E-BUSINESS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

An examination of the technologies and concepts that enable the small business in the information age.

Not since the introduction of the printing press in 1440 has a technology had such an effect on commerce, business, and information as that of the Internet.  From the way business operates, to the way businesses sell, the Internet has and is shaping the face of economics and prosperity in the United States and around the world.  Like Gutenberg’s press, the availability of ubiquitous, instant information to the masses has impact at several levels. One of the most significant of these impacts is the ability of small and medium businesses to leverage technology at a scale that competes with much larger enterprises.   With that in mind, the primary goal of e-business for small business should be to obtain the most value to customers and the most efficient business processes through the use of technology coupled with the information delivery vehicle of the Internet.  Fundamental to achieving this goal are how a small business enables Internet presence, infrastructure, security, capitalizes on emerging technology.

While Internet may be the engine of e-business, underlying technologies such as Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), XML (eXtensible Markup Language), Java, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and Really Simple Syndication (RSS), have over time became abstracted from execution of e-business strategy.  The technical skills are still important, but as Nicholas Carr posited in his Harvard Business Review article “Why IT Doesn’t Matter”, these technologies are commodities after a short period of time, and all businesses should take a view of how they can be strategically employed.

Although the term can be nebulous when crossing different industries, the US Government describes a small business as “independently owned and operated and … not dominant in its field of operation.” Size is the key when looking at the impact of e-business to the small business market.  Extrapolating from Carr’s thesis; while larger companies can develop their own technology using hundreds of staff to achieve business model and operational leverage, small businesses may need to leverage technology into strategy even further to compete on a scale with larger competitors and each other.

Successful leverage of technology is not an out of the box solution for small business.  Fortunately, there is a wealth of recent historical information available to help understand the e-business landscape and provide a solid foundational understanding of e-business strategy.  The recent history of the dot-com boom and bust demonstrates that an unclear strategy will result in unsatisfactory results.  This cycle demonstrated that e-business is neither all “e” nor all “business”, but a tight coupling of both.  It demonstrated that a commonality that exists for both large and small business – the need for a clear e-business strategy before undertaking e-business efforts.  To understand this history is an important step in understanding e-business for small business.

International Business Machines (IBM) coined the term e-business as part of a marketing campaign in 1997.  Since that time, the term has come to symbolize the many functions, technologies, and business models which define the Internet’s role in business and commerce.  The IBM marketing campaign was designed to bring focus to the ability of the Internet to fundamentally challenge historical business models.  The campaign came at a time when the Internet was gaining ground and beginning to catch the attention of the majority population.

In the mid to late 1990’s, the Internet bubble was growing rapidly and over the next few years there would be billions invested based largely on concepts verses solid business plans or true innovation.  Two years after the launch of IBM’s campaign, in 1999, there were 457 initial public offerings (IPO’s) of companies.  Most of these offerings were primarily focused on the Internet.   Of those 457 IPO’s, the average first day return on investment was 71.7%.  This was in sharp contrast to the entire decade of the 1980’s when the average IPO first day return was 7.4%.  The imagination, and money, of the investor had been captured.  However, by 2001 the total IPO’s numbered 80 and the three year return for the 1999 offerings was -46%.  The dot-com boom was over.

This decline was in part driven by a general tendency to overestimate the business models profitability in the short term.  Many businesses were failing within six months of the IPO.  Some of the bigger dot-com failures such as Pets.com and Webvan.com took Billions of investor dollars with them in their flame-out.  Although the dot-com bust had arrived, many investors underestimated the long term effects of the technology, especially in its ability to offer scale to entrepreneurs and small business start-ups.

Contrary to the fallout of over-hyped Internet start-ups, the United States saw 165 billion dollar growth in small business proprietor income from 2001 through 2004.  This growth rate underscores the importance of e-business technologies which survive the dot-com burn out.   In fact, the US Census Bureau reported in September 2005 that the number of no employee business had a growth rate of 5.7%, the biggest rate of increase in self-employment since the Census Bureau began releasing statistics around the topic in 1997.  With theses types of small business comprising more than 70% of all businesses in the United States, extrapolation of the effect of e-business on the growth and success of small business becomes more significant.  The importance of the Internet presence, most particularly the ability to have a Web site, is the first and most significant e-business aspect a small business should leverage.

