EzineECMgt.com: Mar2000: Volume 2, Issue 3 - Executive Ability to MorphECnow.com

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March 1, 2000 *3,400 subscribers* Volume 2, Issue 3
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Theme: Executive Ability to Morph


Thank you for your comments, suggestions and response to our survey question. Please keep them coming. Let us know what you think by sending mailto:ecmgt.comments@ecnow.com. We currently have over 3,400 subscribers, if you like what you read, please let your friends know.

Our April issue deals customer-centric corporate restructuring. We're particularly interested in your thoughts on what the Global 2000 companies will be doing to integrate the Internet into how they conduct business. We'd like your opinion on the following questions: 

Please go to http://ecmgt.com/bulletinboard.htm to respond to this question or send e-mail to mailto:ecmgt.survey@ecnow.com. When you send your response, please list the city and country where you are located.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE Trend Predictions: Executive ability to adapt to e-commerce (Morph)

As detailed in my comments last month (http://www.ecmgt.com/Feb2000/management.perspective.htm), we are at the start of a major transformation in the ways we interact in our professional and personal lives. Business today is still structured around the concepts necessary for success in the industrial age. To be successful in the information age, we'll need to change everything. By the end of this year, most Global 2000 corporations will recognize that e-commerce is a reality they must embrace. As we are embarking on the largest transformation the business world has ever seen, there are two simple questions we must ask: 

In most cases, the quick answer is “no”. According to Mark Walsh, President and CEO, Verticalnet.com "corporate denial of e-commerce (talking the talkwithout walking the walk) will end; however, less than 10% of the global 2000 will have really pledged their business model to the net." ECnow.com believes that the majority of top executives will be unable to "morph" their corporations into holistic Internet-enabled entities in the year 2000.

 Let's look at two terms in the sentence above: "morph" and "holistic Internet-enabled entity"

Morphing or Morph: Defined at techweb.com's encyclopedia as  (http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm?term=MORPHING&exact=1): "Transforming one image into another; for example, a car into a tiger. The term comes from metamorphosis. Morphing programs work by marking prominent points, such as tips and corners, of the before and after images. The points are used to mathematically compute the movements from one object to the other."

Holistic Internet-enabled entity: Defined by ECnow.com (http://ecnow.com) as: "Companies that have fully integrated commerce (business) cycles which completely integrate the corporate vision/goals with employee, customer and partner goals, ensuring satisfaction and streamlined processes for all parties in the value chain.

Becoming a holistic Internet-enabled entity is not easy, particularly for medium to large corporations that have legacy systems, processes and people. First, it must be clear that the Internet should not be treated as a separate technology. In essence, it's a tool (just like the fax machine, the computer, the ERP application, the marketing plan, the salesmen's candor and smile, and the trip to the golf course, to name just a few corporate tools). Just like the salesmen's candor and smile is transparent to the executive planning process, so too should be the Internet. It's just another tool to enable business to run more efficiently.

In order for executives to make the transformation that's necessary, they will need to walk the walk: they must stay actively involved in how the business operates. If the business can now operate much more efficiently than in the past, the executive needs to be actively involved in helping the company morph into a new way of operating.

Treating an e-commerce operation purely as a P&L that must generate the proper ROI to survive is not an approach that will help the company morph. A jean manufacturer stated their intent to pull their e-commerce operations off of the net because the "cost of running a world-class e-commerce business was unaffordable considering our competing priorities" according to the companies spokesman. Why would a company not want to continue to experiment with e-commerce and continue to learn what their customers (or future customers) want them to be?

A computer retailer is another example of a company that approached e-commerce from a perspective that appeared to ignore the customer. They created separate Web sites for their various operations. A customer who purchased online could not return their merchandise offline. Tell me how you'd feel as a customer the first time you purchased a product online and was told when you went to a physical store to return it that you couldn't. Personally, I'd decide not to give my business again.

Several companies that appear to making some of the moves toward morphing include Allstate, Kmart, Rite-aid and Ford.


In the cases above, the companies decided on a vision and used the Internet as a tool to help make it happen. In order for executives to morph their companies into holistic Internet-enabled entities, they need to create a vision and a set of corporate goals that embed the Internet in how they operate. From the goals, there should be a set of metrics that are used to measure the success of the goals. The vision statement, goals and metrics need to be known by everyone in the corporation. Every person's evaluation needs to be based on the metrics that help lead to meeting the goals and vision of the corporation.

Here's a small litmus test for whether the executive team has set the corporation on the path of morphing:

  1.  Does the corporation have the Internet embedded into how it runs its business?

  2. Can every employee in the corporate recite the vision statement (30-second elevator pitch)?
  3. Does every employee of the company get compensated on contributing to a set of metrics that helps the company become a holistic Internet-enabled entity?

Think about your corporation or that of your clients as you answer these questions and let me know what you come up with.

Let me leave you with a few of my favorite quotes this month:


There is an attitude of hiring a consultant and adding an e-commerce group to the business structure rather than immersing the company in the changes needed.  Keep the silos... The Y2K exercise shows what can happen if something critical to the business entity is embraced by the BOD and the President/CEO is held responsible.

(F.L., Silicon Valley, California, USA)


There is a combination of problems.  The majority of companies are focused on short-term goals, because the bonuses paid to executives are very much dependent on how they are measured on these short term goals, which are often related to how well they manage short term divisional budgets. Hence, there is a lack of cross-divisional cooperation.

(K.P., Silicon Valley, California, USA)


In most cases, executives are paying lip service to their in-house initiatives but have not put the full weight of the Executive offices or Board behind the effort.

(M.M., San Francisco, California, USA) 


I hope you enjoy this eZine.
See you in cyberspace,

Mitchell Levy

President, ECnow.com <http://ecnow.com>
Executive Producer, ECMgt.com <http://ECMgt.com>
Founder and Coordinator, SJSU-PD ECM Certificate Program <http://ecmtraining.com/sjsu>
Chair, Comdex Spring 2000 ECM Symposium <http://ecmtraining.com/comdexspring>




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Moments in Transition
Ash Vasudevan
Manager, Strategic Alliances
This is a bridged version of CommerceNet Research Report # 000-04, February 2000

“Fortunes are won and lost in moments of transition, and the Internet is all about a moment of transition.”

Tom Meredith, CFO Dell Corporation

The Internet is changing relationships in both B2B and B2C spaces in previously unimaginable ways, giving rise to new business models with exciting value propositions that will render existing business models obsolete. The new business revolution will not be constrained by geographical borders, and there are no signs that it will subside anytime soon. Here are some of the transitions presently emerging in the global competitive landscape:

Consolidation and Cooperation: Mergers and acquisitions are on the rise. Recent statistics indicate that the overall value of M&A activity increased from $200 billion in 1990 to $1.7 trillion in 1999, with Internet-related deals growing from $162 million in 1990 to an estimated $250 billion[1].This is certainly a time of major transition, one that is bound to permeate through both B2C and B2B markets. Incumbents trying to preserve the status quo had better watch out: the kid skating around the parking lot may be planning to acquire the company.

