Set up new hosted services on Cloud / SaaS Providers
Fulfill existing orders and sell to new and legacy customers
Additional Cloud/SaaS Vendors Needed
Payment / Credit Card Fulfillment
Advertising / Marketing
What the Customer Thinks … 9/9/2009 www.convergentinformatics.com
What the Vendor Talks About … 9/9/2009 www.convergentinformatics.com
What the Customer Hears … 9/9/2009 www.convergentinformatics.com
What It Looks Like After He Gets In … 9/9/2009 www.convergentinformatics.com
What Happens Next … 9/9/2009 www.convergentinformatics.com
eCommerce Co.’s Business Design 9/9/2009 www.convergentinformatics.com CPA / CPM Network Web Site Call Center Order Mgmt Payment Risk Mgrs Visa, MC, AmEx, etc. Banks Fulfillment / Warehouse Order Mgmt Web I/F Dashboard
The system must receive a fax transmission and send a PDF image of it to the email address associated with the incoming fax call’s extension number. If no extension number is present, the fax PDF image goes to the email box of the account administrator.
Case II: “Shipping and Handling”
Order Management must compute S&H.
S&H costs are per unit. Multiple units of the same item incur multiple S&H charges up until five of the same units appear in a single order (most S&H charged is for 5 units).
The OM system must enable promotions to waive S&H charges based on SKU, promotion schedule.
This is really a feature set with multiple requirements under it.
This feature should be tied to the Marketing Plan for promotions.
The cloud’s silver lining, however, is lower implementation and operational costs and faster time to market by sharing infrastructure, using pre-existing processes and practices, and leveraging vendor expertise.
You must plan before you can mine the silver lining.
Focus more on implementation and deployment and less on coding and set-up. Remember Brook’s 1/6 estimate.
Software engineering practice is now, in part, business engineering practice.
Q: In eCompany in a Box, what do you do about the hosting company’s terms and conditions?
A: We act as system integrators. We don’t assume any risk. Our clients own the hosting accounts and contracts. They are bound by the terms and conditions, and get billed directly. Our job is to set them up then step back so they have the lowest overhead possible. If they get stuck after deployment, we’ll step in again to right things at a time and materials rate.
Q: Which term do you prefer: Web 3.0? Cloud Computing? SaaS? Application Service Provider?
A: We refer to the entire class as “hosted services”. They’re essentially “time sharing” (Useful Stuff #3). In many regards, ordinary services are “SaaS” or “Cloud Computing”. To borrow a quip from our friends at Terrosa Technologies , isn’t your bank a “hosted service”, now with a nifty web front end? What about your financial manager, lawyer, accountant, etc.? Google Mail is clearly a hosted service, it just seems more “computer-ish” than your checking accounts and credit cards.
Q: What do you do when you cross international boundaries and come under the jurisdiction of other countries?
A: Pick your vendors well and know where they host your data and services. Most countries claim jurisdiction over resources that are physically housed within their borders, a problem if a SaaS vendor in one country actually runs on infrastructure services in another. Some are more stringent. Germany’s privacy laws enforce controls over information about German citizens regardless of where the data reside. It’s a legal mess that’s going to take 200 years to iron out.
A: That’s a very, very broad question. Instead of trying to cover every jurisdiction and contingency let’s turn it around: what do you need to do to earn the trust of your customers? Write down those actions and services as requirements, then ensure the hosting service helps you meet them. Example: to grow customer good will, your company wants to refund money electronically upon receipt of returned, undamaged goods (think zappos.com). Your requirements are for a bank/CC company that can handle this type of transaction securely while guarding against embezzlement by your employees.
Q: When a service goes down and you move it, how do you force the DNS record change to ensure it keeps running?
A: Realistically, most businesses aren’t running nuclear reactors or air traffic control systems. Fail over/fail back and high availability are not requirements because the business’s revenue cannot support the expense. Our experience is that the normal 3-4 hour DNS propagation time is more than adequate. We move our customers starting in the evening, local time, and everything is back in place by morning.