A host of channel figures have set up an online e-commerce school, the Ecademy, to dispel a reluctance by resellers to adapt to the technology.
The aim of the Ecademy will be to train individuals in every aspect of e-commerce. It will establish its own industry qualifications, covering areas such as security and planning. The qualification will be based around 12 e-commerce principles, encapsulated in the Ecademy's 12 Ecommandments.
Steven Clarke, managing director and ex-Datrontech sales director, fronts the operation, which was launched on 1 March. Penny Power, ex-sales and marketing director at Bytech Peripherals, founded the Ecademy with her husband Thomas Power, an e-commerce guru. Glen Watkins, ex-IT manager for Var Cunninghams, is the Webmaster and membership director.
Clarke admitted UK resellers had been reluctant to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon. 'Ecademy will offer resellers information on how e-commerce can help reduce transactional costs and increase the efficiency of their operation.
E-commerce enhances distributor, dealer and vendor relationships. But resellers need to understand that e-commerce does not mean they get cut out - it means they make more money,' he said.
Membership reached 250 in the first week after original plans to charge a $300 joining fee were scrapped in favour of seeking sponsors. Infobank, Excite, Inktomi and Net Logistics have already agreed to stump up cash for the site.
Penny Power said: 'We will become the internet knowledge portal and the recognised industry standard for e-commerce training. It will also offer networking possibilities and careers counselling.'
Thomas Power added that the Ecademy setup would help educate the market: 'E-commerce is not a clear subject yet. Companies are trying to figure out where they play in the market.'
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