my web

Monday, April 04, 2005

Business Plan Extract

LemonT Game Company is a small corporation in the first year of development. The company sells mobile phone games and provides the server for the game in the wireless networks. The games are mainly for education and entertainment and are built with leading mobile communication technologies. A major aim for LemonT is to make high profits and cover the expense in short period. LemonT’s 3 employees face promotion challenges, as LemonT’s business just started this year without any credit and reputation. An evaluation of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats served as the foundation for this strategic analysis and marketing plan. The plan focuses on the company’s growth strategy, suggesting ways in which it can build on existing wireless net, and on the development of new products and/or services targeted to specific customer niches. Since LemonT Company markets a game and a server, it currently is considered a business-to-customers marketer.The objective of this business plan is to promote the newly developed mobile game “The Great Voyage”, introduce the technical components involved, discuss its marketing issues and conduct a financial forecast on this product.

Operating Strategy

By focusing on promotion of the new game, LemonT will effectively implement a niche differentiation strategy in a somewhat diverse marketplace. Its target market consists of net game player, mobile phone user and mobile game player. However, due to the proliferation of mobile phone and the growth in technology, there are more mobile game players in the market. This will reduce the difficulty to introduce mobile game to consumer. LemonT will maintain a long-term relationship with StarHub to develop mobile game and provide the related service for mobile phone user. LemonT’s staff focuses on the further development and marketing of the mobile game.I, as a technological supervisor, will focus more on technological issues. However, exchange of opinions with other colleagues of finace and marketing is also important. This may bring new ideas into technology development.

Organizational Structure

The marketing department detects the trend of current market. New demand in the market will be quickly fed back to the decision making board (lead by CEO and formed by head officers). It enables LemonT do fast responses to the dynamic market and seize the chances to expand its business.Technological department is also a very important portion of LemonT. It develops the product of the company, and also provides hardware implementations the wireless network to achieve faster and more stable infrastructure. As a high-tech company, Technological department is also responsible on training of our employees to meet the need of future. We require our technological employees to be creative and learn beyond the current needs to provide leading products.The financial department does financial forecast and reports of the company. It monitors the company’s financial status to keep the company a positive growth throughout its development.There will also be seminar sessions between different employees from different departments to exchange the progress of projects and opinions on the changing business world. This enhances the integrity of LemonT, and also provides a good source of good new ideas for the decisions.

Technology Plan

RequirementsWeb Server HardwareOur web site is a transaction-processing site. It must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We must have spare server computers for handling high traffic volumes that occur periodically. The web site must run Web and commerce software that is efficient and easily upgraded when the site traffic increase.Two-Tier Client/Server Architecture is necessary and enough for our web site. All communication takes place on the Internet between the client and the server. There are other computers involved in transporting packers of information across the Internet. But the messages are created and read only by the client and the server computers.We can use a decentralized architecture. The decentralized architecture spreads that risk over a large number of servers. And the smaller servers are less expensive. However, a load-balancing system is necessary to monitors the workloads of servers and to assign incoming web traffic to the server that has most available capacity at that instant in time.
A summary of some estimated:1. The database of Web page information will require about 80MB of disk space.2. The database management software itself will require about 300MB of disk space.3. About 3000 customers will play the game during the first month, and site traffic will grow about 40 percent each month during the first two years.4. The site should accommodate a peak traffic load of 1000 visitors at one time.Web Server SoftwareWe will use Apache HTTP Server as the server software.Finger can be used for users to obtain some information about other network users.Route-tracing programs such as tracert can be used to send a series of data packets to every mobile phone and to measure the time of the entire path.Server is able to detect the approximate position of each active mobile station. Push data to active stations and pull data out of them to keep track of their status periodically.It is proper to use self-hosting for us because of our existing information technology staff of programmers, Web designers and network engineers.Web site development tool is Macromedia Dreamweaver.Payment SystemCredit Card, such as a Visa or a MasterCard.Electronic CashMobile phone BillSecurityUsernames and passwords provide some element of protection.Each players identity is registered and kept in server database.A firewall can be installed at the Internet entry point of a networked system.Data packets between mobile and server are encrypted.Special RequirementMultiple servers may be allocated island wide to take care of certain amount of mobile coverage cells. Each server only deal with the active players within its range. They upload and download players’ information from a central server. Therefore synchronization between the central server and distribution servers are necessarily to be ensured. Moreover, when the player moves from one area to another, handover technique should be implemented.AssumptionThe network condition is not concerned in our scope. Because it’s a issue of our partners, the servers providers’. We only promise availability with the stable network.

