Web Site Quality Of Service

Everybody is implementing e-commerce these days. Or so it seems. You can't scan an IT magazine (like HP Professional, for example) without reading an article or watch your favorite TV program without seeing a commercial for e-everything. Conventional wisdom says that the Web has redefined the retail business.

The trade of goods over the Internet was $43 million in 1998, a figure that will double every year over the next five years to $1.3 trillion in 2003. Certainly, the media's back-offices and IT managers are taking notice. They will invest upwards of $10 billion on Internet technology to accommodate company news and other service organizations by the year 2002, according to International Data Corporation. Media General business managers saw completely new areas of services opening up for its customer advertisers. This, in turn, catalyzed a new, more sophisticated breed of Web services for its clients. Some of these Web sites are attracting over 1 million page views per month.

And, although not inevitable, click-and-mortar companies (CAM) have seemingly eclipsed their brick-and-mortar (BAM) counterparts. However, all is not well for cyber-merchants and cyber-shoppers. There's anecdotal evidence floating around about one newspaper that lost $1 million on a failed online business directory venture - a powerful, disincentive for investing in e-commerce.

Many online shopping sites are a frustrating waiting game of error messages and time-outs. If a customer is shopping for a high-end product, merchants donÕt want to lose the sale just because the server is slow. In order to optimize service processes and avoid issues that can cause slow or seemingly unresponsive Web sites, an increasing numbers of new e-merchants are connecting with service providers like Local.Net.

Besides common problems, LocalNet and Media General also have a common solution: HPÕs Web Quality of Service (WebQoS) software, first introduced in May 1998, is now in its second version (see HP Professional, May 1999).

In this month's issue, we're highlighting how IT teams from Media General and LocalNet are building better e-commerce infrastructures using HP's WebQoS solution.