Technology is always evolving. While we've already seen brilliant advances making it easier for small businesses to get things done, more and more startups are launching with even smarter technologies every day.
70 of the best technology-advancing companies recently launched at DEMOfall09. Several of them addressed business issues that web users face in the workplace. Liaise, Anaplan, and LeapFILE were three standouts that each have fresh products geared towards helping small businesses work smarter.
Managing email is a mandatory part of everyone's work day. Unfortunately, it's also a productivity killer. Liaise has just released their Outlook plugin to help combat the problem and automatically add productivity and context to the emails you send and receive. The product is so strong that they were able to take home the top enterprise award at DEMOfall09 and split a $1 million media prize package.
Once you install Liaise, it becomes an integrated part of your email experience, so every time you send and receive email it's looking for to-dos and automatically categorizing email content as tasks, actions, or issues and guessing priority levels and due dates. It's essentially working with you as you type to find key points that require your future attention.
You can use Liaise as an individual or together with team members. Previously captured to-dos are also integrated into the email and Outlook calendar experience. Liaise even comes with up-to-date reports for a look at what you and your team need to accomplish.
You likely spend much of your work day head down in Excel trying to make sense of business metrics. Anaplan has built a number of plug and play applications that instantly add analytics, planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting to your spreadsheets.
Anaplan users get their own CloudSpace where they can upload data files, and drag and drop applications and modules from the App Library to help refine them. Applications include easy ways to manipulate your data sets into pristine reports for employee costs, budgets, profit and loss, cashflow, sales forecasts, balance sheets, and expenses. From your CloudSpace, you can collaborate on documents with team members, modify formulas in plain English, and slice and dice data in interesting ways.
With Anaplan apps, the idea is that everyone can become a sophisticated spreadsheet user minus the learning curve.
At this point you're probably already familiar with Box.net or Dropbox for file sharing and syncing in the cloud. They're both great services that try and help solve challenges associated with local file storage for remote teams or small businesses. LeapFILE takes file sharing to the next level.
Their main selling points are security, customization, and organization. IT or admin users can assign different permission levels to different users, and certain areas of your LeapFILE system can be password protected. For users, LeapFILE rocks simply because it also sits on your desktop in your standard documents file folders.
The LeapFILE folder is a smart, real-time cloud syncing, bright purple folder that houses all documents and folders shared between team members in the system. Since the folder is based in the cloud, it can be accessed from any computer, and wiped out remotely should a computer be lost, stolen, or compromised.
Disclosure: Mashable is a media partner of DEMO