ECMgt.com: September 2001 Volume 3, Issue 9 - Evolving Infrastructure and Tools


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Subject: September 2001 ECMgt.com: Evolving Infrastructure and Tools
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September 1, 2001 *4,200 subscribers* Volume 3, Issue 9
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Evolving Infrastructure and Tools
Management Perspective
by Mitchell Levy, Author, E-Volve-or-Die.com

Many advances have been made toward the goal of integrating front office and back office systems, both within companies and between companies. Technologies that improve speed, collaboration or integration of processes will be a requirement for survival and growth in the future.

In addition to integrating front office and back office solutions, which create a more fluid E-Business infrastructure within an enterprise, Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Collaborative Commerce solutions have recently synchronized front office and back office functions between enterprises, making them act as one unit to serve the needs of customers. We'll discuss the combination of front and back office solutions, and explore how the newer "inter-enterprise" world of PRM and collaborative commerce E-Business solutions, create internetworked and holistic E-Business architectures.

Front office solutions
The front office concept is a result of the increased focus on the customer, customer service, and added value. The basic purpose of a front office solution is to manage the customer interaction chain beginning from the sales lead, moving through the entire sales cycle, and then providing ongoing support and service for the customer.

Front-office integration and CRM are key investments for any E-Business, because the quality of a product and "selling facts" do not guarantee success in the 21st century. More and more a company's softer assets its ability to live up to the customers' image of a good company, and to satisfy ongoing needs, are required to ensure "life-time value".

One of the greatest challenges for a sales force today is a knowledgeable, involved, and critical buyer. Can a sophisticated ERP system display integrated "intelligence" to support the development of good customer relations? More important still is the ability to develop business processes with the capacity to establish, enhance, and even transform customer relationships. Can a firm develop and provide unique opportunities to create added value? The first step is to integrate flexible sales solutions that are deployable in an open ERP system. This especially includes the ability to integrate the company's engineering, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, and financial management processes with processes for marketing, sales, and customer care. This starts the process of "front and back-office fusion".

Front-office solutions can collaborate and manage the interaction and information flow between customer, supplier, and partner channels at all stages from marketing, sales, to delivery to service and support. The front office and CRM systems of yesterday are becoming the PRM and collaborative applications of tomorrow. An interactive sales system, integrating Web, phone, face-to-face, and channel sales, ensures that the prospect and customer see just one face of the company, and the sales team knows the prospect from every point of contact.

Interactive Web technology provides more than just a faster link between what the customer wants and what the supplier can produce. Web configurators allow the customer to choose, test, and re-test various alternatives. This interaction serves to build positive, long-term customer satisfaction, by allowing the prospect to the solution that best fits their needs, and have it built to order.Additionally, engineering stays up to date on changing customer needs.

Web enabled but not integrated
With information technology as the foundation for the global market, the way businesses buy is changing radically. In a global marketplace, anybody can buy from anywhere, choose how they pay for it, and have it delivered wherever they want. This virtual, global marketplace puts new demands on the front office and CRM strategy. The "Web enabled" customer expects your business to be as internetworked as their web experience - and it should be. But few web-enabled ERP systems exist, and even rarer are completely linked front and back office solutions. Worse still, the term "open architecture" usually implies "some assembly required". We will touch on "integration" issues later on.

Supporting mobile sales staff
For planning and tracking marketing activities, PDA access to the central database for customer contacts is essential. When sales activities occur or have been concluded, the companies' database must be instantly updated with all new facts for future customer contacts. These include a complete purchase history, current orders, and invoicing status. Sales managers must have similar access to customer contact data, from the first contact until the deal is closed.

Integrating the Back Office
It is becoming increasingly difficult to win customers on the basis of price and performance alone. While production is being streamlined, there is an ever-growing need for flexibility and creativity in dealing with customers. Well-functioning integration between front and back office makes it possible to achieve both enhanced efficiency and greater flexibility.

Timely, accurate information is everything. Sales representatives need access to complete information about product variations, options, delivery time alternatives, and price at delivery. Instead of being limited to standard products, sales agents and /or customers can often configure less-expensive custom solutions, with better performance and shorter delivery times. Seeing that customers' demands and wishes are balanced against what is possible, from the engineering perspective, or understanding the criteria for the order, facilitates more immediate scheduling and delivery.

Back Office Services

Back Office Solutions for E-Business
Strategic advantages through better management of sales data seamlessly integrated into financial, project accounting, manufacturing, human resources, and service management requires front and back office links. Employees in accounting, human resources/payroll, sales teams, and from all areas of the organization including executives, budget, and operational managers are now routinely accessing business management information on a real-time basis. The biggest challenges and goals in managing and understanding cross-functional business data are:

Key vertical markets are already using integrated front and back office technologies, and serve varied product and service niches. Businesses and organizations in the following industries are typical of this growing trend:

Best practices for integrating front and back office solutions from these vertical markets include the following:managing semiconductor manufacturing of discrete and high value components; integrating heath care point -of- service patient contact with automated patient billing; process flow tools as used by UPS for combining supply chain and shipping data; better coordination of vendor managed inventory for retail and food; and customized product offerings for high value clients in banking, insurance and financial services industries.

Partner Relationship Management
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is an E-Business strategy which uses shared extranet applications to streamline sales and marketing business processes and achieve speed-to-market through partners. PRM applications enable real-time collaboration among vendors and their partners for developing, launching, tracking and refining partner programs and operations. Examples of indirect channel activities accelerated and streamlined by PRM are:

Today, indirect channels account for the majority of sales in a number of industries; more than half of all high-tech sales come from indirect channels. Working with indirect sales partners is challenging, and involves more than completing a sale. It includes building business processes and channels of communication for vendors and their partners. Speed is always a critical focus in channel sales, including the logistics of a complex sale, delivery, and after-sale support. Internet-based PRM solutions fully enable the indirect model by tightly integrating companies with their partners. An automated, comprehensive set of PRM applications helps to overcome the complex challenges involved in acquiring, communicating, and supporting partners, as well as facilitating collaboration among multiple partners. PRM isn't just a critical component of an overall E-Business strategy; implementing a PRM solution can provide significant competitive advantage to a channel-focused company, including front and back office functionality.

