Tech Thursday (Dec 29) – Avira, PayPal, Infusionsoft, Adobe, Manta

Only 40 Percent of Company Employees Take IT Security Seriously According to Avira Survey

New Book for SMBs: The PayPal Official Insider Guide to Mobile Profits

Infusionsoft Acquires CustomerHub

Get “Attached” To New Features in Adobe FormsCentral

Healthy, Wealthy or Wise? Small Businesses Rank Wealth Before Health for 2012

Only 40 Percent of Company Employees Take IT Security Seriously According to Avira Survey

35% Know About Security Policies But Don’t Think it Matters and 25% Don’t Worry About Security, Instead Relying on System Admins to Keep Company PCs Safe

Tettnang, Germany – Almost equal numbers of company employees have very different views about corporate security according to the most recent survey of computer users from IT security expert Avira. During a September 2011 survey of Avira users, 38.95 percent of respondents adhere to security policies designed to protect their company, feeling it’s important that the entire company stay vigilant. Almost as many people, 35.42 percent, admitted there are security policies in place at their business but didn’t feel that anyone really cared whether those policies were followed or not.

For the rest of those polled, 25.63 percent, security is seen as a system administrator’s responsibility and not an employee concern. Here is the question and the data from Avira’s survey to users:

How careful are you when it comes to IT security in your company?
38.95% – We have strict and detailed policies for IT security and the entire company takes care to follow all the policies in order to protect the company.
35.42% – We have security policies, but I don’t think anybody cares if we follow the policies or not.
25.63% – I don’t think about IT security at all; our system administrators are responsible for security so it’s not my concern.
(991 respondents with a margin of error of +/- 3.11 percent.)

“When we see that less than 40 percent of workers take IT security seriously while at work, we know there is more to be done when it comes to educating people about IT security,” said Sorin Mustaca, Data Security expert at Avira. “Employees need to know that security goes beyond just having an antivirus program installed. In the last few years we have seen increasing software exploits used as attack vectors for performing malicious actions. It is critical to keep all installed software updated: starting with patches for the operating system to web browsers, mail clients, office productivity suites, and of course antivirus software.”

New Book for SMBs: The PayPal Official Insider Guide to Mobile Profits

Mobile commerce opportunities are everywhere, and they’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Gartner research predicts that the number of mobile payment users worldwide will exceed 140 million in 2011, up from 102 million in 2010, meaning that merchants large and small have an opportunity to engage with their customers anytime, anywhere. PayPal now expects our global mobile payments volume to exceed $3.5 billion this year, up from $750 million last year.

PayPal’s checkout tools support today’s smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Given our mobile capabilities, we decided to focus on mobile in the second book in our series of books aiming to help small businesses. The new book, titled The PayPal Official Insider Guide to Mobile Profits: Make money anytime, anywhere, is available now, and shows how merchants can implement these mobile tools to more effectively capture the vast new mobile revenue stream. Merchants can learn how to partner with PayPal to:

§  Maximize payment opportunities in the open mobile marketplace

§  Apply mobile website and app building best practices

§  Integrate PayPal Mobile Express Checkout and payment software systems

§  Master mobile consumer shopping behavior, technology, and payment trends

§  Profit with custom, efficient PayPal Mobile payment options for your business

You can learn more about the new mobile book, and order your copy today, on thePeachpit Press website and at major booksellers.  While you’re there, check out the other exciting new books from this series, and get a sneak peek at the third book in our series (which will launch next month) focused on Social Media.

Infusionsoft Acquires CustomerHub

The leader in all-in-one sales and marketing software for small business expands product offering with acquisition of popular web-based membership site and content delivery tool

Phoenix, Ariz. — Infusionsoft, the leader in all-in-one sales and marketing software for small business, today announced it has acquired CustomerHub, a web-based application that provides an easy to use membership site and customer portal platform to small businesses who market and sell content online. CustomerHub, one of the top app integrations in the Infusionsoft marketplace, allows users to share unlimited password-protected content with subscribers.

More than 7,500 small businesses use Infusionsoft’s powerful software that combines CRM, email marketing and e-commerce with automation to nurture and convert leads, grow sales and save time.

