Ian Barker

The best CRM software as selected by business professionals

CRM

By allowing companies to track and manage customer interactions, CRM (customer relationship management) systems are key to the success of sales and marketing teams. There are a lot of alternative systems to choose from though which can present a problem when it comes to picking the best option for the needs of a particular enterprise.

In order to help with this business software user review site G2 Crowd has produced its regular Grid report ranking 27 different CRM systems.

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What makes Apple such a success? -- Free ebook

2013 Apple MacBook Air Illuminated Logo

Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Apple is a phenomenally successful company. But how has it managed to achieve this from a business that started in a garage?

Mostly it hasn’t been by innovation but by taking technology that already existed and turning it into the devices that people want to buy. Apple, more than any other company, has succeeded in making technology cool and desirable.

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Datastickies and the rebirth of the cassette -- the future of data storage

Cassette tape

Remember when floppy disks really were floppy? Or the joys of loading programs on a home computer from a C15 cassette? In just over 40 years storage technology has gone from these crude devices to cloud servers that put terrabytes of space in reach of anyone.

But where does the future lie? Hardware supplier Ebuyer has produced an infographic looking at the direction storage may take in the future.

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Internet users say they want privacy but behave like they don't

Privacy

We all say that we want privacy and security online, yet we indulge in potentially risky behaviors that put this in jeopardy according to a recent study commissioned by Trend Micro and released to coincide with the launch of its Internet Security 2015 product.

Activity like browsing suspect websites and allowing apps to access public information from their social media profiles puts people’s privacy at risk. Also 67 percent of people let their browser save passwords for websites. Trend Micro says saving passwords leaves them susceptible to being hacked, especially in light of recent retail security breaches.

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PagerDuty delivers advanced reporting and visualization

Data graph report

Monitoring of IT systems is only effective if you're able to interpret the data you collect and act on it in a timely manner. This is especially true when it comes to resolving incidents.

Operations performance management company PagerDuty is launching new advanced analytics tools to provide IT teams with insights into team and system performance. Using operational metrics like incident frequency and time taken to respond and resolve, companies can now drive even faster incident resolution. At the same time it gives managers the opportunity to understand and improve the key factors that drive uptime.

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New Dell partnership strengthens enterprise risk management

Insider threat

In the event of a major problem, whether it's a cyber attack, political unrest or a natural disaster, getting critical information to the right people in a timely manner is crucial.

To address this, Dell Software has formed a partnership with enterprise risk visualization software company, IDV Solutions to integrate Dell's AlertFind enterprise notification solution with IDV's Visual Command Center. The combined product will give companies the ability to monitor and respond to security threats by enabling communication with affected employees when a risk occurs (via email, text, voice, pager or fax) and track real-time status of message recipients to know who has responded and who may require assistance.

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PaaSLane 2.5 release adds new capabilities for cloud developers

cloud

The PaaSLane tool for assessing the cloud-readiness of applications has been available for two years and has helped many organizations transition their software smoothly. It's able to detect outdated architecture, weak security, platform issues and more.

Now Cloud Technology Partners has brought out a new release to allow Java and .Net developers to assess and optimize their source code for the cloud more quickly and efficiently.

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Cisco adds threat focus to its firewall platform

Cisco ASA 5500

The firewall is usually the first line of defense for any network, but most offerings are focused on access policy and application control which makes it hard for them to respond to zero-day and more advanced attacks.

Now networking company Cisco is launching what it calls the first threat-focused Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW). Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services provides the contextual awareness and dynamic controls needed to automatically assess threats, correlate intelligence, and optimize defenses in order to protect networks.

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Riak Enterprise 2.0 enhances NoSQL database usability

Business database server

For organizations that deal with large quantities of data, the NoSQL database is a popular choice. However, it can present problems for traditional database programmers.

For this reason developers are always on the look out for ways to build applications more easily and unlock the potential of unstructured data. With the release of its latest Riak Enterprise 2.0, NoSQL specialist Basho is addressing these needs.

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IT professionals not confident they can prevent cyber attacks

security padlock

Despite the number of high profile attacks in recent months, many organizations are still lacking confidence in their ability to prevent a cyber attack or data breach.

These are the findings of a new survey from risk consultancy firm Protiviti which also shows that companies aren't properly preparing for crises and often don’t have adequate core data policies.

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Over three-quarters of mobile apps will fail security tests by 2015

mobile security

New research by analysts at Gartner shows that more than 75 percent of mobile apps are set to fail basic security tests by 2015.

This is a particular worry for enterprises as employees may download software from app stores. These apps offer minimal or no security assurances but are able to access sensitive business data and violate company security policy.

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Companies shouldn't 'over think' internet of things security

Internet of Things

The internet of things opens up a vast range of new opportunities for individuals and businesses. But as we saw yesterday with expert predictions on the impact of the Apple Watch it also brings additional risks.

Analysts at Gartner are predicting that by 2017 more than 20 percent of businesses will have security devices aimed at protecting services and devices in the internet of things.

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Data center market will show massive change over the next two years

IT server data datacenter enterprise

Four major factors will bring about dramatic change in the data center market by the end of 2016, according to a new report released by Gartner.

The factors are: highly disruptive competition, big cloud provider dominance, economic warfare, and nationalism. All of these will occur with different intensities over different time frames but will have a significant impact on the market.

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Apple Watch will boost wearable adoption and add risk say experts

Apple announces its first wearable -- the Apple Watch

The adoption of wearable technology is on the verge of becoming mainstream and that process can only be accelerated by the release of the Apple Watch.

A recent study by Acquity, part of the Accenture consulting group, shows that wearable fitness devices are already taking off. By the end of 2015 they’re expected to reach 22 percent adoption and 43 percent within five years.

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Fewer than half of European businesses are ready for the cloud

cloudfailure

Given the hype surrounding it, it’s easy to believe that the cloud is increasingly the first choice when it comes to business systems.

Yet a new survey by IDC reveals that a majority of European IT departments have yet to fully embrace its benefits. When asked about their readiness to move to a cloud-based strategy levels of confidence were low.

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