Collaborative Commerce
Most current E-Business products focus primarily on cross-enterprise transaction exchanges. While transactional exchange is important, the real power of E-Business lies in fostering collaborative relationships between business partners. A true E-Business solution must include capabilities for information exchange and collaboration with "any-to-any" integration capability enabling companies to collaborate with multiple suppliers, customers and other valued business partners by linking their enterprise E-Business systems and applications. The goal is to break down barriers between various proprietary enterprise systems - a technology constraint that has hindered open, transparent collaboration among businesses.

Enterprise solutions for "dynamic collaboration" within and among businesses, called collaborative commerce, are an emerging business and technology trend, and are rapidly becoming a requirement for competitive advantage in an internetworked economy. Collaborative Commerce, also called c-commerce, allows rapid response to market opportunities with greater value and efficiency, according to leading industry analysts. Gartner Group predicts that c-commerce systems will become the predominant business-to-business application model by 2004.

The new era of collaborative commerce will allow companies all along the supply and value chain to communicate dynamically, anticipate and fulfill their customers' needs precisely and efficiently, and automatically respond in real-time to demand or supply changes. Collaborative applications that make this scenario possible eliminate the barriers posed by incompatible systems, and allows companies to focus their efforts on business instead of on their IT systems.

From the simple concept of integrating front and back office systems for greater process continuity across an enterprise, comes the much more difficult task of integrating these applications with existing ERP systems. Additionally, no business is a standalone entity in an internetworked economy, so partner relationship management functions become a requirement. As we broaden the vision further, the quest to integrate strategic goals, tactical relationships, and business processes brings a new concept to bear: collaborative commerce. In this new era, companies respond flexibly to sales opportunities, and manage the back office logistics fluidly.

Definitions and reference sites:

CRM and Vendors:

CRM (customer relationship management) is an information industry term for methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. For example, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that described relationships in sufficient detail so that management, salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps even the customer directly, could access information. Users of CRM and sales automation systems can match customer needs with product plans and offerings, know what other products a customer had purchased and remind customers of service requirements.


PRM and Vendors:

Partner relationship management (PRM) is a business strategy for improving communication between companies and their channel partners. Web-based PRM software applications enable companies to customize and streamline administrative tasks by making shipping schedules and other real-time information available to all the partners over the Internet. Several CRM providers have incorporated PRM features, such as Web-enabled spreadsheets shared through an extranet, in their software applications. PRM is often compared to customer relationship management (CRM), and there is some argument over whether the complex relationships of channel partnerships makes it necessary for PRM to be discussed as a separate entity, or merely as a component of CRM.


Collaborative Commerce and Vendors:

Collaborative Commerce (C-Commerce) is the name given to commercial relationships carried out over a collaborative framework to integrate business processes of enterprises, share their customer relationships, and manage knowledge across enterprise boundaries. The ultimate aims of C-Commerce initiatives are to maximize return on intellectual capital investment, business agility and the quality of the customer experience. C-Commerce is far more crucial than basic B2B e-commerce that is designed to construct a virtual link for a pre-defined community of trading partners to buy or sell goods and services.


About Mitchell Levy
Mitchell Levy, is President and CEO of ECnow.com (
http://ecnow.com), a training business service provider helping companies transition its employees, partners and customers to the Internet age through off-the-shelf and customized on-line and on-ground training. He is the author of E-Volve-or-Die.com, Executive Producer of ECMgt.com, an on-line E-Commerce Management (ECM) e-zine, Chair of comdex.biz at Comdex Fall and Chicago and the Founder and Program Coordinator of the premier San Jose State E-Commerce Management Certificate Program (http://ecmtraining.com/sjsu). Mitchell is a popular speaker, lecturing on ECM issues throughout the U.S. and around the world.

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

Mitchell Levy
Executive Producer, ECMgt.com <
President, ECnow.com <
Founder and Coordinator, SJSU-PD ECM Certificate Program <

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neoIT™ is a global IT services online marketplace and consulting company. We are a leading neutral marketplace and global solution for outsourcing software development and other IT services. neoIT solutions are accessed through an online channel or as a traditional consulting engagement.

  • Please feel free to contact Atul Vashistha, Co-Founder & Team Leader, at atul@neoIT.com for any questions or suggestions.


Fort Point Partners
Fort Point Partners is an Internet services firm providing strategic consulting and systems integration to empower eSelling(tm). More than 40 businesses such as Hewlett-Packard, BlueLight.com and J.Crew use Fort Point Partners' eSelling business practice to drive sales across multiple channels. eSelling focuses on developing end-to-end technology to create competitive selling advantages in the most profitable part of e-commerce, wherever buyers and sellers meet.

Learn more at http://www.fortpointpartners.com


Delano Technology Corporation

Delano Technology Corporation is a provider of interaction-based e-business solutions that enable an organization to interact with the extended enterprise, for fast measurable results.


E-Volve-or-Die.com: Thriving in the Internet-Age Through E-Commerce Management Author: Mitchell Levy

E-Volve-or-Die.com helps the reader figure out how to help transition their company or suffer the same death of the dinosaur. With 12 forewords, and 45 of the world's top ECM experts, Levy can help your company with the biggest industrial transition the business world has faced in the last 100 years.

You can read more about "E-Volve-or-Die.com" at the official Web site: http://www.e-volve-or-die.com. The book is available at all online and offline stores today.


"Does your Web site attract sufficient traffic? Most Web sites don't, says Thomas Wong, best-selling author of "101 Ways to Boost Your Web Traffic, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0963834959/intesync/."
In fact, 55% of Web sites seldom receive any visitors at all even though they have invested thousands in developing their Web site. His book will engage and inspire you with 101 of the most successful Web development and promotion techniques used by popular sites. You will master the technology and psychology that make it possible to gain more Web traffic with a tight budget. No matter whom your Web site is designed for, you can apply these techniques immediately for your own benefits and with measurable results.



Taking a Piece of Technology Cake…
Corey Hutchison, CEO of Aqueduct

Current economic trends are forcing companies to re-focus on core business efficiencies, dumping IT projects that complicate the management of their core business and reconsidering plans for expansion into new businesses that cannot show concrete return. Isn't there a way to exploit technology to streamline core-business efficiencies and allow for profitable expansion into new businesses?