Clearly, firms are now in an environment of continuous discontinuity, facing multiple uncertainties on an ongoing basis. They face technological uncertainty (Which technology is likely to dominate the market?), demand uncertainty (How and when is consumption likely to change?) and competitive uncertainty (From whom and from where is our next competitive threat likely to emerge?). In this environment, firms must invest in alliances, because competition is no longer between one firm and another; it is between one constellation of firms and another. For instance, when Microsoft announced its intent to establish a small business portal, one alliance network of Winstar Communications and another of Excite@home promptly set up portals of their own. 

Cooperation has become an integral part of creating and building competitive advantage. As we enter the new millennium, global alliance networks spanning industries and even countries will aggregate in a natural response to emerging market opportunities, in order to gain greater leverage in the market.

Building relationship capital: Many aspects that differentiate companies today -- such as price or anytime access -- will inevitably become commodities amidst the intense competition of the global digital marketplace. Creating, building and sustaining competitive advantage will depend largely on the ability to offer customizable products and services that customers will value. Business models based on price will not survive; models based on relationships will. In the coming years, businesses will rise and fall like the tides, but firms like Amazon and AOL will endure because of the relationship capital they have amassed.

Emerging spaces and new rules: Firms in both B2B and B2C spaces must constantly reevaluate the sources of competitive advantage. They must clearly understand the current and emerging centers of wealth creation: technologies and business models that transform “the user experience as opposed to the user interface”[2].

Developments in wireless technologies will remove spatial constraints that now limit Internet transactions. Yankee Group predicts that this year the customer base of wireless communications will increase by 21% to 105 million. IGI Consulting Group reports that by 2005 there will be 830 million wireless Internet devices world-wide.

This trend will create profound changes in the way businesses delivers information and the way consumers receive it. One-to-one business models offering personalized decision environments will become standard. Net appliances capable of communicating with multiple platforms will be best positioned to exploit emerging business opportunities. But incremental improvements or even breakthrough technologies will not be enough; value propositions must provide significant upside potential for both investors and customers. Businesses must focus with laser-like intensity on exploiting current market opportunities while maintaining a broad vision of the possibilities for wealth creation that discontinuous market shifts allow.

Demographics and diversity: Global demographics are changing. By 2020, the median age of the population is expected to reach 50. Over 13 million adults over the age of 50 now have Internet access. At least 90% of senior citizens on the Internet have window-shopped online, and 78% of them have made an online purchase. The number of women online has increased by 32% since 1998.Korea already has 10 million Internet users, while the Chinese went from 2.1 million in 1998 to 8.9 million in 1999, a 324% increase. IDC estimates that the Latin American online market will generate $8.1 billion in revenues by 2004.

When changing demographics such as these intersect with new developments in information technologies, countless opportunities for generating wealth are created. Industries that are likely to benefit from these include financial services, recreation, and health care. Jupiter Communications estimates that the online health industry alone will grow to $10 billion by 2004.

Friction points: A friction point, much like friction in physics, is any entity (intermediary) that resists the flow of a transaction from its origin to its destination.

A common notion today is that as technology continues to improve, richer and better connections will reduce the need for intermediaries between buyers and sellers. Some pundits predict that this will ultimately lead to frictionless commerce. But exchanges between buyers and sellers are rarely direct and efficient. Instead, intermediates come and go, such that the relationship between buyer and seller may already be non-linear.

Even as some intermediaries are eliminated by establishment of one-to-one transactions between buyers and sellers, other intermediaries enter, trying to create new niches in the chain of activity, and introducing more friction points. In any B2C or B2B market, new intermediaries promise to deliver some specialized form of service, ostensibly enabling consumers to make better judgments. Intermediation naturally evolves around the intersection of ideas and information that were sparsely connected before. These spawn yet other communities of ties, resulting in the cross-pollination of ideas and information, which gives rise to more new solutions.

This process can often be disruptive. Consider Paypal (http://www/paypal.com), which came into the apparently saturated payment processing market with a simple, innovative and very attractive value proposition: settle person-to-person debts in seconds over any distance using credit cards and e-mail. The innovation lies in the apparently simple combining of two ubiquitous technologies to tap a huge market that is totally fragmented. This is clearly a case of intermediation that disintermediation was expected to eliminate.

Creating and/or eliminating friction points in the chain of activity offers the potential to create and/or destroy wealth. The real payoff comes in envisioning the next generation of friction points and building new communities, before the emergence of commoditization and disintermediation. But friction points are not fixed points on a strategic map; they are dynamic, not static. To identify them, we must ask questions like these:

The challenge for strategic planners is to identify and exploit the next generation of friction points before their competitors do.

Changing centers of wealth creation: On the asphalt highway, speed kills, but on the information superhighway, the opposite is true. Speed of action is critical to the survival of any firm. Because technology is evolving very rapidly, sustaining a competitive advantage in the transmission of information will be difficult. Where competitive advantage can persist is in identifying and exploiting friction points.

Just as brick-and-mortar retailers have focused on location as a friction point, e-tailers should focus on capturing spaces in the value chain that enable them to better exploit emerging trends. For instance, if your location lets you deliver a product or service faster and cheaper than your competitors can, you have a sustainable source of advantage.

A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News[3] describes new intermediaries intent on capturing the last mile from the warehouse to the doorstep. Offline shopping will not completely go away -- if anything, hybrid business models combining offline and online experience will emerge as winners. Amazon.com may be the dominant brand, but not just because it is an e-tailer -- it has combined online expertise with superb offline logistical capabilities in warehouse and delivery systems. As Mark Resch, COO of CommerceNet observes, “It is logistics, stupid.”

A recent report in Business 2.0 further validates this trend. Just when you thought that offline retailers were being decimated by their online competitors, Gazoontite.com, Bluemercury.com, and GMBid.com have either built or bought major retail outlets[4], while Gateway Computers plans to build 300 more brick-and-mortar outlets.

Supply-centric to Demand-centric Models: Despite the reach of the Internet, we still hear of supply-centric business models with inadequate attention to the demand side. This highlights a core distinction between customers and firms: customers think in terms of activities, while firms think in terms of products.

Consider a grocer retailing through brick-and-mortar stores as well as over the Web. A firm-centric perspective would say that the retailer has two customer touch points, but a customer-centric perspective finds a far greater number. Beyond the retail store and the web-site, customers can also get information about the retailer from search engines, bulletin boards, chat rooms, research outlets, e-magazines, comparison shopping sites, etc. What we see depends on where and how we look.

