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Microsoft Is Bringing Gmail, Google Drive And Calendar to Outlook…And Other Small Business Tech News

By November 27, 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 — Microsoft is bringing Gmail, Google Drive, and Calendar to Outlook.

Microsoft has started testing their integration of Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar into their web mail client on certain accounts. Users will be able to link their Google Account to any account and —after doing so—Google Calendar, documents in Google Drive, and Gmail will immediately be shown inside The integration with Google Drive will support files and documents from Google’s service, allowing users to swiftly attach them to emails in both Gmail and Outlook. The integration will also make it easier for individuals who use G Suite email for work and who utilize their Outlook account for personal use. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

For those of us who can remember the days of Windows or nothing at all, this type of news continues to be a revelation. It’s all part of Microsoft’s ongoing plan to help its customers be more productive on the cloud and that may not necessarily mean using all of Microsoft’s applications to do it. The end result? If you’re an Office 365 user, but you prefer Gmail or Google Drive, then now you have options. (My company, The Marks Group PC, is a Microsoft Partner)

2 — Spotify will give you podcast recommendations in a daily playlist.

Music service Spotify has announced this week that they are rolling out a new feature titled Your Daily Podcasts that will recommend new shows to listen to for users. The new feature will follow a similar algorithm that Daily Mix and Discover Weekly use, and will generate playlists for users by frequently refreshing lists of recommended podcast episodes and shows that are based off of the listening habits the user has built up over time. Spotify is making Your Daily Podcasts available to both free and premium users. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a podcast listener (like me) and a Spotify customer (like me) this opens up the opportunity to find more business related podcasts to help make us better. If you like to do podcasts, make sure yours is listed on Spotify or you could be missing out on potential listeners…like me!

3 — BlueVine Raised $102.5M more for banking services for small business.

Financial Service startup BlueVine—which provides financing among other banking services to small businesses—has announced a massive round of funding in order to address the need to provide small and medium sized businesses with more specified banking service support. The startup has raised $102.5 million from a combination of notable strategic investors as well as financial investors. With the funding, BlueVine plans to create and offer a more complete array of options in order to retain users and become a stronger competitor for banks that are providing full services to small businesses but at a higher cost. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

BlueVine has been changing the way people think about accounts receivable factoring and as a result are providing way more options for small businesses looking for financing. I write more about them here.

4 — Pensa System raised $10 million to deploy inventory-tracking drones in retail.

Startup Pensa Systems announced this week that they have raised $10 million— bringing their total amount raised to $17.2 million— with plans to more widely implement their drones that track inventory in retail. Pensa Systems creates inventory systems that are armed with computer vision algorithms that are able to process and precisely identify what store shelves have in-stock. The technology used for Pensa’s inventory system equips drones with cameras and the ability to fly around the store in order to automatically recognize what products are available and which are running low. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Drones and cameras in your retail store? Yeah, they’re coming sooner than you think. Big box stores like Walmart and Target are testing these technologies. If you’re smaller outfit you should be watching closely.

5— Apple launched a dedicated mobile app for its developer community.

This past week, Apple rolled out their new Apple Developer mobile app in an effort to appeal to and provide more streamlined support to their more than 23 million members who are registered as a part of their developer community. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

The app will include resources such as developer news and updates, videos, design and technical articles, to name a few. The Apple Developer App will make it simpler for developers to have access to important information and resources in a more efficient way. The purpose behind the app is to help provide timely, relevant information to the developers on the app.

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