Microsoft is Giving Away Free Cloud Storage…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By:  Gene Marks

1 — Microsoft is giving away cloud storage to lure users away from Box, Dropbox and Google

In an effort to attract users of cloud services from Box, Dropbox, and Alphabet’s Google Drive, Microsoft is now giving them its competitive product for free. This week, the company said users of those 3 file sync and saring services can switch to Microsoft OneDrive for Business without paying anything until their current contract expires. The offer runs for the next 5 months for new customers only, if their deployments will reach at least 500 users. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

 I’ve found that Microsoft OneDrive is as good as all the other competitors and if your company is an Office 365 user than it just makes sense to consolidate your storage in one place. Then again, my firm sells Microsoft products so yes, you can call me a little biased – but I still think it makes sense.

 2 — Cloud computing will virtually replace data centers within three years.

According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Index, the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, such as smart cars, smart cities, and connected health devices, will also expand data center demands. By 2021, IoT connections are expected to reach 13.7 billion, up from 5.8 billion in 2016. Cisco says there will be 628 of these large-scale public cloud data centers globally by 2021, compared to 338 in 2016.

There’s no escaping the cloud computing trend, which means if you’re still using on-premise applications you’re going to find yourself technologically behind the 8-ball in the not so distant future.

3 — Spot launches a chatbot to combat workplace harassment.

Silicon Valley is not immune to the allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination that are being heard across the country. As a result, Spot is launching an AI-powered, web-based tool to help employees anonymously record their stories related to inappropriate behavior in the workplace. The free tool consists of a chatbot that prompts users to share their experience and makes sure all the information is there. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Spot is one of many great tools to look for in the future that will help you better evaluate and report on potential harassment incidents.

4 — Use Apple products in your small business? You could get free cyber breach insurance!

More and more small businesses are realizing they need cyber breach insurance, and a 2017 survey showed about a third of them had purchased it—up from 29% in 2016. Now, Apple and Cisco are partnering to protect even more companies by offering cyber insurance discounts to businesses that use their equipment. Joining Apple and Cisco in the effort are insurer Allianz and Aon.