Tech Thursday (8/9): Study Shows File Sync As The Fastest Growing Cloud Service; Verizon Wireless Adds Microsoft Office 365 To Portfolio of Mobile Tools; Palo Alto Software Introduces ‘Live Plan’

Study Shows File Sync Has Emerged as the Fastest Growing Cloud Service


Verizon Wireless Enhances Portfolio of Mobile Tools For Small Businesses With Microsoft Office 365


Palo Alto Software Introduces ‘Live Plan’


 

 

Independent Consulting Study Shows File Sync Has Emerged as the Fastest Growing Cloud Service

 

File Sync Services Crossed the Chasm in 2011, and are Exploding in 2012


SAN MATEO, CALIF.,– Cloud provider SugarSync announced today that a new commissioned study from Forrester Consulting was released tracking the exponential growth of Personal Cloud services over the last three years. The study, commissioned on behalf of SugarSync, surveyed over 2,000 people to track usage of a broad range of Personal Cloud services including file access, sync and share services, online backup services, and online office productivity. The new research reveals that adoption of file access, sync, and share services grew by two thirds from 9% of U.S. online adults in 2010 to 15% in 2012 to become the fastest-growing online file service category.

“Personal Cloud services are transforming personal computing, as U.S. individuals move to store their files on online services accessible from any device, rather than fiddle with files to get them on the right PC or mobile device of the moment. The growth of a rich personal computing ecosystem of PCs, mobile devices, Internet-connected appliances, and a myriad of online services is spurring this transformation of personal computing into a Personal Cloud services ecosystem.” Forrester Consulting, “Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives,” July 25, 2012.

Key findings of this report include:

  • File sync services crossed the chasm in early 2011, and are exploding in 2012. File access, sync, and share adoption grew by two thirds from 9% of U.S. online adults in 2010 to 15% in 2012 to become the fastest-growing online file service category, ahead of both online backup and web-based office productivity. Forrester estimates adoption to have surpassed 10% of U.S. online adults in early 2011, implying hyper-growth this year and next.
  • Mobile device proliferation is driving daily use of the personal cloud. Using multiple computers has motivated many to try Personal Cloud services, but the increased usage of mobile devices is driving even more demand for the Cloud. Fifty-eight percent of personal cloud users with smartphones use personal cloud services daily or hourly.
  • Two-thirds of US online adults are using at least one form of personal cloud services. Whether for photos, files, information, media, password services, contacts, or calendaring, two out of three U.S. online adults are using at least one personal cloud service.
  • U.S. online adults are increasingly blending work and personal technologies. Almost half of personal cloud services are used for blended work and personal purposes.

To learn more about which Cloud services are growing fastest, how people are currently using the Cloud, and other key Cloud trends, please download the complete report for free at: https://www.sugarsync.com/media/sugarsync-forrester-report.pdf

 

Verizon Wireless Enhances Portfolio of Mobile Tools For Small Businesses With Microsoft Office 365

 

 

A Partnership to Help Small Businesses Stay Connected

 


BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless today announced an enhancement of their mobile portfolio tools for small business customers with the addition of Microsoft Office 365.

Office 365, which is part of Verizon Wireless’ Small Business Essentials portfolio, is Microsoft Corp.’s cloud productivity service that includes email, instant messages with presence, video and voice conferencing, and document sharing. By offering Office 365, Verizon Wireless’ small business customers can take advantage of productivity in the cloud while on the go.

Office 365, which supports mobile operating systems including Windows Phone, Android™, iOS and BlackBerry®, helps enable businesses to collaborate with customers, co-workers and employees in real time while having access to email, contacts, calendars and other important business data. Information is synchronized across all devices including smartphones, tablets, PCs or Macs.

For small business customers, Office 365 delivers enterprise-grade technology at a predictable monthly price. It also helps elevate mobility and productivity to another level while giving the business integrated mobile device management and robust IT controls when connected through Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.

“Our small businesses and entrepreneurs consistently rank two priorities the highest when it comes to using productivity tools to run their business: simplicity and cost effectiveness,” said Michael C. Schaefer, executive director, Wireless Business Solutions, Verizon Wireless. “We included Office 365 with Small Business Essentials to address these needs. Plus, we also want to emphasize it is scalable – which is ideal for companies in the growing segment of up to 50 employees. With all of our SMB-related products and services, our goal is to help customers expedite their workflow so they can work smarter, faster and more efficiently. Customers also have the advantage when they utilize our fast 4G LTE network, which is available in over 330 markets across the United States.”

Many businesses across various industries already utilize Microsoft Office. Now those same tools, plus voice and video conferencing with Lync Online and collaboration with SharePoint Online, enable information to be easily accessed and shared virtually anywhere, on nearly any device on their network.

