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

Customers today have high expectations for application performance and availability. Imagine the frustration you have likely felt when your banking application wouldn’t work or your navigation app took forever to load. Troubleshooting applications is challenging, especially given today’s trend towards distributed systems. It can be almost impossible to sift through countless logs of raw data to trace errors and identify their cause.  Application Performance Management (APM) software can ensure your customers’ expectations are met by helping identify errors and optimizing load and processing times. Enterprises have had a strong arsenal in APM to help optimize their applications, but it has remained out of reach for many small and mid-sized businesses due to its high cost. New open-source APM solutions are changing that. Large-scale frameworks are still likely limited for enterprise-level organizations, as well as those looking for advanced automation features. What is APM? Application Performance Management software is a set of tools that help monitor and optimize the performance of your software or web applications. There are generally three main features an APM solution might provide. Many open-source options will label themselves as application performance monitoring tools, while they offer slightly less comprehensive features. The software collects different kinds of app-based data, […]

The modern innovations in online technology allow you to work from anywhere because you can access your projects from the cloud. Most organizations today use cloud resources to some degree. In 2019, Flexera found 91% of companies were using public cloud options, 72% used private clouds. 28% of the cloud users also noted hybrid cloud options as a priority.  The increased use of cloud applications makes cloud management platforms (CMP) a priority for large data entries or teams that work with incredible amounts of data. Some aspects of cloud management platforms may be of use to smaller organizations as well, like protection or cost management.  In the next section, we’ll go into more detail on what cloud management software is, and why they’re useful.  What Is Cloud Management Software? Cloud management software seems simple–-it’s software created to manage your cloud-based resources. The complicated part is the functionality of cloud management tools. Cloud management software has many different use cases, and it’s evolved quite a bit to meet changing needs.  Cloud management used to be more about just cost and flexibility, but many new platforms also promise analysis, and powerful AI’s. This video goes into the evolution of cloud management based […]

Computer-Aided Design, or CAD, software are fantastically powerful tools that can help turn your creative, engineering, and design concepts into reality. They are also often extremely expensive. As a result, many turn to the wonderful world of open-source software. For CAD tools, it is possible to get incredible functionality with none of the cost of premium software. Since CAD is an extremely diverse field of tools, we have highlighted some of the best options for a whole range of use cases.  Types of Open-Source CAD The following is a list of the niches we will cover, and the tool was chosen to represent them 3D modeling for Engineering- FreeCAD 2D modeling – LibreCAD 3D modeling for Games and Animation – Blender 3D Modeling for Engineering – FreeCAD There are a ton of options for 3D modeling CAD tools that are open source. FreeCAD is the best option for the highest number of use cases. The description they use on their website is the best way to describe this open-source tool; “FreeCAD really is a Swiss Army knife of general-purpose engineering toolkits.” FreeCAD allows for the creation of extremely detailed 3D models that can be exported in a huge array of […]

Cloud computing has been growing in popularity among companies of all sizes for years. The global cloud storage market is projected to increase from $50.1 billion in 2020 to $137.3 billion in 2025.  Compared to on-premise storage, this solution promises cost savings, better resource allocation, and improved security from data loss due to on-site server malfunctions or cyberattacks. However, according to a 2021 Flexera report on cloud cost in 2020, up to 30% of corporate cloud spending goes to waste. Cloud Management Software can help you optimize your use of data with customized features and storage that fit both your budget and your business needs.   Picking the right computing model Cloud Management Software is designed to improve the functionality of cloud usage. Buyers of cloud resources can choose from three different computing models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). The model you choose will depend on business needs, your self-service capacity, how cost-effective it is, and how well it works with your cloud providers.  Smaller businesses will have more modest cloud management needs and fewer IT specialists to customize software features. In this case, finding a full SaaS solution with […]

Whether you store data with PostgreSQL, MySQL, or NoSQL, there’s a good chance that a database management system (DMBS) can save you time and headaches. Several factors can help you select the right DBMS for your organization. Consider your current database type, business needs, and scalability requirements. If you’re unfamiliar with databases, this video offers a great introduction to some of the fundamentals! We’ll guide you through evaluating DBMS products based on four factors: Pricing Existing Database Migration Functionality and Business Needs Scalability DBMS Pricing The perfect DBMS for you might as well not exist if it’s outside your price range. The range of pricing options is as large as the range of DBMS options itself. Free open-source DBMS products are common, like many other products in the database world. Vendors may also offer paid support plans or proprietary licenses built upon the open-source component. Generally, though, “free” is the starting point for open-source options. Yearly licensing fees and tiered systems are another common pricing model. Depending on your selection, yearly fees can range anywhere from under $100 to over $2,000 per user per year. Cloud-based vendors may charge a per-hour or per-resource fee in addition to licensing fees. These […]

