SMB Tech Roll-up: SMBs Restricting Social Networking Access, SAP Extends Reach of ByDesign

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David Roe avatar

With all the talk of social media and its benefits for SMBs, new research from Webroot reveals that many enterprises are still restricting employee access. In other news, Intelestream and Insideview partner for extended CRM-on-demand, making it accessible to all and Linux Box releases its free email archiving solution.

SMBs Restricting SM Access

With all the talk and discussion on how to best use social media, there is always the assumption that employees will be able to access social networking sites. New research from security provider Webroot (news, site) proves otherwise. The results indicate that half of SMBs have internal policies that prevent employees from using company desktops or laptops to access social sites.

The survey of more than 1,000 businesses across the United States and United Kingdom who employed up to 500 people, found that 81 percent of businesses have an employee Internet policy while 50 percent indicate that employees are not permitted to visit any social networks via a company computer or laptop.

While frustrating for many business users, the ban is not without its reasons. One in six of those surveyed said a social networking site or Web 2.0 application was the source of an infection or attack and over half of companies said their network was infected with spyware this year.

More than one in ten (12%) say sensitive company information has been released via their employee's use of social networking sites, while 50 percent were victims of a virus or worm and four in 10 indicate they experienced a phishing attack this year. More information here.

Intelestream Offers Extended SaaS CRM

A new partnership between SaaS CRM provider Intelestream (news, site) and InsideView will see InsiderView’s sales intelligence technology implanted into Intelestream’s CRM software.

The idea behind the integration is to provide a deeper analysis of social networking sites from within Intelstream and provide information about possible sales targets.

As a result, there are a number of functions that SMBs will now be able to afford -- at least that’s what the companies say. They include:

  • Smart Agents, allowing salespeople to track companies of interest
  • Insight into what others are saying about the company on twitter and in blogs.
  • List building of new prospects that fit the target criteria and import them into CRM.

Developed by Intelestream in 2008, Intelecrm offers enterprise level CRM functionality to SMBs. Pricing for the application follows a model that allows for unlimited users for one flat rate.

The application is designed as an affordable, turn-key CRM solution that can be easily customized according to individual requirements. If you’re interested in a 30 day free trial, check it out here.

Linux Box Releases Free CE

In other news this week, open source vendor Linux Box announced the release of its free email archiving community edition. 

The new software, Enkive, is an advanced open source email archiving solution that runs in tandem with a number of other open source email systems, without impacting their performance.

For the moment, it supports open source SMTP supported email systems including, but not limited to, Postfix/Zimbra, Sendmail and Horde/Imp Squirrel mail.

Learning Opportunities

Other supported email systems include Outlook, Gmail and Lotus Notes, although Linux Box says it will require some customization.

As a “Plug and Play" package, it works in tandem with the existing enterprise system without interfering, and unlike other systems it doesn’t take emails directly from the server for archiving.

While the Community Edition is free, the enterprise edition to be released next year will cost and comes with interfaces to proprietary software and custom features as required. The Cloud version, also for release next year, will be charged on a per mail-box-storage used above a base line. See more here.

GROUP Buys Permessa

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen acquisitions in the SMB space, but the wait is now over. GROUP Business has announced the acquisition of Permessa Corporation, a provider of email and sametime monitoring, security and corporate and regulatory policy enforcement.

The integration strategy, relating to the Permessa product lines, is to quickly incorporate their solutions into the GROUP portfolio in the first half of next year. The plan is to enhance existing GROUP products by incorporating the analytics and reporting capabilities offered by Permessa. Additionally, GROUP is using many of the new tools available from Permessa to enhance their Transformer and GROUP Live products.

GROUP Business builds out-of-box self-service software and custom enterprise application solutions on the IBM Lotus Notes Domino platform.

SAP Develops ByDesign EcoSystem

Finally, SAP (news, site) is beginning the process of building an ecosystem around Business ByDesign -- the integrated on-demand suite for SMBs, unifying multiple business operations. 

In the coming months, SAP will expand its reseller program to bring ByDesign to a market that has traditionally looked at SAP as software for the enterprise-size pockets only.

SAP plans to extend its solution reseller program to other countries including the UK, China and India, with initial partners already signed in France, Germany and the US.