Technology for success | NZBusiness Magazine

Owners of the most popular business tools are using them to increase productivity, acquire customers and achieve advantage in 2024.

The best small business technologies and tools make managing everyday business tasks simple and easy, efficient and profitable. While there are standard solutions such as CRM software and accounting software, there are a number of new wave AI-inspired technologies that make automation easier while prioritizing productivity.

Qassem Naim, former chief data and technology officer at FCB New Zealand and founder of start-up Circle, helps support Kiwi businesses by making technology, transformation and AI easier for customers. We asked him to share some interesting technologies and tools he is currently working with and recommends to business owners.

Artificial intelligence-powered meeting notebook. You can automatically join meetings when it’s connected to your calendar, and when the meeting ends, it summarizes its contents. Qassem says it initially saved him a lot of time when he was working at a one-man startup, “by allowing me to engage in meetings without missing any tricks or exceptions.” “As the team grew, it was a great way to onboard new employees and help them get up to speed by sharing notes they took through the app.”


A productivity app that lets you easily record and share video messages/screen recordings to reduce emails and meetings. “Some cool features include cutting out filler words, but it ultimately saves that potential meeting, or even worse, an unread PowerPoint that allows you to explain and interact with the message,” Qassem explains.

LLM such as Gemini, GPT and Claude

“These (large language models) will probably be at the top of most people’s lists. At Circle, we focus on using them in automation processes because their possibilities are almost limitless. We use them for content generation, data cleansing, analytics, and internal quality control and feedback management,” says Qassem. Currently, work is also underway on multi-agent frameworks, i.e. virtual teams that are intended to help solve complex problems faced by individual AI models.

Qassem says Circle was born out of the frustration faced by business leaders who can no longer keep up with the exponential advances in world-changing technology.

“With thousands of business technologies to choose from, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred, creating redundancy in capabilities and waste in the form of overspending on “off-the-shelf hardware.” We hate shelves. You should too. It’s a waste of money and valuable time. Our approach leverages the new wave of talent that has evolved with technology and emerged alongside today’s innovations ready to leapfrog (current skill sets),” he says.

Qassem Naim.

Qassem cautions leaders against making any technology investment in a tool or framework – often at a high price – without a guiding strategy to develop the capabilities they are looking for or a pragmatic understanding of how to actually achieve results (or without having anyone in the company who does).

“Of course you can imagine how new technology or a certain type of experience will benefit your business, but spending money on ambition without practical knowledge of how it will work and how you will be able to use it to run your business will benefit you at best. you will be obliged to make progress against external partners and, at worst, with a smaller budget and nothing to show for it.

“There is no simple silver bullet that will help you grow your business. It’s all about stakes, you have to find a way to apply them to create something innovative.”

This article was originally published in the magazine NZBusiness March 2024 digital issue. You can read the issue for free, Here.