Page 4: Making e-business a working reality
IBM is providing the solutions in two phases:
- helping companies to create links to the Internet by creating the most appropriate systems
- building a new generation of e-business applications aimed at better customer relationship management, resource planning (ensuring supply meets demand through better monitoring of customer needs or preferences) and business intelligence (BI) which helps track customer performance.
The following case studies show how IBM has made e-business a working reality for many companies.
Through the Internet HMV can offer music to everybody 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Internet is a very powerful delivery channel for music and books because it can offer a wide range of products to anyone without a very large high street presence. IBM provided HMV with an e-commerce presence based on a combination of:
• IBM AS/400 platform - This integrates hardware, software, middleware and operating system to help run e-business – i.e. allows lots of people to order on-line at one time.
• Java - A tool to help ordering online.
• Websphere technology - Software that handles everything from catalogue and store front creation to security and payment processing.
While many of HMV’s UK high street stores offer a very wide range of music, the HMV Media Group wanted to offer customers the same selection, wherever they live. The solution was the development of an e-business website, which offers an extensive range of music, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This solution also provides HMV with an excellent marketing tool to find out what customers are looking for. By analysing customer ordering on the Web, HMV can obtain a much clearer understanding of what the public is buying.
Handelsbanken is the largest Scandinavian bank. Working with IBM it has developed systems for connecting customers to their bank account network through their mobile phones. The bank recognised its PC-based Internet banking service was rapidly becoming outmoded as customers sought to bank wherever and whenever they needed to do so. Research showed that Nordic countries have the highest use of mobile information devices in the world. This trend is also booming on a global scale with wireless subscriptions predicted to pass the one billion mark by 2003.
Handelsbanken chose IBM as its computing solution provider because it could supply hardware, software and the infrastructure to hold together the computing architecture. IBM’s experts devised a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) solution - the industry standard for mobile Internet services - for Handelsbanken in under two months. It was integrated into the bank’s system in a record-breaking two weeks. These developments will give customers access to stock market data, account information and the ability to transfer money, buy goods and services, and pay bills simply by using their mobile phones.
Other examples of IBM solutions include:
- www.toycity.com - A Danish company website enabling customers to tour a virtual toyshop examining the merchandise and ordering toys from a wide range of famous brands.
- www.hazle.com - a specialist site outlining the ceramics of British artist Hazle Boyles Using the Web enables a talented individual like Hazle to sell her products in global markets including the lucrative US market. The site was created by IBM Business Partner, Quantum. Quantum specialises in offering affordable solutions to get small businesses onto the net using IBM technology. The site was built using HomePage Creator for e-business, a fully integrated solution that offers the tools a business needs to build an online store.