Online businesses were the first attempt. Organizations viewed Internet technology as a quick and inexpensive way to improve business efficiencies: by automating communication and order processing with vendors and customers. However, millions had been spent on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems that were still being customized to meet expectations of the business. The juxtaposition of ERP and SCM deployment with business expansion projects using the Internet (e-procurement, e-marketplace enablement, B2C storefronts and more) proved a recipe for disaster.

The first of these tentative online businesses were order-processing systems that were separate from the rest of a company's customer information. Companies ended up with two systems: one for traditional operations and a second for their Web business. Building integration between the two systems was an afterthought.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems were the next technology; they professed to "integrate" the front- and back-end systems using customer data as the inflection point. The CRM system tracks order history and queries the ERP system about product availability. The ERP system communicates with the SCM system to validate whether raw materials are available to make product to satisfy the customer order. The SCM system schedules manufacturing time through the Materials Resource Planning (MRP) system. The ERP system books and ships the order. This all sounds good, but the software and custom integration work required to link the systems resulted in skyrocketing costs, elongated development cycles, and error-prone manual processes (such as data imports and file transfers). It was hard enough showing return on just the ERP investment, let alone online business expansion and integration between the two.

The online business is a good example of an unfulfilled promise because the Internet reeked of opportunity for efficiencies and profitability. However, the Internet business offered such low risk that companies didn't perform thorough ROI analysis, think through integration challenges, or manage the online business according to traditional metrics. Internet expansion projects failed, and the technology providers who had promised success failed too.

Failure was caused not by technology, but by the lack of focus on the business created with the new technology. Focus and commitment to new technology projects is what made ERP deployment projects ultimately successful (let us not forget that 80% of ERP implementations were past due and way over budget in the first few years). Technologies that ultimately win:

Focus on Core Competence: Manufacturers design and build products with a focus on speed-to-market. They are experts at technologies for managing the supply chain and communicating with their suppliers. They rely heavily on sales partners to take the finished product to market.

Sales partners merchandise, promote and offer value-added services that leverage the product and brand. They are experts at technologies for managing product information, inventory, point-of-sale, and marketing promotions. Neither are experts at building, nor exploiting for competitive advantage, the hardware and software infrastructure necessary to sell products directly and through online channels. The technology they choose for collaborative online selling should be selected by both the manufacturer and their selling partner, but owned by neither. Each must stay focused on the business they know.

Growth and Collaboration through Existing Channels: Neither the manufacturer nor the retail partner doubts the need for leveraging the other's strength in closing a sale (online and offline). But because of economic pressures, or previous stumbles with technology that promised incremental sales, IT projects and technologies dealing with business expansion and through online channel collaboration are dropped. Technologies that survive the cut must leverage legacy technology in which selling partners have invested (EDI, APIs, or even Fax) to automate and grow the business. There simply isn't enough return in the automation of existing processes if the result is a drastic departure from the manual version that works. For this reason, e-procurement networks and e-marketplaces are being replaced with private exchanges.

Private exchanges do more than automate existing business processes; with business growth comes the ability to exchange customer information and enable a feedback loop that can result in incremental revenue and margin. Private exchanges connect manufacturers with their distribution, reseller and dealer networks and their customers to ensure collaborative selling success across all related parties. The same technology adapts to give end-users the choice to research a purchase online and take delivery from any entity they deem adds value in the value-chain (manufacturer direct included).

Successful technologies will enable growth and collaboration through multi-channel web marketing to ensure each selling partner is able to monetize the customer relationship. A recent IBM study of J.C. Penney shoppers showed the average in-store transaction amount to be $122. By invoking online selling, the average transaction amount rose to $500. When technology for multi-channel marketing was introduced (say an online coupon for products related to an in-store purchase, or the opportunity to shop online and pick-up or service in-store), the average purchase reached about $1,000.

The responsibility for such technology is shared, and again should not be owned by either entity but must be manageable by both.

Implement quickly and integrate with existing systems: Technologies which offers value-chain efficiency and channel expansion must synchronize with inventory control, product forecasting, customer service, materials management, resource scheduling, shop floor production and other such technologies. These systems run disparate software and platforms (from CICS to VMS, from SAP to Oracle), and are 'hardened' to the point that they work reliably. As a result, they are cost-prohibitive to replace. Today's integration technologies must bridge the platform gaps and offer real-time data exchange and centralized data management. XML, Web Services, and integration tools like WebMethods and Biztalk offer such a solution. The technologies do not require changes to existing business processes, operations or workflows, but instead expedite their automation for streamlined efficiency.

When technology allows a business to focus on its core competence, exploit existing channels for growth, and integrate front-end and back-end systems, you've got promise. Employees from every department in a company can depend on having access to the most current and accurate customer history and transaction data as they attempt to focus on top-line growth and on expense control. Even more impressive would be the ability for a company to leverage the same technology without having to own any of the infrastructure.

ASPs/BSPs/IBSPs are founded on just such a concept. Customization of the technology, however, is discouraged by a need for the ASP to scale the solution across hundreds of customers. Assuming customization is critical, the customer should look for a new breed of technology provider that offers a solution platform like an ASP, but has the flexibility, modularity and expertise to utilize standard integration protocols to ensure proper and timely data integration. Such a provider will offer these technology solutions (commerce, channel management and collaborative customer relationship management) on a hosted infrastructure, allow the customers to control the business externally day-to-day through a web interface, and do so for a monthly subscription fee.

Companies are refocusing on core businesses and are cautious about investing in top-line growth. The technologies that win will be those that allow for refocusing on business processes, while allowing for affordable growth and integration with legacy systems. Better yet, when the technologies allow the customer to control the business without having to invest in the infrastructure, customers will be able to have their cake and eat it too…

Corey Hutchison joined Aqueduct, a leader in outsourced e-commerce services, in April 2000. Aqueduct hosts and manages online collaborative businesses for 50+ Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining Aqueduct, Corey held executive management roles at IBM, Cognos Corporation and Platinum Technology, Inc.



