Top Cloud Computing Services for Businesses

Top Cloud Computing Services for Businesses

Small Business Expert

Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.

As the economy faltered in the late Aughts, many American businesses began to favor cloud computing. That’s not a coincidence. These services let users access servers, applications, storage space, and lots more via the web or a small downloadable desktop file. There’s no need to buy, install, upgrade, or maintain software, nor is it necessary to pair up such solutions with top-of-the-line PCs: the application data and software is stored at a remote server, and streamed to the users’ computers. 

If you have your own business, particularly a small business, you might want to consider looking to the Internet instead of spending money and resources on programs. Here are five of the best cloud computing services for businesses. 

Google Apps for BusinessWhatever you need to help your employees (or yourself) get the job done, Google probably has an app that you can access for free, or for a small fee. Google Apps for Businesses provide web-based emails, calendars, storage, and document management, and it’s all secure and simple to use. You can try out Google Apps for Business free for thirty days. 

DropboxDropbox is a file-hosting service that offers storage and client applications. You can store your documents, pictures, and videos, then bring them up anywhere at any time on any PC, or even smartphones and tablets.   

RackspaceWith Rackspace, you can “rent” as much cloud server space as you need for file and application storage. There’s no long-term contract, you only pay for what you use, and you’re not responsible for managing the server itself. 

Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Web Services offers pay-as-you-go application hosting, storage, backup, and database solutions. It’s a favorite as far as cloud-based computing services go, and its popularity is growing rapidly. 

Windows AzureAzure gives its users access to web applications. It’s had a bit of a rough start, as some of its big-name clients have jumped ship, but mainstream cloud technology is still young. It’ll be interesting to see how Azure rises to challenge its competition. 

Need to find more information about good cloud-based computing services? Read: 

Best  10 Cloud Computing Providers for 2012 at About

5 of the Best Cloud Computing Services at Telegraph

13 Best Cloud Computing Services for Small Businesses at PCMag

Online Job Hunting Guide: 5 Ways to Get Hired

Online Job Hunting Guide: 5 Ways to Get Hired

Small Business Expert

Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.

Finding a job is no longer just about printing out reams of paper, dropping them in a mailbox, and then crossing your fingers. There are dozens of ways to successfully find a career, and taking your hunt online can yield big success. Countless job sites exist to help you showcase your Resume, and hundreds of Internet communities can offer up tons of online job hunting tips, guides and expert advice.

Don’t feel intimidated, though. A lot of the advice that’s available can be condensed into a handful of rules that are easy to remember, and even easier to execute. Here’s what you should keep in mind while you’re conducting your own online job hunt, all of which can help you get hired:

Write a customized cover letter—and then follow up – The Internet has made job hunting more convenient, but it’s also made it far easier for companies to get spammed with resumes from hundreds of thousands of hopeful job seekers. That’s why it’s important to stand out, and one of the best ways to do so is to tailor your cover letter (and even your resume) so that it speaks specifically to the company you’re applying at. Of course, a customized cover letter takes extra effort, but it’s better to send out fewer personalized cover letters than dump a stack of sterile Resumes and cover letter templates on hapless recruiters. Once you’ve applied, follow up with an email, or, better yet, a phone call in approximately a week. If you’re lucky enough to get an interview, send a Thank You email when you get home later that night.

Tailor your Resume to utilize keywords – Recruiters use keywords to sort through the mountain of resumes that inevitably end up at their doorstep. If a resume doesn’t have any of the job-specific keywords they’re looking for, it’s likely to wind up in the trash. SquawkFox has a great breakdown of some of the keywords that will help your resume bob up for air in the swamp.  

Dig deep on job sites for older postings – Same as we’re always looking for jobs, employers are always looking for employees. Some job hunters make the mistake of going back a mere few days on job postings, which means a lot of great prospects get buried in the avalanche. Take the time to really look at what’s available. Even a job that was posted a few weeks ago stands a good chance of still being open.

Watch out for scams – Seems like common sense, but watch yourself: the economy is in rough shape, and scammers know it. They’ve tailored their pitches to target desperate job seekers with promises of how you can “ Work from Home!!” and “Make $5000 in one week!!!” Though it is possible to work lucrative jobs from home, if a listing sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Always Google an organization before applying, and it goes without saying that you should never submit credit card information or your social security number to any job listing that asks for it.

Use Twitter and other social media in your search – A lot of companies are learning the value of Twitter in the search for employees. Follow companies’ Twitter accounts (and Facebook pages), as well as Twitter accounts that are dedicated to posting job listings in your field.

Our very own Scott Steinberg has put together a guide to online job hunting for NBC’s Life Goes Strong network as well, which offers additional hints, tips and expert advice – including several ways to use personal branding techniques to get hired – for your search. You can view it here – happy hunting!

For more online job hunting tips, check out: 

Job Hunting at About.com

9 Tips for Better Job Hunting at CareerBuilder.com

Strategies for Finding a Job Online at DigitalTrends.com

 

[Image Source]

Best iPad Cases and Accessories for Business

Best iPad Cases and Accessories for Business

Small Business Expert

Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses are increasingly turning to Apple’s popular iPad tablet PC as an alternative to traditional laptops. Given the mobile device’s gorgeous touchscreen display, user-friendly interface, and infinite selection of downloadable apps, which bestow the ability for the system to double as a growing range of gadgets, we can’t say we blame them. Of course, getting the most out of the gizmo often requires investing in some of the best iPad cases and accessories for businesses available out there as well – a point that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re pondering adding the system to your IT budget.

Important to consider: While the iPad isn’t right for all businesses or industries, it can make a reasonable complement to or replacement for desktop and laptop systems in certain cases, meaning that it’s vital to consider your firm’s needs and high-tech usage patterns before buying. And, of course, recognize the device’s limitations, as its virtual keyboard, limited battery life and suite of software programs (in some cases less robust than those you’d enjoy on a traditional computer system) may not suit your company’s requirements. However, the following add-ons can help mitigate some of these issues, and bestow additional features onto the iPad, which may make the decision somewhat easier.

As you’ll see in our latest column for Inc. magazine, the range of iPad cases, accessories and add-ons continues to grow and expand in new directions – many highly beneficial for today’s business owner.

Sena Keyboard Folio

Cost: $149.99

This leather carrying case has an integrated Bluetooth keyboard and folding kickstand. Beyond the obvious benefits of protecting your device and giving you a more comfortable way to type, it’s also elegantly designed. Heck, it’s even fashionable. Be prepared to pay for the style, however: Units don’t come cheap.

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Cost: $29

Digital cameras still produce better images than smartphones and tablets on average, especially under dimly-lit conditions. That’s why you might want to pick up this connection kit, which can import photos and videos onto the iPad via your camera’s USB cable or SD card. Support for JPEG and RAW images, and SD and HD video formats (H.264, MP4, etc.), make it especially handy for social media campaigns or those needing to capture low-light shots at product demos or events.

iHome iDM5 Executive Workstation

Cost: $129.99

An all-in-one solution for mobile professionals, this “Bluetooth keyboard speaker system” (read: full-service workstation) provides a physical keypad, stereo speakers, and two USB ports for device charging. Using it, you can videoconference, play music while working, and recharge mobile gadgets all while you’re getting work done.

For more of the best iPad cases and accessories, please visit Inc. magazine.