Profile of Benjamin Tomkins
News & Commentary Posts: 259
Articles by Benjamin Tomkins
College football season is in the first quarter and the NFL season about to kickoff. Take your football experience mobile this fall by arming yourself with the best mobile apps for following your team, be it fantasy or real, and staying in the game no matter where you roam. Here's 20 of the best.
The technology resource for small and midsize business is now fully integrated with InformationWeek to provide users with even broader technology resources.
Almost three quarters of decision makers in small and midsize companies know the same or less about cloud computing than they did a year ago.
Understanding the potential of the cloud and spreading that message across your organization is the idea behind Google's cloud calculator.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has put BP in headlines, but not in a way that reflects well on the oil company. Business owners take note: you can learn from BP's mistakes.
Getting paid is crucial to success for any SMB and processing payments efficiently and effectively and offering customers appealing payment options can let any smaller business compete with bigger companies.
Good relationships between business owners and financial institutions affect loan approval and in a growing economy they can mean lower rates for small businesses.
50% of CFOs in the IT industry believe the U.S. economy will improve in the next six months, a more bullish outlook than their counterparts in other industries according to a national survey.
A significant majority of small businesses believe that they will lead the U.S. Out of recession and plan to increase hiring and spending on sales and marketing this year.
Analyst research comparing midmarket SaaS and on-premises CPM solutions finds significantly lower TCO for on-demand options.
Every business needs a website, but developing a website that performs for your business takes careful planning and time.
Hiring the right people is as important to your success as your IT infrastructure. Take your team building to the next level with these 10 tips.
Promising to streamline vendor and service provider selection for business owners, ChoiceVendor brings a "wisdom-of-crowds" models to B2B provider ratings.
The latest Small Business Scorecard indicates continued increases in hiring and a significant uptick in business owner confidence about the economy.
According to the latest Small Business Employment Index, the hiring rate for small businesses has reached a three-year high.
According to the findings of a new survey, most software CEOs and CFO see a return to pre-recession levels this year and cloud computing, particularly among SMBs, is the big driver for the rebound.
According to a CompTIA survey, 80% of SMBs wants technology solutions that "deliver immediate payback in terms of minimum disruption of business continuity and seamless integration with existing solutions" and are most interested in virtualization, unified communications, and mobile.
According to a recent ranking of women-led companies, the 50 fastest-growing businesses with women at the helm grossed $2.3 billion in 2009 and all but 4% plan to hire this year.
On Earth Day, environmental responsibility gets top billing, but the businesses can slash power costs with a few simple energy conservation tips and go green at the same time.
Despite the widely-spouted axiom that small businesses will lead us out of the recession, few Americans actually want to start a small business.
New data and a free eBook about the leading e-commerce sites delves into how the most successful sites keep their conversion rates higher than Amazon.com
The latest Cisco offerings from Cisco focus on delivering cost-effective, accessible networking equipment to SMBs that lack robust IT resources.
With vendors making a hard push to capture the SMB printing market, the results of the a new survey identify the printing pain points for small and midsize businesses.
HP's latest printers for small and midsize businesses include the company's "plug and print" technology that enables printing within 2 minutes of connecting with no install CD.
Smartphones and intimate relations ranked equally as the one thing that business professionals cannot live without according to the results of a new SMB survey.
According to the findings of a new survey of small businesses owners, 70% expect growth in 2010 and almost 40% plan to hire additional employees.
Online hiring is on the rise with strong demand for mobile, social media, open source ,and cloud computing skills in particular according to data from online talent marketplace Elance.
Data Robotics new NAS storage unit offers small businesses and remote offices an affordable backup solution that requires minimal management and can expand to meet changing needs.
In a welcome bit of good cheer amid these challenging economic times, the SBA has announced the Small Business People of the Year for 2010.
Though the latest job numbers push into positive territory, unemployment remains high and wages stagnant even in IT, but there's some good news for SMBs.
April 1st unleashes the silly and the search provider continues its tradition of creative hoaxes by renaming the company.
Despite some isolated bright spots about the economy, a bevy of recent data on SMB confidence and hiring indicates business owners see the glass as not even half full.
Multifunction and single-function laser printers offer low printing costs, reliability, and productivity features for small and midsize businesses.
U.S. Small businesses created approximately 50,000 new jobs in March and almost 175,000 since mid 2009, while wages and hours worked remained flat.
Despite the cost cutting prompted by the great recession, SMBs are holding the line on wireless spending and see mobile as crucial to remaining competitive and surviving.
The U.S. Division of the German vendor has signed three channel partners and is targeting mid-market companies with an aggressively priced, SaaS IT management solution.
Stress levels for business owners are at an all-time high and most believe that hording cash is a better strategy than investing in the business.
The ubiquitous social networking platform continues to grow like wildfire and last week unseated Google as the Web traffic leader for the first time since 2007.
