A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
Are you an entrepreneur who travels frequently but has difficulty managing those costs? A new online travel-management tool designed for small businesses may be your answer. Worldspan, a travel-technology company based in Atlanta, recently launched Worldspan Trip Manager XE for Small Business, a Web-based self-booking tool built to help rein in company travel budgets.
The Trip Manager gives companies access to Worldspan's global travel database, so travelers can find the lowest available fares from airlines worldwide, as well as hotel and car-rental information. Users can book and manage their itineraries through a simple online interface similar to leading travel websites. Worldspan's comprehensive pricing system ensures that users receive the most accurate fare and transaction-processing capabilities. The Trip Manager tool also gives small businesses access to low-fare shopping through integration with another Worldspan product, e-Pricing.
"Small businesses need access to the same travel content and competitive supplier rates, online convenience, and powerful shopping and booking tools available in a comprehensive travel-management system," Kathy Fitzpatrick, Worldspan vice president, said in a statement.
ThinkFree Docs, a new online service developed by San Jose, Calif.-based ThinkFree, allows business owners to search, share, tag, and publish Microsoft Office documents -- such as sales presentations and business plans -- in an online social community.
The service works in much the same way as Flickr, a popular website among photographers for publishing and sharing photos. ThinkFree Docs now gives business owners a social network for office content. In additional to sharing business presentations and Excel spreadsheets, ThinkFree's new global community allows content creators to instantly share legal agreements, creative work, and other educational materials.
Users can also create a profile in order to assist other visitors in locating areas of expertise. Content creators have full control over their work -- ThinkFree Docs gives options for how work is shared or credited, and files can also be tagged for quick identification and search optimization. Visitors can easily review other people's work and contribute to online conversations surrounding certain projects.
"Our users are helping us shape the future of content collaboration, networking and sharing, simply through the conversations we engage with them," Jonathan Crow, Director of Marketing for ThinkFree, said in a statement.
ThinkFree Docs runs on all major browsers on Windows, Linux and Macintosh systems and is compatible with Microsoft Office formats.
ArtSelect, a Fairfield, Iowa-based online art marketplace, announced this week that it has partnered with Small Business Members of America to provide discounts and resources to small businesses and their employees.
The online shop, which offers artwork and framing services, will provide SMBA members an additional 15 percent discount. Through ArtSelect, shoppers can pick out their own prints, frames, and mats, and customize their piece online.
"Art for the work environment and home office can be difficult to find for two reasons -- limited choice and high cost," Cynthia Higgins, vice president of business development at ArtSelect, said in a statement. "ArtSelect's extensive selection of reasonably priced, quality workplace images eliminates this problem for Small Business Members of America. A beautiful photograph or landscape creates a window to the world, improving morale and concentration."