Archive for August, 2017

Brazil signals sale of controlling stake in Eletrobras

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Shares in Latin America’s biggest electricity generator rise over 46%

Zoho Makes CRM Email Tool SalesInbox Available to Teams Using Salesforce

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Zoho SalesInbox for Salesforce

Zoho has brought two essential small business sales tools together.

Zoho SalesInbox for Salesforce

Zoho SalesInbox is now available to Salesforce users. The service was previously available to Zoho user by request.  It combines previously siloed applications so salespeople have sales related emails with all the relevant information from Salesforce and other CRMs in one location.

New Email Client Tool

The new email client tool that’s directly compatible with Salesforce promises to streamline the CRM experience for small business sales. It will make for faster email follow ups and the kind of deep insights that close deals quickly.

Sifting through customer data in Salesforce Sales Cloud and automatically prioritizing client conversations, SalesInbox works with all the standard email services like Yahoo!, Exchange and Gmail.

Here’s What it Can Do for Your Sales Team

If you’re a member of a sales team, you know you get lots of emails every day. The problem is you always stand a chance of missing an important one with the volume you get. But SalesInBox provides a solution for this conundrum.

Four Categories

SalesInbox tackles the issue by placing your emails in four distinct categories  — deals, contacts and leads, not in CRM and colleagues. Opening an email in one of those categories supplies more relevant information including background notes and contact information. There is even a timeline of activities associated with every contact. The application acts like a virtual assistant of sorts or an online filing system.

Drag and Drop

You can even drag and drop emails across the categories.

“We have seen this innovation benefit the users of Zoho CRM to a great extent, and wanted salespeople to have the benefits of using it, irrespective of the CRM they use,” said Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist at Zoho. “So we’re making it available to Salesforce users.”


The pricing is attractive to sales teams in the small business arena, too.

There will be Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited and Developer editions available for users of Salesforce CRM. They will be priced at $20 per user per month, along with a 90-day free trial.

Here are a few of the other features that make a difference

Insights that Boost Sales

SalesInbox offers open and click rates for the emails already sent to clients. It’s a helpful arrow in the quiver of the travelling sales person or team. When they need to know who the prospects are that are most likely to buy, this is the metric they can use.

Email Templates

If you’re a sales rep for a plumbing company, this tool will let you put together different email templates and then measure the ones that work best. The analytics provided by SalesInbox are a treasure trove for managers who want to see how their sales teams are performing.


SalesInbox also has filters so you can flag top deals and keep on top of responses from the ones with the most potential.

Zoho is a single platform operating system for business that supplies cloud based applications. The company has over 30 million users worldwide.

Image: Zoho

This article, “Zoho Makes CRM Email Tool SalesInbox Available to Teams Using Salesforce” was first published on Small Business Trends


Premier Oil sells stake in Western Europe’s biggest onshore oilfield

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

45 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack Without Knowing It

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Lack of Cybercrime Awareness to Blame: 45% of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack But They Didn't Know It Happened

Think your small business is unlikely to fall victim to a cyber attack? New data from Nationwide suggests that mindset could be a mistake.

Lack of Cybercrime Awareness to Blame

In fact, 45 percent of business owners have been victims of cyber attacks that they didn’t actually know were attacks, according to the Nationwide survey, which featured responses from more than 1,000 business owners. More specifically, just 13 percent of business owners in the study said they knew they had fallen victim to cyber attacks. But when business owners were given a list of different types of cyber attacks to choose from, that number jumped up to 58 percent.

What this suggests is that cyber attacks are much more prevalent than a lot of business owners think. You might assume that something like unpatched software or a phishing email isn’t a big deal. But it could lead to major consequences for your business.

Additionally, 76 percent of the business owners surveyed said they think cyber attacks are unlikely to affect their businesses. And 41 percent think that cyber attacks impact large businesses more often than small businesses. But data suggests that small businesses are almost as likely as their larger counterparts to fall victim to those issues.

“Nationwide’s annual survey reminds owners to focus on managing what they can control,” said Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property and Casualty. “The world is only getting more complicated, and the elements outside our control that have the potential to inflict great harm on businesses are increasing. An owner can’t control if a hacker will target their business in a cyberattack, nor can they control the weather, for example. What an owner can do is prepare — and that’s where we and our agent force can help. There is no time like the present to create a plan to prepare and protect your business for the future, and whether you’re a Nationwide customer or not, our Business Solutions Center serves as a great resource and starting point.”

