Companies from the Banbridge, Newry & Mourne, Armagh, Craigavon and Down areas discovered how innovation in ICT and in particular the Internet can help secure new customers, drive sustainable growth in export markets and improve overall business performance at the ‘What Can The Internet Do For Your Business?’ seminar held today at the Canal Court Hotel, Newry.
Taking place as part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Innovation Week (21-24 March) the seminar helped local firms to explore the potential of their existing ICT resources and taught them how to exploit communications technology so they can work in a more effective and innovative manner.
With the Internet now an essential tool for local companies, especially those trading in export markets, the seminar covered topics including e-marketing, how search engines work and broadband. Experts from Invest NI’s e-Business team facilitated live demonstrations and interactive sessions designed to help firms fully utilise their ICT resources.
In addition, delegates were provided with an advance preview of nibusinessinfo.co.uk a new portal site and ‘one stop shop’ for business advice and information, due for launch in June 2006.
One local firm to have benefited with help from Invest NI’s e-Business team is Wilson’s Country which sought advice from an Invest Northern Ireland ICT Advisor who carried out a basic assessment of their ICT requirements. At the seminar, its managing director, Lewis Cunningham gave an overview of how ICT and broadband technology has helped the firm to maximise efficiency and save money.
Speaking at the event, Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive, Invest NI said: “While the majority of firms in Northern Ireland use the Internet and various other forms of ICT to carry out day to day operations, many still have not discovered its full potential.
“By making global marketplaces accessible at the touch of a button, the Internet can increase market presence, open up direct sales opportunities, facilitate customer service and secure new export business. ICT advances such as broadband have also created significant opportunities for local firms by providing faster and more efficient access to global marketplaces.
“As part of Innovation Week, this event will help local firms take advantage of innovations in ICT technology and help them to understand that even simple changes can make a big difference to their business.”