Financial Plan

A. Formation of capital1. InvestmentAttracting investors: Business can use the number of visitors and results of the surveys to prove the value that the business provides to its customers. Companies which are interested in short term investment can buy capital stock.2. LiabilitiesLong-term liability: bank loan; bond payableShort-term liability: accounts payable to servers; notes payable to suppliers3. AllianceCo-operate with big mobile companies in future.
B. Managing Cost Cost of hardware (11%): sever computers; routers; firewalls and load balancing devicesCost of software (10%): licenses for operating systems; Web sever software; database software and application softwareWeb site design and game development work outsourced (6%)Salaries for employees involved in the project (55%)Cost of maintaining the site (5%)Cost of redesign the site (13%)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

6th comment and critique

Taxation of e-commerce
How can we take taxation for e-commerce? It is a complicated problem for those lawmakers. Recently, they can breathe a bit easier because a long-standing moratorium on blanket online taxes has been extended. However, there will be little more than a brief pause before the battle is joined again.
To traditional retailers, E-commerce has a huge advantage in taxation. It seem obviously unfair when tradional retailers are suffering from significant tax. But if now we take the taxation from e-commerce in the same way as the tradional retailers, the industry would collapse under the weight of additional costs. They also have cited the operational challenges e-tailers would face in administering and paying taxes to various jurisdictions.
Furthmore, there are different ways of taxation in different countries, even in different states.
The Internal Revenue Service is the U.S. government agency charged with administering the country’s tax laws. A basic principle of the US tax system is that any verifiable increase in a company’s wealth is subject to federal taxation. Thus, any company whose US-based web sit generates income is subject to US federal income tax.
Most state levy a transaction tax on goods sold to consumers. It is usually called a sale tax. Businesses that establish nexus with a state must file sales tax returns and remit the sales tax they collect from their customers.
Other countries, especially those in the European Union, use transfer taxs to generate moost of their revenues. The Value Added Tax is the most common transfer tax used in these countries. It is assessed on the amount of value added at each stage of production.

5th comment and critique

E-commerce ethical and legal issue
ECommerce has revolutionized the business world by expanding the marketplace and redefining the traditional organizational structure. Its economic influence has been considerable resulting in implications for politics, society and ethics. The future for eBusiness is bright. It will continue its rapid expansion and may eventually take over from traditional business practices however in today’s society, there are very few laws enabling an effective transition.There are three main reasons for the phenomenan. Firstly, the Web extends a company’s reach beyond traditional boundaries. Thus, a company can become subject to many more laws more quickly than a traditional brick-and-mortar business based in one specific physical location. Secondly, the Web incureases the speed and efficiency of business communications. Customers often have much more interaction and complex relationships with online merchants than they do with traditional merchants.
So in the future, there are two barriers for ecommerce expansion. One barrier to effective eCommerce is security. The introduction of the Internet has encouraged growth in areas such as commerce and telecommunications however it has also enabled a new type of crime: computer crime. The infrastructure of the Internet and anonymity of its users make it ideal for offences such as money laundering, hijacking system accounts, piracy and computer viruses. Intangible or intellectual property is highly valuable in the New Economy, but continual advances in piracy and computer virus technology makes it very difficult to protect. Another barrier is Ownership and accountability. Currently, the Internet operates as a separate entity, not owned by an individual, company or state. This independence allows for uninhibited access by every individual with a computer however it also makes accountability virtually impossible. What is socially, politically and ethically acceptable in one country might be illegal in another. For example, advertising cigarettes is legal in countries such as the United States however in Australia, there are severe penalties for companies that breach laws regarding cigarette promotion. If a cigarette company utilizes the World Wide Web for its marketing and advertising activities, they may reach Australian audiences yet they are not breaking any laws.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

