Like it or not, the Internet is here to stay. And an increasing proportion of world trade and business is being conducted today in cyber-space. No scouting around in shopping malls and store shelves, just log in, check out, pick up stuff. Steve Young, vice-president Internet and Electronic commerce at Gartner Group Consulting Services, and Kapi Attawar, director of electronic commerce (Asia Australia), Hewlett-Packard, were two Net evangelists who were in India recently. While
Attawar came to sell HP products, Young was here to guide buyers through the trends in the industry. Both stressed that businesses—especially smaller ones—have to get on to the Net.
Gautam Chikermane spoke to them, and came back with his cynicism a wee bit frayed.
Let's start with the basics. What is e-commerce all about?
Steve Young: It's the use of the Internet or other networks to actually further business objectives. Many companies now are using the Internet just for public relations purposes: having their name out there, a statement from the...