For those of you out there who still read philosophy on occasion, you’ve undoubtedly come across Pascal. Well, the Frenchman believed in the gamble in existence, but for businesses today who are venturing into the land of e-business, it’s about eliminating the risk.
Toronto software company B Sharp is using IBM’s WebSphere in an attempt to do just that.
B Sharp has used the IBM’s e-business solution in their on-line venture. “Essentially, we’re on-line embroidery (and) we signed up with IBM to gain access to a plethora of WebSphere and IBM tools/strategies,” said Robert Lazar, senior partner at B Sharp.
WebSphere is a universal Internet software platform that can support any kind of e-business. Offering advanced, end-to-end, integrated e-commerce features that seamlessly link to existing systems, it can adapt as goals, strategies and target markets change – providing a base for building or expanding business on the Web.
The latest WebSphere software platform from IBM permits enterprises to: rearchitect applications and integrate them for superior flexibility and power; build dynamic and profitable e-business applications with the innovative tools that WebSphere provides; redesign business processes and integrate them while reducing costs and improving customer experience; and speed the development of Java-based Web applications with the WebSphere Application Server V4.0, according to IBM.
On the B Sharp site, an organization is able to order t-shirts with a particular company logo in minimum quantities on-line by entering a series of text and information by registering the company on the site. When that is completed, the company would then see the organization’s logo on the shirt, Lazar said. Companies have the option of downloading art from the site, or providing a sketch of their own. He added that the site could be used as a B2B or a B2C tool.
With the cost of infrastructure high for most small to medium size businesses, adopting WebSphere can save companies in start up costs; however, IBM believes that they offer more than just cost saving.
Derek Bildfell said, “it’s much cheaper to buy from IBM (and) we offer performance, speed of deployment and integration.” The program director for WebSphere Business in Markham, Ont., added that B Sharp “is building their entire e-business by taking advantage of all of IBM’s software systems.” Bildfell added that B Sharp has essentially made the front end the browser and have the customer interface with the browser.
Does this sound like a company patting itself on the back? Perhaps, but with good reason and with support from one analyst who thinks the claim is justified.
“IBM has established itself as a relative powerhouse in terms of e-enabling business by having done a number of these projects, ” said Mark Quigley. The associate director for research, Yankee Group in Brockville, Ont. said the tradition of the company is part of the reason for their success. “Having an established company, that is old economy so to speak, that has been around, that’s not going to go bankrupt and not spending time searching for funding, are spending their time servicing their customers.”
Quigley also acknowledged the costs that accompany looking for an on-line presence, and finding a reliable company could make all the difference, he said.