Sunday, January 23, 2005

Small business technology makeover winner

Microsoft and Dell awarded the owners of Fawcett Boat Supplies of Annapolis, Md., the first of two grand prizes from a national Microsoft small business technology makeover contest. Fawcett Boat Supplies was chosen from among 195 national entries to receive up to $75,000 worth of Dell hardware and Microsoft software, along with local IT consulting services from RelianceNet IT Experts to assist in its business analysis, technology design, installation and training.
The winner, voted Favorite Boating Supply Store by Chesapeake Bay Magazine readers for the past four years, has supplied sailors and boatyards with advice and yachting equipment since 1948. Fawcett Boat Supplies offers more than 20,000 items to more than 8,000 retail and 5,000 commercial customers across the United States and the Caribbean. The technology makeover is designed to continue the company's success by improving employee communication, data and hardware sharing, information security, and Internet access.

"Technology will literally revolutionize our business; we'll go from zero to 60 in a blink of an eye," said Steve Ripley, co-president and owner of Fawcett Boat Supplies with his brother Tom. "The biggest impact can literally be expressed in one word: collaboration. This makeover will enable employees to collaborate more efficiently and effectively, internally and with our customers."

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