B2B Connection

Information and resources for technology buyers

2023 B2B Buying Disconnect: The Self-Serve Economy Is Prove It or Lose It by Megan Headley
Top eCommerce Strategies for 2023 by Neil Chandavarkar

If you’re still using a static content management system (CMS) for digital content delivery, you’re getting left behind. Digital experience platforms (DXP) allow you to create the seamless, personalized experiences your customers expect. The best DXP solutions help you elegantly align content, user data, and analytics. As useful as DXPs are, their cost can be prohibitive. We have selected three products with free, open-source options that give you the benefits of DXP on a budget. Depending on your needs, you can work within these limitations to get the benefits for free. You won’t need to rely on vendor-led demos or free trials, which push you towards the paid product. Product Pros Cons Notable Features Best For Pimcore All core DXP features for freeExtensions add extra features You may have to search for or build the extensions you needCommunity extensions aren’t guaranteed to stay up-to-date Flexible and modular, able to fit many different use casesFree demo available online Managing and using lots of product data alongside customer data Jahia DXP Lots of templates and guided tutorials30-day free trial of full platform Free edition excludes personalization and A/B testingFree edition is limited to 1 site with 25 concurrent visitors Out-of-the-box support for […]

Providing the best virtual customer service is its own art form. You need to achieve conversion, satisfaction, and usability wrapped into a digital experience. A consumer’s digital experience depends entirely on your ability to control and improve it.  A digital experience platform’s goal is to provide you with the tools to improve customer journeys. You can streamline your team’s workflows with analytics, customer management, and automation. This is why so many companies have opted to use the many digital experience cloud services available.  What is a DXP? Digital experience (DX) software-as-a-service (SaaS) can be used to retain and even grow your customer base. This is done by gaining insight into their experience interacting with your brand. Insights are gathered through analytics including metrics from real-time sessions on your site. With that information, you can improve the overall usability of your eCommerce site and improve conversions.  A digital experience platform (DXP) is used to optimize the satisfaction of your virtual consumers and your operations. There are three types of DXP: monolithic, composable, and hybrid. For a more in-depth view of DXP software, see our definition article here. What Are The Benefits Of A DXP? A DXP can offer your team valuable […]

Customer service is the most powerful way a company can grow. It’s especially integral for the success of sales and call center agents. Finding the right solution to operate your call center can save you money and streamline your team’s workflow. One of the fastest and cheapest options is voice over internet protocol or VoIP. You can make calls over the internet, receive inbound calls, and text, all in one easy-to-use interface.  What Is a VoIP? VoIPs are software that essentially allows you to talk, text message, and video call over the internet. VoIP call options are often called softphones because they are literally software phones you can use virtually on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Many business softphones will have a private branch exchange (PBX) system. A PBX refers to a multi-line telephone system. They can provide more convenience if you’re a remote or hybrid team that doesn’t want to be tied down to a landline. For startups and small teams, VoIP phone service expenses can often cost less than your traditional phone plan.  The main capabilities of a VoIP subscription plan are calling, SMS messaging, and video calling. Some will specifically have conferencing and video conferencing separate […]

Small businesses will go far if they have amazing customer communication. If you want to keep fostering strong customer connections you need an online presence, starting with a reliable phone and messaging system. One great phone solution for small business owners is voice over internet protocol (VoIP), which is essentially a virtual phone system. VoIP phone systems can often be cheaper than traditional phone landlines and offer important business communication features.  You can improve call quality, use mobile app versions, and take advantage of team collaboration features. A VoIP service provider could satisfy your business needs in unimaginable ways. What is a VoIP? VoIPs are software that essentially allows you to talk, message, and video call over the internet. They can provide you with more convenience if you’re a remote or hybrid team that doesn’t want to be tied down to a landline. For startups and small teams, VoIP phone services expenses can often be lower than your traditional phone plan.  For more information, you can see our definition article that explains how a VoIP works and its general benefits here.  VoIP Systems For Small Businesses The most common VoIP business phone services include unlimited calling, unlimited video conferencing, and […]

Having a website today means managing programs, data, and databases: you can’t even think of them all at once.  You need to manage the site itself to ensure customers make it to the checkout screen, but you also need to drive traffic with marketing and then follow up to keep customers coming back. This web of tasks and research can overwhelm small businesses and startups. If you want to transform your platform and workflow all at once, you might consider digital experience software. What Is Digital Experience Software? A digital experience (DX) itself is the virtual interaction between a user and the organization behind the website. The organization controls the website and therefore controls most aspects of the experience. A DX software’s goal is to manipulate and change the experience provided to the consumer.  Digital experience software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the fusion of content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) software into one tool or platform. DX software can be used to grow your customers by gaining insight into their experience with metrics like their real-time sessions on your site. With that information, you can improve the overall usability of your eCommerce site and improve conversions.  This kind of […]

