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Technology Number One for Small Business

Press Release for Immediate Release

Technology Number One for Small Business

Auckland, 9 May 2006 – Organisers of the Small Business Expo ( say that information technology can often be the ‘make or break’ for small business owners, which is why it is crucial for them to understand how to best take advantage of it, and prepare for future changes.

The Small Business Expo is the largest event ever held for small businesses in New Zealand with 4,088 tickets already pre-registered for the event. Sarah Trotman, Small Business Sector Specialist and organiser of the Expo says the early interest is not surprising as IT is now becoming the most important business issue for most SME’s.

“For small business owners, IT is about having reliable and efficient systems in place as well as upgrading software to be more productive and responsive. Forrester has just released research in the US showing that top IT initiatives for SME in 2006 include upgrading applications, security environment and leveraging more eCommerce activities. The Small Business Expo will provide business owners with a range of IT solutions and technology providers the small business owner can go to for advice,” says Trotman.

The Small Business Expo will feature a technology morning on Friday 12 May, as well as a late night on Thursday 11 May. Among a host of IT exhibitors at the Small Business Expo, the technology morning will feature companies from Microsoft to Arcad, leaders in the latest desktop / enterprise solutions and 3D animation and multimedia respectively.

Microsoft has a programme designed specifically for small business, Office Small Business Edition, which features familiar, easy-to-use software to help manage customers and sales opportunities, create impressive sales and marketing materials in-house, and share information efficiently. It includes five programs in one including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, and Publisher. In addition, Microsoft will discuss aspects of its new operating system Vista and also Office 12 which will both be released in 2007.

Jan Ferguson, Small Business Manager for Microsoft says that Microsoft is focused on understanding the challenges faced by small business customers and delivering technology solutions to overcome them.

“Our experience tells us that many small businesses don’t know where to start when it comes to IT. To help, Microsoft has invested in a number of initiatives to educate and empower small businesses, including the Small Business Centre website and a presence at events such as the Small Business Expo,” says Ferguson.

Besides showcasing some great new software products, the Microsoft Seminar Series, a key part of the Small Business Expo, will feature practical advice and solutions from companies supporting the IT sector.

“It is the first time so many senior specialists will speak under one roof, and therefore a rare opportunity for small business owners to gain a broad understanding of business-changing technology,” says Trotman.

Also featuring at the Expo will be yourbiz Cyber Café, which will allow people to work remotely while checking out the Expo.

Minister of Information Technology, Hon David Cunliffe will open the Microsoft Seminar Series at 9.30am on Friday 12 May. Entry to the Microsoft Seminar Series is free for the Small Business Expo attendees. The Small Business Expo commences on 10 May at the ASB Showgrounds, and is open till 8pm on Thursday 11 May. Register at to secure a ticket.

Key sponsors of the Expo are Vero, Microsoft, Vodafone, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), the New Zealand Herald, and Newstalk ZB.


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