The relationship between creating shareholder value and customer value is clear: provide customers the solutions, services and products they value. Watch for successful business models in both the B2B and B2C space that enable a realignment of the marketplace and market space. A realignment revolution is coming to your industry. If you miss it, you will fail. If you lead it, you will win. To get the lead, you need to trigger an earthquake in your competitive space that causes realignments, disintermediation and reintermediation, and radically improves the value proposition.

Ecological architecture of the wired home. We are witnessing the widespread diffusion of various technologies for the home. In the past, these technologies were demarcated by their level of interactivity. The microwave was a passive recipient of commands, the refrigerator was just a repository, while the telephone has always been interactive. The VCR, however, has impacted our viewing experience by removing time restrictions.

In the new ecological architecture of the homes of the future, devices will be interactive, and will be capable of communicating with each other and with technologies outside the home. Interoperability will need to be built into the core of every entity (biological or otherwise) so that computing and communications become ubiquitous and dramatically enhance the user’s experience. This confluence of chaos, interactivity and connectivity, together with rapid innovation, will dramatically transform not only our means of communication, but our entire lives.

1 “A Marrying Kind of Year”, San Jose Mercury News, January 31, 2000.

2 “Strategy and Business” Interview with John Seely Brown, 1999.

3 “High-Speed Internet Delivery”, San Jose Mercury News, January 17, 2000.

4 Hodges, Jane, “Bricks for Branding”, Business 2.0, February 2000, 95-98




Our bulletin board allows readers to comment on trends and issues throughout the month. Please stop by to add your comments and see all the responses at http://ecmgt.com/bulletinboard.htm

Question of the Month

The topic for March focuses on Executive Ability to Morph


Selected Answers of the Month


These opinions relate to the disk drive industry:

The majority of the executives will have a difficult time morphing.  There is an attitude of hiring a consultant and adding an e-commerce group to the business structure rather than immersing the company in the changes needed. Keep the silos. One company is experimenting with e-commerce on new businesses and not changing the parent organizations. To make more widespread e-commerce changes these drive executives and their staff will require much more education.  They recognize changes will come but are afraid of the unknown.


If e-commerce changes will be successful then it must move from the traditional IT or marketing location to the CEO and Board of Directors level.  The Y2K exercise shows what can happen if something critical to the business entity is embraced by the BOD and the President/CEO is held responsible.

(F.L., Silicon Valley, California, USA)



I do not believe that, apart from a third of Global 2000 companies, executive management will successfully lead their companies to be holistic Internet-enabled entities.  There are a combination of problems, the majority of companies are focused on short-term goals, as executive bonuses are very much dependent on how they are measured on these short term goals, which are often related to how well they manage short term divisional budgets.  Hence lack of cross-divisional cooperation.  This approach is because many investors want immediate results.  This culture needs to change from short-term to longer-term, in order to foster decisions that are in the best long-term interest of corporations.  Internet enabling is one of them, requiring cross-functional cooperation for success.


For the third of companies whose executives will be successfully leading, the ownership will be at CEO / President level.  Any level lower than that will not see the same success rate.


The four companies I have worked with are in the telecommunications industry.  Their approach so far is departmental.  Most have only established a Web presence with a couple having half-cooked B2C front-ends.  No integrated back-end, B2B or supply chain, ERP integration, etc.  There is no Internet related vision (at least in public domain).  Sad, as these companies could be some of the losers of tomorrow.

(K.P., Silicon Valley, California, USA)



Most companies will become e-commerce enabled, however I do not believe that the majority will take a holistic approach.  Everyone wants to jump on the e-commerce band wagon, where it is going, the majority believe, is to greater wealth and prosperity.  However, how they get there is

a detail that remains shrouded in cyber mystery. 


The big clients that I see at work, (international tax attorney) seem to be departmentalizing e-commerce operations, they are businesses that must start an e-commerce branch or operations.  Only a few, usually dot.com companies to begin with, are treating e-commerce holistically.

(J.O., Silicon Valley, California, USA)

As of the present, most of the Global 2000 companies are not truly capable of being holistic Internet-enabled entities in the year 2000. In most cases, executives are paying lip service to their in-house initiatives but have not put the full weight of the Executive offices or Board behind the effort. In most cases the Internet initiative is being given to an existing executive as an additional duty. For a truly committed and driven initiative they must assign 1st or at minimum a 2nd level manager to lead the effort, anything else will be doomed to inadequacy, maybe not total failure but certainly more cases such as Levi's where years and millions of dollars were scrapped and everything was started over with a 1st level manager assigned to head the development as his primary and only duty.


Most companies are saying that they are taking a corporate-wide approach while in reality they are developing a departmental approach. The departmental approach may not be all bad if they work quickly and let others observe the initial successes, thereby creating an atmosphere of wanting to participate. If they start with a couple of simple initiatives such as HR and Marketing before taking on the more complex ones such as Purchasing and Sales.


In most cases, the IT department is charged with developing the Internet initiative and in my opinion this may work but I believe that it takes someone with broader skills that just IT to drive this process. A broader business knowledge and a more highly developed personal interaction skill level is necessary along with some Internet capabilities.

(M.M., San Francisco, California, USA) 



Executives need to see Internet-based communication as more than a subset of marketing and/or information services, which are the departments to which it's typically relegated at present. The impetus, in my experience, can start from any senior manager or trusted consultant who has come to understand the inevitability of involvement in e-commerce for all Global 2000 companies.


The industry segments with which I'm most familiar have been relatively quick to adapt to related technologies (email, intranets, Web pages) but much slower in morphing their entire business to the realities created, and yet to be created, by the potential of the Internet.


(Jonathan Bernstein, Publisher, "Crisis Manager", http://www.bernsteincom.com, Monrovia, California, USA)


Obviously, some companies are more aggressive than others in recognizing how their business is evolving.  The executive who does not recognize that the Internet will change the way business is done, particularly at this stage in the game, risks falling woefully behind in the learning curve that is currently being administered.  Online companies are providing a full range of services from recruiting to marketing to cost reduction to materials procurement etc.  Look at leaders such as Ford who have made a commitment to provide PCs to every employee who wants one.  They recognize that if employees are not familiar with technology, it will hamper Ford's ability to compete in the 21st century.  Additionally, they have recently penned an agreement with Oracle to establish B2B marketplaces for everything from supplies to materials procurement.  Mgt needs to constantly be on the lookout for technologies that will reduce costs or expand distribution channels. 

