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10 technology must-haves for your business

With the new financial year upon us, we asked a variety of companies to share with us their top new products for the small business owner looking to make life easier and more efficient. From software and apps to tablets and ultrabooks, this roundup has it all.

Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition from Symantec

Today, every business depends on data. But when you’re busy running your business, who has the time and expertise to install and configure yet another piece of software?

Symantec Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition replaces confusion with confidence, offering complete data protection set-up in less than 10 minutes through three simple steps. An intuitive wizard-based approach provides all of the disaster recovery capabilities needed in a Windows environment in less than 10 clicks. Should disaster strike—large or small—Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition is immediately ready to restore your business at any scale, from full system servers to individual files, quickly.

Simple yet comprehensive, Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition is packaged with the needs of small businesses in mind, supporting any Windows Server or Windows Small Business Server environment, and providing single-license support for Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V applications.

The acknowledged leader in data protection with millions of installations, Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition combines a winning track record in physical server recovery with innovative technology for emerging Hyper-V and VMware® virtual systems, covering the business you have today and the growth you anticipate for tomorrow.

Free Trial at http://www.anzsymantecsmb.com.au. RRP $995.

The grip and jet rollers from STM

Business people are constantly on the go, jumping between the office, meetings and home. It’s not easy to juggle all of the things you need for a day (or a few) on the road, especially when it comes to digital devices. Australian company STM has solved this problem with a range of bags and cases designed specifically to protect your laptop or tablet when on the move.

Need your iPad for a meeting? The grip is the perfect solution, with a hard shell back and soft lining that provides your iPad (2 or new) with enhanced protection from scratches and bumps. It features a magnetized auto on-off front cover (saving the battery life), and two kickstand settings for typing and viewing (perfect for presentations and taking notes in meetings).

For those slightly longer trips, the jet roller has you covered. As you head down the concourse to the gate, your laptop is protected, your accessories are organised and your clothes are neatly packed. With its smooth rolling system and two easy grab handles, you can store the jet roller quickly and easily overhead.

The grip retails for $69.95 and the jet roller retails for $179.95. For more STM products visit www.stmbags.com.au.

Manage expense claims and business travel with Concur

Managing expense claims can be a time and resource-consuming process. Organisations lose up to five percent of their productivity each month managing expenses and errors in expense claims cost Australian companies around $100 million per year in labour costs alone. Concur’s easy to use, integrated travel and expense management solution decreases these costs, saves time and increases control and visibility of employee spend.

With Concur’s cloud-based, mobile solution, employees can easily book trips within policy and create and submit in-policy expense claims – all in one solution. Managers can quickly review and approve expense claims while finance departments receive real-time reports on employee spend data – giving everyone more time back in their day and increasing control and visibility of their bottom line.

What if you’re interested in just travel or expenses? Concur can do that too. Concur requires no hardware or software to install or maintain with no expensive software licenses, upgrades or IT support required. It can be customised to your company needs and up in running in less than 30 days. With Concur, you can:

• Reduce costs: Decrease the cost of every expense transaction by over 78 percent.

• Save time: Lower expense claim processing time up to 35 percent.

• Enforce policies: Customise Concur to utilise your corporate policies and preferred vendors.

To learn more visit www.concur.com.au

Citrix GoToMeeting with HDFaces

For many of us, travel is an unavoidable part of our working lives. Face-to-face meetings are an important part of building relationships with our colleagues and customers, but they can often be located in different parts of the city, country, or globe. Travelling requires time and money, and for small businesses, both of these are always in short supply.

Many businesses are discovering that simple technology tools, such as online video conferencing, are changing the way that people work together. Citrix GoToMeeting with HDFaces allows users to conduct essential meetings anywhere in the world; saving on travel costs and time. GoToMeeting allows you to host an online meeting with up to 25 people and users can integrate up to six HD video streams, with screen sharing, VOIP and phone audio, allowing them to meet virtually and collaborate right from their PC, smartphone or iPad.

A flat monthly fee of $71.50 allows you to host unlimited meetings, while participation in meetings is completely free. The first rendition of the GoToMeeting app was released in April 2010 and has since consistently ranked in the top 10 free applications for business. HDFaces capability was introduced on the iPad in May 2012.

Manage duty of care with the Navman Wireless fleet management solution

Navman Wireless provides GPS fleet management and tracking solutions via its software application OnlineAVL2 (automatic vehicle locator). The software provides SMBs with tools to effectively locate, manage, maintain and communicate with their fleet, a must-have for fleet managers who are wanting to abide by the new Work, Health and Safety Act.