Computer-aided design (CAD) software allows you to create models, designs and simulations in ways that would be time-consuming, more difficult, or even impossible to do without it. CAD in its simple forms can be simple tools that turn the design process digital. More expansive versions are vastly complicated rendering and modeling features using material simulation.  This piece is great for those who know what they are looking for in a CAD tool and need a little guidance, or complete novices. Here you will learn the huge array of what CAD can do, and how to make it work for you.  What is CAD software? CAD software has a broad series of tools created to help you turn your concepts from mental image to some sort of design or representation. CAD tools were some of the first complex tools to come out of computers once they were capable of doing so. In the 60’s, IBM developed some of the earliest CAD tools, and they have only exploded in capability and popularity since.  Different types of CAD software CAD software can fall into two categories, and be further subdivided from there. The two major types of CAD tools are 2D and 3D.  […]

While PDF files are convenient for sending and sharing virtually, they need a tool to directly edit their content. PDF editors allow fans of the superior file type to alter its contents with the ease of the lesser .docx file. No more will your friends laugh at your unaltered text fields. In all seriousness, PDF editors come in many shapes and sizes, each with benefits for different use cases. Understanding the limitations and capabilities of each will help you make the right choice for your needs.  The software covered in this piece are: PDFEscape PDFCandy Sedja PDFSambasic Top 5 PDF Editors   Best For: Pros Cons Premium Pricing PDFEscape Those with a wide array of PDF editing needs Huge array of PDF editing features, Cheap Premium Less intuitive $2.99 -$5.99/Month PDFCandy Those working with diverse file types Unparalleled conversion needs Severe limits to free tier $4/Month – $6/Month, or $99 OTP Sedja Those looking for easy text editing Very easy to use, fewer restrictions on free use Fewer features than the competition $7.50/Month PDFSam Basic Open-Source fans looking to process large files Very few limits on file manipulation Lack of text editing features, only desktop-based $69-129/Year PDFEscape – Comprehensive, Browser-Based […]

The covid-19 pandemic is a major reason for a spike in VPNs, but the market has found ways to make themselves relevant for non-work uses as well. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are rising in popularity for both remote work and personal use. VPNs do not protect against malware or stop you from being hacked, but many are interested in using them for secure networks for work, and to stay safe on public networks.   One major reason for more VPN use is simply increased advertising on entertainment sites, specifically, YouTube. The trends section below covers the kind of advertising VPNs are doing on YouTube and elsewhere. The market is expected to grow exponentially, and many are scrambling for an advantage. There are new and interesting developments for 2021. Below are statistics that give a brief insight into the VPN market.  Top VPN Statistics for 2021 The global VPN market is believed to be $75.59 billion in 2027 (Statista 2021)  There are about 142 million VPN users iIn the US. (Security.org 2020). Slovakia, Spain, and South Africa are the top up-and-coming markets for rising interest in VPNs include  (VPNMentor 2020). 92% of Americans believe protecting their data and information is important, but […]

Building a high-functioning website and collecting customer data is one of the most important things a business does today. An optimized website can: provide valuable company and product information to clients serve as a platform for stories and educational blogs enable ecommerce stores provide users with a personalized experience Though the website serves as a public face for a company, its purpose runs deeper. A website collects vital customer information that can be used for marketing and selling purposes. To collect customer data and to function at full capacity, websites use tags. Whether you are just starting to build a website for your business or have an established site – tags are one of the most important tools to integrate into your site. Tags can be a difficult and complex group of tools to keep in order. Too many tags can clutter a website and result in slower load times. Implementing a tag management strategy is key to making sure tags are performing as they should be and optimizing – rather than slowing down – your site.   Here we take a look at the basics of tag management, why it matters, how it works, examples of popular tags, and some […]

And just like that, 2021 will soon be history. The digitization of communication shows no signs of slowing down; the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry is expected to grow to at least USD 55 billion by 2025. Certain trends within the VoIP market have been intensifying over the past few years, including the consolidation of online communication technologies, increasing mobility of VoIP software, growing security concerns, and the slow death of traditional telephones.  Once upon a time, ‘business phone systems’ were reserved for enterprises with hundreds of physical phones. However, VoIP technology has made business phone calling highly accessible for small and giant companies alike. It allows users to make voice calls via the internet—instead of using old school landline telephones or mobile phones that rely on cellular networks. Heading into 2022, we have compiled a list of the 8 most important VoIP trends to keep an eye on as 2022 approaches. Those trends are: Increasing Popularity of UCaaS AI Technology for VoIP 5G for Mobile Looming Security Concerns Integrated In-App Communications Increasing Mobility Goodbye to traditional telephones Competition or Consolidation with Video Chat Services #1 Increasing Popularity of UCaaS  2022 will see the further consolidation of communication technologies […]

