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By Carl Weinschenk

Two recently published articles suggest that now is prime time for small business technology. One of the stories, from the Associated Press, says that a consortium of Sprint Nextel and four of the nation's largest cable companies are expanding their wireless footprint—and that small businesses are one of the key targets.

For a couple of years, the cellular company has been teaming with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Advance/Newhouse on a venture, which recently was christened Pivot. Pivot now provides cell pone service in eight metropolitan areas. It is expanding to 40 by the end of the year. The AP story says that Pivot will aggressively target small businesses.

Brian Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast, says that it will be possible for his company to capture 20 percent of the SMB market in the next five years. The reason: The sector is not courted aggressively by the phone companies.

The other story ran in InternetNews. The thrust of the piece is that Microsoft feels threatened by Google and—to a lesser extent—Zoho in the small business sector. Its reaction is to upgrade its offerings. One step is to cooperate with retailers, such as ComputUSA's TechPro Business Providers and Best Buy's Geek Squad.

This all is good news, of course. It also shows what we have been saying since we launched SmartBiz: The small business arena is vibrant and active. We suspect that the Pivot partners, Microsoft and an increasing number of other companies have had an epiphany. They seem to increasingly recognize that the enterprise market is nearing saturation and that the Internet and an ever-expanding number of tools can give them easy access to the small business market.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.
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