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Report Says Business Fleet Owners Want to Go Green – Though Challenges Remain

Fleet owners across all industries are willing to give sustainable technologies a chance, but some key barriers to making this happen remain. When it comes to electric vehicles, limited product availability, high purchase price and inadequate facility charging get in the way. A UPS and GreenBiz report titled, “Curve Ahead: The Future of Fleet Electrification” looks at the motivations and barriers industry leaders face in adopting electric vehicles as part of their fleet. While the study looks at enterprises with large fleets, the same challenges also await small businesses. This is especially true when it comes to the high purchase price of electric vehicles. Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director of automotive maintenance and engineering, explains, “The challenges of cost and infrastructure requirements can be daunting, but we’ve begun to see solutions emerge.” Phillippi adds, “The business case, combined with growing preference for EVs from cities and national governments, will help us to reach a tipping point to large-scale EV fleet adoption.” Bottom line: Fleet owners are willing to make the investment to lower greenhouse gases, save money and meet future environmental standards. Greenhouse Gases According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation is the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States. Transportation accounted for 28.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, with electricity production coming in second at 28.4%. A further breakdown of the data reveals light-duty vehicles and medium and heavy-duty trucks accounted for 60 and 23% of the source for green house gas emissions, which is 83% of the overall transportation sector. Study Results The vast majority or 80% of the businesses surveyed for the study said sustainability and environmental goals was a top motivation for going electric. Air quality and traffic congestion were the top two issues which concerned respondents coming in at 58 and 53% respectively. Additional motivators for 64% of the respondents included saving on fuel and maintenance costs, as electric vehicles have less maintenance than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. When it comes to the challenges, 55% of businesses said the initial purchase is the biggest barrier. This…

FreshBooks Announces 70+ New Integrations with WordPress, Everlance and More

Accounting software maker FreshBooks, Inc. is offering over 70 new apps and integrations it says will make life easier for all kinds of business owners, at every single stage of business. The company offers features to help self-employed people and small businesses with invoicing, managing expenses and tracking time and projects. Now, with the new apps and integrations, FreshBooks says it will enable small businesses and self-employed professionals to automate more of their workflow, save time, and make running their businesses easier than ever before. In an announcement on the official FreshBooks blog, the Toronto-based company explains, “Recently added integrations work with the new, modernized [FreshBooks] platform to offer you even more options for automating workflow and reducing administrative tasks.” New FreshBooks Apps and Integrations for Small Businesses Among the new apps FreshBooks has introduced are: Bookkeepers Express: BookKeeping Express offers full service accounting and bookkeeping for small- and medium-sized businesses. Everlance: Everlance is a mileage and expense tracking app, designed to help freelancers track business mileage and expenses and maximize tax deductions. Natero Pause: Natero is a Customer Success Management platform that helps businesses prevent churn, increase expansion, and manage more accounts. New integrations for automating workflow and reducing administrative tasks include: Artichoke: Artichoke integrates with FreshBooks making it easy to simplify and organize your appointment-based business. WordPress: Integration with WordPress allows you to create a free website or blog. Choose from hundreds of customizable and mobile-ready designs and themes. Meetup: Meetup helps people with shared interests plan events and facilitates offline group meetings in various locations around the world Magento: Magento is an open source ecommerce app used by millions of customers. Podia: Podia offers an all-in-one online storefront allowing businsses to create and sell membership subscriptions, online courses and digital downloads all in one place. Solve: Solve is a CRM with integrated features for managing client projects. AWeber: AWeber is an email marketing and automation tool helping small businesses with additional digital marketing. FreshBooks says it offers freelancers and sole proprietors an intuitive online accounting system that goes beyond the basics of accounting and invoicing to automating…

Xerox Makes Targets Small Business Market by Updating App Gallery for Smart Devices

