Technology & Productivity Weekly

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June 27, 2014 Headlines

Five Tips to Creating a Successful Content-Marketing Campaign
Email Security Is Important
Tech Review: Keeping Track of Your Email Time
Understanding Cloud Integration for Small Business
Build a Data Loss Prevention Strategy
16 Tools to Help Make Your Team More Efficient
Microsoft and Salesforce Get Friendly in the Cloud
Why You Should Consider Software-as-a-Service

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Five Tips to Creating a Successful Content-Marketing Campaign

Entrepreneur (06/19/14); Collier, Marsha

There are five recommendations small businesses can follow for creating a successful content-marketing campaign. The first recommendation is knowing the needs of an audience, which will guide the creation of relevant content. Businesses should refrain from repetitive self-referencing, which could potentially deter an audience. Messages should be personalized and direct, and promotional content should be released within a 1-to-7 ratio. Additionally, businesses should schedule content and consider different platforms for sharing; Canva, Instagram and, blogs are popular channels for diversifying Web content. Curating Web content is another strategy for successful content marketing, specifically through automatically sharing content from other pages' RSS feeds. Finally, businesses should track client engagement, which is supported through several free analytics tools. Monitoring and measuring content will allow businesses to more carefully target their messaging and craft informed content marketing campaigns. Read More


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Email Security Is Important

Small Business Technology (06/06/14); Ray, Ramon

Email is a primary mode of communications for modern businesses. However, security remains a huge consideration within the climate of Web-based technology. As data migrates to the cloud, Google is working to ensure email remains secure. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google encrypts all email messages. The Internet giant has published a list of email providers and encryption policies, noting that many providers do not encrypt messages in-transit. Google notes that unencrypted messages are prone to malicious attacks and "snoopers." Currently, Google encrypts messages using Transport Layer Security (TLS), which adds a layer of security between the sender and recipient of an email. Read More


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Tech Review: Keeping Track of Your Email Time

AccountingWEB (06/06/14); Koreto, Richard

Email Stopwatch, a new back, integrates with Microsoft Outlook to monitor users' time spent on email. The app monitors minutes spent writing and reading email, then generates a snapshot to allow users to determine their levels of productivity. The app allows users to download reports about their email habits, even if they are not logged into their own computers. Through Email Stopwatch, users can select a time range and filter their email usage accordingly. Privacy remains a concern for businesses using data through a third-party app like Email Stopwatch, but the company maintains its data only contains information about the addresses of senders, recipients, and time spent on email. The app is available for $50 per month for three users, with 20 reports and customer support; a 14-day free trial is also available. Read More


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Understanding Cloud Integration for Small Business

Small Business Computing (06/05/14); Baker, Pam

Cloud integration is the process of combing on-premise legacy software with Web-based solutions. Small businesses that are considering cloud integration should understand that cloud-based systems include limitations. IT analysts recommend checking with vendors to ensure detailed service level agreements (SLAs) are outlined, particularly with regard to a business' specific needs. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) might not be functional at certain levels, and SMBs might need to consult with third-party programmer or consultant. SMBs must also remember to inquire about the specifics of data ownership, ensuring compliance is followed. Cloud vendors should adapt to a business' needs, and businesses should never settle with a vendor simply because of marketing appeal. Read More


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Build a Data Loss Prevention Strategy

Processor.com (05/30/14)Vol. 36, No. 11,

Creating a sustainable data loss prevention policy is a critical part of risk management. Businesses must understand the multiple ways that a data breach could negatively impact their overall operations, and identify points of vulnerability that should be addressed. Management should then assess the people, processes, and technologies associated with securing a company. Businesses should identify tools that will prevent data breaches and use mobile device management solutions with built-in data loss prevention features. Starting small is a useful strategy for managing different levels of data, while allowing businesses to prioritize mission-critical data. While IT employees can implement data loss prevention solutions, the business unit that manages the selected data component should be responsible for managing its operations following implementation. Read More


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16 Tools to Help Make Your Team More Efficient

Small Business Technology (06/02/14); Young Entrepreneur Council

According to the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), there are 16 tools that entrepreneurs are using to improve their businesses. Github is the first useful project management tool, followed by WeDoIst for collaborating on group to-do lists. For managing customer service, Uservoice allows businesses gauge the efficacy of customer support teams. Spreadsheet troubleshooting is eased by Smartsheet, a collaboration spreadsheet tool that allows users to track metrics in real-time, and includes a 30-day free trial. Docusign, which integrates with QuickBase's customer relationship management application, expedites important paperwork. Basecamp, another project management tool, supports users via notes, organizing tasks, and priority lists. The remaining list of 16 tools is featured on Small Business Technology. Read More


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Microsoft and Salesforce Get Friendly in the Cloud

NewsFactor Network (05/30/14); LeClaire, Jennifer

Microsoft and Salesforce have partnered to release a solution that will link combine customer relationship management and office suite productivity. The Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 and Salesforce for Office 365 will be a collaborative effort aimed at leveraging cloud technology for social computing, mobile computing, and prioritizing business needs. Through the CRM offering, Windows users will be able to share documents via Salesforce1 and analyze data in Office 365. Windows users will have access to the apps on mobile and desktop devices. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says Microsoft has renewed their commitment to using ExactTarget Marketing Cloud for one-to-one digital marketing efforts, while the collaboration presents tremendous potential for innovative business operations. Both Microsoft and Salesforce report the partnership is an effort to prioritize the needs of their clients. Read More


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Why You Should Consider Software-as-a-Service

Processor.com (05/30/14)Vol. 36, No. 11,

There are several reasons accounting firms should consider Software-as-a-Service solutions for, including the fact that SaaS offerings represent the most sizable portion of the recent years' software market. One option for SaaS delivery is selecting a vendor offering a multi-tenant environment where many companies share an instance of an application. Another SaaS delivery option is dedicated infrastructure, where every physical or virtual server is dedicated to one client; generally, this is a more secure option. SaaS have many potential benefits for businesses, including the scalability and pricing options allowing for greater flexibility than on-premise computing solutions. Saving money and time, SMBs can deploy user-friendly SaaS solutions that allow them to remain competitive in an evolving technological climate. However, SaaS deployments are not without drawbacks, including security concerns, third-party downtime, and compliance issues. Read More


LAST UPDATED 6/27/2014