For e-commerce to happen within companies, the CEO must take ownership.  In order for Global 2000 companies to take full advantage of emerging technologies and ways of doing business, there must be buy in from the top.  The CEO sets the future vision of the company and must be open to significant changes in the way business is currently conducted.  The implementation of that vision can occur deeper within the organization.  There should not be a Board in existence who is not questioning the CEO as to their e-commerce strategy.

Seems to me that these companies were initially interested in departmental approaches, but as interest in technology and online transactions persisted, the pace has definitely accelerated.  Companies such as Commerce One are providing Global 2000 companies with more and more of the technologies needed to conduct e-commerce. As more of these comprehensive solutions become available, the faster we'll see companies jump on board. The momentum has definitely picked up over the past 3 months. Additionally, companies who are perceived as being proactive and taking advantage of the enhanced capabilities of e-commerce have received positive press and in some cases a boost in stock price.

(S.S., Cupertino, California, USA)



I believe that a majority of the Global 2000 companies have not morphed. There is a fear of the unknown and change. They are afraid of failure, and not realizing that the failing lessons are valuable "what works and what does not" for them and their customers. Companies know they have to "morph", they just don't know how. They state that there is not enough qualified staff to assist them within their markets. Paranoid, a little, traditional sales channels are afraid. How will a company sell their product and not cutoff there own supply of income?

(L.M., Silicon Valley, California, USA)



I believe that there has already been a scramble for the Global 2000 to move to the Internet.  The challenge is to what extent, and more importantly for what business purpose do they make the move.  So the question I don't think is if they can move there in 2000, the question is how effective will they be.  That is the heart of the issue surrounding your question regarding what they need to do in order to accomplish the task.  It really is a very basic business question.  What is my business model?  How can this tool called the Internet help support my current model and what new types of models can I deploy, at the very least what efficiencies does it allow me to implement.  Where can it support my business the best?  Once you can answer these questions you can begin to prioritize what processes you want to move to the Internet.  Realistically budgets and manpower will preclude companies from making the move all at once so the challenge becomes to identify the business needs and the role the internet will play and then to prioritize the projects.  The error that most companies make is that they fail to take sufficient time for concrete analysis.  They rush to judgment in order to quickly establish a web presence without thinking through the tools potential and implications of their decisions.


Regarding who should be setting up e-commerce, it varies.  In some instances the Business side of the house is setting up e-transformation, e-executive type of organizations that will work to drive change in the corporation.  In other case you will see the IT organization take responsibility.  More than anyone at this time I believe the vendors are driving the transformation to e-business.  Most companies are reacting and not being proactive in their outlook.


Companies are currently implementing a combination of departmental and corporate-wide approaches. In large companies this can lead to confusion between departments and divisions.  I think most of the Global 2000 already have content up and running on the web.  The real drive now is to transaction enable web sites.  So the big push is around transactions and using the web to streamline the supply chain.

(R.Z., Lombard, Illoinois, USA)



The executive management of the Global 2K companies that lead their companies have done the research on successful campaigns. Once they have models of what works, they will look to see how it can be applied to their business model. To be successful, they will need to identify who their best customers are, what these customers need, and how the company can use internet based solutions to improve these relationships.

(N.D., Campbell, California, USA)



One of the issues I have to mention is the cross-utilization of terms when people discuss electronic communication of financial and business related transaction data.  In my vernacular, e-commerce deals with the ‘retail’ or ‘click and order’ business we see evolving on the Internet; the Ebay’s and Barnes & Noble folks who sell directly to the consumer.  The e-Business format deals with the backbone of business enterprise, both on the Internet and other communication infrastructures (Value Added Network Carriers, T1’s and WANs, etc.).  e-Business is processing Purchase Orders, Invoices, Shipping Notices, etc., electronically utilizing EDI and other forms of electronic business communications. With this in mind, and since my expertise lies in the e-Business world, I can address your issues from that perspective <smile>.


On the whole, I don’t think that executive management of Global 2000 companies lead their companies to be holistic Internet-enabled entities in the year 2000.  I believe there will be a significant falling out of companies as the Internet and what it represents: Global Communication on demand, take hold.  I do not think the impact will be dramatic, but gradual.


Many of the companies today that I see, are still struggling with the new ERP systems they have just implemented.  They are having difficulty figuring out how to conduct ongoing business operations; not how to lead in an Internet-enabled enterprise.  I do not really believe that most Executive Management in many of these companies really understands what they truly are facing!  GLOBAL COMPETITION ON DEMAND!  The Internet has enabled anyone and everyone to compete on a product value and price basis.  Real-time quotes meeting real-time production and delivery schedules.  If you know anything of the ‘spot oil’ market that soared during the ‘Oil Crisis’ of the late 70’ and early 1980’s you see how ‘demand sales’ of product at a ‘price on demand’ can do to a market commodity!


Many of today’s executives do not understand just how fast and furious the marketplace will/is/has become.


I think that many of Global 2000 companies will be brought ‘kicking and screaming’ to the Global Internet world!  Those that do survive will do so by enabling the dynamic components of their companies; yes even in MIS (Management Information Systems).  Those companies who have CIO’s and Senior Business Analysts who understand both the technology AND the ability to make a PROFIT in a business enterprise will succeed.  Those individuals who ‘partner’ with the makers of product and the distribution arm of their companies to join together to form a truly dynamic Global Business Enterprise.  One that is responsive to both demand, supply and of utmost importance: CUSTOMER SATISFACTION.  This will make a difference which widget gets purchased when competition drives prices to within a drachma difference.  Others will just dry up and fade away (pity the shareholders!).


Partnerships, both within and outside the organization will make the difference.  No longer can companies just hang a product out there for someone to walk by and purchase.  Customer retainage and service will make the difference.


Naturally, my clients will be at the cutting edge of PROFITABLE e-Business ventures <smile>, but many companies are still trying to figure this one out!  Many have departmental task forces or project teams developing and deploying prototype systems.  Some are taking a divisional spearhead approach.  Some are just sitting around thinking about it <frown>!  The ones who are going to really succeed will take an old fashioned approach. “How can we make an honest profit in a Global Economy and what resources will be required to succeed”.  This is not brain surgery or rocket science; just a new business model evolving on the foundation of technology and communication infrastructure advances.  We saw it with the light bulb, commercial air travel, and computers, now the Internet.  The Internet is only providing the backbone infrastructure to support true Global Business.  Now we do business 24/7.  No down time allowed or the ‘deal’ will be missed/lost.  Companies have to think GLOBAL and 24/7.  National boundaries to business are falling all over the place and will continue to do so at an accelerated pace.


