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The Business Internet: Connecting Services, Partners and Software to Build Business

The mission of The Business Internet is to link people, knowledge and the power of the Internet together. Specifically, it aims to provide better customer service by: helping employees understand and respond to customers better, empowering employees with quick delivery of critical business information and connecting them with suppliers and partners through the use of Microsoft software.

As value-added providers (VAPs), you are aligned to be major players in a complete solution for The Business Internet. You can make the concept practical for your customers in today's complex digital economy.

Eric Koivisto, Microsoft general manager of business marketing says, "The Business Internet is a promise of what we see the Web being in business. Microsoft brings to the table the tools that help make this promise a reality."

In this article, we talk about The Business Internet and how you can use it to build your business solutions for your customers. We discuss products and features and the benefits of using them. Continue watching this site—as further developments regarding The Business Internet are announced we'll keep you informed.

The Business Internet Model

The Solution Center
The Microsoft Business Web site You are leaving the Microsoft Direct Access website. Use your browser's 'Back' button to return. is designed to give you all the information you need on Microsoft Web business solutions. Learn about e-commerce, knowledge management and Web collaboration, and browse by solution or size of business.

E-commerce, knowledge management and business operations are the three areas that comprise the core target zone for The Business Internet campaign. Koivisto says that the combination of software, plus services, plus partners equals The Business Internet solution set. "The solutions are what is created by combining those three," he notes.

Your small business customer is likely in need of an e-commerce, knowledge management or business operation solution. Such customers have yet to establish Web sites, let alone have the resources to make them business-ready. The same goes for your larger customers who might already have an established Web identity, but still need help with a business operation for their back-end online accounting systems. Whichever the case, it is important for you to learn about products and solutions and discuss new Internet possibilities with them. Business decision makers are faced with a dizzying array of choices, and you can use The Business Internet to promote your solutions expertise.

Put to Use

Lenny DiCostanzo, a VAP with Turnkey Computer Systems Inc. in New York City, uses Microsoft software to provide Web-enabled solutions to his customer, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company called F & G Mechanical. In line with his service offering for The Business Internet, he set up his customer to use Microsoft® Windows NT® Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition for remote access, which allows employees to make service calls and perform credit card transactions out in the field. In the near future, DiCostanzo has plans to start selling and implementing Windows® 2000 Server with its integrated Terminal Services.

"My clients need to get to their systems from their client sites. They want to check orders and inventories from out in the field, so I built up the digital infrastructure to support this type of access via the Internet," says DiCostanzo.

DiCostanzo's example represents how The Business Internet equation works:

A provider (DiCostanzo)
Become a Microsoft Certified Partner and enjoy educational opportunities and the ability to partner with Microsoft
There are many advantages to becoming a Microsoft Certified Partner. In reference to The Business Internet, however, Microsoft Certified Partners can partner You are leaving the Microsoft Direct Access website. Use your browser's 'Back' button to return. with Microsoft in providing Web solutions to customers.

Microsoft Certified Partner benefits include referral services. Microsoft has set up a Microsoft Certified Partner Referral Tool to assist prospective customers in finding a qualified solution provider in their area. As an Microsoft Certified Partner, your company information is included on the Microsoft Web site.

To learn more about partnering with Microsoft as a solution provider, check out this Microsoft Direct Access Web page on the Microsoft Certified Partner program.

Microsoft products (Windows NT Server Terminal Server Edition)
The provider's services (setting up remote services and credit card transaction capabilities)
A solution that meets the
client's business needs.

Products for The Business Internet

The Windows 2000 platform, for example, offers users greater manageability and reliability for common Web-related functions.

Another example is the enhanced System Policies function and the Active Directory™ service feature of Windows 2000, which can be used to control Web-user security permissions and centralize administration needs online.

Similarly, with Microsoft Office 2000, users can carry out common Web-related tasks such as creating and posting pages directly from within Office applications. The applications that come with Office 2000 are all HTML-based, so users can publish Microsoft Word documents or Microsoft Excel spreadsheets straight to their company intranet or Web site.

Other Microsoft products that are Web-enabled include Microsoft Exchange, the Microsoft Outlook® 2000 messaging and collaboration client and Microsoft SQL Server™ 7.0. These technologies are intended to connect your client's customers, employees and partners.

Products can be integrated with other products and systems that your customer may already have in place. These collaborations can produce an integrated, end-to-end and scalable solution. Those mentioned above, plus Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft BackOffice®, the Microsoft Visual Studio® development system, MSN™ network of Internet services, WebTV and the Passport service, make it easier for you to provide your customers with what they need to link together their people, their customers and the Internet.

Benefits of The Business Internet

By setting their business up on the Web, you can help your customers reach their company goals. Companies of all sizes should be able to move processes online, connect to suppliers and partners, understand and respond better to customers and empower their employees with critical information. In the past, some of these benefits were confined to the large enterprise world. But now, small business customers can attain a more level ground with larger competitors.

Other ways The Business Internet benefits your customers:

  • Faster communications. Your customer can collaborate more closely with suppliers and partners, reducing operating costs and providing better customer service.
  • An increase in team productivity. Processes can be moved online so employees have a central location for viewing information. Products like the Microsoft FrontPage® 2000 Web site creating and management tool, Internet Information Server and Microsoft Internet Explorer are key to providing essential company intranets.
  • The competitive edge. Electronic workrooms in Exchange can be set up for each department and project with easy-to-find information and a progress-tracking mechanism. In addition, you can use Meeting Manager to book meetings online and record minutes.

All of these benefits make your customers better informed—one of the biggest goals of The Business Internet campaign.

The Future of The Business Internet

Microsoft's goal is to work closely with you so you can provide the best Internet solutions for your customers. As The Business Internet is relatively new and Microsoft is developing new ways to communicate Web solutions and technologies to providers, look to the Microsoft Direct Access Web site to keep you informed as The Business Internet advances.

In the meantime, Microsoft has already developed services, such as bCentral, You are leaving the Microsoft Direct Access website. Use your browser's 'Back' button to return. (read the article on this site May 1) that you can use to get your customers up and running on the Web. As a partner or provider, you can begin to complete the puzzle by educating yourself on these products and services.

According to Koivisto, the talk is "e-everything" these days, and Microsoft is hoping that this is "just the tip of the iceberg."

"The advances are just the beginning," he adds. "The majority of what we're going to be able to do and the solutions we're going to be able to come up with are still ahead of us. What we are doing is making it easier for VAPs to deliver solutions."

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