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, 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.

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