the importance of corportation name in the cyberspace

In the second wave of e-commerce, more new dot compony are built in the cyberspace. As a custumer, it is difficult to serch the specific company. In such a condition, the name of the corporation is the significant advertisement for the dot company. Today, it's all about an organization's names and their high visibility for global e-commerce, instant accessibility on the Internet, quick search ability on the Web, memorability of distinct names by an overly strained populace, ease of typing for tired fingers, and pleasant vocalization of such names and Web experiences by customers all over the world.Good names have a direct impact on corporate persona and positively affect customers and media and influence public opinions at large.
However, not all the company realse the importance of the name. They often have some common mistakes when they decide their name as a brand.
1. Long geographic names. This seriously hurts international marketing. The same long names get initialized, causing massive confusion with strange companies worldwide, and are impossible to find on the Internet.

2. Words on a string. All kinds of names for all kinds of reasons are necklaced, combined strategically or accidentally, sometimes making no connections at all. Customers hate them, yet corporations prolong the agony.

3. Initials. The entire global business sector has the strangest and most unusual collection of initials. Initials were simply collected and appended as a proof of their long history, while somehow the customer is living in today's time and with no regard to the previous century. Acronyms often emulate different personalities, causing confusion.

Finally, there is a reminder to those new entrepreneur in the second wave of e-commerce--have you prepared a good name for your company?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

My willing to China in the eve of Chinese New year

Before
the coming Chinese New Year, I have some expectation of e-commerce in China for
the next year.


      
Like many developing countries, China has considered the Internet a
powerful tool for national development economically and socially. As e-commerce
growth becomes more and more significant, China realized the potential of
e-commerce and has made its first step towards Internet commerce from the plan
of 1998 to the action of 1999.


      
However, there are some serious problems that we have to solve:


Poor
speed and expensive access to information infrastructure and services


Low
level of public awareness on electronic commerce issues


Lack
of secure electronical payment system and transaction services


Low
level of business awareness of e-commerce.


      
In conclusion, there are some chances and critics all the times in the
fast developing country. It is the main engine of the new economy in the future.
I believe that China also can revolute in the e-commerce field. All the best to
China in the new year!


Sunday, January 30, 2005

4th comment and critique

Best Practices in E-Commerce


Too many
companies seem to believe that the right technology is the key to e-commerce
success.


But the firms
that really make e-commerce pay off don't simply hand over their e-commerce
destinies to consultants, system integrators or vendors.


Instead, they
undertake the hard work of self-examination. They realize that streamlining
processes is the key to success. And only internal effort can deliver that -- it
can't be bought.


Many of the
world's largest companies are now on their fourth or fifth e-commerce strategy.
But just because these global corporations change e-commerce strategies faster
than some of us change cell-phone plans doesn't mean your company has to keep
up. In fact, some of the most successful manufacturers are still on version 1.0
of their e-commerce plans.


Winning Strategies


A look at successful
e-commerce firms shows the path to follow:



  • Turn
    e-commerce into a utility. In the '90s many companies turned their
    e-commerce strategies into protected silos, and the people running them were
    seen as high priests of all things Web-enabled. All of that is gone now.
    Smart companies have turned e-commerce into a utility that any department
    can plug into and use. Expect to see IBM (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft (Nasdaq:
    MSFT), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and SAP (NYSE: SAP) battle it out to provide
    the transaction dial tone for small and midsize businesses.


  • Pay
    attention to the life of an order first and to multiple channels second. At
    first glance this may seem unrelated, but even Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)
    struggles on this point. Following an order from the time it's placed on the
    Web site to the point where it's reported back to a publisher takes a lot
    more effort than people realize. Contrary to legend, Amazon is not perfect
    in its order capture and order management systems. What's reassuring is that
    for Amazon making sure these systems work is a higher priority than spinning
    out another channel.


  • Consolidate
    portals and content management systems. It's astounding how portals have
    proliferated at some of the world's largest manufacturers. One global auto
    manufacturer has over 65 portals in its design division alone. It takes one
    of the e-commerce team members one day a month just to update the roadmap
    for the portals. Cutting back on portals for channel partners is also a
    great idea, and the companies that are getting the best results are
    discontinuing legacy portals in favor of new ones that have the
    functionality to support lead management and escalation, order capture,
    order management, fulfillment options and service requests.


