Tech Thursday (10/3): Tech News and Updates from Comcast Business, Leaf, Epson and IBM

It’s Tech Thursday from Each week we take a quick look at recent small business and technology news and updates for the small business community and share them with you in a quick and simple round-up.




Comcast Business Adds New Mobility Features to Business VoiceEdge


Mobile App, Teleworker, Softphone and HD Video Calling Keep Today’s Mobile Workforce Connected and Productive from Anywhere



Comcast Business announced new capabilities for Business VoiceEdge™, a cloud-based PBX solution for SMBs, that extends its unified communications (UC) and video calling features to today’s increasingly distributed and mobile workforce. Now users can benefit from having their UC features easily managed from their iOS- or Android-based mobile phone.

“As organizations continue to integrate cloud computing and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) into the work place, there is an increasing need for mobile solutions that will deliver unified communications across today’s agile workforce,” said Diane Myers, Principal Analyst, VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research. “Implementing a mobile work environment will enable today’s distributed workforce to communicate, collaborate, and deliver better customer service, and in turn provide organizations with increased productivity, reduced costs and an improved business processes.”

The following new capabilities are available now for current and new Business VoiceEdge customers:

  • VoiceEdge mobile application – Available as a free download for iOS and Android operating systems, the mobile app provides an easy-to-use interface to manage business voicemail and “Be Anywhere” features that allow business calls to be answered from virtually any phone, anywhere.
  • Teleworker – Business VoiceEdge can be installed at an employee’s home office, providing the same voice capabilities at home that they have in the office.
  • Softphone – Available for PC or Mac, this application allows users to make and receive phone calls directly from their computer using their business phone number. When used in conjunction with a video camera, it also enables video calling.
  • Video calling – This capability enables point-to-point HD-quality video calls for Business VoiceEdge phones with a built-in camera, or built-in or external cameras used in conjunction with the Business VoiceEdge softphone. Customers can easily add video during a phone call with the press of a button.

For more on this new features, click here.



Leaf Closes $20 Million in Funding to Advance Open Commerce Platform and Mobile POS



Investment from Heartland Payment Systems® Accelerates Development to Enable Greater Merchant Choice


Leaf , creator of the LeafPresenterTM, a tablet specifically designed for commerce, today announced it has closed $20 million in its first round of institutional funding from Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payments processors business solutions. The funding will accelerate Leaf’s mission to provide a unified, open commerce platform that redefines the way brick and mortar merchants operate. The Leaf platform enables integrated commerce solutions and gives merchants the ability to choose the business tools that best fit their needs. Leaf will use the funds to advance manufacturing capabilities of its proprietary, purpose-built tablet, the LeafPresenter, and expand its team of talented developers and employees to grow the LeafBusinessTM application and the Leaf AppstoreTM.

In addition to the investment, Heartland has also joined Leaf’s growing network of distribution partners with its national sales force of more than 800 relationship managers.

By bundling Leaf with their core payment products, organizations like Heartland and others within the Leaf Membership Network can strengthen their relationships with merchants by delivering additional value-added business tools, while also benefiting from new revenue streams and more loyal customers. Early partners of the program have substantially increased new merchant acquisition.

For more on this story, click here.



New Epson Connect Features Extend Mobile Printing Capabilities for Home and Business


Print, Create and Share from Anywhere with Free Epson Connect Solutions


Catering to today’s increasingly mobile lifestyles and productivity needs, Epson America, Inc. today announced several enhancements to its suite of free Epson Connect™ mobile printing solutions, making it easier and more powerful than ever for users to print documents, photos, emails and web pages from anywhere in the world using an Epson Connect -enabled printer and an iPad®, iPhone®, tablet, smartphone, or computer.

Headlining the robust set of upgrades is the all new Epson Creative Print App, enabling consumers to unleash their creativity and share customized photos, personal messages and more. With Epson Creative Print, users can access and print photos directly from their Facebook account and transform their photos into memorable keepsakes. Use Creative Print to create unique greeting cards and stationery, print onto CD/DVDs, and even turn photos into personalized coloring book templates.

Epson Connect mobile printing features and enhancements include:

  • New Epson Creative Print App – Access and print Facebook photos, create custom greeting cards and stationery, print onto CD/DVDs, and turn photos into coloring book templates using this app on iPad, iPhone or Android tablet and phones.
  • Epson iPrint™ App – iPrint transforms smartphones and tablets into a powerful productivity tool. Easily access files from Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive, and print them from anywhere even within complex corporate networks. Transfer files from USB drives or memory cards using the slots on the printer, or scan from a nearby Epson printer, then email or share files online.
  • Epson E-mail Print – Remotely send documents and photos from any email-enabled device directly and simultaneously to multiple Epson printers with unique email addresses for printed output from 4” x 6” up to 11”x 17.”
  • Epson Remote Print – Streamline productivity without worrying about formatting or adjusting fonts. Simply print remotely from a computer or laptop to an Epson email-enabled printer anywhere in the world using any Windows® or Mac application with a print function.

For more about these cool new features, click here.


IBM Acquires Xtify to Help Digital Marketers Reach Mobile Customers



Delivering Cloud-based Mobile Alerts for Consumer Brand Offers


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the acquisition of Xtify Inc.,a leading provider of cloud-based mobile messaging tools that help organizations improve mobile sales, drive in-store traffic and engage customers with personalized offers. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

The acquisition will help extend IBM’s mobile capabilities to digital marketers across all industries ranging from retail to citizen engagement in the public sector through cloud-based services.

Xtify will expand IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative providing campaign creation, personalized content, dynamic real-time segmentation and analytics for all mobile devices and browsers. The technology is designed to help companies engage, convert and retain mobile application users and site visitors. Xtify’s cloud-based campaign management platform notifies mobile consumers when new content and promotions are available – helping businesses deepen connections with their customers.

Mobile communication channels are completely transforming the way that organizations interact with their customers. Consumers expect personalized messages and promotional offers based on expressed interests and shopping and browsing habits. Together, Xtify and IBM will provide marketers with a new opportunity for client engagement anytime, anywhere, as consumers traverse across multiple digital channels – browsing in stores, shopping on mobile web sites or other online channels.

For ore on this acquisition, click here.


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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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