Going the extra mile for SMEs

Among British politicians' favourite platitudes is the importance of smaller companies to the overall performance of UK plc.

Among British politicians' favourite platitudes is the importance of smaller companies to the overall performance of UK plc.

Predictably, their flattering words are not so readily translated into real encouragement for small and medium-sized enterprises. Increasing red tape is as natural to most politicians as breathing. As Dennis Keeling points out on page 43 in the first of our monthly SME Focus special sections, smaller companies are taking a bureaucratic battering in the form of new Inland Revenue requirements and a host of regulatory pressures.

The IT industry cannot do much to change the nature of the great British politician, but it can produce the products and services which help smaller companies meet the challenges facing them.

As Jane Dudman identifies on page 44, SMEs often lack the resources to enjoy a high level of in-house IT support and are therefore particularly dependent on good relationships with suppliers.

It is good to find suppliers producing cut-down versions of their enterprise applications to meet the needs of SMEs. But the availability of products is just the start. Suppliers must be proactive in forming effective relationships with their SME customers.

And if they take what they learn in the process into their relationships with larger enterprises, there will be many a blue-chip IT director ready to applaud. Customer relationship management is about a lot more than software.



Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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