Alexis's Ark

The E-biz Primer

By Alexis Leon & Mathews Leon, Tata McGraw-Hill, 2001.

The Internet and WWW are changing the way we do business. Today's businesses need a web presence-an e-commerce enabled web presence-to compete effectively. Creating web portals has become a major business activity. So two of the most important trends that are creating waves in the business circles is creating an e-commerce enabled web site and creating a popular web portal.

The discipline of e-commerce and e-business is an exciting field of study as it is exploding and growing at an exponential rate. The WWW was born less than a decade ago and is yet to reach its full potential. As the Internet and WWW evolve further, so do their surrounding environment and business processes and applications. E-commerce and e-business are two areas that deeply encompasses many different disciplines of study-accounting, business law, cyber laws, information systems, marketing, advertising, Internet, Internet security, management, customer relations, production, and so on.

Any business that plans to compete globally requires a Web presence. Web presence does not mean that creating a corporate web site that gives the details about the company and its products. To succeed in this highly competitive and global economy, the organization's web site should offer the customers the ability to do business with the company over the Internet. It should offer the customers personalized and high-quality service over the web. It should offer the customers from all parts of the globe service round the clock-24x7 service. So there is a lot more than setting up a web site for business success. This book gives you the details on what you should do to make your web sites successful. This books shows how to do the marketing on the web, how to attract and retain customers, how to add value to your services so that you are always ahead of your competition and finally how to improve the profit margins so that your organization can be successful.

There has been considerable interest in the creation of web portals in the recent past. Some of the high-value acquisitions have stirred the imagination of many and now everybody is trying to setup a web portal of one kind or the other. According to Ms. Kaur (Computers Today, 16 -31 March 2000) "there is a mad scramble for sites to call themselves portals. Backed by venture capitalists, angel investors or big business groups, such dotcom ventures are clouding the net firmament. They all want to do something fast-generate interest, launch an IPO or get acquired in a Rs. 499 Cr deal." But setting up a portal and making it a success is not an easy job. It requires careful planning and the right strategies. The selection of the trading partners should be carefully done; the infrastructure and software solutions should be the right ones. The portal management is a continuous activity, which if not done properly, can ruin everything. So setting up a portal is easy, making it a success is not. So if the portals are not created without proper planning, set up without good strategies and managed inefficiently then they will crash land before taking off. This book gives enough information and practical advise on how to create and manage a web portal.

The book gives a lot of examples-both Indian and foreign-so that the readers can go to those successful web sites / portals and see for themselves what they should do and what they should not. The book also has case studies to reinforce the points discussed. There are chapters devoted on the tools, solutions that are suited for small, medium and large businesses.