With consumers flocking to mobile devices in droves, businesses need to meet customers where they are. These 5 tips will help your business navigate the mobile Web.
A new survey of local merchants finds that most see the economy holding steady in the doldrums and widespread caution about hiring or spending.
Competing directly with Google Voice, Bandwidth.com introduces free inbound cloud-based phone services with call routing and auto-attendant features.
Dell is offering SMBs a fully-integrated, disk-based back backup solution with available deduplication that can be installed in less than 30 minutes.
Dell unveils four new laptops designed for small and medium businesses that lack in-house IT staff.
With the release IP Office 6.0, Avaya seeks to bring unified communications within reach for cost-conscious small businesses.
With the release IP Office 6.0, Avaya seeks to bring unified communications within reach for cost-conscious small businesses.
Microsoft announces its betting big on cloud computing and discontinues its midmarket server offering.
Tax day is almost here and business owners are diligently itemizing deductions and calculating depreciation - keep your chances your return being audited with these tips.
SMB email marketers are seeing results from incorporating more video and social media into campaigns; 64% have boosted conversion rates using video email.
More than 40% of business owners expect it will be a year or more before their business rebounds from the great recession.
ADTRAN's NetVanta 7000 Series will now interoperate with Cbeyond's BeyondVoice services for SMBs.
Test results indicate up to 50% boost in mobile email performance from Akamai-optimization of AppRiver Secure Hosted Exchange solution.
The 2 new network storage platforms in the Netgear ReadyNAS product line support up to 500 users and are optimized for storage virtualization applications.
The most strategic vendors for SMBs may be the same as for large enterprises. Or, the local and regional vendors that keep serve the IT needs of smaller businesses may just fly under the radar of national and global vendor rankings.
Recent reports indicate the SMB use of social media is increasing at a steady clip, but other research finds that the commitment may be lackluster.
The offering combines unified communications with the low-cost, turnkey appeal of SaaS, but it is still not clear that SMBs see the value of UC.
Despite efforts in Washington to incent job creation among smaller businesses, customer demand remains the leading driver for hiring.
Small business owners are more optimistic about the economic outlook than a year ago, but lack of customer demand and anxiety about solvency keeps a majority from pursuing additional credit.
Building on its Secured Seal brand, VeriSign introduces a new trust mark reputation management program for SMB and enterprise sites that don't need SSL certifications.
A study finds that almost one of every five small business owners now actively uses social media for their business.
Vying to be a one-stop shop for business IT, Staples seeks to grab the SMB market with "high-touch" services that can extend in-house IT efforts or provide full-service IT outsourcing.
Today marks my return to the exciting, dynamic world of small and midsize businesses IT. It's good to be back. Moreover, it's a good time to be back on this beat. With signs of economic recovery flickering on the horizon, SMBs are poised to compete on a playing field that technology continues to level.
Calculators provide clear concise answers -- that's the appeal, but for a question as complex and abstract as "will my business succeed" reducing probability to a single percentage is more parlor trick than useful tool -- fortunately a new free online calculator looks (a little bit) deeper.
Knowing how customers find your business can help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing, but understanding what those customers are looking for and where they're located can help you drive more revenue for your existing business and even develop new products and services.
Verizon Business is touting the security and availability of its new cloud-based Computing as a Service (CaaS) solution.
SMBs may benefit from increasingly connected applications as developers offer Web apps through the new federated applications capability of Intuit's Platform-as-a-Service.
The open source ERP vendor has launched xChange, an online marketplace for extensions and add-ons to xTuple ERP including two new offerings from xTuple.
With every dime precious, taking time off from work, much less an actual vacation, might seem to be an unthinkable luxury, but it turns out that small business owners are planning vacations this summer at about the same rate as last year.
Earlier this year, bMighty launched a PC Giveaway contest and now we're pleased to introduce you to that deserving small business owner who won.
Echoing the bMighty mantra, Wired's Chris Anderson declares that the new economy emerging from the meltdown favors small over large.
For small and midsize businesses that outsource manufacturing, managing the supply chain is crucial to success. Moving the cloud can allows business, customers, and supply partners lower costs and maintain flexibility.
The recession is scaring the bejesus out businesses of every stripe, but owners of small and midsize businesses have been to the brink of failure before -- many times -- and know how to survive.
For today's mobile businesses, accepting payment from any location at any time is crucial to maintaining cash flow and increasing business -- cash only doesn't cut it anymore. A new offering from Intuit offers businesses another option for taking payment via mobile phones (and not just smartphones).
The results of a recent study from AMI-Partners indicate that more than half of small businesses now consider social media to be a significant factor in acquiring customers and retaining existing customers.
Amid the government power players and big business representatives at National Small Business Week, 9 small business leaders took the spot light to tell a congressional committee about their businesses and how they're coping with the recession.
