HP Canada Gets Biz-y Building Web Portal

Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. has launched HP Biztown, a multi-faceted Web portal for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The service (www.hp.ca/biztown) will expand with the burgeoning SMB market, which in Canada accounts for more than 98 percent of businesses and nearly half of all employment, according to IDC Canada.

Key to HP Biztown’s growth will be the creation of the HP Biztown Advisory Council. During the next four months, the site will seek applications from forward-thinking SMB owners and directors from across Canada who wish to join and play an active role in the Advisory Council. Incorporating the collaborative features within HP Biztown and the flexibility of Internet communication and Web-based meetings, the Advisory Council plans to provide members the opportunity to work with business leaders and HP in ongoing efforts to develop meaningful and relevant ideas and to shape decisions for the SMB market.

A key feature of HP Biztown is its gateway to an open business network -- developed in partnership with e-business software vendor Venngo. The HP Biztown gateway facilitates realtime collaboration between growing businesses. The gateway functions as an online resource center through which companies can attract new business, promote services and benefit through partnering and alliances. After creating their individual profiles, HP Biztown members can set their own customized filtering and search parameters and then receive only the information relevant to their specific needs.

Members of HP Biztown also can promote their companies to the growing business network that includes professional associations, universities and other groups that support SMBs and entrepreneurs in Canada. In addition, members can refer to "Ask an Expert" for qualified advice from an extensive roster of leaders and HP business partner resellers, who can offer advice on a range of subjects, including technology, accounting, law and marketing.