Managing the Technology Integration Process
By Reid Carr, Director of Interactive at McQuerter

Technology that makes it easier to integrate front-office and back-office systems is being developed and improved daily. The question isn't whether this new technology will impact a company's ability to compete in its marketplace - of course it will. Rather, the most important thing to consider is the evaluation, integration, implementation, and adoption of the technology tools. Regardless of the approach, strategy is the most valuable factor in the technological success of your company. With an increasing number of service providers emerging to support industry needs, one of the most critical aspects of successfully implementing a new tool has become evaluating the company that is producing the tool.

The first step is to identify your processes. Look at how you interact with your customers, partners and prospects, how you interact and collaborate within your organization, and how your customers, partners and prospects interact back with you. Most companies have some processes that are worth automating and others that are not. It is important to realize which are which. You will find a lot of answers throughout the various departments in your organization. The information you need lives in your sales department, human resources, accounting, and every facet of your company. These people all have a stake in the state of your technology, including the front office.

It's interesting to note that some processes that have customarily been restricted to the back office are now interacting in a front office venue. A good example is billing. Employing real-time automated billing within your customer base may be a welcome service to offer, but you need to be prepared to react in the same real-time manner that your information is presented.

Effectively managing the integration process requires taking a close look at your situation. What is your timeline for implementation? The longer your timeline, the more open you might be for a custom application. What is your budget? Companies that are unfamiliar with the territory often embark on the process without a budget in mind. Identifying the magic number that sits between 'yes' and 'no' will guide you in selecting the best product for your money. It's also important to look at your existing resources, which could be information, infrastructure (software and hardware) or staff. Prioritize and layout a plan for execution. Begin with your foundation, then evaluate how different items will plug-in to that foundation.

Application Service Providers (ASPs) are often industry experts who identify a problem and create a software or technology solution to remedy it. ASPs foot the initial development costs of the software and make their money on licensing and long-term customer commitments. Oftentimes ASPs will let you "test the water" on software applications to see if you like the technology before you purchase it. Another advantage of using an ASP is the high level of support it provides: someone is there to ensure the application is running correctly and to manage upgrades while you focus on your business. A disadvantage of using a hosted model is that your competitors might choose to use the same software, which eliminates its potential to be a differentiator. Also, some applications might not be exactly what you need, which means you must conform your system to fit an industry model.

When selecting an ASP, you should think like a venture capitalist. You are not only making an investment in software or technology, you are making a commitment to a partner. Check out the management team and their strengths. Do they have a viable business model? To achieve profitability, will they have to increase their prices or change their offering, thus affecting you as a customer? Meet your account manager and make sure you can develop a working relationship with them.

Keep the teams in charge of deciding on a solution small. Having too many decision-makers will only result in confusion. Make sure that one person is in charge of the timeline, that there are regular meetings with the implementers, and that deliverables with their respective deadlines are decided upon up-front. Knowing about the status of little things will make it much easier to prepare for the big things. Give notice to those who need to participate in critical stages of the project life. Nothing is more annoying than when you receive a vacation-status auto-reply from someone who is supposed to spend the next week knee-deep in the project. Make sure you develop a custom (as it applies to your company) user/reference guide to assist those who are going to be utilizing the new IT solutions.

When it comes to adoption, realize that implementing anything - software, technology or even a new process for anything will meet some resistance. The biggest obstacle to overcome will be getting people to use the new system, and the only way to overcome it is to manage closely and to educate the users. Take good notes about your success with this round of technology upgrades, because it's very likely you will have to do it again.

Remember that you are going through this process because it will improve, expedite, streamline or diversify something you already do. Do not change your business model around an ASP. Do not sell this offering as something that sets you apart from your competitors, because tomorrow, that competitor could have Version 2.0 while you are still running 1.0. ASPs can only satisfy your company on an application level. The most efficient and effective way to manage the integration of outsourced technology is to carefully evaluate providers, blend resources when possible, and continually revisit your strategy.

About Reid Carr:

Reid Carr is the Director of Interactive for McQuerter, a tech marketing and public relations agency based in San Diego with offices in San Jose, CA, Washington, D.C. and London, UK. Reid was formerly COO and Director of Accounts at PBJ, a bi-coastal interactive development and incubator shop based in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was with TBWA/Chiat/Day where he handled account management responsibilities for Nissan.

Over Reid's career in interactive, he has been involved in the development or advancement of over 40 Web sites and strategies as well as numerous campaigns, and has been named to several advisory boards of Internet-age companies.

A full length bio is available at the McQuerter Web site at: http://www.mcquerter.com/WhoWeAre/Staff/reid.html


All reader comments are available at our bulletin board. Please go to http://venus.beseen.com/boardroom/s/26553 to read them your self or to post your own comments.



This section sponsored by ECnow.com, please visit them at http://www.ecnow.com

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Japan's Nintendo Co Ltd said it would delay the U.S. debut of its GameCube console by two weeks to ensure a smooth rollout.

Lotus better integrates Domino with WebSphere, DB2
Lotus Development Corp. will strengthen ties with corporate parent IBM's WebSphere application server and DB2 Universal Database products in the forthcoming release of Lotus Domino, code-named Rnext.

Cisco unveils device for delivering wireless content
Cisco Systems unveiled a new appliance for converting HTML and XML into other data formats suitable for use on wireless devices, cellular phones and PDAs

Windows XP to Descend on PC Makers
Microsoft, under pressure from several sides to get its new operating system out the door, will deliver final Windows XP code to PC makers in a big way: via airdrop.




e-Catalogs: Long journey to rewards
Converting reams of paper catalogs, data and numerous other computing systems into searchable, easy-to-navigate electronic catalogs accessible from within leading E-commerce engines is no trivial task.

Integrators ease HIPAA pain
Consulting firms like Covansys, EDS and Keane are ready to step into the ER.

EarthLink Gears Up For Wireless Web
EarthLink is gearing up to develop wireless services and content for pager devices

E-services becoming land of the giants
As the boutiques that once dominated e-consulting fade, larger players, such as HP, are moving in on multiple fronts to secure a bigger share of what remains.