Xerox Corp (NYSE: XRX), a global provider of print and digital document solutions like multi-function printers, and document technologies and services announced recently it has introduced what it says is a new generation of business transforming apps to its App Gallery. The Xerox App Gallery, which allows direct access to apps for your Xerox machines and printers, will now have a selection of apps specifically designed to add features and capabilities that streamline common business processes, resolve challenges, and improve the way you work. According to Lisa Graham, content marketing lead for Xerox, the newly updated Xerox App Gallery brings a wealth of new apps with their own “game changing – business changing – potential.” Xerox App Gallery Adds New Business Apps Now, your small business can download business apps from the Xerox App Gallery to do everything from scan and convert paper into necessary formats; translate documents via MFP or PC; and even share patient information securely with options like the healthcare app, Lisa says . “The Xerox App Gallery is accessible, easy to use, and rich in possibilities for businesses of every size and shape, from those who work on the go and leverage the Cloud, to those with traditional 9-5 offices who store their data in-house,” writes Lisa in a post on the Xerox blog announcing the business apps addition. Xerox Business Changing Apps and Features Xerox says its app gallery features both Xerox apps and those from third-party developers. The company adds that this latest enhancement to the App Gallery introduces new business app offerings like: Xerox Connect App for Salesforce: Lets you access Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management system right at the device; upload and share sales management information to client folders by scanning the documents directly into Salesforce. Xerox Audio Documents App: Lets you securely transform hardcopy documents into audio files allowing commuters, multitaskers, or audio enthusiasts to listen on the go instead of reading. Xerox Connect App for QuickBooks Online: Offers you a hassle-free expense reimbursement process with multi-receipt scanning. Receipt data is extracted into an expense report and submitted with notifications sent to…

Adobe Acrobat AC Gives Small Businesses the Ability to Share and Edit PDFs

The all-new Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) Acrobat DC has been designed with a central document hub and connected mobile apps to make PDFs accessible and shareable across devices and platforms. Users can now create, share and interact with PDFs. Documents can be reviewed and revised with touch-enabled editing on mobile devices and Adobe Sensei AI integration automates repetitive tasks to save time. One of the benefits of using Portable Document Format (PDF) for small businesses is it can be accessed independent of software, hardware, or operating system. As an open standard maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), PDF is a reliable format for presenting and exchanging documents. Adobe invented the PDF in 1991 and it has been implementing the latest technologies in the format for the past 25+ years. The new features in Adobe Acrobat DC take into account today’s mobile and connected workforce. Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president, and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe, explained these very features in the press release. Lamkin said, “With this powerful release, we’ve created a modern PDF platform that enables people to scan, sign, edit, share and review content quickly and easily wherever work takes them.” The New Adobe Acrobat DC The new share and review service will allow you to share your documents and gather feedbacks from reviewers across any device. From now on, your PDF files will no longer be a static document. Not only will you be able to keep track of any number of reviewers and set automatic reminders to keep approvals on schedule, your audience can also interact with the PDFs. They can comment and get resolved feedback within the PDF. This means not having to go back and forth with other communication apps/or emails. When it comes to editing, Adobe says you can edit PDFs from your Android or iOS tablets with the same functionality as on your desktops. Scanning The scanning capability has been improved with an all-new Acrobat Reader mobile app and Adobe Scan. When you are working on your mobile device, you can now scan business cards in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish…

Hughes Network Systems Offers Cyber Security Platform for Small Business and Franchises

Hughes Network Systems, LLC has introduced a new user-friendly network cybersecurity firewall solution for small businesses with more than one website. The new HughesON Secure Connectivity Services offers a plug-and-play router and is optimized for network security regardless of the broadband connection the small business uses. Mike Tippets, vice president of Enterprise Marketing for Hughes Network Systems, says HughesON was designed to patch a vulnerable spot. Sweet Spot “Small businesses fall into a sweet spot for hackers because they typically have more digital assets to target than an individual consumer but have less security than a larger enterprise,” Tippet tells Small Business Trends. “According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 71 percent of breach victims are small businesses.” HughesON also has a number of other features that allow smaller cybersecurity budgets to get enterprise grade coverage. It has 24/7 support which is great for small business owners who would rather leave catching online crooks to the pros while they chase profits and an optional 4G backup. PCI Compliant Firewall Another feature that stands out is the Payment Card Industry compliant firewall that stays connected to the Internet so small businesses accepting credit card payments are always covered. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is the benchmark for all businesses that take money through credit cards. Another big bonus is how easy this firewall is to get going.  Tippets explains: “The customer chooses the firewall model they wish to use and orders it by calling a Hughes Sales Representative,” he says. “ When the firewall arrives, the customer connects the appliance (similar to a consumer WAP), plugs it in and turns it on. Depending on the model, the unit is pre-configured or self-configures to be online in minutes.” The HughesON SCS is specifically designed for SMBs with up to 50 websites. Tippets also says this product is especially suited for smaller franchises, restaurants and retail stores. No Tech Know How There’s no real tech know how needed here either. The product integrates seamlessly with existing frameworks. “The setup is less complicated than a consumer-grade Wi-Fi access point.” One…

