Online transition from offline presence

DQW Bureau
New Update


Developing a website is not about having a Net address on visiting cards but it is actually a company's first introduction to the outside world. How much difficult it may seem from the outer curve, but Internet does open new opportunities for businesses and it surely keeps you in an overtone with the rest of the world.

In a rap discussion with Ved Bhushan Sen, head (Media Solutions), Planet Asia, DQW News Bureau went Back-to-Basics (B2B) to understand what are the ingredients of having a website and how to keep it going.

To start with


Whenever you plan the framework for the worldwide web, beginning has to be from the context--actually a very broad term. If nothing new comes in, best is to look out for an example (website) that suits best to your individual requirements and follow it.

One size never fits all

It has to be customized still. It's like your realities are always unique so transmute that 'brainwave' into your language (individual needs) till you procure that distinct place on the Web. The deciding factors may be many--if maximum number of customers have access to any particular requirement; what is the way they are most comfortable in paying; which is the most popular financial institution in that area.


The first impression

  • A website is basically the easiest way to contact a company, by the people who do not know the company, so there has to be some branding attached to it. Apart from general company information, it must also tell about the products and services in a detailed manner.
  • Following just one page introduction, could be your setup of a virtual office. This is like, you don't strike a deal when a person walks into your office, but we try to make him comfortable, ask about him, his company, requirements and what is he looking for and then speak about how you can help. It should be on the Net as

  • Must be easy to browse. Not that person actually takes 20 minutes in looking for where is the place for him to give a purchase order. A detailed study, thought process and customer understanding is required to design a questionnaire for these preliminary rounds of information.



The response time thereafter if is anywhere more than 24 hours is of no use--actually then why go electronic at all.

Technology infrastructure

Adopt some basic industry standards--may be like XML standard for sharing data, which would have a basic approved and conjunct mode of accepting and sharing data. There can be some common divisions of dividing the whole content so that the whole chain can recognize it.


How to go about it

  • Strategy: "What am I selling to whom? How am I protecting my core market by expanding my customer base and product base," are just some questions you must ask yourself. A road map must be laid for an year--all that would be initiated, how would it continue and what do you plan to achieve out of it--and that is before you start with it.
  • Business process: Do not try to make it from zero to the best--in between is a concept called transitional website. You start with this one, and keep upgrading it in a sequential manner.
  • Technologies: The purpose of IT is not to be an entirely different concept that people cannot identify with. Its purpose is to make things easier. So try to use the various options available and make the most of it.

Process evaluation


To start with, clearly define the information architecture, growth path and its dependence on IT. It is in two levels: First is technology--where is the information created, stored and used. Second is to inquire if information stored was made available at the time when it was required, how easily or with what difficulty? This is preferred because one person creates the information, another takes it, third stores it and may be it is the fourth one who would actually use it. According to a study, 80 percent of the time in locating information and 20 percent time is in hand for using it and one must work towards reversing this.

Benefits you draw

  • Cut time, cut costs: Potentially the benefit would be a faster order cycle. In the entire business cycle, whatever is the time that you currently take, it would probably be reduced to half after automation.
  • Track it: One can keep a track of shortage or excess at any particular point of time and adjustments and arrangements can be made accordingly.
  • Growth low-priced: If you want to grow 10 times of your present size, it is both a costly and equally difficult affair. In your five branch offices, Net is the easiest way to inspect, manage and operate, without visiting.
  • Customer service: Today many businesses suffer because of poor service, as the decision-making authorities never really come to know of the problems. To monitor and check that at the initial stage, Net is the best bet.

Not a choice, a need

As the market is expanding by each passing day, if you do not go global, your competitor will. It is no assurance that once he is on the Net, your market is not accessible to him, so you are left with no choice.

Sell less; sell well

Now companies are not interested in expanding their product portfolios, rather they are interested in diversifying into newer markets. It centers on core competence ranging from customer knowledge to technology and product advantage, which is easier to replicate than to come up with a new product every sixth month.

But other options too

If all that sounds too much to change, then the thinking process has to be framed in layers if you actually talk of facilitating the network infrastructure. Your IT structure may be just great, but if your customer has to access it from a cyber cafe every time, he would prefer using the telephone. To meet that requirement, probably a telephone IVR system can be built, wherein a person can record his message and get his questions answered.