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Table: Tools For The Information Age

Special Report--ENTERPRISE: Technology: Networking

TABLE: Tools for the Information Age

LOCAL-AREA If the business is big enough to have several computers,

NETWORKS link them together in networks that allow coworkers

to easily share information and computing resources.

PORTABLE Notebook computers can keep the salesforce plugged into

COMPUTERS the home of fice. Handheld data terminals and personal

digital assistants can be had for a few hundred dollars

and can be used by low-skilled workers to gather data in

the field.

E-MAIL A cheap and easy way to stay in touch with customers and

suppliers. Small businesses can buy electronic-mail ser-

vices from telephone companies or use the Internet

through a variety of providers including online services

such as CompuServe, America Online, or Prodigy.

FAX Don't want to stand at the fax machine all day sending

faxes? Convert a PC to a "fax server" that can do the

job of a dozen separate fax machines--and relay incoming

fax messages to any computer on the network. An alter-

native: use a fax service such as AT&T Mail to do the job

for you.

GROUPWARE Even a small business with 100 to 200 employees can ben-

efit from groupware programs such as Lotus Notes. It's a

good way for employees to swap information and collaborate.


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