5 Ways SMBs Can Better Influence Technology Vendors

It has been a year since SMB Research posted “SMBs: Get Influence Working with Large Vendors; 7 Guidelines to Ease the Process”.  As we have been working with a number of end users in 2010 and in early 2011, we are updating and refreshing this with some new insights and recommendations.

While it is undoubtedly true that small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) cannot avail themselves of all of the price breaks and other advantages of larger enterprises who have bigger IT and capex budgets, there are steps you can take to “look” big and be treated with the respect and amount of attention that you deserve: [Read more...]

10 Best Practices For a Better Website

SMB Research

Have you read enough pieces yet on what makes a great website?

You have probably seen quite a few articles and posts addressing this.  We here at SMB Research know we have seen a lot of material. (SMB Research includes at least one fairly good article on SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2010.)

Many of these articles seem to take a cookie-cutter approach:  it should go without saying at this point that a website needs to have good navigation, and that a website needs a “Call to Action”.

We think there are a number of other critical website features and best practices that get too little attention.

[Read more...]

Around the Horn with IBM Cognos Express, and Business Intelligence

There were several pieces of interesting news this week in the Business Intelligence world:

SMB Research listened in closely to IBM this past week on their announcement of IBM’s Cognos Express v9.5.

[Read more...]

The Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and the Use of Social Media

The always insightful Bill Ives over at the FASTforward Blog has alerted me to a study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth‘s Center for Marketing Research (CMR) study on the use of social media by the Fortune 500 and Inc. 500.

[Read more...]

SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2010

What was the best SMB or technology-related piece you read this past year?

When we at SMB Research started talking a few weeks ago about what we thought were some of the most interesting and valuable articles from 2010, we realized that once again this year there has been a great deal of very good (however you define this) research and writing.  If you struggle to find the time to read to read everything that deserves your attention, we share your pain.

To help you out, SMB Research decided to take a look back at some of what has been written and published this past year, and to identify some of our favorite reads.

SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads, 2010:
(in chronological order)

[Read more...]

Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide (Sneak Preview)

Data Center Infrastructure Group (DCIG, www.dciginc.com), and SMB Research are nearing completion on the DCIG Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide.

While you will have to wait just awhile longer, we don’t mind giving you a sneak peek at some of the great learnings you can expect to get from the finished product.

[Read more...]

Great Learnings from Boston’s Small Business of the Year Awards

Joe Harold - Sagamore Plumbing & Heating

SMB Research was very pleased to be able to attend the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s 26th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards yesterday (Oct 14, 2010) at the Colonnade Hotel.  Emceed by WBZ Radio’s co-Anchor of “WBZ Morning News” Ed Walsh, the event itself was flawlessly put together and efficiently executed, for a very enjoyable event. [Read more...]

Virtual Server Backup – A Conversation with Lois Paul’s Don Jennings

SMB Research is working with the Data Center Infrastructure Group’s Jerome Wendt to produce a Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide.

Talking to Jerome and other folks, it has become apparent that the virtual server backup area is rapidly growing and evolving, and there is a lot of resulting end-user interest (and confusion).

So DCIG and SMB Research are jumping into the breach, as it were, and working on a Buyer’s Guide that should be the best source yet of information on this market segment.
[Read more...]

Vendors: Are You Trying to Hide from Prospects and Industry Influencers?

In our research work at SMB Research, LLC we are continually researching, analyzing, profiling and/or reaching out to software, hardware, technology, and professional service vendors.  People, you are often not making this as easy as it could be!  You are putting unnecessary speed bumps in the way. [Read more...]

EMC for Small-to-Medium Business

When a company over $14B focuses on a market, even if this represents a smaller percentage of their total revenue such as 5% to 10% , that could represents nearly a $1B business.  That can probably be said about EMC‘s Small-to-Medium (SMB) focus. [Read more...]

2010 IT Planning for Small-to-Medium Business

SMB Research just completed a survey for 2010 IT Planning for Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs).  

An Introduction to Supply Chain Management from ASU

If you are new to the world of supply chain management, there is no dearth of sources and resources for you to tap into to learn what supply chain management is, and what it means for you.  There are also no dearth of sources to find out where these resources are.

Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey school of Business, long renowned for its supply chain management program, has just put out the first in a series of 12 video modules on supply chain management.  (Which I would not have perhaps noticed but for ReliablePlant.) [Read more...]

Technology Start-ups in Boston

There are some fascinating facts and figures in this presentation by Jeff Bussgang of FlyBridge Capital Partners, “What Makes Boston’s Technology Start-Up Scene Special?”  Watch and Enjoy. [Read more...]

CRM for Small-to-Medium Business: A Selection in Process

SMB Research has a great interest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).   After all, we focus on the technology research needs of Small-to-Medium business.  Features that allow companies to know their customers better is what drives Small and Medium business to be able to grow and thrive.   Competition can be fierce for Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMB’s) and having the ability better know ones customer is essential.  So how does CRM allow companies to know their customer better? [Read more...]

Sizing up Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) – A Follow-up

In the process of writing my blog post, “Sizing up Small-to-Medium Business (SMB)“, I initiated a lively discussion on LinkedIn’s SMB IT Forum.

My thanks to the following people for participating in one of the longer discussions I have seen or been involved in on LinkedIn:

Here are some take-aways from this discussion: [Read more...]