Containing small business to a single week is ridiculous. SMBs are the economic engine that will lead us out of this recession whether we celebrate them during National Small Business week or not.
HP's latest offering for small businesses bolsters a broadening portfolio of SMB solutions that make cost containment a top priority.
If there was ever a time to think out of the box about ways to cut costs, it's now. One tactic that's hardly new, but deserves another look is telecommuting (or Web commuting). Rather than thinking outside the box, you may want to think outside of the office.
Saving money is always important, but in these economic times it's the difference between staying in business and closing up shop. As the recession grinds on the cost cutting resources are growing.
Differentiation is what makes your business more appealing to customers. You can differentiate your business with the quality of your products and services, your pricing, customer support, and myriad other ways, but keep your ears perked up for four words that mean you're not standing out from your competitors.
Cutting back on advertising in a recession is tempting, but if you slash your marketing spend, your competition may seize the opportunity to grow their market share. What you can do is make your marketing more effective. Here's 10 ways to get more from your online advertising.
With cash tight the last thing your business needs right now is a lawsuit. But the inevitable collection difficulties that come with a recession increase the likelihood of a business dispute. Here's 5 tips to help your business steer clear of litigation and handle it effectively if it does happen to you.
Where to spend scarce dollars on IT is a never ending challenge for business owners. Deciding which investments in infrastructure, hardware, or software will yield the most return is a black art, but according CIOs these 10 places are a good place to start.
Despite the recession we're mired in this Earth Day, the majority of business owners say environmental issues are just as important as the economy and more than a third focus more on the environment now than ever before. And thanks to new technologies, going green is more achievable than ever before.
Positioned as the first cloud operating system, VMWare's vSphere 4 provides SMBs with virtualization options for as little as $166 per processor.
Furthering the integration of LeftHand Networks, HP is rolling out LeftHand's SAN/iQ-iSCSI storage area network software and its own Virtual Storage Appliance for BladeSystem servers, allowing storage for multiple blade chassis on one SAN.
Seeking to ease development and expansion of virtualization platforms, HP introduces 3 new thin clients incorporating the Windows Embedded Standard Operating System.
Figuring out your tax strategy after you've already spent the money and booked the revenue may work fine, but if you head further upstream and structure your financial management processes you can make tax prep easier, maximize your deductions, and minimize your tax liability.
Consumers and business-users can't get enough of Web 2.0 applications. Businesses love the quick deployment, adaptability, and potential to drive sales and increase customer engagement. But Web 2.0 apps have a catch: an insatiable appetite for server computing power.
With 3 business days remaining until the tax filing deadline, it's late to be thinking about deductions. However, if you haven't filed yet, you might be able to slip it under the wire and it's never too early to makes plans for TY 2009 deductions.
The nightmare scenario that every business owners dreads is an IRS audit. It brings your business to a halt and it can get much worse once the books are open. However, certain things make auditors more likely to target your business. Read on and adapt accordingly.
Taking on the IRS may seem folly, but if your tax return is adjusted, you can contest the examination and appeal the adjustment. But to have a chance of winning your appeal, you need to know your rights.
Due to the recession, cash flow is crucial for small businesses, sole proprietors, and individuals. Though the infusion of capital from your tax refund likely won't save your business it can be a welcome influx for any strapped organizations. Plus, it's your money anyway -- don't risk delaying getting it back by making these mistakes.
If you've waited until the last minute to file your returns these tips may make the process easier for you and can help you out on your next quarterly payment as well.
With the launch of Mobile Lite, Salesforce.com now offers customers free mobile access to Salesforce CRM. The new application provides a subset of features available with Salesforce.com on-demand CRM mobile application.
A little more than a week remains before the tax filing deadline, but it's not too late to maximize your refund or lay a foundation for a bigger return on your return next year.
Need a cash infusion? You can forget about banks or VCs? Those traditional funding sources are strapped or stingy or both. If your businesses needs a significant investment to tap a new market, lock down the one you have, or upgrade equipment, you'll need to get creative.
With Windows Server Foundation, Microsoft makes a bid for the 15-employee and smaller business server market and gives chase to the 70% of SMBs that don't have a server.
Spending more to spend less? That's HPs claim for the new line of ProLiant G6 rack, blade, and tower servers. But do Nehalem processors, improved power management, enhanced automation, and seductive financing make it so?
That insanely boastful ROI figure comes courtesy of the Direct Marketing Association. The organization estimates that e-mail marketing can generate $57 for every dollar invested. But even if that figure doubles reality it doesn't explain reports that 60% of smaller businesses haven't even tried e-mail marketing. What are you waiting for?
According to the findings of a new study from Microsoft, more than half of small and midsize business will spend the same or more on IT in the coming year with priorities on virtualization, IT consolidation, business intelligence, SaaS, and supporting remote workers.