The Internet of Things (IoT) speaks to a system of devices that connect wirelessly to the online space. These devices are capable of data transfer, communication, and storage. This is where we introduce Big Data. With a total of 35.82 billion IoT devices slated to be installed by 2021, the size and amount of data circulating are at an overwhelming high. Big Data has become so apparent the mathematical science occupations will grow to 27.9 percent from 2016 to 2026. This translates into 50,400 new jobs. This massive data consumption requires regulation and employing people to aid in managing the data. This also calls for new technology to harness the potential that Big Data has to offer. Top 10 Big Data Statistics Big Data is proving to immerse at lightning speed and with that is the increasing data consumption seen across several platforms. Let’s see how the stats add up: Each person generated 1.7 megabytes per second in 2020. (IBM, 2020 ) Of the data we generate today, 80-90% is unstructured. (CIO, 2019) 95% of businesses report one of the problems for their business is the need to manage unstructured data. (Forbes, 2019 ) Of companies worldwide, 45% are running […]

If you are a website looking to increase your click-through rate and rankings, it is a necessity to have rich snippets. Google Rich Snippets can help you maximize your position on SERP and get the most out of your content. Not only does it make your listing attractive but it drives traffic to your site, which opens the floodgates to a plethora of benefits. What are Google Rich Snippets? Rich snippets or rich results are like blurbs of a web page. When making them Google rich, there are a few key things to note, that will truly enhance your listing on the search engine results page. No one wants to be another overlooked blue link. Notice that this snippet included the normal features found in Google search results, the Title, Meta Description, and URL. It became a rich snippet because of the additional details. These include the concert dates, purchase links for tickets, and the number of people who liked/viewed or are interested in it. Pay attention to the following video for thorough detailing on how to use Google rich snippets and structured data to optimize your listing: How to create Google rich snippets using structured data and schema markup. […]

Website hosting services allow those of us without the skills to build a site from the ground up to run a successful online presence. While the options out there have their own blend of benefits, Wix and WordPress are two of the most popular. Both are capable of exploding your business potential with a fraction of the effort from a self-built, self-hosted website. To be clear, this discusses WordPress engine plans and hosting. WordPress is also a software that can be used on other platforms. For visual learners, we also have a video explaining the differences between Wix and WordPress below. Understanding the unique features each offer, their limitations, and what they can do for your use case will help you make the right choice.  What is the Difference Between Wix and WordPress?   Wix WordPress trScore 8.1/10 8.6/10 Pricing $23-$49/Month for Business Plans, $14-$18/Month for Personal   $30 – $291/Month With eCommerce, $25-$241/month Without Pros Very Easy to Use,Cost-Effective  Versatile, Hugely Scalable, Functions as a Content Management System,Huge Array of Third-Party Plugins Cons Less CustomizationLittle Room For Coding ExpertsNot Suitable for Content Hosting Harder to Use,More Expensive, Third-Party Plugins Not Managed By Vendor Difference in Features and Purpose The biggest difference between the two […]

Wireframes are a wonderful way to plan the user interface for web pages and apps. User Experience (UX) designers and students can use them in their design process. Designers use wireframe tools or pencil and paper and plan out the backgrounds, navigation, home button, and much more. You don’t need to be a web designer or student to use wireframes. You could have a blog that you want to plan out; the project does not have to be coded from scratch. Anyone using a website builder can benefit from the wireframe process. Your use case doesn’t even have to be web-related. Any person that needs to visualize a project or concept can take the skills learned here and apply them elsewhere.  Wireframes are about planning and visualizing your project. They are used in User Experience Design because they help you plan for the user or customer’s experience. The wireframe you create can be tested and researched multiple times before you actually create the project. That way, by the time you’re ready to create the project or product, you’ve worked out kinks in the design. User Experience Design Website UX design aims to put the customer at the center of brainstorming, […]

