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IT news and analysis for small and medium-size businesses
  • 2005: End of year: Top predictions for 2006

    Posted December 15, 2005 - 9:46 pm

    Boldly going where we should know better than to go, we humbly offer our top predictions for IT in 2006.
  • Microsoft cuts price, still lags in hosted CRM

    Posted December 13, 2005 - 11:15 am

    When Microsoft began shipping its new Dynamics CRM 3.0 update last week, it also tweaked the software's licensing structure to encourage more partners to offer the CRM (customer relationship management) system as a hosted, subscription service. But Microsoft's change is essentially a cosmetic one: The architectural overhaul necessary to make Microsoft a true force in the on-demand software market won't happen until Dynamics CRM's next update, scheduled for release no sooner than 2007.
  • Microsoft eyes services for business

    Posted December 9, 2005 - 10:36 am

    In the face of competition from Google and other online services providers targeting the consumer and SMB markets, Microsoft is accelerating development of new Web-delivered business services. By analyzing recent moves by the software giant, this article provides a glimpse into the company's plans.
  • Study: Lack of app support stunting Linux

    Posted December 2, 2005 - 1:46 pm

    Three major factors are hindering Linux deployment on the desktop, according to a recent online survey of 3,300 users: incompatibility with Windows applications, issues with installing and managing peripherals, and user discomfort with the open-source operating system.
  • Buy now, save on taxes

    Posted November 28, 2005 - 1:09 pm

    A tax incentive created in 2003 and extended to 2007 by a special provision in the American Jobs Creation Act allows SMBs to deduct up to $105,000 for new computers and software purchased by the end of this year.
  • Google Shakes Up Web Analytics World

    Posted November 15, 2005 - 5:00 pm

    In March, Google purchased analytics company Urchin Software Corporation. Now, it's rebranded the service as Google Analytics, expanded the service, and made it available to everyone for free.

  • Solution providers seeing record outsourced IT sales

    Posted November 14, 2005 - 1:19 pm

    ConnectWise VARs (value-added resellers) that provide outsourced IT services for SMBs said at a recent conference that they are expecting record growth and double-digit margins this year, indicating that SMBs are embracing the fixed, monthly fee-for-services model for outsourcing.
  • Retention tension

    Posted November 7, 2005 - 2:49 pm

    At an IT-dependent SMB that provides payment services, the CTO makes sure IT professionals have Fridays free to work on pet projects, monthly group lunches with business users, and other enticements to ensure they find their work interesting. It is part of an overall retention strategy to make sure his IT people -- who comprise about a quarter of the company's total employees -- aren't looking for employment elsewhere.
  • Locking down the Internet

    Posted October 31, 2005 - 2:39 pm

    Employees given free reign to use the Internet at the office not only end up squandering an average of two hours a day on non-work-related surfing, according to one study, they also are prone to introducing spyware and other threats to your network. But, limits on access must be weighed against productivity and legal, ethical and moral issues, this article notes. The IT department must walk a fine line in coming up with the right Internet access policy.
  • The state of ILM best practices

    Posted October 24, 2005 - 12:41 pm

    Interest in Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is growing amid regulatiory requirements for company data protection, but no best practices have yet emerged. It's up to IT professionals to lead the charge.
  • Ecommerce Future So Bright - Ya Gotta Wear Shades

    Posted October 11, 2005 - 1:12 pm

    Ebusinesses may want to stock up on the shades - because the future for ecommerce looks very bright. Technology research firm Forrester predicts that US ecommerce sales will nearly double in the next five years, growing from the current $172 billion total to $329 billion in 2010.
  • The spam vigilantes

    Posted October 11, 2005 - 10:53 am

    An Israeli start-up is taking a vigilante approach to the spam problem, forming its customers into a posse to wage the equivalent of a DDoS attack on the spammers.
  • VoIP on the go: New wireless solutions

    Posted October 3, 2005 - 10:55 am

    VoIP over wireless network, or VoWLAN, promises to accelerate the adoption of VoIP among SMBs. This article examines the current VoWLAN options from vendors such as Cisco, Hitachi and others.
  • Extending Firefox: 10 Top Extensions for Web Builders

