Tech Thursday (12/5): Groupon and SCORE Unite To Help Small Businesses * CenturyLink Announces U.S. Launch of savvisdirect * Toshiba Expands Excite Family of Tablets

Groupon and SCORE Unite To Help Small Businesses


CenturyLink Announces U.S. Launch off savvisdirect


Toshiba Expands Excite Family of Tablets






Groupon and SCORE Unite To Help Small Businesses



Joining Forces with SCORE is a great way for Groupon to Help Small Businesses


Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) announced a partnership with SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to encouraging the formation, growth and success of small businesses. As part of the new alliance, Groupon and SCORE have developed a series of online educational resources about customer acquisition, retention and marketing for small businesses.

“Joining forces with SCORE is a great way for Groupon to help small businesses grow and become more successful,” said Sanjay Gupta, VP of Merchant Marketing, Groupon. “Given SCORE’s thousands of daily interactions with local businesses, we’re able to reach and impact a wide cross section of merchants.”

SCORE and Groupon have begun work on a pragmatic toolkit, which will serve as a resource for small businesses starting out or looking to grow. The toolkit will contain an e-guide on multiple topics of interest to small businesses across all industries, including hospitality and health and beauty. The educational toolkit will reside on SCORE’s website ( and Groupon’s merchant blog ( – a dedicated a resource offering tips and best practices to help local merchants grow their businesses.

“We’re thrilled to have to the opportunity to align ourselves with Groupon, which has worked with hundreds of thousands of local businesses around the world,” said Ken Yancey, CEO, SCORE. “Their innovative merchant products and services and knowledge of marketing best practices are huge assets to our network of small business owners and volunteer mentors.”

SCORE and Groupon will collaborate on research and development, seminars and merchant workshops geared towards entrepreneurs and small business owners.



 CenturyLink Announces US Launch of savvisdirect


CenturyLink gives businesses simple, affordable cloud services with the U.S. launch of savvisdirect


MONROE, La., – PRNewswire/ — CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) has announced that it has combined the strength of its national network with its industry-leading portfolio of Savvis cloud services for the United States launch of savvisdirect, a simple, cost-effective cloud computing solution for businesses of all sizes.

Business users, IT administrators and developers can easily access the savvisdirect web portal to gain instant access to the full range of offerings, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, on-demand virtual servers, storage services and application development platforms. Developers have a broad range of server and scalable storage options. IT administrators have one place to procure, configure and manage cloud services. Business users simply have a cloud that works, with service level agreements and 24/7 support.

“IT may be complex, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated,” said Andrew Higginbotham, president of savvisdirect. “Savvisdirect gives all businesses enterprise-level IT capabilities without the cost and headaches of purchasing, installation and maintenance. Using a credit card, they get hourly or monthly servers and storage, monthly application subscriptions, plus an intuitive Management Console and 24/7 access to IT professionals who can help with technical questions. We turn complex into simple.”

John Hebert, an IT administrator for more than a decade, faced the same challenges that many in his industry have, including the loss of data, failures in email backup and server downtime. After participating in the savvisdirect beta launch, Hebert says the services are easy to use and manage and was impressed with the level of customer service.

“The overall savvisdirect experience is well-geared for businesses, even those who don’t fully understand cloud,” said Hebert. “It’s very clean and easy to use, and it’s nice to have multiple services from a single provider. The Management Console is a launch pad, so navigation is straightforward and brings everything together. The customer support has been great, responsive and knowledgeable.”

Higginbotham said, “We’ve also received high marks from our beta users for our FastForward Onboarding, a feature that lets customers quickly implement our cloud-based applications, servers and storage by choosing the level of support they need along the way. At savvisdirect, we believe getting to the cloud should be fast and easy. We invite businesses of all sizes to give us a try.”

For more information about savvisdirect, visit



 Toshiba Expands Excite Family of Tablets with New 10-Inch Model


New Excite 10 SE Tablet Powered by Android 4.1 Starting at $349.99 MSRP



IRVINE, Calif., – PRNewswire/ — Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., has announced the availability of the Excite™ 10 SE tablet, a multimedia-rich tablet with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, powered by Android™ 4.1, Jelly Bean. The Excite 10 SE offers an affordable option for people looking for a powerful and versatile tablet for the home, starting at only $349.99 MSRP.

“Our Excite family of tablets continues to grow with options to suit a wide range of consumer needs, from portability and gaming to versatility and power,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “We designed the Excite 10 SE to be a full featured tablet that offers a pure Android, Jelly Bean experience, while maintaining an attractive price point.”

The Excite 10 SE features Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, which improves on the simplicity and usability of Android 4.0. Moving between customizable home screens and switching between apps is effortless, while the Chrome™ browser and new Google Now intelligent personal assistant and Voice Search apps makes surfing the web fast and fluid.

Features include:

  • 0.4 inches thick and weighs 22.6 ounces
  • Fusion Lattice finish encasement
  • 10.1-inch vibrant diagonal AutoBrite™ HD Touchscreen Display
  • NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Super 4-PLUS-1™ quad core processor
  • SRS® Premium Voice Pro stereo speakers
  • HD Front facing camera and 3 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto focus and digital zoom
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi® and Bluetooth® 3.0,
  • Micro SD and Micro USB ports

The Excite 10 SE will be available starting at $349.99 MSRP for the 16GB model at select retailers and direct from Toshiba at on December 6, 2012.

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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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