It is an indisputable fact that such consumer-led initiatives as free web access and free PCs are increasing the potential for ecommerce or ebusiness.
For organisations and individuals around the world, this represents a tremendous opportunity. At present rates of growth, it won't be too long before web access is as widespread as mobile telephones or even televisions.
In fact, TV and cellular phones are fast becoming internet capable.
According to research, the most significant challenge facing almost every business is the task of integrating existing IT systems with recent technologies to meet the ever-changing market demands on their companies. This is especially the case with ebusiness.
But one thing is sure in this fast-moving world - there will be continuing and accelerating changes in both technologies and markets. For companies, this means it is imperative to keep their IT infrastructures as flexible as possible to retain a competitive advantage. An organisation that is unable to adopt fresh technologies or change its business model to embrace the ecommerce revolution, will be left by the wayside.
Organisations must remember that the internet is a global and open market with every competitor able to see everything that its rivals have to offer.
However, what they can't see - and this is where considerable competitive advantage can be gained - is what lies behind the virtual storefront.
How an organisation manages to react, and how quickly it can do so, can be crucial. For resellers, it is important to take a strategic look at both their own business practices and their customers' against those of competitors. They must reassess how best to serve their own needs, as well as to meet customer demands. If they don't, someone else will.
Resellers also have an important role to play in assessing corporate needs by implementing suitable technologies and providing high levels of support both before and after service delivery.
Existing corporate data assets can be the greatest point of leverage for companies that wish to exploit the potential of ebusiness. It is here that the channel needs to be most prepared to meet customer demands.
It is probably even more important in the reseller sector, and a great opportunity for those that are able to help customers to see clearly through the numerous options.
With focus on ebusiness, the host of products coming onto the market require the added-value skills of the channel. XML products are a good example. XML is a significant step in enabling the web for ebusiness.
The technology has some way to go before it is considered standard in the way that, say, SQL is, but that doesn't mean it cannot be used to provide innovative packages.
One such application is the integration of web-based XML data with the internal information systems of businesses, just as if it were another RDBMS. The VAR community in particular can balance this type of functionality with its existing technologies and differentiate its products.
But this is just one example of many that can offer the channel an interesting and lucrative ecommerce business model. The opportunities are immense and appear to be growing by the day. It is entirely up to the organisations or individuals to take the initiative and be first off the mark. Those that fail, will not be around in the future.
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