10 Examples of Cybersecurity Jargon Translated for Small Business Owners (INFOGRAPHIC)

To the average small business owner and employees, the topic of cybersecurity can be challenging to understand, owing to the jargon-laden nature of the field. But, this need not be the case for you. While the cybersecurity industry is filled with jargon and buzzwords that can hinder understanding for those outside of IT, small business owners and their employees can learn the most important buzzwords used in the field and come to a common understanding of important terms. Learn Important Cybersecurity Jargon and Buzzwords According to pioneering New York City-based data security and analytics company Varonis Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS), it’s important to explain to small business stakeholders different aspects of cybersecurity and how they affect your company without using jargon. “Cybersecurity touches every part of an organization, and misconceptions around cybersecurity can put your company at risk,” writes Varonis’ Sr. Director of Inbound Marketing Rob Sobers, in a post on the company blog. “As such, it’s vital that you’re able to effectively communicate industry buzzwords to every person in your office.” Everyone in an organization views cybersecurity through a different lens, depending on what their role in the company is, adds Sobers. If you don’t understand common cybersecurity jargon and buzzwords, how can you expect to address the challenges and opportunities you encounter in the field effectively? Buzzwords like “Internet of Things” (Iot), “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), and “Denial of Service” (DDOS) attacks will mean nothing to you if you don’t familiarize yourself with them. Yet, these cyber security terms refer to matters that can have a serious impact on your small business. 10 Cybersecurity Terms You Need to Know – Infographic To help you unscramble cyber security jargon, Varonis Systems created a useful infographic that breaks down how to explain 10 common cybersecurity buzzwords in layman’s terms. Check out the infographic below to learn more about common cyber security terms and why they matter for your business. Image: Varonis Systems This article, “10 Examples of Cybersecurity Jargon Translated for Small Business Owners (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends

Master the Art of Excel for Business with these 10 Shortcuts

Whether you’re aggregating or analyzing data, there are a few basic Excel shortcuts that will save time and help you work faster (check out my advanced Excel tricks here). Anyone who’s a regular spreadsheet user can always benefit from taking steps to learn Excel through courses, but if you want to level up your Excel game now, start with these shortcuts. ? How Fast Can you Work in Excel? pic.twitter.com/fFh6M421jR — Larry Kim (@larrykim) August 22, 2018 Excel Shortcuts 1. Insert Total Sum Select the cells you want to add up, then select the cell in which you want the total value to be displayed, and then press Alt + =. 2. Insert Current Time Press Ctrl + Shift + Colon to enter the current time into a cell. . 3. Insert Current Date Just like with inserting the current time, inserting the current date is as simple as hitting a hotkey combination on a cell. Press Ctrl + Colon and you’ll have the current date. 4. Select the Entire Column Select any cell in the desired column and press Ctrl + Space to select that entire column. 5. Select the Entire Row Select any cell in the desired row and press Shift + Space to select that entire row. 6. Hide a Column There are times when you want to compare data between two different columns, but there’s another column in the middle that makes it a little difficult to visually compare the two. You can temporarily hide that middle column by selecting a cell in it and pressing Ctrl + 0. 7. Hide a Row You can also hide rows by selecting a cell and press Ctrl + 9. 8. Start a New Line in a Cell You can enter a new line in a cell by hitting Alt + Enter. Without this Excel shortcut, the only way to add a line within a cell is to separately type your text out (with line breaks) in a separate program like Notepad or Word, and then copy and paste it on the cell — that’s way too tedious. 9. Add Bullet Points Within a Cell You can also add bullet points within a cell by hitting Alt + 7. 10. Show/Hide Formulas Want…