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Drive Loyalty Online
If there were ever any doubt that traditional retailers would adapt to the online world, the most recent measurements by Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive should dispel it.

ISPs Trying to Stay in the Broadband Game
Pure-play ISPs are going to have an uphill battle competing with incumbent telecommunications and cable providers in the residential broadband market.

Kodak says Microsoft to alter photo features in XP
Eastman Kodak Co. said software giant Microsoft Corp. will modify its Windows XP to allow users to more easily select digital photo-finishing services from a number of providers, not just those affiliated with Microsoft.

HP's outsourcing bet
Hewlett-Packard's Livermore details strides toward 'IT-as-services' vision

Industry divided over Java on Windows XP PCs
Microsoft Corp.'s decision to drop support of Java from its Windows XP operating system has left PC makers and Internet service providers ruminating over whether to add Java support to their machines and services.

Enterprises start tinkering with nascent Web services
Give Tim Hilgenberg some new toys, and like any good IT leader, he'll find a way to build a better e-business.

Pacific Trail Enters B2B Thicket
To improve service to its B2B customers, sports apparel seller Pacific Trail is launching a private B2B Web site dedicated to serving the needs of sporting goods and outdoor specialty retailers.

CyberTrader Launches Wireless Stock Trading
CyberTrader, announced the launch of CyberTrader Direct, a wireless direct access trading and order routing application available via Palm V and Palm VII handheld communication devices.

Wireless LANs dealt new blow
Security goes from bad to worse

Interactive TV Provider Licenses Music
A California company has obtained an Internet licensing agreement with the association that collects royalties for songwriters and music producers

AT&T WorldNet Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction
AT&T WorldNet ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among 13 national and regional dial-up Internet service providers.

Internap kicks off IP-based videoconferencing service
Internap Network Services announced a package on that will enable videoconferencing "at TV-level quality" over the public Internet

Road Runner Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among High Speed Internet Providers
Road Runner, the fast-growing high speed Internet service from Time Warner Cable, has been ranked "Highest In Customer Satisfaction Among High-Speed Internet Service Providers"

Not-So-Tasty Turnovers
WRQ product marketing manager Rebecca Johnson told that AT&T's main problem was that its customer service reps had to juggle information from three different host applications.

Texas Comptroller Taps ACS for Support
Affiliated Computer Services Inc. has won a three-year, $6.1 million contract with the Texas Comptroller's Office for application and support services for legacy systems.

MS travels to Capitol for Passport
Microsoft swoops down on Washington to campaign for its Passport authentication service.

DSL middlemen to the rescue
DSL rescue services, or the business of helping broadband customers find new access providers when existing suppliers turn off the connections and go home.


Caldera Wins Super Size Deal
McDonald's, plans to migrate 4,000 stores to Caldera's OpenServer Release 5. Sources say IBM's MQ Series is part of the solution, as well.

Yesmail.com Making Play for CRM Clients
E-mail marketer yesmail.com is aiming to beef up its capabilities in CRM, as the customer acquisitions space sees continued weakness.

AOL marketing exec to head new unit
As part of an ongoing executive reorganization, AOL Time Warner has created a new group to coordinate advertising sales across the media giant's myriad of businesses.

E-Business as Usual for Federal Contractors
A sputtering new economy has high-tech companies refocusing attention on the old economy's largest enterprise the federal government where they see nothing but expansion ahead.

Wireless LAN -802.11b Market Growth led by Broadband Gateways
According to Dell'Oro Group, the Wireless LAN -802.11b market surged in excess of 20% during 2Q01

Why Can't E-Commerce Close The Sale?
It appears there is a whole lot of window surfing going on at e-tail Web sites and not enough buying. Why can't e-commerce close the sale? Especially when the real-world store is selling the same merchandise at a higher price?

10 Companies Compete for $3 Billion Pie
Ten companies have won a chance to compete for a piece of the $3 billion Air Force Training Systems Acquisition II contract.

Infoseek Japan and 3R Soft Get The Message
Infoseek Japan says it is working with 3R Soft to deliver an advanced messaging platform for the Japanese online market.

Siebel in the crosshair Rivals aim to oust CRM king by capitalizing on weak spots
Siebel offers more than 140 products, the most popular of which-sales-force automation and call-center applications-control more than 70 percent of the CRM market.

Server Sales Hit Hard
Don't count on growth from your server division.

Online Contests and Incentives
Permission-based database marketing has become a true winner in the online space, even amid all the industry turmoil.

Fast-Growth Entrepreneurs Seek Niche Markets
Think that innovative fast-growth entrepreneurs are on the front line of opening new global markets and launching e-commerce initiatives? If so, think again.

Hands Off Our Clips
A division of Disney is suing Video Pipeline in an effort to prevent it using movie clips on the internet.

New Deals Land CNSI Millions
Client Network Services Inc. signed a five-year, $172 million contract to provide information technology services to the National Nuclear Security Administration, a division of the Energy Department.

Aftermarket potential: no longer an afterthought
IBM takes the initiative, presents vertical industries with a bountiful database

Who Will Be Ready for a Strong E-Biz Economy?
No one is quite certain when it will happen. But it is virtually certain that eventually, the economic tide will begin to rise again. The question is: Which companies will be ready to capitalize when good times return?.

Teledesic Close to Naming Prime Contractor for Internet-in-the-Sky Network
Finalists Include Alenia Spazio and Lockheed Martin

Software replaces banner ads on popular sites
Already contending with a weak advertising market, Web publishers have another beast to worry about: Gator.

Can Companies Get Burned With Wireless Sales-Force Automation?
As economic pressures continue to tamper with business growth cycles, the responsibility for pulling the bottom line out of the fire has come to rest on the aptitude of the corporate sales department.

IRS Chooses PeopleSoft CRM Software
Internal Revenue Service awarded PeopleSoft Inc. a contract worth more than $10 million to provide customer relationship management software.

Rhythms DSL Customers Migrating to New Edge Networks
New Edge Networks is offering free DSL modems and installation to Rhythms NetConnections customers who receive service termination notices.