To begin the process of obtaining presence on the Internet, a business must secure a domain name, specifically a top-level domain name, to identify itself on the Web. The Internet top level domain name is unique name issued by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to identify a unique web site.  In order for a top level domain name to work, the registering business must first choose a name that is unused by others and is in some way affiliated with their business.  There is a problem in this step, however, and it is illustrated in that as of the spring of 2005, there were in excess of 71 million domain names registered.  This makes it exceedingly difficult to find an exact match for a given small business.  Additionally, once the name is secured the business owner must choose how to administer the mechanics of the chosen domain name.

While domains are purchased through companies identified as registrars for ICAAN, the fees and services offered vary widely from register to registrar as do the management tools for domain administration.  Although there has been previous controversy over monopolistic practices, one of the biggest of the registrars, Verisign, is currently the authoritative source for all .com top level domain registrations.  Verisign offers a well evolved administration interface for domain management.  Some discount registrars, delegated through Verisign, offer substantial discounts for registration and in some cases, such as GoDaddy.com, similar simple administration tools.

After completing the first step and securing a name, small business owners can choose one of two fundamental methods to accomplish the goal of Internet presence: self-hosting or Internet service provider (ISP) hosting.  The method requiring the most technology knowledge and skill is to self-host a Web site.

Self hosting, while initially appearing more affordable, involves several steps and expenses not necessarily visible when starting such a project.  After securing the top level domain, the small business must secure a communications gateway to the business or location where the site is to be hosted.  Additionally, a domain name will usually drive a need for e-mail address within the same domain.  This is especially important as the domain name and e-mail address matching is an established norm in the information economy.  So in addition to hosting a Web server, the business owner must now decide on a technology and approach for e-mail servers as well.

Server hardware and software costs for web and email can be expensive, but communication costs can be even more so.  In order to self-host, a business must have a dedicated, always on, connection to the Internet.  These kinds of connections in a metropolitan area such as Dallas, Texas cost up to $1049 per month.  Since many communication costs are dependant on geography and local telecommunications infrastructure, costs can vary widely and may include many add-on fees.  However, the Gartner Group, a technology research firm, reports that communication costs are slowly declining.

ISP hosting, as compared to self-hosting, can offer more affordable options for the small business owner, but this approach to Web presence is not without complexity. ISP hosting can be divided into three major categories:  shared Web hosting, virtual private hosting and dedicated hosting.  Depending on the maturity of a small business’ e-business strategy, these categories can also be further subdivided into e-commerce hosting and rich media hosting. In the final analysis, it is a cost verses capacity analysis.   The more expensive ISP hosting plans provide higher Web site performance and capacity, and more advanced business tool sets.

Shared hosting is generally inexpensive and the most basic of ISP hosting options. Within the shared hosting environment, the small business web site shares a server and web application space with other hosted sites. Since the network connection both to the ISP and to the server is shared with multiple other sites, the shared hosting site is vulnerable to performance degradation based on activities with it collocated sites.  While shared hosting offers a very cost effective way to establish Web presence, capabilities such as custom Web applications and Web based databases are extremely limited in most cases.

Another ISP hosting approach, both more expensive and more powerful than shared hosting, is virtual private hosting. While virtual private hosting still shares hardware and ISP bandwidth, the Web applications, Web site environment software, and in most cases the operating system, are isolated to each individual site being hosted.  For example, using this server virtualization approach a single instance of hardware may have twenty Web sites, with twenty unique instances of operating systems installed; each site operating completely independent from the others.  Virtual private hosting offers advantages of not allowing one business’ Web applications and performance from degrading the other sites on the same hardware.  In addition, Web database applications, as well as Web database functionality, are more readily deployed since the concept of virtualization applies to each unique Web site instance.   If for some reason a faulty Web application affects the entire Web site of one business, the other sites continue unaffected.