There are things your business can do to try to prevent those attacks, or at least minimize the impact. One of the best things you can do is hire cybersecurity experts to focus solely on this area. However, just 37 percent of the businesses surveyed said they currently have at least one such employee. That same percentage of business owners also said they have a succession plan in place for their business, suggesting that both of those strategies are under-utilized by businesses.

“The key takeaway from our annual survey of business owners is that it’s critical they continue to prepare for growing threats against their businesses,” added Berven. “This is important not only for the viability of their businesses, but the overall health of the economy. Our survey uncovered alarming discrepancies in how business owners think versus how they behave. For cybersecurity best practices specifically, there exists a 33 percent gap in awareness versus action; a vast majority of business owners (83 percent) believe it’s important to establish security practices and policies, yet only 50 percent say they have established security practices to protect sensitive information.”

There’s no way to completely guarantee that your business won’t ever fall victim to a cyber attack. But simply assuming that it will never happen isn’t the answer. More than half of businesses have had to deal with some type of cybersecurity issue already. And those attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent among businesses of all sizes.

So explore the different options for preventing or minimizing the risk, depending on your business’s specific needs and resources. And remain aware of the risks and trends involved in the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

Image: Nationwide

This article, “45 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Fallen Victim to Cyber Attack Without Knowing It” was first published on Small Business Trends


Glencore may lay off 4,700 Zambian workers in power dispute

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Cairn shares rise on increased forecasts from Senegal oil project

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Explorer raises its estimate of resources at ‘SNE’ field from 473m to 563m barrels

Wood Group warns on difficult conditions for North Sea oil

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Oilfield services company posts 77% profit fall as customers cut back on spending

France’s Interior Minister: ‘1/3 of Terrorists Suffer From Mental Disorders”

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

France’s interior minister says the government wants to involve psychiatrists in preventing attacks like the one in which a mentally unstable man drove into two Marseille bus stops, killing a woman, reported the Washigton Post.

Gerard Collomb said on Tuesday that about one-third of the thousands of people on a French watch list for radicalization are known to have psychological problems.

He said on television station BFM-TV, “We need to protect ourselves.”

Collomb didn’t provide details of how psychiatrists would be drawn into averting attacks.

He cited the 35-year-old man who rammed a van into the bus stops about 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart on Monday.

 Authorities ruled out terrorism as a motive. They said the suspect had been undergoing psychological treatment.

A week earlier, another driver with mental health problems accelerated into a pizzeria, killing an adolescent girl.


See the Surprisingly Painless Way One Company Reduced Energy Costs

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Sponsored Post

See the Surprisingly Painless Way One Company Reduced Energy Costs

Is it possible for a company with a large plant and a lot of powerful equipment to lower its energy costs significantly while simultaneously upgrading its equipment?

This might seem like a lofty goal. But it’s one that B.L. Downey Company was able to achieve — thanks to its energy provider Constellation.

B.L. Downey is a company that coats parts and tools, everything from small screws all the way up to 50-foot light poles. Clients drop off their parts for coating at the company’s facility, and B.L. Downey finishes the job and then gives the items back to each client.

Originally, B.L. Downey signed up for natural gas service with Constellation more than 12 years ago. Over the years, Constellation has been providing gas and electricity services and helped them to gain control of their energy costs.

More specifically, B.L. Downey was looking for ways to improve the lighting at its plant, while also cutting costs and eliminating wasteful use of gas in its processes. The company had a plan in mind that involved upgrading its burners and implementing a control system to make their ovens more energy efficient. However, the firm simply didn’t have the capital to complete the project.

Then, in 2014, the Constellation team contacted B.L. Downey to see if they could help them figure out some opportunities for cutting waste and unnecessary energy consumption that could help the company’s bottom line.

To achieve the company’s goals, B.L. Downey took advantage of Constellation’s Efficiency Made Easy solution (“EME”), which offers businesses ways to implement energy-efficient solutions at its facilities with no upfront costs. Instead, Constellation includes a monthly cost in the customer’s electric or gas bill. And with Constellation’s EME, the costs of the projects are often offset by the energy savings.

