e-business technology - access devices
We tend to think of eBusiness being conducted via Internet access through a personal computer, connected via a modem, broadband connection or similar. Whilst this is the most important device for the vast majority of transactions, Internet access and eBusiness is available through a variety of devices apart from the personal computer.
Marketing and Operations managers need to understand the importance of supporting the right kinds of access and devices, as many applications and websites are more suitable to be used via other devices. The website model has been adapted to include:
Mobile telephone with WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) and 3G,
Palmtop computers (or ‘PDA’s) with cellular modems or ‘Bluetooth’
Each of these devices has particular strengths and weaknesses including their degree of:
- Screen size and resolution
- Keyboard size and function
- Availability of a mouse or other pointing device
- Internal storage
- Processing power and speed
- Operating system compatibility
- Access speed
- Coverage – geographical, and within buildings, vehicles and other structures
- Battery life
All of these things determine the places in which such a device might be used, and hence, the type of product or service that may usefully and effectively be accessed.
New services are arising that specifically exploit the capabilities of a particular device. Good examples include services that locate a taxi firm, restaurant and places of interest according to the location of the user. This can be derived from the cellular phone network, which can place the user reasonably accurately, or possibly linked to a GPS (Global Positioning System) device.
One practical example is the Transport for London ‘Cabwise’ service, in which the user sends a text message ‘HOME’ to number 60835 and receives a text back with the numbers of the two nearest licensed taxi firms http://www.tfl.gov.uk/pco/findaride/textservice.asp
Author: Steve Whiteley, January 2007
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