PLACE TO SPACE: Migrating to eBusiness Models

Peter Weill, Author, Michael Vitale, Author, Michael Vitale, Joint Author
Peter Weill, Author, Michael Vitale, Author, Michael Vitale, Joint Author . Harvard Business School $35 (372p) ISBN 978-1-57851-245-4
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Despite the recent, unsettling dot-com fallout, the authors claim that the e-revolution is here to stay. Moreover, they say, with few exceptions, solidly managed, financially stable traditional companies will lead the most productive, profitable and long-term forays into e-commerce. Weill and Vitale, affiliated with MIT's Sloan School of Management and the Australian Graduate School of Management, respectively, use extensive surveys and research to show how bricks-and-mortar companies can and should use the Internet to expand their businesses profitably. While a consumer may simply want a user-friendly Web site, businesses have to evaluate a range of questions, including financial, technical and marketing issues, when creating an e-business. The notion of ownership is crucial: "In any e-business model, there are three important questions of ownership—who owns the customer relationship, who owns the customer data and who owns the customer transaction." The book expands on key e-business models and includes brief profiles of companies like Lonely Planet and Cisco. This highly technical study will appeal primarily to information technology specialists, e-business consultants and company executives ready to roll up their sleeves and take a hard look at their infrastructure and channels of distribution in order to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the Internet. Still, the writing is clear, and the authors use a textbook approach with chapter summaries that will enhance readers' ability to turn their analysis into practical application. (May 28)

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