Thursday, December 10, 2009

Better Way for SMBs to Collaborate Online


Do you know, is there a better way for businesses to meet online, present projects, and share calendars and ideas anytime, from anywhere? Are you ready to share your experience?

Small- and medium-sized business owners can compete for a chance to win up to $2,000 in a reward card and a free consultation with marketing expert Guy Kawasaki -- by entering The Better Way Challenge.

The challenge, a video contest presented by Verizon and Cisco, is designed to encourage businesses to use new collaborative tools to maintain their competitive edge in a fast-changing environment.

"Innovation and technology will power us out of this recession," said Kawasaki. "The Better Way Challenge enables entrepreneurs to share their victories and defeats, tips and tricks, joys and pains of running a business. Online collaboration and social media can generate business, and these videos will accelerate the learning process for entrepreneurs and business owners."

Entering the Contest is Easy
Just submit a video of less than three minutes that describes "the most challenging part of getting your whole team on the same page."

Contest participants must either be subscribers to the Verizon Collaboration Center, located at the Verizon Small Business Center, or they may sign up for a free 30-day trial. Entrants whose videos are accepted for judging in the contest will also receive additional free six-month subscriptions.

In addition, any business that signs up for the free 30-day trial subscription will automatically be entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a Flip Mino HD Camcorder. As many as 90 camcorders will be given away during the six-month promotion.

Profiling Advanced Collaboration in Action
A panel of judges will select three contest finalists, based on the originality and relevance of their videos. The grand-prize winner will receive their free consultation with Kawasaki via Cisco TelePresence.

The second-and third-prize winners will each receive a reward card for $1,000 and one-on-one consultations with industry experts from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group -- which designs innovative processes and strategic plans for businesses.

All three consultations will be tailored to the specific business needs of the winners and focus on ways in which collaboration and online resources can make their businesses more efficient and competitive.

Monte Beck, Verizon's vice president for small-business product strategy, said, "Small businesses need a lot more than e-mail and Internet access to stay competitive. They need to move fast and utilize tools like the Verizon Collaboration Center that can help them grow their businesses, run them more efficiently and, reduce the cost of doing business."

The Verizon Collaboration Center, powered by Cisco WebEx, offers voice and Web conferencing. It enables users to instantly and effectively collaborate with colleagues, clients and vendors in a virtual environment that is accessible from any web browser.

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