Tech Thursday (8/2): Survey Reveals Which Cloud Apps Are Winning Over SMB’s; Revamped GrouponWorks.com for Merchants; Panasonic Launches Compact and Fast Document Scanner

Survey: Consumerization of IT Drives Adoption of Cloud-Based Business Applications


Groupon Debuts Revamped GrouponWorks.com for Merchants

 

Panasonic Launches Compact and Fast Document Scanner

 

 

Survey: Consumerization of IT Drives Adoption of Cloud-Based Business Applications

 

Employee productivity gains motivate small and mid-sized businesses to accelerate adoption of cloud-based applications despite IT concerns 

 

AUSTIN, Texas –  Spiceworks™, Inc., the world’s largest social network for IT professionals, today announced the results of a new study sponsored by EMC highlighting the use of cloud-based file-sharing, e-mail and productivity applications by small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Responses underscore how the consumerization of IT is manifesting itself in the daily lives of SMBs and the new challenges IT departments are forced to address as the line between personal and professional technologies blurs. The report, “The Spiceworks Cloud Barometer,” is available for download here [link to be added in final version]

The results reveal the ongoing struggle between IT departments and the users they support. For example, cloud-based file sharing services, such as Dropbox, Box, and others, are easy to use and employee-friendly. However, IT departments remain concerned about the security, compliance and reliability challenges these services can present.

Survey highlights include:

Despite IT concerns, employee demands drive widespread cloud-based file sharing deployments within SMB environments.

  • Thirty-three percent of the IT professionals surveyed say employees are using file-sharing services at the office on their own with most selecting Dropbox (87 percent). However, vendor preference isn’t as clear for the 28 percent of respondents who have or plan to approve a file-sharing vendor in the next six months. While Dropbox still leads with 28 percent, 10 percent prefer Box and, due to the large number of cloud services available, the majority of respondents (37 percent) would select a different solution altogether.
  • North American SMBs are more likely to have an IT-approved vendor for file sharing than their peers in EMEA, 25 percent versus 12 percent respectively.
  • More than 75 percent of respondents highlighted data accessibility as the primary advantage of file-sharing services. However, 73 percent also cited a lack of control and security issues as their single biggest concern.

On-premise e-mail solutions continue to be preferred by SMBs, but hosted e-mail is gaining ground.

  • Fifty-two percent of those surveyed have deployed an on-premise e-mail solution, while 42 percent have chosen a hosted environment. An additional six percent plan to migrate to hosted e-mail within the next six months.
  • Microsoft dominates the on-premise e-mail market, but Google holds a commanding lead among cloud-based providers. According to the survey, 34 percent of those with a hosted environment are using Google, while 16 percent have selected Microsoft Office 365. Fifty percent of respondents have selected another hosted option, which includes hosted instances of Microsoft Exchange.

Cloud-based productivity suites offer end-user and IT benefits but SMBs have been slow to adopt.

  • Thirty-five percent of survey participants are currently using or plan to use a cloud-based productivity suite for word processing, spreadsheets and other tasks. However, 64 percent are not currently using nor plan to use a cloud-based offering.
  • For those that have deployed or are planning to deploy a cloud-based productivity suite, Google Apps (48 percent) and Microsoft Office 365 (43 percent) are the clear favorites.
  • North American companies are more likely to adopt cloud-based productivity suites, with 38 percent currently using or planning to adopt in the future, versus 30 percent of respondents in EMEA.

“The two million IT professionals in Spiceworks are managing the transition to cloud computing each day,” said Adam Weinroth, executive director of Vendor Marketing at Spiceworks. “Many of the complex technologies once reserved for IT departments have been simplified, so today’s tech-savvy employee can install their own cloud-based applications in minutes. This wave of consumerization is forcing IT departments and technology vendors to rethink the way they design, build and implement technology solutions.”

 

Groupon Debuts Revamped GrouponWorks.com for Merchants

 

 

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)Today Groupon (http://www.groupon.com) (NASDAQ: GRPN) launched a new GrouponWorks.com (http://www.grouponworks.com), redesigned to better showcase merchant successes and Groupon’s toolkit of marketing products and services to the thousands of businesses that visit the site every week.

The site features hundreds of case studies and video testimonials from merchants that have used Groupon as a marketing solution to help attract new customers and grow their businesses. The merchant stories are easily sortable by business type, topics of interest or geographic location in order to help users see relevant experiences applicable to them.

