7 Things Your Small Biz Customers Need to Know About End of Support for Windows XP
Cindy Bates, Vice President of US SMB&D at Microsoft on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
The world looked a lot different when Windows XP was first introduced in 2001 than it does today. Since then, major technology advancements, such as cloud computing and virtualization, have given rise to better collaboration tools, greater mobility and flexibility to work from any location, and improved PC security and management. Now small businesses can leverage the same powerful technologies as large enterprises, at an affordable cost.
With only five months until end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003, you have a timely opportunity to drive meaningful conversations with your small business customers about the benefits of modernizing their OS and productivity solutions, and the risks of not doing so. To help drive urgency around the need to modernize, here are the 7 things your customers need to know now:
- Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 will end on April 8, 2014, meaning there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.
- Without critical security updates, PCs could become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage business data and information.
- Anti-virus software will not be able to fully protect PCs running Windows XP once the OS is no longer supported.
- Businesses that continue to run Windows XP after support ends may be exposed to potential security threats, and may even risk breaching compliance standards depending on the industry in which they operate.
- Getting current with the latest versions of Windows and Office ensures continued support and offers businesses improved productivity and flexibility.
- Updating to Windows 8 Pro and Office 365 are the first steps to getting modern and staying modern. As a subscription service, Office 365 offers continual updates to customers who are subscribed so they are consistently working from the most up-to-date experience available.
- There are many options for SMBs considering moving to a modern PC with the latest productivity and collaboration tools. If their existing PCs meet the system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can help them deploy Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro. Customers whose PCs do not meet system requirements for Windows 8 will be amazed at the capabilities of Windows 8 Pro on the latest business devices.
My team has developed a host of resources designed to help you have the right conversations and make the transition from XP to the modern OS as seamless as possible for you and your customers. Find marketing and sales support, including special offers for customers still running Windows XP, Office 2003 or Exchange 2003 in the Get Modern campaign on the Microsoft Ready-to-Go Marketing portal. The opportunity is huge, and I wish you much success!
Reposted with permission from Microsoft.
Key Economic Indicators Delivered to Your Inbox
Tania Kohut on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Insperity, a provider of an array of human resources and business solutions to help improve business performance, offers economic infographics titled, The Economy at a Glance, that you can have delivered to your inbox.
Key economic indicators, including unemployment, GDP growth, consumer spending and existing home sales provide a comprehensive snapshot of the U.S. economy at large. The monthly infographic outlines the numbers that matter most to you, your business and your employees. Download the January 2014 Economy at a Glance [infographic]; click here to receive these stats via email each month.
Insperity is an ACCE official corporate sponsor.
Go Ahead, Tell Your Story
Jackie Krawczak, Executive Director, Alpena Area (MI) Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Guest blog entry by Jackie Krawczak, Executive Director, Alpena Area (MI) Chamber of Commerce
When the Alpena Chamber of Commerce was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Chamber of the Year Award in the State of Michigan and was a runner up for the 2010 and 2012 awards, we didn’t just congratulate ourselves at a staff meeting and then hope that others happened to hear about it. Heck no. We promoted it until we were blue in the face. We sent a press release, put it on our letterhead, our Facebook page, and our website. We talked about it. We tweeted about it. We wanted anyone and everyone to know about it.
A business owner said to me the other day that one of their competitors had posted a picture of their staff giving money to a community cause. He told me they had also given money to the same cause but hadn’t thought about taking a photo and sharing the story.
I was at an organization’s board meeting last week and the directors were discussing their frustration that many people didn’t know that they had played a key role in something big that had happened recently.
So what’s this all about? I’ve noticed a trend recently. I’m not sure how to best describe the trend, other than saying that the bottom line appears to be that we seem to be much too modest. And too much modesty can be damaging.
Saying that is a bit risky, I know. Some degree of modesty is a good thing. No one likes to spend time with “that person” who seems to brag about himself every chance he gets. But never telling your story won’t do you much good either. Because if you don’t tell your own story, who else is going to? Unless it’s a completely amazing or unusual story, chances are quite slim that someone will stumble upon it and tell everyone for you.
I know telling your own story might make some of you uncomfortable. But consider the following. The person who isn’t afraid to tell his story tends to get the job over someone who isn’t comfortable or good at telling his story. The business leaders who tell their philanthropic or customer service stories tend to create a better perception of their business and attract more new customers than the ones who don’t.
The community that tells their story and talks about how great they are tends to attract visitors, businesses, and development at a greater rate than the community that sits back and hopes someone else discovers their great opportunities.