OnlineAVL2 was specifically developed to help SMBs remedy inefficiencies within their fleet operations in order to maximise productivity, improve customer service and reduce costs. It provides 24-seven access to their fleets’ activities using satellite GPS tracking via Telstra’s Next G network. It helps managers locate vehicles in seconds as well as track, message and direct their fleet from mobile devices, in any location– from the office, home or when on the road. With such real-time visibility on the exact location of vehicles and their current availability, managers can make more efficient and informed business decisions when sending field staff job details with attached address of job site.

The reporting suite provides hard statistics on all areas of fleet operations from time on site, trip distances, idle time and tracking vehicle use outside of work. Managers can also significantly reduce administration time as the OnlineAVL2 provides comprehensive reports on timesheets, vehicle maintenance schedules and accurate invoices for jobs completed.

Improve workflow with Fuji Xerox

Australian small and medium businesses are increasingly reporting frustration with their document processes. Not only does this have an impact on employee satisfaction and productivity – it directly impacts the business bottom line. In fact, according to the IDC and Fuji Xerox SMB Workflow Study 2011, the cost of simply looking for documents in a medium-sized business could be up to $507,000 a year.

Automate, a Fuji Xerox solution, can help ease the pain associated with creating, reviewing, authorising and locating documents in your organisation. Automating common workflows within your organisation will not only increase the speed at which tasks can be completed, but also minimise the risk of error by reducing the number of steps in the process. You’ll also benefit from improved transparency and accountability as documents can be easily tracked throughout a workflow.

To find out how much your business could save, or view an online demonstrations of Automate, visit http://bit.ly/dbautomate

Fujitsu’s LIFEBOOK good for business 

The Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U772 is designed for demanding business professionals on business trips and in the office. The stylish and fully-featured Ultrabook is currently the thinnest 14-inch with a frameless display. Its extended battery runtime, high responsiveness, ultimate security features and optional embedded 4G/LTE or 3G/UMTS offer the ultimate mobility when on the move. It also features ShockSensor for hard disk drive protection, a full solid magnesium housing and Anytime USB Charge to charge mobile devices even when the system is turned off. From only 1.4 kg, the U772 is available in Classic Silver or Frosted Red.

The biggest differentiation of the U772 is its commercial features such as the optional docking station, built with an array of display and USB 3.0 ports. It is also the first Ultrabook to feature Intel vPro and TPM technologies. Also with security in mind, the U772 is built with a fingerprint sensor, Full Disk Encryption (FDE) and can be bundled with Intel® Anti Theft & Computrace software. Another uniqueness of the U772 is its built-in Ethernet port on a dongle, suited for frequent hotel visitors or office staff without a fixed desk location.

Fully manufactured in Japan, the Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U772 is the definitive commercial Ultrabook. Find out more at http://www.fujitsu.com/au. RRP from $2,388.

Protect all your important files with a Buffalo TeraStation 5000

A NAS or Network Attached Storage is a smart way of storing and protecting your files without the high costs of a server. This system connects to your network, allowing those on the network to access and share files from a central location, along with a bunch of other helpful stuff. A robust NAS is a must have for any small business because data loss can happen at any time so make sure you are ready and all your important files are protected.

The Buffalo TeraStation 5400 is specifically designed for small business users demanding higher performance and data redundancy. Buffalo has long-standing presence in the storage industry and all the experience it has gained in that time is on display in the excellent TeraStation.

Don’t wait until you lose your data to take action. Make sure your files are stored and backed up safely.

RRP $836 from www.estore.com.au

At $399, the Lenovo 64GB ThinkPad Tablet (Wi-Fi) is unbeatable

Quick to start up and with up to eight hours’ battery life, this is a must-have for any small business to keep up to date with a fast moving world. View, edit and create Microsoft Office files with Documents to Go. Take notes or make updates right into your files with a digital pen. Print office documents, email, photos, contacts, calendars, text and picture/video messages, call logs and web pages from your device directly to a printer next to you or over the Internet anywhere in the world.

This tablet is really the perfect tool for anything from large presentations to clients meetings to keep your small business on the cutting edge and one step ahead. Don’t miss out on getting one for the incredible price of $399.

This fantastic deal is brought to you by PowerBuy IT.They get you the best deal on IT, you can buy from anywhere and still receive a cashback on eligible items. PowerBuy negotiates deals with leading IT brands to bring you the best price on the market.

RRP $399 from www.powerbuy.com.au/lenovo

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Jen Bishop

Jen Bishop

Jen was the publisher at Loyalty Media and editor of Dynamic Business, Australia's largest circulating small business magazine, from 2008 until 2012. She is now a full-time blogger at The Interiors Addict.

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