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

1 – Amazon is developing a POS system to compete with Shopify and PayPal

It’s called Project Santos and it’s Amazon’s play to take on Shopify, PayPal and other point-of-sale systems. According to a report that examined internal documents from the online giant the system will handle both online and in-store transactions, provide enhanced analytics and (of course) integrate with Prime and other Amazon technologies for check out, security and delivery. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re in retail this will be another point-of-sale option for you and as long as you don’t mind being dragged further into Amazon World it could be a more affordable and advanced solution for managing your inventory and sales transactions both online and in your store. Also keep an eye on the company’s Just Walk Out cashier-less technologies which utilizes AI, sensors, and computer vision as customers walk into the store and sign into an app, insert a debit card, take items from shelves, and leave, skipping the need to check out entirely.

2 —Small business cyber insurance premiums up 7% in 2021.

According to data collected by AdvisorSmith Solutions, Inc., rates for small business cyber insurance have gone up by 7% since the beginning of 2021. The same survey found that medium and large business rates have gone up nearly 20%. It was estimated that small businesses that are put into the low-risk category and want $1 million in coverage typically pay an average of $1,589 for their cyber insurance premium. Experts are projecting those premiums will continue to grow well into next year as well. (Source: Property Casualty 360)

Why this is important for your business:

Cyber insurance has gone from being just an add-on to existing policies to taking a more prominent role in most companies as breaches and malware continue to increase and disrupt businesses. As demand builds, so does costs. It’s important to evaluate your cyber insurance along with business interruption coverages.

3 —Microsoft Word Online will soon feel a little more like Google Docs.

Microsoft recently announced that it is planning to update its online version of Word so that users will see less clutter on the screen. The new update— known as Simple Markup—will keep comments and tracked changes on the side of the screen so that users can remain aware of them but be able to focus on the document more easily. The new feature for Word Online should be ready to be introduced sometime in October. (Source: Tech Radar)

Why this is important for your business:

There was once a day when people copied Microsoft. Now Microsoft is copying Google. Regardless, the more uniformity amongst these office collaboration apps, the lesser the learning curve and the lower our costs to train employees how to use them.

4 — Automated hiring software is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable job candidates.

A recent report by Harvard Business School found that software programs that automatically scan resumes are part of the problem when it comes to the hiring system across the country. The study found that this kind of software which is often used by employers looking for workers frequently rejected millions of qualified candidates by mistake. While the specifics as to how and why automated software is accidentally rejecting applicants vary, it is suspected that the criteria which divides applicants from being “bad” or “good” is too simplified. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Many larger companies are using AI to help evaluate job candidates. But this technology is far from perfect. Smaller companies should be watching and ultimately embracing these things because in the long term they will be beneficial. But to me it’s still early days, and this story proves the point.

5—Emergence Capital invests in a “customer insights” startup.

Technology-focused venture capital firm Emergence Capital has announced its partnership with Retain—the company responsible for the development of the very first CIE (Customer Insights Engine) —to further develop their mission to assist teams that are customer-facing. Retain gives teams that are customer-facing focused insights that are driven by data in order to help ensure that the teams are putting their time and energy into the activities and accounts that are most important. (Source: Emergence Capital)

Why this is important for your business:

Emergence tends to invest in technologies that will have an impact on businesses – both big and small – in the not-so-distant future, which is why watching where they put their money is a good barometer for where we should put our money. According to the firm’s founder and general partner Gordon Ritter, “before Retain, customer teams were flying blind—unsure of what was working and what was not. The parallel would be running a Sales team without a CRM. We believe Retain will be the next company to link enterprise workers to the institutional knowledge they need to thrive, while unlocking incredible amounts of value for the customers they serve.”

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