The highest level of ISP hosting, requiring substantial technical skills and carrying the highest of the ISP option costs, is dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting, sometimes called co-located hosting, is fundamentally the equivalent of renting a server from an ISP.  The offers a high degree of flexibility in Web presence, but carries a significant amount of time commitment to ensure that Web site is performance and configuration are at an acceptable level.  The use of dedicated hosting also means that many security aspects that are managed in the shared and virtual hosting environments become the responsibility of the business owner.   Since there is less incentive for the ISP to manage security on a dedicated server, as the customer impact is not shared, the technical skills required are significantly more than other ISP hosting options.

There are literally thousands of companies offering the small businesses ISP hosting and costs can vary widely; from free to several thousand dollars a year.  Some top firms in this market space include Network Solutions, GoDaddy.com, 1and1.com and IPowerweb.com.  Within these particular offerings, prices vary from $3.99 per month for shared hosting to $119.00 per month for dedicated hosting.  Each ISP offers a variety of options and technical features for small business.  With the goal of initially establishing presence on the Internet, however, shared hosting offers the most cost effective option.  Using a service such as 1and1.com, a small business owner can have a Web presence established with content, graphics, and user interactivity via online forms in about an hour at a cost of less than $10 a month.  Since most ISP hosting plans also offer domain name registration and e-mail accounts accessible by most e-mail programs, an ISP hosting strategy for e-business may be the smartest choice for small business owners.

Once a small business owner has determined how to establish a presence on the Internet, be it self or ISP hosted, the next step is to determine what type of presence to deploy.  In a large part, this will be driven by the company’s e-business strategy and will tie back to its internet business model.  Goals can vary in this area, and are tied to the underlying type of small business and how that business chooses an e-business strategy.

According to the Gartner Group, e-business leverage in small business is not only about e-commerce.  Relationship management with customers and vendors as well as the business processes a small business employs can be made more efficient with the right deployment of e-business technology and Web sites.

Generally, Web presence for small businesses can is divided into two categories:  destination sites and e-commerce sites.

A destination Web site is usually designed as a kind of virtual magnet for attracting visitors to a small business’ web site based on the relevant content the site contains as well as the type of online tools it offers.  This type of presence would be deployed by small businesses as both a way to be located via the Internet and potentially as a competitive differentiator for services and support tools.  An example small business destination site would be one offered by a real state agent in the business to consumer market.  While not specifically selling a product online, this type of presence provides tools and a catalog for the business owner to reach customers and generate leads for the actual revenue.  In contrast to larger real estate portals, like Trulia.com, the small business real estate web is designed with the goal of attracting and establishing a relationship with a customer and that particular small business.

E-Commerce Web sites, in comparison to destination sites, are geared to transact business over the Internet using online orders, invoices and payments.  E-Commerce includes multiple technologies, but for the small business many of these technologies are readily obtainable and deployable.

In most instances, the primary goal of a small business’ e-commerce Web site is to convert visitors to the business’ Web site to paying customers.  This is done through presentation of a catalog of goods and services and providing the transactional tools required for the buyer to purchase those goods or services online.  Security is a paramount concern in e-commerce.  Unless a small business has a staff well versed in Secure Socket Layers (SSL) and encryption, or it is provided by the ISP hosting company, they should seek professional security assistance in establishing an e-commerce site.

For small businesses the cost of developing an e-commerce system from scratch may be too prohibitive.   Fortunately, some ISP host companies also offer comprehensive e-commerce tools such as shopping carts and catalogs as part of the basic hosting package.  These tools are relatively easy to use and offer a quick method to deploy and maintain e-commerce associated content in as little as an hour.  IPower.com, for instance, offers a relatively simple and easy to use step by step model to deploy e-commerce.