As far as ‘activities’?  Many are still trying to figure out how to process a purchase order electronically via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).  Others, who have mastered this approach, PROFITABLY, are proceeding ahead with the next logical step offered by technology: XML/EDI and web based communication structures.  The losers are still tying to determine what EDI means! <grin>

(Skip Stein, Management Systems Consulting, Inc., http://www.msc-inc.net, Orlando, Florida, USA)



To be successful, executives have to encourage all Marketing/Sales personnel to change there way of thinking in doing business. I think most of the Executives understand that e-commerce is the way to do business for the next 10 years, it is just a matter of time. I worked as a Software developer for a variety of industries, such as car Dealerships, Wholesale and Retail Distributors who I think more than anybody else needs to use e-commerce concepts in conducting business. Owners of these companies must start a.s.a.p.




I believe that executivies who are positioned to lead their companies toward holistic Internet-enabled entities in the year 2000 would have defined their vision and strategy 3-5 years ago. Organizational restructuring, paradigm changes, and planning should have already happened and year 2000 should just be execute, execute, execute. For companies that can't do it themselves, they should explore application service providers and/or acquire or partner with best-of-breed  application/e-technology providers. 


To make e-commerce happen, everyone in the organization from the top down should embrace it. Our clients are taking departmental (i.e., Accounting, Management Reporting, Procurement, Revenue) approaches.  Our partners are taking the corporate-wide approaches. Both our clients and partners are engaging in upgrading their hardware/software at the same time doing business process re-engineering, in order to optimize benefits from embracing the e-commerce/e-technology.  Additionally, our partners are developing new business models.

(I.R., Fremont, California, USA)



Companies need to implement 100% Web-architected solutions that are built from the ground up for the Internet economy. For the last decade, the preferred way of building applications has been client server technologies. What client server technologies require is a heavy business logic implementation on the desktop computer. This makes it extremely difficult to deploy, manage and upgrade enterprise implementations of software because each desktop, and if you have 1,000s of such desktops that have the software, has to be managed individually. Moreover, client server technologies work very well in the local area network (LAN) environment. Contrast this with the Web-native architecture where the business logic resides in a distributed arrangement of servers that can be centrally managed and the applications can be made available through the Web browser to any desktop in the world that can access the Internet. Also, the native implementation of Web-based protocols in this architecture enables easy and open integration with third party applications. These two fundamental differences make the Web architecture a superior way of designing and building business applications. Therefore, most Fortune 2000 businesses have mandated that all new software applications they invest in must have a Web-native architecture. Moving from the client server technologies implementation to a Web architecture for any software is no trivial task. It could take anywhere between 12 and 24 months for the vendor to complete that migration, something that we see our competition engaged in now.


Companies are engaging heavily on managing online customer communications. We're seeing that dot com companies are taking corporate-wide approaches to deploying e-commerce solutions, while large, traditional companies are taking division-wide approaches. Traditional companies tend to have an Internet division that acts like a dot com company.

(J.H., Silicon Valley, California, USA)



Executives have the ability to adapt to e-commerce. However, we see this happening at a very slow pace. I think if the executives of large corporations started to realize what is going on in the planet, they will not be doing business as usual. Instead, they would be working to transform in to Global 2000. They need to get a wakeup call for 3rd time.

(D.T., Mountain View, California, USA)


In relative terms, the rise of e-commerce has grown overnight like Jack's beanstalk. The very best answer I can give to your questions is to recommend the reading of Daniel Goleman's most recent book, 'Working with Emotional Intelligence.' Dr.Goleman, psychologist, Harvard PHD, gives clinical evidence of the attributes of leadership. They are not, as is usually assumed, those of the top student in the class. The cognitive capabilities do not provide the socially cohesive qualities, needed by a Leader.

In the beginning, basic cottage industries relating to FOOD, SHELTER, CLOTHING began. With population growth, these expanded to include Territorial expansion: Warfare, Religion, Arts/Culture. So the first primitive instincts were for survival & then for power & control. It was most obvious in the middle ages in Europe, where the Eldest son entered the Church, the 2nd son entered the Army and the 3rd son went into the Trade. The authority was with the Church, Nobility of Knights, & then to the Masses who supported the former two.


In the Industrial era, corporations were primarily family, with the elders supplying the experience & finance, & the younger members, the enthusiasm & capacity for risk-taking. Power began emanating from the Trade. Universities began setting up Business administration departments.

Strategic planning, became the buzz word- Then the Vision Statement & the Mission statement.


While all this occurred with increasing rapidity, present acceleration is literally mind blowing. Increasingly we hear, "My computer was obsolete, practically before I unpacked it." We are awash in Knowledge Management courses - incubator companies are emerging, designed to provide the variables that the younger entrepreneurs have not as yet experienced. I doubt very much that the Captains of the Industrial era, originators of the assembly lines, held academic seminars concerning the agricultural workers.

(Ruth Pelly M.E.S., Toronto,Canada)



I believe that executives will be forced by economics to use the Internet to keep competitive.  They will need to hire or retrain staff that they already have to do the job. The push for e-commerce will come from the marketing department and IT department, company top execetives will turn the ownership to themselves because they are the ones that will make the decisions to pay for the changes.

(P.E., Burnaby Brittish Columbia, CANADA)



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Study: U.S. Manufacturers Not B2B E-Commerce Ready

A nationwide poll of U.S. industrial firms shows that most are not engaging in extensive business-to-business


Auction Sites on the Block?

With e-commerce growing exponentially and e-tailing sites mushrooming around the globe, the consumer is faced with an infinitely swelling array of choices. The result is a growing need for shopping assistance tools to help consumers navigate their way through the maze.


Tackling teen market proves difficult

Dot-com companies trying to make money by catering to teenagers are facing some growing pains.


Insufficient computer security threatens doing business online

The emerging Internet economy has become a new frontier for criminals as well as a growing challenge for law enforcement.


E-Commerce Roadmap Needed

House Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley, R-Va., has asked the Clinton Administration to develop a comprehensive e-commerce "roadmap" with regard to tech-trade issues and China's entrance into the WTO, saying failure to do so would severely limit the growth of US companies.


Online Retailers Need More than Technology

A study by the Bristol Group found that encouraging customers to go online can lead to a decline in customer loyalty, referrals to friends and, over the long term, a decline in profits.


Beyond the E-Commerce Shakeout

Despite a well-publicized tripling of e-commerce spending last year, many e-tailers found themselves falling far short of the shopping season revenues needed to keep their virtual storefronts open.


Report: Young Online Shoppers Outperform Adults

Unlike older online consumers, Internet shoppers in the 16 to 22-year-old age group have not only developed sophisticated approaches to online shopping, they've also diversified their online purchases to include a wide variety of product categories.


How to Succeed in E-Tail? Just Get It Right

A new study of online catalog merchants during the holiday-shopping season indicates that retail sites designed to offer ease of shopping, ease of ordering, ease of order tracking and superior customer service are the winners for both the short and long term.


