Businesses throughout Coventry
and Warwickshire are being offered an unbeatable package of IT
services through a Chamber-led initiative.
CW2000 offers smaller firms
the necessary desktop hardware and software and a high-speed internet
link, as well as training and support, all within a cost-effective
package, which includes free data calls for the first year.
The project is the brainchild
of the Business Support Partnership in Coventry and Warwickshire,
whose aim is to help local firms improve their competitiveness through
encouraging take-up of the latest information and communication
Recent research carried out by
The Chamber revealed that, although 70 per cent of firms in the county
use IT or computers, and 73 per cent have access to the internet, few
companies are fully exploiting all the opportunities technology
presents. Only 32 per cent of companies have their own website.
Malcolm Gillespie, chief
executive of The Chamber and chairman of the CW2000 steering group,
"Many businesses are
keen to explore the use of the Internet and e-commerce, but, either
through lack of knowledge or support, are wary of the complexities
associated with introducing new IT-based systems into their
"CW2000 aims to free
them from these concerns so they can concentrate on exploiting the
technology, using it as a tool to improve their performance.
seven-strong CW2000 team (right) is based at the TechnoCentre at
Coventry University Technology Park, and is headed by Klitos Andrea,
seconded from Coventry University to direct the project.
Qualifying companies are being
offered a multi-media desk-top computer with high-speed ADSL link and
training for as little as £600, but must be located within an
Objective 2 area which qualifies for Government funding.
CW2000 is backed by funding
from the European Regional Development Fund, which makes it possible
to subsidise the package for eligible companies. It is also supported
by a number of private sector firms including BT, Hewlett Packard, NTL
and Sony, all of whom are committing significant resources.