I’m not sure why this seems to be a hot topic lately. Maybe it is because we are feeling the competitiveness that comes with a tight economy. You have to find a way to stand out and telling your story is one way to do that. You can choose whether or not you want to tell your personal story. If you are a business owner you can choose whether or not you want to tell your business story. But if you want the community to have a better chance of growth, please make it a point to tell the community’s story.
I’ll let you in on a little-known piece of information. It’s not a secret. It’s just not widely known. When we were awarded the Outstanding Chamber Award, we had to nominate ourselves for the award. Any chamber that wants to be considered must self-nominate. The nominations are what the judges use to make their decision. Nominating yourself is the only way to get that recognition. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Of course nominating yourself doesn’t guarantee recognition, but guess what we get if we don’t tell our story? Absolutely nothing. No one is going to find us and tell our story. If we want others, outside the scope of those immediately involved, to know the great things we do, we must take it into our own hands. Just like if we want people to know what a great community this is, we have to do it ourselves. So let’s talk about it. Throw some of that modesty aside and start telling your story.
An Affinity Program Worth Studying
Tania Kohut on Friday, January 24, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Always looking for what’s new in the world of chamber affinity programs, ACCE’s Chris Mead stumbled upon one that offers fantastic education savings for members of the Naperville, Ill., Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC).
It’s the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Tuition Discount Program that is offered through Benedictine University - an independent Roman Catholic institution in Lisle, Ill. just 25 miles west of Chicago. According to the program’s website, there are two plans available at the school’s main campus:
- Individual Plan: Twenty-five percent (25%) discount on traditional undergraduate and graduate tuition for NACC members and immediate family.
- Chamber Company Plan: Chamber companies sponsoring an adult accelerated learning program of 15 or more students at their site are eligible to receive a 50% tuition discount per student.
Quite a deal with a school that is recognized as one of the best in America. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2001-2011 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.
For more information on this program, click here.
Creating Pride of Place in Saratoga
Tania Kohut on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Saratoga has built it and now they want you to come and see it—and take home ideas for your own community! In April the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce will host a conference: “Experience Saratoga Springs – How to Create a Vibrant Downtown.” This two-day event (April 3-4) will showcase Saratoga Springs and explain how it has become one of the most vibrant downtowns in America. The event is the first of its kind for the chamber, and it’s being presented with help from the mayor, the City Center, and the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau.
According to Todd Shimkus, CCE, president of the Saratoga Springs Chamber, the keynote presentation by Sally Hogshead at last year’s ACCE convention inspired the chamber to structure this conference as an experiential learning event. “This past summer at the ACCE national leadership conference, I saw a presentation by Sally Hogshead on how organizations can be fascinating,” said Shimkus. “From that session, we transformed our plans for this conference from one where people interested in downtown development sit in an auditorium and listen to expert speakers to one that is more captivating, engaging and fun. Our three unique and separate conference experiences, and the assignment of local personal escorts, will enable attendees to really see, feel and taste (because of the Springs) the vibrancy of our downtown and to learn how the actions our community took to rebuild our downtown over many years can be replicated.”
Conference attendees – including economic developers, city planners, downtown business association leaders, chamber executives, and others – will be organized into small groups of between 12 and 20, and a personal escort will be assigned to each group. Participants will have the choice of three unique “experiences” where they will stay overnight in one of three different hotels, dine at select local restaurants, visit with retailers and meet with different local leaders depending upon the experience they select. The “Spa-Set” experience will focus on how cities can attract upscale residents, tourists and development to their downtowns. The “Saratoga Adventure Awaits” experience will explore how cities can attract young professionals to live and visit their downtowns. The “Saratoga Community” experience will delve into details of how local people can rebuild their downtowns one project at a time through public-private partnerships. Along with the experiences, the conference will include a few general assemblies with panel presentations led by local experts.
For more information about the conference or to register, visit: www.expericencesaratogasprings.com.
Touchdown Greater Omaha Chamber! (Thanks, Peyton Manning!)
Tania Kohut on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
With Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning barking “Omaha!” a reported 44 times during last Sunday’s (1/12) divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, the Greater Omaha Chamber wasn’t going to shrug off all the resulting attention.
As the chamber's press release explains, after Manning’s “Omaha! Omaha!” shouts garnered more than 1,000 print, broadcast and Internet mentions, the Greater Omaha Chamber decided to send some love back to Peyton and Denver with a fun video: “Denver's Set. XOXO Omaha.”
“This 30-second spot highlights our city that prides itself on moving the ball forward,” said David G. Brown, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We think there are a lot of new football fans that will be watching the Denver Broncos this Sunday, and we hope there are a lot of new Omaha fans as well.”
