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In this Internet-centric age, e-commerce applications are rapidly overtaking the more traditional sales force in terms of impact on revenue. Consider your company's sales force. In the past, and perhaps even more so in today's economic climate, no company would simply hire sales reps and set them loose. Rather, a company creates an infrastructure to manage this critical asset. It provides supervision, and it makes sure the reps are managed with the appropriate measures--not by tracking simply T&E expenses but also interactions with customers, sales pipeline and so on.

e-Commerce applications require a similar management infrastructure. Deploying e-commerce applications without having management software in place is like deploying a field sales force without supervision. With e-commerce applications, you need application management software. The systems management software typically used by IT departments is not the answer, as that only monitors the health of the system. What's needed is the digital equivalent of a sales operations manager. You need application management software in place to measure and monitor the health of transactions and business logic.


No one in business today needs to be told about the significance of the Internet. Never in the history of communication has a medium moved as rapidly from "innovative" to "essential." After a mere five years, the Internet has become the backbone for conducting business. Indeed, for many businesses, the Internet has replaced all other forms of communication, both human and otherwise, in its prominence in customer interactions.

In forming the basis for business, the Internet has thrust technology into the limelight. Once used to support back-office operations, today's applications are the basis for almost all aspects of business. As a result, the number of applications has expanded exponentially, the size of each application has grown, and integration between applications has become essential. And that just takes care of the basics. Every executive can point to companies that, despite investing millions of dollars, still failed. What critical factors enable some organizations to flourish in today's economy while others founder?

Applications alone are not enough. Successful companies require an application architecture that is flexible enough to support new applications and to integrate them seamlessly with those already in place. This architecture must be integral to business requirements and must be managed effectively to:

  • Ensure reliability
  • Enhance performance
  • Enable planning for future technology requirements
  • Support mission-critical business objectives


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