Business Wire | September 27, 2023
DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc., the cloud for startups and SMBs, today announced the launch of DigitalOcean Managed Kafka, a new, fully managed data streaming platform as a service offering for Apache Kafka. DigitalOcean Managed Kafka helps small and medium-sized businesses across industries, including video streaming, the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, gaming, and eCommerce, access and process data streams in real time while eliminating the complexity associated with the Kafka administration. Through this offering and other enhancements across DigitalOcean’s portfolio, startups and tech entrepreneurs can more easily grow their businesses in the cloud.
“While Kafka is the gold standard for data streaming, it frequently presents technical challenges for smaller businesses with budget and resource limitations. We are excited to introduce a solution that makes this technology more accessible and meets DigitalOcean’s standard for simplicity,” said Megan Wood, Chief Strategy & Product Officer at DigitalOcean. “By reducing the burden of implementing a new platform, companies can shift their focus away from the complexity of managing their data streaming services and get back to building apps that differentiate their business.”
As businesses receive higher amounts of data inputs, the ability to rapidly capture and process this data becomes crucial. Thousands of companies, including over 80% of Fortune 100 companies, rely on Kafka to optimize their data streams and provide leaders with insights that inform decision-making. With DigitalOcean Managed Kafka, startups and SMBs can benefit from the ability to scale up and down clusters with ease while setting up alerts for proactive maintenance. Additionally, DigitalOcean customers can expect end-to-end security via private networking and data encryption along with cost-effective, predictable pricing starting at $147 for a three-node cluster.
“DigitalOcean's Managed Kafka offering has been a game-changer for us at Datacake,” said Lukas Klein, Chief Technical Officer at Datacake. “By taking care of the operational aspects of running our Kafka cluster, we have been able to focus our attention on what really matters – building a great product. With this new service, we were able to migrate seamlessly to an event-based architecture while maintaining the highest levels of operational security.”
Alongside DigitalOcean Managed Kafka, DigitalOcean has been making investments in its product and infrastructure offerings to provide peace of mind, increased productivity, and more affordable solutions to SMBs and startups. Some of those recent updates include:
GPUs with the acquisition of Paperspace-The computing power needed for training AI models and deploying at scale
Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets-Higher outbound network speeds, higher performance, and faster disk writes than standard Droplets
Enhanced memory and storage for Basic Premium Droplets-More flexibility with a wider choice of virtual machines
Low-cost support plans for every size of business-Eight-hour response times for all issues, regardless of severity
Object Storage in the Bangalore data center-Increased performance with compute and storage in one location
In addition, over the coming quarters, DigitalOcean will unveil the following enhancements and capabilities to continue to make DigitalOcean the cloud of choice for SMBs and startups:
More flexible storage offerings -Effortlessly accommodate dynamic storage requirements with Scalable Storage for Managed Databases, a cost-effective solution that helps businesses expand their data footprints with confidence
Faster, frequent, and comprehensive Backups -Ability to create daily Droplet backups that are differential, significantly reducing the time required to create them
Better performance for a range of products -Extending the premium variant to the General Purpose line of Droplets, providing newer generation CPUs, faster NVME drives, and up to 10 Gbps of outbound data transfer speeds making them ideal for running e-commerce, consumer, and SaaS apps
DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so builders and businesses can spend more time creating software that changes the world. With its mission-critical infrastructure and fully managed offerings, DigitalOcean helps developers at startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rapidly build, deploy and scale, whether creating a digital presence or building digital products. DigitalOcean combines the power of simplicity, security, community and customer support so customers can spend less time managing their infrastructure and more time building innovative applications that drive business growth.
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.
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.
ECI Software Solutions | October 13, 2023
ECI Software Solutions, Inc., a prominent cloud-based business management software and services provider, has recently announced that it has been recognized as a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion by the National Cybersecurity Alliance. This underscores ECI's unwavering commitment to delivering reliable cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), empowering them to operate and expand their enterprises with confidence and security.
As a member of the distinguished group of Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion organizations, which encompasses businesses of varying sizes, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and government entities, ECI Software Solutions is dedicated to the promotion of a safer, more secure, and trustworthy internet landscape.
This significant development underscores ECI's ongoing dedication to fostering SMB growth through technological innovation. A noteworthy achievement is that over 12,000, constituting more than half of ECI Software Solutions' global clientele, have successfully transitioned their operations to the cloud. This migration has resulted in cost savings of up to 40%, achieved by streamlining operational expenses and reducing manual workloads. Such savings have assumed increased importance over the past few years, marked by persistent labor shortages and disruptions in the supply chain.
ECI's cloud-based ERP solutions play a critical role in enhancing transparency and mobility, eliminating silos and tribal knowledge within SMBs. This approach positions SMBs for growth, enables accurate forecasting, and fosters the emergence of the next generation of leadership. At ECI Software Solutions, cloud ERPs are crafted for and by those who have traversed the journey of SMB growth.
ECI Software Solutions specializes in providing cloud-based business software solutions designed to cater to the specific needs of small and mid-sized enterprises. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the company features a team of experts with deep knowledge in manufacturing, residential construction, field service management, building supply, office technology, and wholesale/retail distribution industries. ECI's industry-specific software connects businesses with their customers, enhancing visibility, operational efficiency, and profitability. Its comprehensive suite of services seamlessly integrates sales and marketing, business intelligence, CRM, data and analytics, e-commerce, mobile applications, and payment processing