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UUNET Launches Small Business Services

UUNET Wednesday took aim at the small business sector with a a new service that helps entrepreneurs fine tune their dot-com strategy.

The WorldCom Co. communications unit said its Small Business Plus service offers the hardware, software, Internet access, hosting and customer support services a company needs to become e-business enabled.

Small Business Plus was created for small businesses with growing Internet needs, but limited IT staffs and budgets. The program features fast Internet access speeds dependable e-mail and an external Web site for marketing products and services.

UUNET is also offering small businesses access to the latest market trends and e-business news and tips through its new online resource, which includes package price listings.

According to Cahner's In-Stat Group, the small business sector is a boomin market as small companies will spend in excess of $200 billion on information technology in 2000. More than 16 million small office/home office (SOHO) business employees will also become Internet-enabled this year, increasing beyond 22 million by the end of 2004.

"The problem is that small businesses don't know where to start with technology, and they don't know what questions to ask," said Mark Quinn, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, San Francisco. "There is a big need for help in this area."

UUNET has turned to IBM Corp. to provide small businesses with Business Essentials and Business Essentials Plus, two Internet solutions that combine UUNET's access services -- DSL, ISDN and analog -- with IBM's Small Business WebConnections.

UUNET's focus on the small business is an example of WorldCom's Generation D initiative. The strategy is part of WorldCom's goal in helping the e-business marketplace evolve from an array of fragmented elements to a cohesive suite of e-business services.

In related news Wednesday, WorldCom inked a deal with America Online Inc. in which the telco giant agreed to market the giant ISP to its millions of residential and long-distance customers.



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