If you’ve listened to a podcast or watched a YouTube ad in the last year or two, you’ve probably heard an advertisement for a VPN (virtual private network). In addition to a way for social media influencers to make money through referral codes, a VPN is a useful tool for increasing your privacy online. By providing an encrypted tunnel, a VPN shields your data while browsing among other benefits. This blog will cover how to set up a VPN on your computer or mobile device, but not how to set up a VPN on your router itself. Setting up a VPN on your router may be a good option for the more security-conscious and tech-savvy person. For other users, the benefits may outweigh the costs for the average person. If you want more basic information on VPNs, see the video below. If you want more to set up a VPN on a router, see the video below. VPNs for Personal vs Business Use VPN is an invaluable tool for businesses with remote workers. A VPN allows remote employees to access the company network, and thus company data, from home. Using a VPN to log on to the company network also […]

Remembering anything before the pandemic is a challenge, but remote wasn’t always a necessity. Covid forced the transition to virtual workspaces overnight, creating mixed feelings for many.  One of the big decisions facing employers is whether to go back to the office or stay remote. The answer depends on the business, but virtual collaboration is so essential it should be considered as a real option.  Virtual collaboration has serious potential to improve your business in amazing ways. In 2019, 24% of the workforce was hybrid or entirely remote. In 2021, 1 in 4 Americans is expected to work from home. As people that work remotely increase, so does productivity by a whopping 47%.  Benefits of Virtual Collaboration Team collaboration from home opens digital doors. Employee workflows can improve from constant practice with new software. Problem-solving will improve from experience with troubleshooting. The communication skills of your network can improve after learning new messaging apps. When your workforce is virtual your employees can improve their computer literacy skills.  Bigger Talent Pool  If your position is remote you can hire nationally and globally. Expanding the net you cast expands the kinds of fish you catch… Talent with diverse backgrounds, innovation, and experience […]

There are a plethora of Blueprint Makers that offer premium services and features. If you’ve come across any of these you’re also familiar with the hefty price tag attached.  The problem is, this isn’t always a feasible option for a student working minimum wage, or a do-it-yourselfer who has tons more projects and out-of-pocket expenses to cover. Even if you are a sought-after interior designer or architect, you still are not obligated to break the bank. Hence, the most trusted and low-risk option is opting for free floor plan creating software which, might I add, you can find to be of very high quality.  From apps available on Android and Apple to online sources, there is not a shortage from which to choose. What is a Blueprint/Floor plan maker? If you’re anything like me, you may need to brush up on a few points about Blueprint makers and how they create 2D, 3D, or even VR-capable blueprints. This clip gives a great rundown of how to use some of the features and capabilities within blueprint-making software to create visually stunning floor plans. What are the Best Free Blueprint Makers? With more blueprint-making software gaining popularity, the process may become overwhelming […]

Nearly everyone who has gone through an academic data research project has a love/hate relationship with MATLAB. STEM students and researchers in particular appreciate both the value and pain of the tool. However, these end users may not appreciate MATLAB’s financial considerations. Many common stats and math analytics packages offer the basics at no cost, but charge for more specific or advanced functionality (aka freemium).  There is no free version of MATLAB. For most use cases, paying for MATLAB’s powerful features is going to be more than worth it, given its ROI and usefulness. Choosing which license to get and how much to pay can be a far more difficult decision for many  users MATLAB offers use case-based pricing. This allows you to tailor the purchase experience to your needs, and greatly affects how much MATLAB will cost you. A university will pay differently from an individual user, and a business different from them. The scale of your use case will also impact pricing. This post will break down the different MATLAB pricing structures. We’ll also highlight where each license is most valuable, giving you insight into which license is best for you. What is MATLAB? For the uninitiated, MATLAB […]

Close to a third (31%) of all internet users rely on virtual private network (VPN) services. If you’re not already among them, you may soon be joining their ranks.  VPNs have rapidly increased in popularity among businesses, as many companies transitioned to remote working environments in 2020. They allow employees and clients to gain remote access to the company’s private network. But VPNs are also well-suited for individual or personal use. Many people already use personal VPNs to help do things like:  Protect their data when using public wifi  Stream or download data that may be restricted in their home country Hide their browsing activity from their internet service provider (ISP)  But what exactly are VPNs? They help establish a private and secure connection between a public network and a private network. The VPN acts like a tunnel that connects a user from one network to another.  This allows users to send and receive data from the private network. VPNs also hide your internet protocol, or IP address, which makes your internet browsing activity virtually untraceable. Watch this short youtube video for a primer on all things VPN. What are VPN protocols?  VPN protocols are specific rules that determine how […]

Deploying virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a great way to simplify the management of multiple PC users—but it won’t suit every company’s needs perfectly. These five use cases will help you decide whether your business should invest in VDI software.