Web Accessibility has become an important agent for equality on the internet. How else would you expect those with visual impairments to be able to buy your product without alt text? How someone who is deaf understands your demo video without closed captions? Website accessibility is simply part of doing good business by your consumers. If you’re completely new to this and have a small budget and a small team making your web platform accessible will look daunting. The silver lining is there is an abundance of software that can streamline the process of making your website accessible. What is Web Accessibility? Web accessibility is the concept that everyone should have access to public products and information. Those with disabilities will need modifications made to web platforms to remove barriers for them. You need alternative formats for your information so others can perceive it in different ways. A web page should be compatible with assistive technology like screen readers so someone with visual impairments can understand the content. Your video content should have closed captions so that someone with hearing impairments can understand what you’re saying. It may not be your intention, but not providing these alterations to your site […]

The progress of the modern world increases the power and necessity of the internet with each passing day. Businesses use the internet for commerce, connection to consumers, and spreading information. Web accessibility evens the playing field for those that would otherwise struggle to use search engines, open social media apps, and buy goods over the internet. Everyone deserves equal access to the same opportunities, and that includes websites on the internet. What is Web Accessibility? Website accessibility means that web platforms need to provide alternative solutions so that those with disabilities can use their services. This can be basic things like navigating a website so that they can buy shoes, groceries, or new phones. One way to do this is by adding alt text to all your images. Those with visual impairments like low vision and color blindness use alt text to interpret what a product is. You can also make your site compatible with keyboards for those with low mobility to use the tab key to navigate pages. Most importantly, your site should have the functionality to be used with assistive technology. Assistive technology is any tool a disabled person would use to make the web more perceptible and […]

When you create a website as an individual, startup, or small business web accessibility isn’t always at the top of your to-do list. Major corporations hire experienced developer teams and have their own legal teams and policies set in place. Small teams not so much, which leaves you exposed to lawsuits if you don’t have an accessible website to people with disabilities. We’re going to explain the laws around web accessibility and tips and tricks to answer the question, is my website accessible? What is Web Accessibility? Web Accessibility is the practice of making digital content accessible for people with disabilities just as it’s accessible to everyone else. The World Wide Web Consortium, better known as the W3C offers an amazing introduction to web accessibility, as well as resources to meet accessibility requirements. For an in-depth exploration of web accessibility see our enlightening article here. The Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 The ADA is a law that has been around for 32 years, since July of 1990. It’s based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is enforced by multiple different federal agencies. There were amendments (ADAAA) made to the law in 2008 (in effect […]

Web accessibility is a concept that can revolutionize your company’s connection with consumers in unfathomable ways. Web accessibility standards can have a reputation as something you’re forced to abide by because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Instead, you should see it as a powerful solution to optimize user experience, brand reputation, and visibility Web accessibility is built on the concept of equal access for everyone. The more effort put into creating accessible content, the more demographics you can reach. Web Accessibility Explained Web accessibility means ensuring that everyone whether they’re blind, deaf, or neurodivergent, can use your website/web platform. This includes necessary accommodations for those with disabilities that would otherwise lose out or misunderstand the content on your site. There can be nothing hindering potential consumers and their connection to your product/information.  There are 4 principles of web accessibility, which are sometimes referred to with the acronym POUR. The principles are as follow. 1. Perceivable  The way people see the world changes for each individual. This means making your website “seen” through all possible senses relating to the virtual world. They should be able to see it, hear it, and touch it (i.e. mobile phones and tablets). Perceivable […]

Digital viruses are extraordinarily expensive. The most costly virus in history cost an inflation-adjusted $52 billion. Every year, businesses spend around $55 billion dealing with viruses. It’s no surprise antivirus software has emerged as a massive industry over the past decades.  Just like real diseases, including the one that I’m sure you’ve heard about over the last two years, digital viruses change. Antivirus software must evolve, or become irrelevant. Here are the most important statistics in the antivirus industry, some market news, and breaking trends for 2022. Top 21 most interesting Antivirus Statistics The global cybersecurity market was valued at $132.94 billion in 2021 (Mordor Intelligence 2022). 77 % of Americans currently use antivirus software. (Security.org 2021) Only 5% of antivirus users had plans to switch security providers in the foreseeable future. (Security.org 2021) If it were measured as a country, cybercrime would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China. (Cybersecurity Ventures 2021). 40 percent of people without antivirus software are open to installing it on their devices in the next 6 months. This is nearly DOUBLE the number from January 2021. (Security.org 2022) 24% of antivirus users said identity theft protection was their most appealing feature […]

