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.