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Small Business Tech Roundup: Zoom Steps Up Its Game With AI

By August 27, 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 – Zoom taps AI to empower customers in safe hybrid work environment.

Zoom – the communications platform used by nearly 13 million people each month – is working to further elevate its collaboration services with AI technology. Announcements include “Zoom Scheduler” – a tool that will coordinate meetings and “simplify the process” of connecting with external participants. Using multi-camera technology meetings will run with seamless connectivity. Users can also enable “Zoom Clips” – a tool that will allow them to share specific video content easily with interactive an “Comments” feature for recipients. These are just two examples of what Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has called “an aggressive road map aimed at empowering our customers to work smarter and to serve their customers better.” (Source: PYMNTS)

Why this is important for your business:

Zoom will forever be remembered as the iconic platform that enabled both individuals and businesses to stay in business and stay connected even at the height of a global pandemic. But the company faces plenty of competitors and it’s good to see that its leaders are not standing still. My business still relies on Zoom for our meetings and I’m happy to see these new features leveraging AI which will keep me as a customer.


2 – JP Morgan offers merchants Tap to Pay on iPhone.

JP Morgan has enabled Tap to Pay for iPhone users – a move that demonstrates the customer-centric focus the company has taken. The feature allows customers to make purchases with a simple tap on their phone. Tap to Pay will be introduced into the marketplace through beauty and personal care retailer Sephora. The company will serve as its test market before Tap to Pay becomes more widely available next year, according to reports. (Source: Finextra)

Why this is important for your business:

On a global scale, contactless payments are expected to exceed $10 trillion in the next several years according to the latest statistics. Which means that your business must be ready to accept these payments, as well as any other payment methods that become popular with your customers.


3 – Microsoft is bringing Python to Excel.

Python – a programming language that’s used for tasks such as website and software development – will soon be a feature of Excel Microsoft has announced. Python can be added into Excel formulas on advanced spreadsheets. This feature will be available to Microsoft 365 customers in beta form on Excel desktop. Microsoft has been working in collaboration with Anaconda – the company that originally developed programming language for data science – has evolved as a “steward for open-source projects.” The website includes a page that details how Python will interface with Excel. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Python is a very popular programming language and by doing this Microsoft is enabling those in its community that specialize in this language to use their skills for customizing and creating solutions in Excel. As a business owner it expands your pool of available people to help you build more solutions for your company using Excel.


4 – This is how generative AI will free up your time at work.

With the abundance of information circulating about how generative AI will enhance your professional life – it’s understandably overwhelming. This VentureBeat piece offers a concise picture of what’s happening with the technology now and where it’s headed from a usage standpoint. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

The piece goes on to highlight that, thanks to AI, workers have more time to focus on creative projects as repetitive tasks are now automated. Examples include text summarization, personalized marketing, and harnessing customer data. For workers in the tech world – AI is an invaluable asset for tasks such as coding and software optimization.


5 – Businesses are getting a new kind of insurance to safeguard against data breaches.

The stress business owners have endured devoting their time and resources to protecting data – cybersecurity insurance will alleviate the headache of contemplating the what-if’s. Keith Dmochowski of the Eagle Record reported on this issue that impacts SMBs as cyberattacks increase each year. (Source: Reading Eagle)

Why this is important for your business:

Structured like any other insurance, new forms of cybersecurity coverage will include different policies that will cover items such as data recovery, system repair, and customer notifications. Higher tiered policies will cover things like potential lawsuits and regulatory fines. For the majority of businesses cybersecurity insurance will be a given as the frequency and sophistication of these attacks continue.



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