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Heads Up QVC! Amazon Launches A Home Shopping Channel…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By February 20, 2019No 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 launches a home shopping channel with Amazon Live.

Amazon has announced the launch of its own home shopping channel with live streams called Amazon Live—currently only available on its website. It’s not limited to one product at a time and doesn’t feature count-down timers to pressure sales like its cable competitors do. (Source: eSeller Café)

Why this is important for your business:

In addition to the potential opportunities that Amazon resellers now have with this new online channel, the company also introduced a new app for U.S. sellers who use IOS devices. Called Amazon Live Creator, it enables smaller brands to produce live programming from a mobile device to showcase their products and answer viewers’ questions. These new technologies should definitely help Amazon’s smaller merchants increase awareness and hopefully sell more products.

2 — LinkedIn debuts LinkedIn Live, a new live video broadcast service.

What, another one? In addition to Amazon’s new “live” service, LinkedIn launched a beta version of live video in the U.S. so individuals and organizations can broadcast real-time video to select groups or to the larger LinkedIn world. Called LinkedIn Live, the service will be by invitation only now and then later opened up to others. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s obviously a rival to Facebook Live and geared towards businesses that want to either produce or sponsor video content to this community of other businesses. Initial live content that LinkedIn hopes to broadcast aligns with the kind of subject matter already seen in LinkedIn’s news feed, such as conferences, product announcements, Q&As and other events led by influencers and mentors, office hours from large tech companies, earnings calls, graduation and awards ceremonies, etc. (LinkedIn is owned Microsoft. My company is a Microsoft Partner).

3 — Trend Micro survey finds 80 percent of U.S. businesses expect a critical breach in 2019.

Cybersecurity solutions company Trend Micro Incorporated released the results of its Cyber Risk Index (CRI)—a survey of more than 1,000 American IT security professionals. The survey found 80 percent of IT business leaders anticipate a critical breach or successful cyberattack over the coming year. (Source: Business Insider)

Why this is important for your business:

How comforting! Eight out of ten IT experts expect to be the victims of a “critical breach” this year.  So how vulnerable is your network? There’s no way to fully protect yourself from this, only to minimize the risks of serious business interruption. Budget for an IT security firm to upgrade your software, provide training and backup your data frequently. Have a disaster recovery plan. Update your cyber insurance. For, that’s the best you can be doing.

4 — Alexa can now read your WordPress blogs out loud.

In 2018, Amazon released a tool called Alexa Skill Blueprints that lets users build a voice skill from a set of templates so they can create their own quizzes, chore charts, and custom greetings without knowing code. Now Amazon has announced it will let users share those Blueprints with other Echo users or publish them to the Alexa Skills Store, which houses Alexa’s 80,000 existing voice skills. In addition, the company is adding some new types of Blueprints, including one that enables WordPress users to have Alexa read blog posts from an RSS feed. (Source: Fast Company)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a blogger, Alexa’s new capabilities will make it more convenient for your audience to get the information you’re providing. That could open up a whole new set of customers for your business.  If you’re not in the business of blogging, this is yet another convenient way for you to get information that will help you run your company without sitting still to read. Because who has the time to sit still, right?

5 — Goldman Sachs leads $45m funding round for business credit startup Nav.

Goldman Sachs just announced it is leading a $44.8 million Series C funding round for Nav—a business financial management app that helps small companies get better financing by giving them free access to credit reports. (Source: Finextra)

Why this is important for your business:

Nav plans to use the money to develop its technology platform, expand enterprise partnerships, and sign up additional small business owners – perhaps you?  There are already more than a million them who have access to their credit data and insights through the startup’s app, which simplifies their getting financing.

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