Calix | September 18, 2023
Calix, Inc. has announced the launch of Calix SmartBiz in the United Kingdom (UK). This recent development empowers alternative service providers (altnets) to expand their markets with a tailored managed service explicitly designed to cater to the unique requirements of the 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating within the UK.
SmartBiz, on the Calix broadband platform, encompasses all the essential elements altnets need to foster SME growth within their communities. This includes managed Wi-Fi services (both indoor and outdoor), top-notch network security, business productivity applications, and high-speed internet access.
Historically, altnets lacked access to a broadband solution designed explicitly for SMEs, leaving them with the choice of repurposing residential products or downsizing complex and costly enterprise-grade solutions to accommodate the SME market. The introduction of SmartBiz provides altnets with a turnkey solution that not only enables the creation of additional revenue streams but also facilitates the expansion of their subscriber base, empowering them to compete more effectively within the fiercely competitive broadband markets.
SmartBiz comprises two main components: SmartBizWorx productivity software and the CommandWorx mobile app. CommandWorx is seamlessly integrated with the award-winning Calix Wi-Fi systems and Calix Support Cloud, allowing for self-service access to SmartBiz and its associated features. Small business owners can conveniently monitor and manage SmartBiz from any location using a user-friendly app tailored to their specific needs. Furthermore, a customizable customer Wi-Fi portal empowers business owners to offer secure and convenient internet access while enhancing brand loyalty.
Eoin Heaney, VP of international at Calix, stated:
SMEs underpin the UK economy. With an annual turnover of £1.4 trillion, they account for more than 30 percent of UK revenue and employ almost half the country's workforce.
[Source: Business Wire]
He also pointed out that small business owners face numerous challenges, including the search for suitable productivity solutions to support their growth. With SmartBiz, altnets can now offer SMEs the essential productivity capabilities they require, eliminating the need for dedicated IT staff or the typically associated hefty price tag.
Furthermore, Heaney highlighted that SmartBiz represents an opportunity for altnets to expand their business or explore new markets. He expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with innovative altnets such as Connexin, who provide distinctive managed services that empower their SME customers to focus on their core competency, which is running their own businesses.
SmartBiz also equips small business owners with:
Dedicated Networks for Enhanced Productivity:With network access control, SmartBiz offers pre-configured, dedicated primary, staff, point-of-sale, and customer networks. This ensures that every user enjoys appropriate access to the network resources they require, significantly improving role efficiency and overall productivity.
Robust Network-Level Security:To safeguard staff, customers, and critical business infrastructure from cyber threats, SmartBiz delivers robust security features alongside network-specific, customizable content restrictions.
Network Resilience:Recognizing that network outages can prove catastrophic for SMEs, SmartBiz provides automatic cellular failover, ensuring that SMEs can continue their operations uninterrupted, maintaining productivity levels, and preventing potential losses, which can be as high as £20,000 per hour of downtime.
Calix is a leading global provider of cloud and software platforms, systems, and services essential for the realization of the unified access network and intelligent premises of the future. With a forward-looking perspective, it empowers its customers to forge the networks of tomorrow by adopting a DevOps operating model, enabling them to optimize the subscriber experience through the strategic application of big data analytics. Furthermore, the company simplifies the intricacies of the smart home and business, converting them into lucrative avenues for generating new streams of revenue.
Cloudinary | September 22, 2023
Cloudinary, a renowned image and video platform, has recently unveiled an addition to its asset management suite with the launch of Cloudinary Nexus. This digital asset management (DAM) solution is explicitly tailored to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Available immediately, Cloudinary Nexus offers both free and premium options. This AI-powered solution empowers SMBs and teams with enterprise-grade capabilities, making it effortless for them to connect, explore, and optimize their digital assets, all while streamlining their branding efforts with minimal time and complexity.
Drawing upon the strengths of Cloudinary's acclaimed DAM solution designed for enterprise clientele, known as Cloudinary Assets, Nexus equips smaller brands with the ability to automate essential yet time-consuming tasks associated with asset management. Nexus incorporates advanced AI functionalities and automation to handle tasks like metadata tagging and file format and size optimization. This ensures that teams can dedicate more of their time to more rewarding and high-impact activities. Nexus places significant emphasis on user-friendliness and accessibility, making it a valuable asset for a wide range of teams and individuals.
With features such as generative AI, Studio, collections, smart search, and auto-tagging, Nexus equips users with all the tools necessary to unlock the full potential of their images and videos. It enables users to:
Instantly Prepare Images and Videos: Users can effortlessly adapt designs, resize, and fine-tune assets in bulk within seconds. The inclusion of subject-aware AI enables the generation of new assets, while readily available creative presets facilitate the creation of multiple variations from a single master asset.
Transform User-Generated Content into Brand-Ready Assets: AI and automation simplify the task of moderating, managing, and approving user uploads, requiring minimal to no effort.
Facilitate Seamless and Effective Collaboration: By controlling file visibility through custom user roles and permissions, Nexus enhances productivity. Users can collaborate seamlessly with other contributors, teams, and partners, simplifying asset handovers.
Instantly Organize and Discover Assets: The automatic addition of tags and metadata, including colors, faces, and objects, improves asset discoverability. An AI-driven visual search feature provides highly accurate and personalized search results.
Effortless Setup: Nexus offers easy visual content import and integration with existing storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, ensuring a smooth transition.
