A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
Small businesses that frequently deal with customer invoices and online payments, can now manage their payment services through PayPal. IP Commerce, a Denver, Colo.-based software company that coordinates payments between businesses, announced this week that it will now offer small-business customers payment services powered by PayPal. The new services will include an email invoicing solution and a Sales Ticker that can be operated from the Windows Vista sidebar.
Small business customers can access these services using IP Commerce's integrated platform, PASS (Payments as a Secure Service) Commerce Center. Using the PASS Email Invoicing service, small businesses can create and send their customers invoices over email that includes an encrypted payments button so users can accept the payment directly through their PayPal account.
The Sales Ticker feature allows small business users to manage their incoming payments without having to login in to their PayPal account. An active desktop icon receives the payments and alerts users when a payment has come in. "With the help of firms like IP Commerce, small businesses are able to integrate PayPal in new ways to streamline their accounting processes," Gene Alston, business development director at PayPal, said in a statement.
It’s getting easier for small businesses with 20 employees or fewer to get an advanced internet telephony system. Netgear, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based networking technology company has teamed with Avaya, a global provider of business communications applications, to launch a packaged IP telephony solution specifically designed for small businesses with 20 users or fewer.
The Netgear-Avaya solution is meant to be quick and easy to configure and can be easily installed without any specialized training, the companies said. Small-business users will be able to take advantage of cost-savings and access a range of new communications capabilities. The telephony features include Avaya Quick Edition peer-to-peer technology, which cuts costs by eliminating the need for a central phone server, and the ability to have office calls ring on a mobile phone.
Avaya phones will also be powered remotely so that employees can continue to use their phones during a power outage. Additionally, Netgear has built in quality of service capabilities to ensure good call quality even during times of data traffic congestion.
Salesforce.com, a San Francisco-based company that sells web-based business-services software, has launched a new network to help connect entrepreneurs and venture firms that are looking to build successful on-demand software companies.
In addition to providing business users with a directory of software applications through Salesforce.com, the AppExchange Venture Network will provide start-up executives and venture capitalists with business strategies, technology, and operational education and networking forums.
The initiative is an extension of Salesforce.com's AppExchange, an extensive directory of 600 web-based applications. More than $225 million has already been invested in two dozen companies on the AppExchange, the company said. The Venture Network will allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of Salesforce.com's expertise in subscription-based revenue recognition, multi-tenant architectures, and managing a business using the Salesforce platform.
"The AppExchange Venture Network will help venture firms and entrepreneurs roll up their sleeves together to build the net set of industry-leading products and companies," Bryan Stolle, general partner of Mohr David Venture, a member of the AppExchange Venture Network, said in a statement.