Backing up data as a part of your organization’s insurance policy or industry regulations entails more than just making a copy of everything. When designing an effective data center backup strategy, you should take yourself through a journey with the Five Ws and H: Who? – Managing data backup in-house or working with a vendor? What? – Backing up all of your organization’s data, or only the most vital? What about endpoint data? Where? – Storing backups on-premise or off-site? When? – How often are you backing up your data? Why? – In-house security policies or legal obligations or both? How? – Traditional backup or via the cloud? While much attention is given to the who, what, where, why, and how of data backup, not as much attention is given to the “when”, or when you should perform backups, and how often they should be done. It’s easy to take the importance of this question for granted, especially when you’re working with a data center backup vendor who offers management of the service.  However, it is becoming common for vendors in this space to provide users with the choice of how often their data is backed up. Data loss can […]

The home landline may be on its way out, but analog telephones are still alive and well in the business world. That’s changing too, though: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones are a popular replacement for voice calls on both traditional phones and cell phones.  What is VoIP? VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s a broad term for technology that sends your phone call through an internet connection instead of a phone line. VoIP phones and apps let you make phone calls from anywhere with an internet connection. You can call any phone number from a VoIP phone. It doesn’t matter if the recipient uses a traditional phone system, a smartphone, or another VoIP phone. There are multiple ways to use VoIP. Some services offer dedicated VoIP phones that look similar to traditional telephones. Apps that let a mobile device call through a VoIP service, also known as “softphone” apps, are common as well. Many providers also have PC software that lets you use an existing headset to make calls. How Does VoIP Work? All VoIP systems use the Internet Protocol (IP) to send voice data. IP is the set of rules that defines how to split, track, […]

Today, if you search for firewalls, you will see a combination of hardware and software firewalls marketed to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Both are valuable, but they serve different purposes depending on your needs. We will look at the difference between hardware and software firewalls and determine which firewall offers the best protection for your company. What are the differences between hardware & software firewalls? Hardware firewalls allow you to protect your entire network from the outside world with a single physical device. This device is installed between your computer network and the internet. A hardware firewall monitors packets of data as they are transmitted. The firewall then blocks or transfers the data, according to predefined rules. Dedicated hardware firewalls require advanced IT knowledge to install and usually require a dedicated IT employee or department to monitor and manage once installed. Therefore, hardware firewalls are usually utilized by large companies or companies where security is of utmost concern. It should be noted that most routers sold today include basic firewall capabilities, but these products target the home or SMB user. For those looking for enterprise-level hardware firewalls, click the button below. Compare this to software firewalls that provide internal […]

Security breaches are up 67% over the last 5 years, according to Accenture. The rise in breaches indicates a growing gap between cyberattacks and the enterprise’s ability to defend against them. The key first step in protecting your enterprise is deploying a firewall that can filter huge amounts of traffic without sacrificing network performance and speed. According to reviewers on TrustRadius, the best firewalls for enterprise are Cisco ASA, Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation – PA Series, Cisco Meraki MX, and Zscaler Internet Access. 5 Top Firewalls for Enterprises This list is curated from the Enterprise TrustMap of the firewall software category on TrustRadius. The Enterprise Firewall TrustMap is generated based on the intersection of buyer interest, trScore, and the percentage of products’ ratings and reviews that are from enterprise users. They are listed below according to the volume of enterprise-level ratings and reviews each product has earned.  #1 Cisco ASA Best for Cisco users who prioritize low maintenance  You’d be hard-pressed to discuss the firewall market without featuring Cisco. In the case of enterprise users, the ASA line stands out for its edge protection capabilities and low barrier of entry, particularly if your enterprise already lives in a […]

In a world dominated by Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon, it’s easy to overlook the bounty of free database management tools. But the bounty is real! When you need safe, reliable data management, chances are there’s an open-source or free solution that will fit your needs.  Understanding the functionality and limitations of the best free database management tools will help you make the right decision. We selected five contenders with unique advantages: PostgreSQL Neo4j RavenDB MongoDB CockroachDB If you’re absolutely unfamiliar with databases, this video is a great introduction to get you started. Three Types of Databases We chose databases from three broad categories: relational, document, and graph databases. Here’s a simple explanation of each type: Relational databases store data in tables, similar to an Excel spreadsheet. These databases need a schema—a set of very strict rules—to define each table. The schema keeps data firmly organized and separate. Developers use SQL (Structured Query Language) to create and use these databases. Non-relational databases are collectively called NoSQL databases. Document databases store data in chunks, called “objects” or “documents.” Each object is a bundle of related data, like a user’s profile or a product. An object can also contain links to other objects. […]

