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Survey reveals only 52% traded electronically in 2000
and only 15% have an e-business strategy for 2001

London, UK, 26 January, 2001 - Only 52 per cent of the Times Top 1000
companies have systems that allow for online transactions, be they
business-to-business or business-to-consumer, according to research
published by e-business consultancy, Rubus.

The survey, conducted by research firm ICM in December 2000 on behalf of
Rubus found that, whilst 90 per cent of respondents acknowledged the
importance of an effective online presence or using Internet technology to
their business objectives and success, only 15 per cent have developed a
formalised e-business strategy for 2001 to help them achieve it. What is
more, 35 percent admitted the biggest challenge to successfully
implementing their online plans could be other business matters taking a
priority.

Only half of those surveyed employed a dedicated head of e-commerce or
e-business, despite the fact that 80 per cent stated their intention to
exploit new interactive channels this year, such as interactive TV and
mobile applications. The research shows a marked contrast between business
intention and ability to execute. Despite high acceptance in all sectors
of the continuing importance of e-business initiatives in 2001, lack of
strategic planning, as well as inadequate in-house skills and Board level
support were all cited as reasons that could impact the success of these
ventures. This will also be of little consolation to the Government desire
to make the UK the 'best place for e-commerce by 2002'.

Michael Walton, CEO at Rubus said, "The results are certainly surprising.
It seems that whilst companies recognise the potential benefits that
e-business will bring to their commercial operations, and are keen to
invest in it, they are failing to properly plan for it. It is a clear
indication that the decision to get online is not being met with the
appropriate strategies to get it right, which will inevitably mean that
the investment they make may well not give them the returns they expect.
In a broader sense, a lack of properly implemented online strategies will
certainly damage UK plc."


"The success of interactive projects lies in commitment at all levels of
the organisation, as well as proper planning and correct execution.
Incorporating e-business into company initiatives is critical for ongoing
success in what is now a global economy. If the UK is to maintain its
strong market position, companies cannot afford to be complacent about how
they go about running these initiatives," Walton added.

Strong contrasts were found across industry sectors and regions. The media
and publishing sector leads with their adoption of formalised e-business
plans, whereas the financial services industry had the largest number of
organisations using the Internet as part of business operations, at 77 per
cent. This was compared to the manufacturing/industrial sector at just 33
per cent. A North-South divide was evident as 72 per cent of
organisations in the North admitted that other business matters could get
in the way of successfully implementing their e-business plans, compared
to just 33 per cent in the South.

"Whilst it is clear that enterprise wide e-business is still yet to take
off, it is clearly an objective for the New Year. Companies just need to
ensure they do not accept half measures," concluded Walton.


About Rubus

Rubus, based in London, Bracknell and Manchester, is an "Interactive
Architect". It specialises in helping companies exploit interactive
channels, including the Web, interactive TV and mobile communications.

Services span strategy definition, creative and technical design, and
systems development and integration. The company works with clients to
develop ideas and strategies for exploiting interactive channels, helping
them pursue their goals and translate these into creatively designed,
technically robust, marketable and value-adding e-business solutions. Its
aim is to do help them do this quickly, reliably and right first time.

Through relationships with product vendors such as ATG, Autonomy, BEA,
INTERSHOP, Interwoven, Oracle, SUN, Tridion, Verity and Versata, Rubus is
able to provide its customers with solutions that take advantage of the
latest in interactive technology. Clients include B&Q, Waterstone's,
Thomascook.com, Granada Media, ONdigital, Nomura, Cazenove, IPC, Barkers
Norman Broadbent, Confetti.co.uk, Lastminute.com and E W Blanch.

Rubus can be reached on the Web at: http://www.rubus.com

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