This week, a number of vendors have been getting together to make things easier in the SMB space, including Salesforce and Intuit, which entered a partnership to provide accounting and CRM software together; Spiceworks, which has made it easier to access Google Apps form its social networks and document migration for DocuWare using Data Strategies.

Salesforce, Intuit Partner

If you’re using technology to manage your customers and their information, the recent partnership between Salesforce (news, site) and Intuit (news, site) will make a lot of sense.

Over the past week, they have announced a strategic alliance that will make it easier for SMBs to manage customer information alongside their financial data. Using the best of both worlds, they will merge CRM and financial management to allow small businesses using QuickBooks to more efficiently manage customer relationships.

This will be particularly useful for the 50% of small businesses that, according to Intuit research, perform CRM tasks manually, or with software not designed for the job. This includes 28% that use pen and paper, and another 28% that manually enter data on spreadsheets.

As a part of the alliance, Intuit will resell Salesforce CRM with QuickBooks integration that synchronizes customer data with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. This will provide streamlined information to those in sales and management and eliminate data entry in two systems, as well as showing aggregated customer information alongside probability for closing a deal.

Access Google Apps in Spiceworks

Spiceworks (news, site) has also been busy across its SMB base by making the use of Google a whole lot easier for its 1.4 million -- Spiceworks figures -- SMB IT pros. As a result, users will be able to activate and manage Google Apps for Business and Rackspace Cloud Servers through Spiceworks.

The new Spiceworks cloud services management features, available in the latest beta release of Spiceworks version 5.1, make it easier for IT pros to gain access to and manage cloud and hosted services in the same way they manage on-premise technology.

According to a recent Spiceworks Voice of IT market research report, IT pros at SMBs are earmarking 26% of their budgets for hosted or cloud services, with 40% planning to purchase, upgrade or renew hosted email services this year.

Details on the cloud services management capabilities available in the latest release of Spiceworks include:

  • Google Apps for Business Management: Allows users to view and manage Google Apps for Business, including Gmail and more from Spiceworks
  • Rackspace Cloud Server & Hosted E-mail Management: IT pros can provision and administer Rackspace Cloud Server through Spiceworks; since 2010, Spiceworks has also provided free management capabilities for Rackspace hosted email
  • Spiceworks Backup to the Rackspace Cloud: Enables IT pros to back up their Spiceworks installation to their Rackspace Cloud File account

The Spiceworks social business network for IT combines free network management, network monitoring and help desk software with a rapidly growing and active Facebook-like community of IT professionals.

Salescrunch Releases CrunchConnect

If you missed it during the week, Salescrunch (news, site) has released CrunchConnect, a online presentation service, and there are some nice features still in the works. It is a new approach to selling that combines the social aspects we all like to see and the analytics we need to know.

Salescrunch has said that, while this service can be used by anyone, it is targeting the revenue side of the organization to start. It's a service that perfect for SMBs, and a lot of startups currently use it.

CrunchTrainer will enable you to train the organization around conversations and engagement based on what happens in these meetings that you hold. CMSWire took a deeper look at it recently. Check it out

DocuWare Announces Alliance with Data Strategies

DocuWare (news, site) has also announced an alliance with Houston-based Data Strategies. This alliance will provide Data Strategies' document archive migration services to the DocuWare environment.

DocuWare provides document management solutions to its target audience, consisting of SMBs, government agencies and departments in large enterprises.

The company says that an increasing percentage of its new customers are replacing a legacy electronic archive with its products and, as a result, need migration services, which are now being provided by Data Strategies.

The primary advantage to the user is that the files from their former system now work within the DocuWare environment. They have access to their data in a central document pool.

SMB Security

Finally, M86 has launched a security suite. The M86 SMB Security Suite is designed for organizations of up to 500 users and offers the benefits of enterprise-class security software.

The SMB Security Suite includes M86 MailMarshal Secure Email Gateway, M86 WebMarshal, M86 Filter List and M86 Marshal Reporting Console (MRC).

It enables SMBs to deploy and manage security and content where they want and in the same manner as larger enterprises. The Suite also has controls to help small businesses manage their social networks.

Using tools such as quota management and content inspection, the M86 SMB Security Suite allows SMBs to establish and enforce acceptable use policies without having to block access, including making Facebook read-only or blocking access to games websites.