More articles by "Adam Stone"

A Smart Business Phone System from M5

M5 debuts its Smart Business phone, a VoIP system that plugs the customer data you gather over the phone with your CRM data.

Dial Up a Free Hosted PBX System

Phonebooth Free from Bandwidth.com gives small businesses 200 free, inbound minutes every month. You might want to grab your VoIP phone and start dialing for dollars.

Beta Test: A Look at Microsoft Office 2010

Although it’s officially still in testing mode, Microsoft Office 2010 offers more speed, improved ease of use and better collaboration capabilities — just for starters. Come take a look under the hood.

Dialing for Dollars: Hosted PBX Meets CRM

The phone has always been a critical tool for sales people, but M5 Networks takes it to the next level by integrating hosted PBX with customer relationship software. Can you say sales efficiency?

Skype Meets Asterisk

New software—currently in beta—brings PBX features and control to Skype fans in the business community.

Ease-of-Use Essential for Small-Business VoIP

Jazinga claims that anyone can install and maintain its turnkey IP phone system.

Microsoft Attempts to Enhance Your Online Experience

Microsoft once held pride of place for making hard things easier. So why does the new Windows Live Suite seem bent on making easy things harder?

Panda 2008: Stay on Top of Internet Security

The stakes run ever higher in Internet security, as hackers get more creative and more pernicious by the day. With its latest releases, Panda Software rounds out an already solid Internet security suite.

XnView: Light on the Wallet But Not on Functionality

If you've settled into the habit of expecting less from freeware offerings, the feature-rich XnView will easily exceed your expectations. This combination multimedia viewer and image editor handles all of the fundamentals and even sports some unexpected extras.

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 4.0: Ultimate Optimization for Vista, XP and More

WinOptimizer 4 takes a bold leap ahead of its previous release with the ability to now adjust more than 450 Windows system settings. Whether added or upgraded, the tools and tweaks contained in version 4.0 set a new standard in optimization versatility.

NOD32: Digital Nasties Don't Stand a Chance

What it lacks in bells and whistles, this anti-virus powerhouse more than makes up in sheer anti-virus muscle. The app boasts a vigorous ability to meet and defeat threats in real time using its patented ThreatSense heuristic technology.

BitDefender: Comprehensive PC Protection with a Serious Pedigree

Not content to tackle security issues from just one vantage point, the BitDefender trio of Internet security products comprehensively safeguards computers from a range of threats.

The Ticket to Google's Multimedia Megaplex

Google's new Google Video Player takes us into the realm of multimedia content, gathering up a rich archive of moving pictures to be accessed either for free or for pay. Think of Google Video Player as your key to the palace.

Track Your PC Protection with Ease

By now you've protected the PCs in your home office against viruses and other digital threats with a range of tools (we hope). But are those tools working the way they should?

SiteAdvisor: Web Browsing Just Got a Whole Lot Safer

If you register with a Web site, will you be swimming in spam, victimized by viruses or mangled by malware? SiteAdvisor can tell you in advance.

A Fresh and Free Approach to Windows Customization and Management

With the right set of tools, diagnosing and customizing your PC, doesn't have to be scary. Fresh Devices offers a pair of tools just right for the job, and even better, they're both free.

Picasa: Google to the Digital Photo Rescue

Picasa arrives as a handy app for serving the needs of casual digital photo mavens. While unlikely to be the software of choice for serious photographers, the freeware Picasa ably helps the rest of us find, tweak and share our digital images.

Data Backup: Disk Versus Tape

You know how important it is to back up your data, but which technology should you use — hard disk or tape? We look at the pros and cons of each to help you sort it all out.

Vexira AntiVirus 2005: A Lean, Mean Virus-Fighting Machine

Vexira does a highly efficient job guarding against viruses and purging the bad stuff that breaches your PC's defenses. But is that enough to compete with the likes of Norton AntiVirus and McAfee VirusScan?

VoiceStick: VoIP in the Palm of Your Hand

Plug this tiny device into your computer's USB port and you're making calls over the Internet in seconds — and saving money, to boot.

StarOffice 8: Sun's Office Suite Takes on Microsoft

Scheduled to debut in July, Version 8 offers a rock-bottom price and improved capability with MS Office.

