News Column

Technology, the Great Equalizer

July/August 2004, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine
Microsoft's Alejandra Calatayud, keynote speaker.
Microsoft's Alejandra Calatayud, keynote speaker.

"How many people knew what a personal computer was 25 years ago? And how many people really believed this invention would eventually be small enough to fit into your pocket?"

In her keynote address, Alejandra Calatayud recounted the tremendous productivity gains of the past two decades thanks to information technology. Ms. Calatayud holds the position of manager for small- and mid-market solutions in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area for Microsoft, the lead sponsor of Hispanic Business magazine's 25th anniversary gala.

Nydia holds court at 25th

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (second from left) holds court with keynote speaker Alejandra Calatayud (left) at the Microsoft table.

She reminded the audience that Microsoft is only four years older than Hispanic Business. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started the company in 1975 with a dream that someday every desk would have a PC. That dream has been achieved, but unfortunately companies don't use technology to its full advantage.

"Bill Gates calls technology the great equalizer because it levels the playing field for all businesses, large and small," Ms. Calatayud said. "The Internet gives small- and medium-size businesses the tools to compete with larger corporations."

A study by Microsoft and the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, found that minority-owned companies in particular are buying more technology but not maximizing their use of it. At the same time, the cost for technology doesn't present the barrier for these companies that it did even a few years ago. The study estimates that if all women- and minority-owned companies fully used technology, it could infuse $200 billion into the U.S. economy.

Said Ms. Calatayud: "According to the research, using technology more effectively makes your business more efficient, more profitable, and can deliver as much as $100,000 to your individual business."

Monica Lozano and guests

From left: Monica Lozano, COO of Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión in Los Angeles, Rudy Beserra, vice-president of Latin Affairs at Coca-Cola, and Yolanda Ingle, assistant vice-president of institutional advancement at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Rudy Bessera gives an abrazo

Jesús Chavarría of Hispanic Business gives an abrazo to Rudy Beserra of Coca-Cola while New York State Senator Efrain Gonzalez looks on.


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