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What DEMO 09 Offers SMBs

Amid the thicket of announcements from DEMO 09 this week were a host of products and services that small and midsize companies may put to use.
Amid the thicket of announcements from DEMO 09 this week were a host of products and services that small and midsize companies may put to use.As you'd expect with the recession, the reported mood of DEMO 09 was more staid than in past years and the roster of vendors significantly smaller. That the majority of announcements were slated for the enterprise or consumer markets was no surprise, but several were targeted squarely at small and midsize businesses and a number of others have crossover potential.

bluBuzz Location based mobile alerts delivered by Bluetooth. Using this so-called commerce-based networking solution business could send text, image, audio, and video content to consumer's mobile devices via Bluetooth. A person walks past your store, their phone buzzes alerting then that you have a special offer, they comes in and buy. Sounds simple enough, but that didn't stop bluBuzz from earning a nod for DEMO 09's booby prize and the "coming soon" on the company Web site does little to bolster legitimacy.

cc:Betty If managing e-mail were easy, David Allen's Getting Things Done wouldn't be a best seller and there's still plenty room for improvement in the e-mail management arena. Enter cc:Betty, a service that organizes e-mails by conversation threads and annotates them complete with attachments. The end result is that you can see everything in one view; no more scrolling through the thread and a potential godsend for project teams with heavy e-mail use. Now in beta and service is free and after account set up requires only adding [email protected] to the cc: line of any e-mail to use (this step really needs to be automated).

Citrix Online Need to record your screen and share it online? Citrix's GoView is a hosted screen recording, editing, and sharing service will let you do just that. And you can do it for free (at least right now in the beta stage). A potential boon for training and sales presentations, the service is simple and straightforward, but lacks extensive features that some users may crave.

Gazaro Shopping may be out of style right now, but shopping for sales is decidedly in. That's bodes well on the timing for Gazaro's personalized electronic sales flyer concept. Users specify products they want and the services finds and filters the best sales in a given city and presents them in an online flyer with sales alerts via e-mail, RSS, and Twitter. If it catches on, the question for business owners is how to optimize offerings so they appear on the Gazaro flyers.

HAM-IT This localized service provider search is launching in Boston and New York with more cities coming. InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn describes it as promising, "to allow consumers to broadcast what they're looking for, where they are, and when they need it, so providers can bid to meet those needs. Think of it as a search broker that offers commercially oriented queries to the highest bidder."

Ontier Dubbed WebEx for your inbox, Ontier's Pixetell offering strives to combine the power of in-person interaction with the convenience of e-mail. Named a DEMOgod, this show darling could be used by business to enhance collaboration between telecommuters, remote offices, field sales teams, and clients or vendors with minimal fuss.

Symantec Project Guru brings a social networking model to IT support from consumers and small businesses (see more here).

Technicopia Networking is crucial for businesses and a stumbling block in that process is managing your contact list. Anoter DEMOgod winner, Technicopia's gwabbit -- cute moniker aside -- does exactly that: every e-mail is scanned and if the contact isn't already in your Outlook contact, you see a pop up window asking if you want to add the information. Similar concept to Gmail's suggested contacts, but more powerful and at $19.95, it's tough to beat the price.

Zipadi If your business has a paper catalog (or any paper-based content for that matter), moving that information online is a daunting task. Zipadi's SaaS service converts PDF files into Web site pages using Adobe Flex -- it allegedly even looks like paper. There's a free eval period available and loads of obvious upsell opportunities for Zipadi here.

Zuora Developing Facebook apps may be great for user engagement, but how about getting paid? Zuora's Z-Commerce for Facebook providers Facebook app developments a micropayment service for charging subscription fees with payment by PayPay or credit card. The gap that remains is convincing users to pay for Facebooks apps.

Don't Miss: DEMO 08 Showcases Small Business Innovations