Michael Rappa, the Alan T. Dickson Distinguished University Professor of Technology Management at North Carolina State University, defines a business model as the way a business does business and sustains itself as an ongoing concern. It is, in effect, the recipe used for flowing cash and generating revenue somewhere with the value chain of consumers or other businesses for a particular product or service.  The business model and business plan associated with e-business is significant in developing and deploying an e-business strategy.  For many businesses, an e-business strategy will enhance business models.    Without a business plan, however, there is significant risk in failure of e-business initiatives.

According to Rappa, the Internet has birthed new and varying kinds of business models that range from the simple to the complexly innovative.  His taxonomy of models include:

Business Model Revenue/Cash Flow Method
Brokerage A fee structure around transactions
Advertising A fee structure as advertisements are presented to Internet users
Infomediary Resale of consumer and browser’s habits and click habits
Merchant Retail or auction sales of goods and services
Manufacturer (Direct) Direct sales of goods and services to the end user
Affiliate Pay-for-performance revenue through sales commissions driven off the main site of a merchant
Community Voluntary donations to a site or cause that provides social or cultural benefit
Subscription Subscriber access fees for premium content
Utility Metered access to specialized content, databases, or services delivered over the Internet on a pay per use basis.

Exhibit  SEQ Exhibit \* ARABIC 1 – Rappa’s Internet Revenue Models

 

While it may be likely that most small businesses pursuing e-business will leverage the merchant or manufacturer model, owners should consider other models as a supplement to their primary e-business strategy.

Small businesses that tailor themselves to e-business models will have unique billing requirements in that in an e-business environment systems must adapt to ways of product and service bundling, pricing and transacting cash that are unique to the Internet.

The uniqueness of these transactions comes from the way the Internet allows customer acquisition and relationship building at a very rapid pace.  The small business that manages billing and related financial processes in an integrated way may be able to get their product to market faster, increase market share and out perform those that do not.   While there are any number of e-business enabled business systems available for purchase, many are priced out of reach for a small business’ investment dollars.

Fortunately for the small business owner, the big companies in the software industry have recognized the market-value of small businesses and are tailoring products for that market.  For instance, according to market research from AMI-Partners, small and medium businesses were spending $300 billion on technology in 2003. With this in mind, it is of little surprise that companies like IBM would spend $500 million just on efforts to penetrate this market.Most of these products enable e-business functionality for the small business environment.

While it may be fortunate that a lot of attention is being paid to platforms, a small business has to determine what kind of software to deploy to compliment its e-business strategy.  A small business enabled for e-business will most likely need to address: billing, accounting, relationship management, inventory, and security software in addition to the e-commerce tools discussed above.

Depending on the e-business model, billing software should account for credit cards transactions as well as payments on account.  A small business will need to create a Merchant Account in order to transact credit cards.  However, since there are many card processing companies operating in this space competition brings cost-effective opportunities for a small business owner to tailor a solution to their e-business needs.  Business owners should focus on both monthly costs and transaction costs of merchant accounts as an unexpected increase in transactions could have impact to cash flow, especially in e-business models where inventory is warehoused.  One solution used by many small businesses is PayPal.  Paypal, while not offering all the power and complexity of a full blown merchant account, is an easy to use Web only merchant system that allows credit card processing as well as Paypal account transactions.  Originally, PayPal was a disruptive technology to the merchant account industry, and EBay’s acquisition of it in 2002 for $1.5 billion underscored its potential.  In recent months, however, Google launched a merchant account product called the Google Checkout which may prove to be another major disruptive technology.  Google was developed originally as a tool for the company’s AdSense advertisers, however the Internet search company has rapidly moved into a play for small business transactions over most Internet models.  This is clarified in a statement by Don Dodge, Director of Business Development for Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team, “Google Checkout launched today. Credit card companies better look out…Google is coming.  PayPal should be worried too.”

In order to track revenue and operating income in most business models, a billing and accounting system will need to be employed.  The leader in this area for small business is Intuit, with its Quickbooks product.  Several million small businesses employ Quickbooks to manage their financial functions and it is widely support by the professional accounting industry.  Some software vendors, such as ProjectA and eBanyan, even provide add-ons to Quickbooks allowing small businesses to directly integrate the accounting and billing system to their e-commerce.

