On the evening of November 17, The New York Enterprise Report, in conjunction with the Business Development Institute, hosted “Breaking Through: Winning Technology Solutions for Small Business” in Manhattan. The forum, which consisted of expert panel discussions, was moderated by Ramon Ray, technology analyst, author, speaker and editor of smallbiztechnology.com (not to mention a NYER contributing editor). More than 120 business owners and a dozen sponsors participated in discussions on network security, the key to building a great customer database and which new technology your small business really needs.
Keynotes Speaker: Norman Brodsky
Noted Inc. magazine columnist and entrepreneur -nd the man who graced the first cover of The New York Enterprise Report - Norm Brodsky kicked off the evening with a dazzling keynote presentation. Brodsky, himself the founder of six businesses, talked about how he has used technology to leapfrog the competition when starting a new business. Each of Brodsky’s businesses is in an industry that is at least 100 years old, and most of the incumbents had not started to leverage technology.
Brodsky’s opening remarks led the way for the expert panel discussions. Here are some of the highlights:
CRM- Customer Relationship- Marketing
It’s not just a software - product, it is a methodology. The key to success with CRM is to train your sales and support personnel.
Jeff Meshel, president and co-founder of Mercury Capital Corporation, who has over 4,000 people in his network, explained his key to networking success: “It sounds really simple, but the more you do for someone else, the more it comes back to you.” Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer and general counsel at Spoke Software, discussed how business networking technologies allow you to leverage the networks of your contacts and colleagues.
Dan Hoffman, president and CEO of M5, spoke about how VoIP solutions can offer small businesses a powerful set of features and functionality that can lead to higher customer satisfaction, more revenue opportunities and increased employee efficiency — affordably and with reliability.
Remote Computing/Security/Risk Management
Terrence D. Chalk, founder, chairman and CEO of Compulinx Managed Services, discussed how a variety of remote computing solutions offer employees the ability to do just about anything outside the office that they can do inside. Sally Kim, a partner technology specialist for Microsoft, talked about the increases in security threats to your systems and data, and what to do about it. Jennifer Walzer, the president and founder of Backup My Info! Inc., relayed stories of businesses that lost all their data even when they backed up their systems because the backups were stored onsite. She gave some easy options on backing up data, including the need to perform test restorations.
Tips, Tricks and Gadgets
Tech Forum Panelists
New York Enterprise Report editor and publisher Robert Levin demonstrated Google Desktop (Beta), a free download (desktop.google.com) that enables you to search virtually every document form on your computer all in a matter of seconds. Joel Johnson, editor of the weblog Gizmodo, concluded the evening with a look at some of the latest gadgets from smart phones to USB memory devices.
The event began and concluded with some lively networking between the audience and panelists. Stay tuned for our next seminar you won’t want to miss it!
Robert Levin is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New York Enterprise Report. Levin has extensive experience with midsize and small businesses, having previously held CEO, CFO, and COO positions with companies in several industries. He is also a contributor for The Huffington Post. Levin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (212) 307-6760.