Amazon is keeping up its push to build its own delivery capabilities.The online retailer said Thursday that it's going to support entrepreneurs who form companies to deliver its packages with its new Delivery Service Partners program.Amazon will offer discounted vehicle leases and insurance, training and access to logistics tech, saying that its partners can earn profits up to $300,000 annually by operating a fleet of 40 delivery vehicles. Delivery Service Partners can start their own business with investments starting at $10,000, it said."Customer demand is higher than ever, and we have a need to build more capacity," Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in a release. "As we evaluated how to support our growth, we went back to our roots to share the opportunity with small-and-medium-sized businesses."The new program extends Amazon's already long list of logistics and delivery operations as it works to respond to surging customer demand. Last year, … [Read more...] about Starting a delivery business? Amazon wants to help
Cloud services small business
With technology increasingly intertwined with all aspects of business, [email protected] can help you -- prosumers to small businesses with fewer than five employees -- get started.Amid the frenzy and excitement of starting your own small business, the need to evaluate and procure technology systems is probably the least interesting task on your to-do list.But choosing the right technology arsenal for your growing small business is a critical process, even if it's hard to imagine how certain systems will fit into your operations both now and in the future.For small businesses, customer relationship management (CRM) software is one of those potential head-scratchers. CRM is technically nonessential, but it's designed to help you build and maintain better relationships with your customers and drive higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.At its simplest, CRM software is a database of customer interactions that businesses use to help their sales teams and service reps increase sales and improve … [Read more...] about Is CRM essential for your small business? Probably
When it comes to cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS), we're all familiar with the usual cloud providers. But for small businesses and larger enterprises, there's a huge world of opportunity and available resources beyond those best-known cloud storage and cloud computing services: Google, Dropbox, Salesforce, Amazon and Microsoft. In this guide to services for business, we're looking at 24 incredibly valuable services that solve real-world business problems. A few of you may have heard about before. Many may be new to you. All are capable of providing nearly instant benefit -- without you having to make any infrastructure investment whatsoever. CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of these products and services featured on this page.With that, let's get started with our first cloud-based service... 1. Approval DonkeyCloud-based approval workflows Free version: Up to three workflowsPlus program: $13 per monthHow many times has a project come to … [Read more...] about Best cloud services for small businesses
Cloud-based storage solutions have advantages for many small business owners (even if they don't look like actual clouds). Anthony Harvie/Getty Images For many years the owners of Brandshake Creative, an online graphic and web design company in Atlanta, believed that a dedicated business server was a necessity. "Until the late 2000s," Rama Roy says, "There was no question we had to have our own server. Our server was one of our company's biggest depreciable assets, and our IT guy was probably one of our bigger expenses. We practically had him on speed dial for things like upgrading the operating system, setting up new users and dealing with inevitable glitches." Several years ago, however, Brandshake — along with many other like-minded small businesses — replaced its server with a cloud-based storage solution. Cloud solutions have advantages for many small business owners. They're cost-effective. Data is retrievable instantly from anywhere. Backups are regular and … [Read more...] about Do you need your own servers for your small business?
Google will not seek another contract for its controversial work providing artificial intelligence to the U.S. Department of Defense for analyzing drone footage after its current contract expires. Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced the decision at a meeting with employees Friday morning, three sources told Gizmodo. The current contract expires in 2019 and there will not be a follow-up contract, Greene said. The meeting, dubbed Weather Report, is a weekly update on Google Cloud’s business. Google would not choose to pursue Maven today because the backlash has been terrible for the company, Greene said, adding that the decision was made at a time when Google was more aggressively pursuing military work. The company plans to unveil new ethical principles about its use of AI next week. A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about Greene’s comments. Google’s decision to provide artificial intelligence to the Defense Department for the analysis … [Read more...] about Google Plans Not to Renew Its Contract for Project Maven, a Controversial Pentagon Drone AI Imaging Program