Is E-Commerce Slowing?

Shopping sites must offer a richer experience to lure back customers, study finds.


Software Patents Tangle the Web

A profusion of new software patents on Internet business methods puts our notions of intellectual property to the biggest test yet.


Insurance Can Ease Hacking Pain

As some of the Web's most heavily trafficked sites fell victim to denial-of-service attacks last week, at least one sector of the burgeoning e-commerce industry had reason to smile.


E-tailers' stocks sink from weight of retail burdens

For more than a year, shares of e-tailers have had a premium that valued their growth prospects above actual earnings. In recent months, however, investors in high-flying Net merchants such as Amazon.com and Value America have begun to grapple with some traditional issues.


Lawyers Foresee Denial Of Service Suits

Attacks on some of the busiest Internet sites earlier in the week may have legal consequences that extend beyond possible criminal punishment of the perpetrators, and may expand the scope of how courts view the responsibilities of those who set up and install computers to conduct business on the Internet.


Softbank's Son: 'Cannibalize!'

One of the Internet's biggest investors tells the World Economic Forum the only way to go into e-commerce is to kill off the brick-and-mortar parent. 


Poll: Net privacy fears increase

Following Web attacks, half of Gallup Poll respondents believe their credit card information is at risk online.




Toshiba Launches $2.3B Internet Business Initiative

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba announced a $2.3 billion (US$) initiative Monday that will target electronic commerce and Internet content businesses. The unit will focus on Internet-related services in the areas of finance, travel, video distribution, auctions, leisure and music -- all to be offered through cellular telephones and other mobile devices


Big Blue plans cash registers with Net access

IBM, the giant computer maker, is expected to unveil Internet-enabled cash registers tomorrow that allow customers to access orders they placed online when they are in retail stores, according to reports.


 Wireless Credit Cards: How Soon and How Pervasive?

Last week, Motorola, Inc. announced plans to make a "virtual credit card" available on its mobile phones. By pushing a button or issuing a voice command mobile users will be able to complete e-commerce transactions in seconds via their virtual cards.


'How can I help you?'

Some dot coms find what they need in a brick-and-mortar call-center firm.


 Show the Web's True Colors

E-Color adjusts colors to your monitor, minimizing shopping surprises


Startups target couch e-commerce

Two companies, Wink Communications and RespondTV have developed technology that adds a graphic overlay over television programming -- enabling users to point-and-click their remotes to get more information about what's on-screen or buy a product in real time.


 Amazon patents affiliate programs technology

The online retail giant files for ownership--and receives--the technology that lets other Web sites send it customers in exchange for a commission. CNET


 New Vision Of Commerce

Makers of commerce servers want to be at the core of every transaction. Should you bet your business on them?


 Discover Offers Online 'Virtual Credit Card'

The Desk$hop virtual credit card is a graphic image of a Discover credit card that sits on the user's PC desktop, but accesses Discover's central server to authorize and track transactions.


The Click-And-Mortar Customer Arrives

By April, Bates' technology will allow customers carrying certain personal digital assistants or mobile phones to do price and product availability searches - eventually - on all 142 million items in the company database, as well as retrieve BizRate.com and IQorder ratings on thousands of online and offline merchants.






New E-Commerce Rating Service Planned

Start-up Open Ratings said it plans to launch an independent rating service designed to "increase the level of trust, reliability and brand recognition between buyers and sellers in online business to business, consumer and auction marketplaces."


Nike e.com shoe could be boon for Oregon forwarder

Nike.com's new Internet program that allows consumers to "design" their own shoes could be a boon for Portland forwarder OIA Global Logistics, a Nike executive told Reuters on Friday.


 E-Tailers: Bring Back the Humans

Customer experiences are exercises in frustration.


 Honda Not Fond Of Honda.net

Internet business primer: How not to treat loyal customers.


Ernst & Young buys stake in Latin America services firm

The investment will expand Ernst & Young's technical and managerial resources in the region, while Softtek, based in Monterrey, Mexico, will be able to increase its business through greater access to Ernst & Young's global network.


 Amazon offers U.K. services over cell phones

The Internet retailer's U.K. Web site will be available on mobile phones starting tomorrow.


 Just the ticket: seats for shows from ATMs

Tickets.com will join with ATM Tix to launch a service allowing customers to pick up tickets at banks' automated teller machines.


 Services firms tackle Europe for wireless trials

Internet services firms are bulking up their wireless divisions and using Europe as a strategic proving ground before tackling the U.S. market.


The week in review: Rent or buy?

Dell Computer, Gateway Computer and SAP joined a growing number of high-tech companies marketing hosted Web sites and software applications. Meanwhile, Motorola, Oracle and others moved to stake out ground in the business of providing content for cell phones, handheld computers and other information appliances


Idealab launches online bill payment service

The Internet incubator introduces PayMe.com, an online service that allows consumers and small business owners to send and pay bills.


Dell to build, manage small-business Web sites

Dell Computer today launched a Web site hosting initiative for small businesses, as the PC maker looks to draw new revenue from the services market.





Carol Wright and Friends Hit the Web

Coolsavings made quite a splash by bringing coupons to the web. Now the real competition begins. Carol Wright, Val-Pak, and all the other coupons that come in newspapers or in the mail are now coming to the web with the help of BrightStreet.com.


 Furniture Shopping in the Digital Age

It would have been nice to see online photos, then view merchandise in the store, get confirmation email, monitor delivery details online. Couldn't do it.


 Maximize Your Affiliate Revenues

Did you know Joel wears two hats? He can talk from the merchant's perspective as well as the affiliate's because he's been there. Today he tells affiliates how to get the most from the merchants they support.


E-tailers fall for promotions to lift sales

Now that the online holiday shopping season is over, e-tailers have hit on Valentine's Day as the next way to tell consumers to "Be Mine."

Petsmart woos customers with return policy

Petsmart announced today a marketing program that lets shoppers return goods from any store, online or off.


Sites spend billions on ads, but will they get their money back?

Although ad spending may have peaked during the holidays and the Super Bowl, online companies need no special occasion to continue bombarding the consuming public with billions of dollars in TV commercials, radio spots and newspaper advertisements, as well as Web marketing initiatives.


'Biggest Online Grocer' Not Who You Think It Is

It's making a profit, it claims to be the biggest online grocer in the world, and Americans have probably never heard of it.


It's a first down for Super Bowl ads

Super Bowl hangover? No way, say a number of Sunday night's dot-com advertisers. Whether or not this year's crop of Super Bowl commercials failed to live up to enormous expectations, huge traffic spikes are being reported at the advertisers' Web sites.


