marketing, business

– A Web for Your Site

2 min read

Down the road, it is not a stretch to imagine that your home PC will also be used to help keep track of your business. In a 1997 report, the International Data Corp (IDC) has projected that, by 2001, small office/home office (SOHO) computer and communications systems will have leaped forward to the point where new SOHOnets will connect small businesses to each other and to the Internet. But what exactly is a “SOHO net”?

SOHO networks can be really simple. Perhaps the most basic is a “multi-PC network.” If you have not set up a home network, you’ll find this concept a little confusing. Basically, with a multi-PC network your desktops are connected in a small local area network (LAN). Because of that connection, the PCs can share printers, phone lines, fax machines (with new fax modem software) and more.

As the SOHO net concept matures, we expect it to gather momentum and expand in features and diversity. Already we’re seeing software and hardware sets that will let SOHO computer users create “online file servers,” where files can be stashed for downloading by others or can be made accessible for modifications to monthly, quarterly or other periodic computer documents.

Another important computer evolution for small business owners will be remote access to computer information. The 1995 IDC computer and communication report predicted small business people will maintain “remote access server services” both for customers to determine what they need and for current clients to pay bills, change account information, and perform other transaction-based business activities.

In the same vein, if you’re going to maintain an Internet home page, you’ll need intelligent design to keep customers interested. Is there someone who can help? Yes, on the high-end of the net-authoring business, there is Michael Markibin, CEO of Los Altos-based NetStudio Corp., which creates new software packages for computer and communications system installations in small businesses.

Markibin recently suggested that a major new theme will be the “World Wide Mall.” It would, he said, consist of “dedicated servers surrounded by many end users [businesses] who originate applications.” For Markibin, wireless micro PCs will be the key to success because, as he pointed out, “Not much hasn’t been done with wires. I think the new technology will be the wireless connectors, which allow you

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