSRP2.

Supporting the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core processors3 and ultra-fast DDR3 memory, the Portégé Z830 Series provides the performance needed for work and entertainment plus improved power management for great battery life. The Ultrabook device’s 128GB solid state drive4 delivers an extremely responsive experience, increased durability and increased energy efficiency. Paired with Toshiba’s new exclusive Hi-Speed Start Technology, the Portégé Z830 can power on and get users up and running at work or home in just seconds.

“The Portégé Z830 Series sets a new standard for thin and light systems, not just in portability, but also in affordability for such cutting-edge designs,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “Toshiba’s engineering achievements and expert craftsmanship have resulted in a brilliant and fully thought-through innovation that exceeds expectations, perfect for both mobile business professionals and consumers.”

Lenovo Gets Glam with Three New Fashion-Forward Ultraportable Laptops

Slim Design and Ultra-Responsive Performance Combine for the Must-Have Style Laptops of the Season

BERLIN – Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) sashays into the fashion world with three new luxury laptops, the IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook™, and the U300 and U400 laptops. Bridging haute couture with superior technology, these laptops are designed for fashion-minded consumers who want a product that is stylish, yet also powerful and productive; the ultimate fusion for individuals who take technology and fashion seriously.

“The new IdeaPad U Series laptops from Lenovo provide style mavens everything they need in a slender, mobile and super chic package,” said Yao Yingjia, vice president, Innovation Design Center, Lenovo. “The U300s, U300 and U400 laptops are the perfect luxury accessory this season, liberating consumers on the go to combine productivity and entertainment in one stylish device.”

“People will be wowed with the new U Series systems from Lenovo that combine incredible performance in beautiful and stylish designs,” said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group. “Powered by our 2nd Gen Core processors, this system will deliver great capabilities with a wonderful user experience and long battery life that people increasingly want. We’re particularly excited by Lenovo’s innovation and as one of the leading time to market partners in the new ultrabook category with the U300s device that combines a no-compromise, must-have mobile experience with performance, security, responsiveness and style.”

FedEx Office Introduces Cloud Printing with Google Docs

Enhanced Printing Solution Provides Anytime, Anywhere Access for Customers

DALLAS —FedEx Office®, an operating company of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), today announced it has enhanced its FedEx Office® Print Online solution with access to Google Docs™. This new, first-to-market feature allows users to retrieve files from their Google account for convenient printing using the FedEx Office application.

Whether a mobile professional or small business owner, FedEx Office Print Online users can upload files from their Google Docs account and then select from a variety of printing options to assist with layout for presentations, signs, posters, postcards, and more. Users can also choose to pick up their completed order at FedEx Office locations nationwide or have it delivered right to their door.

Launched back in 2007, FedEx Office Print Online has evolved to become a robust, intuitive print management solution with preview, archiving and reordering features, the ability to earn My FedEx Rewards points, and more. The application currently receives more than 250,000 unique visits on average per month.

“As the first national print retailer to offer cloud printing technology, we are excited to meet the growing demand for mobility with FedEx Office Print Online. Our enhanced solution makes Web-based printing easy, wherever you store your files,” said Anthony Norris, vice president of digital access marketing at FedEx Office.

For a limited time, both new and existing customers can try FedEx Office Print Online and save with the Look Good on Paper Print Sale. Now through October 14, customers will receive up to 40 percent off select print products including postcards, brochures and posters highlighted in the sale. The offer is also valid for orders placed in-store. For more details on this promotion and ideas to boost your business, visit http://www.fedex.com/printdeals.

Roost Takes the Guesswork Out of Social Marketing Performance with Sophisticated Analytics

Social Marketing Platform for Small Business Launches Analytics to Provide Facebook and Twitter Engagement Scores Relative to a User’s Audience Size

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Social marketers experiment with Facebook and Twitter content every day with hopes to create active, engaged online communities. The challenge lies in measuring the effectiveness of posts and tweets, which is why Roost, (@roost), a technology company committed to helping small businesses go social, today announced its new analytics offering, providing engagement scores for each social interaction.

Roost developed a proprietary algorithim that creates unique engagement scores based on the number of times the user’s audience interacts with a post or tweet. For Twitter users, engagement is defined as retweets and for Facebook, it includes likes, shares, comments, and impressions. Link conversions and hides will be coming soon. Roost provides an engagement score between 1 and 5 on each post. It also breaks down the number of views and the type (likes, shares, or comments) of interactions across each network, giving users an easy to read, recorded view of their post’s performance.

Roost takes the analysis beyond existing metrics built into Facebook by considering engagement relative to the user’s audience size. For example, a small business that has a Facebook page with 50 Likes and receives 5 comments on a post is going to result in a fairly high engagement score. Whereas, 5 comments on an SMB page with 10,000 Likes will not fair as well. Roost programmed this benchmarking into its analytics to give users a clear, actionable evaluation of their post performance no matter what their audience size.

“Businesses grapple every day with how to measure the effectiveness of their social marketing efforts, which is why Roost aims to provide all of the necessary tools to create, run, measure and optimize social campaigns,” said Alex Chang, CEO of Roost. “We are excited about our new analytics engine that gives users a consolidated view of their social activities and performance.”

All existing and new Roost users will have immediate access to the new analytics. Roost’s free social marketing tool helps local businesses and professionals easily plan and execute their social marketing activities in less than 20 minutes per week across Facebook and Twitter, with other networks coming soon. Additionally, any business or professional can run a free Roost Local Scorecard evaluation on their Facebook fanbase to determine how local their audience is relative to their place of business.

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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.

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