Pizza is Selling Like Hotcakes on Facebook…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 —Americans love ordering pizza on Facebook.

In an effort to evolve to better serve their customers while also offering them more convenience, many restaurants are now letting patrons pay for their food using their Facebook and Amazon accounts. Some pizza chains, like Papa John’s, are even adopting new ordering methods, such as chat bots, voice-activated devices, and social networks. (Source: Bloomberg)

Why this is important for your business:

Retailers, restaurateurs and yes…pizza shop owners take note: your customers are ordering food on Facebook.  They want to order food on Facebook. They’re chatting, posting and recommending to their friends.  This is definitely not a fad.

2 —Uber for Business  gets an upgrade.

This week, Uber introduced a major revamp of its Uber for Business platform that enables managers to easily create custom programs that limit the type of car used, the total amount riders can expense, the time of day Uber can be used, and even geographic limits on where it can be expensed. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Uber has become the most popular expense (surpassing Starbucks) for business travel.  With this new program you can better control its costs when your employees are using the ride-share service.

3 — A start-up suggests a fix to the health care morass.

Despite what’s going on in Washington to threaten the U.S. health insurance system, investors and technology entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley see the system as the next great market for reform…partly because of advances in technology. A Kansas start-up called Aledade, founded by a doctor and technologist, has a plan to save American health care—and it’s already working. (Source: The New York Times)

Why this is important for your business:

The plan is all about data – collecting, updating and analyzing.  Aledade’s technology is helping doctors, healthcare providers and possibly companies like yours get a better handle on medical activities to better manage how, where and why patients are getting their medical care.

4 — Microsoft is ordered to let third parties scrape LinkedIn data.

Microsoft’s LinkedIn network must now allow a third-party company to scrape data publicly posted by LinkedIn users. This is the result of a judge’s ruling in a lawsuit brought by hiQ Labs, a startup that analyzes LinkedIn data to estimate whether workers are likely to quit their jobs. When LinkedIn previously ordered hiQ Labs to stop scraping its data, the startup responded by suing. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

When Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, many users of products that accessed the data – particularly customer relationship management applications – were shut out.  Now that door seems to be re-opening which will create new choices for your company when selecting a system that uses LinkedIn data.

5 —Big oil follows Silicon Valley into backing green energy firms.

Following Silicon Valley’s lead, major oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil are now investing in energy-technology start-ups—a sign that they’re seeking a new industry strategy.  The biggest investor-owned oil companies are backing ventures that go beyond wind and solar power, such as projects that improve electricity grids and create new fuels from renewable resources. (Source: Bloomberg)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re in the alternative energy business, big oil companies could be a source of funding.