Access to information tailored to the specific needs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is absolutely crucial for them to remain competitive. This has been affirmed in the White Book on Competitiveness, Growth and Employment; and reaffirmed in the Bangemann report, as well as by the G7 Brussels meeting in February 1995. Finally it has also been confirmed by the growing number of SMEs who are awakening to the new possibilities offered by modern information technologies.
SMEs however do not often have the logistical and financial resources to access modern information technologies, or to digest the growing flow of information which businesses need to survive in increasingly competitive markets. Moreover, there appears to be a qualitative gap between the supply of information and the demand on the part of SMEs.
A Confederation of SME Servers (CONFOSS) will be established primarily by the Council of European Professional Informatic Societies (CEPIS), the European Information Technologies Association (EITA), and the European Multimedia Forum (EMF) to bridge this gap.
CONFOSS will extend the services that each of the three partners already provide to their members, by sharing existing services and enhancing those services to provide a common information space that will provide all of its members with:
- a "yellow pages" directory of SME members and their products and services;
- a "co-operation forum";
- information on EU programmes and initiatives of relevance to SMEs;
- information on the market/business environment;
- access to professional and technical expertise;
- information on business services available to SMEs.
The three existing members cover a broad range of SMEs active in the ICT Sector. However, the existing members will seek to broaden the Confederation through the expansion of the range of services available to the Confederation and increasing the number of SMEs participating in the common information space.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1013 CP Amsterdam
EC4A 1JP London