Kim Weaver, Senior Business Development Manager for Constellation’s EME Sales, said, “At B.L. Downey we were able to implement a $1 million project that saved them  about 10 percent in electricity — 360,000 dth a year. So that savings [helped] offset the cost of their project.”

Dave Wasz, President of B.L. Downey, added, “I’d say the biggest benefit of this program is we did not have to spend any of our own capital. That program was financed by Constellation’s EME, and we will be paying it back over the next several years through our electric bill. And that’s nice to have when you’re a small business or organization where money is tight.”

With the help of this program, B.L. Downey was able to upgrade all the lights at its facility and even add some new lights in the parking lot to improve safety for employees, which is important for a company that has team members coming and going 24 hours a day.

The project also helped B.L. Downey reduce its carbon footprint by 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking 382 cars off the road annually.

Tom Moser, Vice President of Administration for B.L. Downey Company, said, “The relationship between Constellation and B.L. Downey has allowed us to save money and be more efficient and also be a good global partner by cutting all our emissions and all our waste.”

Essentially, the program allowed B.L. Downey to achieve its energy goals without having to worry about the upfront cost.

There are many efficient energy solutions available to businesses today. But sometimes the upfront cost of actually implementing those solutions  can be prohibitive for small businesses. This is true even if these solutions could help the businesses save money over the long run.

Constellation’s Efficiency Made Easy program eliminated that roadblock for B.L. Downey, allowing the company to save money and become more efficient while actually upgrading its equipment and processes.

Image: B.L. Downey

This article, “See the Surprisingly Painless Way One Company Reduced Energy Costs” was first published on Small Business Trends


‘Cyborg’ Bacteria Deliver Green Fuel Source From Sunlight

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, reported BBC.

The so-called “cyborg” bugs produce acetic acid, a chemical that can then be turned into fuel and plastic.

In lab experiments, the bacteria proved much more efficient at harvesting sunlight than plants.

The work was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington.

Researchers have been attempting to artificially replicate photosynthesis for many years.

In nature, the green pigment chlorophyll is key to this process, helping plants to convert carbon dioxide and water, using sunlight, into oxygen and glucose.But despite the fact that it works, scientists say the process is relatively inefficient. This has also been a big problem with most of the artificial systems developed to date.

This new approach seeks to improve that efficiency by essentially aiming to equip bacteria with solar panels.

After combing through old microbiology literature, researchers realised that some bugs have a natural defence to cadmium, mercury or lead that lets them turn the heavy metal into a sulphide which the bacteria express as a tiny, crystal semiconductor on their surfaces.

“It’s all very simple, mix-in-a-pot-chemistry.”

These newly boosted bacteria produce acetic acid, essentially vinegar, from CO2, water and light. They have an efficiency of around 80%, which is four times the level of commercial solar panels, and more than six times the level of chlorophyll.
“We prize these cyborg bacteria and their ability to make acetate because they produce a substrate that we can already use to produce more valuable and more interesting products,” said Dr Sakimoto.

“We have collaborators who have a number of strands of E. coli that are genetically engineered to take acetic acid as their food source and they can upgrade it into butanol and a polymer called polyhydroxybutyrate.”

Dr Sakimoto believes that these bacteria offer some advantages over other approaches to generating green energy from biological sources.Other techniques for artificial photosynthesis require expensive solid electrodes.
The cyborg bug approach really only needs large vats of liquid to be kept out in the Sun – the bacteria are self-replicating and self-regenerating, making it potentially a low waste technology. It might work best in rural areas or in the developing world.
The research work was carried out at the University of California, Berkeley in the lab of Dr Peidong Yang.

“The thrust of research in my lab is to essentially ’supercharge’ non-photosynthetic bacteria by providing them energy in the form of electrons from inorganic semiconductors, like cadmium sulphide, that are efficient light absorbers,” Dr Yang said.
“We are now looking for more benign light absorbers than cadmium sulphide to provide bacteria with energy from light.”
The researchers believe that while their approach has taken an important new step, it might not ultimately be the technology that prevails.

“There are so many different designs of these systems coming out and really we’ve only begun to explore the different ways we can combine chemistry and biology,” said Dr Sakimoto.

“And there’s a real possibility that that there will be some upstart technology that will come out that will do better than our system.”