  • Realize
    that swivel-chair integration is the Achilles' heel of any e-commerce
    strategy. With an average deal size in the five figures, one systems
    manufacturer had until 2004 relied on the swivel under the seat of its
    production scheduler to move orders from the order capture system to the ERP
    system. This production scheduler then created the bills of materials and
    scheduled a production line sequence to fulfill demand. This is worst
    practices in action. Even the smallest amount of investment in integration
    would free production schedulers to do what they do best: get on top of
    assemblies forecasting, work to resolve bottlenecks on the production floor,
    and generate ideas on how to streamline fulfillment.


  • Target
    the installed base. During the last economic downturn, many manufacturers
    clung to viability by relying on purchases from their installed base. Build
    strategies for selling into your installed base with a goal of growing this
    revenue stream. Revenue from your customer base is no longer a divine right:
    You will have to fight to keep it.



Bottom Line


Delivering
best or worst practices in e-commerce strategies has nothing to do with company
size or even the size of IT budgets. It has everything to do with realizing that
your order capture, management and fulfillment systems still confuse customers;
that integration is worth the cost; that your company could do with fewer
portals; and that your installed base and service life cycle management is worth
paying attention to.


 


 


 


 


Commence and critique


In the second wave of e-commerce, those
companies that really make e-commerce payoff do not only concentrate the linkage
to the consumers, but also improve the internal communication in their own
companies and among their partners. They realize that the streamlining is the
key to success with the improvement of the new technology. Wal-Mart is loser in
the field of selling goods on line, so it still takes effort in the traditional
market. However, it used the new technology to build the linkages with its
suppliers and all inventory centers for logistics. As a result, it had reduced
the inventory cost and improved the quality of service to consumers.


 


Anther point to new trend in e-commerce
is that more companies consider the quality of service more important than the
quantity. The famous example is Amazon. It always keeps struggling on that point
to shorten the life of an order from the web.
Following
an order from the time it's placed on the Web site to the point where it's
reported back to a publisher, Amazon takes a lot more effort than people
realize. Unfortunately, it still cannot satisfy the demand of all consumers.


 


In general,
the companies in the second wave of e-commerce have some great improvement about
the service and operation. However, it is still not enough to overtake the
traditional companies because there is huge potential have not be exploited by
the companies that are interested in e-commerce.


Sunday, January 23, 2005

3nd comment and critique

A motor
scooter in Manchester, an apartment in Amsterdam, a poster in Paris. All are
available via Craigslist, an online bulletin board that presents a new challenge
to the established players in the estimated US$100 billion global market for
classified advertising.


Started 10 years ago by Craig
Newmark, an Internet pioneer in San Francisco, as a way of keeping friends up to
date on events in the Bay Area, Craigslist spread through the United States
before going international in 2003, with sites in London and Toronto. The
expansion accelerated late last year with a flurry of sites including ones for
Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Sydney. About a dozen other international start-ups are
planned in the next few months.


Craigslist, which bills itself
as a "community-based" operation in the techno-utopian spirit of the
early Internet, accepts advertising for just about anything, from jobs to
apartments to electronics to "erotic services." What it generally will
not accept, however, is money. The sites let users post most classified
advertisements for free. Only job ads posted in three U.S. cities require a fee.



Handling Simple Things


"Our site is a place to get
simple jobs done," Newmark said. "Life isn't fair, but we try to be
fair to everyone. That's a fundamental value across the world, no matter where
you come from."


Craigslist also solicits users'
feedback, and that is what prompted the idea to roll out the concept
internationally.


"The No. 1 thing they kept
asking us was to add more cities," Jim Buckmaster, chief executive of the
privately held company, said in a telephone interview.


Though the international
Craigslist sites are available only in English for now, the formula seems to be
catching on, if a bit more modestly than in the United States. The London site
attracts more than 150,000 unique visitors per month, Buckmaster said. The Paris
site, begun only in November, already draws 50,000 unique visitors monthly.
Other recently added sites, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Sao Paulo and Bangalore,
India, have drawn slightly less traffic.


