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September 22, 1999
E-business is not just e-commerceNeena Haridas at Pragati Maidan
The main problem that the traditional companies have in moving to e-business is that they believe e-business equals e-commerce, warns Vivek Kwatra, general manager, sales and marketing, Cambridge Technology Partners.
And there is no bigger mistake that a company can make, he assures. Kwatra is addressing the India Internet World '99 here today.
Talking about how to set up a company for e-business, Kwatra says e-business involves the conduct of business on the Net.
E-commerce, he differentiates, should be looked at only as transaction on the Net and companies can step into the cyber market only if this myth is broken.
Kwatra says the importance of e-business lies in realising the fact that it is fast becoming a customer driven and that e-business goes beyond creating a Web site.
To begin with, he says, companies must realise the power of the Net community for cross selling. He says it is irrelevant if a company conducts e-business based on its own USP. Instead, he suggests, that they adopt the co-rad approach that combines the disciplines and provides a multiple base for attracting revenue.
He says creating an effective e-business hence involves integrating the company's value chain with that of others.
For instance, he says, Swissair, while creating its online reservation site, decided to go in for more than just reservation. Instead the company linked its value chain with that of Dominos, Pizza Hut or car rentals so that a customer who enters the Swissair site will not have to go out of it to ask for a car pickup or a pizza when he is back home.
Kwatra says for companies to get initiated to e-business the best approach is a piecemeal approach that makes optimum use of the intranet and the extranet.
Using these media will help the company create a better link between the various chains of operations.
Kwatra says another major decision that the company needs to make is deciding on the kind of services that it wants to provide and the target customer.
Kwatra says another area that the companies tend to ignore is the creative and cognitive aspect while setting up the e-business.
He says a company that decided to go into e-business will have to understand the return on investment and should not consider the Net as just another opening.
He says economy and consumer behaviour on the Net could be very different from physical realities and hence a misunderstanding of this will pull the surfer off the site.
"The fact is that the customer is only one click away from competition. In the physical model a company might have a chance even if the customer is undecided, but in virtual reality there is no second chance," says Kwatra.
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