A little over a year ago, Var World looked at opportunities for Vars presented by the Internet. While the article was flawed by being a little premature, many of its central points have been borne out.
The Internet is fast expanding beyond what Americans call the 'dead Web', in other words a medium for disseminating static information. The US (and therefore Europe before long) is experiencing a dramatic growth in what is being termed the Worldwide Transaction Web, where businesses are using the Web to allow customers to place orders or to manage inventory online. Hesitancy and fear are being replaced by a mad rush. Around 37 per cent of US Fortune 1,000 companies are currently carrying out at least some online transactions on the Web and that figure is set to rise to 73 per cent by 1997, according to market researcher Forrester.
Corporate demand for Net-based online business systems is only one need that Vars can fulfil. In our Sales feature this month we look at three hot new opportunities, dripping with added value potential, two of which are Internet-related. One is the market for Internet terminals, which is about to be galvanised by a product launch from Sun.
Not all PC manufacturers agree the desktop PC is a thing of the past, but even diehard PC players like Compaq concede the mobile computing market looks ripe for some sort of Internet terminal-based solution. The other hot opportunity is company intranets as a substitute for or an adjunct to groupware and messaging systems as we know them. If you want to get ahead, make friends with the Web.
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