Productivity is important in e-business architectures for small businesses.  Productivity software includes tools designed to help maximize efficiency and productivity for individuals, and the business in general. Software in this area range from the Microsoft Office add-ins that extend the functionality of popular Microsoft programs such as Excel and Word to free open-source alternatives such as OpenOffice.org. They include tax-preparation software, and  HYPERLINK “http://www.download.com/Personal-Info-Managers/3150-2074_4-0.html” personal information managers (PIMs) for calendar scheduling, address-book management, and other administrative tasks.  Small businesses developing an e-business strategy focus in general on the integration and ease of use of productivity software.  While criticized a being over-featured, Microsoft leads the way with their MS Office offerings, and are the market leader world wide for productivity tools.  New versions of Microsoft Office products will take e-business integration even further.  The newest version of office to launch will include features that enable a small business to enable for e-business as part of the basic productivity workflow by leveraging Microsoft’s Live.com site.  This will include services such as free domain names, e-mail, and similar features.

With the Internet being so important to e-business strategy, the dangers posed by hackers and viruses can be Achilles’ heel to small business.   These threats continually jeopardize entrepreneur and customer privacy, productivity and financial security and carry a great potential to destroy customer trust in an enterprise. Small businesses usually cannot afford 24 hour-a-day network protection from experienced technology professionals. In most cases, the small business owner is the technology team to face these issues.  But whether security is handled in-house or outsourced, ensuring that as much as possible of the waterfront of security risks is covered is vital to maintaining a secure e-business infrastructure.

Certain things make small businesses more prone to security threats than others. Since security is becoming tighter at large companies, small business networks may be increasing in temptation to attackers.  Though types of sensitive data vary from business to business, a few key types of information exist that every e-business should protect. These data include: private customer information that could uniquely identify a customer, competitive business plans, and financial performance data. Loss by theft of this information is the primary threat and could result in decreased sales, reduced competitive advantage, and lawsuits.

Just by being connected to the Internet, small businesses open themselves up to numerous vectors of attack.   But perhaps even a bigger security threat is wireless networking.  Wireless networks are becoming standard, and most mobile computers are sold today with wireless already built in.  Wireless security opens up many vectors of network attack to for a small business and complicates matters because the physical security that can be put in place for wired networks do not exist for wireless.  When using wireless, everything sent or received is broadcast hundreds of feet in every direction and can be received by every wireless receiver within range.

Since wireless can use both peer to peer and hub based networking, there are multiple levels of protection that must be put in place.  On method to mitigate wireless security risk is through the use of encryption.  Encryption for wireless network access is based on shared keys used by both the peer, or client wireless device and the hub device.  While there are different standards for encryption, many security experts recommend using at least a 128-bit key if a wireless network is deployed.  Small business owners may find wireless networking adds flexibility to their business, but business owners should consider the risk verses the reward.

Internet access for employees can often be a small business’ biggest risk when it comes to Internet security threats. While downloading programs from Websites, employees can inadvertently download a virus which spreads and infect other computers on a network.  The same is true with e-mail. When reading email HTML formatted email or e-mail with attachments can lead to a small business’ employee’s inadvertent spyware or virus infection.  Big businesses have begun deploying content sensing engines on their network to mitigate and block this kind of risk.  One such vendor, Websense, offers software that is continually updated to monitor and enforce rules around employee internet use.  Mimesweeper, another vendor, takes this concept into the e-mail area.  Although these e-business tools are expensive, small business owners may need to consider how the investment in monitoring employee Internet access may enhance the security of their e-business activities.

Small businesses have many areas of security that need to be addressed, and like Internet access monitoring tools, there are multiple software vendors available to help address each risk.  Unfortunately from a cost perspective, most current security tools that can be deployed into a small business consist of multiple point products, which must be purchased, installed, deployed, managed and upgraded separately. This means small business owners need to address problems related to the lack of interoperability between each of the products, leading to difficult in managing the e-business infrastructure..

