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ON THE SHELVES: Coming to the Net

ON THE SHELVES: Coming to the Net

From .com to .profit:

Inventing Business Models That Deliver Value and Profit by Nick Earle and Peter KeenJohn Wiley & SonsRRP: $43.80Not since the time of ERP has it been so hard for companies to decide if a technology should be driving their business strategy or vice-versa. Sure, the Internet has changed everything, but the time when anyone could simply imitate the business model of a successful Net start-up and get a venture capitalist to throw millions at them is all but over. We now know that e-business is not simply about having a snazzy Web site and a rich financial backer. But what is it about?

According to HP's chief strategist for e-services Nick Earle, and a fellow e-business consultant Peter Keen, organisations serious about sustaining a viable Web presence have to find a value proposition as a means of attracting customers and incorporate it into a well-thought-out business model, specific to the needs of whatever industry the organisation belongs to. In other words, the trick is to find a way to add value and still remain viable. Earle and Keen have written a book attempting to show you how.

From .com to .profit identifies the key drivers companies need to master in order to survive the next era of e-commerce as we supposedly enter the new phase of the Net evolution - the profit era. Arguing that far too little attention has been given to the successful business imperatives that should drive a company's e-commerce strategy, Earle and Keen devote six chapters to discussing successful Internet-integration strategies such as perfecting logistics, cultivating long-term customer relationships, harmonising channels on behalf of the customers and transforming capital and cost structures.

But despite being written as a straightforward and easy-to-read manual, the authors place too much emphasis on what not to do, opting to write primarily for larger organisations "looking to find themselves on the Net".

Furthermore, their warning that those who do not jump aboard the New Economy train will be all but damned now seems hackneyed and clichéd.

They're right about one thing, though: ".Com is about being open for business on the Web. .Profit is about making money as a business on the Web. And they are not at all the same thing."

VERDICT: Concise and entertaining with interesting case studies. It may be difficult for smaller organisations to relate to it.

The Australian Guide to the Internet

by Tony Stevenson

Pearson Education Australia

RRP: $32.95

Part of the publisher's Australian Guide series for computer users, this guide is designed for beginners intermediate users as a means of enhancing the Web experience, from getting connected to creating your own Web site using HTML and Web page editors. In between, there is useful information on download Web browsers, the best local sites, e-mail, online chat groups, online shopping and finding music, video and games on the Net.e-Business Intelligence: Turning Information into Knowledge and Profitby Bernard Liautaud, with Mark HammondMcGraw-HillRRP: $52.95e-Business Intelligence is designed as a "how to" manual for getting companies up to speed in the Internet economy by mastering the flow of information in e-commerce. By examining case studies of successful companies in e-business, the book shows how company databases can be potentially transformed into corporate intelligence gold mines. It also looks at how to strategically deploy e-business intelligence and compete in the global e-business economy.

B2B: How to Build a Profitable e-Commerce Strategyby Michael J. CunninghamAllen & UnwinRRP: $39.95B2B looks at the fundamentals of e-commerce: how to adopt B2B best practices; branding and supply chains; leveraging B2C initiatives; selecting B2B apps, services, software and so on to design a successful B2B business. The book is designed to provide a blueprint for creating a profitable business-to-business Web strategy. It examines the phenomenal success of companies in this space such as Cisco and Dell, as well as newer trailblazers such as VerticalNet and eCredit.com.


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