Amazon says unit under FTC scrutiny

Amazon.com said the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the online retailer's software unit that collects information about how people use the Internet.





Report Says Web Hacks To Cost $1.2B

Losses related to this week's distributed denial of service attacks that temporarily shut down several of the most popular websites could total more than $1.2 billion, according to a report from the Yankee Group.


Sony's plan to sell online shocks dealers

Electronics giant Sony Corp.said on Tuesday it will start selling its consumer electronic products online in Japan, sending shock waves through the nation's closely knit dealer networks.


Music retailers charge Sony with unfair competition

A retail industry group is suing Sony Music Entertainment, alleging that the company is strong-arming retailers to point their customers toward its online shops.


Webvan adds bookshelves to grocery site

Webvan is giving its online grocery store the look of a local supermarket by adding popular fiction and other books to its virtual aisles.


GroceryWorks: Smaller, cheaper, faster?

Is the Webvan Group business model, with its heavy reliance on massive, highly automated central warehouses, out of style even before it takes root? Kelby Hagar and Gary Fernandes think it's ripe for attack -- right down to the claim that it can reliably deliver goods the same day they're ordered.


Can Webvan Deliver?

Webvan is in hot pursuit of the Holy Grail for online retailers: same-day or next-day delivery of everything from groceries to videos to appliances. It wants to be the company that conquers the other "last mile" problem of the Internet: how to quickly get goods ordered out of the ether to customers' doors when they have no stores.


Webvan: Return of the Milkman

Until now, e-commerce has been based upon a national distribution model -- an electronic mail-order service. But personal courier services take a radically different approach: They guarantee prompt delivery of locally stored, frequently requested items, such as groceries, video rentals, or beer.


FTC questions eToys about practices

The Federal Trade Commission is questioning the company's marketing of 'mature' video games and problems with shipping delays.


Distributing The Goods. Now, The Hard Part

Selling stuff is easy; shipping it isn't. Are sites better off outsourcing the function


A New Breed of Virtual Storefronts

While most dot-coms are busy disintermediating your local merchant, Affinia and Vstore are trying to become a new breed of intermediary -- coming between customers and dot-coms.


Business e-commerce set for big increase

Business-to-business Internet transactions were expected to show a 25-fold increase between 1998 and 2003 and dramatically change the way companies manage supply chains, according to a European study released on Monday.





Sun-Netscape Alliance, Sybase jump into Web portals

The Sun-Netscape Alliance and Sybase are the newest entries in the Web portal software sweepstakes. The two companies will soon ship new software that will let businesses create Web sites for their customers, partners and employees. The software will help companies build sites that let people access email, corporate resources and information, as well as commerce offerings.


Ford, Trilogy form e-commerce venture

The giant automaker forms a joint venture with the closely held business software firm to develop and operate all of Ford's Web sites.


eBay pushes into Scandinavia

The online auction house is pursuing investments in the Internet-rich Scandinavian countries as part of its expansion drive across Europe.


 Excite@Home, Dow Jones plan portal, IPO

The company will develop a Web portal designed for small and medium-sized businesses and is expected to file to sell a minority stake in an initial public stock offering, according to sources familiar with the plans. The site, also expected to debut this year, will keep the name of the business portal launched by Excite@Home, Work.com.


Chemdex changes name, expands focus

Chemdex, the online seller of chemicals and lab equipment, said it is changing its name to Ventro, forming a new company to expand into other industry areas beyond life sciences.


Onvia’s Business Services To Be Available Through AOL Brands

Onvia.com Inc. and America Online Inc. said they formed a two-year strategic alliance to provide users of AOL brands with Onvia's business services through a co-branded Web site.


Personalization-Mostly Potential, For Now

Not even the portals have taken personalization beyond the basics. Still, they're the best ones to study, for now.


SAP-Community Builder

SAP, the giant enterprise software firm, is transforming itself into a creator of business portals.


Freeshipping.com To Launch Online Marketplace

Freeshipping.com today unveiled plansfor a business-to-business online marketplace -- where small companies will be able to purchase office products, PCs, and other goods and services.


Top automakers gear up for Net marketplaces

Carmakers such as Ford and Toyota are racing onto the Web, looking to lower costs and broaden their reach.


Andersen Creates E-Business Launch Pad

Andersen Consulting Wednesday created a global network of 17 dot-com launch centers to help e-commerce start-ups and spin-offs become viable businesses.






 States Review Commerce Law

A law championed by software companies as key to unleashing the full potential of electronic commerce is under attack from companies and organizations that say it is unfair to consumers and potentially dangerous to businesses.


Few web winners seen among European retailers

Few of Europe's big-name retailers will succeed in the still largely money-losing world of Internet commerce, but already some companies are closer to sniffing out profits than others, said a study released on Monday.


U.S. web poll finds fear of hackers, government

Last week's hacker attacks on major websites have stoked widespread concern among home computer users and almost half of U.S. online consumers will think twice before sharing credit card data over Internet, a poll released Tuesday found.


Latin American E-Commerce Sparks IT Services

Latin America offers a unique set of challenges for professional services like e-commerce and web design, said executives from the information technology consultancy ebrainstorm.


 Euro E-Retailing Heats Up

Although e-commerce is becoming increasingly profitable in Western Europe, U.S. companies are grabbing the lion's share of e-retail sales, according to a study published today in London by the Boston Consulting Group.


Foreign Shoppers Flock to Canadian Sites

More foreigners shopped on Canada-based online sites during the lucrative Christmas season than local shoppers, according to a survey of Canadian online retailers.


 IBM Prods EU About E-Commerce

Leading U.S. companies called on the European Commission yesterday to rapidly redesign the European Union's indirect tax system to eliminate the disadvantage faced by European companies engaging in electronic commerce.


Net Tax May Get the Heave-Ho

It's a matter of changing one sentence in existing legislation. But if Congress approves, the threat of Internet taxation could vanish forever. Or at least for Washington's idea of forever.


Clinton's national plan a 'good start'

As President Clinton met with high-tech executives and security experts in the White House Tuesday, attendees and industry insiders weighed in on the guidelines the administration intends to follow to secure the nation's electronic infrastructure.


 Europeans uninterested in shopping online

Only a small number of Europeans who have access to the Internet actually shop online, according to a survey by a U.S. research firm.


State officials look at new rules for e-commerce

The Internet is supposed to defy geographical boundaries, but no one seems to have told that to state governments.


$500mil Web Taxes Uncollected

Only 20 percent of the $13 billion in taxable retail goods sold online last year was taxed, leaving $525 million in sales tax money uncollected, a Forrester Research study shows.


Cheers for the FTC's E-Commerce Mediation Proposal

Earlier this week the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that it is promoting mediation over lawsuits as a means to resolve online disputes between e-tailers and consumers.