Spy Sweeper: Decontamination at Your Service

Don't underestimate spyware. Even though you can't see it, it can still be contaminating your computer. We look at one program that can keep trouble at bay.

SpamPal: The Free Anti-Spam Alternative

Protect your business from unwanted spam — at a price you just can't beat.

It's a Sign: OKI Data Lets You Print Your Own

OKI Data offers SMBs a way to print their own promotional signs. Can it save you money and time?

Retaining Customers Requires Constant Contact

Affordable, easy-to-use software helps you produce professional newsletters and marketing materials to keep your customers aware of — and interested in — your business.

Understanding E-Mail for SMBs

Choosing the right e-mail for your business can be confusing, but learning about a few key points will help you get the best system for your needs.

Thin Is In -- Thin Clients Save Time And Money

Take away a PC's hard drive, and you've got the makings of a system that cuts IT costs and maintenance. Could your business use a thin client?

IBM Gives SMBs Marketing Muscle

Through its PartnerWorld program, Big Blue provides small companies with education, resources and tools to grow their business.

Manage Sales in Outlook with Prophet 2004

Unlike other sales management programs, Prophet integrates with Outlook, so you can manage customers, leads and e-mail from one familiar interface.

HP's B&W Laser Printer Shines

Whether you need monochrome laser printers for your small business or for a group of your employees, you won't find any easier or more reliable than those in the HP 1320 Series.

King of the Road — The Mobile SMB

There's more to going mobile than choosing the coolest gadget. A few SMB owners and wireless experts share their thoughts on what you need to know.

Bloomba Ends the Frantic Search for E-mail

Whether you're chronically disorganized or merely overwhelmed by the massive size of your inbox, Bloomba makes it easy to find that electronic message in a haystack.

Silex Technologies Serves While You Save

Save money on the number of USB devices you purchase by having your workers share them from the office network. Silex Technologies makes it possible.

UPS: It's About Power, Not Packages

Between man-made blackouts and Mother Nature's thunderstorms, summertime can be tough on computing. Add a universal power supply to your business system and keep your cool all year round.

Laser Printers: Better, Cheaper, Faster

In terms of performance, quality and price, these two laser printers are in a dead heat. How do you decide which one is right for you?

Web Hostess With the Mostest

Finding the perfect home for your company's Web site is a challenge, but it doesn't have to be a chore. Here are a few tips on where to look and what to ask before you choose a Web host.

Software Giants Eye the SMB Market

More and more major software players are developing products for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Do they make sense for your company?

Upgrade Your Office Systems Without Losing Your Mind

Incorporating new hardware, software or other office systems doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here are a few steps to consider before you take the plunge.

Has Linux Finally Arrived?

More small businesses are flocking to Linux for its reliability and low cost, but does that signal acceptance within the SMB market? Others say shortcomings in applications and support still hamper the OS. The battle continues.

The Path to Data Salvation

Is there a data heaven? Most of us know there is a data hell. Stop praying that lost data will miraculously return. With Glorio from Restorion, home office workers can simply download lost files and say 'hallelujah' — we're back in business.

Looking Into Retirement?

Do your homework online, talk to friends and colleagues, and then start talking to financial planners. There are a number of products out there; we take a look at the small business benefits of employee benefits.

Measuring the Value of CRM

Small businesses are adopting customer relationship management strategies for much the same reason as are larger businesses — in an effort to make their sales efforts more efficient and ultimately more productive.

Ten Points to Ponder Before You Outsource

How can you be certain that your small business is getting the best outsourcer for your money? How can you be sure that your IT functions will be handled properly? Learn to look beyond price alone to evaluate the people behind the service.

Tech Tips to Minimize Tax Audits

Good accounting software, payroll outsourcing and other such tools may not help avoid an audit, but they may help small-business owners stay organized if the IRS comes knocking. Learn how to set your records straight.

In-House or Outsource; SMBs Reevaluate Their Options

Small businesses are increasingly dependent on technology-driven solutions. A number of technological advances continue to make it easier and cheaper to contract out these functions. When does it make sense to outsource?

Networking on the Web

There's networking, a way to connect computers and people. Then there's networking, a cup of coffee and some Danish with a group of your peers. Then there's networking, a way to build business relationships without leaving the office.

Small E-Stores Avoid Credit Card Fraud

While the use of fraudulent credit cards is rampant online, it still is possible for the small e-business owner to put in place meaningful safeguards. To do so requires a careful mix of human and mechanical safeguards.

