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3Com touts networking benefits

The company is rolling out new tools to make it easy for users to realize the benefits of a networked office.

3Com (COMS) will add more tools to its roster next week to make it easy for users to realize the benefits of a networked office.

The firm will roll out a new routing device for ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and a software tool that can measure the return on a small-business customer's investment once they install networking equipment.

Companies from all corners of the high-tech world are targeting the small-business niche for growth as more companies learn the benefits of connecting their PCs together and to the Net. 3Com is offering a 15-minute set-up guarantee to attract users who may be wary of networking their offices.

As part of the rollout, 3Com will debut a ten-user ISDN router called the OfficeConnect ISDN LAN Modem for just under $500 list price. In June, the company will add a similar model based on 56-kbps modem technology.

The company also will offer a free CD-ROM called the Networking Benefits Calculator. A user can input answers to a few questions and the tool will spit out the expected savings to be gained from networking a business. 3Com claims businesses can become up to 40 percent more productive by networking their computing equipment.