This week with many companies looking back over the past six months to see what they might do in the coming six months there has been a lot of research into the cloud and SMB adoption. Dell has also been busy and continues its moves into the SMB space with new security offerings.

Advertising Search Spend Jumps 159% on 2009

We’ve all heard that the recession is over, but most have been wondering where the evidence is. Well the recently published quarterly report from WebVisible might just have that evidence. It shows that despite difficulties small businesses continued to increase their online search spending over last year.

The report also shows that Yahoo! drew some of that spend away from competitors Google and Ask. The average small business advertiser spent US$ 2,231 on search advertising in Q2 2010 -- up by 1.4 % from Q1 2010 and by 159% Q2 2009. Year on year spending was up 91% in Q1 2010 and 111% over corresponding quarters in 2009.

These are among some of the findings of the fourth WebVisible Report: State of Small Business Online Advertising Q2 2010. The report examined trends among WebVisible’s U.S. advertisers from Q2 2009 through Q2 2010 representing nearly US$ 23 million in U.S. small business advertiser spending. The report also includes an analysis of data from more than 10,000 advertisers in the U.K. in Q1 and Q2 2010.

Even better than all that for many SMBs, is the fact that conversion activity also increased dramatically.

Over the past year, conversion activity increased on almost all website actions – filling out an online form, watching a video, bookmarking a page or printing driving directions. . . .The more options a company provides, the more actions a website visitor will take – giving advertisers multiple opportunities to establish a connection with each potential buyer," said Kirsten Mangers, CEO of WebVisible

Nearly half of all clicks -- 43 percent -- resulted in a web conversion in Q2 2010, up by 22 percent over Q1 2010 and 39 percent over Q2 2009. Conversion activity more than doubled for form fills, video views, printed driving directions and bookmarking in Q2 2010 versus Q2 2009, suggesting that users are taking advantage of additional website options provided by advertisers.

The percentage of clicks resulting in a phone call to the advertiser increased by 29 percent over the previous quarter and by 58 percent over the same period last year.

If you want get a full free copy of the report visit the WebVisible website. Anyone can request a full copy of The WebVisible Report there.

Dell Offers Better SMB Security

Dell continues its move into the SMB market with a new security solution for midsized businesses and organizations that integrates software, security management tools and services to help customers protect their IT infrastructure and data.

As part of its new security solution, Dell and Juniper Networks announced today plans for an expansion of their agreement to develop additional SMB focused Unified Threat Management features and network security appliances.

At the same time Dell also announced that it has established a partnership with information security services vendor SecureWork to provide a full range of information security services that help customers identify, monitor and manage security, risks and compliance needs. The services will be available by the end of the year. The new portfolio consists of:

  • Network Security with the Dell J-SRX Services Gateways which integrates a full suite of advanced network security services into a single appliance, enabling organizations to simplify their security deployments.
  • Endpoint Security with the Dell KACE K1000 Management which gives life-cycle management capabilities including system inventory, helpdesk and application deployment as well as key security features such as vulnerability assessment and remediation via patch management and configuration enforcement.
  • Security Services to be offered include 24 x 7 security monitoring, firewall management, security assessments and web application scanning. Network and endpoint security are available now while the new services will come online by the end of the year.

Are SMBs Heading to the Cloud?

New research by Spiceworks shows that during the first half of 2010, 14% of SMBs reported using cloud computing services with a further 10% actively planning their deployment.

The result of a survey of 1,500 IT professionals working in the SMB space it showed that:

  • Smaller SMBs are more aggressive when it comes to cloud services adoption than larger SMB counterparts. 38% of SMBs with fewer than 20 employees use or plan to use cloud solutions in the next 6 months.
  • 17% of organizations with between 20 and 99 employees and the 22% of organizations with more than 100 employees use or plan to use cloud services.
  • 41% of SMBs in Latin America/South America and 35% of SMBs in the Asia/Pacific region are adopting cloud services.
  • 24% of SMBs in North America and 19% in Europe are adopting cloud services.
  • 62% of SMBs have no plans to move to the cloud in the next 12 months citing technology and security concerns.

The report concludes that small companies with little existing infrastructure and outsourced IT are moving most quickly to the cloud, whereas larger SMBs are taking more measured steps due to considerable investments in onsite technology.

The SMB Cloud Computing Adoption: What's Hot and What's Not survey was conducted by the Spiceworks Voice of IT (VoIT) market research program. Survey respondents were from 87 different countries and among the 1 million SMB IT professionals that use the free Spiceworks IT management software to manage their computer networks. If you want more on this you can get the survey from Spiceworks.

Sage Identifies Cloud Concerns

And to confirm concerns about the cloud, Sage North America (news, site) has released a new report, pulled together by Saugatuck, entitled Software-as-a-Service: Managing Key Concerns and Considerations with Saugatuck (news, site). It identifies security, data integrity and customization as the three top deployment concerns of small and midsize businesses considering SaaS or cloud-based business applications. The principal features SMB executives are looking for include:

  • Business process management and workflow
  • Backup and recovery
  • Mobile device support

The 2010 SaaS user survey indicates that, by year-end 2012, between 40% and 50% of SMB executives expect to have adopted SaaS-based CRM. This adoption requires management of cloud computing concerns that include:

  • Data security and privacy
  • Data and transaction integrity
  • Customization for unique business requirements

Saugatuck's 2010 survey shows the high importance SMB executives place on SaaS business process and workflow integration, which maps directly to the demand by businesses for IT to enable better and more ways of doing business at lower cost. The Sage-sponsored white paper is available at the website.

Google Translates for SMBs

And finally, if missed you it during the week, Google has integrated Google Translate into Google Docs, giving SMBs that are using Docs and need an inexpensive translation capabilities easy access to a service that covers 52 languages.

Unlike some of the bigger machine-translation systems, is completely automated and does not depend on rule-based approaches with large defined vocabularies and dictionaries.

Instead, Google says it feeds its computers with billions of words of texts and aligns it with text consisting of examples of human translations between the languages.

While the new translation abilities in Google Docs probably don’t compare to the translation abilities of the recently announced product from IBM and Lionbridge, or some of the SDL products, this is not an enterprise translator, it serves the need of users who are working using Docs and just need a handy translation.