Lotus 1-2-3 Is Back, Fundbox And Visa Partner…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1—IBM’s Lotus Software has been revived to compete with Microsoft’s long technological reign.

The 40-year-old program Lotus 1-2-3 was reverse engineered to be 100 percent usable on Linux platforms. This program was popular in the 1980s for offering spreadsheet calculations, database functionality, and graphical charts. However – since Microsoft’s introduction of GUI-based products in the 1990sthe IBM program became inferior. Experts are hopeful that Lotus Software will run on screens larger or smaller than a 80×25 window. (Source: Techradar).

Why this is important for your business:

Those of you born after 1980 probably don’t remember the old Lotus 1-2-3 but it used to be THE spreadsheet application…until Microsoft Excel clobbered it. But now it’s (mostly) back and I’m not sure what it will take to get me using it. Maybe it’ll have special appeal for Linux users. If anything, it’s good nostalgia.

2—Robot sales increased exponentially this year due to the ongoing labor shortage.

During the first three months of 2022, orders for robotic technologies have increased by 40 percent. Thiscoupled with the record high U.S. job openings of 11.5 million in Marchshows that the labor shortage is worse than ever and businesses in all industries are looking to combat this shortage through the use of machinery. Experts say that by 2025, 85 million jobs will be displaced due to machine intervention. (Source: Yahoo News)

Why this is important for your business:

I’ve written about this in numerous places and I’m going to keep writing about it: businesses – even small businesses – are replacing people with machines. As robotics become more popular, the costs continue to decline which makes this technology more affordable for mom and pops too. If you’re in restaurant, retail, manufacturing and construction you should pay close attention to the latest robotics that will allow you to get work done without hiring more employees. I’ll do my best to keep you updated in this column.

3— Virtual shopping in the Metaverse may take customers longer to accept with new found data.

According to a new study, 60 percent of customers surveyed have no interest in shopping in the Metaverse. The study’s authors say this is due to consumers caring more about how a product is made and what companies are doing to ensure sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The study also found that customers want more product information, and the Metaverse has little information on how products are made and sold. (Source: Venture Beat).

Why this is important for your business:

Let’s reverse this: considering that the Metaverse pretty much didn’t exist two years ago, don’t you think it’s actually impressive that 40 percent of customers HAVE an interest in shopping in the virtual world? The Metaverse – or some version of it – is coming and businesses both big and small are going to need to have a strategy for selling and servicing customers in this new virtual place.

4—Melio is releasing their new international payment initiative on July 1st.

Payment platform Melio introduces international payment initiatives which allows small businesses to make payments to suppliers in over 70 countries worldwide. The platform allows integrated payment solutions for businesses to transfer and release payments to help with cash flow, eliminate late payments, and help with supply chain issues. (Source: PYMNTS)

Why this is important for your business:

This is another good option for small companies doing business overseas. If you’re buying and selling your products internationally, I’d advise taking a deeper look at what Melio offers.

5— Fundbox and Visa are partnering on numerous projects to help small businesses and small business customers.

Visa is partnering with working capital financial services platform Fundbox to strengthen both companies’ digital payments offerings. (Source: The Tullahoma News)

Why this is important for your business:

Their first project is the Fundbox Flex Visa Debit Card which helps small business customers better manage their cash outflows. In addition, the partnership will introduce a Buy Now Pay Later option for small businesses. Fundbox has seen immense growth since the introduction of this partnership and their new approach on helping customers with managing their expenses. Small businesses looking to expand their access to working capital should consider these offerings.