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Seven steps that must be taken to prepare for e-business
from Siemens Network Systems

UK companies could be in for a bleak Christmas if their IT infrastructures aren’t ready to handle the demands of e-commerce says Siemens Network Systems Ltd (SNSL). Last year web shoppers attracted by a pretty website and clever marketing were disappointed when many of their orders failed to arrive in time for Christmas.

In a recent survey by SNSL 59% of IT and Managing directors said they experience delays in critical information passing over their network. Given the seasonality of the market the extra network traffic will hamper the delivery of orders and if customers are let down again they will not return.

SNSL recommends seven practical steps a company should take to ensure their infrastructure is ready for e-commerce:

1. Involve your IT director in your e-business strategy from the start.

2. Identify any current flaws in the network and address them.

3. The e-business strategy must identify and set priorities for all business processes.

4. All systems must be integrated to provide for straight through processing.

5. Security policies must be agreed and implemented immediately, with consistent assessment, reinforcement and monitoring.

6. The prioritisation of network traffic is essential if quality of service is to be maintained, especially in peak periods in the run up to Christmas, and modern networks have "business intelligence" built in to enable this facility.

7. Finally, the e-business plan must be translated into technical policies and incorporated into a policy based network management system.

"Any e-business strategy should incorporate the need for an intelligent, integrated and secure network infrastructure right from the start," said Fausto Amoroso, Head of Marketing at Siemens Network Systems. "To ignore this basic fact puts a company’s e-business attempts in peril as vital information will not flow freely through the system. After all, information is the life blood of e-business."

It has been repeatedly demonstrated during 2000 that many companies have fallen foul of security flaws in their system and 87% of those surveyed believed that security threats will increase over the next five years.

Security must be given top priority as any breach in the network not only incurs the loss of current orders but the publicity can stop both current and potential customers placing more. UK directors recognise this fact and only 30% consider that enough attention is being paid to security matters.

To match customer’s expectations an order arriving on the system should pass smoothly through order processing and end up at despatch without the need for unnecessary human intervention. To ensure the order doesn’t meet any delay a policy based network (PBN) management system should be implemented to manage the necessary resources. However, only 17% of the UK companies questioned use Policy Based Network Management, while 61% stated they did not fully understand the term.

PBN permits an organisation to give different types of network traffic the appropriate priority over less important data. This can be used to ensure that orders coming in from customers will get priority routing, while perhaps less important information will receive standard access. Meanwhile internal electronic mail or staff web surfing will only pass through when network capacity allows.

Copies of the research quoted in this release, "Open for e-Business", are available on request.

Notes to editors

About Siemens Network Systems Limited

Siemens Network Systems Limited (SNSL), the leading vendor-independent network integrator in the UK, specialises in the design, implementation and management of enterprise-wide networks. The company provides a wide range of technology skills and professional services to major private sector companies and public sector bodies. Some of the leading names that look to SNSL for its expertise include Ford, Coca-Cola, British Airways, Credit Suisse First Boston, Barings Asset Management, Lancashire Education Authority and The British Library.

Twice winner of the Networking Industry Awards for 'Systems Integrator of the Year' and voted 'Best Systems Integrator' by the TUA, SNSL's services include strategic consultancy, network design, integration and project management, as well as network installation, managed services, maintenance and support.

Recognising the speed of change in the communications market, the growing complexity of IT solutions and the demand for more powerful applications, SNSL has maintained its position as a provider of highly advanced networks by constantly evaluating new technologies, products and suppliers. In this way it ensures customers continue to be offered the most flexible, price performance migration path for their current and future business needs.

SNSL offers 24x7 proactive managed services from its Hemel Hempstead headquarters. The services include remote fault and performance management utilising highly sophisticated network management tools and are backed by accredited support centre engineers.

The company is headquartered in Hemel Hempstead, with offices in Manchester, Stirling, Bristol and Central London. It is a £140m-plus company employing over 400 people in the UK.

For more information see

About this survey

The report is based on a nationwide survey of nearly 300 senior IT and managing directors from organisations of 500-plus employees. The organisations were from across a wide range of backgrounds, including financial, manufacturing and IT companies, as well as universities and local government departments. The survey was conducted on behalf of Siemens Network Systems Limited by the David Lewis Consultancy, an international research organisation based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Insight Marketing and Communications in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit