Will You Make Your Next Video Call With Amazon? Plus Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Amazon launches its own Skype-like communications tool.

“Chime” from Amazon Web Services will enable users to start meetings with a simple click and share screens or additional content. It requires no PIN, and any attendee can mute a line to eliminate background noise. Chime also features a visual roster that shows who is on the call and who won’t be able to make it. There’s a free version to start with pricing up to $15 per month per user. (Source: TechRepublic)

Why this is important for your business:

Alexa, fire that employee! OK, maybe not that extreme but, if like some, you find Skype or other communication tools like it to be cumbersome, here’s another choice for you. I expect to see more business apps coming from the online retail giant in the years to come.

2 – Facebook takes on LinkedIn.

In a move geared towards small businesses, the social media giant has announced that it is launching new tools for businesses in the U.S. and Canada to create job postings through their Facebook Pages. Those seeking jobs can also apply for openings directly on Facebook, as opposed to using competitors like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. (Source: Forbes)
Why this is important for your business:

Finding good people is tough, and we’re all looking for helpful tools to solve that problem. So why not use Facebook?

3 – Yelp adds a Q&A section for businesses.

Users can now ask questions about a particular location, such as a restaurant or local shop, and then “get answers from other users, or from the business owner themselves.” In addition, users can upvote or downvote the answers based on how helpful they are and can sign up for notifications when a specific question receives an answer. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Remember the good old days when no one cared what customers had to say? That’s history, my friend. If your business uses Yelp, get yourself familiar with this new feature and make sure you’re monitoring it constantly.

4 – A new startup hopes to take the headaches out of scheduling meetings.

Meetingbird’s Meet app enables a user to send a link to look at a person’s availability, pick a time, book it and get an invitation sent back to one’s own calendar. The person setting up the meeting can also see multiple users’ schedules overlaid on top of one another and then book accordingly. The best thing is that it works without a Meetingbird account (but with the account, one gets collaborative note-taking tools and doesn’t have to add one’s schedule into a separate product). (Source: TechCrunch)
Why this is important for your business:

Scheduling meetings are such a pain – particularly if it involves people not all using the same application. This technology could definitely help.

5 – Oracle is now using the Internet of Things to help its customers make predictions.

Its newly released “IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud” will automate workflows and monitor data; the “IoT Connected Worker Cloud” can track employees for things like safety, service and regulatory compliance initiatives; the “Iot Fleet Monitoring Cloud” will follow passenger activity and driver behavior; and the “IoT Production Monitoring Cloud” will be able to monitor production equipment to assess and predict manufacturing issues. The apps are able to integrate with “more than half a dozen other supply chain management solutions from Oracle.” (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

The Internet of Things is quickly making its way into the workplace, and smart companies are using this technology to improve productivity and profits. How about you?

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