Software-as-a-service, which offers software over the Internet on a pay-as-you-go basis, has long been used by larger businesses, but inexpensive computing power and Internet service have brought it into the small-business realm. The services allow small businesses to scale software use and avoid buying expensive packages of software. Services like Speakeasy, which supplies VoIP phone systems, and Avalara AvaTax, which tracks sales tax payments, have been joined by software from Google, AT&T and Microsoft as the tech giants rush to take advantage of demand.

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