Magazine

Table: Technologies That Deliver


Even though budgets are tight, corporations are willing to spend on computing systems that help increase sales or cut costs. Here's a sampling of technologies:

CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT

These software packages help companies track their sales activities, make customer service more efficient, and plan marketing campaigns. Demand is still strong--the market is expected to grow nearly 40%, to $14.1 billion this year, says AMR Research.

E-PROCUREMENT

These programs help companies buy everyday items, such as paper, office machinery, and cleaning supplies, over the Web. Gartner Group says that a hypothetical $9.6 billion company will pay back a $7 million e-procurement technology investment in just over four years and will get $6.2 million in savings in the fifth year.

COLLABORATIVE SOFTWARE

It helps workers collaborate within their company and with partners to speed product design and make manufacturing more efficient. Researcher Yankee Group estimates that companies in 26 industries it has studied have the opportunity to save $233 billion by 2005 if they use this technology.

PIPING TECHNOLOGY TO USERS

Rather than handling their own server computers, corporations are relying on outside outfits to manage their technology at remote data centers, piping data to their offices via the Web. Experts say this can cut a company's computing costs by 15% to 20%. Some 30% of corporate tech buyers say they are considering this or already doing it, says Gartner Dataquest.


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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