Ad Testing Isn't What it Used to Be
When Chuck Boteler started the Newspaper Test Network, he was sure of his concept of providing cheap rates for new advertisers to test in newspapers around the country

End of Wild Ride Ahead for Handset Semi Industry
Given current indications, the worst may be over for handset semiconductor manufacturers


This section sponsored by - Sameday.com, please visit them at

The ABCs of CRM for B2B
In a time of muted business activity and lowered expectations, the heat is being turned up on CRM in the B2B world.

Know the customer, keep the goods moving
"Deliver" profiles two very different software application categories

B2B Best Practices Break the Slump, Not the Bank
Many firms have a hard time justifying investment in B2B online sales and customer service initiatives, a new Forrester Research report found.

Collaborate With the Potential Enemy
Harness customers' interest or they'll find a solution without you

Merrill Lynch Hands Over SAN Management
Merrill Lynch is the latest big company to outsource SAN management to a third party.

Oregon flash plant may join AMD-Fujitsu joint venture
Chip maker AMD is likely to take 50 percent ownership of Fujitsu Ltd.'s Oregon fabrication plant by making it part of a joint venture established between the two companies.

Is there design collaboration for process industries?
Think of raw material variation as an engineering change order and you get the drift

New Council To Develop CRM Industry Standards
AMR Research has announced the formation of a new industry group to help develop standards and guidelines for companies.

Duo facilitates electronic collaboration
Need2Buy Inc. and Entomo Inc. have each developed software to help manufacturers and their materials suppliers better collaborate and communicate electronically.

O'Reilly Auto Parts
A chain saves $50 million with an inventory management system.

VeriSign authenticates shared hosting e-businesses
VeriSign has unveiled its Shared Hosting Security Service, which aims to provide secure and authenticated transactions to businesses doing e-commerce on shared hosting platforms.

IBM Gears Up Grid Networking for Marketplace
IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y., raised eyebrows in the technology community winning a contract to help build the United Kingdom-funded National Grid network.

DaimlerChrysler To Use Web for Vehicle Delivery
DaimlerChrysler and Union Pacific announced Tuesday that they have formed a new Web-based company to track vehicle shipments from assembly plants to dealers.

Firms Link CRM, ERP To Streamline Order Process
In an effort to help companies bridge the gap between CRM and legacy ERP software, Applix has announced an alliance with Scribe Software, a maker of B2B demand chain collaboration software.

The final points of flow
Mix of planning methods the rule, not the exception; how Ericsson does it

IBM takes aim at B2B's big 6
Company to appoint executives to oversee relationships with key e-biz leaders, such as Ariba, SAP

Retailers, Travel Companies Deploy Thousands Of Kiosks
Retailers are deploying thousands of Web-connected kiosks in stores across the U.S. to let customers buy things that aren't on shelves especially bulky items or out-of-stock niche products.

What Are You Buying?
Fundamentals for supply chain automation

Lower inventories - one of top SCM benefits in food & beverages
Supply chain management and logistics excellence are critical, competitive weapons for companies to achieve profitability and market share objectives unlocking value through both operating cost reduction and revenue growth

The CRM Dilemma - How To Choose Wisely
The good news for companies interested in further developing or expanding their customer service programs is that there are easily 500 CRM tools commercially available today.

Duo to deliver adaptive manufacturing
With a shot at bridging the gap between manufacturing shop floor operations and ERP systems, Cap Gemini and GE Cisco Industrial Networks Inc. have announced an alliance.


Still in the Money
The recent economic downswing doesn't mean your salary won't go up. In fact, even with the boom days behind us for now, generous raises, bonuses and other perks for IT managers and staff are still the norm.

Southwest's Site Keeps It Simple
From unassigned seats to its bourbon swilling founder, Southwest Airlines has always charted a contrarian path and its aggressively marketed Web site is no exception.

The Hunt for the Worm Writers
The SirCam e-mail worm and the Code Red server worms continue to wreak havoc across the Internet. A federal agency claims it's searching for the culprits, and no, the guy who wrote Red Code didn't write Code Red.

Security Experts Catch Hackers with Honey
The Honeynet Project, aimed at attracting, tracking and studying hackers, reveals an almost constant threat as malicious hackers aggressively scan for vulnerable systems and holes more than a dozen times a day.

Alameda County Taps Touch-Screen Voting System
Global Election Systems Inc. of McKinney, Texas, announced that Alameda County, Calif., will buy the company's AccuVote-TS touch screen voting equipment and associated services for about $13.5 million.

PC B-Day Reunites Old Friends
The Twentieth Birthday Party for the IBM PC was a gathering of rich, old white guys who waxed nostalgic for the old days.

Mining for Meaning
Online newsgroups are popular gathering spots; over the years they've logged millions of opinions on topics ranging from politics to appliances.

Students Say Web Is Great Help
Rising high school senior Amanda Campbell says the Internet makes getting started on her school assignments easier

All the News That's Fit to Strip
Naked News, the 2-year-old project that features broadcasters who gradually take their clothes off, holds tryouts for a new cast of talent.

Target's Target: Teen Loyalty
Retail conglomerate Target announced the launch of Bullseye, a new Web site designed to curry teens' favor with content tailored exclusively to the youth market.

Have Keyboard, Will Party
'Campus Party 2001' at Valencia University is the biggest computer event in Spain, and home to what may be the biggest local connection in the world. Matt Hilburn reports from Spain.

When and How to Outsource Your Web Hosting
For corporate executives in both high and low-tech industries, itís an all too familiar scenario: Software upgrades that hit the market every few months

Hack the Vote? Not in Broward
Officials in Florida's Broward County were scrambling to put to rest a rumor that the county would allow high school students to try to breach the security of election computers in a mock election.

Voice Portals and Services Market Reinvents Itself
Having failed at providing consumers with once promising information and commerce opportunities, the voice portal and services market is reinventing itself

Online Anonymity Wins Again
In another victory for online anonymity, a California judge has ruled that Yahoo does not need to reveal the identities of some message board posters.

Hansen to Build D.C. Licensing Portal
Hansen Information Technologies Inc. has won a contract to provide its online business licensing to the District of Columbia.

People Change Once They Go Broadband
Broadband, it turns out, changes folks. Or, at the very least, it changes the way they act once they get online.