“When we were going through a very challenging time, Groupon was there for us,” said Carolyn Franks, owner of Zoomars Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. “After running a deal with Groupon, we went from 200 visitors a week to more than 2,000. Groupon saved our zoo.” To see her story, visit http://www.grouponworks.com/case-studies/zoomars-petting-zoo.

The site also presents Groupon’s comprehensive suite of marketing products and services that merchants can utilize to grow their businesses. These include: Groupon Featured Deals,Groupon Now!, real-time location based offers, Groupon Rewards, an easy-to-use rewards program and Groupon Scheduler, an online scheduling application for appointment-based businesses. In addition, the site highlights available merchant resources such as the Groupon Merchant Center, an innovative dashboard providing customer insights, feedback and performance measurement across Groupon campaigns.

“GrouponWorks.com ties together Groupon’s entire suite of merchant products, services and resources and helps business owners select the tools that meet their needs,” said Sanjay Gupta, VP of Merchant Marketing, Groupon. “Best of all, visitors can listen to merchants—in their own words—share unique accounts of how working with Groupon had a positive impact on their businesses.”

 

 

Panasonic Launches Compact and Fast Document Scanner for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

 

KV-S1046C Enables SMBs to Effectively Digitize Paper-Based Documents


Secaucus, NJ – Panasonic, a provider of document imaging and scanner solutions, introduced the KV-S1046C document scanner, ideal for small and medium-size office settings, including reception areas at healthcare facilities, banks and other businesses. The feature-rich device has a fast scanning speed of 45ppm*, and is capable of scanning documents of various sizes and thicknesses, helping reduce the number of devices needed to digitize data.

The KV-S1046C document scanner is designed to combine paper documents along with up to three hard embossed cards, such as a driver’s license, in a single batch by using the mixed card batch guide. This practical and time-saving capability is useful in reception areas at small healthcare practices, at the point of patient check-in. The scanner also features a mode for scanning long papers, such as electrocardiograms.

“One of the biggest challenges for SMBs is document management and digitizing existing paper materials,” said Joseph Odore, product manager for document and imaging solutions at Panasonic. “With the introduction of the KV-S1046C document scanner, we are helping end-users provide fast, accurate customer service, while lowering the cost of handling documents and reducing the space needed to store them.”

Double-Feed Skip Function

The scanner is equipped with a highly reliable ultrasonic sensor that prevents double-feeding problems. When scanning stops due to documents, such as envelopes or sticky notes, that trigger the sensor, users can simply press the ‘Skip’ key to resume scanning.

Image Capture Plus and Kofax® VirtualReScan® (VRS) Elite Software

The KV-S1046C document scanner comes standard with Panasonic’s Image Capture Plus software, an application that transfers image data scanned by a Panasonic high-speed document scanner to a PC in the form of an image file. Using thumbnails, the intuitive software lets users edit scanned images, including switching and/or deleting pages. It also allows users to choose settings that facilitate complex scanning processes, and it serves as a powerful tool for efficiently processing routine business work, such as filing large amounts of paper found in tight office spaces.

In addition, Panasonic’s KV-S1046C-V document scanner is certified with Kofax® VirtualReScan® (VRS) Elite software that automatically applies proper scan settings and cleans scanned images. This improves the accuracy of optical character recognition (OCR) and handwriting recognition (ICR) software, reduces file sizes and minimizes document preparation tasks and manual activities that can potentially cost organizations time and money.

Simplified Maintenance and Low Power Consumption

The clamshell design of the KV-S1046C scanner allows full access to the entire paper path for simplified paper jam resolution, scan glass cleaning and roller replacement.  This innovative design minimizes the need for technician support. The scanning section of the device uses LEDs for its light source to lower power consumption during the scanning process. In addition, in order to conserve energy, the power consumption is suppressed to a 1 Watt maximum during sleep mode. Finally, the power automatically turns off after a pre-selected duration of time to cut down on electricity use.

Pricing and Availability

The KV-S1046C high-speed document scanner is available immediately through authorized Panasonic resellers starting at $1,295 MSRP (KV-S1046C-V starts at $1,425 MSRP), and it comes with a Three-Year Advance Exchange Warranty. 

 


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About Carolyn Crummey

Carolyn Crummey is a business and technology strategist and the owner of VirTasktic (www.virtasktic.com), an agency dedicated to providing high-level virtual services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. A lover of technology and small business, Carolyn has built a career on the intelligent use of technology to increase business efficiency and productivity, which ultimately leads to greater profitability. Carolyn works closely with her clients to understand their challenges and helps them integrate the best technology solutions into their businesses so they too can enjoy great successes. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at @CarolynCrummey or @VirTasktic.