For internal and external business communications, Office 365 capabilities that are included in Small Business Essentials are:

Office Web Apps
•  View and make light edits to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents within supported browsers
•  View business documents in the browser with virtually no data or formatting loss during transfer between PC and browser

SharePoint Online
•  Public website and design tool with ready-to-use site templates
•  Private team site for working with colleagues, partners and customers
•  Share private sites with external users
•  Store and back up business documents and data
•  Access business documents from virtually anywhere

Exchange Online
•  Premium anti-virus and anti-spam protection
•  Email, calendar and contacts synchronized across PCs or Macs, smartphones and tablets
•  Tools for managing email, calendar and contacts
•  25 GB mailbox, plus up to 25 MB of attachments per email

Lync Online
•  Rich presence tells you when co-workers are online and available
•  Instant messaging plus PC-to-PC audio/video calling
•  Click-to-communicate from Outlook, SharePoint Online and other Office Web Apps
•  Online meetings and presentations with up to 50 attendees, using PC-audio, video conferencing, desktop and application sharing
•  Invite external contacts to easily attend online meetings via the browser

Many small businesses have limited IT resources and Office 365 is designed to meet their unique needs. There is no need for expensive, long-term IT hardware installations.

If a user’s device is lost, damaged or stolen, the data can be locked and wiped clean remotely, helping to protect the company’s important proprietary information. When the replacement device is activated and connected to Office 365, all of the user’s email, contacts and calendar data will be available on the new device.

Office 365, included with Verizon Wireless’ Small Business Essentials, is now available at the rate of $6 per month, per user. Go here for additional information.

 

Palo Alto Software Introduces ‘LIVE PLAN’

 

Maker of the #1 business planning software introduces a new comprehensive online tool for developing a business plan and managing a growing business

 

Eugene, Oregon – Palo Alto Software, developer of best-selling business planning software, Business Plan Pro, and Sales and Marketing Plan Pro, is proud to announce the official launch of LivePlan, the company’s new cloud-based business planning and management tool. 

Palo Alto Software CEO, Sabrina Parsons, stated, “LivePlan is an accessible, affordable solution for entrepreneurs and business owners to create a lender-ready professional business plan. LivePlan also makes it easy to track what is actually happening financially in your business so that you can manage your business and adjust your plan based on what’s going on in the real world. Smart planning is a great way to avoid unpleasant surprises.”

LivePlan can be accessed from nearly any device with a browser connected to the Internet, and the software’s collaborative features are ideal for instances where multiple people are contributing to a single plan or helping manage a business.

Palo Alto Software’s nearly 25 years of developing business planning software has enabled the company to develop a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone writing a business plan for the first time and encourages users to engage in active planning. The software encourages users to write only what they need and to focus on the act of planning instead of just simply creating an old-fashioned static business plan document. A user can create a professional plan for funding, with help and guidance at every step, or just use LivePlan to create a forecast and a budget to plan for growth. The financials have been created from years of experience and all the formulas and calculations are automated to ensure accuracy.

“LivePlan is incredibly simple and easy to use. The financial sales forecasting tool is very intuitive and makes writing a business plan more fun. I would highly recommend this product to anybody starting a business or revising their business plan,” stated Helga Douglas, LivePlan user and Founder and CEO of sustainable apparel company, Svala.

For ongoing business management, the software includes an innovative “Scoreboard” feature that allows business owners and managers to compare their actual results against their plan. This real-time, accurate visibility of key performance indicators such as cash balances can expose important trends that are critical for ongoing management. 

While this is the official introduction of LivePlan, the software quietly launched 14 months ago. In that short period of time, LivePlan has become the most-used online business planning tool with more than 40,000 paid accounts and an average monthly growth rate of over 20%. The economic impact of LivePlan users is significant. For example, a survey of completed LivePlan plans, from United States-based businesses, indicated that LivePlan small business owners intend to generate over 37,000 new jobs over the next 12 months. 

Parsons added, “We’re proud of the role we play in the entrepreneurial process and the creation of successful new businesses. According to research conducted at the University of Oregon, entrepreneurs with a business plan are two-and-a-half times more likely to secure investment capital. The research also found that writing a business plan correlated with increased success reaching business goals such as purchasing assets, recruiting employees, and overall strategic thinking that leads to company growth.”

In conjunction with the official release of LivePlan, Palo Alto Software is also excited to announce the inaugural “LivePlan $10,000 Business Boost” business plan competition. The winning plan will receive a $10,000 business grant. The competition officially runs from July 17 through August 24 and preliminary details can be found at www.liveplan.com/boost.

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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.

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