As Ecommerce Goes International Legal Issues Take The Spotlight

With the explosive growth of e-commerce and the increasing cost and complexity of goods being sold through domestic e-commerce transactions, it is not too soon to consider what legal issues must be reviewed when complex, higher-priced retail goods, such as computer components and systems, automobiles, and the like, are sold internationally through e-commerce.


Winery sues over Net sales

A Virginia vineyard is hoping to put a cork on state laws that restrict Internet wine sales by challenging a New York law that makes it illegal for out-of-state wineries to ship to consumers.


Deadline looms for Net tax proposals

For the congressional panel studying the Internet tax issue, it's crunch time.


EU Aims to Boost Internet Retailing in Europe

European internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein said on Tuesday the EU needed an all-encompassing Internet strategy to help it catch up the United States in areas such as e-commerce.


Electronic Signatures Take Hold in U.S.

The U.S. government and many states are now passing Uniform Electronic Transaction Act





CyberShop.com lets go of online retail assets

CyberShop.com, which earlier this month said it would abandon its Web retail business to become an incubator for Internet start-ups, today said it has agreed to sell its Electronics.net retail Web assets.


Epicurious.com dines with Dean & Deluca

Epicurious.com, the home of online magazines Gourmet and Bon Appetit, today signed an agreement to make Dean & Deluca its exclusive specialty foods retailer.


Target spins off e-commerce group

Target Corp. has formed a new Internet unit to manage the company's e-commerce and direct marketing operations.


Women.com quickly closes online clothing store

Women.com Networks has quietly closed its online store for women's clothing and accessories, just three months after launching the e-tail site.


Polo Ralph Lauren and NBC Tackle Online Apparel

Apparel giant Polo Ralph Lauren announced an agreement today with NBC affiliates ValueVision and NBCi to create a multimedia initiative that will center on its Polo.com Internet retailing site.


 UPS Forms New E-Commerce Subsidiary

United Parcel Service, Inc. announced today that it has formed a subsidiary that will perform back-end fulfillment functions for e-commerce companies


Kozmo.com Pays Starbucks $150 Million in Marketing Alliance

Kozmo.com, the pioneering online delivery service, Monday inked a joint marketing pact with Starbucks Coffee Co. under which the Internet start-up will pay Starbucks $150 million over the next five years for prominent placement in Starbucks shops.


 Amazon.com To Buy 5 Percent Of Audible

Online retailer Amazon.com will buy 5 percent of Audible, a provider of spoken-audio services for download and playback on computers and mobile devices, the companies said Monday.


Columbia House Unveils E-C Strategy

Mail-order music and video retailer The Columbia House Co. Monday announced a restructuring of its organization, in conjunction with its pending merger with CDNOW Inc.


 Airline Site Angers Travel Agents

U.S. travel agents Thursday formally requested a Justice Department review of plans by a consortium of major airlines to set up an Internet travel service, saying it would violate antitrust laws.


 SBC to buy Sterling Commerce for $3.9 billion

Moving into the lucrative business-to-business e-commerce market, SBC Communications today said it plans to acquire Sterling Commerce in a cash deal valued at $3.9 billion. San Antonio, Texas-based SBC said its acquisition of the business-to-business software provider will help bolster its offerings by adding another Internet-based product to its set of telecommunications services. In return, Sterling said it will gain larger distribution and sales channels, including a chance to target small and medium-sized businesses.


NECX.com To Acquire Real World Electronics

NECX.com, Peabody, a subsidiary of VerticalNet Inc., and Real World, a privately held electronics exchange, have been in discussions for the past three months and are expected to complete the transaction within 30 days, said Larry Marshall, president of NECX.com.


Microsoft's Transpoint To Merge With CheckFree In $1B

Deal Ownership interests in TransPoint, which is jointly owned by Microsoft, Citibank and First Data Corp., will be transferred to CheckFree in exchange for 17 million shares of CheckFree common stock, valued at $1 billion. When the definitive merger deal is complete, Microsoft, First Data and Citibank will own 23 percent of CheckFree.


 E-Business Breakfast: Merger Madness

US Interactive is acquiring SoftPlus Inc., a privately held e-solutions company.  Softplus' expertise in end-to-end technology frameworks, CRM and its global presence convinced US Interactive to pull the trigger on the deal, valued at approximately $300 million.

Toysrus.com receives $57 million Softbank investment

The online unit of Toys "R" Us is redoubling its Web efforts after Japan's Softbank plunked down a $57 million minority investment in the beleaguered toy e-tailer.







Mike Rosenfelt, former creative director at Micron PC, has launched a business-to-business venture that marries education to e-commerce in a new twist on the Internet-university craze.


Priceline hires Citigroup exec

Citigroup chief financial officer Heidi G. Miller is taking a job with Priceline.com, becoming the latest in a growing number of executives from blue chip companies to enter the online arena. Miller will be Priceline's senior executive vice president, strategic planning and administration, and chief financial officer. She will also join the Internet company's board of directors.


 Ford Motor Taps Trilogy Founder to Launch Net Company

Brian Kelley, president of Ford's ConsumerConnect unit and the vice president of the automaker, said that a founder of Trilogy Software Inc. has been tapped to lead the new venture, which will named within a month.


Lante Hires iXL Executive; Cambridge Lures Sapient Director

The e-business game of musical chairs has temporarily stopped, leaving Sapient Corp. and iXL Inc. standing. High-flying Chicago-based e-business integrator Lante Corp., which went public last Friday, named John Harne its chief creative officer. Harne joins Lante from Web integrator iXL, where he was the company's co-chief creative officer and vice president of creative services.


MicroAge Restructures To Focus On E-Business; Daniel, Manton Out

Longtime MicroAge Inc. executives Jim Daniel and Jim Manton have left the company as part of a massive reorganization designed to cut costs and refocus efforts on e-business. According to a press release late Wednesday, MicroAge will "consolidate support functions and focus on e-business strategies."


William Schrader

Psinet CEO William Schrader hopes to feast on the carcasses of his humongous telecom competitors--if they don't devour him first. The 48-year-old PSINet founder is certainly not shy about expressing his views. And arguably, he has earned the right to say what he thinks. Schrader co-founded one of the first commercial ISPs in 1985--an outfit called NyserNet.


CEOs Must Communicate

When it comes to technology, Cosmo Santullo, who recently became the CEO of Mirror Image, has always heard the call to serve. Santullo, 44, has spent the bulk of his career figuring out how to fill the technological needs of corporate America via the professional services arms of IBM and, more recently, EMC Corp.


 Dot-Comming Kmart

 ‘I want to turn BlueLight into a verb.’ Mark Goldstein in the Internet World interview.



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