Tech Thursday (10/4): AT&T SYN248™ Phone System * Citibank® Small Business Pulse Survey * Dell Unveils New Business PC’s

New AT&T SYN248™ Phone System


Citibank® Small Business Pulse Finds Sales Growth Isn’t Enough to Keep Cash Flowing


Dell Unveils New Business PCs Designed for the Evolving Workforce




Flexible New AT&T SYN248™ Phone System Gives Small/Medium-Sized Businesses A Jump Start For Growth


Versatile Office Phone Delivers Cost-Effective Solution with Comprehensive Functionality and Easy Installation Out of the Box to Support up to 24 Users


BEAVERTON, Ore.,  – Advanced American Telephones, which manufactures AT&T-branded telephones under a license agreement with AT&T Intellectual Property, announced availability of the Syn248™ Deskset and Gateway business phone system, specifically designed for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB). The Syn248 solution boasts robust features such as easy do-it-yourself installation and setup, the ability to integrate into an existing network and convenient management through a web-based user interface.

The Syn248 is unmatched in price for performance, enabling startups, small and medium businesses to do more for less.With only two components, the system is easy to set up, eliminates the need for extra cabling with its dual-port Ethernet connection and requires no additional hardware or add-on components to expand the system or configure features. Perfect for companies looking to replace small legacy PBXs and Key Systems, the Syn248 can support 24 users straight out of the box with all of the functionality needed to maximize productivity.

The Syn248 is scalable to grow with the business by easily adding a second Gateway for up to eight analog lines total. The system is easy to manage with intuitive web-based administration capabilities and sophisticated call routing, using up to four built-in auto attendants to customize recordings for each department or division of the company. Simplifying call management, the auto attendant enables dial-by-name in-bound call routing, as well as the option to reach an operator as needed. Additional features include:

  • Support for 24 users out-of-the-box
  • Up to 8 analog lines (4 per SB35010 Gateway)
  • Multi-line appearances
  • Large backlit displays
  • Easy web-based administration
  • User customizable buttons on phones; pre-configured with commonly used and convenient features
  • Built-in voicemail, with 30 minutes recording time
  • 50/100 station/system phonebook
  • Built-in auto attendant with custom recording of on-hold message
  • Dial-by-name (first or last) functionality and operator selectable day and night modes
  • Limited 2-year warranty

For more information on the new Syn248 telephone system and the complete line of AT&T SMB telephony products, please visit


New Citibank® Small Business Pulse Finds Sales Growth Isn’t Enough to Keep Cash Flowing

Despite cash flow challenges, 78% have given payment extensions to customers


NEW YORK — Maintaining and increasing sales is the most important short term business issue for 74% of small business owners, 41% of whom cite lackluster consumer spending as the root cause, according to the Citibank® Small Business Pulse released today.

Both the cause and effect of weak sales lead to cash flow concerns. According to the survey, 50% of respondents have experienced a sudden cash crunch in the last 12 months. Despite the need for careful cash management, 78% of small business owners have given payment extensions to customers.

“We admire and support the resilience and commitment shown by small business owners who find ways to move their companies forward,” said Jerome Byers, head of Citibank Small Business. “In recent years, companies have tightened belts, gained efficiency and reinvented their businesses to survive in a tough economy.”


Managing cash flow is a job most small business owners won’t trust to anyone but themselves. Nearly three quarters (73%) say they are “on top of it” and manage their cash flow daily. Thirty percent of respondents say the greatest challenge to managing cash is slow/delinquent receivables and bankruptcies, while 24% blame late or non-payments for a sudden cash crunch in the last 12 months. Yet 23% of respondents find making a collection call the most uncomfortable business finance challenge – second only to reducing staff (35%). Referring to the need for sales, 28% report that their sudden cash crunch was due to sales that did not pick up as expected.


Despite a quarter-to-quarter reduction in confidence, small businesses report slightly better business conditions than a year ago. In August 2012, 38% of respondents found business conditions positive, increasing from 34% in August 2011. Another 25% say business conditions are poor, relatively flat from the last survey in May (23%), but reduced significantly from 31% a year ago. Still concerned about the future, 85% of those surveyed believe the economy may experience another downturn. That number is slightly lower than the 90% who expected it a year ago.

When asked about their own business situations, owners report similar quarterly and yearly trends, with 34% claiming that 2012 will end up better than business was last year, but only 27% saying they have seen that improvement by August. Comparing short-term frustration to full-year results, 43% project actual sales growth for 2012 over last year. In fact, 42% of respondents expect 2012 business sales or revenue to meet their goals and 14% expect to exceed goals.


Consistent with last quarter, more than half of respondents (52%) have reinvented their businesses to stay afloat or be more competitive in today’s marketplace. In August, 60% of respondents said they have added or changed the products they offer. Another 51% of “reinventors” overhauled their technology infrastructure, including replacing networks, computer systems and software systems. Among those who made changes, 40% say the initial trigger for reinvention was simply a feeling that something needed to change. Based on that gut reaction, they recommend research and to “get educated” as the first step in making those changes happen.


Dell Unveils New Business PCs Designed for the Evolving Workforce


Reveals first enterprise-class Ultrabook, 10-inch touch-optimized tablet and All-in-One PC


ROUND ROCK, Texas, –Dell has unveiled new additions to its state-of-the-art portfolio of business-class computers enabling companies to give employees devices they want to use while maintaining the IT security and manageability necessary for enterprise-class deployments. The three new devices include the Latitude 10-inch touch-enabled tablet, the Latitude 6430u Ultrabook that brings leading design to the boardroom, and a touch-enabledOptiPlex 9010 All-in-One desktop helping people interact with technology in more intuitive ways.

The Latitude 10 is a 10-inch tablet that takes advantage of the latest advances in touch-enabled applications and allows businesses to confidently bring tablets into their enterprises. The Latitude 10 fits easily into current IT environments by supporting existing Microsoft productivity applications and plugging into existing management consoles. Like all Latitude products, the Latitude 10 is engineered for business productivity by providing easy support and maintenance like a swappable battery and robust security options like Dell Data Protection | Encryption, which encrypts all data from the hard drive to the USB port.

Dell Latitude 6430u

The Latitude 6430u is a 14-inch Ultrabook that strikes the balance between aesthetic appeal and corporate needs with the combination of security, manageability and durability in a thin, highly-mobile form factor and striking design. Designed to meet the to meet MIL-STD-810G testing, a United States Military test standard where systems are subjected to the harshest conditions, the 14-inch Latitude takes durability to new extremes . The new design is 33 percent slimmer and 16 percent lighter than Dell’s current 14-inch Latitude notebook, making it a desirable option for mobile workers. Preliminary battery life testing shows all-day productivity with a single battery charge1, an advantage for road warriors and always on-the-go sales executives.

The sleek OptiPlex 9010 23-inch All-in-One continues to empower productivity while preserving precious desk space. As businesses incorporate touch interfaces into work environments, collaboration and productivity can increase, but some workers have space limitations. The business-class All-in-One offers options for a multipoint touchscreen, fixed or rotating camera, and an articulating stand to optimize the user’s work experience.

The Latitude 10, Latitude 6430u and OptiPlex 9010 AIO will be available for sale with the launch of Windows 8. More details on global pricing and dates will be announced when available.

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Carolyn Crummey is a business and technology strategist and the owner of VirTasktic (, 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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