The Omaha business community is also getting into the game by sending its own “shout-out” to the superstar quarterback. Omaha-based companies, including ConAgra Foods, First National Bank of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha Steaks, Union Pacific, CenturyLink and DJ's Dugout, have pledged to donate a combined $700 to Manning’s “Peyback Foundation” every time he says “Omaha” during this Sunday’s playoff game against the New England Patriots. Follow the latest on the effort on social media: #OmahaPeysback.
Oslo Business for Peace Award: Submit Nominees
Tania Kohut on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation are seeking nominees for the 2014 Oslo Business for Peace Award, a global honor recognizing inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs who combine ethical responsibility with business success. Submit a nomination for the award by Feb. 1.
The ICC, an official supporting partner of the award, together with local chambers of commerce, assists in the global nomination process for the Business for Peace Award by searching for outstanding business people who have been able to achieve business success while acting in an ethically responsible way. The 2013 Business for Peace Awards were given to six outstanding business people from Brazil, Denmark, Pakistan, Yemen, and the United States. View the complete list of last year’s winners.
The Business for Peace Awards were given for the first time in 2009 in Oslo, Norway, the home of the Nobel Peace Prize, with honorees chosen by a committee of past Nobel Prize winners.
A Chamber's Great Idea to File for Christmas 2014
Tania Kohut on Monday, December 30, 2013 at 7:45:00 am Comments (0)
Laura E. Weis, IOM, ACE, president and CEO of the Champaign County (IL) Chamber of Commerce, recently shared with ACCE an idea that has proven to be an easy, fun way to reach out to members and get them engaged during the holidays.
In her email to ACCE, Laura wrote: "Sometimes it’s the 'quick, really didn’t give it much thought' idea that gets everyone talking. What started as an innocent conversation among our staff about 'Elf on the Shelf' phenomenon turned into 'Charlie Chamber Shops Local.'”
For the 12 days of Christmas, Charlie Chamber visited local companies and the chamber posted his adventures on Facebook. On Day 1, staff spent the good part of the day stopping in at various chamber member locations and posed Charlie in their place at work. The chamber posted clues through Facebook and gave away gift cards between Dec. 12 until Christmas. According to Laura, "People loved it."
Catch Charlie's adventures by visiting the Champaign County Chamber's Facebook page.
Google Assists in Honoring Veterans
Tania Kohut on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
At this time of year, since 1992, the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America lays holiday wreaths on more than 100,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, which is about six miles from ACCE’s offices. It is a touching tradition and a visually stunning tribute to our fallen heroes. But this year, according to The Washington Post, Wreaths Across America, which places wreaths on graves in 900 cemeteries nationwide, faced a financial shortfall that threatened its work at Arlington Cemetery. Wreaths Across America “had about 12 percent more donations this year than last,” the Post reported, but “many corporate sponsors who previously had supported the Arlington effort decided this year to split their contributions between Arlington and other military cemeteries around the nation.”
Now, thanks to a $250,000 donation from Google (an official corporate sponsor of ACE), plus other individual donations, nearly 120,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery will be decorated with holiday wreaths the morning of Dec. 14.
If you would like to help Wreaths Across America meet its goal of placing a wreath at every one of Arlington’s 240,000 headstones next year, visit http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
San Francisco Chamber Unveils New Look
Tania Kohut on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
This fall, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce unveiled a bold new look and brand identity. Thanks to the talent of San Francisco’s world-renowned designer Primo Angeli and brand agency Stapley-Hildebrand, the chamber’s new look reflects the city’s unique and innovative business community.
“Over the past 160 years, this organization has evolved to serve San Francisco’s business community, which is the leading force of entrepreneurialism, invention and collaboration across the globe,” said San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Linscheid. “Our vision is to foster and bolster these ideals, driving business and economic success. Our new look and feel celebrates the attributes that make us unique and pays tribute to the many industries that support our city’s economic prosperity.”
Developing the logo and identity involved a study of the chamber, its work, and its service to the community. In fact, the chamber’s new tagline—“Our City. Your Business.”—conveys the chamber’s two-pronged mission to serve the interests of business and San Francisco. Commenting on the logo, Angeli said “the ‘C’ is for City, Chamber and Community.” Angeli, who has led the branding for major companies such as DHL Worldwide, Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola and Nestle, said: “Captured within the illustrative 'C,' we see a tapestry of people, business and landmarks, emphasizing the productive personality of the city and the rich visual landscape in which it thrives. The smaller 'C' connects individual people to a larger discourse of networking opportunities, culture and experiences.”