These Ideas Make a Lot of Senses
Siggraph, Hollywood's huge graphic arts convention, staged a 'Sensapalooza' the other night. The good, the bad and the odoriferous were all discussed.

Cross-Promotion Is Key to Netscape's New Role
Signs of life can be found in Building 25, where workers are ricocheting between cubicles, playing chess in the hallways and orchestrating what could become one of the great resurrections of the Internet age

Hands-Free Cell Phone Devices Don't Improve Driver Awareness
Hands-free devices for cell phones do not appreciably reduce driver distraction, according to a study that suggests laws mandating the use of such devices may be ineffective.

Movies Will Cause Broadband Explosion
Jack Valenti knows a little bit about the power of entertainment.



Futile Quest for Kid Porn Traders
Although U.S. agents arrested dozens of suspected Web users who traded in child pornography, differences in international law make it difficult to nab all the culprits.

More IT Security Resources to Commerce
The General Accounting Office wants the Commerce Department to beef up its information security by establishing a departmentwide program, along with sufficient resources and authority to implement it.

California OKs Internet horse race wagering
New legislation signed by California Governor Gray Davis will allow the horse racing industry in that state to offer online wagering.

EU Signs Off on E-Signature Initiative
European Union regulators cleared the way for the wide-scale implementation of electronic signature initiatives.

High-tech industry unfulfilled in D.C.
Congress departed for a monthlong recess, leavingthe high-tech industry with a largely unfulfilled legislative agenda.

Adobe Hacker off Hook in Russia
Dmitry Sklyarov, accused of violating a U.S. copyright law by finding a way to bypass security in an Adobe product, wouldn't be charged in his homeland because what he did isn't illegal there, Russian authorities say.

Army Kicks Off Enterprise-Building Initiative
The Army intends to centralize systems management at about two dozen major commands under the service's chief information officer, to designate a single authority to manage information dissemination.

Plea Bargain Possible In Electronic Book Copyright Protection Case
Prosecutors and defense attorneys for a Russian computer programmer charged with circumventing electronic book copyright protections are negotiating a possible plea bargain.

Paper reveals digital music encryption flaws
A paper detailing how researchers broke the encryption scheme used to protect digital music will finally see the light, months after its original debut was derailed by legal threats.

EC restarts investigation into Galileo takeover
The European Commission says it has restarted its antitrust investigation into Cendant's $3.3 billion planned acquisition of Galileo International.

Armey Campaigns for Privacy
As House Majority Leader Dick Armey sees it, every time a camera snaps a driver running a red light or a software program tracks someone on the Internet, a piece of the Constitution is chipped away.

Court rejects FCC delay in giving spectrum to NextWave
The FCC's request to delay the implementation of a June court decision that would force the agency to return spectrum licenses to NextWave Telecom was rejected by a federal appeals court yesterday.

CIA Incubator Technologies Ready for Active Duty
Agency Leads in Development, But Can It Follow Its Own Charter?

D.C. Wants to Catalog Its Kids
Privacy advocates decry a plan to keep digital fingerprint and photo files of schoolchildren in the District of Columbia.

FCC Examines Additional Spectrum Bands to Support Advanced Wireless Services
FCC will examine additional frequency bands that could be used to support advanced wireless services, including networks for third-generation services.

Tech Elite Divided on Web Privacy Laws
The chief executive of one of the world's largest computer makers called for Internet privacy legislation to help revitalize the New Economy.

Researchers weigh publication, prosecution
A talk billed as the "presentation the RIAA does not want you to see" went ahead, as encryption researcher Edward Felten addressed security experts as planned at a conference in Washington, D.C.

Digital copyright act muffles Dutch crypto scientist
A Dutch scientist told a federal court that he was suppressing his own research surrounding a digital video encryption protocol out of fear that publishing the findings could expose him to criminal charges under a controversial U.S. law.

Chinese Webmaster's Trial Ends
The trial of the first webmaster in China to be tried on charges of subversion has ended, but the verdict remains unknown.

Internet Usage In France Grows, But Future Is Shaky
Just one in five French households has Internet access, and few plan to get connected in the near future, a new government study shows.

Bidders on FAA FTI Deal Demonstrate Convergence
FAA is in the homestretch on its multibillion-dollar telecommunications infrastructure contract, and now the challenge may be how to evaluate bids from contractors with significantly different areas of expertise.

Cyber snooping guidelines cause controversy in U.K.
The British government has issued draft guidelines for law enforcement officials wanting to invoke the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.


Back Office Where It's At for Web Real Estate Sales
HomeSquared has partnered with iBidCo to help developers better market their properties and better serve their new customers.

3COM Offers Wirlesess Certification
3Com is revising its partner program to target allies that offer Gigabit Ethernet, wireless and networked telephony experience.

Sanyo, NEC Tie on Medical Information Systems
Japanese consumer electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. and personal computer maker NEC Corp. said they agreed to team up on medical information systems to expand in the rapidly growing field.

Keane Acquires Metro Information Services
Keane Inc. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Metro Information Services Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $135 million.

Yahoo, Sony set for partnership
The deals are designed to boost Sony's visibility online and provide new revenue for Yahoo.

Buy.com founder buys back company
The founder of troubled Internet retailer Buy.com has decided to buy his company out and provide it with ongoing funding of $9 million.

CRM Firms Join Forces To Stream Software Updates
CRM Solutions Inc. and Webhelp have joined forces in an effort to reach a broader audience with online customer support.

IBM, SAS cooperate on vertical market offerings
IBM and SAS Institute Inc. have extended their relationship into packaged offerings for the telecommunications and financial services verticals.

Metricom Still Negotiating Ricochet Sale
Negotiations are still underway between Metricom and potential buyers of the company's Ricochet wireless Internet service.

Accenture Picks Up Procurement Software Firm
Accenture Ltd. has acquired San Francisco-based Epylon Corp., a supplier of electronic procurement solutions for government and education.

Amazon to Offer Circuit City Products
Online retailer Amazon.com said it will begin offering thousands of Circuit City products on its Web site

Major studios launch joint Internet film service
Five major movie studios are backing a joint venture to provide Internet-based video on demand services in the latest attempt to build what has proven to be an elusive market.