Ramifications of 'Do Not Call' Lists for Small Businesses

Most people know about the recent 'do not call' legislation. But the legislation covers a lot more than just telemarketing and it has big implications even for small firms that have no involvement in bulk phone solicitations.

Pop Goes the Pop-Up

There are plenty of solutions out there that can make your small office a pop-up free-zone. Learn about several free fixes that actually work and higher-end solutions that can be purchased as part of a larger security package.

Easy Fixes for Data Lapses

The world is rife with data-recovery and data-backup solutions, many of them targeted at the small businesses user. So why don't people make use of these solutions? People don't know how to protect their data. Learn how to do it properly with Rapid Restore or Synch-N-Save.

Low-Cost Printers Create Red Ink

The upfront costs of buying and installing a printer represent about one-third of the total cost of the device. Supplies may cost another third, while the rest are 'hidden' costs. Save your business a few bucks and learn how to hunt down these covert costs.

Case Study: Small Dog, Big Byte

What do dog lovers and Apple enthusiasts have in common? Small Dog, a computer electronics company that offers more than Mac's online. Big e-businesses could take a little obedience training from Small Dog when it comes to being a leader of the pack.

Technology Makes Tax Time Less Taxing

Learning from your mistakes is not an efficient tax-managment plan. Year-round tax prep might sound like your worst nightmare, but some would argue that it could be a small business owner's best friend when you allow technology to help.

BigTime Practice-Management for Small Businesses

How do you make more money in a service business? 'The answer is productivity. That means getting the pieces to fit more carefully together. BigTime fills the gap where QuickBooks falls short and other business management applications are too pricey.

SCORE on IT

The Service Corps of Retire Executives is not the most technologically savvy organization in the world. Nonetheless, some of today's fastest-growing technology companies owe their success at least in part to wisdom gleaned through their SCORE mentors.

An Economical Remote Access Solution

A lot of small-business owners would like to be able to work from home or at the very least be able to hit the road and still be productive. GoToMyPC is an inexpensive remote-access solution that allows small-business owners to do both.

Small Business Web Analytics

One the most basic level, web analytics can be a valuable marketing tool. Others rely on web analytics to track site performance. Experts agree, though, that monitoring performance through web analytics software is only a first step.

Software's After-Sticker Shock

The hidden costs of software can really add up — service contracts, maintenance fees, training, lost time and productivity all need to be factored into the picture before you buy.

Finding Funding Online

In spite of a sluggish economy, there still is money available for small and start-up businesses. PriceWaterhouseCooper estimates that in just the first quarter of this year, some $3.8 billion in venture capital deals were concluded. Better still: Technology turns out to be the entrepreneur's best friend in the search for funding.

Hidden-Tech Firms Beyond Silicon Valley

The firms may be small, but their connections to the world of technology give them broad reach. More than three-quarters of the small businesses nestled throughout the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts describe themselves as global, national or regional technology firms.

Finding The Perfect Webhost

There are better ways to choose a hosting provider than by simply taking the lowest bidder. In considering vendors, there are a number of issues to take into account before you select a webhost.

The Lease-Versus-Buy Equation

What is more cost effective for small businesses — buying or leasing new hardware? Learn what experts have to say about how small businesses should manage the equation.

Surveying Your Way To The Top

Providing top-notch customer service doesn't happen on its own accord. Developing an online survey is one way to learn if your small business is living up to customers' expectations. But where do you start?

ScanAlert Hacker Safe Shopping

Can a security logo make a difference? When it comes to online shopping, some recent data suggests that it can.

Simple Safeguards To Keep Your Small Business Network Secure

Just because you operate a small business doesn't mean that you can hide from hackers. It's better to establish a rock-solid IT security plan for your computer network before someone starts poking around in your business.

Four Ways To Reduce Spam

You can do it yourself, have your ISP filter it, use software to blacklist it, or hire a third-party to try and stem the flow of spam. Learn what some small businesses are doing to keep unwanted e-mail out and important messages coming in, without wasting IT staff time and resources.

When It Comes To IT, Don't Go It Alone

A lot of small business owners end up spending more on new technology then is necessary. Learn how to save money and make the most of your IT budget, by working with a professional consultant.

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