    Posted September 27, 2005 - 2:46 pm

    Here are ten of the best Firefox extensions for Web developers.
  • Strange and Unusual Web Browsers

    Posted September 20, 2005 - 3:16 pm

    People are accessing the web in more ways than ever, using mobile phones, PDAs and even portable gaming systems. Wireless Web browsing is a popular feature, and is showing up in gadgets of all types. Most sites get the bulk of their traffic from Internet Explorer and Firefox users, and, to a lesser extent, Netscape and Safari users. Look beyond the major browsers, though, and you may find some strange and unusual web browsers are being used to access your website.
  • Web Developers Need iPods

    Posted September 13, 2005 - 10:03 am

    Apple has been on a roll lately, introducing one product after another that captures people's imagination, and setting the standard for "cool" in technology. Their biggest buzz recently has been because of the iPod. iPods are selling like hotcakes, and with each iteration, Apple seems to come up with something better.
  • Mobile solutions for the SMB on the go

    Posted September 12, 2005 - 12:15 pm

    While the market abounds with mobile connectivity solutions, it seems that no one solution is quite enough for the mobile SMB worker. In one location, a WiFi hotspot is available; in another, you can access a wireless network; or in another, you can use your handheld device. But it seems it really takes a combination of these solutions to satisfy the needs of most road warriors.
  • IM market chat: From text to VoIP

    Posted September 12, 2005 - 11:08 am

    Over 1 billion IM accounts will be in use worldwide by 2009, according to the Radicati Group; by the end of this year, the firm expects 867 million accounts to be in use, with 51 million of those on enterprise networks.
  • The need for e-mail resilience

    Posted September 8, 2005 - 3:46 pm

    While e-mail plays an essential role in improving workforce productivity, it also creates a glut of information for most organizations and a storage nightmare for IT departments. This article looks at why enterprises should consider establishing a resilient framework for the efficient retention and retrieval of e-mail.
  • Flood waters can't sink net link

    Posted September 6, 2005 - 8:18 am

    One SMB, a Web hosting company operating from a New Orleans highrise, has managed to stay online amid the devastation all around it and is, in fact, publishing a blog that has been getting about 3,000 hits an hour.
  • Compliance for multinationals

    Posted August 25, 2005 - 4:28 pm

    Globalization helped BasWare, a financial management software manufacturer founded in 1985 in Finland, to expand into eight different subsidiaries scattered throughout Europe and the United States. But now that the company is multinational, executives are grappling with how to comply with a growing assortment of regulations covering data privacy, accounting, and financial reporting in each of these locations.
  • Sex and Web Design

    Posted August 24, 2005 - 11:36 am

    Ebusinesses may need to start thinking more about the sex of both their audience and site designers. Researchers have found that "men and women really are poles apart when it comes to what catches their eye on the internet." The idea that companies should consider gender in making design decisions may be controversial, but ignoring gender preferences may be even more risky.
  • Backup ROI

    Posted August 11, 2005 - 4:18 pm

    For most CIOs, investing in better backup practices is not only a matter of being prepared for worst-case scenarios, it also involves avoiding financial disaster as well. Primarily, CIOs need to assess how well they protect data and can rapidly recover from -- and avoid -- downtime due to data loss. "If you live by data, you will die by not having it," says Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst for The Enterprise Strategy Group.
  • The botnet threat

    Posted August 11, 2005 - 4:14 pm

    Our digital world has faced a multitude of information security threats over the years, including worms, viruses, phishing, and spam. Now hackers have a new tool at their disposal: botnets. Botnets foster trade in the spread of malicious code (aka malware), stolen identities, and stolen computing resources by establishing a commercial network behind them.
  • U.S. airlines lag on Net access

    Posted August 9, 2005 - 9:10 am

    Overseas airlines have embraced wireless in-flight Internet access, so why haven't American airlines? They just don't see an ROI proposition that justifies the costs and drawbacks.
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