On this week’s 3 Tech Guys Show –- Brent Leary and Ramon Ray (Gene was on vacation) share insights about Salesforce.com building a platform, the dangers of connected devices , “The Internet of Things,” Foursquare’s resurgence in local search, Freshdesk’s $31 million funding bringing more interest to the world of customers service…and more. Here is 3TechGuys’ latest take on all things tech and small business.
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Salesforce1 – Building A platform for a broader collaboration community
Salesforce1 is a CRM service platform that allows users to build apps and make them easily available to mobile users (customers). Salesforce1 is bringing its vision of a connected world – devices, apps and customers – on a U.S. tour, and Brent Leary observed it up close in Atlanta. Imagine a retail store building (or buying) apps that let its shoppers have a richer and more pleasant buying experience. Imagine a manufacturer being able to better monitor how its service teams are performing and measure how they can better service customers. Part of the Salesforce1 vision is also to connect all digital devices to each other for seamless communication.
Brent: “They’ve gone well beyond just the CRM at this point, the CRM application. Now they want to be the platform, the Enterprise platform, that you build your Enterprise cloud apps on, and your mobile cloud apps on.”
The Internet of Things – Dangers and privacy concerns
Brent’s concern, shared by Ramon, is that while having a world where all devices are connected through the Internet, sending information and receiving information (The Internet of Things) is a security nightmare. Already big retailers and small businesses are being attacked and having data stolen by hackers. Small businesses that are connecting more and more of their devices and information to the Internet need to be careful. Businesses need to implement as much security as possible so that their customers, data and overall business operations are protected.
Brent: “And I think it does open up tremendous business opportunities for small companies as well as big companies, but, I think, you know, it’s almost like we have to make sure that some of this stuff is secure before it goes out to the masses, because it’s just way too… I’m sitting here, driving on the freeway, getting all this information tracked, and all of a sudden, I’m staring in a different direction? That just scares me a little bit.”
Foursquare – Evolving into a powerful local search platform
Foursquare was a hot company – one time – but the 3 Tech Guys say it’s become less and less relevant due to the steady dominance of Google, Yelp and other local search engines. However, in a discussion with Nina Yiamsamatha, on Foursquare’s small business marketing team, Ramon found out that Foursquare’s about ready to come back in a resurgence of marketing and products.
Ramon: “Foursquare could be one of the best search engines to find things, because again, it’s one thing to find out what’s the weather like in Miami, but when you find out what’s the pizza shop, the shoe repair shop, the car dealer? Your friends, and Foursquare’s intelligence, can better probably help you with that than anybody else.”Freshdesk receives $31 million in venture fundingThe 3 Tech Guys say this investment into Freshdesk indicates that not only do investors have faith in the company, but it also validates the ecosystem of customer support services. Best of breed online customer support solutions ensure growing businesses can serve their customers better. Instead of lost emails and disorganized inboxes, customer service solutions enable businesses to streamline customer support and ensure that each customer is taken care of.
Ramon: “Freshdesk and these services are platforms, which – you know better than me here, Brent – for a low monthly fee per person, I think it is, that you can have support like the big boys do.”What’s hot?Brent likes Humin, an app which seeks to connect all of your “contacts” and bring a human dimension to your network. Ramon recommends “The Age of the Customer,” Jim Blasingame’s newest book which speaks about the importance of recognizing that no longer does the SELLER hold the power.