BlueKite.com Partners With Navini Networks
Navini, which offers telecom operators a wireless, cost-effective alternative to DSL and cable, will integrate BlueKite's bandwidth optimization software into its product offering.

i2 Technologies agrees to deal with collaborative network E2open
I2 Technologies will license technology from E2open, a collaboration network for the electronics industry

eBay and AOL expand partnership
eBay Inc. and AOL said, they have expanded their partnership to advertise the online auction site on AOL print and television properties, rather than just the online services associated with AOL.

Air Force Taps Northrop Grumman for Data System
Northrop Grumman Corp. has been chosen by the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a real-time systems recovery program for distributed command and control systems.

Intel, Compaq Join to Develop Devices and Applications for the Wireless Internet
Intel and Compaq announced they will collaborate to help speed the development of wireless handheld communications devices and applications

Samsung Electronics, Microsoft Team Up on Server
Samsung Electronics will launch a home network server in cooperation with U.S-based software group Microsoft.

Egghead sale could crack on privacy issues
The proposed sale of Egghead.com to Fry's Electronics could be in jeopardy if too many customers decide they don't want to be on a Fry's mailing list, according to bankruptcy filings.

FTC widens review of Monster.com-HotJobs merger
The Federal Trade Commission has asked for more information about a merger of two of the Internet's largest recruiters.

Bankrupt Montgomery Ward's business software being sold
The business software and a former Web site of bankrupt retailer Montgomery Ward LLC are being sold in an online auction to help pay debts left by the company.

Alliance takes on DDoS
McAfee is forming a partnership with three anti-DDoS vendors to develop new means of detecting and preventing denial-of-service attacks.


Kodak Joins Chorus of Windows XP Critics
Film and camera company Eastman Kodak joins the growing list of those opposed to the software giant's Windows XP tactics.

Web music services face antitrust investigation
The U.S. Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into two online music services, both scheduled to launch this fall, that are backed by the world's largest record companies.

Early efforts nip Code Red worm
Following a concerted effort to make computer users aware of the viruslike Code Red worm, the FBI said.

Justice Bans Foreign Nationals From Its IT Work
The Justice Department has banned contractors from using foreign nationals for future work on the agency's information technology systems unless the department chief information officer issues a waiver.

A Grid of Supercomputers
The National Science Foundation Public will fund the world's largest distributed supercomputer.

Supercomputer May Reveal Origin of Universe
Researchers in Britain unveiled a supercomputer that they say may be capable of revealing the deepest secrets of the cosmos the past, present and future of the universe.

DoubleClick Joins US-EU Safe Harbor Program
Double Click has signed on to the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor program, an agreement designed to protect European users' privacy.

I2 sale rumor viewed with skeptic's eye
Scott Herhold toys with a rumor that I2 Technologies, a leader in supply-chain software, is in play, with the potential suitors including Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft.

Overseas Groups Battle Their Own Net Piracy
At the height of Napster's court battles, some committed file swappers had an idea: We'll set up shop overseas, outside the reach of U.S. courts and copyright organizations.

New judge in Microsoft case 'been around the block'
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a former federal prosecutor turned judge, has been chosen to decide the fate of Microsoft in its historic antitrust battle with the U.S. government and 18 states.

IBM to Microsoft: Give Java your support
Microsoft Corp. continues to take heat for its decision to exclude Java from its products and strategy.

Court rejects Microsoft bid for delay
A federal appeals court delivered Microsoft a blow in its antitrust battle with the government, denying a request that could have indefinitely delayed further proceedings in the case.

Web 'Bugs' Can Invisibly Violate Privacy of Internet Users
When the Internet was brand new, it was lauded as a revolutionary mode of communication that would bring the whole world home to a personal computer user.

Tech's Summer of Discontent Heads Into Grim Winter
Tech's summer of discontent may turn into a dreary winter, with forecasts for a broad recovery being pushed further into next year.

U.S. Businesses Fail 'Safe Harbor' Data Privacy Test
Multinational companies based in the U.S. have a long way to go to ensure the privacy of customer data, particularly data transferred via the Internet.

NCAA Files Web Name Piracy Lawsuit
The NCAA has filed a federal lawsuit against a Phoenix company it says is using its name to sell NCAA championship tickets on the Internet

Cisco's reorganization cannot unpop the bubble
Changes will not stop slowing demand for company's products

Ad Bureau Mulls Suit Against Promo-Hiding Software Maker
Internet Ad Bureau is considering a law suit against a company it says illegally replaces paid banner ads on Web sites with alternative ads of its own choosing

State let rules slide in awarding Oracle contract without bidding
The state of California, which put numerous safeguards in place to end its string of multimillion-dollar technology blunders, ignored key precautions this spring when it signed a $126 million deal with Oracle.

IBM Launches New Branding Campaign
IBM has one of the corporate world's best-known names, but that isn't stopping it from launching a branding campaign.

Hackers Attack Japan's World Cup Web site
The official Web site of Japan's organizing committee for the 2002 World Cup finals has been shut down after computer hackers succeeded in putting an obscene message on it.


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From www.humor.com
Silicon Valley Pet Shop

A tourist walks into a pet shop in Silicon Valley, and is browsing round the cages on display. While he's there, another customer walks in and says to the shopkeeper, "I'll have a C monkey, please". The shopkeeper nods, goes over to a cage at the side of the shop and takes out a monkey. He fits a collar and leash and hands it to the customer, saying "That'll be $5000". The customer pays and walks out with his monkey. Startled, the tourist goes over to the shopkeeper. "That was a very expensive monkey - most of them are only a few hundred dollars. Why did it cost so much?" "Ah, that monkey can program in C - very fast, tight code, no bugs, well worth the money". The tourist looks at the monkeys in that cage. "That one's even more expensive - $10,000 dollars! What does it do?" "Oh, that one's a C++ monkey; it can manage object oriented programming, Visual C++, even some Java, all the really useful stuff". The tourist looks round for a little longer and sees a third monkey in a cage on its own. The price tag round its neck says $50,000. He gasps to the shopkeeper, "That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?" "Well, I don't know if it does anything, but it says it's a Contractor."

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