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Google Announces A Coronavirus Incentive For G Suite…And Other Small Business Tech News

By March 8, 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 — Google is capitalizing on coronavirus and giving businesses and schools G Suite enterprise features until July 1st.

Google announced this past week that they are going to be giving access to their advanced Hangouts Meet feature to all Education and G Suite customers up until the first of July this year. The extension will allow G Suite Education and G Suite Basic users to access Enterprise features such as permitting up to 250 individuals to take part in a call, capability to record and save meetings, and livestreaming content for thousands of viewers. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Businesses and educational institutions are being impacted the most by the Coronavirus with many high-profile companies—such as Twitter—telling their workers to work remotely. Google shared that—with the virus causing some major concerns— they want to be help be a part of the solution in a small way by allowing businesses and educational institutions stay connected.  Smart thinking. As the impact of Coronovirus spreads, more businesses are asking their employees to work from home (see below). So what better opportunity to take advantage G Suite and other cloud based tools?

2 — As coronavirus worsenscompanies renew focus on collaboration and remote work.

Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, businesses all over the United States are working to find ways to maintain productivity while keeping their employees safe. Slack and Zoom—both major players in the workplace productivity space— saw their stock prices rise over the last several weeks as businesses find ways to keep their employees’ health in check and to help individuals work remotely. According to recent data, 69% of businesses in the United States already allow employees to work from home, and the number may soon be more due to the outbreak. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

If there’s anything good that comes from this latest health situation, it’s that many companies are being forced into implementing remote software tools…and I know that once they do they’ll discover the benefits. Software makers like Slack and Zoom are seeing more interest and for good reason. Many other application providers – from customer relationship management to accounting and project management – are also encouraging their customers to get more employees using their tools from home.

3 —These are the first passwords hackers will try when attacking your device.

According to F-Secure—a security company whose mission is to track and identify patterns among cyber security breaches—their decoy servers established all over the globe are helping find the passwords that are proving to be the most vulnerable when it comes to hackers. Recently released data has shown that passwords like ‘admin’, ‘12345’, ‘default’, ‘password’, and ‘root’ are the most easily hacked passwords that cyber attackers use. Guidelines outlined by the U.K government suggested that any device that is connected to the internet should have unique passwords and that those passwords should not be able to be reset to universal factory settings.  (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Really? You’re still using ‘12345’ as your password? You know that’s not right and you know that doing so makes your network and data more susceptible than ever. Make it a point to get these passwords changed. Use symbols, caps and lower case. Better yet use a phrase that no one will ever think of like “The Phillies will win the 2020 World Series!” That’s such an outlandish statement that I doubt any hacker (or Phillies fan) would even consider it.

4 — Kabbage is taking aim at big banks with its small business cash flow tools.

Kabbage recently announced that they are going to be getting more involved in small business by launching their newest financial management tool called Kabbage Insights. Kabbage Insights will provide its customers a detailed picture of their cash flow instantaneously, allowing small business owners to be more effective and efficient when it comes to the choices they need to make when it comes to finances. The newest tool uses AI as one of the methods to help produce data to help small businesses see and understand their cash flow more quickly and accurately and at any time. (Source: Banking Dive)

Why this is important for your business:

Great to see Kabbage providing even more tools for its small business community that helps them increase their cash flow. This is exactly the kind of service a good financial services company should be providing: not just capital, but advice and tools for using capital in the best way possible. It benefits both parties on either side of financing transaction.

5— Microsoft Teams just added new Outlook integration, chat updates, and more.

Microsoft has announced that they have made some changes to their Teams platform in order to make processes more simplified and streamlined. One of the biggest moves is the way Teams and Outlook will be integrated moving forward, now allowing users to take an email from Outlook and immediately move it over into the chat feature in Teams in one click, and vice versa. Meetings and calls have been given improvements as well with the addition of live captions option to make it easier for individuals to know what is happening in meetings, regardless if the audio quality is poor or the room is too noisy. Leaders will now also be able to assign tags to individuals in an entire organization in order to more efficiently get messages across to larger groups of people in designated roles. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Microsoft (full disclosure: my company is a Microsoft partner) continues to add new features to its Teams application, which is the reason why the application is growing in popularity and giving the people at Slack such headaches. If your company is already using Office 365 it would be very worthwhile to bring a partner or trainer in to teach you the benefits of Microsoft Teams. You may already own it!

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