Cloud management platforms (CMP) are the ultimate reins to cloud computing chaos. Imagine tracking, automating, and provisioning faster and more efficiently. Imagine actually knowing your usage of your cloud resources, before you see an ugly bill at the end of the month.  Software companies, developers, tech startups will appreciate the heightened control and insight they can get with cloud management solutions. Many offer affordable cloud migration and cloud cost optimization tools to make your transition worthwhile.  If you are new to cloud management software we have a brief overview and some resources to catch you up. Cloud Management Platform and Cloud Management Software There are 4 types of cloud platforms: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud. We went deeper into definitions in our article defining cloud management software, but you should know that a private cloud is an on-premises cloud on your personal computer, a hybrid would be both public and private, and multi-cloud could be all of them.  Within these clouds, there are 3 types of cloud computing services, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). Cloud management platforms cater to different cloud types, and can also be […]

Organizations in many sectors use cloud management to optimize data, infrastructure, and services on the cloud. Cloud management techniques also help leverage cloud resources to develop and deploy software applications through APIs. The ultimate goal is to enable growth at scale and provide more flexible data storage, all while reducing cloud costs. Let’s take a look at the main elements of cloud management, and how your organization should approach it.          Elements of Cloud Management  Optimizing data use and app deployments on the cloud requires a combination of special management skills. This includes making important decisions about user responsibilities, team building, software tools, as well as data governance and security. Here are the 5 most important elements of cloud management that any organization should consider when working on the cloud.     Choosing a cloud environment Businesses need to consider three types of cloud environments: public, private, and hybrid clouds. Most private companies operate in the public cloud, through cloud service providers like Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure. Enterprises can choose to set up their private cloud architecture, with an exclusive data center and on-premises hardware. Banks typically go the private route, to provide extra protection for sensitive financial information.     The hybrid cloud […]

Computer-aided design software is unique in many ways. It allows you to transform concepts and imagination into reality with a precision previously impossible. CAD integrates with real-world machines to aid in the fabrication process. Pricing is an area where people may not anticipate this unique nature to continue, but it does. While most software is priced entirely dependent on features and scales in predictable ways, CAD can be strange. Students can get professional quality software entirely free, while companies will have to pay thousands. Free tools exist, as do open-source options. Armed with the quirks, costs, and benefits of these incredible software products, you can make the best decision for you. You might even save some money… What is CAD software? Ask users in different industries what CAD software is and you may get extremely different answers. Engineers use 3D design software. Animators and game designers use tools with a modeling focus. Fabricators need strict, detailed dimensioning.  Thankfully, none of them are wrong, and there is a CAD tool for everyone. Broadly, they fall into 2D and 3D categories, with the latter further divided into parametric and direct modeling. 2D tools are best for simple, component-based design with a focus […]

Software organizations and IT staff are some of the most skilled and avid users of cloud technology. This doesn’t mean they don’t need an upgrade. Powerful automation and monitoring tools can revolutionize their workflow. There are cloud management solutions for all kinds of cloud computing services: private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and multi-clouds. There’s software that’s separate from your cloud services, but there are also many solutions within Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure that you can use to manage your cloud as well.  We go over the different benefits of cloud management platforms. If you’re new to cloud management software we have a section that gives a brief overview.  What is Cloud Management Software? Cloud management software is designed to manage your resources on cloud computing platforms. The complicated part is the functionality of cloud management tools. The software used to be about cost and flexibility, but many new cloud services are offering more features to streamline the workflow of IT teams. Many groups use complex cloud applications, and need management for the costs, real-time metrics, the run time, and much more. Cloud management covers diverse needs and the capabilities will be different for each software. Below […]

How you manage your data affects your company’s entire workflow. If you use a file system, there can be several rooms for error. The ideal system to store your data is one where you can customize, organize, and protect your data with. There are integrity constraints with a simple file management system. Your data quality will also be at risk without protection.  We will go over the advantages of database management systems. This includes the kinds of database man, the database structures, the different data structure needs, and the overall benefits of these systems.  What is Database Management? Database management, in the simplest terms, is organizing your data. This can be the lists of patients and their personal information. It can be your contacts, their information, templates you set aside for their correspondence. You can structure cloud applications in a database, as well as storage.  Your database needs will help you decide the type of database system you want and the type of software you may want to manage it. A database management system (DBMS) is what organizes and structures your imputed information. A service for managing a DBMS is not a DBMS. The DBMS is the actual database with […]