The E-biz Primer

category: Books
by Mathews,

By Alexis Leon & Mathews Leon, Tata McGraw-Hill, 2001.

The E-biz Primer

The Internet and WWW are changing the way we do business. Today’s businesses need a web presence-an e-commerce enabled web presence-to compete effectively. Creating web portals has become a major business activity. So two of the most important trends that are creating waves in the business circles is creating an e-commerce enabled web site and creating a popular web portal.

The discipline of e-commerce and e-business is an exciting field of study as it is exploding and growing at an exponential rate. The WWW was born less than a decade ago and is yet to reach its full potential. As the Internet and WWW evolve further, so do their surrounding environment and business processes and applications. E-commerce and e-business are two areas that deeply encompasses many different disciplines of study-accounting, business law, cyber laws, information systems, marketing, advertising, Internet, Internet security, management, customer relations, production, and so on.

Any business that plans to compete globally requires a Web presence. Web presence does not mean that creating a corporate web site that gives the details about the company and its products. To succeed in this highly competitive and global economy, the organization’s web site should offer the customers the ability to do business with the company over the Internet. It should offer the customers personalized and high-quality service over the web. It should offer the customers from all parts of the globe service round the clock-24×7 service. So there is a lot more than setting up a web site for business success. This book gives you the details on what you should do to make your web sites successful. This books shows how to do the marketing on the web, how to attract and retain customers, how to add value to your services so that you are always ahead of your competition and finally how to improve the profit margins so that your organization can be successful.

There has been considerable interest in the creation of web portals in the recent past. Some of the high-value acquisitions have stirred the imagination of many and now everybody is trying to setup a web portal of one kind or the other. According to Ms. Kaur (Computers Today, 16 -31 March 2000) “there is a mad scramble for sites to call themselves portals. Backed by venture capitalists, angel investors or big business groups, such dotcom ventures are clouding the net firmament. They all want to do something fast-generate interest, launch an IPO or get acquired in a Rs. 499 Cr deal.” But setting up a portal and making it a success is not an easy job. It requires careful planning and the right strategies. The selection of the trading partners should be carefully done; the infrastructure and software solutions should be the right ones. The portal management is a continuous activity, which if not done properly, can ruin everything. So setting up a portal is easy, making it a success is not. So if the portals are not created without proper planning, set up without good strategies and managed inefficiently then they will crash land before taking off. This book gives enough information and practical advise on how to create and manage a web portal.

The book gives a lot of examples-both Indian and foreign-so that the readers can go to those successful web sites / portals and see for themselves what they should do and what they should not. The book also has case studies to reinforce the points discussed. There are chapters devoted on the tools, solutions that are suited for small, medium and large businesses.

How the book is organized?

The book has six sections (27 chapters) and 4 appendices. The first section gives an introduction to web sites, portals and e-commerce. It also deals with the evolution of e-commerce and the different types of e-commerce that are in use-. The second section deals with the details of setting up a web business-the basic information that you need, what infrastructure you need, how to find the right business partners and so on. Section three deals in great detail about the setting up of a web site or a web portal. It discusses the details of web site/portal creation and the solutions available to do that. The solutions for all kinds of businesses are discussed.

Section four of the book deals with Internet security issues, secure payment mechanisms, electronic payment options, credit cards and credit card processing and so on. It also discusses the different electronic payment options and how to choose a payment acceptance strategy. The section also discusses the details of merchant support agencies-a service that will be very useful for web merchants from countries that have foreign exchange regulations. Section five of the book deals with the implementation of the e-business system in the company. Accepting payments through the Internet is not the ultimate goal of an e-commerce project. You have to make changes to the way you do business to compete with other Internet companies. Or in other words, you will have to transform your company to an e-business. This section discusses how to do that, and how to manage the transformation. This section also deals with topics like advertising on the web, analyzing the web statistics, personalizing the web site for your customers and so on and gives you many practical and surefire tips and techniques to attract and retain customers. The final section contains two chapters that contain practical advice on how to make money in cyberspace, how to avoid mistakes and how to survive, thrive and beat the competition.

The first appendix gives a list of e-commerce and e-business resources on the Internet. The second appendix gives you several case studies that illustrates and amplify the points that are discussed in the book. The case studies are drawn from real life examples-from all over the world. The third appendix is a glossary of terms that have become part of the Internet and e-commerce vocabulary. The last appendix gives a list of books on related topics, which we think will be useful for you.

Who should read this book?

This book is written for managers, executives, entrepreneurs and professionals who are planning to start an on-line business, or who are entrusted with the task of taking their businesses on-line or who are planning to start an on-line business. The principles, theories and techniques mentioned here would be equally useful irrespective of whether you are starting your company or extending your business on-line or transforming your web site into and e-commerce enabled virtual storefront.

We have given a great deal of emphasis on how to setup and manage web portals, how to choose the business associates, how to improve the customer care and so on using real life examples. So this book will be useful for the people who are managing or creating web portals. Finally this book will serve as course material for any course that teaches the fundamentals of e-commerce and e-business and the creation and implementation of profitable web sites and portals. The companion CD of the book contains a CBT on the importance, origins, features, advantages and future of e-commerce. This CBT will be invaluable to students and for anyone who want to know about e-commerce and related areas.

The style and approach of the book is intended to be practical rather than theoretical. It is written in an easy-to-understand and jargon free style. This book will also be of interest to a general reader who want to know about the fascinating world of Internet, WWW, e-commerce, e-business, web site /portal creation, management and so on.