What's Your E-Business Strategy?
Leading-edge VARs and integrators are selling e-business applications such as: e-commerce, supply chain management, sales force automation, and customer relationship management. Why aren't you?
You don't have to go far to find evidence of the rapid growth of e-business. Forrester Research (Cambridge, MA) reports that consumers spent $8 billion online in 1998. That figure is expected to grow to approximately $130 billion in the next four years.
However, online shopping (business-to-consumer transactions) is only one segment of e-business. There are many other business-to-business processes that are moving to the Web. Some of these include supply chain management (SCM), sales force automation (SFA), and customer relationship management (CRM).
When you consider all of the business-to-business processes that could benefit from the Web, the e-business market has potential for tremendous growth. In fact, a recent Business Week article reported that "E-commerce between businesses is five times as much as consumer e-commerce, or about $43 billion last year (1998). And by 2003, Forrester Research predicts that e-commerce between businesses will balloon to $1.3 trillion."
VARs Need To Actively Pursue E-Business Opportunities
With such a colossal market, VARs and integrators who haven't started offering e-business products and services had better reconsider. At a recent press conference, a spokesperson from SAP (Newton Square, PA) announced, "VARs need to assume a much larger role in implementing Internet solutions." The spokesperson added that the Internet is growing so quickly that, in the near future, SAP will become known as an Internet company, rather than an enterprise-wide solution provider.
Examples of companies and organizations repositioning themselves around e-business can be found throughout the technology industry. AIIM International (The Association for Information and Image Management) in Silver Spring, MD, recently concluded that the organization needs to strongly link document management technologies to e-business.
VARs Seizing Profits In E-Business
Business Solutions is fiercely committed to providing VARs and integrators like you with the tools to succeed in the e-business market. Throughout 2000, we will include VAR features, installation reviews, software updates, industry news, and guest opinions on e-business. This issue spotlights two integrators who are capitalizing on e-business opportunities.
Our featured document management and imaging integrator, American Management Systems, Inc. [Click here to read this story, ed.], claims e-business accounts for one-quarter of its gross sales. That's pretty significant — considering the integrator's 1998 gross sales were $1.06 billion. The Fairfax, VA, integrator built the Medicare.gov Web site and recently began offering Siebel Systems' Web-enabled suite of sales and marketing tools.
Also, an installation review in this issue [Click here to read this story, ed.] features integrator SWK, Inc. implementing an e-commerce solution. The Upper Montclair, NJ, integrator combined Eventra's electronic data interchange (EDI) translation software and bar code products into an electronic ordering system for collectibles manufacturer The Boyds Collection, Ltd.
E-Business: Carpe Diem
The e-business market could rocket your business to a higher level – expanded customer base, larger product offering, and higher sales. Or, for companies that wait too long to jump on board with this technology, e-business could eventually destroy them. Which kind of company do you want to be?
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