Amazon Says Pet Translators Are Coming Soon…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 — Amazon says pet translators will be on sale soon.

In a report backed by Amazon, a futurist says he believes AI devices capable of interpreting animals’ sounds and body movements could be available in less than 10 years. (Source: The Guardian)

Why this is important for your business:

Oh great, here come pet videos…with sounds. “The amount of money now spent on pets…means there is huge consumer demand for this,” he says. “Somebody is going to put this together.” Con Slobodchikoff, professor emeritus at the department of biological sciences at North Arizona University (who’s studied prairie dogs for 30 years) is so sure that these creatures and other animals use sophisticated communication systems and decipherable language that he’s attempting to raise the funds to develop a cat and dog translation device.  If you’re in the pet industry soon you can REALLY cater to your clients’ needs!

2 — Microsoft is Now Charging By the Second.  But That’s a Good Thing.

In an effort to challenge Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft has introduced the Azure Container Instances tool to provide access to a virtual slice on a physical Microsoft server within seconds. Microsoft will charge clients based on the number of seconds a given container is used, rather than by the minute or hour. (Source: CNBC) (Disclosure:  My company, The Marks Group, sells Microsoft products)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a Microsoft customer, Azure will grow in importance to your operations over the coming years. This cheaper payment model will be ideal for cutting-edge experimental uses. The Azure service represents Microsoft’s latest effort to become the public cloud leader by directly competing with Amazon Web Services.

3 — Zoho Introduces an Integrated Suite.

Zoho Corporation, an IT and business management software developer, plans to make its entire business operating system available in a single data platform in order to expand its market from small firms to midsize and large companies. (Source: ZDNet) (Disclosure:  My company, The Marks Group, sells Zoho products)

Why this is important for your business:

We’re begging for integration, right? This new suite, called Zoho One, will integrate Zoho’s more than 35 apps and will cost $30 per month per employee. Zoho also expects to see interest in this new offering from individuals such as consultants and contractors who can use Zoho One to grow as their businesses expand.

4 — A geek rescues Marketo.

A self-described “geek” rescued marketing automation company Marketo’s domain after the company failure to renew it forced it offline.  Travis Prebble, a user and a senior applications engineer in State College, Pennsylvania, noticed the sites were down and used his own credit card to get them back online. Prebble tweeted that being a good Samaritan was his only motivation: “I didn’t buy the domain, just paid renewal.” (Source: MarTech Today)

Why this is important for your business:

Um….please renew your domain?  Yes? Unless you want to rely on people like Prebble to rescue you!

5 —Social Media Is a Huge Influence On the Buying Decisions Of Young Consumers.                                                   

Recent marketing research shows that social media has a big impact on younger consumers, with more than 80% of Gen Zers and 74% of Millennials, respectively, saying it factors into their purchasing decisions. In fact, the shopping choices of 21% of Gen Zers are influenced by Snapchat, which is double the influence it has on Millennials. (Source: MediaPost)

Why this is important for your business:

Wow, what a surprise.  Young people are influenced by social media.  But this serves as a reminder that you can’t ignore social media platforms when promoting your products.