Originally Published 05 December 2002
The DTI and the University of Warwick's Warwick Manufacturing Group have created a unique "cyber café for business" designed specifically for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to explore, create and test drive e-business solutions to their business needs.
There are two weeks to go until The National B2B Centre opens on Tuesday 17th December, but already two Cafe patrons have booked their place at the front of the queue- Stephen Timms MP the Minister of State for e-Commerce and Competitiveness and Shirley Woolley, a Director of Midlands engineering SME Frederick Woolley Ltd, - who will share the first coffees in the new facility.
Shirley Woolley said: "I am delighted that my company will be the first through the door of The National B2B Centre. It will help companies like mine bridge the gap between wanting to do e-business with my customers and suppliers and actually doing it. It is refreshing to find somewhere that says 'bring us your problems and we will work with you to find a solution'."
What is attracting most interest from SMEs like Frederick Woolley's are the Centre?s technology demonstrators which allow companies to 'test drive' e-business solutions without having to take a big financial risk and ending up investing in the wrong sort of technology.
The unique new facility has the feel of a "Cyber Caf": - it provides a place where the latest technology and research support come together in non threatening environment to do everything from guiding people taking their first steps towards using e-business technologies to helping the more technically adventurous SMEs build the best virtual business networks.
The National B2B Centre, with its multi-million pound e-Business development programme, is the product of a unique partnership between the DTI, The University of Warwick?s Warwick Manufacturing Group and leading global businesses including BT (and BT's consulting and systems integration business Syntegra), Sun Microsystems, NEC, PTC and Groove Networks. The new Centre will also provide teams of experts who can be despatched to companies' factory floors and offices to address e-business challenges on site. As well as meeting one off e-business needs the Centre will develop long-term working relationships providing companies with continued easy access to e-business best practice.
Stephen Timms MP said: "This is an excellent facility. Electronic networks are transforming every product and every process in every sector of the economy. In this new e-business world, those that embrace the new technologies and share good practice are more likely to succeed."
Warwick Manufacturing Group Director Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, said: "We need to help businesses rapidly adopt and exploit these B2B technologies, so that they can stay ahead in the global competitive race, because their business success ultimately benefits us all"
Photo/film Opportunity: The will be an opportunity to photograph/film and interview the Minister and Shirley Woolley, of Midlands engineering SME Frederick Woolley Ltd - as they share the first two mugs of coffee in the new Centre at 2.15pm on Tuesday 17th December. Go to the reception of the International Manufacturing Centre on the University's main campus at 2pm and ask for Peter Dunn or Nick Matthews.
For further details please contact:
NB2BC: Denis Pelych, tel 024 7657 4253
Shirley Wooley Tel: 0121 523 8341
Peter Dunn, Press officer, University of Warwick
Te: 024 76523708 mobile 07767 655860
Contact BT: Emma Tennant, tel +44 (0) 121 230 5035, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact BT Syntegra: Adrian Rimmer, tel 0125 277 7000, email email@example.com
Contact Groove: Richard Eckel, tel +01 (978) 720 2260, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact NEC: Sian Hodson, tel 0208 752 3709, email email@example.com
Conact PTC: (c/o Powell Communications), Jim Rothnie, tel 0161 834 9836, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Sun: Mark Rothwell, tel 024 7669 8422, email email@example.com