With many of the early dot-coms now a page in Internet history, IBM is generating double-digit revenue growth through the company's newest sales channel, ibm.com.
So far this year, $5.5 billion, or 13 percent of IBM's overall revenue, has come through ibm.com – proving that selling to customers on terms they are comfortable with can improve customer satisfaction and IBM's results. Industry analysts have started to take notice of IBM's dot-com business model, which they say will "revolutionize e-commerce".
Summit Strategies, a research and information analyst firm based in Boston, recently filed an independent analysis of the ibm.com business model entitled, IBM's New e-Business Strategy Ups the Ante on the Web. The report highlights IBM's integrated approach to e-commerce, which the company calls 'teleWeb', providing customers the ability to order online directly through the Internet or through telephone call centers.
In a time when many companies are just realizing the biggest oversight of the dot.com boom was a lack of focus on customer service and support, IBM is positioned to distance itself from the pack, the report says.
"IBM's decision to change the rules on the web from passive, self-service e-commerce to proactive e-selling represents an important paradigm shift. Ignore it at your own risk," wrote Marty Grune, the report author and vice president at Summit.
Douglas Maine, general manager of ibm.com, said, "There is a common misperception that dot-com business models are pure end-to-end web plays. Our customers have told us that an integrated teleweb experience gives them the best of the Web and the real-time expertise of sales specialists, so we've built in a 'human touch' to the ibm.com e-commerce and support experience."