The internet revolution

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Asian carriers are looking to hybrid services networks in order to stay ahead of customer needs in a complex, deregulating market. A hybrid services network is based on the technical ability of a carrier to provide very cost-effective services to corporations on a single platform (a service access multiplexer) that supports most - if not all - the business interconnection requirements of today's enterprise. A hybrid service provider (HSP) is typically much smaller than the world's giants and operates cost-effective, targeted services. However, more often than not, an HSP works as a systems integrator; providing a tailored solution to cater for different needs, and would be willing to negotiate specific deals on a case-by-case basis. It is very possible that the HSP may also become an Internet service provider (ISP), by including in its product portfolio chargeable access to Internet services as well as locally-created databases. Indeed, in the current climate of deregulation around Asia, it may be possible for licensed ISPs to expand their services to include HSP-like services, or indeed for ISPs and HSPs to merge into a single entity. This would make business sense as the services provided would be complementary - this has already emerged as the Intranet.

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... The increasing importance of SSEs in many countries is systematically documented by recent research (Cambell and Allen, 1987;Humphrey and Hubert, 1996). The role of SSEs in the post-industrial era in advanced countries as an engine of economic growth and employment is evident, especially as automation reduced employment opportunities in large scale sector employment growth and as most economic vitality was provided by the continued growth in small-scale business enterprises (Tolmie, 1996). SSE growth was facilitated by external structural market forces such as the deregulation of many service industries and the boom in the growth of services and high tech industries which led to entrepreneurial culture. ...
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While extensive literature on the management of small business enterprises emphasises the important role played by the small business sector in job creation and in the economic development of countries in general, research dealing with the linkages between systematic business practices and business performance is sparse. This is especially the case with small business sectors in Arab countries. To fill this gap, an empirical investigation was undertaken in the context of Kuwait. Research revealed that the use of systematic business practices and satisfaction with solving business problems are positively related to the past performance of business enterprises but not to the expectations of future business performance. The implications of the research findings for the small business sector development process are discussed.
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