Sapient: Leverage networks for e-commerce

Access to the Internet, high-speed connectivity and advanced networking should be leveraged by end users to develop collaborative electronic business, said Jerry Greenberg, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Internet business consultant Sapient during a keynote speech at Internet World.

The cost of handling information is dramatically lower in the Internet age and the importance of information has increased, so companies should focus on building creative Web sites with strategic use of digital technology for every aspect of their business, he said on Thursday.

Companies should take advantage of the current higher speed connectivity and focus on how to channel the flow of information available inside their companies and with other companies, which is what the evolution of networking is about, he said.

This should be done through CRM (Customer Relations Management) software, e-procurement, and solid strategies, he added.

Previously, companies operated as islands separated from their suppliers and distributors. Customers, too, did not provide useful feedback information. Evolving networks can help end this isolation and benefit companies, according to Greenberg.

"This is what's new today, and is the difference that will drive a value economy," Greenberg said.

Product development, which drives 30 percent of revenue according to Greenberg, is another key element that companies should focus on to survive, he said.

Like previous keynote speakers, Greenberg also voiced pessimistic thoughts about the current state of the IT industry.

"We have the legacy of the Internet bubble and it worries me that people are searching for a next big thing instead of synthesizing the experience," he said.

To wrap up his presentation, Greenberg said that now that the stock market gold rush is over, companies should return to the fundamentals of business.

"We will not know the bottom of the marketplace until the recession passes, but meanwhile we should make an creative effort to survive," he said.

Internet World closes Friday. More information of the event can be found at http://www.internetworld.com.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sapient can be reached at +617-621 0200 or at http://www.sapient.com.

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