Advertising Bite


While those numbers remain far
below the 2 million monthly visitors to the original Craigslist in San
Francisco, the international sites could eventually pose a significant threat to
newspapers and other, more specialized publications on paper and the Web that
traditionally earn significant portions of their revenue from sales of
classified ads, specialists in the field say.


"It's got to scare anyone
who takes money for advertising," said Jim Townsend, the Houston-based
editorial director of Classified Intelligence, a consulting firm.


In the San Francisco area,
Classified Intelligence estimates, Craigslist is costing newspapers $50 million
to $65 million a year in lost revenue from employment ads alone; because other
ads on Craigslist are free, it is hard to gauge the overall effect, Townsend
said.


Whether Craigslist will have a
similar impact internationally is unclear, Townsend said. The fact that the
sites are still available only in English could limit them to English-speaking
expatriates in some cities.


"It doesn't mean it can't
work," Townsend said. Craigslist "might just have to try a little
harder or wait, which they can afford to do."


EBay Stake


Buckmaster said that adding the
international sites had created few extra costs for Craigslist, which is
operated by fewer than 20 employees from a small office in San Francisco. Most
of the sites are nearly identical: stripped-down home pages with a variety of
headings, like "jobs," "services," "personals" and
"community," and subheadings like "rideshare,"
"collectibles" and "rants and raves." Because traffic on the
international sites remains relatively small, little additional server capacity
was required.


EBay, the online auction service
with sites in many major markets throughout Europe and Asia, acquired a 25
percent stake in Craigslist last year, but Chris Donlay, a spokesman for eBay (Nasdaq:
EBAY), said the company had no plans to increase that investment for now.


"We're working well
together and quite happy with that," he said. "We're really just
learning about the classified business."


But eBay has made several other
investments in online classified advertising in Europe, including acquisitions
last year of Mobile.de, an automotive-related site in Germany, and
Marktplaats.nl, a general classified site in the Netherlands.


Classified advertising across
Europe remains a fragmented business, with newspapers and Web sites competing
with specialized publications like Loot in Britain.


Expansion To Continue


For instance, Trader Classified
Media, an Amsterdam-based company, publishes more than 300 classified
advertising papers and runs more than 60 such Web sites globally, many of them
in Europe.


The company plans to continue
its expansion in promising markets like Eastern Europe, said John McCall Macbain,
founder and president of Trader Classified, adding that the arrival of eBay did
not frighten him.


"We've always been the
Pac-Man eating away at the papers," he said. "We know how to deal with
people who want to sell, in their markets."


As for Craigslist, Newmark and
Buckmaster contend that their motivation is far less commercial. Though they
would like to translate the international sites into local languages and improve
customer service, they say, they have no plans to charge users for any ads on
them.


"Maximizing revenue has
never really been part of our mind-set," Buckmaster said.


Comment and Critique.


From the passage, we can know a new revenue model
for e-commerce. The site let users post most classified advertisements for free,
and only job advertisement posted in three U.S. cities require a fee.


Firstly, I suspect that it is difficult to be
continue for the next years. It is because relatively less revenue cannot keep
better service. It is the most obvious disadvantage of the first wave of
“e-commerce”. The company will lose in the second wave if it still keep the
revenue model.


Secondly, the revenue model is not fair for the
world. Newmark said that the company should try to make the world fair. It is an
impossible mission and illusion in the real world. The advertise should be free
for every city and aim, or it is unfair to job-seekers.


However, there is something new from the company.
It considers itself as a “community-based” operation in the techno-utopian
spirit of the early Internet. I believe that the new role in the internet should
be more attractive than their opponents in the same field.


 


Saturday, January 15, 2005

2nd critique about e-commerce

As US Sales Slow,
E-Tailers
Look Abroad



Can American
e-tailers expand on foreign soil without losing ground to competitors at home?



With the growth in annual
domestic sales expected to slow to roughly 15 percent this year, Internet
merchants are looking overseas for revenue. In doing so, they are dusting off
international expansion initiatives they shelved during the dot-com bust.
Analysts and Internet executives experienced in international foreign retail
operations, though, warn that the area is tougher than it may appear.



