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We can't survive without IT

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DQW Bureau
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This one is truly a landmark as far as bookstores are concerned. Be it on Nungambakkam High Road or at Spencer's Palza, one can't miss the Landmark, a bookstore that has embraced technology like no other.

"Since its inception in 1987, Landmark has always been very techno-savvy. We've been technology addicts since day one. We'd realized early that it is IT that is going to make us what we want to become. In 1987, when hard discs were still in MBs and when networking was a relatively new frontier, Landmark had invested in a server with five to seven nodes. We just had to have information at our finger tips," says Hemu Ramaiah, Partner, Landmark.





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Today, Landmark boasts of five IBM servers and 150 nodes. Novell networked, Landmark has its shops on the Intranet, so that information flow is smooth and unhindered.

"We keep ungrading our machines every two years. And we constantly keep tinkering with our software and modify 50 to 60 programs on an average every year," says Hemu

Ramaiah.

Chennai-based LogicSoft is the developer of the famed 'Landmark' software. Nexus Computers, Landmark Infotech Systems and Solutions and MD Tolia are the hardware providers for Landmark.

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Landmark launched its online bookstore, called landmarkonthenet.com, in 2000, for which Lasersoft took care of the backend and Digital Tantra managed the fronted aspects of the project. Landmark has tied up with Sify, which takes care of the transactions at the site.

Future plans include a CRM package, an 'Amazonian' project that Landmark is working on currently, and which it hopes will be capable of anticipating customer wishes and treating them individually. Landmark is also building up a 50,000 strong interactive customer mailing list, in addition to taking initiatives with regards to data warehousing and data mining. A supply chain management package of international standards is also on the anvil.

Regarding IT investment, Landmark has no fixed budget. "We buy when we need machines. So far, we'd have invested over a crore on IT initiatives," says Hemu

Ramaiah.

Summing it up, Hemu Ramaiah says, "We cannot survive without technology". Landmark uses IT extensively for ordering, logistics, stock transfers, customer information, billing and security to mention a few. Whew!

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