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A Robot Imitates The Rolling Stones…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week


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

1 —Boston Dynamics robots imitated the Rolling Stones performing ‘Start Me Up’.

Boston Dynamics recently shared a video where the company’s robots are seen in a side-by-side split screen imitating the Rolling Stones performing their song ‘Start Me Up’. Just like the actual band, the group of robots has a lead singer recreating Mick Jagger’s dance moves and actions while also lip-syncing the whole song. As the video continues, the camera shows the other robot band members playing instruments and imitating the rest of the musicians. The robotics company has become known for creating entertaining videos starring its robots. (Source: Tech Xplore)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s all good fun. But Boston Dynamics isn’t in the business of replacing the Rolling Stones with robots. The company is in the business of replacing employees with robots with amazing, productive warehouse products like Spot and Stretch. These robots are affordable for many smaller companies and don’t require health insurance or paid time off. Imitating humans in videos like these is entertaining. But keeping products moving through the factory floor with limited human interaction is serious business.

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2 — Microsoft Loop is a new Office app built for collaborative work.

Microsoft announced a new Office collaboration app this past week known as Microsoft Loop and it could provide a significant productivity post for your projects. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

Similar to the company’s Fluid Framework, major components of the app are called Loop Components, which include a variety of items from making a list to a more detailed project on Dynamics 365. With either task, projects will remain synced within the Office apps. Users will be able to keep Components organized in Loop Pages, which is a brand new document that has the capability to house links and files.

3 —Venmo, PayPal, and CashApp are making cryptocurrency simple for beginners.

In an effort to simplify cryptocurrency for beginners, Venmo, PayPal and Cash App recently added the ability for users to buy cryptocurrency within their services. The apps are helping to make the process of buying cryptocurrency less intimidating by removing the requirement for users to understand how digital wallets work. While buying cryptocurrency via these apps is convenient, all three apps will lock users into transaction fees and, in the case of Venmo and PayPal, will require you to sell through their apps as well. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

As a financial advisor, I don’t think crypto is the safest bet around. But as an advisor to small businesses I do advice investing in the capability to accept digital currencies from your customers. When you see payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo an CashApp jump on board then you should know that the days of crypto being used an everyday means of payment are not too far away.

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4 — Just 30 percent of SMBs have taken steps to automate the AP process.

New data from finance website PYMNTS revealed that only 30 percent of small businesses have started the process of automating their accounts payable processes in order to release payments instantly. The same data revealed that 58 percent of larger businesses and corporations have already started this process. One of the greatest concerns regarding automating the AP process has to do with security risks. In fact, a third of the companies surveyed are worried about B2B fraud with 26 percent worry about the sensitive data of payments. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Don’t be part of the 70 percent. Move forward with tools that will help you run your business more profitably. To better manage your cash flow, increase productivity and limit your employee-related overhead I suggest taking a deep dive into the major accounts payable management platforms that many of my clients use such as Bill.com, Avidxchange and Dext.

5 — According to a new report, 81 percent of online retailers are increasing their AI budget to automate AP processes.

The 2021 eCommerce Outlook Report from Researchscape and Anodot has found that 85 percent of retailers are expecting their online sales to go up during this upcoming holiday shopping season, while 42 percent of merchants continue to be concerned about the potential obstacles the supply chain issues will cause for their inventory and the timeliness of their deliveries. These issues are causing retailers to turn to using AI to try and get ahead of the problems. The survey found that 81 percent of participants plan to increase their budgets when it comes to artificial intelligence. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

According to this great post from ecommerce platform BigCommerce, online retailers using AI can benefit from more targeted marketing and advertising, increased customer retention and seamless automation, among many other considerations. If you’re selling online you should be asking your ecommerce platform provider about their AI offerings.

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