Wired to the World. Part 2

Intercompany communications

Corporations are discovering that the Internet is an increasingly useful tool to establish communication channels to their business associates. IBM, which linked its internal e-mail system to the Internet in 1990, has seen dramatic growth in communication s to the outside world. Howard Funk, a technical assistant with IBM Corporation in Armonk, NY, estimates that Internet bound message traffic is growing at the rate of 15% per month, effectively doubling usage every six months. As of March 1993, over 23,0 00 users were sending upwards of 350,000 messages to customers, trading partners and others via the Internet, an astounding rate of growth. The current exponential growth curve for the Internet shows the number of users surpassing the human population in about 2003, although the growth rate is expected to start to slow down somewhat in the next few years!

From a network connected to the Internet, it’s a simple matter to get a message directly to the desk of anyone at Lotus, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard or many other software and hardware vendors. Add to that a growing number of corporate organizations, institutions and government bodies , and it is estimated that a single Internet mailbox could reach perhaps 50 million people. Even the Economist, the staid, conservative British newsweekly, has discovered the Internet, and uses it regularly to track issues, find information, and communicate with authors and subscribers. For my own purposes, Internet e-mail has become the cornerpost of my electronic communications.

IBM is learning of the benefits of electronic business relationships. “The Internet is leading to dramatic cultural change in the organization” states Funk. “Our system engineers make use of the network to talk to customers, and there is very heavy use from various vendors for communications to IBM. Two years ago, Fermi Labs, which is a major IBM customer, said to us that the best thing that IBM ever did was making its people accessible on the Internet.”

Use of the Internet is not restricted to technical staff at IBM. “We have a large number of executives at a high level talking to Sculley at Apple and Groves at Intel via the Internet”. (Sculley and Groves are the Chairman of Apple Computer and Intel Corporation respectively).

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The Internet is the leading edge of a world in which companies are routinely wired together. Given the rate of growth that it is experiencing, the ‘wired’ world might be sooner than we think.

Today, I smile when I hear all the talk about the imminent arrival of the information age. While we were all too busy reading about how wonderful the future was going to be, it arrived in a quiet fashion on the computer screen in front of me.

I now realize that effective use of telecommunications and membership in a global knowledge network, has caused a profound change in the way that I work, and has added to the capabilities of my consulting practice immeasurably.

Buying a prepaid call cards may be a excellent method to communicate together with your friends, family, employees, kids and loved ones.

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