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Small businesses are emulating their much bigger competitors by accessing powerful software on the Internet.  


Data centres such as the Sydney facility of London's Global Switch form "clouds" of processing power storage that businesses can tap into a similar way that they tap into utilities for water and power.


The managing director of Sydney Company Task Retail Technology (TRT), Kym Houden, is doing just that to send details of millions of customer transactions instantaneously across the country daily on behalf of thousands of stores in some of the most recognisable franchise names in Australia.


Cloud computing has allowed Houden and his 12 staff at TRT to steal business from IBM, InfoGenesis and other, bigger rivals-not least the contract to deliver 1050 point-of-sale systems for Retail Food Group's Donut King, Michel's Patisserie, Brumby's Bakeries and other franchises.


"The lightning speed of the technology means that instead of a franchisee taking up to three weeks to send sales data to head office, it is now a matter of seconds," he says.


TRT's xchangexec software also sports bells and whistles such as accepting orders through SMS, and spitting out point-of-sale promotions and coupons based on the time of the day. Houden is planning a cheaper, "lite" version for sole proprietors and small chains.


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© Task Retail Technology Pty. Ltd. 2012
© Task Retail Technology Pty. Ltd. 2012