"For the most part, it's
unbelievably difficult to go into another country," said Carrie Johnson, an
analyst with the Internet consultancy Forrester Research. "But every major
online retailer is now looking at internationalization as an engine of
growth."



European Growth



Johnson would not identify any
e-tailing clients that are considering expanding abroad, and most merchants are
tight-lipped about such plans. But sales projections easily explain why they
would be exploring such measures. Over the next five years, Johnson said,
European e-commerce will
grow at an annual rate of 33 percent, more than twice the rate in the United
States.



Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN)
success
has also helped spur the trend. In its latest earnings announcement in late
October, the company said that North American sales had grown 15 percent in the
third quarter, compared with a year earlier. Sales on Amazon's British, German,
French, Japanese and Chinese sites were up 52 percent in the same period.



EBags, a Denver-based online
seller of luggage, handbags and shoes, is among the latest merchants to begin an
international expansion. In October, the privately held company started a
British site, and in the spring it will start a site for Germany, thereby
covering nations that, together, account for half of Europe's e-commerce
spending. A French eBags site is likely to follow later in the year.



Right Mix of Items



According to Peter Cobb,
co-founder of eBags, the international expansion is meant less to prop up
sagging sales -- eBags' 2004 sales jumped about 60 percent from 2003 -- than to
capitalize on untapped markets.



Ebags has an advantage over many
retailers looking to establish international outposts in that it does not
operate warehouses. Without the logistical headaches that often accompany
shipping goods to different European nations, eBags can concentrate on finding
the right mix of items for each country and on presenting them in ways that will
appeal to those shoppers.



That, in itself, requires
careful planning, Cobb said, because of how differently consumers in each
country approach the merchandise. Among U.S. merchants, few have as extensive an
international Internet operation as Office Depot (NYSE: ODP)
the office supply company that generated US$3 billion in online sales last year,
more than 20 percent of the company's overall sales. In addition to
OfficeDepot.com's U.S. Web site, the company operates sites in 16 countries and
in 14 languages.



Office Depot, which started
operating international sites in 1998, has taken a markedly different approach
than eBags: Office Depot only created country-specific Web sites in nations
where it already had warehouses and call centers for its mail order operations.



National Pride



Monica Luechtefeld, Office
Depot's executive vice president for strategy and development, said: "A lot
of domestic e-tailers thought it was about just opening a Web site in another
country, and they forgot about the very real issues of customer service. We
wanted to be in and of the country."



Luechtefeld said Office Depot
had accumulated 44 international Web sites through its own efforts and through
mergers a number that she said she hoped to whittle to 20 in the coming months.
Luechtefeld said cross-border cultural issues among technology employees were
among the thornier problems.



"There's a lot of pride in
each country's development of their own technology solutions," Luechtefeld
said. "So, harder than the technology challenge was getting a consensus to
not develop a German site, a French site, a U.K. site or even a U.S. site but
rather a global site that would serve the customer first."



Johnson of Forrester said that
it could be easy for American Internet retailers to get bogged down on such
issues and lose their edge in the increasingly competitive domestic market. As a
result, she said, many merchants are looking to establish joint ventures with
retailers or distributors abroad, rather than building entirely new units.



My critique about the news about
“As US Sales Slow, E-Tailors Look Abroad”:



From the news, we can see that
the US is not the unique point for the development of e-commerce In Europe, e-business
increase more rapidly. It is why more investors are concentrating on the Europe.
There is a question for us. When is it our Asian turn? The shift of the
investment of e-commerce is a chance to attract the money to Singapore.


Firstly, Singapore is the center
of the Asia geographically, and with the convenience of traffic. There is a
great advantage in logistics. Secondly, Singapore is a multi-racial and
multi-culture society. Many retailers in Singapore are multi-languages. It is
easy to communicate with consumers in other countries and to break the boundary
between different countries and cultures. The last but not the least, the cost
of the company is relatively low in Singapore.


In general, with the second wave
of e-commerce, Singapore should have some effective reaction to catch the
improvement of e-commerce in the new economic age.