In the SMB space this week Bamboo offers SaaS CRM for SharePoint, Google continues to target SMB ad revenue with Places for iPhone, SMBs are taking to the cloud quicker than anyone thought while research from Symantec shows that they are not implementing Disaster Recovery plans.

SharePoint Gets SaaS CRM for SMBs

Bamboo Solutions (news, site), a SharePoint web parts vendor has just announced the release of BambooCRM, a cloud-based CRM tool that enables users to organize and automate all marketing, sales, customer service and product support processes in SharePoint.

Integrated for collaboration and the sharing of information across the board for all accounts, most importantly sales and support, the initial focus for BambooCRM is the SMB market, specifically for product driven markets such as software development, consumer goods and financial services.

The company said the new cloud-based offering enables sales teams to manage the entire sales and service life cycle on a secure, multi-tenant architecture.

BambooCRM offers a platform for a secure, multi-tenant architecture that can scale at a moment’s notice, providing a unique CRM solution that can be quickly deployed across any size company.

The differentiator, Bamboo says, is that it offers all the benefits of hosted SharePoint and a full featured CRM solution into which they have integrated both sales teams and product support teams.

Google Offers Places on iPhone

Over the past year, Google has been following the SMB money by rebranding its Local Business Center and revamping its local display ads amongst other things.

Only two weeks into the New Year and it continues in the same vein. Earlier this week, it released Google Places for iPhone, an app that provides access to reviews of nearby businesses and allows users to submit such reviews.

This follows the recent release of Google Places with Hotpot in Google Maps for Android, which provides businesses and places near you with personalized search results.

This week’s release provides the same service but for iPhone, offering users an app that enables them to enter reviews through an iPhone as well as rating places through the ‘rate now’ button.

So for SMBs using Google ads, Google is offering them more bang for their bucks as iPhone extends its reach. The iPhone places app is available for all iOS devices in English only for the moment, but Google says that will be extended over the year to include more features and localization in many other languages. Interested in more?

SMBs Rapidly Take to the Cloud

Looks like this year the issue of whether SMBs take to the cloud or not will be resolved if only because of the cost savings involved.

To underline that, preliminary findings of a MarketBridge December survey of 1,000 North American SMBs and their adoption of cloud-based information technologies shows that the move to the cloud is speeding up.

Amongst the initial findings are:

  • 44% of SMBs claim to have at least one business application on the cloud
  • 38% said the need for mobile support is a trigger for cloud adoption
  • Fast growing companies were nearly twice as likely to move to the cloud
  • Marketing and sales departments were most open to moving to the cloud
  • 52% preferred private clouds as opposed to multi-tenant public clouds
  • 48% of respondents believed that data security would actually be better on the cloud,

MarketBridge says that cloud adoption appeared to be happening much faster than anyone thought in the SMB space with a fundamental shift in the way companies do businesses completed within the next two or three years. The full report will be released later this month.

Are You Ready for Disaster?

In other research, this time from Symantec (news, site) SMBs don’t appear to be making any plans for Disaster Recovery. The 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey, which measured the attitudes and practices of SMBs show that though SMBs are at risk, they are still not making disaster preparedness a priority until they experience a disaster or data loss.

The findings show that many SMBs do not understand the importance of disaster preparedness. Half of the respondents do not have a plan in place. Forty-one percent said that it never occurred to them to put together a plan and 40 percent stated that disaster preparedness is not a priority for them.

And the impact can be severe. The average cost of downtime for an SMB is US$ 12,500 per day. Outages cause customers to leave -- 54 percent of SMB customer respondents reported they have switched SMB vendors due to unreliable computing systems, a 12 percent increase compared with last year’s survey.

Customers of SMBs also reported considerable effects to their own businesses. When SMBs experience downtime, it costs their customers an average of US$ 10,000 per day. Scary if you’re not prepared. Check it out here.

Verizon Offers iPhone

Earlier this week, Verizon (news, site)  joined AT&T in offering Apple's iPhone. The world has known for ages that iPhone was coming to Verizon and this week was the day for the formal announcement.

Verizon held a brief event to mark this mobile occasion as Americans now have a choice of provider for Apple's coveted device (joining most other regions that have had moderate competition for the device for some time).

The long term effects should be to see the deal sending Apple's stock even higher and, presumably, seeing hordes of grumpy AT&T users swapping provider. But, it looks like they'll have to wait in line as Verizon customers get first dibs. Still, could Verizon throw anything interesting into the mix? Find out  here.