SABRE aims to identify telematics based solutions which help SMEs to respond to, for example, marketing opportunities, problems of economies of scale, and to minimise distribution costs, etc.
SMEs tend to suffer from disadvantages such as; remoteness from end markets, marketing weaknesses, small scale of production, communication weaknesses, small scale of production, communication weaknesses with customers, suppliers etc. Diversity of SME business types and sectors of activity, accentuates the problems. Provision of regional telematics service centres may offer a solution.
SABRE will initiate research into rural SMEs needs through working with small focus-groups of representative potential users in five EC Member States. This work is closely linked to and will be augmented with the research findings of the SARBA project.
The SABRE approach envisages that services to support the applications required by SMEs can be provided regionally by a "Rural Telematics Service Centre" (RTSC). The RTSC would provide servers (hosts) for local rural based business applications.
Ultimately, RTSC's would be interconnected with services and consumers in the core regions of the Community.
Servers in the RTSC would operate under an "Integrated Rural Telematics Architecture" (IRTA). IRTA is conceived as a unified architecture by which rural SMEs can access a wide range of telematic services, both generic and specific, utilising a range of media including small computers, fax machines, PCN networks and eventually integrated broadband communications.
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