TECH TALK: SMEs and Technology: Recent Developments

Take a look at some of the recent developments in the context of solutions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Cisco Systems introduced less-expensive versions of its Internet phone software and services, as the company broadens its push into the small-business market. One of the new products, CallManager Express, costs between $750 and $2,800 and is meant for businesses that have fewer than 100 employees. Cisco also debuted software called Unity Express, which creates voice mail and an automated attendant. The product costs $3,000. Ten system “blueprints” help companies assemble the pieces, the company said. The new Cisco equipment and blueprints are an attempt to interest small businesses in voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a cheaper form of dialing that uses the Internet. [, October 2]

Siebel Systems and IBM are unveiling a hosted software product in an effort to grab some of the IT dollars small and midsize businesses are spending. The product, called Siebel CRM OnDemand, is an attempt to sell customer relationship management systems via the Web rather than through traditional software licensing. The companies are hoping that corporate clients in need of CRM applications would rather access applications online than by going through the lengthy process of licensing and deployment. The software will cost $70 a month per customer. Start-ups such as have reported success in selling similar services and claim to have signed up some of Siebel’s customers. Oracle has also touted its outsourcing software as one of its fastest-growing businesses [, October 2]

Microsoft will start selling a simplified bundle of its Windows Server operating system and Microsoft Exchange e-mail software. Ayala said both Microsoft’s internal sales force and resellers will have their compensation tied to their ability to sell the bundle, which is called Microsoft Small Business Server 2003. [, October 1]

Dell said its new PowerEdge 400 SC server would come with preinstalled Windows Small Business Server 2003 software and would cost around $1,000.
[, September 22]

Hewlett-Packard plans to pump $750 million into a new “Smart Office” initiative to market its computers, printers and services to small and medium-sized businesses. [InfoWorld, September 18]

Network Associates Inc.’s Sniffer Technologies division last week launched network and security-management tools for small and midsize businesses. The Netasyst Network Analyzer, a stripped-down version of Sniffer’s protocol analyzers, supports the most common network topologies those businesses use, including 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11 wireless LANs. [Information Week, September 1]

[South Koreas small businesses] can buy access to the computer network and basic business-management programs for an average of $15 to $25 per month. More robust software for bigger companies costs $75. The computerization agency has put together customized packages of software for 22 business lines, including real estate brokers, eyeglass shops, beauty parlors, sports clubs, and restaurants. Programs for an additional 36 business types are being developed. [Business Week, August 26]

Internet security firm Check Point is targeting medium-sized companies with a firewall/VPN package designed for organisations with up to 500 employees. Check Point Express includes firewall, VPN, network and application attack protection combined with multi-site, centralised management functions. The package is designed to be easy to purchase, install and manage. [The Register, August 20]

Tomorrow: Recent Developments (continued)

TECH TALK SMEs and Technology+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.