RealTime IT News

Microsoft Bows E-Commerce Solution

Microsoft Monday unveiled its Dotsmart Initiative, which is designed to build an online business in 45 days or less.

The premise is simple, according to Prashant Shukla, group manager, Microsoft's Dot-Com Initiative. "We have relaunched the Microsoft E-Commerce site so that it offers everything the customer needs to know," he explained. "The site is a technical center that details everything from architecture to business goals to IT solutions. By placing all the information in one place, we have compressed the time element and allowed people to prototype solutions and quickly get them from concept to reality."

The Initiative aims to present relevant content in an organized and clear fashion, he added. "The Microsoft dotSmart initiative helps decision makers plan, build, and manage businesses on the Internet. We have provided everything in one easy-to-find location.

"Additionally, we fortified and expanded the existing site with more than 100 new or revised pages, tighter partner integration and a strong emphasis based on customer feedback and interaction. We provide all the information, resources and data that dot-com customers need," Shukla said.

Features of the initiative include a partner connection in which customers can communicate directly with Microsoft as well as get follow-up from a specialist in a particular field. Partner companies provide expertise in such areas as networking, systems management, messaging systems; support for applications written by other companies; pre-packaged productivity and business solutions; custom application development; packaged software application development; Web site design/development; end-to-end e-commerce solutions, and Web hosting services.

"We have experienced great success with the relaunch of hsn.com, the Web site for the Home Shopping Network (HSN). By using our service, HSN improved its ability to deliver new functionality," Shukla said.

HSN Interactive significantly improved its ability to deliver future improvements and remain competitive," according to Scott Mitchell, chief technology officer, HSN Interactive. "The solution's tightly integrated products and services have enabled us to leverage software that has already been built, whether by Microsoft or a third party. "We were able to rebuild our entire Web site from the ground up in under 45 days."

Shukla estimates that the Microsoft solution is 50 percent faster than similar services. The Initiative is geared toward B2B and B2C operations as well as startups or pure plays, he noted.