Multimedia is becoming so pervasive that many businesses have little choice but to incorporate it. In the near future, multimedia applications will affect both how businesses operate internally and how they compete for market share. The opportunities are enormous for developers of multimedia-related software and hardware, telecommunications services, systems integrators, consultants, and the related installation, operation, and maintenance service providers. One research firm, Market Intelligence, predicts multimedia users worldwide will spend up to $24 billion on multimedia applications by the year 2000. The frenzy of alliances, acquisitions, and cooperative forums prove the commitment of leading companies to multimedia.