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Tech companies rush to offer help to get enterprises working again

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In the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attack, technology companies are rushing to aid the families of victims, for disaster relief and to businesses affected by the tragedy.

United Messaging

United Messaging, a provider of hosted e-mail service, said Wednesday it would offer free e-mail accounts to businesses and their employees affected by the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

"We will set up temporary e-mail accounts for employee and business use," says Len Gangi, senior vice president of product development and engineering. "We will take lists of user IDs and set up Web-based and POP3 accounts for those businesses."

E-mail has become a staple of communication in corporate America with nearly 75% of a company's business communication carried through e-mail, according to the Gartner Group.

"We are making this offer as a way to help businesses restore this mode of communication as quickly as possible," Gangi says. He also said the company could transfer company domain names to its hosted service. "At first we were concerned about how people may interpret this offer, but it is from the heart." Company president and CEO Ben Trowbridge posted a memo outlining the offer on the company's homepage on Tuesday. Those interested can contact United Messaging at 866-601-1673.


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AccessLine

AccessLine Communications, which hosts communications and voice services, is offering free emergency telephone numbers to businesses in New York and Washington that have been evacuated or closed due and to individuals that have been displaced. The intent is to help alleviate general network congestion in New York and Washington. The phone numbers allow businesses to provide phone-based information to callers and employees, and to receive voicemail messages from callers and employees. AccessLine also has established special phone numbers and an emergency Web site (www.accessline.com/emergency) through which companies can establish their own communication centers. The service provides a Web-based listing of the emergency phone numbers.

In addition, AccessLine will make available add-on services that receive incoming calls to the businesses' normal phone numbers and re-route them to other business locations, or to individual phone numbers for employees.

To establish an emergency message center call 877-357-0750, 877-357-0751 and 206-621-5864.

Expertcity

Expertcity said it would offer free use of its telework service, GoToMyPC, for 30 days. The service provides remote control of a PC from any Web browser, allowing people to work from anywhere just as if they were a their desk.

The company's Web site is at www.gottomypc.com

BlueFly.com

Companies that were left without offices can contact Bluefly.com, which has 9,000 square feet of vacant space, at 212-944-8000 ext. 311. Likewise, Silicon Alley Reporter is offering use of its office space and IEEE 802.11 wireless network.

The contact number is 646-473-2201 or e-mail can be sent to jason.calacanis@siliconalleyreporter.com

Prodigy

Prodigy Communications, a national Internet service provider, is sponsoring a free locator service, an online help center with its "I'm okay" Message Center.

The center, which is at www.prodigy.net, is open to anyone with Internet access and can be used by anyone who wants to notify others of their safety. Users can enter their name, location and a brief message stating they are "Okay" and where they are. Users also can enter the names of people they are trying to find.

C I Host

C I Host, and e-business and Web-hosting company, said it would donate up to $50,000 to relief aid and match up to $50,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis of donations made by its 190 employees.

PayPal

PayPal, a secure online payment service, created a special fund to help its members provide assistance to those affected by the attack. The tax-deductible donations will be collected on behalf of the National Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.

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