Top Five Facts about the Power of Small Business

Small businesses are making large investments in computers, collectively spending $19.2 million annually on technology, reports the Business Research Group, Newton, Mass. Why is there so much demand for new computers?

Efficiency, say the experts. When used to improve customer service, information technology improves productivity by seven percent, according to an MIT/Information Week study. Data also shows that small businesses often use better technology more effectively than large companies.

And consider how powerful small businesses are, based on these facts from the Small Business Administration. Small businesses:

Not surprisingly, computer companies like IBM recognize the importance of small businesses-which spent an average of $8,300 on computer hardware last year. IBM has even created an organization dedicated to its smaller customers, a market that is growing by double digits. Recently, in fact, the company introduced AS/400 Advanced Entry, a new, low-cost business computing system designed for that marketplace.

In addition to performing functions such as Web serving (which enables local businesses to tap global markets through the Internet) and being compatible with every other computer, AS/400 Entry grows as the business grows, resists computer viruses and literally runs by itself.

Like all AS/400 systems, AS/400 Entry integrates hardware and software into one easy-to-use, reliable package with a low cost of ownership. Some systems force users to buy and install additional, potentially incompatible software and hardware from a variety of vendors at extra cost.

IBM shipped the first of these low-cost systems to Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France Bicycle race. LeMond, himself, became a small business owner recently when he acquired franchise rights for the Bruegger's Bagels chain. LeMond, who will use the new AS/400 for his business, expects that the challenge of maintaining and upgrading his company's computer system will be downhill from here.(NAPSI)

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