Integrated security improves the overall security position of the e-business infrastructure and reduces costs in ways not possible via implementation of individual products from many different vendors. Key security technologies that can be integrated include firewalls, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, content filtering, virtual private networking, wireless network security and virus protection. Individually, these security technologies can be cumbersome to install, as well as difficult and expensive to manage and update. However, when integrated into a single solution they offer more comprehensive protection while reducing complexity and cost.  Symantec, McAfee, and Trend offer varying integrated solutions in these areas.  In addition, United Business Media, technical publishing company offers over 1400 white papers on information security and the International Standards organization published ISO 17779, which is a valuable tool for small business owners to understand as prescriptive guidance to protect e-business.  Finally, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides small business seminars around the country on information security as part of the NIST outreach program.

In addition to changing security solutions, every small business owner with an e-business strategy should also focus on emerging technology areas.   Mobility and Web 2.0 are significant e-business enhancing technologies with a great deal of potential impact for small business.

Mobility refers to two things; mobile access to applications and integration of data between a base office and mobile systems. In this context, mobility can greatly enhance the agility and competitive advantage of a small business.  The propagations of cell-phones and Blackberries in the personal and business world are one example of how mobility is becoming more important.  However, specific steps to leverage this technology exist for a small business.  In combination with a Web presence, Blackberry and cell phones offer a completely mobile approach for a small business to enable a 24-hour-a-day customer relationship extension of the web.  As an example, a properly configured Web site and Blackberry can enable a business owner and employees to respond within minutes to a customer enquiry on the Web, or to track and release customer orders for shipment.  Palm as well as Blackberry both has tools available that can automate common e-business workflows for a mobile workforce, thus improving response time and customer service.  These tools are evolving even more rapidly as user bases grow.  The propagation of Web 2.0 will likely increase the value of these tools.

Web 2.0, at its most basic level, is the next evolution of the Internet.  The term, devised initially by  HYPERLINK “http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/27″ O’Reilly Media and MediaLive International in 2003, is loosely defined by Reilly as “”The central idea is harnessing collective intelligence.”.  Although there are a considerable number of competing imprecise definitions in the media, Web 2.0 does encompass a number of new e-business technologies and concepts employed by companies such as Google, MySpace, and Flickr.  The overlaying concepts of social networking, however, may be a key ingredient in small business e-business innovation.  Since a large portion of the non-technology aspects of Web 2.0 center around social collaboration, small-businesses may be able to capitalize on a front end customer strategy to better understand their target customer’s workflow and create additional value in products and services.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs are growing rapidly in the United States and the strategic incorporation of e-business may be enabled though choosing and focusing on the pragmatic and integrated acquisition and deployment of technology. However, unless a small business sells e-business related technology services, many aspects of e-business may be foreign and unclear.  Clarity can be gained, however, by accessing by using valuable Internet resources for information gathering and choosing appropriate integration focused tools to enable e-business strategy.  Fundamentally important to small business; current technologies around Internet presence, infrastructure, and security can enable these businesses to achieve competitive advantage.  These technologies enable, with the appropriate effort, value to customers and efficient business processes.

 

 

 

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Senator Hollings, Ernest.  “Online Personal Privacy Act 2002”.  Retrieved July 2, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.techlawjournal.com/cong107/privacy/hollings/20020418summary.asp

Computer Security Resource Center.  “Small Business Computer Security Workshops “.  Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://csrc.nist.gov/securebiz/

Levy, Stephen, and Brad Stone. “The New Wisdom of the Web”. Newsweek (April 3, 2006)

Flynn, Peter, “The XML FAQ”, (2006), Retrieved July 3, 2006 from the  World Wide Web: http://xml.silmaril.ie/basics/whatisxml

Carr, Nichlas, “Does IT Matter?” Harvard Business Review, May 2003, 41-49

Small Business Administration , “What is a Small Business”.  Retrieved June 30, 2006 from the  World Wide Web: http://www.sba.gov/size/

Nansi Shi and V K Murthy.  Architectural Issues of Web-Enabled Electronic Business, (Hershey: Idea Group, 2003) 221.

