Wed, May 10, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Softex show aiming to lure SMEs with software solutions

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Softex software and applications show, which opens tomorrow, is eyeing the pockets of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a special focus on enterprise software solutions, organizers said yesterday.

"The adoption rate for information technology solutions by local SMEs is still pretty low, even though the government has been pushing the e-enterprise concept for years," Enoch Du (杜全昌), secretary general of the Taipei Computer Association (TCA, 台北市電腦公會), told a press briefing.

Therefore, the association hopes to educate these companies on the benefits of deploying solutions in areas such as customer relationship management, supply chain management, enterprise resource management and information security.

"The solutions at the expo will come largely from local vendors. Therefore, SMEs can begin their IT deployment with lower costs compared with foreign solutions," he said.

His remarks were supported by a poll by IBM Taiwan.

The survey, which polled 370 local SMEs during the third quarter last year, indicated that 47 percent of the firms questioned did not have IT departments, while 33.2 percent said price was the first priority when choosing IT solutions.

According to TCA, companies such as Philips Taiwan, Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) and Uni-President Group (統一集團), will present case studies and share their experiences in successful enterprise solution deployment.

In addition to software solutions, 3C (computers, communications and consumer electronics) offerings will be another highlight of the expo.

"Purchasing sentiment during the second quarter toward computers and related products will be better than the first. We expect vendors to slash prices on Sonoma-based laptops, while aggressively pushing those on the newer Napa platform," said Candy Wang (王明玉), a TCA senior specialist in charge of the Softex project.

According to Du, tech aficionados will be able to gain first-hand experience on some unique gadgets, which are in the conceptual stage or available as limited editions.

These include a notebook from Micro-Star International Co (微星科技) which recharges its battery using solar power, as well as Asustek Computer Inc's (華碩電腦) bright yellow Lamborghini VX1 performance notebook and luxury S6 leather hand-embossed mini laptop.

Entering its 20th year, Softex is expected to draw as many as 300,000 visitors this year, up from 240,000 recorded last year, according to the association.

However, there will be fewer exhibitors joining the expo this year as it only occupies three sections of the venue because of availability problems, Wang said.

This year's show will have only 200 exhibitors in 1,000 booths, fewer than last year's 222 exhibitors at 1,211 booths, she said.

Ending next Monday, the show will be open from 10am to 6pm with admission of NT$150 at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall I.

Visitors can also download free tickets from the exhibition's Web site at softex.tca.org.tw, or hand in their name cards to get free admission.

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