Cloudinary is a leading image and video technology platform that empowers the world's most engaging brands to deliver transformative visual experiences on a global scale. Consisting of a user base of over 1.5 million and serving more than 10,000 esteemed customers, including Bleacher Report, Apartment Therapy, Bombas, NBC, Grubhub, Mediavine, Paul Smith, Minted, and Peloton, Cloudinary is the trusted choice for bringing campaigns, applications, and websites to life. With unrivaled image and video APIs, supported by cutting-edge AI and patented technology, Cloudinary provides brands with a singular source of truth to effectively manage, transform, optimize, and seamlessly deliver visual experiences at scale.
BILL | September 11, 2023
BILL, a leading in financial automation software provider for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), has announced the introduction of a new BILL Financial Operations Platform for SMBs, which integrates category-leading solutions across accounts receivable (AR), accounts payable (AP), and expense and spend management. With this new launch, BILL is delivering the most extensive capabilities for SMBs to enhance and manage cash flow within a single platform.
According to BILL's State of Finance Automation report for 2023, over 80% of respondents believe that automation is essential for managing their finances in order to achieve more strategic business objectives.
Bill payment is crucial, but they are also seeking more comprehensive and integrated solutions for managing more of their cash flow. The challenge is that, until recently, many SMBs were required to manage their incoming and outgoing cash flow across disparate systems and applications that are not integrated.
With the latest integrated financial operations platform by Bill, SMBs can acquire better real-time business insights into their cash flow. In addition, businesses can optimize their cash flow more effectively with a variety of payment and funding options, such as Pay By Card, international payments, virtual card, the BILL Divvy Corporate Card, and real-time payments like instant transfer.
The BILL’s New Financial Operations Platform includes:
BILL Accounts Payable automates the complete AP process to simplify invoice entry for SMBs by leveraging data capture and artificial intelligence to streamline approvals. It also offers flexible payment options, enhancing the efficiency and transparency of financial operations.
BILL Accounts Receivable automates AR through invoice generation, estimations, payment tracking, and collections, allowing SMBs to be paid quicker via ACH, credit, and debit cards.
BILL Spend & Expense is an all-inclusive expense and spend management solution that incorporates free software with corporate cards to offer SMBs customizable control and real-time visibility over their business finances. To simplify the customer experience, Divvy from BILL will now be known as BILL Spend & Expense. The features and capabilities of Divvy, such as setting budgets, monitoring expenses, and gaining access to the credit businesses need to expand, will remain unchanged.
Irana Wasti, Chief Product Officer at BILL, mentioned,
“By offering ongoing innovation in our platform, BILL continues to revolutionize the way SMBs and accountants use financial automation to succeed. We’ve pioneered a more integrated and exhaustive experience to provide SMBs the ability to enhance and manage their financial operations in one place – assisting them make the right financial decisions so their businesses can thrive.”
[Source – Business Wire]
BILL, headquartered in California, is the industry-leading financial operations platform for small and midsized businesses (SMBs). As an advocate for SMBs, the company is automating the future of finance so that businesses can flourish. Its integrated platform enables businesses to more effectively manage their payables, receivables, expenditures, and expenses. Hundreds of thousands of businesses rely on BILL's network of millions of members to pay or get paid faster. BILL is a trusted partner of prominent U.S. financial institutions, accounting software vendors, and accounting firms.
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS
NEXT Insurance | September 20, 2023
NEXT Insurance, a renowned digital small business insurer, recently unveiled an innovative new offering that will empower agents to tailor coverage quotes precisely to the unique needs of their small business clientele. NEXT's Coverage Builder represents a significant advancement in granting agents the capability to finely customize small business insurance quotes while still retaining NEXT's hallmark instant bind capabilities. Coverage Builder is designed to be swift, user-friendly, and exclusively tailored for agents before purchase, equipping them with the necessary tools to choose suitable limits and maintain complete control over the coverage they're quoting.
With the introduction of Coverage Builder, agents can set their base policy limits, add or remove specific coverage, or adjust limits post-purchase. This functionality, combined with the convenience of instant underwriting and pricing updates, not only saves agents valuable time but also enables them to make adjustments instantly without the need to pick up the phone, eliminating the need for direct communication with an underwriter.
This represents NEXT's ongoing commitment to supporting its agents, offering them a digitally driven quoting experience that is user-friendly, accessible, and 100% online. Additionally, Coverage Builder will be accessible to all NEXT customers post-purchase, enabling small business owners to tailor their policies with immediate pricing adjustments and seamless policy management.
Cody L Slocum Lammers, Commercial Lines Agent & Broker at Affordable Insurance Solutions, commented,
NEXT's Coverage Builder feature is 100% hassle-free. This new feature sets NEXT Insurance to a new level, above its competitors, as this allows agents the flexibility to customize policies to fit the needs of each individual small business. It's user-friendly and simple to understand- this is truly a game changer for NEXT Insurance agents!
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
This announcement follows NEXT's recent commercial umbrella/excess liability coverage launch to aid small businesses in their entrepreneurial journey. The digital small business insurer has also made strides by announcing its integration with Ivans Download for General Liability and Workers' Compensation policies and appointing Jack Ramsey as Vice President of Agent Business. These developments underscore NEXT's dedication to its agents and mission to enhance small business clients' insurance purchasing process with a smoother and more intuitive experience.
About NEXT Insurance
NEXT Insurance, a leading digital small business insurer, is spearheading the transformation of small business insurance by offering streamlined, digital, cost-effective, and tailored coverage solutions. With the trust of over 480,000 business proprietors, the company offers policies that are both convenient to purchase and grant uninterrupted access to Live Certificates of Insurance, additional insured, and more. Pioneering an industry historically known for its complexity, NEXT leverages the power of AI and machine learning to simplify the buying process and make affordable coverage accessible. Established in 2016 and headquartered in Palo Alto, the company has garnered a total of $881 million in venture capital funding.