International Business Machines Corporation. “IBM Archives: 1997”.  Retrieved May 22, 2006 from the  World Wide Web:  http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1997.html

Bootle, Roger.  Money for Nothing: Real Wealth, Financial Fantasies and the Economy of the Future. (Yarmouth: Brealey, 2003) 122.

Joanna Glasner ,”Why Webvan Drove Off a Cliff” (July 2001).  Wired Magazine.  Retrieved June 3, 2006 from the  World Wide Web:  http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,45098,00.html

Ritter, Jay R. and Welch, Ivo, “A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing and Allocations” (February 2002). Yale ICF Working Paper No. 02-01. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=296393 or DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.296393

Robert W. Fairlie , “Self-Employed Business Ownership Rates in the United States: 1979-2003”, December 2004, Retrieved June 4, 2006 from the  World Wide Web:  http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs243tot.pdf

US Census Bureau. “Non employer statistics” Retrieved June 3, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/ns0300a01.pdf

Name Intelligence.  “Registrar Statistics”. Retrieved July 2, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.domaintools.com/internet-statistics/registrar-stats-2005.php

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  “ICANN-Accredited Registrars”. Retrieved June 3, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.icann.org/registrars/accredited-list.html

Westlaw Database. Cong. Testimony WLNR 9809853 (June 8, 2006) Retrieved June 3, 2006 from the Westlaw:  http://web2.westlaw.com/search/default.wl?clvl=RCC&rltdb=CLID_DB17551767

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Koppman, Steve.  “Integrated Access Saves Costs, Gives Small Sites IP Voice Shortcut”.  Gartner Group.   Retrieved June 30, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=483503

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Kalakota, Ravi and Robinson, Marcia, E-Business 2.0: Roadmap for Success.  (Boston: Addison-Wesley Professional, 2002) 426

Ibid, Rappa

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Kane, Margeret.  “eBay picks up PayPal for $1.5 Billion”.  News.com.  Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://news.com.com/2100-1017-941964.html

Google.  “Get Started with Google Checkout”.  Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web: https://checkout.google.com/seller/start.html

Dodge, Don.  “Google Checkout – Lookout credit card companies”.  Microsoft Emerging Business Team. Retrieved June 29, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/5216299

Taylor, Suzanne Kathy and Schroeder, John.   Inside Intuit: How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft and Revolutionized an Entire Industry.  (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2003) 271

Project A. “QuickBooks™ User?”.   Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http:://www.projecta.com/Page.asp?NavID=114

eBanyan. “eBanyan Takes Fear out of E-Commerce”.  Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://www.ebanyan.com/pView.asp?action=viewPDetails&pageId=10999&pCatName=&pGrpName=

Microsoft Office Developer Center.  “Add-ins”. Retrieved June 25, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/tool/addin/

Open Office.  “Welcome to OpenOffice.org” Openoffice.org Retrieved June 25, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.openoffice.org/about_us/new.html

Blackwell, Gary.  “Reaching Peak Efficiency”.  Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/buyersguide/article.php/3615436

Microsoft PressPass.  “Customers to Receive Better Solutions and More Product Options With 2007 Microsoft Office Release” Retrieved June 25, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/smallbusiness/highlights.mspx

Senator Hollings, Ernest.  “Online Personal Privacy Act 2002”.  Retrieved July 2, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.techlawjournal.com/cong107/privacy/hollings/20020418summary.asp

Computer Security Resource Center.  “Small Business Computer Security Workshops “.  Retrieved June 18, 2006 from the World Wide Web:  http://csrc.nist.gov/securebiz/

Levy, Stephen, and Brad Stone. “The New Wisdom of the Web”. Newsweek (April 3, 2006)

 

 

 

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