Profile of Benjamin Tomkins
News & Commentary Posts: 259
Articles by Benjamin Tomkins
posted in September 2008
During the dot com boom, option grants and stock prices dominated water cooler conversation. Then after that blew up, financial small talk shifted to how far underwater those (worthless) options were, but even that dismay was leavened by the relentless increases in real estate values. Now the talk is about what bank will fail next, will the credit markets seize up entirely, and when your essential business equipment will be liquidated.
The semiannual cycle of contests for small and midsize businesses is once again in full swing and businesses with the time and wherewithal to develop a worthy entry have a legitimate shot at scoring some attractive swag from BlackBerry Curves to IT infrastructure makeovers to $100,000.
With a wink and a nod to its roots as a no frills provider of office supplies for SMBs, big box behemoth, Staples is rolling out Thrive, a three-service offering that purports to hit the "Easy" button for IT operations.
A longstanding quip about advertising is that half of it works, but no one know which half. A glass half-empty response to this adage might be to scale back marketing efforts. But, on the other side of that coin is the view that predicting which marketing efforts will work is impossible, so no business can afford to miss an opportunity to connect with customers. Yet, that's exactly what more than half of small businesses are doing by NOT (yes NOT) having a Web site.
After a full day of sessions at the bMighty SMB Theater and Pavilion, we're ready to do it all over again on day two with another full slate of sessions for small and midsize businesses.
Wringing every last drop of performance from the network is vital to any business, particularly growing businesses without big bucks for infrastructure upgrades. Getting the most from what you have is the appeal of network optimization -- a new appliance from Riverbed dangles the promise of not only bandwidth efficiency, but also reduced server and storage costs.
Business innovation may come from out-of-the-box thinking, but for ease and simplicity there's undeniable appeal to keeping things in the box. That's the concept behind HP's Adaptive Infrastructure in a Box -- everything's in the box, open it up and you're up and running faster than you can say Happy Meal.
Intuit heats up the SaaS competition with the announcement of a new application suite combining sales, warehouse, and field service management -- QuickBooks adds much need power and Intuit announces ambitions beyond financial management.
When you rank at the top of the most desired employer list year after year, your stock price is perpetually flying high, and even the naysayers blunt their criticisms with homage to your "smarts," some cranial swelling is inevitable. Though premature to cite historical precedents of hubris run amok, it's nonetheless high time to ask: who the #@*&$%! do these Googler's think they are?
No matter if you're on Barack Obama's bandwagon, reveling in McCain's number 2, Sarah Palin, holding out hope for Nader, polling for Ron Paul, or sitting on the sidelines, you can expect that the results of the coming election will change your businesses' IT budget.
The real cost of printing is not the printer, it's the ink. And everyone knows that color ink costs more. So many growing businesses have a workhorse monochrome printer for day-to-day chores and a color printer that sits quietly in the corner waiting for "special" jobs or just send out color work to a print shop. But two new color laser printers may blur that line and allow small companies to create their own low cost marketing collateral.
Google's open source entry into the browser race is turning heads, not to mention burying buzz about the latest beta of Microsoft's IE 8. Despite the comic book announcement, it's no joke -- for small and growing businesses, increased competition is a good thing because it means better browsing options and more of them.