Findera is a New Free Search Engine for Finding Professionals

You can now acquire talent from virtually anywhere around the globe. So the launch of the first search engine dedicated to finding professional people called Findera was only a matter of time. As of this writing, Findera had 133,025,761 professionals to be searched and connected with. The no-frills website is all business with no ads, videos, promotions or unnecessary other features. Although large enterprises like Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Salesforce are using it, it doesn’t mean small businesses can’t take advantage of the free service. The company says anyone can search through the tens of millions of professionals to find the right talent or make connections. Christophe Daligault, Findera COO and co-founder, highlighted this specific point in the press release. Daligault said, “Findera empowers all business professionals, including recruiters, business owners, consultants, business development and sales professionals, regardless of the size of their company and their budgets.” He added that as a free search engine, Findera is, “A fresh alternative to time-consuming social networks and costly specialized services.” The Need for the Findera Search Engine Findera is a timely service because as Daligault put it, “The fabric of work is changing.” Digital technology has made it possible to find the best and most affordable talent for your budget from a global pool of candidates. This can be anything from a project based hire to permanent staff; geography is no longer a barrier. The result a more fluid ecosystem that is decentralized and autonomous. Therefore talent and those looking for talent need a more efficient way to establish contact and build relationships. Findera allows its users to search professionals by name, location, position, department, time in a position, company name, industry, company size, revenue and other parameters. The people you find or are interested in can be bookmarked or added to lists for easy access in the future. The lists can then be exported as spreadsheets or shared with other people. Graph Search Technology The company has developed a graph search technology so users can find the right people based on specific individuals and company characteristics in a single search. This technology…

How Cloud Based Machine Learning Can Transform Your Automotive Business

Sponsored Post The cars we drive today have become as digital as they are mechanical. The integration of this digital technology makes it possible to collect large volumes of data from the many different monitoring and connected devices within the vehicle. By 2020 IHS Automotive is predicting 152 million connected cars will be on the road generating 30 terabytes of data every single day. Small businesses in the automotive industry can use this information to deliver better services for the repair and maintenance of their customer’s vehicles. With cloud-based machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), auto parts stores and repair shops, as well as other related automotive businesses, have become more efficient than ever. Everything from their backend to customer-facing operations is being optimized to provide the best service possible. This is driving the market for automotive AI and ML hardware, software, and services segments to grow to $14 billion by 2025, according to Tractica. In the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) segment, McKinsey is projecting it will grow to $215 billion annually by the same forecast period. So how can small businesses start using cloud-based ML and AI solutions now and be future ready as the technologies become more integrated into the automotive industry, consumer devices and society as a whole? How Machine Learning Can Transform Your Automotive Business Here are five ways they can be deployed. Predictive Maintenance The purpose of predictive maintenance systems is to predict failures and even take corrective actions to fix problems  — BEFORE they happen! This can include everything from preparing the necessary safeguards for even a planned failure to replacing a potentially defective part ahead of schedule. This higher predictability means the customer will know when they need to bring the vehicle in for repairs. They will not be caught off guard and they can make plans ahead of time so they won’t be inconvenienced by missing work or by a break down in the middle of the highway with additional costs. Predictive maintenance will completely avoid or minimize downtimes as well as greatly improve customer service, save costs, and possibly save…

HP Introduces Labeling and Packaging Technologies Small Businesses can Leverage

During Labelexpo Americas 2018, HP (NYSE: HPQ) demonstrated the latest developments from its Indigo Digital Press portfolio. These are printers which allow converters to create labels and digital packaging. HP Indigo Digital Press Portfolio According to HP, the new Indigo portfolio has a suite of products which will give label and packing firms new business opportunities. The technology the company has developed comes as consumer demand for personalized products and services is on the rise. Now digital technology is allowing companies to deliver on this demand. And for small businesses, it means being able to compete with large companies by creating bespoke products for promotions and events as well as mass production. In a recent press release, vice president and general manager of Graphics Solutions Business for Americas HP Inc. Dave Prezzano explains why converters need solutions which allow them to differentiate themselves. Prezzano says the adoption of digital technology is allowing businesses to add value to brands. He goes on to say, “HP Indigo’s platform for digital labels and packaging production empowers converters to embrace the possibilities of print to create, innovate, and grow their business profitably. By optimizing supply chain and meeting sustainability goals all while helping brands engage with their consumers with state-of-the-art automated design and production management tool — HP Indigo is helping them, and their customers, thrive in a changing world.” A packaging converter takes plastics, foils, adhesives, rubber, liners and others materials and creates a new product. This can be anything from package labels to actual products such as containers. An example of this application is the installation of the second dedicated shrink-sleeve HP Indigo 8000 in the U.S last year. By leveraging the newly released Pack Ready Lamination, converters are serving the fast-growing craft beverage market. The company says the system is easy to use and has simplified the entry barrier to flexible packaging applications allowing businesses to produce industry-standard laminates with zero cure time. The Innovations The HP Indigo GEM was announced at Labelexpo 2017. It was a one-pass embellishment solution which made it possible to create different labels for a wide range…

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