I’m pleased to have joined the ranks at Exadel as a business consultant focused on m-commerce. In my twenty or so years in the IT industry (you don’t really need to know how many), I’ve been lucky enough to keep a focus on transaction processing and electronic commerce. I’ve been able to bear witness to the massive change that each new wave of technology has on the way business is conducted. After many years in market research though, I’m pre-conditioned to be a skeptic, and I know I’m not alone in this personality quirk. Time and time again, I hear complaints about the “hype” as each new wave emerges. (OK, to be fair, much of that is from me talking to myself.)
It’s easy to be skeptical. Even in this rapidly changing dynamic industry, I am often reminded that some things never change. I’ve often joked with friends and colleagues that we could probably recycle articles or presentations from many years ago and they would still be relevant. (Notice I prefer to think of this as recycling or reuse and not lazy thinking.)
My colleague’s blog series, “Thoughts on M-Commerce,” reminded me of these conversations as I tried to think of something new to bring to the table that was not already covered in these great pieces. Being a good social networking geekette I tweeted and facebooked as I pondered what to blog about.
One friend advised I should just blog about him — with the disclaimer that he is a qualified m-commerce app. After all, people call him on his mobile and ask him if he can grab them stuff at the store on the way home or to friends. He further qualified his feature set by stating that he is a complete transactional system as he typically completes the task and delivers the product. (However, the line was drawn on this mobile app having widespread adoption as he only accepts cash.)
This got me thinking about an article I wrote in 1996 for Application Development Trends entitled, “Six Steps to Internet Commerce”. Could I recycle some of this article in relation to m-commerce? I dug it out and took a look, and in the spirit of green computing, decided to reuse this gem…
“Every sale, whether conducted electronically, over the telephone or in-person involves six consistent stages. These stages are true for any product, from a pack of gum to an automobile. Each sale includes the introduction of the product, the qualification of the product (ensuring the product meets specifications or requirements), the presentation of the product (the first look), a demonstration of the product, a proposal, and finally, the exchange of assets. These steps are the anatomy of a sale. By examining the anatomy of a sale in greater detail, we can clearly pinpoint where different technologies fit into each crucial role…”
The rest of the article needs a great deal of modification in order to be relevant as it’s related to early object technology adoption and now passé middleware solutions… Still, it provides me with a nice base for future blog posts! Often as a new wave of technology occurs it’s easy to get lost in the fray of acronyms and market penetration statistics and thoughts-of-impending-integration-induced-insomnia while losing focus on the core business issues to consider. When considering any technology direction it often makes sense to sit back, regroup, and remember the business drivers that may, or may not, lead to a plan of adoption. Stay tuned for my next blog posting which will take a look at Stage One: “Introduction of the Product” and it’s relation to m-commerce.
Yay for recycling!