Forbes

Amazon Web Service Explains Its Major Outage…And Other Small Business Tech News

By December 6, 2020December 7th, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Amazon Web Services revealed what caused the major outage last week.

Many AWS operations were impacted last week from an outage that happened in the Northern Virginia region after additions were being made to the capacity of its Kinesis servers, which are used by additional AWS platforms such as Cognito and CloudWatch as well as developers. While the capacity addition set off the outage, it was not the sole reason for it. As capacity was being added, the front-end fleet servers started to exceed the amount of threads permitted by the system and—when the maximum was reached—the trigger started a domino effect creating the outage. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Just to remind, big brands like Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn and Facebook – and many others – rely on AWS to deliver their cloud base products and services. It’s an $8 billion business for Amazon and a major part of the company’s future strategic plans. And yet, even with all that Amazon money, resources and technical know-how…it still went down.  The cloud is powerful. But it’s also not infallible.

2 —Shopify merchants generated record sales of $5.1 billion over the holiday weekend.

Merchants on the popular e-commerce site Shopify broke records from Black Friday and Cyber Monday pulling in $5.1 billion total for the holiday shopping weekend. In 2019, Shopify set a $2.9 billion record which was broken this year by 5pm on the Saturday after Black Friday, a 76 percent increase YOY (year-over-year). According to the data released by Shopify, online sales ramped up 19 days earlier than years past as well with an 84 percent jump in sales the week of Thanksgiving. Sales during the weekend reached their height on Black Friday by 12pm reaching $102 million within a one-hour window. (Source: Motley Fool)

Why this is important for your business:

The smartest small business owners – retailers especially – who pivoted to ecommerce this year are reaping the benefits. It’s platforms like Shopify, and their competitors, that enabled many small firms to stay in business and even profit during this unprecedented recession. This is not a trend. This is permanent.

3 — Small businesses who pivoted to e-commerce saw record sales during Black Friday weekend.

Due to the difficulties brought on for retailers by the coronavirus pandemic, nearly a fourth of small businesses had to close. However, the select businesses who survived shifted to online sales in hopes to continue operations. Many businesses—who used to rely on their in-store offers and special customer experiences—have had to pivot to rely more heavily on their websites, many offering pick-up and online ordering. According to information released by Adobe Analytics, small businesses saw a 110 percent average increase in their online sales throughout the 2020 holiday season so far with a big boost coming during Black Friday weekend. (Source: NBC News)

Why this is important for your business:

Uh…see number 2 above please.

4 — Small business digital platform GoSite landed $40 million.

GoSite— a small business digital platform—recently received $40 million in fundraising. The funds will go toward hiring needed personnel and will help develop and add more features and offerings for small businesses. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s not just ecommerce that’s helping small businesses navigate Covid. It’s the ability to leverage all the digital tools that help a business grow. With so many small businesses needing to transition to online due to the coronavirus, GoSite helps small businesses who operate online with their customer transactions as well as payments, bookings, reviews, messages, websites, listings, all in one place. Over the last year, the platform has doubled their users.

5 —Microsoft Teams got an overhauled calling interface, CarPlay support, and more.

Microsoft announced changes and upgrades to calling features within Teams this past week which include updates to CarPlay support and the calling interface, to name a few. Some of these and additional features will be ready early next year. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Get your people ready. The new calling interface is now going to include calling history, voicemail, and a contact list in one location with hopes that Teams will be able to replace the traditional desk phone.  Users will soon have the ability to transfer phone calls between desktop and mobile, allowing more mobility as many continue to work from home due to the pandemic. CarPlay will now also make it easier for users to make or answer calls using Siri.

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