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Small Business Tech Roundup: Google Goes After DocuSign And Adobe

By August 13, 2023No Comments

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)

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

1 — Google Goes After DocuSign and Adobe

Google is now jumping into the e-signature field by launching this week a beta version of its “new-ish” electronic signing capability in Google Docs and Google Drive. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business

I view this as a major threat to both Docusign and Adobe, who lead the e-signature platform market. But some aren’t as concerned. According to TechCrunch’s Ron Miller: “It’s nothing fancy really. It’s just an electronic signature field that you can add to the document. Other capabilities expected to be added later this year could include an audit trail report to track signatures in Google Docs documents, the ability to deal with multiple signers and send documents to people outside the Google Workspace ecosystem, and finally, being able to grab an electronic signature in a PDF of the document.”

2 — RingCentral expands its AI platform

RingCentral — the company that offers cloud communication products and services — has announced its augmentation of AI for its latest feature called RingSense. Described as “a groundbreaking platform for enhanced business communications,” RingSense will allow companies to extract and utilize valuable insights from business calls. Features include — live transcriptions, call summaries, and conversation analysis — giving users the ability to obtain useful data. (Source: MarTech Cube)

Why this is important for your business:

AI is having a sweeping impact on all types of technologies and, considering the advances in voice transcription over the past few years, communication platforms like RingCentral — and others — will be offering lots of new innovative ways to do meetings and calls faster, as well as gauging emotions and sentiment, using AI.

3 — AWS unveils Build, a new accelerator program for early-stage startups from around the globe.

Amazon Web Services has announced a new program for startups across the globe. Build — the latest project of AWS to assist and “accelerate” startups — is now open for applicants. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

According to AWS, what sets Build apart from previous AWS initiatives is it will accommodate those who have yet to raise seed money. The director of startup programs, Denise Quashie, shared that they’ve turned down nearly 50 percent of startups in the past because of certain requirements to participate in these programs. Build will be educational-based to help early-stage or “pre-seed” startups. Sessions will be virtual and scheduled to start on October 9 thof this year.

4 — LegalZoom launches ‘LZ Books’ for small business owners seeking a simple accounting solution.

LegalZoom — the company that offers resources and guidance for entrepreneurs — has released LZ Books — a tool to help business owners with taxes, send proposals, and automate A/R. The company pointed to millions of solopreneurs who need help with filing and aims to lighten that load. Interested users can sign up now for a free month-long trial. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s a crowded field, but this seems like another interesting bookkeeping software alternative to consider for your business, particularly if you’re a freelancer. LegalZoom has been around for a while, so I have faith the product is reliable.

5 — PayPal launches dollar-backed stablecoin, boosting shares.

PayPal announced that it will be adding cryptocurrency to its online payment system. PayPal will use a version of stablecoin and call it PayPalUSD. It will be dollar-backed -which means that it will be redeemable for US dollars and accepted in transactional exchanges with other cryptocurrency. (Source: Reuters)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a small business owner I’d keep an eye on this development, but not do anything in the short term. Crypto and digital currencies are absolutely real and will always be around. Having a digital currency that’s dollar-backed makes sense if you want to limit volatility and offer it as another payment option in your business. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the market and not enough clients of mine are asking for this option for now.

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