Com Tech adopts e-business mantra

One of the IT industry's longest serving buzz words has become the mantra for this year's Com Tech Forum X conference, and it's still going strong.

E-business is not only the subject of Com Tech's own IT solutions showcase and corporate positioning, but it's quickly become the talking point of each speaker and 740 delegates at the Hyatt Regency Coolum today.

During this morning's keynote, Cisco's Internet business solutions group director, John Sifonis, detailed the company's own sophisticated approach to a Web-centric business model with everything from HR, expenses and sales forecasting conducted online.

"The business strategy is the IT strategy, and the IT strategy can impact the business strategy," he said.

His speech centred on forging customer-centric Internet-based business, tinged with the usual Cisco mottos "failure is not an option" and conducting business by "ruthless execution".

However, beyond the usual talk of changing business strategies to take advantage of the Internet is the emergence of a feeling that we still need to justify and defend the Internet itself.

Com Tech executive chairman David Shein put it succinctly this morning in his opening comments. "It's important not to confuse the end of the dot-com revolution with the Internet revolution."

Shein explained much of the IT industry is built on the steady success of stable, profitable companies like Com Tech. And Dimension Data's recent purchase of the remaining 24 per cent of Com Tech was in his view an illustration of the global strength needed to compete in a global market.

With Com Tech profits up 60 per cent this year to $40 million on revenues of $690, Shein could only predict good times ahead. His new parent generates $4 billion in revenues, $400 million in profits and has a market cap of $2 billion.

In quoting GE's in-vogue CEO Jack Welsh, Shein commented "the Internet and e-commerce belong to the big and the old". This was indeed a statement of vision from what was a traditional reseller, but has now become a bell-wether of the Australian IT services landscape.

Over the next three days we can expect to hear more insights into the future of e-centric business. In fact, we can probably expect to hear more about Jack Welsh too. ARN's current Welsh-quote-o-meter stands at five.

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