Specifically designed to work with Infusionsoft, CustomerHub allows small businesses to easily deliver protected content to paying customers and automate the subscription and collections process, helping them generaterecurring revenue, save time and eliminate administrative overhead. CustomerHub also allows small businesses to share free protected content by integrating with marketing campaigns.

“Membership sites are growing in popularity as marketers shift their content delivery channels from physical media, like DVDs and binders, to online membership sites which are easier to manage and more profitable to operate,” says Infusionsoft CEO and Co-founder Clate Mask. “Membership site tools are the way of the future as small businesses look to generate high-quality leads, as well as monetize content and establish recurring revenue streams.”

Get “Attached” To New Features in Adobe FormsCentral

You asked for it, you got it. As of today, you no longer have to deal with the headaches of getting files and information from customers, clients, or vendors.  We’ve updated Adobe FormsCentral with some of your most-asked-for features.

Starting with the File Attachments Field in FormsCentral, users can now collect and store one or more files (including audio and video) from respondents, making things like requests for proposals and resumes, easier to gather and manage. Everything is stored in one central place too, taking the pain out of managing the collection process. Consider this scenario: you’re applying for a grant, which asks you to provide a variety of accompanying files such as images and previous work. Instead of filling out the proposal and then sending the files separately via email, with the new attachment feature in FormsCentral, it’s all done within one form – a one stop shop. This goes for employment applications as well; where the HR department needs to gather resumes, cover letters, references, and more in order to properly consider a candidate. So stop making your life complicated and do yourself a favor by checking out the new attachments feature.

But wait, there’s more.

Nothing is more frustrating than not getting the information you need. This is a huge problem for market researchers – but now, they can stop respondents from entering invalid dates, typing endlessly in a field, or choosing every option when the limit is supposed to be 2. Yes, there is such a thing as too much information. With the new FormsCentral Field Validation features, users can set minimum and maximum values for the number of characters, date or multiple choice fields within their forms – making life simpler for everyone involved.

We’re also introducing some additional functionality to the Submissions Receipt feature we announced in October. Form authors now have the option to protect their anonymity by preventing replies from being sent back to them, as well as exclude or include empty fields in the submission receipt email.

Healthy, Wealthy or Wise? Small Businesses Rank Wealth Before Health for 2012

Manta Announces Q3 SMB Wellness Index, Reveals New Business Activity on the Rise Year Over Year

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Despite a year filled with economic instability, a majority of small business owners (72 percent) say 2011 was a successful year for their company– and new data shows new business activity saw a boost, too. According to the latest Manta SMB Wellness Index, new business activity was up more than 12 percent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same time last year. The Manta SMB Wellness Index is a quarterly index on the state of small business released by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. The index examines nationwide data collected from multiple business resources and takes a “pulse” of small business owners on hot topics. Manta’s latest survey polled more than 1,000 small business owners about their feelings on the 2011 small business landscape, predictions for 2012 and how their business is impacting their personal well being.

The Manta SMB Wellness Index shows that while new business activity is up year over year, September saw the steepest decline in activity in the past year and half. Moreover, there’s been about a 12.5 percent decrease in new business activity in Q3 compared to Q2. Alaska, Utah and Oregon had the sharpest declines in activity year over year, while Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona had the biggest boost in business activity in Q3, as well as the most gains year over year.

“Thanks to the support from our customers and online tools like Manta that help us reach new markets, we’ve had a successful 2011,” said Sherry Sheppard, owner of i love cupcakes, LLC, based in Largo, FL. “As a small business specializing in a niche industry–gourmet cupcakes–we know that both our community and online tools have helped us leverage innovative ways to reach people, which prove to be critical components for our continued success.”

But that success has come with a price for many small business owners.  Almost half of respondents (44 percent) say this year’s business climate has taken a toll on their personal health–one in three say they work out less, 22 percent say they’ve gained weight and 14 percent say they are more short-tempered and argue with family and co-workers. In addition, Manta’s survey found that most small business owners (63 percent) averaged more than 40 hours a week at work, while nearly 1 in 10 report their average work week was upwards of 70 hours.

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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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